When most homeowners hear the words “chain link fence,” they conjure images of warehouses on industrial boulevards or sports fields in public parks. What most people don’t picture is a beautiful chain link fence surrounding their home. But chain link fence has come a long way. It’s not just for businesses anymore. A chain link fence has many benefits that make it ideal for residential use. And there are many ways to beautify a chain link fence and make it look just as aesthetically pleasing as any other fence material. Despite what you may think, chain link fence can improve your home, and we’re here to show you how.
The Benefits of Chain Link Fence
Before we even begin to talk about ways you can make a chain link fence suitable for your home, we need to discuss the many benefits of chain link fencing.
- Cost – There’s no question that chain link fence wins when it comes to price. Chain link is one of the most cost-effective fence materials out there. Unlike other materials that come as panels or individual posts and pickets, chain link comes as a roll that can easily be stretched between posts. If you are enclosing a large area, the cost savings of a chain link fence can be significant. In fact, to enclose a very large property, chain link may be the only cost-effective solution.
- Speed – Because of the prefab nature of chain link fencing, it is extremely fast to install. The most time-consuming part of the installation is placing the posts. The posts need to be anchored in cement footings. But once the posts are up, the chain link is just rolled out and attached to the posts and rails.
- Strength – Chain link is sometimes called the hurricane fence because it can withstand almost anything nature can throw at it. Although chain link provides an effective barrier for people and pets, it is mostly empty space. So when the wind picks up, it just flows right through the fence. Other more solid materials can act like a sail, picking up the wind and fighting against it. But chain link can take a beating and stand firm. It’s also hard to damage chain link by impact. A hard object thrown at a wood or vinyl fence can crack it, and aluminum could dent. But chain link can absorb the force since it has a little give. That’s why it’s used in sports fields and backstops where it can easily absorb the force of a 90-mile-an-hour pitch or a hard-hit foul ball.
- Durability and Maintenance – Chain link fence can last for a very long time with almost zero maintenance. That’s another reason why it is so prevalent in commercial properties, public parks, and civil engineering (like along highway overpasses). The galvanized steel is extremely rust-resistant and needs very little upkeep.
- Transparency – Like much more expensive ornamental metal fences, chain link doesn’t block the view or the sun. In smaller yards, being able to see out can prevent claustrophobia. There are also times you want to see out, whether it is to catch a spectacular view or to see who’s coming for added security. And if you plan to plant a garden, you need a fence that allows the maximum amount of sunlight to reach your plants. In hot climates, a fence that allows a breeze to pass through your yard can be a welcome respite.
- Versatility – Chain link comes in a variety of sizes and is available with various coatings to improve its appearance. As we will discuss shortly, there are also many ways to enhance a chain link fence for a softer look.
Enhancing a Chain Link Fence for Residential Use
We’ll admit that plain, industrial-style chain link fencing may not appeal to every homeowner. While it can work well in some situations, there are also many ways to modify and dress up chain link. You don’t have to settle for the chain link you’re familiar with.
Adding a Natural Touch
One of the drawbacks of chain link for residential use is that it can look cold and uninviting. But adding some nature can warm it up and make it look like a part of your landscape. One way to do that is to grow hedges along the fence. When plants grow up against the fence, they can hide it from view. You can have the look of a natural hedge with the added security of a fence. Unlike other fences, chain link can almost disappear into a hedge.
Another option is to grow a vine directly on the fence. Popular flowering vines like bougainvillea, jasmine, and honeysuckle can use the chain link as a trellis. It’s a great way to add additional flows to your garden and hide your fence completely. And unlike a traditional wooden trellis, the chain link provides security in addition to holding plants.
If you don’t want to grow an entire hedge or flowering vine, you can dress up a chain link fence with hanging window box planters. Window boxes are easy to attach to a chain link fence and can hold a wide variety of flowers or even edible plants and herbs. If you have young children, a window box can be an excellent introduction to gardening.
Improving the Fence Itself
There are many ways to improve or enhance a chain link fence to look softer and more residential. One option many homeowners love is vinyl-coated chain link. The vinyl creates a softer look and can add color. Black is a very popular color choice because it is simple and understated. For use in a garden, many homeowners select green vinyl-coated chain link. While other colors are less common, they are available. In some cases, chain link can also be painted, which allows for an extensive color palette.
Another way to make chain link look less like the familiar industrial variety is to select a smaller weave. Standard commercial chain link usually had 2” or 2 ¼” diamonds. But for residential use, a smaller weave and lighter gauge can make a fence look less commercial. When you combine a smaller diamond size with a vinyl coating, you can install a fence with all of the benefits of chain link but without the familiar commercial look.
If you want more privacy, chain link fencing can be enhanced with privacy slats. The slats are usually made of wood, though plastic and vinyl are also available. One thing to be aware of with this option is that you lose some of the benefits of chain link. Adding slats drives up the cost, so it is not quite as inexpensive as plain chain link. Also, the slats mean that you no longer get as much sun and don’t have a view out. In case of severe weather, or if you just want to enjoy a cool breeze, the slats still let through a lot of wind, but not as much as a fence without them. The slats can also break with moderate impact. However, individual slats are usually inexpensive and easy to replace.
Chain Link Fence for Residential Use
As you can see, chain link fence has come a long way from the industrial security fencing many people think of. There are many ways to spruce up a chain link so that it isn’t just suitable but ideal for residential use. If you’re interested in chain link fence for your home, contact Bravo Fence Company for a free quote. We are happy to discuss all your options to help you build a beautiful chain link fence.