DIY aboveground pool fencing Enclosing your aboveground pool with a fence can be an extremely effective way to keep your pool safe for years to come. Various adapter kits and modular fence sections ensure that most sizes and types of aboveground pools can be accommodated. In the following guide I will outline the steps necessary to complete an installation of aboveground pool fencing.
The first two steps for installing an aboveground pool fence are as follows:
- Locate your skimmer, inspect all uprights, and anything else that may be attached to the side of your pool to ensure that it will not interfere with the pool fence installation.
- Obtain all the necessary tools, such as: Cordless or power drill with a Phillips head screwdriver, hand saw (fine tooth), tape measure, and safety glasses.
Always be careful with these tools and pool fence hardware around your pool. These items are sharp and can cause damage to your vinyl liner. Also, if using power tools, take all necessary precautions when working in close proximity to water.
Now, you are ready to install the fence mounting brackets for your new pool fence. Real easy, just screw them onto the uprights, around the pool. The most popular brands of pool fences all have different style brackets, so make sure to refer to the manufacturer’s fence installation instructions. Some brands of pool fencing require different maximum heights of the pools top rail relative to the bottom rail of the fencing. Usually, the bottom rail of your pool fence will sit 2 inches above your pool top rail. Once you have determined exactly where to place the brackets, you can then proceed around the entire pool and install the fence brackets with the same vertical distance from the top rail.
Aboveground pool fences are subject to specific assembly and installation procedures. ALWAYS read the full instructions prior to installation of your aboveground pool fencing.
Your next step will be to install the fence posts all the way around the pool, and once again - different brands will dictate exactly how their post is to be installed. Your kit will include end posts that will only accept rails on one side of the post. Be sure to locate these end posts at the start and end of the fencing. Allow at least ½” of horizontal distance between the outer edge of the top rail and the pool fence to ensure easy installation of a winter cover.
Now you can trim your pool fence rails. Measure the distance in between your mounting brackets and add 1” to 1 ¼” (depending on manufacturer) so that the rail extends into each post by at least 1/2". You will now measure again, (measure twice, cut once!) and then proceed to carefully cut the rail with a hacksaw. Although it should not be installed yet, the top rail of the fence can be cut along with the bottom to ensure that the top and bottom rails of your fence are the same length. Use a miter box, to ensure that your cuts through the rail are vertical, and use some emery cloth after cutting, to remove any sharp burrs. Continue section to section, repeating the careful measuring and cutting process.
Never cut more than one section at a time, because each distance between uprights can vary. Once your rails are cut you may install the bottom rail of the fence. When completing this step, ensure that the holes that hold your spindles are equal on each side to ensure a uniform appearance. Now, section by section, install each of the spindles and the top rails. Then, you can install the post caps. If needed, use adhesive to secure the post caps in place.
Once installed, your pool fence should not contain any gap larger than 4 inches. Upon completion, take a walk around the newly fenced in area and double check your work and the gap. Give it a few good shakes to make sure all posts and rails are secure. Now just clean up your tools, scraps, and trash; and get swimming! Your new aboveground pool fence will not only keep out small children and would-be intruders, but will also help contain most pool floats and toys.
Aboveground modular pool fences will comply with most state and local building codes, but always check with your local building and zoning department to ensure your new pool fence will be compliant. Whichever aboveground pool fence you choose will add a layer of protection for your pool, BUT there is no substitute to adult supervision in and around your pool area.
SPP Pool Expert