Chain-link fencing isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as many other types of fences, but it’s affordable and gets the job done. Homeowners nationwide usually pay between $1,241 and $5,194 to install a standard chain-link fence (including professional labor costs), making the average overall cost around $3,218.
Most fencing contractors will charge for fence installation by the linear foot, with an average rate of about $23 per linear foot for chain-link fencing. Depending on the height of the fence, the gauge of the chain-link mesh, and other project-specific factors, your rate could range anywhere from $12 to $33 per linear foot.
How Much Does Chain-Link Fencing Cost?
- National average cost: $3,218
- Typical price range: $1,241 – $5,194
- Extreme low end: $783
- Extreme high end: $6,935
Even though chain-link fences seem exceedingly simple, they actually vary quite a bit from project to project, which means the overall cost varies, too. The size of your fence, its height, and the quality of the material it’s made from can drive your overall cost as high as $6,935 or as low as $783.
Including professional labor and material costs, you can expect to spend $1,241 to $5,194 (or $3,218 on average) on a chain-link fence for a typical residential yard. The area you live in or the specific contractor you hire might make your chain-link fence cost much different from these national averages, so keep those extreme high end and low end numbers in mind when budgeting, too.
On This Page
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Extra Services
- Cost of Installing a Chain-Link Fence DIY
- Cost of Installing a Chain-link Fence by Location
Cost Estimator by Size
Of course, the more chain link fence you need, the more you’ll have to pay for it. When calculating the budget for your project, remember that most contractors charge an average of $23 per linear foot for chain-link fencing. You can estimate the overall cost of your project by multiplying how many linear feet of fence you need by 23.
If your chain-link fence installation is a little more complicated than the standard, such as if it’s on a slope or if you want a tall commercial-grade security fence, you may want to use the higher end rate of $33 per linear foot to calculate your estimate. However, if you only need a small and particularly simple fence, you can use the lower end rate of $12 per linear foot.
Using the national average rate, you can assume that you would pay about $1,587 total to fence in a small backyard or front yard of 500 square feet, about $3,105 for a mid-sized yard of 2,000 square feet, and about $4,140 for 3,500 square feet.
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Some chain-link fences are sturdier because they have thicker wire, some provide more security because they are extra tall, and some come with premium protective coatings to keep the metal from rusting. All these different types of chain-link have different price points for professional installation.
Characteristics of your specific fence, along with certain environmental factors on your property, can affect the overall price of your project as much as the size of your fencing area.
Rolls of chain-link mesh (sometimes called chain-link fabric) and the metal posts that support them come in different sizes for different purposes. Most pet containment fences in a typical front yard or backyard are 4 feet high and run at a rate of $9 to $19 per linear foot.
As you might expect, a chain-link fence is more expensive if it’s taller. So, a commercial-grade 10-foot chain-link fence is the most expensive option heightwise, at $16 to $31 per linear foot.
|HEIGHT OF FENCE||PRICE RANGE |
* includes materials and professional labor costs
|4 feet||$9 – $19 per linear foot|
|6 feet||$11 – $24 per linear foot|
|8 feet||$13 – $27 per linear foot|
|10 feet||$16 – $31 per linear foot|
The simplest chain-link fabric is made with plain galvanized steel that includes a zinc coating to protect from rust and other corrosion. Including professional installation, a galvanized steel chain-link fence costs about $10 to $17 per linear foot.
Higher end chain-link mesh comes with thick layers of protective aluminum or vinyl coating. These types cost more than galvanized steel, but they also have potential to last longer. Aluminum-coated chain-link mesh runs at about $11 to $18 per linear foot, and vinyl-coated is the most expensive option at $13 to $20 per linear foot.
|PROTECTIVE COATING||PRICE RANGE |
* includes materials and professional labor costs
|Galvanized steel||$10 – $17 per linear foot|
|Aluminum-coated||$11 – $18 per linear foot|
|Vinyl-coated||$13 – $20 per linear foot|
Gauge measures the thickness of a chain-link fence’s wire. A lower gauge means thicker wire and a sturdier fence, so naturally it also means a higher cost. A relatively thin 10-gauge fence costs about $11 to $18 per linear foot, while a thick 6-gauge fence runs higher on average, at $16 to $23 per linear foot.
|CHAIN-LINK WIRE GAUGE||PRICE RANGE|
* includes materials and professional labor costs
|10-gauge||$11 – $18 per linear foot|
|9-gauge||$12 – $19 per linear foot|
|6-gauge||$16 – $23 per linear foot|
When building a chain-link fence, most people use plain metal posts because they’re cheap and blend well with the mesh. For more of a stand-out look, you could use wooden posts instead.
It’s difficult to give an accurate price range for metal vs. wood posts since there are so many different types of each material, posts of different sizes, and varying lumber costs across the country. As a rule of thumb, it’s usually safe to assume that wood posts will increase the overall cost of your fence more than metal posts.
Because they’re made of mesh, chain-link fences don’t provide privacy on their own. However, it’s easy to add privacy by installing privacy slats, which come in different designs and colors to match different home and yard aesthetics.
