Chain Link FAQ | FAQ INDEX
What is the proper way to stretch a mason line when installing fence?
Chain link fence.
When stretching a mason line for setting fence posts, do so as low as possible to the ground, approx. 3-5". Wrap the string around stakes, wood or steel ones work well. This string is used to set the posts in a straight line only. This string is seldom used as a guide for depth of post or the post height. The correct way to set posts to the correct height depends on the styles of fence you are installing. With chain link fence, all posts are typically set in concrete one day; framework and fabric is installed later after the concrete has cured. One will need to make 'grade marks' on the posts with a marker. This is the depth marker for setting the posts. With galvanized fabric, make grade marks on terminal posts 2" taller than the height of fence. Line posts should be set 3" shorter than the height of fence to be installed. Subtract an extra 1/2" on line posts if you are stretching vinyl fabric as this has a tendency to shrink in height slightly as it is stretched. Concentrate on one length of fence at a time. Dig holes, fill with cement, and set all posts to these grade marks in the ground. Go to end of fence line and look across the tops of the posts. For uneven grades, you will see that the top of the posts follow the uneven grade since you set all posts equidistance from the ground surface, or grade. Typically one will need to fine tune these heights and this is simply done by sighting in the posts. Since top rail is set on top of the line posts, raise and lower line posts slightly to provide for a smooth transition between each post. Keep in mind anytime you lower a line post below the grade mark, the fence fabric will need trenched and buried. Likewise, the distance between the grade marks and the ground surface is how much space you will have underneath the fence. Often one will bury the fence a little in one spot and fill in under the fence in other spots in order to have the top rail run smoothly.