If you want to add a new look to your chain link fence, then you can perform an easy, fast and inexpensive upgrade yourself. This project adds a wood facade to your horizontal and vertical metal fence poles. It won't affect the utility of your fence, and you will also be pleased with the visual appeal offered by the upgrade. Below is a list of tools and materials that you need, as well as a simple, step-by-step procedure to follow:
Tools and materials needed
6-inch by 6-foot cedar fence boards
1-½-inch electrical conduit straps
Number 8 flat-head wood screws in ¾-inch lengths
Circular saw or reciprocating saw
Electric drill with screwdriver bit
1. Purchase cedar fence boards - The first step is to determine how many fence boards to purchase. To make the calculation, divide the total length of your fence by six, then add one fence board for every existing chain link fence post. Round up any fractional amounts to the nearest whole number.
For example, for a 100-foot fence with 10 posts, divide 100 by 6, which equals 16-⅔. Round up the ⅔ to 1, which gives you 17. Finally, add one for every existing chain link post, which is 10, and your grand total is 27 cedar boards needed.
Try to locate kiln-dried fence boards, if possible, but you can dry freshly-cut boards if needed. Simply lay them on a flat, paved surface so they are exposed to as much sunlight as possible. Do not leave them in the rain or standing water. Let the boards dry for at least one week in arid climates and longer if you are in a humid region.
2. Attach the vertical fence boards - Once you have your fence boards ready to go, you will need to attach them to the chain link fence posts. To begin, ask a helper to position the fence boards in front of the metal poles, so they are centered along the midline of the boards. While your helper holds the boards in place, go to the other side of the fence and position two electrical conduit straps around the poles, with their screw holes held flush against the fence boards. Position the straps so they are evenly distributed along the length of the poles, then drive #8 flat-head wood screws through the holes to fasten them to the boards. Be careful not to drive the screws too tightly, so you don't crack the straps or strip the holes in the fence boards; a snug fit is sufficient to hold them in place.
3. Cut the horizontal fence boards - After all the chain link fence posts have been covered, you can prepare, cut and attach the horizontal pieces to cover the top metal poles. First, measure the distance between the inside edges of the vertical boards you just installed, then divide the measurement in half. This will tell you how long each fence board should be cut.
For example, if you determine there are 114 inches between the inner edges of the vertical boards, then divide it half to arrive at 57 inches. That means each horizontal fence board should be cut to a length of 57 inches.
After arriving at the cut length needed, count up the number of gaps between fence posts that will need to be covered and multiply by two; this amount will be the number of sections that need to be made. Continuing the above example, if you have 9 gaps between the posts, then you will need 18 fence boards cut to 57 inches each.
4. Attach the horizontal fence boards - Once you have cut your boards to length, the next step is to attach them to the metal poles that hold up the chain link fabric. This step will be performed in the same manner as the attachment of vertical poles, except they will be attached horizontally. Align the ends of the fence boards with the edges of the vertical boards, then attach them to the poles with the conduit straps. If you measured correctly in step 3, you should have two horizontal boards abutted against one another in the gaps between metal posts.
5. Cut the excess length from the vertical boards - After you have attached all the boards, both vertical and horizontal, the last step is to cut the excess length protruding from the top of the vertical boards. You can either cut these flush with the edges of the horizontal pieces, or you can make a decorative cut to give it a small finishing flair.