So, you have a pretty swimming pool and you’re starting to look at pool fence ideas. You may wonder which is best for you and what you should pick out. How do you ensure you get the protection you need without sacrificing the flow and look of your space?
If you’re asking these questions, we have the answers. Some of our 19 pool fence ideas are functional, others are beautiful and some are more expensive. We also have budget-friendly pool fence ideas on the list that allow you to get the protection you need without going broke. We’ll touch on average costs, maintenance, style and more below.
There are dozens of materials you can use for a pool fence, so it’s relatively easy to find something safe and inside your budget.
Basic Pool Safety Precautions
Owning a pool can bring your joy, but it’s also a big responsibility. If you have a pool in your yard, you’ll want to take time to familiarize yourself with the basic safety measures to ensure they’re always up to date.
First, you want to avoid swimming alone if you can help it. There will be times when you want to step outside and take a quick dip, but swimming alone also means no one is around to help you in an emergency. Tell someone if you plan on swimming solo, and never allow your children around the pool without supervision. Even a child who knows how to swim can quickly get into trouble once they get in the water. If your child is around the pool, keep an eye on them at all times and learn to recognize the signs of drowning.
Second, always be prepared to save someone. Make sure that you have the correct equipment on hand, like a flotation device and a safety hook. They should be easy to get to and accessible at all times. You should always keep a phone around when you swim. Keep it far enough away that water won’t damage it but close enough that you can reach it and call 911 in the event of an emergency. Also, if you own a pool, we strongly recommend that you take and keep your CPR certification current.
Finally, make sure that it’s not possible to access your pool accidentally. Even pets can drown if they fall into the pool and can’t get back out. Make sure there is some type of barrier, like a fence around the space.
Laws Surrounding Pool Fencing
Having a fence around your pool isn’t just a good idea, it’s required by law in many places around the country. Generally, there is a state law that requires you to have a fence around any swimming pool. It usually goes into great detail about how you should build this safety fence.
Generally, your fence will have to surround your pool on all sides. The wall of your home qualifies as one side of the fence, but this is only legal if you outfit a door to the outside with an alarm that lets you know when someone enters or exits the pool area from your home.
Your pool fence idea has to be a minimum of four feet tall, and any gaps between the bars or slats can be more than four inches to help prevent kids from squeezing through. A chain link safety fence can’t have openings that exceed 1 ¾-inches in diameter to prevent someone from climbing it. The lowest part of your fence can’t be higher than four inches from the ground.
Any gate you install on your pool fence has to open away from the pool, outwards, so that you can’t push it open from the outside. The gate must also come designed to close by itself and be self-latching. If the fence is taller than four feet, the latch must be higher than four feet. If the fence is only four feet high, the latch can’t be more than six inches from the top. You also can’t have any openings in the fence within 18 inches of your latch.
Pool Safety Fence – Added Benefits
The biggest benefit of installing a pool fence idea is that it stops anyone from accidentally wandering into the space, falling in, and drowning. While most people think of children as the main victims of accidental drowning, it can happen to any person. Someone who is intoxicated can accidentally fall in if they’re not aware that there is a pool in the yard, and it can be too late by the time someone finds them. Even an adult who is fully conscious can step backwards and accidentally fall in. Should they hit their head when they fall and go unconscious or get injured, they may not be able to get back out. Pets are also in danger. Even though most dogs know how to swim, they may not be able to find the stairs, get exhausted, and drown.
Along with preventing tragedies, a fence can be a great deterrent to keep unwanted guests out of the pool. If your backyard isn’t 100% fenced in, a pool can be inviting to a neighbor or even strangers. The last thing you want to do is come home from vacation or work and see someone in your pool. We’ve also seen issues with unwanted animal guests as wild animals have been drawn to the water. Raccoons, deer, and other wildlife can get stuck in the pool.
