Options For Residential Chain Link Fence

Diana Sawyer

August 31, 2022

Before you call about chain link fence installation in Columbus find out more about your options. You have many options with regard to the materials and the appearance of your fence.

Grades of Chain Link Fabric

Chain link fabric refers to the actual wire mesh which operates as the barrier.

Chain link wire is sized by “gauge”. The smaller the number of the gauge means the wire is thicker and stronger. Even a one to two gauge difference makes a significant difference in the strength and durability of the wire. Not only does this increase make the wire stronger, but also make galvanized coating is more durable. Thicker wire can be hot dipped longer in zinc without melting. This creates the rust resistant galvanized coating.

At a minimum 11.5 gauge chain link fence should be used in a residential application. If you need more strength you could use 11 gauge or 9 gauge.

Galvanized vs Vinyl Coated Chain Link

For use in residential chain link fence installation the choice between typical galvanized chain link and vinyl coated comes down to cost and appearance. Choosing the right one for you involves understanding the differences and what effect they have on the fence:

  • Cost – Vinyl coated chain link can cost up to twice as much as galvanized for the same gauge of wire.
  • Appearance – We have all seen galvanized chain link which has a plain and industrial look. Your only color option is its natural gray metal color. This may be fine for commercial installations but not desirable or allowed in residentially zoned areas. Vinyl coated is more attractive and will look better longer than galvanized chain link.
  • Durability – The main difference between a galvanized and vinyl coated chain link fence is vinyl coated adds an additional vinyl coating over the galvanized wire. Vinyl coated will be slightly more corrosion-resistant and last slightly longer as a result.

Enhancements to a Chain Link Fence

Not everyone enjoys the aesthetic properties of chain link fencing. The main advantages being low cost and durability.

Removing a chain link fence can be difficult since the posts are secured in concrete. Even if you get the posts removed you still have the difficult to dispose of chain link mesh.

The appearance of chain link and the difficulty of removal makes options that cover up your chain link seem attractive. Options include privacy slats, privacy screens and wood fence panels.

Privacy Slats

Privacy slats are narrow strips that simply slide in from the top of the fence. Slats come in a wide variety of colors and are made from either high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or extruded aluminum. Slats typically provide at least 75% privacy. While some slats just slide in there are privacy slat products secured with “top lock” and “bottom lock” systems.

black privacy slats in black vinyl chain link fence
Black privacy slats in chain link fence

Privacy Screen

Privacy screens attach to your fence to provide privacy while allowing some air flow. These screens will be the most cost effective method to add privacy to a chain link fence. Privacy ranges from 80 to 95 percent depending on the material. You mount the privacy screen to your fence using zip-ties through the brass grommets in the reinforced edge.

This type of mesh screening is made from woven polypropylene or knitted polyethylene (HDPE). Quality screens will be treated for UV resistance. The most durable privacy screens will last 8 to 10 years. While you have probably seen screens in a black or dark green colors you can get a wide variety of colors.

privacy screen installed on chain link fence
Privacy screen installed on chain link fence.

Code Requirements for Chain Link Fencing

Cities or counties in the Columbus area have different rules for allowing chain link fences on your residential property. For example:

  • The City of Columbus does not prohibit chain link fencing.  
  • Delaware Ohio only permits chain link fences in rear and side yards.  
  • Upper Arlington requires that chain link fences be vinyl coated in typical dark colors.
  • Franklin County does not allow chain link fence between the street and the principal  structure (your home). 

Check out the zoning rules for chain link fences in your area. Your fence contractor should assist you in obtaining any necessary permits prior to construction.

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