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By law, most homes in America with an outdoor private swimming pool – whether in-ground or above-ground – are required to have a barrier. As costs of living spiral, increasing numbers of people are turning to DIY to save money. Creating your own DIY pool fence in aluminum is easy to do using premeasured and pre-drilled panels. Aluminum is an increasingly popular choice of material for pool fences as it is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and does not rust or oxidize, meaning it requires little more maintenance than a spray-down every so often. It also means that if you have aluminum fencing or driveway gates at your home, you can echo their style and create a harmonious aesthetic around your home. If you plan to take advantage of aluminum’s many plus points and want to make your own DIY pool fence, here’s what you need to know before you get started. 

Ensure you know your legal requirements

Swimming pool fence restrictions vary all over the country and even within the same city. It is absolutely essential to find out exactly what the requirements are where you live. Doing so will help to avoid timely and potentially costly adjustments at a later date if your pool fence is found not to comply with state rules and regulations. You can find this out by contacting your homeowner’s association, insurance carrier or your local building codes office. 

The BOCA codes

While the requirements do vary depending on your state, there are some general rules and regulations that most jurisdictions tend to adhere to. It is worth getting to know the Barriers and Fencing for Swimming Pools section of the BOCA National Building Code, published in May 1999. The basic requirements include:

– Barriers must be at least 48 inches high

– There must be spaces of less than four inches between pickets

– There must be less than four inches between the bottom of the panel and the ground

– Gates must be self-closing and locking

– A locking device with a release system 54 inches above the ground is required

– There must be 45 inches of free vertical space between the bottom rail and the next rail up

Check how the regulations differ where you are before beginning work on your DIY fence. Some areas will stick rigidly to these BOCA codes, while others follow them partially and some may not follow them at all.

Plan ahead

It is important to prepare well ahead of starting your DIY aluminum fencing. Make sure you measure several times to ensure accuracy. It is best to create a visual of your proposed fencing to guide your work.

Make sure your tool kit is stocked with everything you need

Nothing slows down a project more than not having the right tools on hand. Make sure your kit is fully stocked with everything you need before you start, including string or chalk, a tape measure, something for digging post holes, a spirit level, a hacksaw or electric saw, and a mallet.

Pool safety is extremely important, and making sure your pool has the correct barrier will help to keep your family, especially little ones, safe and secure.