Pay a Fair Price for Chain Link Fence

Photo: grendelkhan/flickrOne of the most widely popular types of fencing is chain link, also known as wire mesh or cyclone fence. It is woven out of tough steel wire, which has been either galvanized or coated with linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) for extra durability and low maintenance. Although chain link fence is instantly recognizable by its standard diamond pattern, it comes in a variety of gauges, lengths, and heights. As a result of these differences, the cost to install a chain link fence can vary by a substantial amount. Find out more about this fencing material to make sure you will pay a fair price for both materials and labor.

Chain Link Fence Advantages

If you're looking to build a barrier that is strong, long lasting, and weather-resistant, chain link fencing is your man ... er ... fence. It's also easy to install (the amount you need is simply stretched out and attached to a framework of fence posts and rails at intervals of 10 feet or less) and to clean (use water, with a little cleaning solution if necessary, and hose the fence down -- once a year is likely to be enough). Another benefit is that it keeps children and pets safely in your yard, and animal pests out, while allowing you a clear view of what's going on ... on both sides of the fence. Speaking of the view, chain link will not block out the surrounding landscape or sunlight as a wooden or vinyl fence might. And the most common criticism of chain link, that it is unattractive, is now becoming a thing of the past with vinyl covered fencing in new earthy colors and custom designs.

Price Advantage

But for many homeowners, the main advantage is the low cost of chain link fencing, especially averaged out over its long lifespan. You can expect to pay roughly 30-60 percent of the price of most other types of fencing, such as wood or vinyl, for installation. Figure into your calculations the amount you will save on repainting and other maintenance tasks, as well as the length of the fencing's useful life. (Normally guaranteed for 10-15 years, chain link fences can easily last for 3 decades or more.)

Determining Cost of Fencing and Installation

Important elements in determining the cost to install chain link fence include:

     1. how high a quality of fencing material you use;

     2. which mesh length and gauge you choose (most common gauges are 9, 11, and 11.5);

     3. what height your fence will be (usually between 3 and 12 feet);

     4. how many and what type of fence posts and gates are required;

     5. how level the terrain is and if it will need to be graded;

     6. whether the area to be enclosed is rectangular or irregular;

     7. where you are located;

     8. whether you have the chain link fence installed during the contractors' slow season from September to March;

     9. whether you choose a professional fencing contractor or a general handy man to do the work.

Laura Firszt writes for

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