How to Design a Chain Link Fence


Chain link fences are a cheap and relatively easy way to fence in a space. Though they may not look like much, chain link fences are remarkably stable if they are built correctly. If you want to build a chain link fence, you need to design it first so that you know how many poles and how much fabric to purchase. A design will prevent you from buying too many materials, and wasting money, or too few, and wasting time.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Call 811 a few days before you start digging. 811 is a nationwide number that will direct your call to your state one-call center. The call center will ask you about your digging project and contact the local utilities to have someone come out to your property and mark off the location of the underground utility lines. This will let you know the places where you cannot dig. Do this a few days before you want to start the project, since it may take them a little while to come out.

  • Measure out your entire property and draw the dimensions on a pieces of paper. Make sure to measure and draw any significant obstacles such as buildings, trees or paved areas that would make you stop your run of fence. Also, make a note of the beginning and end of any significant elevation changes, since these require special planning.

  • Write out the entire path of the fence on the piece of paper. Try to design the fence-in space with as few turns as possible. Remember to design the fence path so that it is a few inches inside your property lines. That way the concrete feet on the posts do not encroach on your neighbor's property.

  • Draw a circle over the path of the fence where every terminal post will go. A terminal post should be placed wherever the fence begins or end, as well as every time the fence turns a different direction. Place a terminal post at the top and bottom of any hills that the fence goes over. Also place two terminal posts where any gate will go. The distance between the gateposts will be determined by the size of the gate, so just draw them in for now, you can adjust the size of the gate opening when you dig the holes.

  • Measure the distance between each set of terminal posts. For every 10 feet of distance, there needs to be a line post. Space the line posts evenly throughout each stretch of fence, and place an "X" on the paper to signify where each line post will go.

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  • Photo Credit green chain link fence image by GoodMood Photo from
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