On the surface, DIY pool fencing projects sound pretty straightforward, especially with modern removable pool fencing. Many pool owners, unfortunately, find out after the fact that it is not as simple as they thought, costing them additional time and expense, or worse, they are left with a fence that isn’t as safe or secure as they intended. That being said, with the right tools and technique, other skilled pool owners have handily tackled the job. The question becomes: do the potential rewards of a DIY pool fence outweigh the significant risks?
A Pool Owner’s Responsibility
Swimming pools are infinite sources of fun and exercise, but they’re also dangerous. The number one cause of death for children 14 years of age and under, pools require a vigilant mix of supervision, security, and safety-consciousness. That’s why so many insurance carriers, homeowners associations, and governmental bodies set rules for pool safety under their jurisdiction, including pool fence requirements. These requirements specify not only the height of a pool fence but also standards for gates, gaps, materials, and other factors that could impact the effectiveness of the fence. These requirements hold true whether you use a professional pool fence installer or choose a DIY pool fence construction method.
Removable Swimming Pool Fence
Mesh removable pool fencing is fast becoming the fence of choice for pool owners. Made with a tear and UV-resistant fabric you can see through stretched between strong poles that are anchored into your deck or sleeves installed in the ground, it’s easy to maintain and use. The mesh material and small gaps help prevent climbing, while a self-closing and latching gate finishes out a secure perimeter around your pool.
While perfect for your average daily laps, the entire fence can be taken down in a reasonable amount of time and stored to allow more space for a supervised pool party, then once again erected when the festivities are over and it’s time to re-secure the pool. As a DIY pool fence option, the light weight of the materials and relatively low cost versus a traditional chain, wood, stone, or iron fencing panels make it an attractive choice.
Other Swimming Pool Safety Barriers
Fencing is not the only way to protect your pool area, as swimming pool safety nets and safety covers are also available. These are anchored to your deck and secured above the water’s surface when the pool is not in use. In some–but not all– jurisdictions, these are considered allowable replacements for pool fencing, leading some pool owners to decide a DIY pool fence is fine, even if they aren’t up to the task of installing one that would meet code, believing that it still offers some protection. An unsafe fence is an unsafe fence, whether it is your first line of defense or the only line of defense.
The Pros Of Putting In Your Own Fence
It Saves Money
Removable pool fence materials from reputable companies like All-Safe Pool are readily available. Lifeguard on Duty uses All-Safe’s ASTM-compliant materials because we believe they are the best on the market, and we want our neighbors to have the safest pools possible. The money you save, however, is entirely in labor costs. Your cost for materials from a reputable supplier will likely be the same as your professional installer gets, and potentially higher as they order in bulk.
There’s just something about standing around at a backyard pool party, hearing the compliments about your home’s pool area, and being able to say, “I did that!” For people who like to build and create with their hands, it can be one of the greatest joys in the world. When you DIY your pool fence, you control the process–beginning, middle, and end.
It May Save Time
We’ve all had to wait for the cable company. During a busy season with some overbooked installers, you may have to wait weeks to months for them to get to you. For those who are handy with tools and used to handling their own home improvements, this can seem interminable, especially for something as important as a pool fence they can DIY. If everything goes right, they may be able to have their fence built before a slow contractor gets back to them with a quote.
The Cons Of Going It Alone
Requires The Right Tools And Techniques
A professional installer has the right equipment and experience to ensure the job is done right the first time. While equipment can be bought, eating into any DIY pool fence cost savings, experience is hard-won from job-after-job installing removable pool fencing. Without one or the other, you could end up with a fence that is less safe, more prone to failure, and not up to code standards.
May Take More Time Or Money
While the cost of installing a DIY pool fence may be less than professional installation, the cost of re-installing it if there is a mishap drives the price up. For someone who lacks the experience, taking the time to do the job right may mean more time putting in the fence than a professional, who can have most fences installed in a matter of days. While some contractors do overbook or only work in an area on a rotating basis every few weeks, our local installers, who work in the same communities they live in, are positioned to be responsive and minimize wait times.
It’s All On You
While there is satisfaction in tackling a job on your own, there is also increased stress and risk. You have to not only educate yourself about proper techniques and code standards, but if adjustments are needed, they’re also up to you to do correctly. You have to ensure you’re getting materials you can count on from a reputable vendor. Whether it’s a city code officer or an insurance inspection, you’re the one who has to guarantee your own work and face any liability for the fence. A licensed, bonded, and insured professional who stands behind their work takes a lot of this load off your shoulders.
What if the anchor holes weren’t snug enough? What if I didn’t create enough tension on the fabric? What if it’s not tall enough? The “what-ifs” can keep you up at night, especially if someone is injured at your pool. An installation by an experienced pool safety professional lets you know the removable pool fence is installed and adjusted correctly, and in the case of repairs, help is only a phone call away.
Is DIY Pool Fence Worth It?
Now we come to the crux of the matter, and it’s a question each pool owner has to answer for themselves. It requires an honest look at your time, skillset, pool area, and finances. You also have to consider how well you deal with risk. For many pool owners, the fact is the peace of mind that comes from having a professionally installed swimming pool fence is a budget-friendly value.
As local pool fence installers, our crew is always “right down the street” when you need work done. Our installers do their best to work around your busy schedule with the right experience and tools to get the job done quickly and correctly. Estimates can be done in person or using satellite imagery from Google Earth to take measurements. This gives you actionable information to make the right decision for your pool, all without cost or obligation.
Once you’re ready to get started, we are too. Most of our fences are installed and protecting our customers’ friends, families, and pets in 7-10 days. Factoring in the time it takes to order and receive parts and tools, a DIY pool fence will take most pool owners a comparable amount of time. You can get started right now by filling out our contact form and requesting your free estimate or call you local installer during business hours, Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, at (916) 223-8841. Make safety a priority and schedule a quote with Lifeguard on Duty today.