Black Chain Link Fence

Is Chain Link Cheaper than Wood Fencing?

Is Chain Link Cheaper than Wood Fencing?

When deciding on a fence, two of the most common choices are wood and chain link. And while you can pick a handful of other types of fences, cedar, and chain link generally make the most sense from the perspective of cost and practicality. The question then becomes: which is cheaper?

Fence Material

The upfront cost of buying these two materials isn’t the only factor to consider when price shopping for a fence. You must look into installation fees and regular maintenance costs as well.

Chain link fences are often seen as more affordable than wood because of the upfront cost of the materials. But then again, when you factor in installation fees and maintenance required throughout the life of each fence type, wood fences can be more affordable than chain link in the long run.

Fence Installation

Installation for either type of fence does require some labor. DIY installation is doable but typically not recommended due to the time and effort required to install a fence properly. And before you talk about the installation cost, be reminded that a permit may be required depending on the fence’s location, height, and size. The cost for both materials is going to depend on who you hire to install them. Doing “comparison shopping” makes sense here.

Chain link is easier and quicker to install than wood because all of the pieces are uniform and don’t require cutting or nailing into place. In other words, installation costs should be lower than installing a wood fence.

Although wood is easy to procure, it does require more time and effort to build. And since it takes longer to install, the labour costs could be higher than that associated with installing chain link fencing.

The location must likewise be factored in when determining installation costs. Here’s what we mean: if you live in a rural area, there’s a good chance that labour costs will be lower because the crew won’t have to contend with traffic and other distractions. Conversely, city living may lead to higher installation fees.

Moreover, your property’s terrain also matters. If your property is hilly, steep or has other challenges, that will add to the labour costs. A hill or a slope adds to the job’s complexity for chain link fences since you’ll need to cover more ground. The same goes for wood, only that it takes longer for the installers to work around these challenges.


Chain link is also cost-effective because it requires minimal upkeep. Simply hose off the fence every once in a while to keep it clean and rust-free. Wood, however, needs more TLC than chain link: sanding, staining or painting, depending on the type of wood being used. Case in point: cedar fencing will need to be stained every three to five years, while pressure-treated wood will require painting or staining every few years. There’s no denying the aesthetic appeal of wood, but chain link is starting to look attractive, too, due to the various coatings and vinyl options available.

Cheaper Isn’t Always Better

At first glance, it seems chain link is the most cost-effective choice. But that’s not always the case. Since wood fencing requires more labour to install and requires regular maintenance, you must consider your budget carefully when deciding. Both fence types come with distinct attributes, and you’re better off knowing the pros and cons of each material.

Arguments for Chain Link Fence

You expect a chain link fence to last longer than wood. That alone is enough reason for many Seattle property owners to choose it. Also, chain link is safer for kids and pets. The posts, rails and mesh wires are robust enough to keep animals and children inside your property’s boundaries. This fence is effective in preventing unwanted visitors from entering the premises, which means added security for your property.

You shouldn’t go for a chain link fence if you’re looking for privacy. A chain link fence won’t give you complete privacy, so if that’s what you want, go for a wood fencing material instead. Chain link fences aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as wood and other materials like vinyl or aluminum. If appearance matters to you, then you should consider other options.

Arguments for Wood Fencing

Wood fencing is attractive and versatile – no other material can match its aesthetic value. You get to choose from various wood types, i.e., cedar, spruce, redwood, oak, and pine. This fence can also be stained or painted to your preference.

You should avoid wood for fencing if cost is an issue. Wood fences require maintenance. Depending on how old the fence is, you might have to sand, stain or paint it. You don’t have to do any of those things with a chain link fence. Wood fencing also requires more time and effort to install since it has to be cut and nailed into place. It’s also not as robust as chain link when it comes to safety and security.

But then again, if the upkeep isn’t a biggie for you, and you want a fence that can add value to your property’s curb appeal, wood fencing should be a no-brainer.

Final Thoughts

The decision between chain link and wood fencing comes down to cost, longevity, safety, aesthetic appeal and maintenance requirements. With chain link being cheaper upfront and requiring minimal upkeep, it appears to be the sensible choice. But wood fencing is worth considering despite its maintenance needs if you prefer your fence to add beauty to your property, goes well with the landscape, and is safe for kids and pets. Both options make sense because one property owner will have different needs than another.

Whatever you decide, if you are looking either for a chain link or a wood fence, please give Town & Country a call. We provide free estimates and no money down.

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