Wire Fence: Your Complete Guide

Wire Fence: Your Complete Guide

Long Fence has been committed to providing customers with the most high-quality fences in the business for over 74 years. Our loyalty to our customers and our goal of constantly improving our product have allowed us to maintain our status as a leader in the residential and commercial fence industry. We can provide a fence for any residential homeowner, government agency, corporation, or business. We are willing to translate our expertise to any type of property or idea for a wire fence that you may have.

If you do not have a ton of experience with fencing a property, choosing the right fence for your project may feel overwhelming. Luckily, we have outlined all of the necessary information that you need to know about different types of fences. If you do not feel like doing all of the research, that is not a problem. Welded wire fencing is a great and common choice because of its simplicity, low maintenance quality, and protective properties. Many of our customers, some with extensive experience in fencing for landscapes and some with no experience at all, opt for wire fencing because it functions so well for what a fence needs to do: providing security.

Welded Wire Fences

The most popular type of wire fence, one that we specialize in, is welded wire fence. Since welded wire fences are so popular, you may have heard them called something else, such as a mesh fence, a utility fence, or a general-purpose fence. Welded wire fences are similar to chain link fences but provide more security as they are stronger and harder to climb. Welded wire fences consist of wire strands made of steel that are electrically welded together to form a very strong mesh. Welded wire fences have become very popular in recent years due to their strength, high functionality, and low maintenance requirements. Welded wire fences are also one of the more inexpensive options for fencing.

Welded wire fences are created by layering wire in a simple horizontal and vertical pattern, creating square or rectangular spaces. This pattern allows for extra strength. While other patterned fences may come undone when cut, if harm were to come to a welded wire fence, the integrity of the fence remains. The wires will not unravel from one another, as they would in a woven fence, which provides the ultimate amount of protection if someone were to try to cut through the fence.

The thickness of the wires in a welded wire fence range from 2mm to 8mm. Welded wire is thick and strong. It is difficult to cut through the wires, and it is also very difficult to gnaw through, if your intentions are to protect your property from animals and rodents. The distance between two horizontal wire strands is typically 12.7mm to 200mm and the distance between two vertical wire strands typically ranges from 10mm to 76.2mm. Spaces between the wires typically range from 0.5 to 4 inches. Moreover, these types of fences are ideal when you need a fence that is vertically very strong but needs to span and protect a large distance.

Uses for Welded Wire Fences

Welded wire fences are great for any property that requires protection. Welded wire fences are often also used because of how easy it is to see through them, so that property owners can be aware of any intruders. In fact, they’re are also popular because it is very difficult to see the fence itself, and many property owners with welded wire fences in the forest will mark the fence with flags so that deer will be able to know the fence is there. Zoos and national borders such as those in Europe are popular places where one can find welded wire fences.

Though wire fences are great for protecting commercial and governmentally owned properties, they are just as suitable for residential properties. Many of our customers purchased welded wire fencing for their residential properties in order to mark their property line and keep pets in and unwanted visitors out.

Some other areas where one can typically find wire fences, or welded wire fences specifically, include around public buildings, buildings that require high security functionalities, such as prisons,  country borders, and in parks and nature reserves.

History of the Wire Fence

Wire itself was invented around 2,000 years ago in Egypt, where they would use wire made of gold, silver, or copper. Drawn iron wire, which is more similar to what is used in fences today, was invented around the year 1450 in Augsburg, Germany. There is debate surrounding when the first wire fence was invented but it came into use around the year 1867 in the United States by farmers who would use it to fence in their livestock, after L.B. Smith from Ohio first created a fence made of similar material to barbed wire. Previously, building fences such as those made out of wood were a large investment for farmers, and the costs would often be just as high as for the livestock itself. Using wire fencing in place of wooden fences or the use of herders proved beneficial as the wire fences were less likely to be trampled, allowed for farming on larger areas of land, and allowed for more control of the livestock.

Finishes for Welded Wire Fences

While a popular finish for welded wire fencing is to simply paint it or spray paint it, there are plenty of other finishing options that can actually provide even more protection for your fence, without compromising its aesthetic value.

A popular finish for welded wire fences is a powder coating. As the name implies, it is applied as a free flowing, dry powder. Powder coating is applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat, in which it melts and then forms a stronger polymer. A powder coating finish is actually harder and stronger than a paint coating. Like paint coating, however, powder coating comes in a variety of different colors. This is a perfect opportunity to help your new fence blend into or be styled alongside your property. Colors for powder coating range from grass green to powder blue.

