Installing a chain link fence is a project that can be completed in a day or two depending on the area. Among the many fencing options, the picket fence is one of the most affordable options. It consists of a metal mesh that is connected to a series of metal fence posts using special post hardware. Use this guide for step-by-step instructions on how to install a chain link fence.
How to install a chain link fence
The steps of install a chain link fence
Prepare the project
Installing a chain link fence requires planning and preparation. Before building a fence, you must do several steps:
Some local building codes place restrictions on fence height, location, and other factors
Find your property line Determine the location of your fence in relation to your property line
Determine the size of the fence and the type of material you prefer. The height of the fence is based on the size of the fence. The chain link fence is supplied as a linear base. It is usually sold in 4-foot, 5-foot, or 6-foot rolls. Galvanized steel is the strongest mesh. Buy enough to cover the perimeter of the fence less than the gate openings. Aluminum is lighter
Part of the process of building a chain link fence is knowing what parts you will need
The post line cap holds the top rail in place. Use one of these for each line post.
The top rail runs along the top of the posts. Use the same linear film as you would for the entire fence.
Post end cap is also called “terminal cap”. Use one of these for each end post.
Rail Ends Cap the rail at each end post, gate post and corner bar. Use one for each end post, one for each goal post, and two for each corner post.
Tension bands hold the tension bar. Use three for each end post and gate. Use six per corner post for fences up to 4 feet tall. Use four posts at the end and gate. Use eight per corner for fences up to 5 feet tall. Use five posts at the end and gate. For fences up to 6 feet tall, use ten per corner post.
Tie Wire fastens the fence to the rail and posts of the top line. Use one for every 24 inches of top rail and one for every 12 inches of each line post.
The picket fence posts support the top rail and the picket fence. Use one of these every 10 feet of fence.
Tension Wire adds strength to the bottom of the wire mesh fence along the bottom. Use the same linear film as you would for the entire fence.
The end post/corner post adds support and strength to the chain link fence. Use one for each end of the fence, at each corner. Use two numbers for each gate opening.
A tension bar is a vertical bar that is woven into the end of the netting fence at each end post, gate post, and corner. Use one for each end post and goal post and two for each corner
If you’re wondering how to install a chain link fence, here are a few additional pieces to consider:
The upper rail sleeve connects the two upper rail ways. Use one of these for both top rails that need to be joined together.
The gates are already assembled. Use one for each opening you want to create. You can create a double opening by using two gates.
Gate post hinge for installation to the post. Use two for each swing gate.
Gate frame hinge for installation on the gate. Use two for each swing gate.
Restraint strips hold the end of the rail and are placed on top of the tension strip.
Most instructions on how to put up a chain link fence begin with determining the layout.
Place your fence 4 inches from your property line to avoid any property line issues with neighbors.
Draw the perimeter of the fence using the dough board and mason line. If you run your fence parallel to the house, start with this line first. Then run the vertical lines to complete the perimeter and cross the meson line in the corners.
Square the corners using the 3-4-5 method. Measure 3 feet from where the lines meet and mark on the string line. Measure and mark 4 feet along a line perpendicular to that line. Measure between the 3-foot and 4-foot marks. Adjust the line until the marks are exactly 5 feet apart.
Using spray paint, mark the fence post locations based on the dimensions of the fence panel. Use a fence post that is no more than 10 feet tall.
Leave an extra 3 3/4 inches between posts when placing posts for picket fence gates. This frees up space for the hinges and lock. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions for specific measurements.
Prepare the post holes
The posts are in two diameters. The wider diameter, 2 3/8 inches, is for corner and end posts. The smaller diameter is 1 5/8″ and is for line posts or other fence posts. An important step in knowing how to make a chain link fence is to properly drill the post holes. You can use a post drill or a two-person auger.
Drill the post holes three times the diameter of the post. Dig 6 to 8 inches for end and corner posts. Dig 4 inches to 6 inches for line posts.
Make holes one-third the length of the pole plus 4 inches for sand.
Fill all holes with 4 inches of gravel. Tap 4 feet by 4 feet using a hand tamper or stand.
For ends, corners, and gate posts, add 6 inches of concrete to the hole. Leave the other holes empty.
