How to Assemble a Chain Link Fence

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Post hole digger
Mason line
Quick-dry concrete
Sledge hammer
Shovel and hoe
Wire cutters
Hacksaw or pipe cutter
Crescent wrench
Fence stretcher or a ratcheting power pull

If you are assembling a chain link fence, the main consideration is to make sure it is secure, especially if you have pets and kids. A chain link fence is an outstanding way to demarcate the confines of your property as they look neat and will keep the neighborhood pets out of your landscaped garden. Installed correctly, a chain link fence will last long and look great with little maintenance.

Step1: Planning and Layout

When demarcating your fence line, ensure that you know the requirements of your local laws regarding borders and setbacks and where the underground pipes, cables and wires are.  Also, be sure to avoid encroaching on your neighbor's property. Chalk the line where you intend erecting the fence and verify your chain link fence line with the neighbors to avoid any possible dispute. 

Step 2: Digging the Holes

The post holes should be dug three times the diameter of the post - at about seven inches for end posts (terminal posts) and five inches for line posts. Dig the holes slightly wider at the bottom, taper them at the top. Terminal posts should extend two inches above the fabric, while line posts should be two inches below the fabric top.

Step 3: Installing the Terminal Posts

Fill each terminal post hole with concrete before setting a pole. Using a builder’s level, plumb every post while adding the final layers of concrete. Level the top concrete layer slanting it very slightly away from the post. This is to guide water away from the posts. Plumb the posts repeatedly during the time the concrete sets and cures. Allow concrete to dry for two days before continuing with the next step.

Step 4: Installing the Line Posts

With the terminal posts installed, set a mason line at four inches below the terminal tops, running the line from one terminal to the next. This line will define the exact height of each line post.  Using fast concrete again, fill each line post hole and set one pole after the other until done. Adjust every line post height to match the mason line. Plumb each post with a level.  Allow the concrete to cure for two days and then proceed.

Step 5: Installing the Rails

Apply three to four tension bands over every terminal, except the corner posts, which should get six each. Install the rail caps together with the brace bands. Tighten the brace bands only to keep them in place.  Drive a post cap onto every one of the terminal posts. Each line post must get a looped cap attached in the same manner. Guide a rail through each line post’s looped cap, cutting the rails to fit as required. Set the rail into the terminal post rail caps, making adjustments as needed. Now tighten the brace bands.

Step 6: Hanging the Chain Link Fabric

Open the mesh and unroll outside the line of the fence.  Guide a tension bar through the links at the beginning of the mesh. Bring the mesh upright before bolting this bar to the tension bands. Align the chain link fencing, letting it overlap the rail by two inches. Roll out the chain link fence fabric to the next terminal post. Put a tension bar in a few feet from the next terminal post.  Fit a fence puller to the tension bar as well as to the terminal post. Tighten the fabric until it cannot be pressed together more than ¼”. Guide another tension bar through the fabric, close enough to the next terminal post to be bolted to the tension bands of the next terminal post. Attach the tension bands to this second tension bar before removing the fence puller.

Using aluminum tie wire, tie the chain link fence fabric to the rail at more or less every foot. Use the tie wire to fit the fence fabric to the line posts at the top middle and bottom.