Getting the Details Right for a Chain Link Fence

Posted on: 28 April 2017

Chain link fences may all look identical to you, but the materials and designs used for that fencing is often very different. Knowing the details of how such fencing is made and installed can ensure you get the right choice for your property and are happy with your fencing for years to come. Note a few of those small but important details to consider, and then discuss these with a fencing contractor as needed.


Selvage refers to how the top and bottom of the fence material is finished. When the wires or links that make up the fence reach the top and bottom, they may be folded over in one long continuous piece; this is called knuckling. You may be legally required to have this type of selvage or finish, depending on the fence height and your local area, as it creates a softer and safer surface area.

Higher fences may be allowed to be twisted or have a barbed selvage; this creates a pointier end that is good for security purposes, but which can be dangerous for children or anyone else trying to scale the fence. Depending on the amount of security you want, consider the style of selvage and opt for barbed ends versus a smooth or knuckled fence surface.


The framework of the fence refers to the posts that hold up the mesh material; terminal posts are thick and set in concrete and hold up the ends of the fence, as well as gates and other special features. Line posts are thinner and are set at certain intervals between the terminal posts. Make sure you understand the difference, as line posts are not strong enough to hold the entire weight of the fence. Line posts will also have full openings at the top, for sliding through the top rail; terminal rails may only have openings on one side to support the top rail.


Fittings are the ties that secure the fence mesh to the posts and rails. Opt for a thicker gauge in a stainless steel, versus a lightweight aluminium or zinc, for a heavier fence so those fittings can easily secure the weight along the length of the fence, and be sure you have enough fittings for installation. Not having enough fittings can allow the fence to easily sag or pull away from the top rail completely, especially when someone tries to climb the fence or when snow piles up on the middle of the fence.

For more information, contact a fencing contractor who specialises in chain link fencing in  your area.