Attractive Wood and Chain Link Fence – California Fence

Wood and chain link fence is a type of fencing combining wooden framework with chain link mesh. Also referred to as California fence.

This unique looking fence style combines attributes form wood fence and chain link fence.

Wood fencing is very customizable. Chain link fences are long lasting and affordable.

Combining the two make for a customizable fence design requiring very little maintenance.

Wood and chain link fence is commonly found in residential backyards, variations are also used in agricultural applications.

California Fence
Wood and Chain Link Fence

Wood & Chain Link Fence Options

Options of how “California Fences” are constructed are endless.

Choices for wood framework range from the type and size of posts, size of rails, number of rails per section, and the fence height.

The chain link component of the fence installation is the wire mesh, also known as fabric.

Chain link wire mesh materials have options on the size of the wire used to constructed the mesh, the size of the diamond, the coating on the chain link mesh and the color.

Green, black and brown are all popular colors for chain link fence mesh.

How to Build a Wood and Chain Link Fence

Building wood and chain link fence is not complicated. It has far less components when compared to having a chain link fence installed.

The only fence materials required are posts, rails, wire mesh or fabric and some nails or screws.

In many areas, concrete is also required for the fence posts.

Setting the Fence Posts for Wood and Chain Link Fence

wood and chain link fence
Wood Framework and Chain Link Fabric

Wood fences generally have posts installed 8′ on center. The reason is that 8′ long is the most common length of a 2×4 or 2×6 which are used for the rails.

Longer rails are available and would result in less posts per fence line. However, longer rails do not provide as much strength, are more prone to warping and cost more.

Set the posts at a minimum depth of 24″. Although 36″ is preferred. The addition of concrete creates a solid foundation on which to assemble the rest of the fence materials.

It is ok to leave posts taller than needed when installing wood and chain link fence. Allowing for cutting after the rails are installed or left high so post caps can be installed.

How to Attach Chain Link Fence to Wood Posts

close up of fence staple in wood rail
Fence Staple in Wooden Rail

Unlike chain link fence installation where the rail is attached to the posts first, when building wooden fence with wire mesh, the chain link fabric is installed onto posts first.

Horseshoe nails or fence staples attach the mesh to the first post in the fence line. Holes drilled into a tension bar allows attaching wire mesh to wood posts with screws.

The fabric is rolled out on the same side of the posts that the rails will be attached. Stretch tightly, removing all slack from the mesh.

Once slack is removed, cut to length and attach to end post in the same fashion as before. Add horseshoe nails or fence staples to all of the remaining fence posts.

Attaching the Rails to the Posts

A minimum of one rail is required. Installed at the top. However 2 rail installation including a top and bottom rail is more common.

On taller height chain link fence mesh, a third middle rail is installed for extra support.

Rails install overtop the wire mesh. Sandwiching the mesh between the posts. Long wood screws or nails attach the rails to posts.

The top of the rail should stick out above the chain link fence mesh slightly. The same holds true for the bottom rail.

Fence staples or horseshoe nails attach the chain link mesh to rails between each post.

Sometimes trim boards are used to cover the opposing side of the mesh between posts.


Wood and chain link fences are unique in design. Wood framework removes the commercial look associated with chain link fence.

Vinyl coated chain link mesh helps wire fabric blend better with backyards and natural surroundings.

The combination of both provides for a new fence that will last for years without the need for constant upkeep.

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