Adding a swimming pool to your backyard is a great way to turn an ordinary space into a real destination. It can increase the value of your home for the future and increase your enjoyment now.
However, swimming pools come with some additional responsibility…the biggest of which often is ensuring the safety of your family and guests.
A pool fence is one of the best ways to keep everyone safe and having fun with the new pool. So, if you’re planning to add a fence for safety, here are a few tips to find the right one.
What Are the Fence Needs?
To be a good safety feature, the fence surrounding a pool should be at least four feet tall. You can make it taller if aesthetics or the ages of your kids call for it, but this is a good minimum height to keep in mind. In addition, avoid fencing that features cross bars that children or pets could use to climb up or wide spaces that they could squeeze between.
You should check with your local city planning office to determine if there are any local ordinances regarding fence design or installation.
The gate into and out of the pool area should be self-closing and self-latching so that it seals itself on its own in case swimmers forget to lock the gate behind them. The latch should be tall enough that small children can’t easily reach it.
And if you have pets or nearby wildlife who like to dig, you may want to add an underground element or an extra deterrent (such as chicken wire or rocks) to the bottom of the fence.
What Will Look Great?
A secondary, but important, element of your pool fence is how it will look with your surrounding landscape and architecture. Since the fence will be such a large visual part of the pool’s environment, you surely want one that will complement the look you’re going for.
Modern pool fences come in many shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find one that appeals to you. Are you creating a modern, sleek pool design? Then try a futuristic glass fence with a minimal visual footprint. Planning a more casual, natural look? You may like the look of a sealed wood fence or curving wrought iron.
You may be able to plant some landscaping around the fence, but be sure it doesn’t include any shrubbery or trees that kids or pets can climb to get over the fence. Check with your fencing company to make sure whatever you plan to plant nearby will not cause damage to the fence itself.
What’s In Your Budget?
Pool installation can be quite costly, so develop a budget for the fence (and any other safety features you want to install) while still planning. This will ensure that you can afford to complete the fence before people start spending time around it.
If your budget is tight, you may want to choose an attractive aluminum fence that’s durable and reasonably priced. If you have more to work with, there are many fun varieties of vinyl and iron fencing with a more mid-range price point.
By answering these three questions as you plan your pool, you can come up with a fence that not only helps everyone stay safe but also helps make your pool the backyard star it should be.