Cover your chain link fence with cedar planks and get a great look for half the cost!
Chain link fencing. It does the job, yet not very appealing to look at. After moving into a new house with chain link all around, I knew we couldn’t afford to replace a perfectly good fence just because I didn’t like the way it looked. I scoured pinterest for some ideas on making chain link more appealing and private. The method I used is one I saw on various sources online, and all of those sources said how cheap and easy this project is. After doing it myself (with the help of my husband) I must say that it was NOT easy and NOT as cheap as I had hoped it would be. However, it was definitely worth the work and money, and I am glad that I did it.
First, I’ll explain how we put this fence together, then I will explain how to figure out what materials you will need to purchase.
Putting the Fence Together:
Make sure you have the following: treated 2×4’s for base, post brackets for the 2×4’s, cedar planks, wood deck screws, level, sawzall, circular saw, power screw driver, hammer, wire cutters(optional), 2×2’s(optional)
Step 1: Place post brackets along top and bottom of fence posts, as high and low as you can. Make sure they are as level as possible, it is not necessary for them to be perfect as you can adjust accordingly when you attach the cedar planks. This was the most difficult part of the project for us. It was difficult to get the bracket edges on the outside of the fence. We found that it was easier to cut the chain link and push the edges through the openings. For the posts on the end, we sawzalled the unneeded side of the bracket off.
These are the types of brackets we used for this project. They come in 2 or 3 different sizes, depending on where you purchase them. Make sure you get a size appropriate for your fence post.
Step 2: Attach 2×4’s to brackets with wood screws. You can use a level to make sure the boards are straight, but we eyeballed it and it turned out fine.
Steps 1 and 2 are complete.
Step 3: Attach cedar planks. Make sure they are about an inch off of the ground to avoid rotting. Evenly space them out at least a quarter of an inch apart, more if you like. The slight spacing allows the wood to contract and expand with the weather. Use a level along the side of the plank to make sure it is straight. Every couple of planks place the level on top of the boards to make sure you are attaching them at the same height.
Beginning the cedar planks.
Step 4: If your chain link is short, you may want to attach a 2×2 board to the back of the cedar planks to keep them from bending forward and backward randomly over time.
What do I need to buy?
Figuring out your materials for this project definitely takes some math. Since everyone’s space is different, I can’t say exactly how much you will need, but I can give you a formula for your own project.
Brackets: You will need 2 brackets for every fencepost you have.
2x4s: You should purchase treated 2x4s that are meant for withstanding the weather. You will need to measure the length of your fence and multiply it by two. Keep in mind that 2x4s come in various lengths, most commonly 8 feet and 12 feet. Your 2x4s will need to meet at a fence post, once side of a bracket holding one 2×4 and the other side of the bracket holding up another 2×4. Keep your fence post spacing in mind when figuring out your design. I suggest using a circular saw to cut the boards to size as opposed to a sawzall.
Cedar Planks: First you need to know the width of the planks you will be purchasing. Most common are 6 inch planks. Allow half an inch on each side of your plank, and you have a total width of 6.5 inches per plank. Divide the total length of your fence in inches by 6.5 and that is the approximate number of cedar planks you will need. I suggest purchasing a couple more just in case you need them. Keep in mind that it’s easier to cheat and squeeze your spaces closer than it is to cut a plank in half!
Wood Deck Screws: four screws per cedar plank. Why wood deck screws? Because they are made for outdoors and the weather. 1-1/2 inch or 2-inch screws should be sufficient. (If you are going to attach 2x2s to the back of your cedar planks, I suggest getting 2-1/4 inch screws so that you can use them for this as well. You will need 5 screws per plank instead of 4.)
2x2s: You will need enough to cover the length of your fence, minus about 6 inches. (begin the 2x2s about 3 inches in from the edges of the fence)