By Stefanie Waldek published
If you're looking for pool fence ideas, chances are you’ve already decided to build a pool in your backyard—that’s great! You’ll now have summer fun for years to come. But before you call up your contractor to start digging, you should think about what kind of pool fence you want to install too.
Many towns across the United States have codes that mandate the installation of fences around residential pools for safety, typically to prevent anyone from accidentally falling in and drowning. While these codes will change slightly from town to town, they usually specify details for your backyard pool ideas, such as the height of the fence, the distance of the fence from the edge of the pool, and the size of any gaps in the fence. The codes might also stipulate that your fence shouldn’t be climbable. You don’t want your kids to be able to get in unattended, for example.
While you should absolutely check out your municipality’s specific codes before you proceed with your pool fence ideas, you can also start perusing different styles of fencing to get an idea of what you might like to install. We’ve listed our favorite pool fence ideas here, from sleek and modern designs to more classic, rustic ones. Take a look to see what works best for your space.
1. Choose stone for a nature-inspired look
Fences don’t always have to be a series of posts. You could opt for more natural-looking backyard landscaping ideas by building a stone wall.
We love the color and texture variation in mixing and matching different types of stone as shown here—the stone wall provides quite a pleasing resort-like aesthetic to a backyard area. You'll always feel like you're on vacation in an exotic location if you opt for this look.
2. Ensure privacy with vertical boards
Vertical board garden fence ideas are a perennial favorite among pool owners whose backyards might abut other properties. Whether they’re made from real wood or faux (vinyl can look very convincing these days, and it’s low-maintenance), vertical board fences add quite a bit of privacy. You can also customize the design in terms of colors, spacing, and even form to give it a little extra flourish.
You can find more garden privacy ideas in our guide.
3. Go rustic with a post and rail fence
There’s nothing more rustic than a rough-hewn post-and-rail fence, which is great for countryside retreats. But there’s a bit of a catch here—since it’s easy for someone to scale this kind of fence or climb underneath it, you’ll likely have to incorporate additional fencing to ensure it’s up to code. In this case, subtle wiring fills the gaps.
4. Splurge on contemporary glass
If you don’t want your sightlines and the view of your backyard ideas to be impeded at all, consider glass fencing. 'Although it is one of the most expensive options, a tempered glass fence is durable and impact-resistant, and it offers a climb-proof design,' says Christina Miguelez, a remodeling specialist with Fixr.
But don’t worry, there’s a more budget-friendly option if you're searching for cheap garden ideas and this is the look you want. 'Another impact-resistant and climb-proof option is a plexiglass or Lexan fence,' says Miguelez. 'These types of fences look like glass and cost half the price of a tempered glass fence. However, it can get scratched and stained over time.'
5. Opt for metal materials
Metal pool fencing ideas are a classic, and for good reason. It’s very customizable to meet different codes, not to mention extremely durable. Steel fencing is the heavyweight champion—it’s definitely the toughest material, and if it’s galvanized, it’ll stand up well to the elements. But aluminum is a popular choice, too, as it’s very lightweight also impervious to corrosion (and it’s recyclable!).
6. Conquer building codes with concrete
Concrete might not be for everyone, but it is an option when it comes to pool fencing ideas, or rather, pool walls. Cinderblock is an easy DIY option, but for a more elegant look—one that has European vibes—opt for a smoother finish. Since concrete walls aren’t easily scalable, they’re a very safe option for your backyard.
There's more inspiration in our garden wall ideas feature.
7. Lay some bricks
While brick walls might be a somewhat commonplace sight within residential architecture at large, they’re not as often used for pool fencing—but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be. The material is relatively low-maintenance, though you’ll have to check for structural integrity over time.
A more traditional brick wall would work perfectly if you have a Colonial-style or Federal-style house.
8. Go faux with vinyl
Vinyl fencing comes in a wide variety of styles. Many times it’s designed to emulate wood—a higher budget will get you a more realistic look—and it can take forms from vertical boards to picket fences. While the material can cost more than wood upfront, it’s a lot lower maintenance and typically has a longer lifespan due to its durability, meaning it’ll cost less in the long run.
Why not opt for a similar material for your decking ideas to create a uniform look in your backyard?
9. Mesh it up
We’ll admit it—mesh fences aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing option for your pool fence ideas, nor are they the longest lasting. However, they’re particularly safe for children, as they’re impossible to climb and soft for any accidental bumps while playing in the yard. And they’re pretty affordable! Just make sure they’re properly installed for maximum safety.
10. Use plants as a disguise
While plants themselves probably don’t count as pool fence ideas when it comes to building codes or regulations, you can still use them to disguise other types of fences.
Keep things manicured with a hedge, private with a row of evergreen trees, or jungle-inspired with climbing vines on trellises.
Head over to our guide to the best fast-growing hedges if you want a new garden boundary to grow quickly, or check out our climbing plant support ideas for ways to encourage your plants to grow up and over a trellis or fence.
11. Enclose your pool area with a screen
Floridians have this style down pat—screened-in pool enclosures are extremely popular in the Sunshine State. And they’re onto something!
While they work for adhering to building codes, they also serve the very practical purpose of keeping pests like mosquitos out, as well as debris like leaves. Plus, they provide a bit of a respite from the sun’s harsh rays. But on the negative side, there’s a reason they’re called 'pool cages', which might not be the vibe you’re seeking.
12. Go natural with rustic materials
Want a softer the look for your pool fence ideas? We love the natural vibe of this willow-style screening surrounding this backyard pool. It creates a sense of privacy without dominating the space as it lets some natural light pass through. It also complements the natural wood deck surrounding the pool.
What's the safest option for pool fence ideas?
Thanks to building codes, pretty much all types of pool fencing ideas should be safe. The bottom line: you want to ensure that your fence is not able to be climbed or squeezed through. But if we had to name one, it’d probably be mesh. 'Mesh fence is the safest option for a pool fence as it’s a soft, kid-friendly material, and it’s difficult to climb,' says landscape designer Bryan McKenzie, who runs the Bumper Crop Times blog with his wife.
What are low-maintenance types of pool fencing?
Opt for aluminum, mesh, or vinyl fencing for the easiest care—just hose them down and go. 'All these materials require minimal maintenance,' says Bryan McKenzie. 'Poor quality mesh can get rusty, though, so be picky while choosing the panels.' Generally, treated wood fences can be low-maintenance, but they occasionally might need some repairs due to weathering.
How much should you budget for pool fence ideas?
It all comes down to the material, style, and size of your fence. 'You can expect an average range of $3,000 to $10,000,' says Christina Miguelez, a remodeling specialist with Fixr. 'The national average cost is $6,500 for a metal fence. A mesh fence can cost as little as $2,000 whilst a glass fence tops the cost range at $15,500.'
Fencing is often broken down by per-foot pricing, so keep that in mind as you decide how much of your pool area you’d like to fence in. And don’t forget the installation fees—contractors charge more for fences that are more difficult to install, like steel fences, which are very heavy.
Thinking of including the latest pool house ideas in your backyard pool plans too? Head over to our guide for all the inspiration you'll need.
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