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How to Install a Chain Link Fence? 

Step 1 – Mark the area where you want the fence to go with a tape measure and stakes. This will serve as a guide for setting the posts. 

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If possible, lay out a line of posts and tamper with the ground to ensure that each post is set straight. This will save you time and money in the long run by avoiding errors later. 

Once you’ve decided on the overall shape of the fence, calculate the cost by adding up the costs for chain link fencing, gates and top rails. Then, add some extra for cuts and waste that may occur during installation. 

1. Install Posts and Caps

For end, corner and gate posts, make the holes a third of the pole length plus 4-inches for gravel. Then tamp down the cement mix using a hand tamper or a 4-foot x 4-foot post. 

2. Use a Concrete Mix and Set the Posts

In most cases, chain link posts are set by saturating them in a concrete mix. This is usually a combination of 1 part cement, 2 parts sand and 4 parts gravel. This is not only cheaper but also easier than trying to dig the posts out by hand. 

3. Install the Fence Fabric

Next, roll out your chain link fabric on the ground from one terminal post to the next. This is a heavier material than you might think, so use a helper to assist with the unrolling process. 

After the fabric is on the ground, slide a vertical tension bar through the last link of the chain link fabric at the end of the fence line. Once this is done, you can stretch the fence by pulling it tight along the fence line. Remove any slack and attach the bottom tension band to the end post, ideally when the mesh is about 2 inches off the ground. 

4. Hook up Stretch Tools

Using a come-along or similar tool, pull the chain link fabric tight to eliminate any slack. This will keep the fence from drooping or sagging. 

5. Stretch the Fabric

During this process, be sure to lean the chain link against the posts to keep it in place and not to let it twist around. This will make it much easier to tighten the bolts in a few steps down the line and prevent the fence from sagging or drooping once it is fastened to the end post with a tension bar. 

6. Put on your gloves

You’ll be wearing your gloves for most of the day, so be sure to wear sturdy work gloves. This will help to protect your hands from the sharp points of the rusty wire. 

7. Slide a Tension Bar Through The Mesh

Next, slide a tension bar through the last strand of the chain link fabric at the end of each fence stretch. This will secure the fence to the end post and allow you to continue streching the fabric along the remaining fence length. If the mesh becomes distorted during this step, you can reshape it by twisting the chain link fabric to the side of the tension bar. Once you have finished this step, you can permanently secure the fence to the post with a couple of wire fence ties.