When the summer rolls around, Northern Virginia homeowners start spending more time outside. But the heat can make outdoor activities unbearable some days. Because of this, many residents in Virginia turn to pools when the weather gets hot, and our clients are among them!
If you’ve yet to buy a pool or you have a pool and plan to use it, there are some things to consider, which, if not followed, can have legal ramifications.
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Pool Fence Code
Virginia has laws for residential pools, which include rules around fences, which are as follows.
The pool fence for a pool set into the ground must span at least four feet above ground level as ruled by the state government. Depending on your location, residential rules made by subdivisions and cities can sometimes require pool fences to span five or even six feet.
The pool fence for a pool above ground must span at least four feet above the ground as ruled by the state government. The government of Virginia has also declared that if the walls of the pool span four feet in and of themselves, no pool fence is required.
There can be no permanent or semi-permanent structures around the pool fence. This includes electrical boxes, AC units, trees, tree stumps, playground sets, ziplines, or tables.
The laws for wooden fences, in particular in Virginia, can be rather strict, and they are decided by the distance between the vertical and horizontal wooden panels of the fence. If the distance between the vertical and horizontal panels is less than 45 inches (roughly 3.75 feet), there must be less than 1¾ inches (4.445 centimeters) between each vertical panel. If the distance is more than 45 inches, you can have up to 4 inches between the vertical panels.
There can be no more than 2 inches of space between the bottom of the fence and the ground.
Safety First for Pools
The reason for these measures is drowning, which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) listed as the second highest cause of unintentional injury death in children aged fourteen and younger. The CDC also states that adding a pool fence reduces the risk by up to 89%, which is a huge difference.
And even if you don’t have kids if someone gets into your pool and drowns and you are found to have not followed the law or other safety regulations, you will be held legally liable, and incidents such as these carry a hefty fine and sometimes even jail time.
Kids aren’t the only ones in danger, however. A pool with no fence can pose a danger to any pets you may have or visitors you have over. Dogs, in particular, are in danger, especially if the pool is deep or the rim of the pool is slippery. And losing a dog, especially if you’ve had one for a long time, is extremely painful.
Either way, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and we’re here to help you get it right!
Pool Fence Options
Now that you’ve got the regulations down for a pool fence, it’s time to get down to business: picking a material, design, and color for your fence.
You can go basic for the sake of monetary value and use, or you can match the fence to your yard aesthetics, completing the look you’ve dreamed of. And we’ve got options for that!
There are some basic types, and we’ll break them down for you, but they do boil down to a couple of options.
First, there’s metal. These come in various types, shapes, sizes, and colors, but they are the most common. They can lend a study look or feel to any property.
This is the highest value of the options for the pre-determined types of fence. They have a high level of durability and anti-rust properties. If you get an excellent aluminum pool fence and take good care of it, it can easily last fifty years.
Another benefit is that it gives you a clear view because the slots between the poles allow for excellent visibility, so they don’t block out the rest of the yard or your view of your pool.
In addition, we’ve asked a couple of our customers, and this type of fence seems to be the favorite!
Second, wood. There are all types here – privacy fences, picket fences: name your choice. From a Japanese-style wooden fence to a simple fence you would see in a backyard, we have it all. And that’s not even accounting for the options you have for color or material!
This type of fence is even more traditional than the aluminum fence and provides privacy that none of the other fences do. Unfortunately, it does block the view of your pool. You can also get it in a picket version if you still want a view of some of your pool, but it can be a bit difficult to manage due to Virginia’s 45-inch law, so going for the privacy fence might be easier, but we can certainly handle a picket! Paddock style wood fences are also common choices.
Wood pool fencing is also very durable and can last to up around 20 years if you work to maintain it. Most of these fences require cleaning, painting, and treatment once or twice a year.
Third, vinyl. Not as popular or as sturdy as some of the other options, but it gets the job done and is easy to clean. A win-win!
Vinyl fences last for decades with minimal maintenance. They give you the highest amount of privacy around your pool because, unlike wood fences, they will not shrink and leave small cracks between boards.
Now that you’ve had an overview of the different materials you can pick if you wish to truly customize your fence, we’ll move on to the pre-determined types, which can give you more insight into the materials you’re picking, how long your fence will last, or how much effort it will take to keep it clean. So let’s get to it!
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You can, with some, but we wouldn’t recommend it. We’re the experts at making sure the fence is just right and up to code.
Our workers know fences inside and out, and with us, you’ll have a guarantee for your fence! You won’t have to worry about aluminum posts rusting or the wood on your wooden privacy fence warping.
Just give us a call, and we can help you create the perfect pool fence!
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