Are Chain Link Fences Trashy? (4 Upsides, 4 Downsides)

There is a myriad of materials you can use to fence your yard. The most common, as you may have noticed, is the chain link.

Before they decide to go for this kind of fence, many people ask….

The answer is no; chain link fences are not trashy at all. After all, there has to be a reason why millions of homeowners have prioritized it when there are many other materials to choose from. That being said, it all comes down to a matter of preference and perspective.

1. Durable

Chain link fences are, without a doubt, some of the strongest and most resilient fences you will find around.

Unlike other materials, the chain link fence will not be damaged by the elements.

It will not rust when it in snow or rain, nor will it deteriorate when exposed to UV light.

Additionally, you need not worry about the damage caused by things like baseballs or golf balls, as you would if you had a cedar fence.

Chain link fences can absorb a lot of pressure without being damaged or showing any sign of damage.

2. Easy To Maintain

One of the biggest upsides of having a chain-link fence is that you will not have to pay too much mind about its maintenance.

See Also: Should You Lock Your Backyard Gate?

The fence is a workhorse, and once you install it, you will not have to worry about it for the next couple of decades, with little to no maintenance.

3. Makes air and light penetration easy

Another upside that homeowners with chain-link fences have pointed out is that it is relatively see-through.

That being said, some have a different opinion, but first, you have to consider the perspective of the former.

Wood panel fences, especially if you have a small yard, will have your yard looking like a small office cubicle, detached from the rest of the world.

This becomes proliferated if you have a garden in your homestead; your plants will not get direct sunlight throughout the day.

With chain-link fences, on the other hand, you will be able to have an abundance of light in the yard and thus in the house.

4. Cost-effective

Cost-wise, the chain link fence is cheaper than wood fences in both the purchasing and maintaining costs.

It lasts longer, and you will not be required to apply any finish whatsoever, so you don’t have to worry about creating an annual fence maintenance budget.

As with everything else, there are a couple of downsides that come with having a chain-link fence.

1. It Is Easy To Climb

A chain-link fence is easy to climb, but let’s be honest, a vast majority of the fences out there are easy to climb.

An overzealous dog will easily climb up the chain-link fence.

Those with wood fences and those that make them point this out as the most obvious of downsides, which is more of a kettle calling the pot black.

A non-disabled person can easily climb up a standard 6-foot wooden fence; it isn’t rocket science.

2. Lack Of Privacy

A valid argument, though, is the issue of privacy.

With a chain fence, anyone within the vicinity will be able to see what you are doing in your yard and, if the curtains are open, even in your house.

What is more, the fence will not offer the same amount of protection as you would expect when you have a wooden fence.

3. Does Not Protect Your House From Elements Of Weather

You will also be more exposed to the elements.

Take, for example, strong winds.

You can be guaranteed that even though relatively strong winds will not uproot the chain fence, it will not put up much of a fight either, and so the house will be more exposed.

4. Limited Options

Chain link fences come in one standard color; zinc.

If you decide to paint it another color, you will have to budget for repainting the entire fence every other couple of years.

Moreover, you will not have changed the general appearance of the fence; it will still seem too open and shallow.

You may opt to have a polyester or PVC coated chain link fence since they, at least, offer a couple of more color options, such as black, brown, and green.

However, you should note that you will have to pay at least twice or thrice the amount you would pay if you have a simple chain link fence.

When it comes to aesthetics, the chain-link fence doesn’t offer much.

On a good day, it is barely noticeable.

On a bad day, it has an uncanny resemblance to a prison fence.

If you want to take matters into your own hands, you will not only not change the appearance much, but you will also throw away the low maintenance perk that you had.

Even though it may seem that all the chain link fences you have seen are the same, there are a couple of nuances that you have to take into account if you want to get a chain fence, nuances that separate the best from the good.

When shopping for a chain-link fence, you should consider five components;

  1. the mesh
  2. the framework
  3. which consists of the rails and the posts
  4. the fittings (which are the ties and the clasps that hold the entire thing together)
  5.  and the coating, as it will ensure that you get rustproof or rust protected fence.

Chain link fences with a heavier gauge framework and fence are stronger and last longer than those with a lighter gauge and a smaller diameter material.

It is important to ensure that the fittings you get are consistently shaped and well made, as this will ensure that the entire fence, once connected, will remain so.

Some of the coatings you will get include:

  • PVC
  • polyester
  • and standard galvanized.

The last is added once all the pieces are shaped.

Plastic coatings are often applied on top of the galvanized metal, ergo ensuring that the fence has additional rust protection, in addition to giving the entire fence a bit more color.

You must make sure that all the fencing materials follow the ASTM standards and the special recommendation by the local climate or the city’s building department.

DIY Fence Installation Considerations

You usually don’t have to call upon professional services to have your chain fence installed.

You can pretty much do everything yourself.

Apart from the fence stretcher, all the tools are basic, and thus you will not have a hard time installing them.

The installation of the chain fence doesn’t begin when you install the post and rails.

You first have to do careful planning and make sure you have an accurate layout of where the posts are placed.

Stretching the wire, cutting, splicing, and attaching it can sometimes prove to be a bit tricky.

Moreover, to get it installed how it is supposed to be, you will need a lot of attention to detail.

Thus, most people choose to hire professionals since they are guaranteed quality jobs and thus quality fences.

Ensure that before you erect or remove any fence in your residence, you contact the local building authorities; as minute detail as it may seem, it may save you a lot of trouble if, after you have erected the fence, you are forced to pull it down.


Chain link fences are the cheapest and the least maintenance-demanding fences in the market, and this is why most people prefer to have them.

That being said, before you decide on getting a chain-link fence, you first have to make sure that it fits with your preferences, and that you are comfortable with the downsides it comes with.