There are safety standards for backyard pools, with most focusing on keeping the area safe for kids. Ideally a pool shouldn’t be filled with water until a surrounding fence with self-closing gate is installed. Before putting it up check with your council about boundary requirements.
Buying the fencing
Most pool fencing is made of coloured powder-coated aluminium, with vertical rails spaced no more than 100mm apart, and horizontal rails spaced at least 900mm apart. To calculate what to buy, mark out the site and indicate the posts with one at each change of direction. Specifications vary, but generally standards are 2450 x 1200mm-high panels, 1800 x 50 x 50mm posts, 2100 x 50 x 50mm gate latch post, and 975 x 1200mm gates. Each gate needs two self-closing hinges, safety latch and a 2100mm-high post. The panels need four panel brackets, two posts and post caps.
Excavate the post holes
Clear the area of foliage and run a stringline low to the ground, using a fence panel as a spacer to mark the post holes. Excavate 200mm diameter, 600mm-deep holes with a power auger.
Set the post heights
Set a stringline for the top of the posts, allowing up to 100mm under and 50mm above the panel, with the latch post extending 300mm above the gate. Position the posts, then fill the holes with concrete mix, sloping the surface for runoff.
Attach the fencing panels
Slide the panel brackets over the top and base rails, resting them on temporary blocks. Check the panels are level with a spirit level, then secure with self-drilling Tek screws.
Cut the panels
To change the direction of the fencing, angle-cut the panel rails using a small angle grinder with a cut-off wheel, then touch up the ends with spray paint.
Hang the gate
Attach the self-closing hinges to the outside of the gate, 80mm from the top horizontal rails and level with bottom horizontal rail using self-drilling Tek screws. Space the gate evenly, checking the level.
Attach the gate latch
Secure the latch to the gatepost at least 1500mm above ground level, closing the gate with it in position. Tap in post caps then test the gate to ensure it closes from any opened position, adjusting the spring on the hinges so it closes automatically.
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The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie