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NZ Swimming Pool Fencing Solutions

Wed Nov. 3rd 2021

Swimming pool fencing can make or break a swimming pool design. If it is handled well, the finished result will not detract from your view of the pool or your outdoor living. Below are a few ideas, and tips for a stylish swimming pool fencing solution.

Basic Pool Fencing rules

The basic swimming pool fencing rules require a 1200mm minimum height barrier around the pool enclosure. There should be no protrusions or toe holds greater than 10mm (that would enable climbing) and no gaps greater than 100mm anywhere. Self-closing outward opening gates are also a basic requirement. The most common is to use a steel or glass fence but there are other forms of “barriers”, a few of which are mentioned below. Boundary fences can be used as pool fencing but have particular requirements.

Please refer to NZ Government rules for swimming pool fencing for a complete guide.

Glass Pool Fencing

A glass fence can be very expensive. It also can create quite a hard look with its fixings and reflectivity, so needs to be handled carefully.

It’s worth considering the following tips for glass pool fencing:

  • Plant at the base of the glass fence. Either a low hedge (300mm high) at the base, on one or both sides to hide the fixings. Then the glass becomes more like a window effect, no additional components. If you hedge both sides at the base, there is a bonus of less glass to clean. The pruning is a little tricky but there are some incredible, easy to use, small size clippers available making precise, restricted space clipping easier
  • Use glass for a portion only of the fencing where your views are the most important. It looks odd to change from glass to another material, so if you plant a hedge to grow through the bars of a metal fence, all you see is glass and hedge
  • Create a window of glass at the end of the pool to create a connection with other parts of the garden

Steel Pool Fencing

Steel fences are less expensive than glass, although a custom-made fence is still about ¾ the price of glass. Steel can be quite a hard element but with hedging at the base the fences will be softened and less imposing. Strong architectural steel blade fences are popular at the moment. However, be aware that from some angles the view through the fence will be totally blocked as the blades line up.

  • Only use black powder coating colours if you want views of your pool. Light colours will reflect light and restrict views more
  • Pool fencing rules allow a horizontal bar or climbing points as long as it’s no lower than 900mm. Above the 900mm mark you can use decorative patterns with no greater than 100mm gap. Alternatively at 1100mm, stop the verticals and have two horizontal rails. This makes the pool fence look lower

Retaining as Fencing

If your pool is raised or on a slope, there are a few clever ways of using the height difference to negate the effects of pool fencing.

  • Use the slope at the back of the pool to hide the fence, sloping the ground away and planting it out so you can’t see the pool fence. Plan it so that your view will be right over the top of the fence
  • Build an unclimbable retaining wall, less than one metre with an extension of 200mm to get the full 1200mm. This may be behind the pool or part of your garden contours
  • Use the pool wall itself as fencing. Make the wall to be an attractive addition to the garden either as a weir edge of an infinity pool or just as an attractive plastered or feature wall. These walls need a beveled edge so they can’t be stood on to avoid a balustrade. Please refer to the note below.

Note: There is a rule that if a drop is more than 1 metre then a handrail will be needed, (negating the benefits of the removing the swimming pool fencing fencing by retaining). Ideally Make the retaining wall exterior itself 1200mm high but the actual soil level at 900mm with 3-400mm high planting and you will be able to look out over a lovely low green ground cover behind your pool rather than a fence.

If you need help with your pool fencing then please do not hesitate to contact us, we’d be only too happy to help!

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