In Australia, it’s a legal requirement to have fencing around every swimming pool that is at least 30cm deep. While you don’t have a choice on whether or not you’ll install fencing, you do have a choice on what type of fencing you get.
There are plenty of different materials that you can choose from like glass balustrades, aluminium and even timber. Each of them have their own pros and cons. To fulfill your aesthetic vision while staying within your budget, you need to understand the different options on the table. Additionally, you need to think about local regulations, practicalities and the limitations of your property.
To help you choose the right pool fencing material, we’ve listed the key factors that you need to consider.
Of course, the first thing that you need to familiarise yourself with are the common materials used for pool fencing. The most common pool fencing materials are PVC, aluminum and glass. Aluminium provides more sturdiness and longevity. Arguably the best option out of all of these materials is glass. Most homeowners want to be able to see their pool and not have anything obstructing their view. With toughened glass fencing, you get both security and aesthetic appeal. As one would expect, glass is the most expensive material among the three options.
Next, think about the amount of money you’re willing to spend. Are you willing to pay extra for frameless glass or are you content with aluminium fencing obstructing your view? Think about the different price points and see how each product suits your practical requirements and aesthetic preferences.
Another thing to consider are maintenance costs. For example, aluminium fencing is stronger and generally lasts longer than PVC fencing. So, although PVC might cost less upfront, it’s shorter lifespan might require you to pay for more repairs and replacements.
The installation process is another issue of its own. Most companies charge you based on the difficulty of the installation job as well as the amount of material to be handled. PVC fencing is typically the easiest material to install and therefore the cheapest. On the other hand, heavy glass is a bit trickier to handle and, as such, it’s generally going to cost you more.
While it is possible to install the fencing yourself, we don’t recommend it. Having an untrained person install your fencing could lead to safety issues and therefore legal trouble.
Before you start building, make sure you know and understand the safety standards set by the Australian Government. Here are the general safety standards all that pool fences in Australia must adhere to. Pool fences must:
- Be at least 1.2m high with, at most, a 100mm ground clearance
- Not have gaps that a child or toddler can fit through
- Not have climbable features
- Be rigid enough so that children cannot force themselves through it
- Be strong enough to withstand strong winds and other external forces
Depending on the state you’re in, your local council might have additional requirements as well. In Victoria, it is mandatory to register your pool with the relevant council. Additionally, homeowners need to have their safety fencing inspected and lodge a certificate of barrier compliance.
Please check official pages for more information.
You can also customise the dimensions of your fencing, given that it meets all the requirements above.
For example, for glass balustrades, the width of each panel can be adjusted. You might do this for ease of handling or just for aesthetic purposes. The thickness of the glass also varies. Generally speaking, most homeowners have the main glass panels at 12mm of thickness, while the gates are at 8mm.
For aluminum and PVC fencing, you can adjust the width of the gaps as well as the height of the fencing itself. You might want to have a higher fence if you require a bit more privacy. On the other hand, you can leave it to the 1.2m minimum so that you can get as much of the Australian sun as possible.
Lastly, think about your outdoor design. Depending on the layout of your backyard, one material might suit your home decor more than others.
If you have a minimalistic space, it might be best to purchase glass fencing. It will allow you to simplify the aesthetics of your outdoor area while maximizing the amount of sunlight that enters your pool area. If you have a more rustic and private outdoor space, aluminum and PVC might be more suitable.
Many homeowners dream of having a pool in their residential property. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren’t aware that there’s a lot of planning that goes into installing one. If you don’t plan properly, your dream pool might become a swamp of financial and legal nightmares. To avoid that, make sure you prepare everything carefully. Choosing the right pool fencing is a great place to start.