Finally, your pool fence idea is a great way to increase your privacy. It doesn’t have to be unstylish either. A fence that is well-designed and fits in with your overall home aesthetic can add beauty to your space and help you distinguish your pool. If you’re not comfortable with neighbors watching you swim, a solid privacy fence is a great option.
Each state or county may have different laws regarding pool fences, so make sure you check with your local authority to avoid fines down the road.
Enclosed Screen Fence
Enclosed screen fences are great for keeping your pool secure and everything else out. This pool fence idea is a nice medium between a fully fenced in outdoor pool and an indoor pool. The enclosed screen will act like a barrier between your backyard and the pool. This is a very popular choice in states with warmer climates where you can keep the pool open longer in the season than the standard summer months.
Gabion Pool Fence
A gabion wall may seem like an unusual pool fence idea, but if you picture a very strong retaining wall, it’s something to consider. These walls lend you the rustic stone look while making sure the stones stay in place between the metal wire netting that makes up the outside. These walls won’t fit well in every backyard design, but they’re great for homes that have steep drops leading down to a lower pool spot. Installing a gabion pool fence will help protect it from the landscape if it starts to slide down from above.
Glass Pool Fence
Glass pool fence ideas are very trendy for good reason. Most of these fences feature glass balustrades or thick sheets of safety glass that gets interspersed with metal posts to support the fence. The main advantage of glass fences is that they look very sleek and they give you a totally unobstructed view of your pool. However, glass pool fences can be more expensive to install, and it’s common for them to run between $90.00 to $200 per foot. Maintenance is also very demanding. While your maintenance won’t be structural upkeep, it’ll be a battle to keep the glass clean if you want it to be crystal clear.
Mesh Pool Fence
Noone will argue that a mesh pool fence idea is one of the most attractive options you have. It doesn’t lend the character that some wooden fences do, nor does it have the wow-factor glass brings. However, what it does do well is provide you with maximum visibility and safety without breaking your budget. It’s also one of the more versatile options because it comes in separate panels that you can configure to suit your needs. You can pay roughly $1,500 to set up this pool fence idea, but the price will depend on how many panels you need and the manufacturer.
Metal Pool Fence Ideas
If you’re interested in having a metal pool fence idea installed, you’re most likely going to look at aluminum, chain link or iron. In addition to being slightly more expensive than other options on the list, they’re very attractive while giving you a long-lasting safety barrier. You will have to keep up with the fence’s upkeep though, especially when it comes to preventing rust. If privacy is important, you may want to look for another material. Depending on your material, the price will fluctuate too. Aluminum will cost between $12.00 and $30.00 a square foot, iron between $30.00 and $300 per square foot, and chain link between $7.00 and $10.00 a square foot.
Black aluminum fencing is very popular when it comes to fencing in pools, particularly inground pools. They offer enough space between the bars to allow wind to blow through them, and they’re very easy to maintain and clean. Aluminum is also flexible, and this quality is why aluminum fences were so popular in landscape designs where the property wasn’t 100% flat. Even though the gap between the bars isn’t typically huge, the downfall of this type of fence is that the gaps can be just large enough for an animal to squeeze through.
Depending on your state and neighborhood, you may need to get special permission to build a taller fence. If this sounds like you, chain link is a nice pool fence idea to consider. It works well enough to protect your pool from curious pets and to keep your children at a safe distance. If you’re not in love with the gray, metallic sheen, you can upgrade the look to a black chain link fence to get a sleeker appeal.
Iron pool fence ideas are very similar to aluminum, and they come with similar qualities. Iron fences are long-lasting and strong, and they are very aesthetically cohesive with a huge range of landscapes. Iron can rust over time, and this may be a big deterrent for people who want a low-maintenance pool fence idea that won’t need replacing or updating in a few years.
Decorative metal fences are very popular, and they can last a long time under the right circumstances without a huge amount of upkeep.
Plant Pool Fence Ideas
Maybe the idea of having a living fence is intriguing for you, so you want to have plant pool fences. They can give you privacy, but they are more work to keep looking nice. Also, if you live in a climate that gets snow, you’ll have a bare fence for a part of the year.
