Pool Fencing in Brisbane

May 22, 2024

Pool fencing can have a huge impact on the end aesthetic and feel of your pool area. Just like curtains can change a room inside the house the material and design that you choose can be very important in setting the mood and feel of your pool space. Pinterest or blogger sites will give you thousands of pool fencing ideas and would have you believe that you can make a pool fence out of anything and that the aesthetics of a pool fence are the most important however, safety is an important consideration also and is regulated heavily within Australia.  

In this article, we’ll cover some of the more common fencing types for new pools in Brisbane, their pros and cons and an overview of pool fencing regulations.

Pool Fencing Regulations

In QLD the QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission) takes care of all pool safety inspector licensing, compliance and disciplinary functions. All pools and spas are required to have fencing and must be registered on the official pool safety register. This register keeps track of all pools in the area, pool safety certificates issued, and lists all licensed pool safety inspectors. Failing to register your pool can lead to fines of up to $2,356 (at the time of writing).

You can easily register your pool or spa either online or by contacting the Queensland Building and Construction Commission at 139 333.

Queensland Pool Fencing Guidelines Overview

Queensland’s pool fencing regulations are designed to enhance the safety of all pool users, especially children, by preventing unsupervised access. Here are the essential aspects of these regulations:

  • Barrier Requirements: All pools, including inflatable and portable pools deeper than 30cm, must have a compliant barrier to prevent young children from accessing the pool area.
  • Height Requirements: The fence around the pool must be at least 1200mm high from the finished ground level to ensure adequate security.
  • Non-Climbable Zone (NCZ): A 900mm non-climbable zone must be maintained around the perimeter of the pool fence. This zone must be free from objects like trees, shrubs, or furniture that could help a child climb over the fence.
  • Gaps: Gaps between the vertical bars of the fence should not exceed 100mm, and the gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground should also be no more than 100mm to prevent small bodies from squeezing through.
  • Gate Specifications: Pool gates must open outward, away from the pool area, and be equipped with self-closing and self-latching mechanisms. The latch should be positioned at least 1500mm above ground level.
  • Maintenance: It is the pool owner’s responsibility to keep the barrier in good condition and fully operational at all times.
  • Inspection: All regulated pools must be inspected and have a current pool safety certificate, issued by a licensed pool safety inspector, especially when selling or leasing a property.

Be aware though that these pool barrier guidelines are subject to updates. For the latest regulations and compliance details, visit the official Queensland Government website or consult a licensed pool safety inspector.

Maintaining Pool Fences and Safety Barriers

As a pool owner, it’s not enough to just have a pool fence installed, you are responsible for preventing accidents by ensuring that:

  • Your pool is properly fenced to begin with.
  • All pool fences or barriers are in good condition.
  • Any damage to fences or barriers is promptly repaired.

It’s crucial to maintain these safety barriers to prevent the risk of drowning or serious injuries to young children.

Sources for further reading:

Types of Pool Fencing

Although pool fences could be made of many different materials (copper for instance) costs rise when non-standard materials are used. Popular choices for pool fences in Brisbane are glass, wood and aluminium fences. 

Aluminium Pool Fencing 

Aluminium fences are most common for older pools and are generally the cheapest option. These fences come in black, green or white and you’ve probably seen them a lot. 

standard aluminium pool fence in black

Aluminium fencing is still a common choice for pools in Brisbane, and it’s easy to see why. It’s affordable, low-maintenance, and quick to install. 

Available in a variety of colours and styles, aluminium fencing fits seamlessly into any setting. It’s especially suitable for the tropical Brisbane climate, offering rust resistance and durability without sacrificing style. This makes it an excellent material for pool fencing that combines practicality with visual appeal.

Glass Pool Fencing

Glass is the most common modern solution for pool fencing and comes in frameless and semi-frameless styles. 

