If you are looking for a long-term, durable fencing material, chain link fencing is the ticket. Unless you want to put in a brick or concrete block wall fence, which can end up making your home look like an army barracks. Personally, I like to able to see what is going on in the world outside my property. Chain link is also possibly the sturdiest fence you can install, particularly the latest vinyl-coated types.
You might think they are all the same, but quality varies; one fence can be farinferior to another. The chain link wire and the metal posts and top railing are available in different thicknesses, and this is one thing to look at when comparing fencing.
The thickness goes by gauge. When using gauge as a measurement, the smaller the gauge number, the thicker the material. Higher quality chain link fencing will be made with chain link material that is 11.5 or 11 gauge, and the posts and top rail will have a material thickness gauge of 15 or 16.
If you are buying vinyl coated chain link fencing, make sure that you find out the gauge of the wire after coating and also of the steel core wire. The latter is the one that should be 11 or 11.5 gauge.
Another specification to check out
The tensile strength of the material used for the railing and posts. Your fence framework should be made from steel with minimum yield strength of 45,000 pounds per square inch. Most reputable manufacturers meet these minimum tensile strengths; but occasionally some material from overseas, which is of lesser strength, does come onto the market.
For a durable fence, set the fence posts in concrete. The hole should be 6 to 8 inches in diameter and around 26 to 30 inches deep. A nice deep hole helps keep the fence from being knocked over by children or dogs climbing over it, and in areas prone to high winds.
Make your postholes the same width at the bottom as they are at the top so that frost heaves cannot force the concrete filling and post up out of the ground over the years. A 7 to 10 foot distance between your fence posts is the usual recommended.
Check local zoning laws covering this type of fencing, as there can be fence height restrictions. Chain link fencing comes in a range of heights, the most common of which are 36, 42, 48, 60, and 72 inches.
There are four types of coating used on metal chain link fence material. The most commonly used is zinc galvanizing. There is also aluminum coated chain link, as well as a combination zinc-and-aluminum coating.
The fourth type is colored polyvinyl chloride, which is applied on top of zinc coating. The coating is available in black, brown and green, and other colors. This coloring can add to your landscaping and balance naturally with trees, shrubs and bushes. Not only that, but you also get the benefit of added protection against rusting. Vinyl coated chain link fencing is usually warranted for 15-20 years. You will never need to paint it, unlike a wood fence.