Your Step-By-Step Guide to Installing a Chain-Link Fence

Chain Link

Installing a chain-link fence may appear difficult if you have never done so before. It does include a fair amount of strength and physical labor, but if you follow a set pattern of installation, the actual process is easy enough for an average homeowner to take on.

All you need is a set of instructions, the correct materials, and time.

This step-by-step guide will instruct you for the first part of the process of installing a chain-link fence:

  1. Gather Necessary Materials and Tools

    You will need the following materials:

    • Chain-link mesh
    • Rails
    • Posts
    • Caps
    • Hinges
    • Latch
    • Tension bars and bands
    • Brace bands
    • Tie wires
    • Tension wires / hog rings
    • Gravel
    • Pre-mixed concrete
    • The following tools are also needed:

    • Post hole digger
    • Pipe cutter / hacksaw
    • Shovel
    • Trowel
    • Masons line
    • Line level
    • Plumb bob
    • Level
    • Rubber mallet
    • Socket wrenches
    • Fence puller / pull bar
    • Pliers
    • Safety glasses
    • Work gloves

    Once you have assembled the required material and tools, you are ready to begin.

  2. Dig and Prepare Holes Using your posthole digger, space out your needed holes and dig them. The holes should be between six and eight inches for the corner and end posts, and four to six inches in diameter for the line posts.

    To make sure the holes are deep enough, measure the posts, and dig a depth equal to 1/3 the length plus four inches.

    Once holes are dug, add four inches of gravel to each of the holes. Add concrete to the corner, end, and gate holes then set the posts in place. Finish filling these holes with concrete, and slant the top so that water drains away from the posts. Allow these to sit for three days before continuing.

  3. Tension Bands and Gate Hardware Tension bands help keep the mesh in place. To determine how many bands you need for each of the corner, end, and gate posts, subtract one from the height of the fence. For example, a five-foot fence will need four bands on each of the posts.

    Attach hinges and latch to the gate posts and use your mallet to pound caps on each of the installed posts.

    Finally, slip a band over each of these posts.
  4. Install Caps It is now time to attach loops, posts, and rail caps onto the line posts. Attach a cap to each brace band, but don't tighten completely at this point. Finally, feed the rails through the looped caps.

  5. Attach Rails Now it is time to attach the rails to the caps. Position them to the height of the mesh and add an extra two inches at the bottom. Fill holes with dirt and make sure it is securing the posts.

  6. Attach Mesh

    • Unroll the mesh and insert a tension bar at either end to make it easier to handle, and have something to attach it to the rails.

    • Find a helper to help you stand the mesh upright using a socket wrench, and attach one end to the tension bands on a corner post. Position it so there are two-inch clearances at the bottom.

    • The mesh should overlap the rail an inch or two.

    • Using a fence puller stretch the free end of the mesh until it reaches the next post and the tension bar connects to that post. You should not be able to wiggle the fence more than a quarter of an inch.

    • Tighten the tension bar onto the post and continue this process for each stretch of fencing. At each tightening, make sure the fence is maintaining its desired height, and adjust if needed.

    • It’s now time to attach the mesh to the rails using wire. Do this every foot or so around the entire perimeter of the fence. Use pliers to make sure the wire is tied firmly. Finally, repeat this at each post.

    • Lastly, weave a tension wire through the bottom of the mesh, wrapping it around each pole several times. You could also attach rings every twelve inches; instead of using the posts to wrap the wire around.

    • This will help keep the bottom of the mesh taut so it won't detach or catch on things.

Stand back and survey the results of all your hard work with pride. Your new fence is completely installed.

Chain Link Fencing


Ron Frazelle

Ron Frazelle is the Project Manager of La Habra Fence Company, a leading provider and installer of commercial and industrial fencing in Southern California for over 65 years. Ron is committed to providing the best customer service, high quality products and quick project completion at the best overall value for his clients. La Habra Fence Company offers a wide variety of fencing options, including chain link fences, ornamental iron fences, security cages and security gates.