Pool enclosures can be a great design feature to keep your pool safe and add some neat aesthetic to wherever you place your swimming pool.
Some pool owners don’t know how many regulations there are on pool enclosures. Many local cities and municipalities require fencing around residential pools, and a pool fence is just a good idea to have around anyways for safety. Complete enclosures can make your pool area even safer, though.
Here’s everything you need to know about pool enclosures, including all the different types, regulations, costs, and a whole lot more. Let’s get into it.
What Are Pool Enclosures?
A pool enclosure is a structure that surrounds the sides and top of a pool. Think of it as a protective bubble around your swimming pool.
Pool enclosures essentially appear like a transparent atrium that lets light into the area while keeping debris, rain, and trespassers out.
Pool enclosures typically include large side panels made of either glass or polycarbonate. These panels are held together by beams made of wood or metal. The metal used is usually high-grade aluminum alloy, a strong material that can withstand severe weather conditions.
Pool enclosures are used to protect the privacy of the pool area and ensure that the pool meets all necessary security requirements. They are also great for protecting a swimming pool from cold or stormy weather.
Types of Pool Enclosures
There are many designs to choose from when looking for a pool enclosure. Take a look at the different types below to determine which is the best option for your space.
- Dome roof: A dome roof is symmetrical on each side and will slope down, forming a rounded semi-circle.
- Hip roof: Hip-style roofs are sloped on all sides, leading to a peak at the top of the roof.
- Gable roof: One of the more popular options due to its attractive design. A gable roof slants on two sides, forming a triangular front and back shape.
- Mansard roof: All sides are slanted similar to the hip style, but with mansard roofs, the top has a small flat part instead of creating a point.
- Slope roof: Not the most aesthetically pleasing design. A sloping roof is popular because of its practical use. The sloped roof allows for rainwater to easily slide off.
- Standard screen rooms: Although it does not necessarily prolong the swimming season, screen mesh is by far the most affordable option. It will also keep out debris, insects, or other unwanted things from entering the pool area.
- Two-story enclosures: A more luxurious option if you have a 2nd story deck or high diving board that you also want to include in the enclosure. Many two-story enclosures are made of glass and will cover parts of the house as well, making for excellent all-year access to the pool.
Pool Enclosure Regulations in Your Area
Most residential neighborhoods will require you to have a barrier, fence, or pool enclosure around your pool for security reasons. Without an enclosure or fence that meets specific regulations, homeowners could face a fine.
Typically, portable and inflatable pools will not require an enclosure. However, check with your local authorities to see if you must enclose a portable swimming pool in your yard.
To find out more about your local requirements and the regulations for pool enclosures, visit the website of your municipal government. You can also contact a pool enclosure expert who will be up to date on the local regulations and enclosure requirements.
Benefits of Pool Enclosures
While a pool enclosure may not be a legal requirement or a necessity where you live, there are also other benefits to enclosing your pool area.
Safety and Security
I highly recommend a pool enclosure for families with young kids and pets.
You may think that a fence is sufficient for keeping children away from your pool area unsupervised, but kids can always find a way to climb over. A pool enclosure with a lock on the door will ensure the safety of everyone around and keep swimmers out.
Another good tip is to add a pool alarm, which gives you peace of mind knowing that your pool is not a danger to any curious kids or pets.
A pool enclosure can offer a little privacy for personal pool use. If your enclosure is made of glass, consider hanging drawstring curtains, horizontal blinds, or tinted stickers to the windows to keep out of view from peeping neighbors.
Many homeowners living in suburban areas use stained glass for their pool enclosures. In my opinion, this added privacy adds a great deal to the swimming experience.
What if I told you that you could extend your pool usage by a few months every year? With a pool enclosure, you can get plenty of use from the pool beginning in early spring and right into late fall. This is because of the insulating effects of the enclosure.
A pool enclosure may provide total year-round swimming for homeowners living in milder climates. Investing in a heat pump could even allow you to be swimming in the middle of winter.
Aesthetics and Value
There are many designs to choose from when looking for a pool enclosure, making it easy to match one to the design of your house. In fact, a beautiful glass enclosure can elevate the value of your property and up the aesthetics of your yard. If you’re considering selling in the future, investing in a pool enclosure may be a good idea to raise your property valuation.
Protect the Pool Area from Debris
Pool enclosures also increase the longevity of the pool. A well-built enclosure can protect the pool area from damage. Even a cheaper screened-in build will block dirt, leaves, and trash from blowing into the water.
During autumn, an enclosure will also save homeowners a lot of time fishing leaves from the water and cleaning out the drains.
Pool Enclosure Cost
The cost of a pool enclosure will vary depending on the size of the pool and the area around the pool. The price is also affected by the quality of materials used and the enclosure’s design. Of course, I suggest going with higher quality beams and glass to ensure your enclosure lasts and maybe even outlasts the pool itself.
While the design and installation of a pool enclosure is a more significant initial investment, many homeowners find that the enclosure saves them money in the long run. Besides upping your property value, an enclosure saves money in maintenance and water costs.
How does it do that? A pool enclosure can save money by reducing evaporation that naturally occurs. The reduction will likely save you money in the long run. You can check out my guide on how much pool water you lose to evaporation for more on that subject.
Here is a cost breakdown for different types of enclosures:
Screen enclosures are the cheapest option. They go for about $4000 total on the low end and up to $15000 total on the high end. And they run about $5 to $15 per square foot.
Polycarbonate enclosures run at about $8000 on the low end and up to $30000 on the high end. You should budget around $15-$45 per square foot.
Glass enclosures are one of the more expensive options and the most durable and insulating. Expect to pay $15000-$50000 for them or $30-$65 per square foot.
Retractable pool enclosure: A retractable pool cover will be an extra expense added to a glass or polycarbonate enclosure. The price range will be $20-$200 per square meter. The vast range in price is based on whether it is automatic or manual and whether the enclosure retracts telescopically or not.
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There are so many benefits to installing a high-quality pool enclosure on your property. A pool enclosure helps homeowners meet legal regulations, keeps out bugs and debris, extends their swimming season, and protects their pool from harsh weather.
A pool enclosure is also invaluable in its ability to keep your kids and pets safe from unsupervised pool visits. That peace of mind is well worth the investment.
Questions? Let me know as I’m always happy to help.