Installing chain link fences
Learn how to install one here.
Estimated completion time: 1 day (2-3 days if using concrete).
DIY experience needed: Medium-High.
Necessary tools: spade, post level, tie rod, fence puller.
Necessary materials: chain link mesh, end posts, middle posts, tension wire, fence binders, tightening straps, top rail, end post cap, middle post cap, tension rod, concrete (optional).
How to build a chain-link fence?
- Review all local construction regulations and the policies of the homeowners’ association for permissible fence types, size, and positioning. The rules may also set standards for postholes.
- Find out if a permit is needed.
- Ensure that you are well informed about and map the borders of your property and speak with your neighbors about your plans.
- Using millimeter paper, sketch a plan for your fence. Make a note of the locations of the posts and gates. Some towns may request this plan for an authorized construction license.
- The installation of a fence is a minimum two-person task. Ask for a helper before beginning.
- Fence materials are heavy and bulky. Think about renting a truck to carry your materials or arrange for them to be shipped to your home.
Selecting the fence layout
Before you can dig post holes, you must lay out your fence area.
Mark the layout with string and pickguard. Place the pickguards just behind where your fence corners will be and tie the string to them. With the pickguards, you can easily adjust the string to mark the layout, as opposed to using a single pole. Poles are best used where space is limited, such as near the house.
To square the corners, you must measure three feet along one string and four feet along the adjoining string. The diagonal between them is supposed to be five feet. If it is not, make adjustments to the strings.
Mark the posts and distances with stakes. Typical distances are between 6 and 10 feet in the middle. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for post spacing. Mark the holes approximately halfway across the width of the posts from the baselines. Then mark your lines on the pickguard with a pencil and untie them to dig the holes.
Check the local code for the post hole dimensions. Usually, the diameter of the hole must be approximately three times the width of the post. Some local codes may require the depth to be deeper than the frost line – the point at which the water in the ground normally freezes – to prevent the ground from pushing the posts upwards in freezing weather (commonly known as uplift). Remember that the freezing point is different in each area.
Mark the positions of the layout strings on the pickguards and remove the layout stems.
Dig out the holes to measure. Holes for terminal posts (end, gate, and corner posts) should normally be slightly wider and deeper than line posts (the posts between the terminal posts).
Use a shovel, a post hole drill, and a digging stick for holes next to the house.
In open areas, consider using a drill to save time and effort. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Good to know.
Clear away the dirt you have removed with a shovel and rake – if you leave the extra dirt on the lawn for a day or two, the grass will be destroyed. However, save some dirt to clear the posts after they are set in concrete.
Attach your layout lines back to the batter boards.
The holes are dug, now add the posts.
To set your posts to the correct height, it is helpful to mark the bottom line on them before placing them in the holes. Place the connecting posts first. They correspond to the height of the chain-link plus two centimeters. The line posts correspond to the height of the fabric minus two inches.
To ensure that the height of the line poles is uniform, tie a string at the correct height of the line poles between the connection posts. This technique is helpful when working on slopes.
Pour concrete mixture into the holes of the posts. You can choose between the options “Regular-Set” and “Fast-set”. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing.
If you are working with standard set concrete, mix it to the consistency of thick cake dough. Pour around every pole. Allow the concrete to settle a few inches under the ground. Tilt it off the post to make it easier for water to drain away.
If you are using fast-setting concrete, pour the dry mix around each post to a few inches below ground level, and add water. Initially, the water sits at the top but eventually works its way down. If necessary, use a pole to mix it, but do not overwork it.
Good to know.
The standard setting concrete mix takes a little longer to set, but is more cost-effective than the quick setting mix and allows time for adjustments. Fast setting concrete mix hardens quickly, so you must ensure that your posts are in the correct position before mixing.
Use a post level to ensure that each post is vertical, then hold it with brackets.
Installing the Post Hardware.
When you install the hardware, leave it loose for now. After installing the fabric, tighten the nuts and bolts.
Attach an end brace and tightening straps to every end pole with the flat side outwards. Attach a further end strut tape with an end cap, then attach the post cap.
Installing the fence bars.
The fence bars are the next in the installation procedure.
Add the offset loop post tips on the line posts with the offset to the outside.
Hang up the fence fabric.
For this part, it is a good idea to hire a helper.
Unroll the material on the ground and insert a tensioning bar through the first diamond line.
Secure the tension rod on the end post using the clamping bands and carriage screws.
The fabric must reach just beyond your end post. In order to eliminate excessive fabric at the end, loosen the upper and lower loops on one fabric strand and then turn it out.
Attach the fabric to the end post. Insert a tensioning bar about 3 feet from the end of the fabric. Attach a temporary tensioning strap to the end post and hook a come long to it. Hook a tensioning bar into the tensioning bar, attach the come long, and tension the mesh. The fabric is tight enough if you can squeeze the diamonds a little.
