How to install chain link fence

How to Install Chain Link Fencing

Prepare for the Project

Someone peering into a neighbor’s yard through a chain link fence.
Chain link fence installation necessitates planning and training. Before erecting a chain link fence, follow these steps:

Fence height, location, and other variables are all subject to local building codes. To find out if a permit is needed, contact your local building department.
Locate the boundary of your land. Determine the position of your fence in relation to your property line. The details on your property line can be obtained from the local assessor’s office.
Determine the height of the fence and the type of material you want to use. The chain link fabric size determines the fence height. The length of chain link fabric or mesh is measured in linear feet. It’s typically packaged in rolls that are four, five, or six feet tall. Galvanized steel mesh is the most durable. Purchase enough to cover the circumference of the fence, except any gate openings. Aluminum is a more lightweight metal.

To avoid potential conflicts, share your fence plans with your neighbors on the other side of the fence.

2 Collect materials

A chain link fence with different fence pieces labeled.
Understanding which pieces you’ll need is an important part of learning how to build a chain link fence.

Line Post (A) The top rail is held in place by the cap. For each line message, use one of these.

B. Top Rail is a rail that runs along the top of the posts. Use the same amount of linear footage for this as you did for the rest of the fence.

C. A “terminal lock” is another name for an end post cap. One of these should be used for each end message.

Each end post, gate post, and corner post has a rail end to cap the rail. Use two for each corner post, one for each end post, and one for each gate post.

E. Tension Bands are used to keep the tension bar in place. For each end and gate post, use three. For fences up to four feet tall, use six for each corner post. Use four for each end and four for the gate posts. For fences up to 5 feet wide, use eight per corner. Use five per gate post and end. For fences up to 6 feet tall, use ten per corner post.

F. Tie The chain-link fabric is tethered to the top rail and line posts with wire links. One for every 24-inch top rail and one for each 12-inch line post

Chain Link Fence (G) The top rail and chain-link fabric are supported by posts. Each 10-foot run of fence should have one of these.

Tension (H) The bottom of the chain-link fabric is reinforced with wire to give it more rigidity. Use the same amount of linear footage for this as you did for the rest of the fence.

I. Corner / End Post The chain-link fabric gains support and rigidity from the post. Use one at each end and corner of the fence. For each gate opening, use two.

J. A tension bar is a vertical bar threaded into the end posts, gate posts, and corners of the fence cloth. Use two for each corner and one for each end post and gate post.

If you want to learn how to mount a chain link fence, keep the following points in mind:

Two top rail runs are linked by a top rail sleeve. For any two top rails that need to be joined, use one of these.
Pre-assembled gates are available. You’ll need one for each opening you want to make. Two gates can be used to make a double opening.
To connect to the gate post, use a gate post hinge. For each swinging gate, use two.
To mount to the gate, use a gate frame hinge. For each swinging gate, use two.
The rail ends are held in place by brace bands, which are placed above the tension band.

3 Organize the Fence

On the lawn, there is a measuring tape.
The majority of chain link fence installation instructions start with deciding the configuration.

To prevent any property line disputes with neighbors, position your fence about 4-inches away from your property line. This distance will most likely be determined by your local building code, so it may vary slightly.
Using batter boards and mason’s line, lay out the fence perimeter. Start with this line if you’re running your fence parallel to the wall. Then, to finish the perimeter, run perpendicular lines that cross the mason’s line at the corners.
Using the 3-4-5 form, square the corners. Make a mark on the string line three feet from where the lines converge. Make a mark every 4-feet along the line that runs perpendicular to that line. Between the 3-foot and 4-foot marks, take the measurement. Change the line until the marks are 5 feet apart exactly.
Spray paint fence post positions based on fence panel measurements. Use a fence post that is no taller than ten feet.
Leave an additional 3 3/4-inch between posts when laying out posts for chain link fence gates. This frees up space for the hinges and latch. Relevant measurements can be included in the manufacturer’s instructions.

Call 811 before you dig a crater. Any water, gas, or power lines in your yard would be marked by your local utility provider.

4 Build Post Holes

Someone digging a post hole with a post hole digger.
There are two sizes of posts available. Corner and end posts have a larger diameter of 2 3/8 inches. The smaller diameter is 1 5/8-inch and is used for line posts and other fence posts. Digging the post holes correctly is an integral part of learning how to install a chain link fence. A post hole digger or a two-person auger may be used.

Dig post holes three times the diameter of the post. End and corner posts should be dug 6 to 8 inches deep. Line posts should be dug at a depth of 4 to 6 inches.
Drill holes that are a third of the length of the pole plus four inches for gravel.
4 inches of gravel can be used to fill all of the gaps. Use a hand tamper or a 4-foot x 4-foot post to compact the soil.
Fill the hole with 6-inches of concrete for the end, corner, and gate posts. Leave the remaining holes unfilled.

Set of 5 Posts
In a hole, someone is dealing with wet concrete.
The key to a solid and stable chain link fence system is to set the end, corner, and gate posts in concrete. Before proceeding, double-check that the posts are securely fastened and that the concrete is completely cured.


