Skip to main content

Pool fencing - making your boundary fence safe

One important aspect of a pool is having safe fencing. If you can use your existing boundary fence you can make significant savings over installing a new pool fence.

In our area, wooden paling fences are commonplace, with the palings overlapping. Our back fence has the palings on our side, and along our side fence we have the posts and rails.

We've started the lengthy process of trying to have our neighbour replace the back fence.  The landlord and agent aren't being too responsive so far. The plants they planted along the fence are pushing the palings off the fence.

To make a fence conform, in Victoria you should speak to your local Council and check out the Practice Notes on the website of the Victorian Building Authority. In our case, Kingston City Council has several online references. The amateur appearing in-house guide gives a good overview of all the options available to you to achieve compliant fencing. (As an aside I've twice telephoned the Victorian Building Authority and found them extremely pleasant and helpful. Just don't call at lunchtime on a weekday - they seem to be rostered to down tools for a set lunch-time each day.)

Since you have no control over what's on your neighbours side of the fence, the rules seem to be more about making it difficult for a small child to climb down your side of the fence to get to a pool. That means having no horizontal projections within certain areas that are more than 10mm wide, which might be used as toe and finger holds.

With 50mm wide railings on our fence, the two options for us are to put a 60 degree angled piece of timber along the top rail AND fill in the 12mm gap at every second paling, or to fix palings along the entire fence. With our posts being cut off at less than the full height of the fence, we also have to replace them or extend them back to the full height of the fence. Page 10 of the in-house guide on Council's website has diagrams showing each option for making them compliant.

The angled timber for the railings can be purchased from timber suppliers like Demak Outdoor Timber and Hardware in 2.7m lengths. However, it also leaves the need to fill the inconsistent gaps at every second paling.

If our side neighbours are agreeable, I'll probably buy new palings, and butt them together along the whole fence instead of overlapping them.  I'll also cut the tops of the posts flat and put a new section of post on top of each to extend them back to the full height of the fence. I'll also have to replace a split post. Then I'll paint the whole fence dark grey.

I found three suppliers of palings in our area - PY Fencing in Seaford, Masters in Keysborough and Bunnings in Mentone.  PY Fencing has a full price list on line, and charges $60 delivery. Both Masters and Bunnings only have one type of short paling online. Lucky for Bunnings, I went into their Mentone store and found they actually stock three different lengths and two widths. They charge $50 delivery and are cheaper per paling than PY Fencing. Masters is less convenient to get to - if I have a chance I may drop in there too. I really don't know why Masters and Bunnings don't have their full-range online - it is very frustrating.


Popular posts from this blog

Walk-in pantry: advice for designing yours

Now we've been in our renovated home for a week, we've picked up on some minor issues that anyone considering a walk-in pantry or butlers pantry may want to consider. I think we got ours right, and the minor issues are ones we'll correct ourselves, shortly, at low cost.

 Our pantry is exactly that on most days - a pantry. There's no sink, no oven or hot plates, and no exhaust fan. It does have a microwave and a milkshake maker, storage for irregularly used appliances, and a bench top that can be worked on. We could fit plumbing for a sink later, but can't see a need right now.

Big cost savings can be made with a walk-in pantry. By having a separate room and door, there's absolutely no need for cupboards and cabinet doors within the pantry. Think of the pantry as a cupboard!  Bench tops can be practical and not showy - you don't need Corian or Caeserstone surfaces. A walk-in pantry is a separate room, so soft-close drawers to keep noise down aren't …

How to install a new garden tap for your vegetable garden

The day before the turf for our lawn was laid, I used a trenching shovel to quickly dig a trench from our existing tap on the back wall of the house, to the edge of our raised vegetable patches.

I laid a length of 25mm blue line PE pipe ("poly-pipe") and back filled the trench. I fitted a right angle elbow fitting to either end, with a short length sticking in the air, clear of the soil, so the line wouldn't become blocked.

During summer, our gardening efforts were focused on establishing the new lawn, so we didn't plant any vegetables.  Then last weekend, about six months after we laid the lawn, I completed the garden tap after speaking to a plumber about my options for connecting the pipe to the water supply.

In the end I took the easy and cheaper DIY option. At Bunnings I bought the tap fittings for the garden end, and quickly screwed it together.  A star dropper and some cable ties provide temporary support until I put in place a more substantial post.

The other …

Monkey bars!

A few months back we picked up a discounted set of monkey bars (aka horizontal ladders) from Bunnings.  They were reduced from $299 to $80 because the packaging was damaged and the bolts for attaching the bars to wooden posts were missing. There were about four sets of bars on sale.

Last weekend I started assembling them myself, using about an extra $175 worth of materials (bolts, washers, nuts, four cypress pine posts, quick set concrete).  When it came to erecting them I needed a helping hand, which I received yesterday.

In the process of working out how and where to assemble them I found that the recommended height is 1.8 - 2.0 metres, and preferably 1.8m.  Soft fall is also important, to a depth of 250-300mm for up to 2.5m around the bars (Playground Equipment Safety Bulletin, February 2011). The Bulletin provides advice about selecting soft fall materials.

We've generally followed this advice, although without soft fall for a little while. The Bulletin identifies the following…