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Chain Link Fence Installation Basics

Chain-link fences are an economical option for basic containment. The main cost is the labor of digging and setting posts and securing them with concrete.Chain Link Fence

When the come-along cable puller winch is cranked tight, the fabric should stretch taut without sagging. If it does, a tension bar can be hooked to it by hand. To learn more, visit https://www.maiseyfence.com/.

Posts are a critical part of any chain-link fence system. They are the foundation on which the entire system rests and must be set correctly to prevent the fence from leaning under the tension of the stretched chain link fabric. End, corner, and gate posts, also called terminal posts, must be set in concrete footing to prevent them from shifting or settling over time. Posts that are set between the terminal posts are referred to as “line posts” and may be set in concrete footings or other means of anchorage. Generally, line posts are spaced no more than 10 feet apart, but this can vary depending on wind conditions and soil.

Before digging holes for your posts, contact your local utility company to have any water, gas, or power lines marked. This can save you a lot of trouble later when installing your fence and is required by most cities and counties.

Dig holes for the end, corner, and gate posts to the proper depth—about three times the diameter of the post. For line posts, dig about a third of the length of the pole and a few inches deeper. Fill the hole for each post with 4 inches of gravel and tamp well. You can also use concrete to set the terminal and corner posts, but be sure the concrete has cured before proceeding.

After the corner, gate, and end posts are set, prepare the holes for the line posts. For line posts, determine equidistant spacing by dividing the total length of your fence section by 10. This will give you the number of line posts needed to complete the run. For example, a 50-foot run of fence requires six line posts.

To prepare for the line posts, install rail caps on each post. You can either place the caps on top of the posts or use a level to slope the caps down to the ground. Fill the remaining holes with concrete. You can use a premixed concrete mix or make your own, following the manufacturer’s instructions.


Whether your chain-link fence is steel or vinyl, the rails are an important component of the structure. The rails hold the mesh in place and help keep animals from getting under it. They can also improve security by making it more difficult for people to scale or climb over the fence. The rails are typically either galvanized or coated with vinyl. They can also be made stronger by adding barbed wire to them.

Before you begin installing the fence rails, mark the location of your corner, end, and gate posts. This way, you can be sure your new fencing will match up perfectly with the existing one. Next, dig holes for the terminal and gate post locations and set the posts in concrete footings. Make sure the footings are at least as deep as the post itself.

Once the posts are in place, install tension and brace bands onto the terminal posts. The long, flat surface of the tension band should face the outside of the fence. Once the tension bands are secure, apply terminal post caps to the top of the posts.

Next, weave a tension wire through the bottom of the mesh along its entire length. Then tie the wire to the terminal posts at the end of the fence. Repeat this step with the other terminals and corner posts.

A tension bar is a vertical bar that adds support and rigidity to the bottom of the chain-link fabric. Install one at each end of the fence and at the corner posts.

To fix a hole in the fence fabric, locate the damaged area and the undamaged portion on either side. Using lineman’s pliers, untwist the wire ties that hold the damaged part of the fence to its adjacent rails. Use the same pliers to untwist the wire ties holding the rest of the fabric to its other rails.

Once the fence is taut enough, it’s time to install the mesh. Begin by removing any slack from the top of the mesh roll. Then, use a come-along to pull the fabric tight and attach it to the end poles with a stretcher bar.


Although chain link fences are often thought of as intimidating to install, they can be fairly straightforward if you stick to a few basic rules. Most importantly, check with your local planning council and building department to ensure that you are following all zoning laws and requirements for the size and location of the proposed fence. You’ll also want to purchase a chain link roll and a number of fittings like end rail clamps, line rail clamps, gate corners, gate hinges, tension bands, and dome post caps. All metal parts of a chain-link fence should be hot-dip galvanized to protect against corrosion.

First, mark the desired fence lines with spray paint or a movable marker so that you can easily track them as you build. This will help you determine how many posts are needed, the distance between them, and how much chain-link mesh fabric is required. Then, dig holes for the end posts and concrete footers as specified in your plan. When digging, be sure to use a post hole digger or spud bar to make the hole larger at the bottom than at the top so that it further anchors the concrete footer, which will support your fence.

Before you begin installing the fence, stretch a length of wire or a piece of rope that will be used to guide your work to ensure it is straight and parallel with the ground. When the chain link is properly stretched, it should “snap” back to the end posts when it’s pulled firmly.

Once all the terminal posts are dug, installed, and concreted in place, lay out a length of fence mesh and secure it to the rail with fencing ties. The ties are steel or aluminum wires with hooks on both ends that you thread through the loops at the top and bottom of the chain link. The ties should be spaced approximately every two feet and should run horizontally around the entire fence.

When you have the entire chain link fence hung, you can begin to install the other fittings. Begin by putting tension bands on each terminal post. The flat side of the tension band should face towards the outside of the fence, and for a 4-foot fence, you need three bands per post.


Chain link fence components are available in a wide range of weights (gauges) and types of protective coatings. Providers offer a variety of colors, too, which help the fence blend into landscaping and enhance a home or commercial property. Typical coatings are zinc (galvanized) and vinyl or polyester, but you can also find some parts with special finishes such as black powder coat. Choose a color that fits your overall style, but keep in mind that chain link fencing is very durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions.

Before you begin building the fence, locate your property lines. A local assessor’s office can help you with this. Find out how much yard you wish to fence in and the height of your fence based on your fabric size choice (typically sold in feet). Determine if you want to include gate openings. Tip: Discuss the plan with your neighbors before you start to avoid a dispute down the line.

Dig holes for end, corner, and gate posts and set them in concrete footings to prevent them from leaning under the tension of a stretched fence. Posts set between the terminal posts are called line posts, and they’re set at intervals not to exceed 10 feet.

Lay out the fence perimeter by running a mason’s line or batter boards, then mark a string line for each section of the fence to guide your digging. Square the corners of your fence by measuring 3-feet from the intersection of the mason’s and line string lines, then 4-feet along that same line, using a tape measure to make sure the marks are parallel.

When the post holes are dug, use a spade to dig them at least twice as large as the diameter of the posts and about 30 inches deep. Fill the holes with concrete and wait a few days for it to set before you continue construction.

After the concrete is in place, slide the tension bands and brace bands with rail ends onto the terminal posts. The long, flat surface of the tension bands should face toward the outside of the fence. The top rail goes through the terminal post loop caps and is forced together at the eye tops of the line posts by a brace bar that’s mounted on the tension band.