How to Build a Swimming Pool Fence

Having your own swimming pool can seem like the perfect scenario on those hot summer days. But swimming pools can also be dangerous to have on your property. Erecting a fence around your swimming pool not only protects small children and pets in your home or neighborhood, but can also keep unwanted guests out. Many pool manufacturers sell a variety of metal mesh fencing, which can be installed for you. But if you want a simple wooden pool fence, you can easily build your own.

  • Measuring tape
  • Wood stakes
  • String
  • Wood slats
  • Posts
  • 2x4s
  • Post hole digger
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Paint or wood stain
Measure the area you want to enclose. Give yourself some space around your pool. If you would like the fence to be perfectly equidistant around the pool, you can measure out from the edges of the pool and place markers. Mark the perimeter by setting a stake at each corner. Tie a string around the first stake and walk it around the perimeter, attaching it to each stake. You will have the basic outline of where your fence will be.

Determine how much material you need. If you want to put up 40 feet of fencing around your pool and you will be using 6-inch wide wood slats and 6-inch wide posts, you will need 80 slats, minus the number of posts you are using. You will need at least four posts for each corner of your perimeter and eight 2-by-4s, two for each side of your fence.

Build a trench for your posts at each corner of your perimeter. To ensure sturdiness, bury at least 1/3 of each post. If you want a 6-foot fence, each post should be at least 9 feet in length with 3 feet going underground. This can be done with a shovel, but a post hole digger makes it easier and leaves more of the surrounding earth intact, giving you a sturdier foundation.

Bury the bottom of your posts. Stick 1/3 of the post into the hole and pack the dirt firmly around it. You can add concrete to secure the post or just use the dirt that is already available. If you are in a high-wind area or a tornado zone, you may want to consider a concrete base to keep your post in the ground.

Attach two 2-by-4s between the two posts on each side of the perimeter. One 2-by-4 should be 1 to 1 ½ feet down from the top of the posts and the other should be 1 to 1 ½ feet from the bottom of the posts. This will give you a very basic frame.

Attach the wood slats to the frame. Hold each slat in place and nail it to both 2-by-4s. For total privacy, place the each slat flush against the one beside it. Don't leave a lot of space at the bottom of your fence. If you have too much of a gap between the bottom of your fence and the ground, small pets and children may be able to crawl in.

Paint or stain your fence. Your fence can be left in its natural state, but it won't last as long. At least staining your fence will help protect it from the elements.

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