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  • Where additional privacy is required, the solution is a green privacy screen that attaches cleanly to the chain link.
  • The silver galvanized color of traditional chain link may not suit every project. Here the fence is coated in dark brown vinyl to make it better fit into this wooded homesite.
  • The chain link portion of this fence has been treated with green vinyl so that it will blend into the green lawn and shrubby background.

Chain link fences will never win a beauty contest, but when they are needed, no other fence type will suffice. The strength, longevity and adaptability of chain link, and its value to sports courts and home security make this fence one of the most common today. To respond to new needs and to make chain link more visually appealing, there are some useful adaptations that fit right in with residential projects.


Chain link is composed of a rolled "fabric" of heavy woven wire. It has historically been a hot dipped galvanized steel product which is industrial looking and therefore unappealing to residential customers. Today the widespread use of vinyl coating helps reduce rust and corrosion with a covering that will not peel. Vinyl coated chain link is typically available in colors limited to green, brown, white and black. Powder coating is a newer addition to chain link fences, with unlimited color range, but custom applications can be pricey.

Hoover Fence is a national expert in both DIY and contractor installed chain link. "Colored chain link, vinyl coated or powder coated, is more expensive than galvanized. A good rule of thumb for estimating is to figure an all-colored fence to cost approximately 25% above galvanized. It's common too for our customers to order vinyl coated chain link fence fabric, the actual mesh, and galvanized (silver) framework. This option of choosing only colored fence, but silver posts, top rail, and fittings costs nearly the same as ordering it all in galvanized (silver)."

Privacy Slats

Homeowners longing for the security of chain link but at the same time need a solid privacy fence can utilize privacy slats to give the fence a more solid structure. Slats are also proving helpful in windy locations where this strong fence provides a windbreak too. The varying colors of slats and the way they are woven into the chain link is variable offering solid fields or patterns.

Hoover Fence offers a wide range of slat options. "We sell a dozen different colors to match or contrast with chain link fence fabric, all are available for all common heights of chain link fence from 4’ high to 8’ high. Requiring very little skill, homeowners can install PVC slats vertically themselves with no special skills, or tools. Prices start at around $5 per foot. There are also hedge slats, which are unique privacy slats for chain link fences which resemble a green hedge. They install much like common PVC slats, vertically into chain link fence. Easy to install for homeowners, these start at just $8 per linear foot."

Privacy/Wind/Light Fabric

Large panels of dark green weatherproof mesh have long been used for chain link fence around tennis courts to block wind and increase privacy. They remain helpful to render a residential fence better able to block views both in and out of a back yard. Such mesh products are produced in black or green and each blocks a different percentage of light or view through the mesh (buy chain link privacy fabric from Hoover Fence Co.).

A more recent addition to the market offers an aesthetic way to make chain link private. Fabric panels are printed with realistic foliage or even masonry such as brick and ledgestone. Like the weather proof mesh, these also block about 85% of light with enough air penetration to reduce wind loading. They present a highly valuable way to disguise a chain link fence, particularly if it was erected by the neighbor and a homeowner must find some way to make it better blend into the landscape.

Gauging Chain Link

  • Residential applications: 11 gauge. Vinyl coated fence is 9 gauge but with coating measures 11 gauge overall.
  • Industrial chain link: 9 gauge. Thicker galvanization, stronger overall and more resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • Standard heights: 42" 48" 60" 72"
  • Mesh sizes: 1 1/2" 2"

"At our web site, we have an easy-to-use interactive online chain link calculator which allows our customers to enter their measurements, height of fence, quantity and size of gates, and choose materials and estimate an exact cost of materials with only a few entries. The cool thing is once the calculator produces a material list, customers can simply add all 15 to 20 line items to their shopping cart with one click," says Chad Hoover of Hoover Fence.

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