Pros and Cons of Chain-Link Fencing

Chain-Link Fencing

Chain-link fences continue to be an affordable and effective fencing solution. But it’s not ideal for every situation. Before choosing this type of fence, you need to consider the pros and cons 

of chain-link fencing so you better understand if its benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Let’s lay down the facts right from the start. A chain-link fence is not a good choice if you’re looking for something stylish. However, practicality is where it truly shines. It is easy to set up and allows you to effectively mark the boundaries of your property line.

While this metal fence has been around for more than a century, there have been significant improvements in recent years – boosting its durability and quality. Some of these innovations even upgrade its aesthetics to a certain degree. Looking at its benefits and disadvantages can help you decide if it’s worth installing around your home.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Pros of Chain-Link Fencing

Affordability is certainly a major factor that makes a fence popular. Yes, it’s true that the average cost of chain-link fences is much cheaper than wood. But this is not the only criterion that entices homeowners to choose it over other types of fences. The following are the advantages of installing a chain-link fence:


Installing chain-link fences allows you to save a lot compared to other fence materials. From manufacturing to installation and right down to maintenance, you will not incur a lot of expenses. That’s because the material and labor cost for the installation is cheaper. Since you don’t have to reapply paint or stain like in wooden fences, you also save up on upkeep costs.

The amount of money you save adds up the bigger the area you need to cover. So if affordability is one of your priorities, a chain-link fence is one of your best options.


You may have seen older installations of chain-link fences looking rundown and having patches of rust here and there. Note that this actually takes a lot of time (and negligence) before it happens. And fortunately, manufacturers have already addressed this issue, understanding that constant exposure to moisture can corrode the metal in the long run.

Moisture and rust: Today’s chain-link materials allow buyers to choose those that already come with a protective coating. So aside from the variety of colors, the metal you choose for your chain-link fence can either be invulnerable to rust or well-protected against the elements.

Regular cleaning: To clean this low-maintenance fence, you only need water and dish soap. You can even use a high-powered power washer without worrying about damaging it in the process.

Effortless Installation

If you have the necessary tools and are confident with your DIY skills, you can install a chain-link fence yourself. It usually takes a weekend to set it up, but it can be shorter or longer depending on the size of the area you need to enclose.

For those who prefer to hire fence contractors, you don’t have to worry about paying a lot for the installation. Installation is simple, it also doesn’t require special tools. Plus, the materials for your new fence are lightweight, so there would be no additional labor cost compared to wrought-iron fences.

Easy Repairs

Compared to wood fences, you won’t have to deal with issues such as:

Still, it doesn’t mean that this type of fence can’t get damaged.

A fallen tree or an intruder cutting through the fence are some reasons you might need to do fence repairs. In such instances, you might not have to replace the entire fence. Whether it’s the top rail or the chain link itself, the process usually involves cutting out the damaged part and replacing it with a new section – more or less patching it up.

Highly Versatile

Chain-link fences are incredibly adaptable and commonly used in both commercial and residential properties. You can find them in front yards, sports fields, and around swimming pools, among other places. And if you use PVC-coated chain-link fencing, you can choose a color that matches your home.

Cons of Chain-Link Fencing

A chain-link fence is best at what it does, which is marking your property line. However, you can’t expect more beyond that and the benefits mentioned above. Consider the drawbacks of a chain-link fence:

Lack of Privacy

On its own, chain-link is not a good option for homeowners who need a privacy fence. You can see through either side of the fence without exerting any effort. While you can always put slats in the chain link to improve privacy, it’s more of a temporary solution than a permanent one.

Compromised Security

Chain-link fencing installed higher than 5 feet is common in manufacturing and industrial areas. They usually top it off with barbed wire for added security. However, you should not mistake this setup as something you can use as a residential security fence.

Residential chain-link fence installations are usually just 4 to 5 feet tall, so trespassers can easily climb over them. Strong pliers can even cut through the fence from underneath. So if you’re planning to install a fence to protect your property line, keep in mind that there are taller fences and other fence types to choose from.

Looks Unattractive

When it comes to curb appeal, chain-link falls short compared to other fences – especially since it has very limited design options. It doesn’t have grains as wood does. You also cannot put a spear on top of every fence post. And even if you could, it won’t look as good as steel fences. Plus, you won’t be able to paint it with different colors unless you install a vinyl-coated chain-link fence.

Doesn’t Increase Property Value

While installing chain-link fences will not reduce property value, it also won’t do anything to increase the value of your home. Most potential buyers prefer a house with a fence that is more suitable for residential use and is aesthetically pleasing.

Types of Chain-Link Fences

Chain-link fences generally all look the same. However, you’ll find different types available today based on the materials used.

  • Galvanized: These zinc-coated or galvanized fences are the most common material, available in 6 to 11-1/2 gauge – with 6 gauge being the strongest and thickest option. This type of chain-link fence is usually best for commercial properties.
  • Vinyl: With a vinyl-coated chain-link fence, you can prevent the sharp end of a wire or bracket from getting exposed. As such, it’s a safer option for those who have children or pets. Compared to other types of chain-link, this comes in a variety of colors to help enhance its look.
  • Aluminum: A weather and corrosion resistant material, chain-link fences made of aluminum are also lightweight and have high tensile strength. It has a long lifespan of up to 25 years and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
  • Stainless steel: Here’s another fencing option that can survive harsh weather conditions like high winds. Compared to the other types, though, steel is the most durable of all, which is why it’s also the most expensive. It doesn’t break or sag easily, retaining its shape for a long time.

FAQ About Chain-Link Fences

Is it necessary to install chain-link fence posts in concrete?

No. It is possible to install the fence posts without setting them in concrete. But if you want your chain-link fence to last longer, the best approach would be to anchor the posts in cement.

Does chain-link last longer than a wood fence?

When it comes to lifespan, chain-link beats most wood fences. A low-maintenance chain-link fence can outlive a wooden fence as it can last for more than 20 years. Installing a higher-grade material such as aluminum or steel can make it last even longer.

What type of chain-link fence is the best?

A chain-link fence made of stainless steel is the best type. It’s the most durable material that can retain its shape for a long time and is very hard to manipulate or cut through. You can usually find this type bordering large areas like airports and highways.

Choose the Ideal Type of Fence for Your Property

There’s a reason why chain-link fences have been around since they were developed in 1844. It’s easy to set up and can effectively create a barrier for any property. Government establishments, industrial and commercial sites, sports fields, and many residential homes continue to use it because it’s a low-cost alternative.

Want to know more about chain-link fence installations in your area? Connect with a professional installer today.

Main photo credit: Pxhere

Melanie Joseph

Melanie Joseph

After discovering her passion for writing through her beauty blog, Melanie left her engineering job in California, became a freelance writer, and never once looked back. She loves nature and enjoys going on road trips with her husband and their two sons.