Residential Quality and Specification

Chain link fence is available in a wide range of grades, some of which are substandard. CLFMI recommends a chain link that meets the minimum standards for residential fencing established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). ASTM is a non-profit organization that establishes minimum standards for many materials. In some cases, a chain link fence may need to exceed the ASTM standards, in areas of high winds or heavy use. Your chain link dealer or contractor can answer any questions.

Chain link fencing that meets the ASTM standard is 55 percent stronger, yet only costs about 10 percent more than lower quality chain-link.

Fabric/ Diamond Size

Diamond size is the distance between the parallel sides of the mesh (inside edges). The smaller the mesh size, the stronger the fence. The residential standard for chain link fence recommends diamond size be no larger than 2 1/8″ for fences three to five feet tall and no larger than 2″ for fences six feet tall or taller. When surrounding a pool, diamond size should not exceed 1 1/4″ or privacy slats should be used to make diamond size smaller, preventing children from climbing the fence. 

ASTM also issues specifications for gauge of chain link fabric which recommends 11 1/2 gauge for three to five foot fences and 11 gauge for six foot or higher fences.


Tube size is measured by the outside diameter. Tubing is used for both the top rail of the fence as well as the posts. ASTM guidelines recommend:

Warranties for Chain Link

Today’s quality chain link fence generally has a 5 – 15-year manufacturer’s warranty or longer covering everything from structural problems to cosmetic failure. Most chain link fence can be expected to maintain structural integrity well beyond the warranty period. Consumers should study warranties to understand specifically what components are covered and should purchase only chain link materials that include a good warranty.

Cost Comparison: Wood, Ornamental, Vinyl

Chain link fence has always been a leader in fencing value. Metallic-coated chain link offers the most protection for the lowest cost, and for just a little bit more, color-coated chain link offers that same protection with a colorful twist. Dollar for dollar, even the most elegant chain link fence will be more cost-effective than wood, vinyl, or ornamental fence styles