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.
What some pool owners don’t know is how many regulations there are on pool enclosures. A lot of local cities and municipalities require fencing around residential pools, and a pool fence is just a good idea to have around anyways for safety. Full 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?
As the name suggests, pool enclosures refer to the structure that surrounds a pool either in a public area or a private residence. More than a fence or barricade, pool enclosures completely cover the pool area and often also have enclosed roofs and sides.
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 often held together by beams made of wood or metal. The metal used is usually high-grade aluminum alloy which is 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. A pool enclosure is also helpful in maintaining the integrity and quality of your pool area. Along with safety and maintenance measures, pool enclosures are also useful for properties with cold weather.
Types of Pool Enclosures
There are several different types of pool enclosures. Take a look at the different types below to determine which is the best option for your unique space.
- Flat Enclosure – Cost-effective option that sits along the edge of the pool and looks like an upgraded pool cover. Flat enclosures are more budget-friendly while still looking great and adding aesthetic value, protection, and safety to your pool. A flat enclosure must be retracted when you wish to go swimming.
- Low-Profile Enclosure – An enclosure that is raised slightly and has a rounded top. You can leave the enclosure in place while swimming, and most are made tall enough for you to stand up in the pool without touching the top.
- Standing Enclosure – A full-standing enclosure will turn your outdoor swimming area into an indoor space. A standing enclosure completely encloses the pool and surrounding area with walls and a ceiling. Depending on the size and material choice, a standing enclosure can be the most costly choice.
Pool Enclosure Regulations in Your Area
Most residential neighborhoods require a barrier, fence, or pool enclosure for security reasons. Without an enclosure or fence that meets specific regulations, a homeowner can potentially face a fine.
Residential areas will require swimming pools (both inground and above ground) to be at least partially, if not completely, enclosed by a fence. These regulations and fence height will vary. The depth of the pool is also be taken into consideration in local laws.
Typically, portable and inflatable pools will not require an enclosure. However, be sure to check with your local authorities if you must enclose a portable swimming pool in your yard.
To find out more about your local requirement and the regulations for pool enclosures in your area, 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
For families with young kids and pets, I can’t recommend a pool enclosure more!
You may think that a fence is sufficient in keeping your own kids or youths from the neighborhood out of the pool area unsupervised – but kids will find a way! A pool enclosure will ensure the safety of everyone around and keep swimmers out, thanks to a door with a lock and key.
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.
Depending on your city or neighborhood’s local code and regulations, you may only need a fence or barricade surrounding your pool. If you are unsure of the regulations but want to make sure you meet the requirements, a safe bet is to go above and beyond with the installation of a pool enclosure.
With a high-quality pool enclosure, you’re likely to avoid any fines related to legal compliance.
Especially for yards that are open to the prying eyes of nearby neighbors, 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 add a little extra privacy.
Many homeowners living in suburban areas enjoy the privacy that a pool enclosure with stained glass can provide. In my opinion, this can also add to the experience of swimming as the environment is pleasant, quiet, and private.
Think you can only use your pool in those three precious summer months? Think again! A considerable benefit of a pool enclosure is the extended pool season. With an enclosure, you can get plenty of use from the pool beginning in early spring and right into late fall.
For homeowners living in milder climates, a pool enclosure may provide full year-round swimming. Investing in a heat pump could even allow you to be swimming in the middle of winter.
Aesthetics and Value
When you think of a pool enclosure, you may think that the aesthetic isn’t your taste. Modern designs and innovations have made pool enclosures up to par with home designs. In fact, a beautiful glass enclosure can elevate the value of your property and up the aesthetics of your yard.
Just imagine: a fully enclosed glass surround with sparkling string lights, greenery, and gorgeous outdoor furniture. Now that’s a place you can spend your evenings!
A high-quality, well-built pool enclosure can also help to bring up the property value of your home. If you’re considering selling in the future, investing in a pool enclosure may be a good idea to bring up your property valuation.
Protect the Pool Area from Debris
Pool enclosures are also useful for the longevity of the pool. A well-built enclosure can protect the pool area from the damage. A fully closed pool enclosure keeps the pool area safe from external hazards. For places that experience fall, an enclosure will also save homeowners a lot of time spent fishing fallen leaves from the water and cleaning out the drains.
If you’re wondering if a pool enclosure is worth the cost and effort, just think about all the time you spend fishing bugs and leaves from the pool. Trust me – it pays for itself in lack of dead insects.
Pool Enclosure Cost
The cost of a pool enclosure will vary depending on the size of the pool and the area that requires enclosure. The total price of the enclosure will also depend on the chosen model and quality of materials. Of course, I suggest going with higher quality beams and glass to ensure your enclosure lasts and maybe even outlasts the pool (well, the lining at least!).
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 costs and water.
How does it do that? A pool enclosure can save money by reducing evaporation that naturally occurs. It’s impossible to stop all evaporation, but the reduction will likely save you some dollars. You can check out my guide on how much pool water you lose to evaporation for more on the subject.
Pool enclosures can also save homeowners money on their home insurance. A pool enclosure is often considered an enhanced safety feature by insurance providers and may contribute to a reduction in your monthly or yearly insurance payments.
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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, keep out critters and bugs, extend their swimming season, and protect their pool from any debris and harsh weather.
A pool enclosure is also invaluable in its ability to keep your kids, pets, and those around the neighborhood safe from unsupervised pool visits. The peace of mind that your pool is not a safety concern or liability is well worth the design and installation investment cost.
During my career installing and designing pools, I’ve seen every type of pool and enclosure situation. One thing they all have in common is that they are typically a good investment.
Questions? Let me know, always happy to help.