What Kind of Pool Fence is Best for my Home?
Swimming pools are a popular choice in backyards across Australia. They offer as much in the way of visual appeal as they do in enjoyment, especially over the hotter months. They allow so many fun memories to be made and are a great way to gather your friends and family and spend time together. However, great as they are, as with any body of water, they do carry a risk. One of the easiest ways to mitigate this is to have the correct pool fencing. This will ensure no one can get near your pool, especially children who are not being supervised.
As the summer months come speeding towards us, you may be lucky enough to live in a house with a swimming pool. Ah, think about all of those blissful days ahead! Lounging at the side of your pool, with a book in one hand and a drink in the other… But, before you’re ready for summer, you may need to consider your pool fencing. Whether your pool is a new addition to your home, or your current fencing is just tired and in need of repairs or replacement, it’s a big decision in terms of safety and aesthetics to choose your new pool fence.
What should I consider when choosing my swimming pool fence?
There is a lot to consider for any type of fencing, but especially fencing around a swimming pool. Firstly, begin with your state and council requirements. Whatever design and material decisions you make later down the track, your fence needs to comply with the law. Regulations are pretty standard for Australia, but it’s worth looking into as there may be slight variations according to your state, the depth of your pool, or when it was installed.
For example, a pool fence must be at least 1.2m high, and it must not have a gap at the bottom of larger than 10cm. Your pool gate must swing outwards, and you must have compliant CPR signage clearly visible, among a list of other requirements. Luckily, Jim’s Fencing contracting offers Pool Safety Inspections as one of their services. They can evaluate your current fencing and advise you if it does or does not meet Australian standards. They can make minor repairs or talk you through your options for new fencing if your current set-up does not meet regulations. They also issue pool safety certificates if your fencing meets all current Australian standards.
What material is best?
There are three primary materials used for pool fencing: aluminium, glass or steel. Aluminium and steel are used for the classic tubular style of fencing. Your choice of material will be likely be based on your personal style, the aesthetic of your home and backyard and your budget. Generally, glass fencing is a more expensive option than tubular metal fencing. Maintenance may also be a significant deciding factor for you, in which case glass would need significantly more cleaning and upkeep than the tubular style.
What is tubular pool fencing?
Tubular style fencing is commonly used for pool fencing. If you go to public or hotel pools or have family or friends with a pool, you’re likely to be already familiar with it. It’s constructed from aluminium or steel tubes connected with the fence’s horizontal upper and lower rails. It can be further customised by including wooden posts or other extra materials in the design. This allows complete visibility into the swimming pool area so that you can observe anyone in the pool from outside of the fence. Tubular fencing can be powder-coated in a colour of your choice to suit your home. The benefit of powder-coating also means it is corrosion-resistant, which is crucial because pool fencing is situated so close to water. Tubular fencing is hardy enough to withstand child and pet contact and rough usage. It’s also incredibly low maintenance and will likely not require more than an annual pool safety inspection.
While most residential tubular fencing is made of aluminium, you can opt for steel. This is one of the most robust fencing materials you can choose, so it is ideal for areas at risk of extreme weather conditions. It’s basically as low maintenance as aluminium, although it is slightly more prone to rusting. Make sure the steel used in your fencing is galvanised or powder-coated to prevent this.
What is a glass wall style pool fence?
Glass pool fences offer a more modern design and are favoured chiefly due to their sleek, minimalist appearance. While tubular fencing allows unobstructed gaps in its viewpoint, a glass wall is literally see-through, so it allows you 100% visibility of anyone within the pool area. Glass walls are manufactured from safety glass to ensure they are able to withstand rough usage from children and the panels are secured to the ground with sturdy posts and spigots. Glass wall fencing gives the yard an unfenced visual ‘feel’ as it blends into your surroundings and can help to make your space look larger. It’s also very customisable, as you can choose your preferred height, thickness and glass types (while staying inside regulations). If you genuinely can’t decide between tubular and glass, you can actually get a hybrid design using the two types and get the best of both worlds! If you love the look of glass, but it’s slightly out of your budget, it’s also possible to get the front panel made from glass for visual effect and have the rear of the pool fenced with aluminium tubular fencing.
Can I install my own pool fence?
Technically, you can install your own pool fence, however an incorrectly installed swimming pool fence could have disastrous consequences. To confidently and correctly install a pool fence, you need to have a vast understanding of the relevant regulations as well as an understanding of fence installation in general. The main purpose of a pool fence is not aesthetics or a backyard styling session. The pool fence is there for safety, so you have to weigh up whether you deem yourself knowledgeable enough to do it yourself. If budget is a concern, Jim’s Fencing contractor offers 100% quality guarantee and free quotes on all their fences and installations. Call 13 15 46 for further information.
On that same point, make sure your installer is someone you can trust. It’s important to hire a fence installer who can provide you with products and installation that will meet Australian standard regulations.
What does the rest of your backyard look like?
Did you know that a simple pot plant may be making your pool a danger to young children? Your fencing is only compliant if it has no climbable objects nearby. This includes large-scale children’s toys, trees, shrubbery, pot plants or tables and chairs. Make sure you find an alternative place to store these away from your swimming pool area.
I have an above ground pool. Does it need to be fenced?
Unfortunately, even bodies of water a few centimetres deep can be a drowning hazard for young children. Any pool deeper than 30cm must be securely gated according to regulations. This will apply to nearly all above-ground pools but will likely not apply to a standard-sized children’s paddling pool.
What about portable pool fences?
Portable pool fences may be a cheaper alternative to a permanent installation. They’re primarily used for inflatable or above ground pools. If you decide on a portable pool fence, you must ensure that it has been securely installed and is steady on the ground. All of the same Australian regulations still apply to portable fencing.
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