Chain Link Fence vs Wood Fence

Chain Link vs Wood Fence.

When it comes to fencing, two popular choices are chain link fences and wood fences. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for different situations. Whether you are a homeowner deciding on a fence for your yard or just curious about the differences, this article will explore chain link fences versus wood fences in detail.

What is a Chain Link Fence?

A chain link fence is a type of fence made from woven steel wire that forms a diamond pattern. It’s known for its durability and low maintenance. Chain link fences are often used in residential areas, schools, and industrial properties because they provide strong security without obstructing the view.

What is a Wood Fence?

A wood fence, on the other hand, is made from wooden boards or panels and is one of the most traditional fencing options. Wood fences are favored for their aesthetic appeal and the privacy they offer. They come in various styles, such as picket, board on board, and shadow box, allowing for customization to match a home’s exterior.

Differences Between Chain Link and Wood Fences

Appearance: The most noticeable difference between the two types of fences is their appearance. Wood fences offer a classic and natural look that can be tailored to suit any property style. Chain link fences are more utilitarian in appearance but can be modified with vinyl coatings in different colors or with slats for added privacy.

Privacy: If privacy is a main concern, wood fences are the better choice. They can be built to various heights and designs that block visibility into your yard. Chain link fences, unless modified with privacy slats, do not provide the same level of privacy.

Maintenance: Maintenance requirements are another significant difference. Wood fences require regular treatment to prevent rot, insect damage, and weathering. They may need to be repainted or stained every few years. Chain link fences, however, are very low maintenance. A simple wash with soap and water is often enough to keep them looking new.

Durability and Lifespan: Both types of fences can be durable, but their lifespan differs. A well-maintained wood fence can last around 15 to 20 years, while a chain link fence can last 20 to 30 years or more, especially if it’s made of galvanized steel or coated with vinyl to prevent rust.

Cost: The initial cost of a chain link fence is generally lower than that of a wood fence. However, the total cost over time might be similar when considering the maintenance, repairs, or replacement wood fences require.

Installation: Installing a chain link fence is often quicker and easier than installing a wood fence, which might affect the installation cost. Wood fences require more skill to ensure they are built to last and look good.

Similarities Between Chain Link and Wood Fences

Despite their differences, chain link and wood fences also share some similarities:

Security: Both fence types can provide a secure boundary for your property. They can be designed to deter intruders and keep pets and children safely enclosed in your yard.

Customization: Both types of fences offer some level of customization. For chain link fences, you can choose the height, color, and whether to add privacy slats. Wood fences offer more extensive customization in terms of style, height, and finish.

Environmental Impact: Both fences have an environmental impact, but it can be mitigated depending on the materials used. For wood fences, choosing sustainably sourced wood or recycled wood products can reduce the environmental footprint. Similarly, chain link fences made from recycled steel are an environmentally friendlier option.

Why Choose One Over the Other?

Choosing a Chain Link Fence:

  • You might prefer a chain link fence if you’re looking for a cost-effective, durable, and low-maintenance option.
  • It’s ideal for areas where you want security without obstructing the view, such as around a backyard or a commercial property.

Choosing a Wood Fence:

  • If privacy and aesthetic appeal are your main concerns, a wood fence would be the better choice.
  • Wood fences are suitable for residential areas where the fence’s look is as important as its functionality.


Both chain link and wood fences have their place in residential and commercial properties, each offering unique benefits. Your choice between the two will depend on what you value more: the natural beauty and privacy of a wood fence or the durability and low maintenance of a chain link fence. Consider your budget, the purpose of the fence, and how much maintenance you’re willing to do to make the best decision for your property.