Pools and fences are like Sasquatch and The Smokies…
If you have ever had or built a pool, then you are likely familiar that with every pool, there comes a fence. In the same way, when you travel just north of Atlanta, Ga and into the Appalachian Mountain foothills, you may have an encounter with Sasquatch.
When it comes to pools, municipalities, and local governments the International Building Codes are to be followed and are enforced which regulate pools and it's "barriers".
What are the rules for pool fence?
Well… it depends. For the State of Ga you fence must be 4’ tall, non-climbable, have self closing hinges and automatic, self locking latches. The code gets more detailed and can be found below.
(11) Barriers. All outdoor swimming pools and spas shall be enclosed by a barrier to prevent entry to the pool area when the pool is closed.
(a) The top of the barrier shall be at least forty eight inches above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool.
1. The maximum vertical clearance between a solid surface and the bottom of the barrier shall be four inches measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool.
2. For non-solid surfaces, the vertical clearance between the bottom of the barrier and the grade shall not exceed two inches for a barrier constructed after adoption of the chapter.
3. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, the barrier may be at ground level, such as the pool structure.
4. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be four inches.
(b) Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a four inch diameter sphere.
(c) Solid barriers which do not have openings such as a masonry or stone wall, shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.
(d) Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than forty-five inches, the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed one and three-fourth inches in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed one and three-fourth inches in width. 86 Rule .18(11)
(e) Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is forty-five inches or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed four inches. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed one and three-fourth inches in width.
(f) Maximum size for chain link fences shall be one and three-fourth inches unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to no more than one and three-fourth inches.
(g) Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, such as a lattice fence, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall be no more than one and three-fourth inches.
(h) Access gates shall also comply with the requirements of this Rule and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Barrier gates shall open away from the pool in facilities constructed after adoption of this chapter. Pedestrian access gates shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall have a self-latching device. Where the release mechanism of the selflatching device is located less than fifty-four inches from the bottom of the gate,
1. The release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least three inches below the top of the gate and
2. Any openings in the gate or barrier located within eighteen inches of the release mechanism shall be less than one-half inch.
3. Mechanisms controlled by an access card reader, key entry device or keypad shall be located on the outside of the access gate.
(i) There shall not be direct access from any dwelling into the pool enclosure. For indoor pools, other means of protection, such as self-closing doors with self-latching devices, Swimming Pools, Spas and Recreational Water Parks Chapter 511-3-5 87 Rule .18(11)(i) keypads, card readers or key entry devices which are approved by the appropriate administrative authority, shall be accepted so long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection of an outdoor facility.
(j) Barriers shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb the barriers. There shall be a clear zone of not less than thirty-six inches around the exterior of the barrier.
(k) A spa with a safety cover that complies with ASTM F1346, “Performance Specification for Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs” shall be exempt from the provisions of this section. Swimming pools with safety covers shall not be exempt from the provisions of this rule.
(l) Windows on a building that form part of a barrier around a pool shall have a maximum opening width not to exceed four inches. If designed to be opened, windows shall also be provided with a non-removable screen.
(m) For a passage through a wall separating the indoor portion of a pool from an outdoor portion of the same pool, the overhead clearance of the passage to the pool floor shall be at least six feet eight inches to any solid structure overhead.
Individual municipalities may require stricter or more stringent requirements than the state's code itself.
When do we build the fence in the pool installation process?
Well… that depends as well. This will likely be a conversation with the project manager who is installing your pool. There are many variables to pool installations. Terrain, pool deck, retaining walls, etc… so each situation is unique in it’s own self.
How does the No-Dig fence installation affect our timing?
Here at Freedom Fencing of Ga we offer a no-dig fence installation. This can be utilized to your advantage. We have had clients wait until after the pool deck was installed. And the fence was one of the last things to be installed. We have had other clients opt to have our fence posts installed prior to the pool deck installation to prevent having to drill through their retaining wall or disassemble their new concrete or paver patio.
Here is an example of a situation that he client considered having the aluminum I-beams installed prior to the pool deck pavers being installed.
In this situation, we were contacted after the retaining wall was installed, however prior to the pavers going down. The plan was for the pavers to be placed up against the retaining wall itself not allowing for any space for the fence to be installed. The client initially mentioned attaching the fence to the retaining wall itself. A costly process. We proposed being able to install the i-beams prior to the installation of the pavers and we could then return and finish the installation of his aluminum fence after the pavers were installed.
This client reached out to us looking for our no-dig fence installation method specifically. With the pool itself, pool deck, and retaining wall in place, he was hoping our no-dig installation would preserve the work already performed while also providing him the fence required.
Being provided only 12 inches to install the fence, and one section having an existing drain pipe in place to control water runoff, our aluminum no-dig fence was the perfect solution. Only needing 2 square inches of space to drive our posts, we were able to install the required fence to allow for the final inspection to be completed and the pool to be enjoyed for the upcoming warm weather.
Where are you with your pool?
Whether you're still dreaming of your new pool or you are in a time crunch to have a fence installed to be ready for your final inspection, we are here to assist.
Give us a call today to discuss your project and we would be happy to provide you with a stronger, longer lasting, more easily repaired fence for your pool and landscape.