Check to see if the concrete mix is too thin. The consistency should be similar to thick cake batter. Purchase ready-made cement or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Place the posts in the wet concrete and level them. Use stakes to brace the posts or have a helper keep them plumb.
Complete the concrete filling of the corner, gate, and end post holes.
After a few shovelfuls, check the posts for plumb and adjust as required.
Drain water away from the posts by sloping the surface of the concrete.
Allow two to three days for the concrete to cure, or as directed by the manufacturer.
Do not use concrete to cover the gaps for the line posts, and do not install the line posts.


6 Tension Bands and Gate Hardware should be attached.

Tension bands are being attached to a fence post by someone.
The tension bar is kept in place by tension bands. They provide vertical rigidity to the fence fabric.


Tension bands should be placed on each corner, gate, and end post. If the mesh is mounted, the bands will aid in keeping it in place. For a 4-foot fence, three will do, four for a 5-foot fence, and five for a 6-foot fence.
Install the fence gate hinges and latch hardware in their final places on the gate posts. The height of your hinge will be determined by the dimensions and design of your gate.
Place two brace bands over each corner post and one over each end and gate post.
Drive end post caps onto the gate, corner, and end posts with a rubber mallet.


7 Assemble the caps and rails

An end cap is being installed.
Rails should be attached and line post caps should be mounted.
With a mallet, drive looped line caps onto the line posts. Fill the holes with dirt, just don’t put the posts in.
Bolt a rail cap to each brace band, only close enough to keep it in place. Rails should be fed through the looped caps.
If necessary, use a pipe cutter or hacksaw to cut rails. Join the rails together if you need them to be longer. Use top rail sleeves or rails with a slightly smaller wedged end that fits into a full-size rail.
If required, use a file to deburr the ends of all cuts.
The rails should be inserted into the rail caps. Raise or lower each cap to the mesh’s final height. Allow for a 2-inch gap at the foot.
Protect the rail height by tightening the brace bands.
Fill the holes around the line posts with dirt and tamp it down to make sure it’s firm. When you fill in the void, make sure the posts are plumb.


8 Install a Tension Bar and Unroll the Fence Fabric

The mesh of a chain link fence is being unrolled by another.
Outside the fence, lay the chain link mesh on the field.
Weave the tension bar through the mesh’s ties at the end.
The bar offers a rigid end to the fence and something to tie to the posts.


9 Secure the Tension Bar to the Post

A tension bar is being attached to a chain link fence.
Raise the mesh to its full height. Slide the tension bar between the tension bands’ openings.
To secure the tension bar, thread a bolt through each tension band.
Bolt the tension bar through the tension bands on one of the end posts with a socket wrench.
Align the mesh so that it lies about 2-inches above the ground and overlaps the rail by 1- to 2-inches.


10 Stretch the Fabric of the Fence

Someone stretching chain link mesh with a winch.
The fabric of a chain link fence must be pulled taut or it will sag. A come-along cable puller winch and stretcher bar can be used to accomplish this.
Install a tension bar about 3-feet from the corner or end post where the mesh will be finished.
It’s where you’ll hook the stretcher bar.
When you pinch the mesh loops together, the cable puller can jump no more than 1/4-inch.


11 Tighten the Fabric of the Fence

A chain link fence is being built.
Pull on the mesh to reshape it if it shifted height or became distorted during tightening. Weave a tension bar through the mesh without releasing the fence puller. Make sure it’s near enough to the tension bands on the end post closest to the fence puller to be fastened.

Installing a chain link fence can be made simpler with assistance. Consider enlisting the assistance of one or two people.


12 Get Rid of Any Excess Mesh

Extra fabric chain link mesh is being removed.
Open a loop at the top and bottom to eliminate the excess mesh between the tension bars and end post. Twist the strand and pull it free.

13 Tension Bands Should Be Tightened

A tension bar and chain mesh are being tightened.
Pull the tension bar into the end post’s tension bands by hand.
Using a socket wrench, tighten the bands’ bolts.
Remove the tension bar and stretcher bar after releasing the fence puller.
Repeat the process of hanging and extending around the remaining fence sides.


14 Tie the Fabric of the Fence to the Rails

Someone affixing metal mesh to a chain link fence’s top bar.
Make a hook out of one end of an aluminum tie loop. Take the bottom strand of the gap above the rail and pull it tight.
The tie wire should be looped around the top rail. Pull it taut and secure it to the mesh.
The tie wires should be spaced about every 24-inches along the top rail, and they should be attached to the line posts every 12- to 16-inches.


15 Complete the fence.

A chain link fence’s bottom loops are connected to the ground bar.
The final move is to wire the fence fabric’s bottom loops.
Tighten a tension wire around the end posts by threading it through the mesh’s bottom loops.
To secure the wire, wrap it around itself many times.
Instead of threading the wire, hog rings can be used to connect it to the mesh every two feet or so.

You’re one step closer to a new fence now that you know how to mount a chain link fence. Chain link fences are a cost-effective way to define your house, keep pets in, and increase protection. A chain link fence, on the other hand, would not provide you with much privacy. Consider adding privacy slats to your chain link fence by weaving them diagonally through the wire.


Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the resources you’ll need to finish this project. At The Home Depot, you can rent tools for any project. We provide construction services if finding out how to put up a chain link fence isn’t your thing.

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