Setting posts, corners and gates in concrete is the key to a strong and sturdy mesh fence system. Before moving forward, make sure these footings are properly set and the concrete is fully cured.
Make sure the concrete mix is not too thin. It should have the consistency of thick cake batter. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or buy ready-made cement.
Place the footings in wet concrete and level them with a pipe level. Ask a helper to hold or secure the legs using the legs.
Finish filling the corner, gate and post end holes with concrete.
After shoveling every few times, check the footings for plumbness and adjust if necessary.
Slope the top of the concrete to drain the water from the columns.
Allow the concrete to cure for two to three days or as directed by the manufacturer.
Do not fill the holes of the line columns with concrete and do not put the line bases in place
Attach tension bands and gate hardware
Tension bands hold the tension rod in place. They give vertical strength to the fence netting.
Slide tension strips over each corner, gate and end post. Bands help hold the mesh in place after installation. You will use three for a 4-foot fence, four for a 5-foot fence, and five for a 6-foot fence.
Place the fence gate hinges and the hardware on the gate posts in their near final positions. The height of the hinge depends on the dimensions and design of your gate.
Run one brace band on each end and post of the gate and two on each corner post.
Use a rubber mallet to drive the end stud caps onto the gate, corner and end studs.
Install the cover and rail
Install the line post caps and connect the rails.
Draw the ring line caps on the line bases with a mallet. Place the columns in their holes, but do not fill the holes.
Attach a rail cap to each brace band and tighten just enough to hold the cap in place. Feed the rails through ring caps.
Cut the rails as needed with a pipe cutter or chainsaw. If you need longer rails, connect them together. Use rails with slightly smaller wedge ends that fit into a full size rail or with a top rail sleeve.
Be sure to trim the ends of all cuts using a file if necessary.
Place the rails in the rail cover. Raise or lower each cap to the final mesh height. Leave a 2 inch gap at the bottom.
Tighten the brace straps to fix the height of the rail.
Fill the holes around the line bases with soil and tamp until they are firm. in Hai
Weave the elastic band through the loops at the end of the mesh.
The rod stiffens the ends of the fence and provides something to attach to the posts.
Attach the tension band to the post
Lift the mesh. Slide the tension band between the opening on the tension bands.
Thread a screw through each tension band to lock the tension rod in place.
Using a socket wrench, attach the tension rod to the tension strips on one of the end posts.
Align the mesh so that it overlaps the rail by 1 to 2 inches and is about 2 inches above the ground.
Open the netting of the fence
Insert a tension rod 3 feet from the corner or end post where you are going to terminate the mesh.
Hook the stretcher bar to it.
Turn the cable puller until the lace rings do not move more than 1/4 inch when you squeeze them together.
Tighten the fence netting
If the lace changes height or becomes distorted during tightening, pull it to reshape it. Without letting go of the fence puller, weave the tension rod through the mesh. Make sure it is close enough to secure to the tension strips on the end post closest to the fence post.
Tip: It can be easier to install a mesh fence with help. Consider having a helper or two.
Remove the excess lace
Open a loop at the top and bottom to eliminate excess webbing between the drawbars and end bar. Twist the string and release.
Tighten the elastic bands
Pull the drawbar by hand into the drawbars on the end bar.
Tighten the screws of the strips with a socket wrench.
Release the fence puller and remove the stretcher bar and stretcher bar.
Repeat all hanging and stretching steps along the remaining two sides of the fence.
Tie the fence net to the rail
Bend one end of the aluminum tie wire into a hook. Take the bottom thread of the opening above the rail.
Loop the tie wire around the top rail. Pull it tight and tie it back on the lace.
Place tie wires every 24 inches along the top rail and then attach them to the line posts every 12 to 16 inches.
The end of fencing
The last stage is the wiring of the lower rings of the fence net.
Pass a stretcher wire through the bottom loops of the lace and secure it around the end posts.
Wrap the wire around itself a few times to secure it.
An alternative to threading the wire is to attach it to the grid every two feet or so with hog rings.
Now that you know how to install a chain link fence, you’re one step closer to a new fence. Wire mesh fences can be an affordable option to define your property, keep pets out, and provide you with added security. However, a chain link fence doesn’t give you much privacy. Consider using mesh fence accessories such as privacy boards. Weave the slats diagonally through the mesh.