Chain link fences can be coated in colored vinyl or polyester to help them blend into the landscape. (Fence Center / August 11, 2014)

Building any type of fence is strenuous work, but the results are gratifying and an eye-catching improvement to a house. While a fence made of chain link doesn't have the pizzazz of more stylish ones, you won't find a more hardworking or long-lasting material that adds protection and privacy to your property. The fence consists of the framework, mesh fabric, fittings and gate made of galvanized components. It gets strength from a framework of posts and rails that fit together, and is covered with mesh stretched across its frame. Some chain link fences have vinyl or polyester color coatings in addition to zinc to help them blend in with the landscape.

A fence contractor charges $1,236 to build a good-quality 4-foot high, 100-foot long chain link fence with posts spaced at 7-foot intervals. That includes the labor and material. You can buy the fence materials, cement and a come-along, a specialty tool that stretches the mesh on its frame, at a home or yard center for $690 and build the fence. You'll save 44 percent by doing it yourself.

The job involves laying out the fence, digging postholes, pouring and mixing concrete, setting the posts and rails and stretching the mesh across the frame. You need a tape measure, carpenter's level, pliers, wrench, pipe cutter or circular saw (with metal cutting blade), shovel, hoe, wheelbarrow, and string and stakes.

Before you begin any fencing project, check the survey of your property to know exactly where your property lines begin and end. Also check to learn about requirements such as a height restriction or depth of post holes that are specified by local zoning laws or subdivision covenants.

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Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$1,236 -- $690 -- 21.7 -- 27.5 -- $546 -- 44 Percent