Fences made just for above-ground swimming pools aren’t too popular, but they are out there and available.
There are only a couple of companies that make fences for above-ground pools, so you don’t have many options. They have posts that attach to each of the pool’s uprights and the fence is designed to go all the way around above the top rails from one side of the ladder to the other.
THERE ARE ONLY TWO REASONS WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO GET A FENCE FOR THEIR ABOVE GROUND POOL – SAFETY AND PRIVACY
During the 35 years that I have installed above-ground pools, I have put them up in a few strange places. I have installed pools in front yards, on usable driveways, and in garages. I even installed an oval inside a house that didn’t have a roof.
Typically, pools are installed in backyards. And typically, those yards are fenced in. It’s best to install a pool in a fenced-in yard for both reasons of privacy and safety. I do still install pools on wide-open land and that’s usually fine.
FENCING OPTIONS PEOPLE CHOOSE FOR THEIR ABOVE GROUND POOLS
For the most part, people want some kind of fencing for their above-ground pool. Most living in a city or town will have a fenced-in backyard, so they are good to put a pool in as that gives them the privacy and protection they want.
1. Fencing the Entire Yard for the Pool
Many put a fence up for their backyard because they are getting a pool. They were probably wanting one anyway, so getting a pool just pushed them to do it.
2. Fencing Just the Pool Area
Some will want more protection than just a fenced backyard for one reason or another. Some will install a fence just around the pool area. I have installed more than a few pools in a special fenced-in area within the fenced-in yard. This was then two fences between the outside of the property and the pool.
Some will also only fence in the area around the pool and the rest of the yard is not fenced.
3. Screen Enclosure
Some choose to go the fancy way of having a screen enclosure for their above-ground pool. This replaces the need for a fence in terms of safety and is nice in that it stops bugs and debris from getting in and around the pool.
There are some major drawbacks to having a screened-in pool. The water will always stay cold and you won’t be able to get much of a tan from the sun inside it. Also, only some areas can have screen enclosures due to climate conditions.
Screen enclosures are expensive too.
4. Fencing for the Pool Itself
Others choose the option of just fencing the pool itself. This is where buying fencing specifically made for metal-walled above-ground pools comes into play.
Above-ground pool fence can be a bit of a pain to install, but most DIYers can do the job. Pool guys like me don’t like installing them as they aren’t very common (so I can’t get fast at installing them).
Some will choose to build an above-ground pool fence using wood. They will use 1”x1” or 2”x2” wood pieces to frame support and/or frame out pieces of wood lattice and make the fence for their above-ground.
GETTING A PERMIT FOR YOUR ABOVE-GROUND POOL? IT MAY REQUIRE YOU TO HAVE A FENCE
Almost all areas of the United States require a fence of some kind for inground swimming pools. This is for reasons of safety as you don’t want some two-year-old that’s wandering the neighborhood unsupervised to find his/her way in the yard and fall into the pool.
For above-ground pools though, a fence may NOT be required. This is dependent on the height of the pool. The safety logic here is that if a swimming pool is high enough off ground level, then a small kid won’t be able to access the water
There are thousands of independent government building departments in the US and each will have its own requirements for pools and fencing.
I have seen some building departments require a fence around the pool regardless if the yard is already fenced-in. I have also seen some require a fence on the above ground pool itself. Some don’t require a fence at all for above grounds.
You can only know what your local building department requires for your pool by calling or visiting them. And keep in mind that these requirements can change, so don’t just rely on old information. Your neighbor may not have needed one two years ago when they got their pool, but now you do.
COMMON INSTANCES WHEN PEOPLE CHOOSE TO GET ABOVE GROUND POOL FENCING
As stated earlier, fencing just the above-ground pool itself is not super common. Most choose other fencing options or already have a fenced-in yard, so it’s a non-issue.
Some have to go the pool fence route. Here are five reasons why.
1. Pool Fence Required to get a Permit
Out of the thousands of building departments in the US, only a few will require a fence for the pool itself.
This is unfortunate for anyone living in those areas, but if they want to have a permit for their pool, then they will have to have a fence for it. Well, at least until the pool gets inspected.
2. Privacy Issue
For most backyards, privacy isn’t too much of an issue with an above-ground pool. Above grounds are high off the ground though, so some are concerned about what their neighbors can see.
Pools installed in yards on small lots or neighborhoods with “zero lot lines” have compromised privacy in yards. This is where adding some fencing around the pool itself will help a lot with privacy.
Also, some want added privacy for personal reasons. They may even want/need privacy from others living in the house. There are different situations for everyone.
3. Added Safety
Everyone has different levels of comfort when it comes to being safe with water. Some would really like to get a swimming pool but are too concerned about the potential dangers of drowning to ever have one.
Having a fence with their above-ground pool is just the extra safety feature needed for them to be comfortable with having a swimming pool and now they can enjoy it.
4. Pool is Semi-Inground
Metal-walled above-ground pools are either 48”, 52”, or 54” tall. This is more than high enough off the ground to where a small kid cannot climb over and get into the water.
Many above-ground pools are sunk in the ground some. This is either done intentionally or because the yard has a lot of grade and half of the pool had to be in the ground a couple of feet.
When an above-ground pool is in the ground some (or a lot), then small children will be able to accidentally get in the water. This is where adding a fence to the above ground pool will make it safer and prevent kids from getting in.
5. Cheapest and Easiest Fencing
Above ground pools are a less expensive alternative to an inground. Many are very happy to get a pool but have limited finances.
For those on a smaller budget that need to have a fence for their pool, getting one for the pool itself is the cheapest and easiest one.
RANDOM THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ABOVE GROUND POOL FENCING
Can be a pain to install
This looks like an easy product to install, but most will struggle a little getting this attached to the pool correctly.
Since this is a safety fence, it’s very important to properly attach it to each side of the ladder. This is a hard part of the install as attaching the fence end to the pool’s ladder will be a custom cut.
Severely restricts access to the pool
Again, with this being a safety product, you will only be able to get in or out of the pool where the ladder is. This can be annoying for some.
Many will take the fence off after inspection
If you had to get a pool fence to pass inspection for a permit, you may choose to take it off after the pool it passes. I have seen this a few times as many people don’t like the look of the fence or how restrictive it is.
Will make liner changeouts more difficult
Although a pool fence shouldn’t get in the way of taking the top rails off, they almost always do.
This comes into play when it’s time to change the liner in the pool. Usually, at least some of the pool fence has to come off in order to change the pool’s liner. And in many cases, the fence does not go back on.
As a pool installer, I don’t deal with exiting fences at all. If a pool needing a liner change has a pool fence, I will either have the pool owner remove the fence before I get there to change the liner, or I tell them that I will remove it, but won’t replace it. They are just a pain to deal with.
Allowing vines to grow within them is not recommended
You might think it would be cool to have some nice-looking vines or plant life to grow on the pool fence. Yeah, not at all.
It may be nice to have living plant life growing next to the pool. And it would add to the privacy as vines will block up viewing into the pool as they fill in.
What plant life brings to a pool though is debris and bugs. And having spiders, bees, frogs, and bugs around while swimming is not fun and not worth the looks of natural plant life.
Some really enjoy having an above-ground pool fence
In this article, I have been mostly negative about pool fencing. And it’s true that many won’t like having one.
But many really love the extra privacy and safety that a pool fence gives them. If you’re not sure if you would like one or not, you can always try having one. If you don’t like it, you can always remove it. They are pretty easy to remove.