Alicia Schnell

Fence Specialists is not just an installation company. For those who wish to put in the blood, sweat, and tears themselves, we sell materials for chain link, vinyl, and ornamental fencing as well. As a first time chain link installer, or even an experienced one, it’s important to know what parts you will need for your project.

We sell chain link material varying from 3ft to 12ft tall. In special cases, taller options are available too. Before you purchase your materials, you need to know the layout and footage of your fence. That information will not only determine the amount of black or galvanized (silver-colored) chain link for your project, but the amount of posts as well. Posts placed at ends and corners are called Terminal Posts and in between them are Line Posts. Typically, when choosing your post height, you will want posts at least 2ft taller than the height of your chain link. That extra 2ft is going to go in concrete in the ground.

So, for example, if you are going to install a straight line of chain link fencing that is 6ft tall, we recommend you use 8ft tall Terminal and Line Posts. Now let’s say that stretch of chain link is 60ft long with no gates. In that case, you will need 2 Terminal Posts, one at each end, and 5 Line Posts, set every 10ft down the line. Some people prefer to set their Line Posts every 8ft. The choice, of course, is yours.

Your posts require two different types of caps: Post Caps for your Terminal Posts and Eye Tops for your Line Posts. Post Caps are dome-shaped caps, but Eye Tops are a special cap that has a loop on top designed to hold the Top Rail. Top Rail, once threaded through the Eye Tops atop your Line Posts, stabilizes your fence frame. You will need the same amount of Top Rail as the length of your Chain Link. So, back to our example fence, for 60ft of chain link fencing, you will ideally need 60ft of Top Rail. Typically, we install 1 5/8 in. wide Top Rail, but I will get more into material width and weight differences later.

So how do you attach the Chain Link and Top Rail to the Terminal Posts? There are two types of similar looking, but uniquely functioning bands you will need: Tension Bands and Brace Bands. The general rule of thumb is, for every Terminal Post, you need one Tension Bar to tighten and hold the Chain Link (unless that Terminal Post is a corner, in which case it will need two). To attach the Tension Bar to the Terminal Post, you will need to bolt, you guessed it, Tension Bands every one-foot along the post above ground. Therefore, if your fence is 6ft tall, you need 5 Tension Bands for every Tension Bar you install. Brace Bands lock the Top Rail to the Terminal Posts by bolting onto Rail Ends, which are like cupped caps for the Top Rail. Generally, you will only need one Rail End per Tension Bar and one Brace Band per Rail End. If you wish to install Tension Wire along the bottom of the fence, then you will need to double the amount of Brace Bands as Rail Ends.

Tension Wire is an additional option that runs along the bottom of the chain link to stabilize the fabric and keep it from bending. If that is something you might want, you will need Hog Rings to attach the wire to the fence. The final pieces you will need for your fence project are Carriage Bolts and Tie Wires. The former are used to bolt the bands to the Terminal Posts and the latter tie the chain link to the Line Posts. The quantities of all these items are dependent upon the amount of Chain Link fence you are installing.

I hope this will be a help to you as you prepare for your upcoming project. If you have questions or would like an associate at Fence Specialists to write up a material breakdown for you, we are always available Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm at 253-531-5452.