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How To Convert Chain Link Fence To Wood

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Sometimes a chain link fence doesn't provide enough privacy, or it shows some age. Your first instinct is to remove the whole fence, but you don't have to uninstall the entire fence.

You may be able to convert a chain link fence into wood fence by reusing the fence posts, which saves on cost and time. Follow these tips to convert a chain link fence into a wood fence.

Make Preparations to Convert the Fence

To convert the chain link fence, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety goggles
  • level
  • wrench
  • fence post brackets
  • galvanized steel 1 inch screws
  • galvanized steel 1.5 inch deck screws
  • two-by-four or two-by-six boards
  • circular saw drill
  • weather-proof paint, or stain (optional) 

Inspect the fence posts you plan to cover to ensure they are in good condition. To secure loose posts, add more concrete around the base.

Measure the fence height to figure out how many runners you need. Fences more than five feet high commonly require three runners, which are made with two-by-fours. Find the length of the runners by measuring in between posts.

Prepare the Rails

Use the wrench to remove the chain link fabric from the posts, and take it to a metal recycling company. If desired, paint the steel posts to blend with the wood.

If you prefer to use the old fence rails, they must be adapted to fit the wood slats. Attach a metal drill bit to the drill, and make a hole a quarter of an inch in diameter in the top and bottom rails. Use a level to check evenness.

Install the Slats

Chain link to wood conversion is made possible by brackets, which you can find at home and garden centers. You need an assistant to hold them in place as you move along. Start wrapping the brackets about two inches from the bottom post.

Place a two-by-four crosswise over the bracket, and drive in a 1 inch screw in the holes with a drill. Add two screws on the arced portion of the bracket to help the board stretch between posts. Continue to attach horizontal boards  Fences more than four feet high will need an additional board in the post center.

Lay a wood board over each horizontal board, and secure them with 1.5 inch screws. Use the circular saw to trim the board to fit the width, if needed.

You may stain or paint the fence, add weatherproofing, or a gate. Damaged chain link fence posts should be removed or replaced. Contact a fence contractor to help you if you don't think you can install a fence alone.