Amazing Guide to the Types of Chain Link Fence

Don't miss this guide to the best types of chain link fence for every property type! From the traditional to the unique- we dive into different use cases in this blog!
Renee Lewis
Renee Lewis
Last Update:
September 19, 2023

Most people have an idea in their head about what a traditional chain link fence looks like - a tall, industrial security fence with barbed wire on the top rail. Right? Wrong! Many people do not realize there are actually several different types of chain link fences and that it is not only used for high security situations. There are so many fencing options that use chain link mesh.

There are residential wire fences, chain link fences that make good privacy fences, and great fencing choices for playgrounds. Plus, there are different mesh sizes to choose from and other ways to “dress up” your chain link fence that can also boost your property’s aesthetic value and even accent your landscaping.

What are the Different Types of Chain Link Fence?

Pretty much everyone knows about the traditional, low maintenance metallic chain link fences. These are called galvanized chain link fences. However, chain link fences have experienced a renaissance in recent years along with the rise of PVC, or vinyl, use in fencing. PVC-coated chain link fences do not have the metallic look and can be available in different colors. And if you want to add privacy to your mostly see-through fence, there are different types of slats that you can add to a chain link fence to block the view. More and more, you will see residential chain link fences in backyards that come in different colors and styles, which is why more homeowners are choosing to install chain link fencing.

Galvanized Chain Link Fencing

Galvanized chain link fencing is what most people think of when they think of a chain link fabric. It is the traditional, metallic looking chain link mesh fence made up of steel wires twisted together to look like diamonds. It is made of high quality steel that is hot dipped into a molten zinc coating to protect it from rust and corrosion. This type of chain link fence is perfect for homeowners on a budget who need a simple and affordable solution to marking their property line or keeping small children and pets inside the yard while keeping the view. Galvanized chain link fencing is also used in situations where security is the priority.

PVC-Coated Chain Link Fencing

A step up, both looks-wise and durability-wise, from the traditional galvanized chain link fence is the PVC-coated chain link fence. This fence is made by adding a thin layer of PVC, or black vinyl coating, around the metal wire strands. Coating the chain link mesh with PVC actually makes the fence stand up better to corrosion and weather - making it a great choice for outdoor, especially wet, areas. The PVC coating also makes this a good choice of chain link fence for residential areas. The coating tones down the metallic aspect of the fence and makes it look a little less industrial and a little homier. Keep in mind the top rail and bottom rails, as well as the fence posts, typically come in steel. But you can switch those out for other options like wood if you want to make the fence blend in with other residential fences a little better.

Slatted Chain Link Fencing

If you want some privacy in your yard but have not considered a chain link fence because they are commonly very see-through, there is another style of chain link fence to check out. A slatted chain link fence comes with slats that can be added to the fence to add privacy. The privacy slats run vertically and are woven through the wire mesh. They also come in a variety of colors. Black is a common choice, as is dark green - which can also help your fence blend in a little with surrounding vegetation. There are also some other great ways to cover a chain link fence, like with artificial greenery or wood panels. With a slatted chain link fence, you get the privacy and the affordability all in one fence. Adding slats is also a great way to fill gaps in chain link fencing.

Color-Coated Chain Link Fencing

Did you know you can get chain link fences in a variety of different colors? Color-coated chain link fencing is made by coating the metal chain link fence strands in colored PVC, or vinyl. Not only does this offer the benefits of the PVC-coated chain link fence - additional durability - it also adds aesthetic value to your fence. Color-coated chain link fencing comes in a wide variety of colors including black, red, gray, brown, beige, green, white, and more.

Benefits of Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fences offer a lot of advantages over traditional fencing like wood fences or wrought iron fences - they will likely save you money compared to other fences, they are durable, and they come in different styles. Chain link fences are easy to install and repair, and homeowners can save a significant amount of money on a new fence by installing it or repairing it themselves. This type of fence is also inexpensive which makes it affordable for more homeowners. On top of all of that, chain link fencing is durable. They will last about 20 years on average, a little less than a PVC, or vinyl, fence, but about the same as a high-quality wood fence. Chain link fences can be used in a variety of settings - from industrial to residential. These fences come in different styles and colors, so they can be fine-tuned to your particular needs.

Downsides to Chain Link Fencing

Despite the many advantages to chain link fences, there are downsides including potentially looking unattractive in a residential area or even having rules against them in certain HOA’s, offering minimal privacy, and in some cases is not ideal for security. The traditional metallic chain link fence will likely not increase your curb appeal and may not even be allowed in some residential areas. If you live in an HOA make sure to check if a chain link fence is allowed before getting on. Another potential disadvantage is that a chain link fence does not typically offer much privacy due to the open weave of the metal wires. Even with the improved privacy of a slatted chain link fence it would still not be as private as a wooden fence or privacy fence. Finally, a front yard chain link fence will not offer much privacy beyond keeping small pets and children in the yard. These fences are relatively easy to climb, and a residential style chain link fence would be easy for an adult to get over if they wanted to.

​​What are the Different Ways to Use Chain Link Fencing?

Chain link fences can have several different uses - from industrial to business to residential. The traditional chain link fence has a metallic look that homeowners often dislike compared to a wooden fence. But for industrial uses, chain link fences are a great choice as they come in tall options with other security features available. There has been a revival in businesses using chain link fences as PVC coated chain link fences and colored chain link fences have become more popular. A black or dark green chain link fence could easily look trendy in the right setting, especially with green vegetation around it. For the same reasons, more homeowners are choosing chain link fences because they look prettier with the PVC coating, color options, and other styles that are available. Some homes have even used the chain link fence as a trellis for climbing plants to scale, which looks beautiful and could even boost curb appeal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s go over a few frequently asked questions about chain link fences.

How much does chain link fencing cost?

A new chain link fence, for both parts and installation, will cost on average $10 to $17 per linear foot. A PVC coated chain link fence will cost a little more than that. It will be $13 to $20 per linear foot. The average cost of a chain link fence is $1,200. But, depending on add-ons from the traditional metal chain link fence it could be a little more expensive.

How can you add privacy to chain link fencing?

There are a couple of easy ways to add privacy to a chain link fence. One way is to add slats in between the diamond pattern steel wire, and if you are able to, choose a taller height of chain link fence. This fencing material typically comes in bags of around 78 slats which will usually cover about 10 feet of chain link fence length. A bag of 78, six-foot high slats costs around $60. If you are paying a fence company to put up your fence, this should be included with the chain link fence installation costs. Another way to add privacy to your chain link fence that costs less, but takes a little longer, is to grow plants that like to climb near the fence. The fence will become a trellis in time, and the vegetation could completely block the view into your property.

What type of chain link fence is best?

The best type of chain link fence is the one that meets your needs. If you need a fence for industrial uses, a tough, galvanized metal chain link fence is the best option. However, if you are looking for something a little more aesthetically appealing for business or residential purposes, then consider a PVC-coated or color-coated chain link fence. They come in a variety of colors. If privacy is your priority, then a slatted chain link fence is the best choice. Ask your fence company for their suggestions as well, based on your preferences and needs they will be able to give you recommendations.

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