Is installing a chain link fence hard?

roll of chain link fencing

Chain Link Fencing

Fences serve many purposes, offering privacy, keeping out wild animals, and sometimes they are used for decorative purposes. Like barbed wire fencing is primarily used on farms and ranches, wood plank fencing is used for privacy around homes, and chain link fence is used primarily around homes, daycares, and other such structures.  

Chain link fence is popular around homes because it borders the property and defines boundaries while keeping children and pets in but keeping the view around the house open. Chain link fence and gate setups may be the most common setup for residential areas. You have your boundaries established, your children and pets are kept inside that boundary, yet it is still possible to visit with a neighbor. 

When somebody is considering a chain link fence installation as a DIY project around their home, there are a few common questions.  “How do you calculate chain link fence material?”, is the first question and an important one. You want to make sure you have enough chain link fence materials and supplies, but you don’t want leftovers either. 

By taking the time to make a list of all the items needed, you will save yourself some frustration and downtime, as well as get familiar with all the details involved in your chain link fence project. Constructing a chain link fence is a standard procedure but having the exact amount of the materials needed is going to be customized by the layout you’re installing. 

The following steps will get you a list of the amount of chain link fence with posts and other components to complete your chain link fence project:  

One: Measure the area’s length of the chain link fence planned and determine how many and the sizes of gates you’re installing. Now subtract the gate numbers and sizes form the total area length of planned chain link fence you’re installing. This will the length of chain link fence material the amount of the other chain link fence components. 

  • Notes: Double swing chain link fence gates for vehicle access come in ten foot or twelve foot width. Single chain link fence  gates for pedestrian access come in three foot and four foot widths.  Decide now which widths you need to get the right calculations as describe above. 

Two:  Count the amount of terminal posts which should include one for each corner or fence line ends, include one for each side of the gates. 

Three: Divide the number of feet of chain link fence that you have determined and divide by 10 then subtract one. For every corner post you’ll have, add one. The amount you get will be the number of line posts you need for your chain link fence project. These posts  are smaller diameter and will support the fence along each section at a space of ten feet apart. 

Four: The amount of top rail you’ll need for your chain link fence project  is the same amount of chain link fence material and is mounted between each of the corner and line post then fastened to the chain link fence for support. Add one fence tie for every two feet of top rail and one for each foot of line post.

Five: Calculate the tensioning materials starting with the tension wire which is the same amount of the chain link fence material you’re using. Add one tension wire clip for every two feet of tension wire. 

Six: Add one terminal post cap and one line post top cap to this list along with one rail end cap to each end post and gate post, plus two for every corner post. You also need an end band for every rail end of your chain link fence.

Seven: Total the gate hardware quantities should include the following:

  • Each single walk-in gate:  2 gatepost hinges and 2 gate frame hinges 
  • Each double drive-in gate: 2 each types of hinges

Eight: multiply the number of posts need by two for the amount of concrete needed to set the post. 

Do I need a top rail for chain link fence?

After reading the above steps for calculating what materials you need for your chain link fence project, you could be wondering what you could eliminate, right?  Well don’t eliminate the top rail!  Without the top rail, your chain link fence won’t last long. 

The top rails are long and will run the entire length of your chain link fence along the top to give the fencing support horizontally.  Without the top rail, the top of the fence will sag, and eventually fall to the ground in between the posts, losing its ability to keep out strays and other creatures as intended. 

You will see chain link fence up around construction areas without the top rail. Why? Because that chain link fence is only for temporary use. Once the construction job reaches a certain point, the fence will be removed and stored for the next job site. 

How far apart should chain link fence posts be?

This is another component to your chain link fence that you don’t want to cut back on. They are the smaller of the different posts used, but they are sturdy and should be spaced a minimum of 4 feet apart and no more than ten feet apart, from the center of each post.  

End chain link fence post and line fence posts should be buried six inches deep and the corner posts eight inches deep. Dig 6-inches to 8-inches for end and corner posts. All the holes should be filled with four inches of gravel in preparation of cementing them.

Do chain link fence posts need concrete?

There isn’t a law or rule for using concrete with chain link fence posts, but it does make them secure and your chain link fence will be stronger.  

close up of chainlink fence

How long does it take to install a chain link fence?

When a chain link fence is professionally installed, it will go faster because of the crew’s experience and multiple people on the job.  It typically takes one full day to dig and set the posts with cement. The crew will return the next day and begin installing the chain link, with usually 150 feet per day.  So, to determine how long it takes, it will depend on how much chain link fence you’re having installed. 

If chain link fence doesn’t match your home’s architectural style, there are chain link fence alternatives to consider: 


A wooden fence, also referred to as a privacy fence, is a better option for some homeowners, especially if you have a swimming pool. They are secluded and soundproof, providing a decorative yard scape feature that can be customized according to your desires and needs.  Pressure treatment is recommended to withstand the climate and elements. 


A metal fence offers durability and style that can be customized to match your home’s architecture. They do lack privacy and soundproofing but stand out for being a rust-resistant metal fencing option. 


Vinyl fencing is the most durable fence material and is perfect to replace a chain link fence. It is climate and weather resistant, insect resistant, and won’t mold or rot. For privacy desires, you can purchase it in various heights. Call 817-948-4503 today for chain link fence installation in Crowley and Fort Worth, TX.