Chain Link Vs Wood Fence Cost: Which Is Cheaper?

Chain link fences are often cheaper than wood fences. A chain link fence costs $10 to $20 per linear foot without labor costs. Wood fences can cost between $6 and $13 per linear foot without labor costs. Material and labor are key factors in the price. 

A chain link fence can last up to 20 years with low maintenance, while wood may need more care over time. Now, let’s explore the price breakdown and determine which fencing option aligns better with your financial plans.

Initial Costs of Both

When comparing chain link and wood fence costs, the initial expenses play a significant role in your decision-making process. Let’s delve into the initial costs of both fencing options to help you make an informed choice for your property.

Initial Costs of Chain Link Fence

chain link fence
chain link fence

Material Expenses: 

Chain link fences are known for their affordability primarily because of their simple design. The chain link mesh is the primary cost of a chain link fence. The chain link comes in rolls. Basic types can cost as low as $10 per linear foot. Higher quality or coated options go up to $20 per linear foot.

Labor Charges: 

Labor charges significantly affect the overall cost when hiring professionals for installation. However, compared to other fencing materials like wood, the labor costs for chain link fences are typically lower. 

Additional Costs: 

While the mesh and labor are the primary expenses, other costs should be considered. If you want gates for your fence, you’ll need to budget for these separately. Additionally, you may need to purchase posts to support the fence, which can vary in price based on their material and quality. 

DIY Savings: 

If you have the skills and experience, building a chain link fence yourself can significantly save labor costs. However, keep in mind that it still requires time and effort, and if not done correctly, it can affect the durability and appearance of the fence.

Initial Costs of Wood Fence

Wood fences are more expensive at the start. The costs climb due to quality materials and skilled labor.

wood fence
wood fence

Material Cost

Basic wood, like pine, starts at $6 per linear foot. Go for cedar or redwood; you’re looking at up to $13 per linear foot.

Labor Cost

Carpentry skills are needed for wood fences. This expertise increases labor costs.

Installation Time

A wood fence takes more time to put up. Longer install times mean you’ll pay more for labor. In a nutshell, wood fences cost more in the beginning. Be prepared to pay more, whether it’s the material or the skilled work.

Which Has A Lower Initial Cost?

Chain link fences generally have a lower initial cost compared to wood fences. Here’s a simple table chart to compare the two:

CriteriaChain Link FenceWood Fence
Material Cost$10 – $20 per foot$6 – $20 per foot
Labor Cost$8 and $15$25 and $50
Installation TimeFasterSlower

In summary, chain link is the more budget-friendly option upfront, from material to labor costs.

Long-Term Costs of Both

While chain link fences are cheaper upfront, long-term costs are a different story. Wood and chain links have unique maintenance needs that can affect your wallet over time.

Chain link fences, while affordable upfront, come with their own set of long-term expenses.

Long-Term Costs of Chain Link Fence


Chain link fences are low-maintenance, but they’re not entirely maintenance-free. Occasional repairs may be needed for damaged links or posts. Keeping the fence clean from rust and debris helps it last longer.


Over time, chain link fences may require repairs, especially if exposed to severe weather or accidents. Repairing or replacing damaged sections can add to long-term costs.


Chain link fences have a decent lifespan of up to 20 years with proper care. However, after this period, they may need replacing, incurring additional expenses. Maintenance, repairs, and eventual replacement should be considered when evaluating their overall expense.

Long-Term Costs Wood Fence

Wood fences, while they offer a classic look, come with long-term costs that can affect your budget.


Wood fences require regular maintenance. Staining or sealing every few years helps prevent rot and decay. Neglecting maintenance can lead to costly repairs.


Over time, wood fences can suffer from rot, insect damage, or warping. Repairing or replacing damaged sections can be expensive, depending on the extent of the damage.


With proper care, a wood fence can last 20 to 30 years. Beyond this, it may start to deteriorate, requiring replacement.

Which has lower long-term costs?

When considering the long-term costs of fencing, it’s essential to weigh the expenses beyond the initial investment. Both chain link and wood fences have their own sets of costs over time. Now, let’s compare these long-term costs with a table chart:

CriteriaChain Link FenceWood Fence
LifespanUp to 20 years20 to 30 years

While both types of fences have long-term costs, chain link fences tend to be more cost-effective over time due to lower maintenance requirements and a comparable lifespan.

Chain Link Vs Wood Fence Cost: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to fencing your property, the cost is a significant factor to consider. Chain link and wood are two popular materials, each with its advantages and drawbacks. Let’s break down the costs of these fence types to help you make an informed decision.

Initial Costs

Affordable and Practical

Chain link fences are known for their affordability. They are typically budget-friendly options, making them appealing for those who want to secure their property without breaking the bank. 

The initial cost includes materials and installation, which is relatively straightforward for professionals.

Aesthetic Appeal at a Higher Price

Wood fences are beloved for their classic and natural look. However, this aesthetic appeal comes with a higher price tag. Wood materials are more expensive than chain link, and the installation process can be more labor-intensive, increasing the overall initial cost.

Long-Term Costs

Low Maintenance and Durability

Chain link fences shine when it comes to long-term costs. They require minimal maintenance, saving you time and money. Occasional repairs may be necessary, but they are usually affordable. Chain link fences are known for their durability, often lasting for decades without significant wear.

Maintenance and Potential Repairs

Wood fences, while charming, demand more maintenance. Regular staining or painting is essential to preserve the wood and protect it from the elements. 

Over time, wood can rot or warp, leading to repair or replacement costs. While wood fences offer a timeless aesthetic, their long-term expenses can be higher due to maintenance and potential repairs.

Climate Considerations


Chain link fences are suitable for various climates. They are less susceptible to weather-related damage compared to wood, making them an excellent choice for regions with harsh weather conditions.

Prone to Weather Damage

Wood fences can be vulnerable to climate change. In areas with heavy rain or extreme temperature fluctuations, wood is more likely to rot, warp, or develop mold. This can lead to increased maintenance and repair costs over time.


Versatile Options

While chain link fences are generally simple in design, they offer versatility in terms of height and coatings. You can customize them to some extent by adding privacy slats or choosing vinyl-coated options. These customizations may come with additional costs but can enhance the fence’s appearance and functionality.

Aesthetic Customization

Wood fences provide ample opportunities for aesthetic customization. You can choose from various wood types, stains, and designs to achieve your desired look. However, these customizations often come with higher material and labor costs.

So, Evaluate your priorities and property needs to make the right decision for your fencing project.

Final Thoughts

In the comparison between Chain Link and Wood Fence Costs, the decision hinges on your unique requirements. Chain link fences emerge as the budget-friendly, low-maintenance option, with durability on their side. 

Conversely, wood fences, while offering timeless aesthetics, carry higher long-term expenses due to upkeep and potential repairs. Carefully assess your budget, climate, and aesthetic preferences to choose the fence that aligns best with your property and priorities.