Chain link fencing is often seen as a cop-out or a cheap alternative to better fencing options like wood or vinyl. This is a bit of a misconception. While chain-link fencing is never going to look as pristine as a solid oak or maple fence, there are durable, long-lasting chain link options out there. If you're on a budget and need fencing, there's nothing wrong with choosing chain link. But you should know a bit about choosing a chain link fence that will last and offer the features you need. (Because not all of them will.)
If you're concerned about the rusty look that chain link fences sometimes develop once they're a few years old, opt for vinyl-coated chain link fencing. The wire is coated with vinyl in the color of your choice; green, black and white are common options. The vinyl helps protect the links against moisture and rust, and if the chain links do begin to corrode, the appearance of the corrosion is hidden beneath the vinyl.
The wire used to form chain link fences comes in different gauges, or thicknesses. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire. If you want a chain link fence that's going to last, you want to choose a low-gauge option. Never use anything less than 11 ½ gauge; 9-gauge is even better, though it may cost you a bit more. Not only will the thicker wire last longer, but it will be sturdier and less prone to damage if someone decides to climb your fence or if you accidentally bump into it with a lawnmower or other equipment.
Contrary to popular belief, you can achieve privacy with a chain link fence. You just need a bit of an add-on! Privacy slats are long strips of plastic or vinyl that you can slide between the links in your chain link fence. You can do this yourself after purchasing slats at a home improvement store, or you can have your fence company install the slats when they put up your fence. You simply slip them between the chain links at the top of the fence and then slide them down on the diagonal. They come in many colors and are waterproof, so they'll stay looking good for many years.
Don't write off chain link fencing just yet! If you're looking for an affordable fence, it is a great option as long as you know what to look for. To learn more about these and other options for chain link fencing, talk to a fence contractor in your area. For more information, contact a business such as Elrod Fence Co.