Stainless steel is a popular finish to prevent corrosion. With its chromium, molybdenum, and carbon content, stainless steel can easily reduce acids before they reach the underlying metal. Stainless steel is also very effective in preventing staining. It is strong, has a natural luster, and is very low-maintenance: all qualities that make it a very popular choice for a wire fencing finish.

An additional popular finish for welded wire fences is a galvanized finish. Galvanization is simply the process of applying zinc to prevent rusting. The most common method for galvanization is hot-dipping, which basically just means that the wire mesh is dipped in melted zinc. Having your welded wire fence galvanized can protect the wire mesh in several ways, including protecting the metal from corrosive substances and the zinc corroding before the iron does.

How to Install a Wire Fence Yourself

Wire fences are great for DIY projects because they are inexpensive, simple, and easy to install. Welded mesh is much lighter than woven mesh because the wires are not crimped down. Moreover, it utilizes less wire. As stated before, welded wire fencing can be cut without the whole thing unravelling. This means that you can cut the roll of wire mesh wherever you need to in order to ensure that your fence fits between the posts perfectly.

Before you acquire your materials and get started on the project, you will want to think about the purpose of your fence. What are you using it for and what do you hope it will look like? What area do you want to enclose and how much yardage will the fence need to cover? What are you trying to keep in your property or out of it? A fence that just needs to keep pets in will not need to be as high as a fence that is attempting to keep trespassers out. What wire gauge will you need for the kind of protection you are looking for? What protective coating and finishing will you want for your fence?

Once you have a clear idea of your purpose and the dimensions that are necessary for your fence, for a DIY wire fence installation, you need some basic materials and materials that you can also get from basic fencing companies like ours. Materials include basic tools like a hammer, welded wire,  wooden posts, and fence staples. You can also use metal posts, which are often not as sturdy but are easier and faster to install than wooden posts. It is important that you ensure that you get good quality materials from a credible and reliable manufacturer. The better the quality of the materials like the wire mesh and posts, the longer your fence will last and the better it will look. We can provide a variety of high quality wire mesh with different lengths, heights, and gauges.

After you have obtained the materials, there are only a few other basic steps to follow.

  1. Dig holes for the posts and install them

Drive the posts into the ground a few feet apart from each other, depending on how many posts you have and how long you would like the fence to be.

  1. Hammer top rails and bottom rails between the posts

Cut the top rails to the correct length for each top rail to end in the middle of one of the posts. Nail them to the top of the posts. The bottom rails will need to be cut to fit between the posts and after cutting them, slide them into place between the posts.

  1. Staple mesh fence to the post, top rails, and bottom rails

Unroll the welded wire mesh from post to post. You will probably want someone to hold the beginning of the mesh at the first post. Use a fence stapler to staple the wiring to the top rail every 3 inches until you reach the next post. When you reach the next post, pull it tight and staple the fence down the post every 6 inches. Go back and staple the fence to the bottom rail as you did with the top rail.

  1. Trim excess mesh and add a cap rail

Continue with step 3 until you reach your final post. Afterwards, go back with metal trimming scissors to trim any excess mesh that surpasses the posts and railing. You will have to do this if you have more mesh than necessary. Trim the roll evenly alongside the last post. You can nail a cap rail to the top rail to keep the wire fence in place and to add asthetique value.

If you need to splice in a new roll between posts, cut the old row evenly with the edge of the post, even if it has not yet reached the post. Start the new roll so that one column of squares overlaps with the old roll.

If you would prefer using metal posts, drive them into the ground with a sledgehammer or a post driver at about 8 feet apart. Hook the mesh on the hooks of one post and pull the mesh to the other posts, doing the same. Work your way to all the posts until you are finished, keeping the mesh taut. Though the metal post method is clearly quicker and simpler than using wooden posts, the fence will likely not be as stable.

Why You Should Choose Long Fence for Your Wire Fence Installation

Since 1945, Long Fence has pledged to its customers that it will approach all jobs with prompt and professional courtesy, accept any job with dedication to quality service and detail, and offer the best value for investment for any job that you may need us for. Whether you purchase DIY wire fence materials from us, or would like us to help you embark on a bigger fencing project, we are committed to helping you obtain your dream fence with the best quality products and service possible.  Long Fence supports safe practices in our work environment, surpasses safety requirements, and is certified under the Environmental Protection Agency.

About the Author

Brett Crouse