Chain Link Fence Vs. Wire Mesh: Which to Choose?

Fencing a home or yard is important to ensure security against intruders. Both chain link fences and wire mesh are reliable types of fences. But if you're considering the two and wondering which is better, you're at the right place. We did extensive research, and here's what we found.

Generally, a wire fence is preferred over a chain-link fence as it is a better option based on fortification, less maintenance, and durability. However, the best option to choose depends on the area you intend to fence and other factors such as budget.

Both chain-link and wire fences have their advantages and downsides. Keep reading to get all the information you need to make an informed choice.

A collage of chain link fence and rolls of wire mesh placed them in storage, Chain Link Fence Vs. Wire Mesh: Which to Choose?

Should You Choose Chain Link Fence or Welded Wire Mesh?

Wired fence

In deciding between a chain-link fence and a wire mesh fence, you should consider the purposes you intend to install your fence and your purchasing capacity. Chain link fencing is the best option if you seek to install fencing on an industrial site.

If your goal is to add an additional layer of protection to complement other types of fencing, you should choose wire fencing. Chain link fencing is also more expensive, so your budget would also determine which you go for.

What is Chain Link Fence?

a tall chain link fence borders a playing field

A chain-link fence is a type of barrier formed by galvanized zinc or stainless steel wire interconnected vertically in a zig-zag order culminating in diamond-shaped interlocks. This fencing method was developed in 1844 based on inspiration from clothing weaving.

Since then, chain link fencing has become popular for government facilities, industrial sites, and even home backyards. The average length of a chain-link fence varies between 6 feet and 12 feet. You can, however, build any frame of length based on your needs. 

What Is The Best Material For Chain Link Fence?

Galvanized zinc, stainless steel, and aluminum steel are the three most common types of metal used in making a chain-link fence. A galvanized zinc is formed by covering the metal with zinc, and galvanizing is the least durable material.

Aluminum steel is much more durable than the galvanized zinc material, and this is because aluminum is very resistant to rust and dust. However, the best material for chain link fencing is stainless steel because it is less susceptible to degradation than other materials.

What Is The Life Expectancy of a Chain Link Fence?

The life expectancy of a chain-link fence depends on its maintenance and the type of material used. A chain-link fence would last longer if it is maintained properly. On average, the life expectancy of a chain link fencing varies from 12 to longer than 25 years.

A galvanized chain link would last for 12 years with little maintenance. An aluminum chain link could last up to 25 years. There is no exact date related to the life expectancy of stainless steel, but its life expectancy is certainly longer than an aluminum chain link.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Chain Link Fence

It is important that the advantages of chain link are emphasized as are the disadvantages of chain link fences to help you determine if installing one is worth it.


  • A chain-link fence provides essential protection. They can keep out intruders and pests. 
  • Chain link fences allow the passage of light. Meaning you would have clear visibility of your yard or farmland.
  • Chain link fences come in various sizes, thicknesses, and colors. This means that you have a variety of options.
  • Chain link fences require little maintenance.
  • Chain link fencing can be installed faster and easier compared to other kinds of fencing.
  • Compared to other kinds of fencing, chain link fencing is much easier to repair. All you need to do is remove the damaged parts of the fence and attach the new parts. 
  • Chain link fencing is also very safe to use and would not pose any danger to children.


  • A chain-link fence might not provide fortified protection, especially if you live in a windy area.
  • Chain link fencing does not allow enough privacy. It is easy for outsiders to see through the fencing into your residence.  
  • Chain link fencing is often associated with industrial sites and might not provide aesthetic value to a home.

How Much Does a Chain Link Fence Cost?

Galvanized steel metal chainlink fence at the edge of a baseball diamond playing field looking down the third base baseline toward home plate. Very shallow depth of field selective focus.

The relative price of a chain-link fence is dependent on the material used and the expected length of the chain-link fence. Generally, a galvanized chain link fence costs less than an aluminum chain link fence. While the aluminum chain link fence has a lower value and price than the stainless steel chain link fence.

On the other hand, a chain link with a longer length would cost more than a chain link with a shorter length. Nonetheless, the average cost of a chain list fence per linear foot varies between $10 and $40. While the cost for installation may be dependent on the individual or company.

What is Wire Mesh Fence?

A wire mesh fence is a barrier created by laying vertical wires over horizontal wires and welding them at their intersections, creating rectangle or square-shaped interconnections.

The wire mesh fence can be designed into a rolled or rigid mesh. The wires can be made of various metals, including carbon steel, galvanized steel, stainless steel, or aluminum steel. 

What Is The Best Material For Wire Mesh Fence?

There are several metals that a wire mesh fence can be made out of. Aluminum steel is the most common as it is relatively durable and light. However, if your focus is on durability and water resistance, stainless steel is the best material you can use. 

What Is The Life Expectancy of a Wire Mesh Fence?

The life expectancy of a wire mesh fence is dependent on the type of material used. The life expectancy of an average galvanized wire mesh fence varies between 25 to 35 years. A stainless steel wire mesh fence would last much more than that. Nonetheless, the average wire mesh fence lasts for more than 30 years. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wire Mesh Fence

There are several advantages and disadvantages of a wire mesh fence you should know. Here are a few advantages of wire mesh.


  • A wire mesh fence guarantees more fortified protection for a residence. The materials and method by which a wire mesh fence is constructed ensure that you are protected.
  • A wire mesh fence is also weather-resistant. This is mainly because water passes through the wire mesh fence. So it is not retained.
  • A wire mesh fence can be easily constructed in a short space of time. 
  • A wire mesh fence permits visibility of your environment. It is suitable for use in exhibitions as there is space between the mesh. For example, it can be installed in zoos.
  • A wire mesh fence complements other types of fence.


You may also face some disadvantages when you install a wire mesh. The disadvantages of a wire mesh include:

  • Like a chain-link fence, a wire mesh fence does not provide enough privacy.
  • Also, the fencing does not obstruct sound from coming in. So if you are interested in a soundproof system, wire mesh is not a good option. 
  • A wire mesh fence is expensive to purchase and install. 

How Much Does Wire Mesh Cost?

Wire mesh fence fenced plot

The average wire mesh price per square foot ranges between $20 and $25. While the average cost of installing a wire mesh is almost a dollar per square foot which is expensive when you consider how many square feet are in a wire mesh.

Essentially, the cost depends on the length of your wire mesh. You may pay more if you intend on installing a wire mesh with more height. 


A chain link fence along an empty sidewalk with a row of old brick homes with gardens in Astoria Queens New York.

A primary factor in determining which type of fence to choose is durability. You should consider installing a wire mesh over a chain-link fence because it lasts longer.

Chain link fences also have several advantages you should consider. Whichever you choose, make sure it is appropriate for the area you intend to fence.

To learn more about fencing, check out these other engaging posts:

How To Stretch a Chain Link Fence

Can You Put Barbed Wire on a Residential Fence?