You don’t have to choose between a fence and garden with this pool fence idea as it gives you the best of both worlds. You want to be strategic with the placement of your plants or new fence by installing one in front of the other. Over time, your climbing plants will take off and climb up your fence or wall, resulting in a green, lush protective barrier.
As long as the hedge is thick enough, it can make a great pool fence idea. A hedge pool fence is more luxurious, and it’s more than enough to keep animals and kids safe. Keep in mind that this choice will require a lot of ongoing maintenance from you to keep it looking nice, and you’ll need to trim it at least twice a year. Also, it can take a year or two for it to grow thick enough to actually obscure the view. If you buy seedlings, this can take years. Even if you purchase mature hedges or boxwoods, it will take roughly six months for them to fill in. However, a hedge fence can cost upwards of $200 a square foot, including labor. So, unless you plant it yourself, this is on the high end.
Trees are a nice way to increase the privacy around your pool. They can be very useful if you have neighbors who are at a higher elevation who can look down into your yard. You will still need some type of pool fence idea around the bottom of your trees to meet any local laws or regulations. For the highest amount of privacy, you should consider planting evergreen trees very close together. If you’re after a tropical feel, you can plant fruit or palm trees.
Just like with hedges, this pool fence idea will have upkeep to consider, especially if you have taller trees. They can increase your pool cleaning routine, and the cost of your trees will vary depending on the number you need and type you pick out. So, make sure to double-check with your local nursery to get a closer estimate.
Hedges or trees are very popular pool fence ideas, especially if you have a more high-end design in your yard or home.
Privacy Pool Fence Ideas
Privacy fences are wonderful if you have a problem with nosy neighbors and you’re serious about keeping both people and animals out of your space. You have the choice of several different mediums, and each comes with a different price point.
If stone walls don’t fit your aesthetic, you may want to consider brick. A solid brick wall will give you much more privacy around your pool area, and it can be easier to tie into your home’s decor. If you finished your home with a pretty red brick, adding a matching wall around the pool and tie both spaces together. You can also paint the brick to change the look. Generally, your brick wall will cost between $10.00 and $30.00 a square foot, but the price depends on the type of brick you choose. Keep in mind that brick may look stunning, but you’ll have limited style and color choices. You’ll also have to touch up the mortar when it starts to crumble.
A solid concrete wall running around your pool area offers a huge amount of privacy and it should last a lifetime. A lot of concrete walls stay bare, but you can change it. You can easily tile it, paint it, or cover it with a pretty mosaic. If this sounds like too much, you can break it up by adding a railing or metal fencing throughout the design. Concrete block walls are budget-friendly, and they typically run between $6.00 and $8.00 a square foot, but you’ll have to allocate part of your budget for tile, paint, or your finishing material.
A stone wall can be an amazing edition to your space while offering you a solid, full privacy fence. Stone fencing complements the other natural features in your yard too, like the trees and plants, and they make a very nice backdrop to waterfalls or fountains. However, you may have issues keeping it clean. The porous, rough surface will require a little more work to keep the dirt and dust off. You will usually pay between $9.00 and $30.00 a square foot, depending on whether you want natural stone or stone veneers.
Privacy fences are immensely popular around pools, especially if this is where your family spends a lot of time. You want to be away from prying eyes.
Vinyl Pool Fence
Vinyl pool fencing is a very popular pool fence idea, and it’s very easy to see why. It comes in at a fantastic price point, especially when you compare it to other pool fencing types. There are also a huge range of styles you can choose from, they’re easy to clean, and they’re very durable in the long run. Generally speaking, you’ll pay between $20.00 and $40.00 a square foot for it.
- HappyDIYHome Word of Caution – If you live in an area that has a lot of high winds, you may want to skip this as a pool fence idea. A lot of vinyl fence designs don’t have enough space between the panels, and this can make them more prone to wind damage.
