By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Building any type of fence is strenuous work, but the results are gratifying and an eye-catching improvement to a house. While a fence made of chain link doesn't have the pizzazz of more stylish ones, you won't find a more hardworking or long-lasting material that adds protection and privacy on your property. A chain link fence consists of the framework, fabric, fittings and gates made of galvanized components. It gets strength from the framework of posts and rails that fit together, and is covered with mesh stretched across its frame. Some chain link fences have vinyl or polyester color coatings in addition to zinc to help them blend in with the landscape.

A fence contractor charges $1,271 to build a good-quality 4-foot high, 100-foot long chain link fence with posts spaced at 7-foot intervals. That includes labor and material. You can buy the fence materials, cement and a comealong, a specialty tool that stretches the mesh on its frame, at a home or yard center for $700 and build the fence. You'll save 45 percent of the cost of building a chain link fence by doing it yourself.

The job involves laying out the fence, digging postholes, pouring and mixing concrete, and stretching the mesh across the frame. You need a tape measure, carpenter's level, pliers, wrench, pipe cutter or circular saw (with metal cutting blade), shovel, hoe, wheelbarrow, and string and stakes. Working with chain link mesh fencing can be rough on your hands so wear heavy workgloves for protection.

Before you begin any fencing project, check the survey of your property to know exactly where your property lines begin and end.Contact your local building department to learn about fence height requirements specified by your local zoning laws or subdivision covenants. Ask what is the required depth for post holes because the depth depends on the frost line (how deep the ground freezes) is your area. There may be other restrictions about the material or style of fence so it's important to know all of this before you build a fence.

That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to build a chain link fence lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.

Cost updated 2016

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  • DIY58%
  • PRO42%