Chain Link Fence vs. Wood Fence

If you are considering installing a fence you are likely weighing what type of fence to install.

Two popular fence types are chain link and wood fences, either wood picket and wood privacy fence.

Fences are considered for several reasons, including containment of children or pets, security or decoration.

All three fence types — chain link, wood picket and wood privacy — effectively contain pets and children.

While all three also provide security, chain link fences come in four and six foot heights and a four-foot chain link fence, more popular for residential use, is easier to climb over than a six-foot chain link fence.

Wood fences can be built to any height, but are typically six feet tall without a topping of any kind. Without a natural foothold, wood fences are more difficult to climb than chain link.

For privacy, wood privacy fences provide just what their name states: privacy. Boards are installed side-by-side with no space between them ensuring prying eyes can’t see through it.

Wood picket fences, meanwhile, provide little privacy, instead allowing passers by to see through it, which may be just what avid gardeners and landscape enthusiasts seek.

Chain link fences don’t provide privacy unless plastic slats are installed, and six-foot chain link fences offer more privacy than four-foot ones.

As for decoration, wood fences come in many styles and shapes and can be painted or stained to offer a variety of decorative choices.

Chain link fencing can come in vinyl-covered in black or green or also be a California-style chain link that uses wood posts and caps to offer a distinctive look.

Other factors you’re likely considering:

  • Price Different materials and their quality affect the cost of a fence. More boards on a wood fence, thicker chain link and capping fence posts can factor into the price. That said, in general chain link fencing is less expensive than a wood fence of comparable size.
  • Durability Most chain link fencing is galvanized to offer longer wear against the elements. Wood fence durability is affected by the type of wood used. Midwest Fence uses Western Red Cedar wood treated with Durazyme™ to create rot-resistant wood that won’t suffer problems typical to pressure-treated lumber such as warping, twisting and discoloration. That said, chain link is generally expected to have a longer lifespan than wood.
  • Maintenance Chain link typically requires little or no maintenance. Wood fencing may need repainting or another coat of stain as it ages, and treated lumber is far less likely to rot. Chain link fences generally require less maintenance than wood fences.