Frameless glass fences

Frameless glass fencing is the “all glass” look you’ve likely seen on TV and is a common option our customers opt for. The main advantage of frameless glass fencing over framed or semi-framed is how seamlessly it blends into its surroundings. The frameless look swaps aluminium for wooden posts for thin gaps between each glass panel to reduce visual interruptions while remaining compliant with fencing regulations.  

frameless glass fence MPF pool install

Advantages

    • Quick Installation: Frameless glass pool fences are relatively quick and easy to install, minimizing disruption to your yard and daily routine.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: The clear glass panels seamlessly blend into the surrounding pool area, enhancing the overall aesthetics of your outdoor space.
    • Unobstructed Views: Frameless glass provides a clear view of the pool area, making it easier to monitor activities from outside the fence for added safety and peace of mind.

Disadvantages

    • Higher Costs: Frameless glass fencing tends to be more expensive than other fencing options due to the materials and design.
    • Maintenance: Keeping the glass clean can be challenging, especially with fingerprints, smudges from pets, and splashes from pool use, requiring regular cleaning to maintain clarity and appearance.

Framed glass fences

Framed glass fencing is something you’ve probably seen in 3-star hotels or resorts, sturdy and safe the framing around the glass panels offers a very high level of structural support and safety.

Advantages

    • Cost: It’s generally cheaper to have a framed glass pool fence rather than a frameless one.
    • Durability: Tempered glass is strong and stands up to the elements well.

Disadvantages

    • Aesthetics: framed glass fences don’t blend as well into their surroundings as frameless or semi-frameless solutions

Semi-framed glass fences

Semi-framed glass fences are the midpoint between frameless and framed fences. Comprised of toughened glass just like the other options the main difference is that semi-framed fences include aluminium or wooden posts between the glass panels providing additional structural support.

semi-framed glass fence MFP easy pool installation

Advantages

    • Cost: Cheaper than frameless solutions
    • Aesthetics: Blends almost as well as a frameless solution but not quite

Disadvantages

    • Blending: Not as seamless as a frameless solution

 

Wood Pool Fences

The least popular option, wood fences can be very stylish and unique when done right however they can also be expensive. Timber fences provide a beautiful natural look and can come in many forms.

Butted Timber Pool Fence

Butted timber fences are the most cost-effective timber fencing option available. When installed correctly, they can also meet pool compliance regulations. To ensure safety and compliance, the fence must be designed with rails that are at least 900mm apart. Alternatively, a 60-degree wedge can be used to maintain the required safety standards. This makes butted timber fences a practical choice for budget-conscious homeowners looking for pool fencing solutions.

Lapped Timber Pool Fence

Lapped timber fencing is crafted for privacy and aesthetic appeal. Each vertical paling is spaced with a slight gap that is then overlapped by another paling, ensuring that all gaps are covered. This design creates a seamless and private enclosure, perfect for those seeking both seclusion and a visually appealing boundary solution.

Lapped and Capped Timber Pool Fence.

The lapped and capped timber fence enhances both privacy and design by adding an extra layer of protection. This style includes a cap that runs along the top of the fence, effectively covering any potential gaps between the overlapping palings. Not only does this improve privacy, but it also provides an elegant, finished look that enhances the appearance of the fence. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to combine functionality with aesthetic appeal.

Design Considerations for Pool Fencing

  • Privacy: Discuss how different materials and designs can provide varying levels of privacy.
  • Aesthetics: Talk about how to choose a fence that complements the overall look of the pool area.
  • Safety Features: Emphasize the importance of features like self-closing gates and proper height.

 

Installation and Maintenance Tips

While DIY pool installation is an option especially with pool fencing being sold by big hardware stores like Bunnings or Mitre 10 however, pool safety regulations are strict and fines are enforced its generally worth paying a professional to handle all of the work for you instead of DIYing and leaving yourself open to fines on inspection.

Maintaining your Pool fencing in most cases is simple. Aluminum and wood fencing require little to no maintenance at all. Glass panels on the other hand will require some cleaning to keep dirt, hand prints etcetera from spoiling the seamless look and feel. 

Wrapping It Up

Pool fencing usually comes in glass, aluminium or wood and each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum is generally the cheapest material and glass and wood are more expensive. Regardless of the material chosen its best to ensure that installation is done by a professional rather than DIY or, that you are confident in your ability to build the fence to the right specifications. Don’t forget to register your pool and be ready for inspection as fines for non-compliant and non-registered pool fences are steep.