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How to Install a Chain Link Fence

A chain link fence is straightforward to construct. It requires basic tools and intermediate skills. Building a fence for a standard-sized yard takes at least two days spaced about a week apart. The work will proceed more quickly if you enlist a partner for the project.

You’ll need to dig postholes and set posts in concrete on the first day. On the second day, you can attach rails and wire. You may want to pencil in another day for planning the layout.

Pacific Fence & Wire carries the materials you need for a long-lasting fence. Before you decide whether you want to take on the construction yourself, take a look at this overview of how to install a chain link fence.

Things to Check Before Building

Check the building codes in your area. You may need a permit, and there may be restrictions regarding the type or height of fences you can build. Locate property lines and call utility companies before you dig.

Make a Plan and Estimate Materials

Sketch out the layout of your fence. Decide where to place walk-through and drive-through gates. Based on your plan, measure and estimate the chain-link footage you’ll need.

Determine the number of end posts and line posts to buy. Use end posts where the fence changes direction and at either side of a gate. Line posts are those that go between the end posts. In general, you’ll need a post at least every 10 feet.

Materials List

  • End Posts
  • Tension bars
  • Fittings for end posts, including brace bands, tension bands and post caps
  • Line posts and eye tops
  • Chain link mesh
  • Gates
  • Rails and rail ends
  • Wire ties

Set the Posts

The first day of work is setting the posts. When the poles are in place, allow the cement to cure for about a week.

  1. Set end posts: Dig a hole 30-inches deep and 12-inches wide. Place a post in it. Fill the hole with concrete. Make sure the post is centered and straight. Smooth the concrete with a trowel.
  2. Set line posts: Tie a string 4 inches below the top of the end posts. Use this string as a guide to set the posts. Dig a hole 24-inches deep and 8-inches wide. Install line posts as you did the end posts.

Check that the posts are plumb and form a straight line between end posts.

Install Fittings and Rails

  1. End posts: Attach tension bands, brace bands and post caps.
  2. Line posts: Install eye tops.
  3. Rails: Slip rails through the eye tops. Use a hacksaw to cut the rails to size. Attach rail ends and bolt to the brace bands.

Attach Tension Bars and Chain Link

  1. Slide a tension bar through the first row of chain link mesh. Bolt the bar to the tension band on the end posts.
  2. Stretch the mesh to the next end post. You may need to rent a stretching bar and fence stretcher.
  3. When the mesh is stretched tightly to the next end post, insert another tension bar and connect it to the post.
  4. Fasten the chain link with ties every 24 inches to the top rail.
  5. Attach the chain link to the line posts, placing ties about every 12 inches.

Set the Gates

  1. Install the bottom post hinge with the pin pointing upward. Install the top post hinge with the pin pointing downward
  2. Line up the gate’s top rail with the fence top rail.
  3. Snug up the hinges. Attach the gate latch.

Now that you know how to install a chain link fence, are you game to try?

Pacific Fence & Wire has the materials and expertise to help you build a fence. Contact us for a free estimate on installation.