Ideas for covering chain-link fencing

Written by emily pate
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Ideas for covering chain-link fencing
Bamboo fence covers provide a natural-looking, environmentally sustainable makeover option. (Nick M Do/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you'd like to do something about your plain chain-link fence, you have a variety of options. You can build another fence, but this may not be an option if you rent your home or you'd rather not spend the time and money that fence replacement requires. Go for a cheaper route with simple installation and removal options.

Fence Art

Add a pattern or even image to your chain-link fence with plastic inserts. Companies like Put-in-Cups sell square, plastic inserts to cover the surface area of your fence. Create a striped or block pattern or create an image. They come in 20 different colours, so you have a variety of options to choose from. The cups are made from recyclable plastic and can be used repeatedly when you tire of one pattern and want to create another. The cups lock into place so they don't blow away. The company offers several image and letter templates. As of October 2010, the cups cost £32 for a set of 90, so cost varies depending on your fence size (see Resources).

Slats and Shades

For a monochromatic fence, use long privacy slats. These long sheets of metal or plastic are woven through the fence and come in a variety of colours. Liven up your yard with a vibrant blue or grass green. You can create patterns with these as well by alternating colours of various slats. For a subtle accent, add a contrasting coloured slat in several areas only. Fence weave is available for diagonal patterns. The weave is typically inexpensive, around £3 to £5 for 40 square yards as of 2010. You can also purchase wind and sun shields for your fence that come in bold striped patterns ideal for the summer. The shield is one piece of material and allows for quick installation and removal.

Natural Covers

If the idea of putting even more plastic or metal around your yard doesn't appeal to you, use more natural looking covers. You can purchase bamboo or reed fences to cover one or both sides of your fence. Prices vary depending on style and how much you buy. This style works aesthetically, especially if you have a lush garden or tropical plants. Also, bamboo is a rapidly renewable source, so it's a more environmentally sustainable option than plastics and metals, which can be manufactured using dangerous chemicals and substances. If you do opt for metal or plastic covers, look for products made from recycled materials, like the Put-in-Cups.

For a colourful, green remedy to a boring chain-link fence, cover it with hardy, vigorous vine plants. What type of vine you grow depends on your climate and soil quality. Annual vines climb well and usually provide plenty of flowers and foliage for adequate cover. Some options include morning glory, ornamental potato vines and bean vines, which you can eat from as well, depending on the variety.

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