Vinyl Fence vs. Chain Link Fence in South or Central Florida

Chain Link vs Vinyl Fence in South Florida and Central Florida

Chain link fences can be the perfect choice for commercial properties, and often a far more appropriate choice in comparison to vinyl fences. There are also vinyl-coated chain link models that offer a few different colors for both residential and commercial applications.

Attachments such as windscreens and PVC privacy slats do offer some additional privacy, but you cannot have 100% opaque with chain link fabric no matter what you do. In comparison to vinyl fences, where there are multiple pure privacy options, semi-privacy variations, and more.

The decision between chain link and vinyl is a pretty simple one: vinyl fences are best for privacy and all residential properties in Florida, but Chain link fences are often not appropriate for backyards or most residential homes due to the near complete lack of privacy.

There are some important considerations though, all of which are detailed below!

Interested in learning how other fence materials compare with vinyl fence materials? Read our companion articles:

Chain link fence styles vs. vinyl fence styles

Firstly, there is only one chain link “style” diamond pattern chain-link fabric attached to cylindrical posts. You can have a commercial grade or residential grade, but there is only one style.

Chain link fence add-ons:

  • PVC privacy slats: These are thin pieces of PVC (same material no relation to vinyl fence profiles) that are interwoven into the chain link fabric by sliding them in diagonally
  • Windscreens: You’ve most likely seen these on commercial chain link fences or temporary chain link fences surrounding construction projects. This fabric helps quell some of the external wind flow to decrease dust/debris circulation 

Conversely, vinyl fences have a near-infinite number of style variations which are all based on the following base models:

PVC fence materials have a clear advantage over chain link in just styles alone.

Chain link fence colors vs. vinyl fence colors

Available chain link colors are:

  • Galvanized (standard metal finish)
  • Black vinyl coated
  • Green vinyl coated
  • Brown (tan) vinyl coated

Vinyl fence colors on the other hand are nearly infinite, our manufacturer, Homeland, offers 9 color choices, with white and tan being our standard and other colors being special requests only.

Outside of our particular manufacturer, there are many extrusion companies that offer black, green, red, texturized wood grain, and much much more.

When it comes to colors, a vinyl fence is clearly superior to a chainlink fence. 

Chain fence cost vs. vinyl fence cost

There is no question here – standard chain link fences are the most economical and cost-effective, and cheap fencing material available (outside of the agricultural wire types.) Vinyl fence models cost more, but they do because they are superior in most ways.

Commercial grade chain link fences with schedule-40 posts and/or heights up to 20’ will be more expensive as you can imagine.

Ultimately commercial properties often need chain link fences with large gates, barbed wire, and other enhancements for security, while residential properties will always be better off with a vinyl fence. Lots that sit on large acreages that need to be secured may be better off with chain link, however.

Chain link fence installation vs. vinyl fence installation

Unfortunately, excluding some Home Depot or Lowes models, chain link fences cannot be installed by a layperson. In order to install a chain link fence, you need to stretch the fabric across the section, draw it tight with a special tool, and then fasten it to the terminal post.

The use of this specialized tool and the lack of availability of chain-link fabric to homeowners and do-it-yourselfers (typically available for licensed contractors only) makes installing a chain-link fence yourself neigh impossible.

On the other hand, vinyl fences are the most user-friendly fencing material to install in South or Central Florida. No special tools are required, and the panels interlink with the posts and other components in a very modular fashion, making it simple for most homeowners to purchase their vinyl fence material from a local PVC fence supply company, buy concrete from Home Depot or Lowes, and then to have their fence up by the end of the weekend.

Learn how you can install your own vinyl fence with our vinyl fence installation guide.

Not sure if a chain link or vinyl fence is appropriate for you? Contact us or call us today to learn more about your options.