Wood Pool Fence Ideas
Finally, a wood pool fence is very popular. The first thing you have to consider is what height you want it. Make sure to check with your state’s regulations as they will set clear guidelines about the maximum and minimum heights for this fence.
Bamboo Wood Fence
We’ve seen a huge increase in the popularity factor for bamboo pool fence ideas. Bamboom is one of the most inexpensive wood fence options, coming in at $15.00 to $25.00 per square foot. These are very stable and strong fences, and they are termite resistant. Thai durable and beautiful fencing can add a huge amount of personality to your outdoor space, especially if you want a more tropical theme. It’s something to consider if you want maximum privacy.
- HappyDIYHome Word of Caution – If you live in an area that sees frequent wildfires, bamboo may not be the best idea. It’s very quick to combust, and this can pose a great risk to your home if it starts to burn.
Checkerboard Wood Fence
If you want a nice breeze by your pool area, don’t stop at the fence’s top. Instead, consider installing a checkerboard wooden fence to give you optimal airflow and a better view. This pool fence style also happens to look very nice for pools around country-style homes.
Lattice Wood Fence
Lattice wood pool fence ideas offer a very traditional look that is cozy and quaint. This wooden fence style also allows you to get plenty of natural sunlight, but it may not meet the state requirements in some areas due to the gaps. You can expect to pay between $4.00 and $30.00 per square foot.
Painted Wood Fence
Typically, anyone who picks a painted wood fence is after a more traditional look. You don’t have to go with the classic white picket fence though. You can pick out the paint color that matches your home or decor scheme. Most wood pool fences will cost between $8.00 and $100 a square foot installed, depending on the wood type and size. You’ll have some maintenance and upkeep to consider too.
Raw Wood Fence
It’s hard to beat the charm of a raw wood fence, especially if you want that rustic look. Raw wood can come in many forms, and it can be raw in the sense that it hasn’t been treated or painted, or it may simply mean that it still has bark attached. While it is charming, these fences are prone to issues with splitting and cracking, and it may change colors over time.
Pool Fence Ideas FAQs
Since there are so many pool fence ideas out there, it’s common that people have questions about them. The biggest questions are below.
1. What is the average cost to fence in a pool?
The cost of buying and installing your fence will depend on the type of material you pick out. On average, most pool fence ideas fall into the price range of $1,000 to $10,000 and up. Mesh and chain link fences are the least expensive choices you have, while full glass will cost more. Having an above ground or inground pool will also factor into the cost.
2. What is the safest pool fence idea?
Which pool fence idea is the safest will depend on what you want to protect against. For example, if you’re concerned about pets or kids, a fence with gaps under or between the material isn’t a good idea as they could squeeze through. Mesh fence materials tend to reach the height requirements the laws outline, but they’re not durable. Solid fencing, like concrete, wood, or stone, have the best chances of protecting the surface area around your pool as long as they’re tall enough to discourage climbing over them.
3. Do you have to fence in your pool?
Every state has a set of regulations and laws regarding pool fences, and there are laws in place to protect the pool owners and swimmers. Before you install the pool, you’ll need to look into your local pool laws and ensure you’re following all of the legal requirements. Inground pools usually need to have a fence around the entire perimeter, but above ground pool rules are much less strict. However, it’s a good idea to always fence in the pool to keep everyone safe.
4. How tall should my pool fence be?
Again, the height regulations for your pool fence idea will vary by state. So, make a point to research the maximum and minimum heights. Even though every region differs, your fence usually has to be at least 4 or 4.5-feet high. If you’re not sure whether you need to fence in your pool or how high the fence should be, reach out to a pool enclosure expert to get solid answers and avoid a headache later on.
You now know 19 popular pool fence ideas, and you can take these ideas and decide if any of them are going to work well for your needs. Double-check any legal requirements in your state before you build and sit back and enjoy your safer, more private oasis.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.