Pull the rest of the fabric to the end post and insert a tensioning rod through the fabric and the tensioning straps at the post. Tighten the screws. Remove the accompanying and temporary rod.
Fasten the fabric to the posts approximately every 12 inches with fence ties and every 24 inches along the top rail. Fasten the fence to the tension wire at the bottom with wire clips.
Fasten the gate
End the enclosure by hanging up the gate.
Secure the gate hinges to the posts approximately 8 inches from above and below. The upper pin must point down and the lower pin should point up.
Attach the frame hinges loosely to the door.
Place blocks on the ground to set the gate about 2 inches above the ground. Adjust the frame hinges to fit the post hinges and tighten them.
Attach the bolt to the gate at a convenient height and secure it with nuts and bolts.
What size is a chain-link fence post?
Posts come in two sizes. The bigger diameter, 2 3/8 inches, is designed for corner and end posts. The smaller diameter, 1 5/8 inch, is intended for line poles or the other poles in a fence. An essential step in understanding the construction of a chain-link fence is the correct digging of the post holes.
How deep do chain link fence posts need to be?
An important step to know how to build a chain-link fence is the correct digging of the post holes. Use either a pole hole drill or a two-person auger. Make post holes that are three times bigger than the post diameter. Dig 6 to 8 inches for the end and corner posts.
How to install a chain link fence without concrete?
The composition of your soil is very important in determining if your fence is going to be placed concrete-free. Clay-rich soil tends to expand and contract greatly with changes in humidity, which can cause your fence posts to move and shift over time. Sandier soil may be more suitable for buried fence posts that are not held in place by concrete.
By not using concrete, you can save money on materials and the rental of suitable tools. However, you may need to purchase backfill material to properly fill the area around the fence posts in their holes. Regardless of which backfill you choose or is required for your fence or ground type, the cost of installing the fence may be similar.
The installation of a chain-link fence without concrete does not differ from any other installation, apart from the placement of the fence posts. If you decide to proceed without concrete, use a post hole drill to make holes for your fence posts. The holes should be at least two feet deep, or one-third of the height of the fence. Carefully insert the fence posts into the holes, but do not hammer on the posts as this can cause them to bend. Fill the hole with filling material to keep the fence posts firmly in place.
To fill the holes for your fence posts, you can use a variety of materials. Gravel is suitable for loamy soils, but not so good for filling in loose or sandy soil. This is because it allows water to drain away from around the posts.
To place posts in gravel, bury a third of the post and surround it with 5 inches of gravel. Press the gravel down firmly around the post and add another 5 inches.
Polymer backfills, like Secure Set, are high-strength polyurethane foams developed to allow the installation of posts entirely without the use of concrete. When using this kind of material, there is no gravel or other water run-off material necessary. If you are located in an area with freezing temperatures, these products may be used in connection with a bell-shaped post hole to avoid seasonal shifting of your fence posts.
To put posts in this kind of polymer backfill, make a hole that is twice the size of the width of your post. The depth of the hole must be no less than a quarter of the length of the post.
What type of post is used for chain link fences?
There are several kinds of chain-link fencing posts on offer. These poles may be either stainless steel, wooden, cement, or plastic posts. When installing the fences, there are two kinds of posts that can be used to join the fences together: end posts, which are used for end-to-end connection, or gate posts and line posts, which are inserted between the line poles to give extra strength to the fence.
Is the chain link fence hard to install?
Many do-it-yourselfers find that they do not know their farms as well as they think they do until they start their fencing projects. Setting up your own fence is indeed a great way to get extremely close to your farm. Perhaps your ground is rockier than you expected and therefore more difficult to dig. Or maybe you end up mistakenly coming across cable wiring where you thought you were in a safe area. (Sure, if you prepare your yard by having the utility lines marked, this can help prevent this, but unpleasant surprises can happen).
A professional fence supplier knows how to deal with unexpected challenges efficiently, maybe even more efficiently than you. Overcoming challenges costs time and possibly money, especially if you have to buy a tool that you didn’t want to use in the first place. But it is possible to save money by renting some of these tools. Renting a post hole drill can help you dig straight holes and possibly avoid a tilting fence. Installing a wire mesh fence is a project that can be completed in a day or two, depending on the area. Even though it takes time, there is no reason why you cannot learn to become a fence builder. After all, everyone has to start somewhere!
You will become very, very familiar with your farm, although you may use a kit. But DIY is not the best choice for all people. You can remain part of the process and achieve tailor-made solutions by collaborating closely with your fence contractor. In the end, the choice you decide to make is up to you. There is no bad choice, whether you begin from nothing, get a construction set or let someone else do the job of installing your fence.
Have you saved money by installing your own fence? How long did it take you? Was the excitement of building it yourself enough to overcome all your other worries? Share your ideas and experiences in our comments section!