Most chain link fences can cost between $15-$40 per linear foot after installation.
If you're looking to install a new fence for your yard and are on a tight budget, a chain link fence is a good option. Also known as a hurricane fence or cyclone fencing, a chain link fence is one of the most durable types of fences you can buy. Although it may not have the same classic appearance as a wood fence, it's affordable, durable, and easy to install.
On this page
- Cost factors
- Types of chain link fences
- Size considerations
- Professional vs. DIY
- Is installing a chain link fence affordable?
Several factors can affect the cost of your chain link fence.
Depending on where you live and what size fence you choose to install, you may need to acquire a building permit. Building permits typically cost an average of $75. More densely populated areas may also have local ordinances you have to follow as opposed to more rural areas. If you choose to have a professional install the fence for you, they'll likely handle all the necessary permits, building codes, and zoning requirements.
Some residential areas will limit the height of your fence. Typically, front yards are limited to a four-foot-high fence while back yards are limited to a six-foot-high fence. Anything higher than six feet could be a liability for homeowners in severe weather situations with high winds as well as cause damage to your home.
Chain link fence materials
Though galvanized steel is usually the most common type of chain link fence, there are several other options like vinyl color-coated and slatted fences that could be more expensive. Additions like a welded wire mesh and chain-link fabric screens could also drive up the material prices.
Chain link fence gates add an extra sense of security and privacy to your home. If you want to add a little more privacy with a rolling gate or a swing gate, you can expect to pay additional gate costs of $75.
Though calling 811 doesn't cost anything, it could end up saving you money when you're ready to build your fence. Calling 811 requests a local utility company to come mark buried utility lines so you don't knock out power or cause any bodily harm when you dig holes for your fence posts.
Types of chain link fences
Image source: Linkland Fencing Co
Average cost: $15 per linear foot before installation
Galvanization is a process in which metals are coated to make them more durable and resistant. Galvanized metals usually feature a zinc coating, which helps protect the steel from corrosion and rust. While galvanized chain link fences may not offer the same lifespan or aesthetically pleasing style as vinyl-coated chain link fences, it is versatile and less expensive.
Average cost: $20 per linear foot before installation
Vinyl-coated chain link fences feature galvanized steel wire but are coated in vinyl instead of zinc. Like zinc coatings, PVC and vinyl are also resistant to rust, corrosion, and scratches but are usually more expensive. Another benefit to a vinyl fence is the variety of colors you’ll be able to choose from, making your fence look less industrial so that it blends in more with your yard.
Average cost: $50 per 10 linear feet of fence
If you value your privacy, a slatted privacy fence is a solid choice. Privacy slats are typically available in various designs and colors, making them easy to customize. Choose between a variety of different patterned slats or add your own alterations like vines and lattices.
Chain link fences come in several different heights but typically range from four feet high to six feet high for most residential yards. Just make sure to check your local zoning laws to make sure the height of the fence meets the required limits. Chain-link fence prices vary depending on the size you choose.
Gauges refer to the thickness of the metal wires, ranging anywhere from 5-gauge to 12-gauge wires. Lower gauges represent thicker wires and a stronger and more stable fence. Most commercial and residential buildings utilize a 9-gauge chain link fence, but if you're looking for more stability, we recommend going with a 6-gauge fence.
Professional vs. DIY
Image source: Home Depot
Average cost for materials: $10 per linear foot
Average cost for labor: $15 per linear foot
Average total cost: $25 per linear foot
Though it is possible to install a chain link fence yourself, we recommend you hire a professional fencing contractor to maximize its lifespan and avoid any potential issues. Installing a fence yourself requires hours of physical labor, including digging the chain link fence post holes and tightening the wires. Calling a fence company for your chain link fence installation costs a little more, but may save you money in the long run.
Image source: Home Depot
If you’re on a tight budget and have experience with most home improvement projects, you should be able to install a chain link fence yourself. Without paying for labor costs, you’ll mostly just be paying for material costs and necessary tools.
Just remember to mark your property lines and call 811 to mark the utility lines before you dig any holes for the terminal posts. Then, you'll need to set the corner posts with a concrete mix, attach the tension bands and tension bars, post caps and top rails, any necessary gate posts and line posts, and install the fencing wires. Installing a chain link fence yourself can save you a little money, but any installation errors could result in expensive repairs.
Installing a chain link fence is an affordable option
In addition to potentially lasting up to 40 years, chain link fences are low maintenance and more affordable than other fencing options like wrought iron or an aluminum fence. Though they may not feature the same type of appearance as wood, chain link fences are a great option if you’re on a tight budget. Refer to this cost guide when it comes time for you to install a new fence or replace an old fence.