The need for a plan
Have you ever completed that home handyman project and later thought “I wish I had known that before I started”?
In order to avoid that awful feeling we have created a list of tips and design ideas to save you headaches and dollars, and help you achieve the most from your pool area.
Our outdoor spaces are a massive part of Australian culture and where we spend a great deal of our pleasure time, year round.
We know that summer means long days swimming, sunbaking and relaxing by the pool, and winter afternoons spent next to the outdoor chiminea reading a good book. However you do it, it’s crucial to plan your outdoor space to suit your lifestyle, all year round.
Things to consider
Your Pool area needs to allow plenty of space for the kids waterslide, the deck chairs for summer afternoon cocktails, the umbrella, accessing the skimmer box (not to mention the resuscitation area), but bear in mind your pool fence should allow for the cooler months when one does not necessary always want to walk through the pool area to get to that chiminea. Putting a great deal of thought into your fence design early on can have a great impact on many factors including functionality of your entertaining area, costs of both installation and materials and compliance to government regulations.
A few key factors should be planned very early in your project to avoid unwanted headaches and exorbitant costs. Below are some tips to get you started.
If you plan to Do-It-Yourself, please do your research. Familiarize yourself with government regulations, talk to your pool builder or certifier about your proposed plans, or speak to one of our staff who will help you make the right decisions
Think about your substrate, almost anything can be accomplished, but if poorly thought out it can be costly
Timber Decks not only look great but are a definite favourite these days for pool surrounds. Pool fences must be secured to the structural frame of the deck not the decking boards alone. Timber noggins need to be installed between bearers; we recommend structural pine or hardwood 140x45mm minimum, fixed with either galvanize batten screws or nails.
Fences cannot be mounted to the decking boards alone. This is simply not strong enough.
Semi-Frameless Gates on timber decks should hinge off existing structural posts or the House itself. Base Plated Posts just simply do not have the strength to carry the weight of a Gate constantly opening and closing over time.
Earthing posts and spigots
Certain metal objects that are installed within 1250mm of the waterline are required to be earthed. For further information on this please consult a qualified electrician.
Steps and climable objects
There are many objects near a pool fence that can be deemed climbable including:
- Boundary fence rails that are less than 900mm apart. This can be rectified by using timber slip rail that is sawn at 60 degrees
- Retaining walls
- Window sills
- Garden taps and external power points. Covers made from perspex can be purchased that are at 60 degrees thus eliminating the foot hold
- Steps onto decks
- Raised garden beds
- Plant branches in close proximity to your fence at less than 60 degrees
For further information see pool fencing regulations.
Your ground level is important and can affect your pool fence layout. You must ensure that your pool fence is a minimum of 1.2m high at all points. Should your ground height change, i.e. over a step or a garden bed, you may require custom panels of glass that can become quite expensive. Planning for this early on could devoid the need for this and reduce costs.
Pavers, laid onto cracker dust or sand, are not a suitable anchor for pool fences. Pavers should be lifted and foundations poured.
Core Drilling your posts or spigots into a concrete slab is not only the most secure means of installation, but can be cost and time effective.
If Core Drilling, do not use standard concrete to set the spigots or posts. It may shrink, thereby loosening the spigots with time. We recommend using a product called MP60, which is much stronger and not susceptible to shrinkage. It is available in store.