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Fence Suggestions: Galvanized chain link, or vinyl coated?

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  • May 23rd, 2012 9:35 pm
[OP]
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May 11, 2009
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Fence Suggestions: Galvanized chain link, or vinyl coated?

Looking to have a chain link fence installed this summer, but I am on the fence about what would be a suitable choice - galvanized or black vinyl coated chain link. The fence will be 5' in height to compensate for a slope, and will be running 150' along a side property line to clearly identify the property line and to contain future cedars from growing over onto the neighbour's side (where they will be destroyed).

I'm having a difficult time making a decision on whether to go with the galvanized or vinyl coated wire. I am particularly concerned about the longevity and maintenance surrounding both. The galvanized fence would look more industrial and stand out, but it would presumably rust sooner, yet be repaintable in the future. Vinyl coated is touted to last longer, but my main concern is that when it starts fading and cracking, it will look terrible while being almost impossible to paint (paint doesn't adhere to plastic very well). That said, one neighbour has a 20+ year old green vinyl coated fence and it appears to be in excellent shape as if it was installed a few weeks ago, but it looks like it is coated with a different, more rubbery vinyl that is different from the materials being used today.

Any suggestions? Experience and opinions appreciated.

Side note: The neighbour from that side is a spiteful old man who thought his property was much larger, until I was forced to get a survey done to prove him wrong. We don't talk since then, and he doesn't fully respect the "new" property line. I expect there will be some resistance and hassle when the fence is being installed, but after consulting legal advice, the municipal by-laws, and my official survey, I don't think there is much he can really do other than huff/puff and try to rally friends to get on his side. They say good fences make good neighbours, but I'll settle for just marking the property line and blocking him out of sight with cedars to avoid his standing around smirking and making gestures
6 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 11, 2008
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Toronto
I'd probably go with the black, or maybe dark brown.
Sr. Member
Mar 17, 2006
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If sturdiness and longevity is your goal I would definitely get the galvanized (and by galvanized i mean hot dip galvanized). We rarely see this in residential settings anymore and might make your house look like a park. It will be quite a few years before you see any rust forming on a galvanized chain link fence (definitely more than 5, closer to 10). The galvanized will be much more resistant to impact as well (all steel makes up the thickness as opposed to half vinyl/ half steel) and thus more expensive. The advantage of vinyl coated is you can have it in several colours (beige, brown, black, green). The end portion of the link which is not covered (top and bottom) will rust faster than galvanized (the wire is only zinc plated)

You can compromise and get galvanized poles with vinyl coated netting. The coloured poles will eventually chip and rust. Painting a galvanized link fence is not an easy task unless you have a spray gun (not a job for a brush and roller, too many nooks and crannies)

P.S. Get 9 guage, stay away from 11 (crap they sell in hardware stores)
[OP]
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The local fence installer I spoke to was offering the galvanized at a higher price, which seemed odd at first, but now makes much more sense as it is probably the 9 gauge. I'll have to ask him when I call again
Sr. Member
Mar 17, 2006
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Galvanized link is always more expensive than vinyl coated (for the same guage). The difference in weight is quite obvious when you lift a roll of galvanized vs vinyl coated.
[OP]
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I have decided to go with the vinyl coated chain link, but with galvanized rails and posts. Plain galvanized stands out too much and is too inconsistent with the neighborhood, the newer homes down the street have all black chain link.

Edit: what would be an appropriate post hole depth for southern Ontario?. 2 feet seems to be the number being thrown around alot, but is that enough for a 5' fence with 9 gauge and on a slight slope?
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Aug 5, 2003
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M1K3Z0R wrote: Edit: what would be an appropriate post hole depth for southern Ontario?. 2 feet seems to be the number being thrown around alot, but is that enough for a 5' fence with 9 gauge and on a slight slope?
If you want it to last and not heave, it needs to be below the frost line. ie. 3-4ft in Toronto, don't know what it is in Brantford, but should be similar.

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