Photo: Home with ornamental aluminum fencing


Let’s face it, having a swimming pool in your backyard makes life a lot more fun.  After a hard day of work, there’s nothing more refreshing than coming home and taking a quick splash in the pool to start off your evening.  If you have kids, it’s a way for them to get some exercise while they’re on summer vacation; it’s also a great way for adults to exercise as well.  Owning a pool affords you a great way to connect with neighbors and friends as almost everyone enjoys a good cookout that turns into a pool party.

However, swimming pools can also put your family at risk when you don’t take the proper precautions.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC), each year thousands of American families deal with pool tragedies—drownings and near-drownings of young children. The CPSC estimates that each year there are 300 children under five years old who drown in swimming pools and that emergency rooms administer treatment for more than 2,000 children a year under the age of five who were submerged in residential pools.


Before you build a pool or if you happen to own one, make sure you know everything about your liabilities for pool ownership.  A great place to start is the CSPC website, which offers a great booklet you can download that explains the importance of creating barriers near any entry to the pool – even from within the house. It also offers tips on how to prevent a child from getting through a pool barrier that every parent needs to know.  If you own pets, this information is just as valuable as some small animals can also drown if they accidentally fall into a pool.


Pool Fence Regulations To Follow

Every state and local government has its own set of guidelines that all consumers and businesses must follow if a pool exists on the property.  Check with your local authorities to see what is required in your area’s building code or in other regulations.  Below are some of the most important pool regulations you need to follow as a necessary precaution for protecting your children, pets, and your property.  Here is what the CSPC recommends:

  • The top of your pool fence should be at least 48 inches above the surface measured on the side of the barrier, which faces away from the swimming pool.  Some states and counties mandate a pool fence be a minimum of 60 inches tall.
  • The maximum vertical clearance between the surface and the bottom of the pool fence should be 4 inches measured on the side of the fence which faces away from the swimming pool. In the case of a non-solid surface, grass or pebbles, the distance should be reduced to 2 inches, and 1 inch for removable mesh fences.
  • Where the top of the pool structure is above grade or surface, such as an above ground pool, the fence may be at ground level, such as the pool structure, or mounted on top of the pool structure.
  • Openings in your pool fence should not allow passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere.
  • When your fence is composed of horizontal and vertical rails and the distance between the bottom and top horizontal rails is less than 45 inches, the horizontal rails should be located on the swimming pool side of the fence.
  • Spacing between vertical rails should not exceed 1¾ inches in width. Where there are decorative cutouts, spacing within the cutouts should not exceed 1¾ inches in width.
  • Maximum mesh size for chain link fences should not exceed 1¼ inch square unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom, which reduce the openings to no more than 1¾ inches.
  • When you have a fence composed of diagonal rails (such as a lattice fence), the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members should be no more than 1¾ inches.
  • Pool fence gates should be equipped with a locking device. Your pedestrian access gates should open outward, away from the pool, and should be self-closing and have a self-latching device.
  • Pool fence gates other than pedestrian access gates should have a self-latching device.  When you have a latching device located less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism should be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches below the top of the gate and the gate and fence should have no opening greater than ½ inch within 18 inches of the release mechanism.
  • If your home serves as part of the barrier, you also need to make sure all doors with direct access to the pool are equipped with an alarm that produces an audible warning when the door and its screen, if present, are opened.

Ready for Your Own Pool Fence?

Ready to get started on a pool fence for your property so you can be compliant with local pool codes?  Call us today 1-855-469-5421

Aluminum Fence

What to Consider When Replacing an Existing Fence

Depending upon the type of materials used or their age, sometimes a homeowner needs to replace a fence.  Wood fences, in particular, can last a long time; yet unlike vinyl or aluminum, wood fences may eventually require replacement after decades’ worth of service.In some cases, there’s a need to replace a fence when it’s not properly installed or inferior materials are used to build the original fence.

Sometimes there’s also a need to replace a fence due to weather activity—in recent years we’ve seen some fences get destroyed by high winds during thunderstorms or when hurricanes pass through.

But no matter the situation, when it’s time to replace a fence, there are some important things to think about:

Property Considerations Before You Replace a Fence

Check Your Local Zoning Laws

Perhaps the most important thing to consider before replacing a fence is to check your local zoning laws to see if you need a permit to replace an existing fence.  Even if you plan to use the same materials and replace the fence with the exact same height; you may still need to get a permit prior to installation.  The biggest mistake homeowners often make is replacing a fence without checking their local jurisdiction and end up spending a fortune in fees due to incorrect assumptions.  The same is true for those homeowners who need to adhere to guidelines from their local Homeowner’s Association (HOA)—always look at your guidelines to see if you need to get written approval before replacing a fence.

When you replace a fence, it’s also a good time to see if the existing fence is set on your property line. Sometimes a fence gets installed that falls short of your property line so a good time to correct that is when you install a replacement fence.  Likewise, if you find out that your current fence goes beyond your property line, a good time to rectify that situation is when you get a new fence installed.

Call Utilities Before You Replace a Fence

Even though you plan to replace a fence in the exact same spot as before, always call Miss Utility before you dig!  You never want to run the risk of hitting pipes or wires underground, even if your fence posts will go in the exact same area as before.  We’ve seen homeowners who are not the original owners make this mistake several times—they attempt to replace a fence on their own and run into big problems when they dig a new post hole that goes a few inches deeper than the original ones.  Trust me, this is a problem you don’t want to have!

Purchasing Considerations Before You Replace a Fence

Material Considerations

When there’s a need to replace a fence, we encourage you to look at the materials of your original fence, especially if you need to replace a wood fence due to rotting.  Make sure you find out the type of wood used.  As we’ve said before, not all grades and types of wood are created equal.  If your goal is to replace your fence just once and never have to worry about it again, you may want to explore a higher grade of material such as ornamental aluminum.

Think Long Term When You Replace a Fence

When you need to replace a fence, it’s a good time to ask why you need the replacement fence in the first place.  Sometimes when you buy a home with an existing fence, the original homeowner had a set of needs that may not match your present ones.  For example, if you need to replace a three-foot tall picket fence and you now plan to have children and pets, you may want to replace that fence with something taller and a bit sturdier to protect your children and keep your animals safe inside your yard.  Likewise, if you plan to install a pool in the yard, you may need to change where the fence goes based on local pool code.

Ready to Replace Your Fence?Have an existing fence that needs replacing?  Call us today 1-855-469-5421!