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10 Things That Affect the Cost of Chain Link Fence

Chain link fence is one of the most common types of fence around the world, and one of the most popular in Canada. But, while you might think that the cost of chain link fence is pretty static, it can actually vary a lot, depending on many different factors. Here, we look at 10 things that affect the cost of chain link fence, so you can make informed decisions.

1. The Type of Chain Link Fence

It seems obvious when you say it out loud, but many people don't realize that there are differnet types of chain link fence. Even fences that look almost identical can have big differences, from the wall thickness of the pipe to the gauge of the wire. How posts are installed, and the size of concrete footings below the ground can all change the price of a chain link fence. Make sure that when you're comparing quotes, you have detailed specifications, and all of these things are the same - or you are not comparing apples with apples.

2. Your Location

Chain link fence companies calculate labour based on the location of their office, and the distance to your site. So, if they have to drive an hour each way to get to your site, they'll only be able to work 80% of a ten hour day. Which means that you will be paying about 20% more for labour.

It's always a good idea to choose companies that are as close as possible to where you want a chain link fence installed, to keep chain link costs down.

3. The Company Providing the Quote

You might think that quotes on chain link fences would be mostly the same across a variety of companies, no matter what. But that's not true. Even if everything else is equal, there can be dramatic differences.

Bigger fence companies have higher overhead costs, so they have to charge higher minimum rates for labour and installation. This drives the price of smaller projects up when they are quoted by bigger companies. Smaller companies don't have as many costs, so their prices on smaller projects are usually lower. Conversely, bigger companies have more of their own equipment and specialist items, which means they don't have to charge a premium for them. This makes them cheaper on larger, more complex jobs, many of which small fence contractors won't even touch.

The best way to make sure you're getting an accurate idea of the cost of chain link fence is to choose contractors that match your project type. Small contractors with small fences, and larger contractors with bigger projects.

4. Your Existing Fence

If you have an existing fence, someone will have to take it out before you can get a new fence installed. Fence contractors tend to be more expensive when it comes to removal costs, because they're not specialists, and you're paying for a skilled trade. If you want to keep the cost of chain link fence down, do your own fence removal, or hire a contractor who specializes in demolition before your fence contractor arrives.

5. Site Conditions

Most fence companies install fencing using a variety of equipment, which means they need to have easy access to your fence line with things like Bobcats and skid steers. If they can't access the fence line because of a retaining wall, flower beds or overgrown vegetation, you can expect to pay more for your chain link fence.

6. Underground Conditions

When a fence contractor quotes you a cost for chain link fence, they usually won't know what's under the ground. Which is why most fence contractors, in the absence of information to the contrary, assume that everything is ideal. But that's not always the case.

Underground services like gas and electricity lines, rocks or buried concrete and even a high water table can have a significant impact on labour costs, and that will increase the cost of chain link fence. These are not "hidden costs" they're just things that no one could reasonably know before they started digging, or before you got a "call before you dig."

Since it's free in many provinces to get a "call before you dig" it's a good idea to do this before you have fence contractors quote your job, so you can let contractors know what to expect before they start. It's not 100% foolproof, because it won't show things like buried rocks etc. but it does add an extra layer to the contractor's pre quote knowledge.

7. Your Site Layout

Corners, ends and gate posts usually cost more than regular chain link line posts. This means that the longer your straight lines are, and the fewer corners, ends and gate posts you need, the lower the cost of your chain link fence will be per foot. It's also why most fence contractors won't give you a cost per foot. There's no way for them to know, without knowing your site layout, site conditions and similar, to be anywhere close to accurate.

8. The Time of Year

The fence industry works in cycles in Canada. In late spring and summer, most companies are busy. In the fall, they're rushing to finish projects before it snows, and then most things slow down over the winter.

The further into the busy season you get, the more it will cost to have your fence installed. Fence companies increase their rates when their order books start filling up, so if you want a great deal on the cost of chain link fence, get a quote and book your install as close to the beginning of spring as possible!

9. Gates

Chain link gates take more labour to manufacture and install. They also have more steel per square foot, thanks to their frame. So they cost more. The more gates you want, and depending on the type of the gate, the more your quote for chain link fence will increase.

10. Your Flexibility

If you are willing to work with a small contractor who possibly only works on weekends or after hours, you can usually get a great deal on residential chain link fence. Likewise, if you're okay with contractors working overtime, you're going to save too (remember those daily travel costs? Less travel costs less.)

Allowing contractors to store materials on site, being open to buying your own materials and other types of flexibility can all affect the price you will get.


If you're looking to find out what chain link fence will cost for your home, post a quote request here. You can post one quote request, attach a site layout and photographs, and get multiple quotes form local service providers, right on the site. Choose one you like and hire here, and take advantage of enhanced security features like escrow, post project feedback and dispute reporting. is the easiest way to get a price on services you need in Canada!

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