Chain link fence costs depend on the fencing materials used, the height and length of the fence, the number of fence posts and the number and size of any fence gates. Most chain link fencing material is either plain galvanizing steel or vinyl-coated galvanized steel. There is also variation in the gauge of wire used to make chain link fences. Another option is a chain link privacy fence. Chain link fence costs also will change depending on whether the person is paying for installation of the fence.
Fences made of wrought iron or that have ornamental features will cost more than plain steel fences. While a PVC- or vinyl-coated steel chain link fence costs more than an uncoated steel fence, it is intended to last much longer and to have fewer long-term maintenance needs. The gauge of wire and corresponding mesh size, which is the diagonal measurement of a single square, play into chain link fence costs. A 9-gauge, 2-inch (about 5 cm) mesh will cost more than the thinner 12-gauge, 23/8-inch (about 6 cm) mesh wire fence.
Height and length will greatly influence chain link fence costs. Metal fence heights usually start at 3 feet (slightly less than 1 m) or 4 feet (about 1.2 m), depending on the supplier. Some companies will go as high as 6 feet (approximately 1.8 m); others will go to 12 feet (about 3.5 m). Metal fence material comes in rolls and is measured from fence post to fence post. The length of the fence will affect the number of fence posts, which in turn impacts chain link fence costs.
People looking for privacy may want to pay more for a privacy fence, which has slats in the chain link mesh so people can't see through the fence. There is also variation in the top of chain link fences. The standard finish is a “knuckle” that is where the top of the mesh squares are flat. For increased security, a “twist” or barbed top can be installed so the top of the meshed squares are twisted to a point.
The number and size of the gates also will influence chain link fence costs. There are single gates, which are the size of a walkway for pedestrians. For vehicles, there are double gates. Double gates are larger and require additional posts, which increases the cost of the fence.
Removal of existing fences also will increase chain link fence costs. People installing their own fences will save some money, but only if they have the appropriate equipment. The non-standard equipment includes post hole diggers, fence stretchers, and wire cutters. Do-it-yourself installation is not easy, and a novice may not want to try this approach.