How to install chain link fence

install chain link fence

Chain link fencing is one of the most popular types of residential fences available. The following provides instructions to construct a 4 ft chain link fence.

The first thing you need to do when building a chain-link fence is to set your corner posts and mark where your line posts and your gate posts go. To do this you need to set your corner post to a height of 4 foot and at least eighteen inches to two feet deep. Once your corner posts are set, pull a string line about six inches off the ground from corner post to corner post.

Now measure the fence line from corner to corner and divide the distance into equal sections. Your line posts should be set at least eight feet and no more than ten feet apart. Once this is done, mark your holes with a pair of post hole diggers in line with the string line and dig the postholes.

Note: When dividing a fence line to give sufficient space for a gate, count the gate posts as corner posts and divide the sections equally between the gate post and the corner. A standard chain link gate is three feet wide so set the gate posts thirty six inches apart.

Once you have the corners set and the holes are dug for the line posts, you will need to pull another string line one and a half inches below the top of the corner post. This will put the string at 3 feet 10 ½ inches down from the top of the post, which will be the proper height of the line posts. Level the line posts so they just touch the string and set the top of the post so it is just touching under the string. Cement the line posts and let them dry for at least twenty-four hours.

Now that the line posts are set, it is time to put the frame work up. Put all the caps on the line posts. Lay the top rail and cut it to fit at the corners. Stretch a twisted cable or tension wire at the bottom of the fence line. Be sure and stretch the tension wire tight so that it will keep the fence from being pulled out at the bottom.

Now that the framework is up the next step is to stretch the chain link wire. Pull the wire out and stand it up against the frame. Go to a corner and hook up the wire by sliding a tension bar through the first diamond of the wire. Put four tension bands spaced evenly on the corner post and bolt the bands around the tension bar. Go to the opposite corner and pull the slack in the wire down to that end of the fence line.

Put a tension bar in the wire about six feet or so from the end. Hook the stretcher bar onto the tension bar. With a cable jack between the stretcher bar and the corner, start stretching the fence. When the wire is tight, pull the slack to your corner. Put the bands on the post. Cut the wire even with the end of the bands and slide a tension bar through the end diamond of the wire. Put the bands on the tension bar and let the pressure off the cable jack and the wire is stretched.

The next step is to grade and tie the fence. To grade the fence, go to each line post and raise the wire to where half of a diamond is above the top rail and tie it off on each side of the line post. This should make the top of the fence straight. If not, then add a tie in the middle of the section.

Now that the fence is graded, go down the fence putting on a tie about every fifth diamond. Put a tie at the top and bottom of each post, tie the tension wire to each post as you tie the bottom, with two ties spaced evenly in between. Hog ring the tension wire to the bottom of the fence about every six inches. Attach the gate hardware to the gate and hang the gate.

Materials Needed


  • 2 3/8″ Corner Posts
  • 1 5/8″ Line Posts
  • 1 3/8″ Top Rail
  • Chain Link Wire
  • Tension Wire
  • Tie Wire
  • Hog Rings
  • 2 3/8″ One Way Caps
  • 2 3/8″ Two Way Caps
  • 1 5/8″ Line Tops
  • Tension Bars
  • 2 3/8″ Tension Bands
  • 3′ x 4′ gate
  • Gate Hardware
  • Bolts and Nuts

Tools Needed:

  • Post Hole Diggers
  • Gasoline Auger
  • Stretcher Bar
  • Cable Jack
  • Ratchet – Socket
  • Level
  • Tape Measure

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