Inexpensive ways to cover a chain link fence include full bamboo pole screens, chain link fence slats, reed screens, mesh windscreens, and wood fence panels.
Chain link fences are strong and durable. Though they cover your outdoor space, they still give sight lines to the surroundings outside your compound. So they don’t give you privacy like solid fences. However, they provide a considerable measure of security for your outdoor space.
Chain link fences are not known for being visually appealing. In certain neighborhoods, chain link fences are even banned because they are perceived as an eyesore. Still, it’s a cost-effective way of keeping your kids and pets safe. To enhance your privacy, the ideal solution will be to remove the chain link fence and replace it with a solid fence.
However, this will be incredibly difficult because the fence posts supporting the chain link fence are buried deeply in the ground and filled with concrete. So, instead of achieving privacy the hard way, you can simply cover up your chain link fence using the methods mentioned above. Let’s get into these methods in detail.
Full Bamboo Pole Screens
You can construct a bamboo pole screen to cover your chain link fence. This fence should consist of attached poles ranging between ¾” and 2″. You can install a bamboo fence on your chain link fence by using several pieces of 1-foot long 16 gauge wire to link them directly to the poles and rails of your chain link fence. We recommend selecting poles cut on the bamboo nodes because they fare better than bamboo sticks with exposed ends.
The bamboo nodes serve as a sort of insulator against weather elements. Bamboo fencing comprises full bamboo screens which don’t just look natural but also have visual appeal. It also enhances your privacy by 85%. Asides from its effectiveness in covering your chain link fence, it can give your home a warm, tropical setting.
Full bamboo screens are considerably durable, but they can become discolored if they go untreated for a while. When discoloration occurs, it’s only a matter of time before they start developing lengthy vertical cracks. Your bamboo poles will gradually deteriorate unless you know how to maintain them.
The good news is that you don’t have to construct it from scratch. You can order premade bamboo screens from specialized garden centers or a home improvement store.
- It has aesthetic appeal.
- It’s a natural method to cover your chain link fence.
- Durable to an extent
- It requires treatment for long-term durability.
- It’s more expensive than some methods and may not be ideal for homeowners on a low budget.
Chain Link Slats
A chain link fence is designed to allow long and narrow pieces to be installed vertically. For chain link slats, instead of random pieces inserted here or there, you can construct an entire face from it. Each slat will be inserted from the top and stay in position without needing to use a form of attachment. Chain link fence slats are manufactured using aluminum or high-density polyethylene.
So if you are opting for this method to cover your chain link fence, buy chain link fence slats that are 10 feet horizontally and 6 feet vertically. Their costs range between $90 and $110. They are easy to install. Chain link fence slats are very durable and can serve you for a long time. You can install a chain link fence, which will still provide coverage fifty years from today.
These vertically hanging slats are also easy to maintain. So if one or more becomes damaged, there’s no need to replace the entire fence. Just remove the damaged slats and replace them with new ones. Slats, like the chain link fence itself, aren’t visually appealing. Moreover, their coverage efficiency is considered low as it ranges between 75-80%.
Also, the total costs of the slats required to cover your chain link fence may be above what you budgeted. Though the installation is not complex, it can be slow because you can only install one slat at a time.
- It’s exceptionally durable.
- It’s considerably affordable.
- Installation is slow.
- Its coverage efficiency is not impressive.
Reed screens are formed using thin bamboo reeds with a similar density to a drinking straw. These bamboo reeds are interwoven into mats ranging between 8 and 16 feet in length. You can order premade screens that are easy to carry around. Due to their design, the installation of reed screening typically occurs vertically. In their pristine state, reed screens offer 85% coverage efficiency.
As the condition of the reed screen deteriorates, coverage efficiency also declines. Reed screens are very affordable and suitable for low-budget homeowners. It’s also readily accessible in the nearest local hardware store. Its installation is very quick. So if you want something you can easily roll out and install as quickly as possible, reed screens are your go-to option.
Getting a roll of reed screens that are 6 feet long and 16 feet high will range between $28 – $35. After installation, your reed screens will be visually appealing for a couple of years. Then they turn gray or golden brown in color. Shortly after, the interweaving will gradually fall apart. In summary, reed screens are a great short-term coverage option, but their durability is not impressive.
- It’s very affordable.
- Very quick to install
- It is not durable.
- Discoloration occurs rapidly, and it loses visual appeal in the process.
Mesh Wind Screen
When you casually glance at the mesh privacy screen, it will strike you as a tarp. However, it’s different from a tarp. We wouldn’t recommend using a tarp to cover your white chain link fence because the wind easily buffers it. You wouldn’t want your fence looking like a ship’s sail.
On the other hand, these privacy screens are more suitable for the weather elements. Around its perimeter, there’s a double-thick trim. This trim comes with brass grommets which help you attach the mesh wind screen to the chain link fence using zip ties. Its coverage efficiency depends on your budget for this option. However, its coverage efficiency can be as low as 85% and as high as 96%.
The mesh wind screen is durable because it’s designed with synthetic UV-rated polypropylene. It will last for many years. However, because of its dark coloring and interwoven design, the effect of the weather elements will eventually reflect. Mesh screening is the most inexpensive way to cover your chain link fence. Mesh screening with less coverage efficiency is 50% cheaper than the ones with more coverage efficiency.
Mesh privacy screens are not known for their visual appeal because they were primarily designed to be functional. This is probably why it’s commonly used in non-residential premises such as schools, swimming pools, tennis courts, and industrial areas. However, if you choose to use this for your home, it will serve you well.
- Compared to the options mentioned above, mesh screening has superior coverage efficiency.
- It’s very affordable.
- It isn’t visually appealing.
- Its dark coloring makes it more prone to the ultraviolet rays of the Sun.
Wooden Fence Panels
Wooden fence panels can be installed using U-brackets to screw them on chain link fences. You don’t have to nail up wooden boards individually because you’ll use prefabricated panels. To install these wood panels on your chain link fence, you’ll connect these wood panels to the rear side of your chain link fence.
Wooden panel fenced are renowned for being very durable. We recommend cedar boards because their oily surface makes them weather-resistant. You can spray paint any type of wood to use with a sealer to enhance its durability. Wooden panel fences have a very high coverage efficiency (roughly 90%).
This option will make your existing fence have an entirely different look. This differs from the options mentioned above, which will still show the chain link fence in certain areas. One wood fence panel measuring 8 feet in length and 6 feet in height will cost between $145 and $160.
These panels weigh roughly 160 pounds, so they are not easy to carry. To transport them to your home, you’ll need some assistance and a truck as well. Alternatively, you can buy it using the home delivery option. Unlike other options, you may need a fence permit to install these panels to cover your chain link fence.
Unfortunately, not everyone can install this because there are no specific equipment or hardware kits to execute it. You’ll either need to be very handy with woodworking projects or, better still, hire a professional woodworker. If you decide to do this independently, remember that you’ll need an extra pair of hands. Like we said earlier, they are very heavy.
- Resembles a real wooden fence
- It has a high coverage efficiency.
- It’s difficult to install.
- It’s heavy to carry, which makes it hard to handle.
To Sum Up
Though the options mentioned in the article are generally affordable, some options are still unsuitable for low-budget homeowners. We recommend considering other factors aside from your budget. For instance, consider its durability and visual appeal. The latter can be ignored, but if you’re a homeowner who is a sucker for aesthetic things, some options are both durable and visually appealing.