Your fencing contractor can install privacy slats for you along with your fence for an additional fee of $2 to $3 per linear foot or you can buy your own slats for about $50 per box and install them after your fence is built.
Chain-link fence gates vary in price depending on the style and size of the gate. Just like taller rolls of chain-link fabric cost more than shorter ones, taller gates cost more as well.
The way a gate opens also affects cost. For a standard swing gate, you would pay between $95 and $450. For a larger commercial-style rolling gate that works well for driveways, the price jumps significantly to about $500 to $1,800.
You might need to obtain one or more building permits, especially if you want a specialty security fence that’s taller than 6 feet. Whether or not you need a permit and how much it costs depends on where you live. Permits can add $20 to $400 to the total cost of installing a chain-link fence.
Slope of land
If your yard has an incline that can change the cost of not only chain-link fencing but all kinds of fencing. Because building on a hill takes more time and work than building on a flat surface, it can increase the overall cost.
If your contractor has to regrade the land on your property to install your fence, the service may add anywhere from $100 to $3,400 to your budget.
One of the biggest benefits of chain-link fences is how low-maintenance they are. They take much less work than, say, a wood fence that needs regular painting or staining.
That being said, you still might need to pay for some additional services upfront when you install your fence, especially if there are obstacles to remove.
Tree, bush, or stump removal
If you hire a general landscaping contractor to install your fence, they may be able to remove any existing tree, bush, or stump obstacles that are in the way. Alternatively, you may have to hire a separate tree service to get rid of these before you can erect your chain-link fence. Either way, the added cost would be about the same.
Added cost: $385 to $1,070 per tree; $75 to $125 per bush; $175 to $516 per stump
You might want to build your new fence to replace an old one. In that case, you can either remove the existing fence yourself or pay your contractor to dig it up and haul the debris away for you. Most fence installers offer removal priced based on how much fence they have to remove.
Added cost: $3 to $5 per linear foot of fence to be removed
Cost of Installing a Chain-Link Fence DIY
Though the process of installing a chain-link fence might look intimidating because of the number of steps, it’s pretty simple. There are lots of small pieces and details to pay attention to, but you don’t need much construction expertise to erect a chain-link fence. As long as you can install the end and corner posts with a little concrete, the rest of the work is essentially just like putting together giant LEGOs.
The equipment you’ll need to install a chain-link fence is fairly basic, and you may already own all the necessary tools (especially if you’re a frequent DIY-er). In case you don’t own the needed tools and other gear, we have researched the average price you would pay for new ones based on products from Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon.
|EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR DIY CHAIN-LINK FENCE||COST|
|Protective safety glasses||$16|
|Ground stakes||$16 / 4 stakes|
|Socket wrench set||$34|
|Post hole digger||$50|
|Come-along cable puller hand winch||$56|
Cost of materials
Just as professionally installed chain-link fences vary in cost based on size and style, the cost of materials to build one yourself changes based on the specifics of the fence you want.
For our purposes, these price estimates represent the cost of a 4-foot tall chain-link fence that’s 150 feet long with posts spaced every 7 feet. The project in this example includes four corner posts and two gate posts.
* per material item
|APPROXIMATE TOTAL PRICE|
* per a 4 ft. tall, 150 ft. long chain-link fence
|End post caps||$2/each||$12|
|Top rail||$13/10 ft.||$195|
|Aluminum fence ties||$14/100-pack|
|Concrete mix||$20/large bag|
|Metal fence posts||$22/each||$462|
|Tension wire||$34/170-ft. spool|
|Chain-link gate kit||$65/4-ft. single gate|
|Rolls of chain-link mesh||$121/50 ft.||$363|
How to install a chain-link fence DIY in 20 steps
1. Measure before you buy your materials. The first step in installing a chain-link fence is figuring out how much material you need. To do that, measure the perimeter of the area you want to fence in (such as your front yard, backyard, or both). Calculate the linear feet of your fence project, and you’ll know how much chain-link mesh, how many posts, and how many hardware pieces you will need for your project.
2. Lay out the fence plan. Before you dig holes or install anything, outline where the fence will go using ground stakes and mason’s line (or an equally durable string). If you know how to make batter boards, you can use them to outline and measure the corners of the fence.
3. Mark spots for fence posts. Using spray paint, mark a spot every 4 to 10 feet along the outline you created with mason’s line. However you space them out, make sure the space between each mark is consistent all the way around the fence. Leave a few extra inches between gate posts so there’s room for the latch mechanism and hinges.
4. Dig post holes. Contact 811 (aka the “diggers’ hotline”) before you dig to make sure your project won’t interfere with any underground utility lines. Then, with your post hole digger, dig a hole on each spray-painted mark. Each hole should be three times wider than its post. Corner and end posts are larger than line posts, so those will need larger holes. For line posts, dig 4 to 6 inches deep. Dig 6 to 8 inches deep for corner and end posts. For both, dig 4 extra inches to make room for the gravel base.
5. Prepare gravel base. In each post hole, pour 4 inches of gravel and tamp it down using the bottom of the post or a tamping tool.
