CLFMI commissioned a consumer study to determine the primary motivation in purchasing chain link fence nproducts and what they expected from the fence. Based on research conducted in 1994, the leading reason for purchasing a chain link fence was to control pets (51% of respondents), keep trespassers out (17%), and keep children in the yard (16%). These same consumers selected a chain link fence for three primary reasons: longevity, strength and low maintenance.
The research also concluded that 70% of the consumers surveyed expected their chain link fence to last 20 years or more, and 72% would have selected a color-coated chain link fence had they been aware it was on the market. In addition, that same survey showed that 74% of the consumers surveyed would be willing to pay 5 to 10% more for a stronger fence.
CLFMI believes the longevity, strength and low maintenance needs of the homeowner, the concerns of the neighborhood and the expense of the fence purchase can be properly balanced in the neighborhood covenants that address the concerns of each group. See Neighborhood Regulations Here.
CLFMI recommends the inclusion of minimum quality and strength standards in homeowner association covenants that ensure a fence’s durability and strength. Standards are available for wire gauge, wire mesh, line posts, top rail and terminal posts. Standards for light, medium and heavy duty metallic-coated and color-coated chain link fence are included in the proposed regulations.
The cost differential between the lightest gauge chain link system to one that meets minimum recommended residential standards approved by ASTM is less than 10% of the total cost. Properly installed fences that meet or exceed recommended minimum specifications have been proven to maintain structural integrity under normal wear and tear and have 5 – 15 year warranties.
Today’s chain link fits into any neighborhood. From high quality metallic-coated fence to the more subtle color-coated chain link, the market today offers homeowners a variety of choices. When developing neighborhood or government regulations, the Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute recommends utilizing of one of the two proposed regulations as a model for your community.
These policies balance the cost of purchasing fence materials, security issues and the aesthetic concerns of a community. chain link fence remains one of the fastest selling fence systems in the United States and, with recent product innovations, has improved its aesthetic appeal and quality standards. It provides an economical solution to protecting homes and neighborhoods while controlling both children and pets.
The proposed regulations balance aesthetic goals with the homeowners’ practical need for an economical fence solution.
Fencing Product A wareness Survey (1994). National Survey Systems: Los Angeles, CA.
Free Fact Guide For chain link Fence (1997). Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute: Columbia, MD.
O’Neill, Gordon (1998). Marketing Plan for Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute.
O’Neill Communications, Inc.: Marietta, GA.
Position of the Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute on Residential Fence Systems,(1994). Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute: Columbia, MD.
Management Advisory Group (March/April 1998). “Cost of Doing Business Survey,” Fencepost Magazine.American Fence Association, Inc.: Stone Mountain, GA.
Selected ASTM Standards for Fence Materials and Products (1996). American Society for Testing and Materials: West Conshohocken, PA
To meet recommended standards, consumers, homeowner associations and regulators must understand the specification system for fence and fencing materials. A chain link fence is made of three components: fabric, framework and fittings.
ASTM has established minimum recommended quality standards for the fabric and tubing materials. The terms and specifications are explained below:
Fabric comes in different gauges, the smaller the gauge the larger or thicker the wire: 9 gauge chain link fence fabric is best, 11 1/2 gauge is thinner but acceptable for residential usage. Fabric with 2″ or 2 1/8″ mesh, in heights less than 72″ shall be knuckled at both selvages.
Fabric Mesh Size is the distance between parallel sides of the inside edges of chain link fabric. A 2 1/8” or 2” wire mesh is the minimum recommended for residential usage. The smaller the mesh, the stronger the fence, and a 2” mesh with 9 gauge wire is the highest quality fence generally used in the residential market. When surrounding a pool, mesh size should be no larger than 1 1/4″.
Tube Size is measured by outside diameter (O.D.) and the thickness of the wall which is referred to as gauge. Specifications are required for end posts, line posts and top rails. Again, the smaller the number, the thicker and stronger the interior wall. For example, a 16 gauge line post (.065” wall thickness) 1 5/8” in diameter is the minimum standard recommended for residential use while a 1 7/8” diameter with 15 gauge wall that is .072” thick meets a much higher quality standard.