A primary purpose of chain-link fence slats is to improve privacy for the owner. Chain link fences often leave people feeling exposed, where even passers-by can easily see activities taking place within the enclosed compound. Installing fence slats works to limit such exposure, making it harder for prying eyes to see what is going on inside a private enclosure.
Can you add slats to a chain-link fence?
You can add slats to a chain-link fence. A primary downside of chain link fences relates to their lack of discretion and monotonous color scheme. Adding slats not only guarantees you added security but also helps to improve your home’s aesthetics and adds a bit of personal touch to your fencing.
There are several chain-link fence slat alternatives available on the market. You can decide between artificial and natural options depending on your budget, tastes, and location.
Best Chain Link Fencing Alternatives.
You are most likely to see chain-link fence slats in private residences as opposed to public grounds. Although different alternatives are readily available, each slat type has unique advantages and disadvantages over other varieties.
Here are some of the best chain-link fence slat alternatives
Wood is an ideal material for making slats. Using wooden slats adds an authentic, natural appeal to your living space that is difficult to ignore. Besides, wood slats provide privacy, are highly durable, and can fit different patterns and designs.
Tropical hardwoods are popular mainly because of their smooth, sleek nature. However, they might cost significantly more per square foot than other slat materials (the average cost of treated hardwood is about $20-$30 per square foot). Treated hardwood slats come with impeccable longevity that can reach up to 50 years.
Installing wood slats can be tricky since that you have to deal with individual pieces at a time. It’s always recommended to leave the task to a qualified specialist. If you are willing to give it a shot, make sure to align and space the pieces correctly.
Most wooden slats have vertical poles that link with the horizontal pieces to create a firm, sturdy finish that perfectly complements the existing chain-link fence.
Vinyl slats are an ideal choice for your chain-link fence. One of the main advantages that vinyl slats have over other alternatives is variety.
You get to enjoy unique designs, patterns, and a high degree of privacy. However, vinyl slats may cost you more on the onset than other alternatives. On average, a vinyl slat costs range from $25-$40 per linear foot. However, vinyl slats require minimal maintenance and can last for considerable durations without need for repair.
Vinyl can tolerate adverse weather conditions without suffering considerable damage. The product can withstand heavy UV radiation, drenching rain, and stains without depreciating in quality. Installation of vinyl slats is faster (saving labor costs) and much more straightforward than other options.
A significant downside of vinyl relates to the lack of prestige. Vinyl slats are often deemed inferior compared to those made using natural materials like wood, bamboo, etc.
Bamboo is a popular choice for many homeowners looking to improve their privacy. The bamboo slats provide for a natural, elegant, and stylish design that readily complements existing chain-link fencing.
Rounded bamboo slats are remarkably easy to install, readily available, and highly durable products that offer good value for money. At the moment, a bamboo slat costs range from $20-$30 per linear foot, and the average lifespan exceeds well over ten years.
Some homeowners consider bamboo as an eco-friendlier solution compared to using hardwood. Given the product’s exquisite, tropical finish, you can see why most homeowners prefer using the material for their fencing needs.
Installing bamboo on a chain-link fence rarely requires specialized skills. You can easily engage with a friend to install the fencing alongside your chain-link fencing. Always remember to leave a space (about 1 inch) from the ground surface to the bottom of your bamboo slat. Also, ensure that the bamboo fencing remains adequately spaced and aligns seamlessly with the existing chain-link fence.
Reed slats are a reliable option for homeowners looking to improve their privacy. Some individuals mistake reed slats for bamboo slats (and vice-versa) though each has distinct characteristics that set them apart.
A primary difference relates to the thickness of individual stalks. Bamboo stalks are conspicuously thicker than reeds. Besides, bamboo slats cost slightly more compared to the latter. Installing reed slats is somewhat similar to the installation of bamboo slats.
The product often comes in a pre-rolled form of varying dimensions (600cm by 160 cm, 600cm by 180cm) and offers exceptional privacy for residential properties. Redd slats also have an elegant, natural aesthetic finish that readily complements most spaces.
The average lifespan of the product is about 20 yrs. You can also use reed slats to cover over concrete walls, gardens, and chain-link fences.
Reed stalks are highly resistant to termite attacks and have great value for money. However, you can extend the service life of your reed slats by spraying the fencing with a UV-resistant sealant every 2-3 years.
Aluminum is a sturdy, durable material that adds a modern, elegant finish to your chain-link fencing. You can choose from different designs, patterns, and techniques to improve the outlook of your living space.
Aluminum slats add a measure of security and privacy to your home. You can readily find quality slats with dimensions ranging from 16mm to 65mm in thickness and width available at recommended dealerships and online marketplaces. The average cost ranges from $630-$690 per square meter. Although aluminum may not be the most cost-friendly alternative, the product is highly resilient, gives off an aura of permanence, and adds a touch of street style to your enclosure.
It’s best to have a specialist handle the installation on your behalf. Improper installation may affect the product’s longevity and negatively impact the overall aesthetic effect.
Plastic (PVC) Slats
Plastic slats are becoming popular among property owners owing to their diverse color options, patterns, designs, and aesthetics. You can readily find plastic slats available for sale at online marketplaces, dealership stores, etc.
Plastic is a recyclable/reusable material. The individuals who love the products emphasize the importance of finding eco-friendly solutions to plastic waste management. Besides, plastic slats are cheaper than vinyl, wood, and composite products for a cost ranging from $30 to $70 (although it depends on the thickness of the products, quality, and dimensions).
Plastic slats are remarkably easy to install. It’s advisable to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when dealing with such products as unique designs have a particular installation process.
A key benefit of using plastic slats lies in their lifespan (over 20 years for most plastics). Plastic is non-biodegradable, and slats can remain unchanged by weather for prolonged durations. Numerous color options also add a touch of color and style to your chain link fencing.
Mesh Wind Screens
Mesh windscreens are popular on tennis lawns, public spaces, residential houses, etc. The products consist predominantly of fiberglass mesh (and other materials), with holes less than 1mm in diameter.
Mesh windscreens offer protection against wind and guarantee some level of privacy. You can easily install the products over chain-link fences using zip ties to tie up the edges and provide a sturdy framework.
The windscreens are reasonably inexpensive, which makes them ideal for residential homes. Pricing depends largely on the underlying material, product dimensions, and labor costs. On average, a mesh windscreen might cost from $40 to $70 for sizes ranging from 4’ by 50’ to 8’ by 50’.
You can select a suitable option based on your color preference, mesh design, height requirements, etc. Installation involves firmly attaching sections of the mesh to your chain-link fence to cover the entirety of the enclosure.
How to Install Plastic Slats on a Chain Link Fence?
Installing plastic slats on a chain-link fence is relatively straightforward. Most plastic slats have elaborate locking features that make it easy to interlock individual pieces along the entirety of your enclosure.
Here’s how to install plastic slats on a chain-link fence
- Measure the fence surface. (The measurements help you to create a mental image of the plastic slat quantity to use).
- Weave the bottom locking channel horizontally across your chain link fencing.
- Weave individual slats vertically, guiding them to the bottom locking mechanism.
- Space your slats correctly before locking the vertical slats on the locking mechanism. You can expect to hear a click sound on the successful installation of individual slats.