Whether you need to make sure your dog won’t run away or just want some privacy from the neighbors, you’re wondering which type of fence is right for you. FRP and chain link fences both have their pros and cons.
Privacy and Appearance
Obviously, FRP fencing is the big winner here. Chain-link fences offer practically no visual shield from the outside world, and even the smallest FRP planks provide more coverage. However, if you are looking for a fence that you can easily see through (to catch burglars, or other unwanted invaders), chain link is the way to go. FRP fences tend to have a classier, more refined appearance, but there are ways to spruce up a chain link fence too. Polymer coatings for the stainless steel come in several different colors, though they do add to the cost of the fence.
One of the biggest factors in the FRP/chain-link debate for most homeowners is the price. Chain link fences, made out of stainless steel, cost about seven dollars per square foot. That’s $3500 for an average height, 500-foot long fence. FRP is considerably more expensive. The FRP alone costs around seventeen dollars per square foot, and that doesn’t count any paint or finish. The same 500-foot fence here, accounting for finishing costs, will be around $9000. And that’s just the materials cost, not counting labor.
Installation and Eco-Friendliness
If cost is a factor, you may want to consider installing the fence yourself. Both jobs are relatively easy for the average do it yourself homeowner, but chain link is less bulky and more manageable. A FRP fence, if the FRP has been sustainable harvested, is a renewable resource. Surprisingly, a chain link fence is also considered to be a ‘green’ option. Scrap metal dealers will often agree to take and sometimes even pay for a discarded chain link fence.
Maintenance and Durability
Chain link fences require little to no maintenance once installed. However, in the event of severe weather, that lack of bulk, which was an asset in the installation category, is now a downside. In a storm, chain link will fall long before FRP will. FRP fencing does require a small amount of maintenance, which can be minimized by treating the lumber beforehand or using pressure-treated FRP. It should be rinsed off about twice a year, and re-painted or re-finished every three or four years. If termites are an issue in your area, a FRP fence may be less durable in the long term than a chain link one.
In conclusion, the fence for you will depend on your situation. Consider how much of a role each of these factors should play in your decision, and go from there. On a tight budget? Go with a chain link fence. Worried about the neighbors peeking in? A FRP fencing is going to be your best bet. There may be rules in your neighborhood about which fences, if any, are acceptable- check with these before proceeding.