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The Home Depot

Wood Fence vs. Chain Link Fence

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Fence > Wood Fence vs. Chain Link Fence
Wood Fence vs. Chain Link Fence

When it comes to the battle between wood versus chain link fences, if you’re looking for privacy, wood wins hands-down. Do costs dictate which material you’ll use? Chain link definitely beats wood in this area, coming in at nearly half the price than its lumber counterpart.

  1. 1.Chain Link Fence Costs

    Any material you decide to use is tied to the market value of the raw materials. In the case of chain link fences, what is the current price for stainless steel? If we were to freeze this moment in time, chain link is going for about $12 to 17 per linear foot.

  2. 2.Wood Fence Costs

    Pressure-treated woods or materials like cedar will more than double the cost quoted for chain link.

    Pressure-treated woods or materials like cedar will more than double the cost quoted for chain link. You’re paying roughly $10 to 14 per linear foot for a lumber solution. Another consideration is aesthetic, you’re probably going to want to stain or paint the raw materials. That will add a few hundred additional dollars and hours-upon-hours of more work to the project. Considering the same 500 linear feet need to be covered, factoring in the final finishes, you’re looking at shelling out nearly $6,000.


    And in both examples, we’re just talking costs for the basic materials. Labor has yet to be added to the bottom line.

  3. 3.Installation

    While DIYers can handle either job without too much help, the chain link fence does offer an advantage due to its lack of bulk. If you plan to handle the job yourself, you can save as much as 50% in total costs no matter which option you choose. Continuing to use the 500 linear feet example, that rolls out to nearly $1,000.


    Take into account such matters as the terrain where the fence will be built. Will this be on a flat surface or are there slopes of varying height? Are there trees or shrubs in the path of the fence? To get around these obstacles will add more to the bill of installing a privacy fence.

  4. 4.Issues

    As you probably guessed, termites don’t eat stainless steel. They opt for wood, so a fence made of timber always has to deal with that possibility. Also, since chain link fences are not solid objects, like timber, in the event of severe weather, a wood fence will bear that burden harder than one made of chain.

  5. 5.Privacy

    We alluded to the advantage of a wood fence when it came to the privacy component. Some owners have threaded venetian blind slats through their chain link fences in an attempt to achieve some type of privacy. On the wood side of the discussion, it doesn’t matter if the materials used are large panels or skinny planks. Either approach will offer better protection. And when it comes to pets or small kids, what they can’t see through is less likely to distract them.

  6. 6.Maintenance

    Starting a wood fence project by first treating the lumber will save you from having to invest a lot of time to maintain the structure after the fact. A simple check every couple of months can keep you from having to undergo major alterations if you nip the problem in the bud.


    Chain link fences are extremely low-to-no maintenance once installed. Another way to extend its lifespan would be to purchase chain link vinyl fabric material. Not only will this protect the metal, you can get the stuff in a variety of colors. Some of the more popular shades are black, red, green, white and brown.


    Any way you decide to go, a structure such as a fence will add value and security to your property.

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