Installing a DIY Aluminum Pool Fence
A DIY aluminum swimming pool fence makes your pool area safer, protects your property, and looks great. You can save money by doing it yourself.
There are several good reasons to install an aluminum pool fence, and if you’re remotely handy, consider installing it yourself. An aluminum DIY pool fence looks great and can save you a lot of money. Aluminum is strong, and it’s much lighter than competing materials.
There is one more reason to secure your pool with aluminum fencing: it looks great! You can choose from a variety of fence styles, add ornamental touches if you like, and select from a number of colors and finishes.
Rules, Regulations and Safety
Your community might issue requirements for pool fences. Check with your local government before moving ahead with a pool fence. If you have a homeowners’ association, they might have something to say about this, especially when it comes to styles and colors.
Many communities follow the pool fence code issued by the Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA). The fence and gate for a pool must be 48” high or more. Horizontal rails must be 45” apart, and pickets should be spaced at intervals of less than 4”. The clearance between the bottom rail and the ground should be less than 4”. Gate latches must be high enough from the ground that children can’t reach them. BOCA code sets this at 54”. The code calls for self-closing, self-locking gates that open away from the pool.
For your self locking gate, you need to purchase a Magna Latch gate lock for its self-latching feature. The lock is high up, beyond the top of the fence, where it’s secure from small hands. The Magna Latch is key-lockable as well, and it remains locked even under force. You also need to install a self-closing gate hinge. This hinge is spring-loaded, and you can use it with both single and double gates. It’s easy to install and make an initial adjustment. This hinge won’t stain, sag or rust. You, or whomever is installing your gate, can decide on-site which way the gate swings.
Working with Aluminum Fence Panels
Aluminum is great for a DIY pool fence. Thanks to its light weight, it is easy to carry around and maneuver during installation. Aluminum is very strong. It doesn’t rust or corrode. Unlike some other materials, aluminum doesn’t require upkeep – just install it and forget it. Aluminum stands up well to temperature extremes, neither becoming brittle and breaking in cold weather nor suffering when it gets hot outside. For salty climates, it is recommended that you wash down the fence once a year with water from a hose.
Pool Fence Styles
Several fence styles are available for pools. Style 3 has a smooth top rail. It’s rackable for use on slopes or with stairs.
Style 9 has a smooth top and, at 54 inches in height, is the most popular pool fence/gate style. The pickets extend to the top rail. The bottom rail extends flush to the bottom of the pickets. This style can be customized with ornamental rings running under the top rail. This fence is rackable for slopes and stairs.
Style 10 also has a smooth top, with a bottom rail running flush to the bottom of the vertical pickets. This style is heavy rackable, which means you can use it for steeper slopes and even stairs.