6. Mix concrete. Following the instructions that come with your concrete mix, get the concrete in liquid form and ready to pour. Most of the time, you’ll have to add only water. If you want the posts to set faster, use fast-acting concrete.
7. Install end, corner, and gate posts. Pour concrete into the holes for all end, corner, and gate posts. Set those posts in the wet concrete and use a level to plumb each one. You can either have a buddy hold the post straight or brace it with stakes. Fill the rest of each hole with concrete and slope the top of the concrete away from the post. Don’t do anything with the line post holes yet. Wait to move on until the concrete sets, which can take a few days.
8. Attach tension bands. Slide three tension bands onto each end, corner, and gate post — one toward the top, one toward the middle, and one toward the bottom. If your fence is taller than 4 feet, you will need more than three tension bands per post.
9. Attach gate hardware. On the gate posts, attach the latch and hinges in the approximate place they will need to be when the gate is installed. Do this for every gate if your fence includes more than one.
10. Install end post caps. Use a rubber mallet to hammer an end post cap firmly on top of every end, corner, and gate post.
11. Prepare line posts for installation. Fasten the looped line post caps to the top of each line post. Place each line post in the holes you have dug, sitting on top of the gravel base you poured earlier.
12. Install the top rail. Attach a rail end to each brace band, then run the top rail through the looped line post caps all the way around the fence. If you need shorter rails, cut them down with a pipe cutter. If you need longer rails, you can attach two of them together with a top rail sleeve.
13. Fasten the top rail. Fit each rail into the rail ends you have already installed, then adjust the rail’s height as needed to fit the height of the mesh you bought. When you have the rail at the appropriate height, tighten all the brace bands to hold it in place.
14. Fill line post holes. Keep the line posts plumb by having a buddy hold them or bracing them with stakes while you backfill the holes with dirt and pack it in firmly around the posts. You don’t have to use concrete for line posts.
15. Attach tension bars to the chain-link mesh. Roll out the chain-link fabric along the ground and install a tension bar at each end by weaving it through the links. The tension bar should give the fence its rigidity.
16. Install the chain-link mesh on the posts. Stand up the chain-link mesh and attach each tension bar to the tension bands you have already attached to the posts. When installed, the mesh should be raised 2 inches off the ground and hang over the top rail by 1 to 2 inches.
17. Stretch the mesh. Use a come-along cable puller winch to stretch the chain-link mesh so it doesn’t sag. Do this by inserting the tension bars short of the end and corner posts at first, then attach the cable puller and pull the mesh taut until the tension bar reaches the post where you will attach it. Reshape the mesh by hand if needed, such as if it sagged or distorted during stretching.
18. Finish installing the mesh. Remove any excess mesh left over between the posts and tension bars. Tighten the tension bands to hold the chain-link firmly in place.
19. Tie the mesh to the top rail and line posts. Approximately every 2 feet along the top rail, tie the top link in the mesh to the rail using an aluminum tie wire. Every foot up and down each line post, tie the ends of the chain-link to the posts in the same way.
20. Secure the bottom of the fence. Thread a tension wire through the bottom links of the mesh all the way around the fence. Loop the wire around each end and corner post several times to fasten it.
DIY cost vs. professional installation cost
To install your own chain-link fence. you can expect to spend approximately $1,943 on equipment and fence materials (unless you already own everything you need).
While the job is relatively easy, it does take several steps and attention to detail. You should expect to spend a whole weekend on the job, and you might be better off with a second pair of hands to help.
You could save yourself the trouble and have a professional fence installer build your fence for you for just a little more money. On average nationally, a contractor would charge approximately $2,100 to install a 4-foot high, 150 linear foot long fence, which is the size represented in the DIY example.
Either way, chain-link fencing is inexpensive, especially compared to other types of fences. You can save some money by building one yourself or save yourself time by hiring a professional.
Cost of Installing a Chain-Link Fence by Location
While there aren’t many regional factors that affect the cost of chain-link, your costs can still vary significantly based on where you live. For example, contractors in metropolitan areas will probably charge more for materials and labor than those in rural areas.
You can estimate how much a chain-link fence would cost in your area using these sample prices from across the country.
FAQ About chain-link fencing
The most common type of chain-link used for both residential and commercial properties is 9-gauge. It strikes a good balance between durability and affordability.
You can fill the holes with gravel or polymer instead of concrete if you want to go an easier route, but keep in mind that burying the end, corner, and gate posts in concrete will make your fence sturdier.
You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific chain-link mesh you use. The typical range is between 4 and 10 feet.
If you need a fence for the practical side of things (to keep kids and pets in your yard) rather than the aesthetic, a chain-link fence could be an affordable solution for you. You can either hire a professional fencing contractor to install chain-link fencing for around $1,241 to $5,194 or spend a weekend building your own for about $1,943.
Either way, the size, height, and location of your fence can cause those prices to drop or rise significantly. These are national averages, though, so don’t be surprised if the cost of your specific chain-link fencing project differs.
Main Photo Credit: Karen Kleis/ Flickr / CC BY 2.0