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Dress and Gear

It's quite common for swimming pool safety fences to be installed as part of a larger pool construction project. In that case all sorts of special circumstances may apply, and the instructions provided here may need to be modified to adapt to the overall project. Keeping this in mind, these instructions are provided without any such modifications, as though the pool were already in place and the fence is the only structure being installed.

Likewise, if you are installing a 7 or 8 foot fence designed to provide both pool safety and deer exclusion, special circumstances apply. So instead of following these instructions, you should use the written instructions and videos available on this website for deer fence installation.

By way of preparation, anyone installing a strong pool fence such as one of ours should come prepared for moderately rough outside work. (One person can do the job, but two-person teams are best).

The list of  tools needed to start installing your fence is reasonably short–a string and some small stakes to mark the fence line; tin snips; a brush king, pruner, or other clearing equipment if brush or low branches must be cleared; a lawn mower for mowing a two-foot swath along the fence line; a digging bar (optional but recommended) to prepare the way for installing metal posts or sleeves; and a post-hole digger, spade, and mattock if holes are to be dug for cement footings.

Gear for later installation stages include a hammer, a small adjustable wrench, a pair of pliers, a carpenter's level, a rubber mallet or a small flat piece of wood to put between your hammer and the object being struck, a tape measure, and scotch-style tape.

Additional gear for specific tasks:

  • For 6-foot fences: A two-step stool
  • For fences with earth anchors: a 2-foot metal rod
  • For fence posts with drive sleeves: a drive cap (one for every 20 sleeves) and a small sledgehammer.
  • For fence posts without drive sleeves: a manual post driver
  • For fences with dome caps: a small metal file
  • For fences with top rails: An electric drill with a Phillips head bit, a nail set or large nail, and a hacksaw
  • For fences with top support wires: (Optional) a hog ring stapler and staples--recommended for fences over 300 feet long 

Clearing the Pool Fence Path

Start by laying out the line for your above ground pool fence with a string and small stakes. The finished fence should have 4 to 6 feet of brush and vegetation cleared on either side of it, depending on its height; so if the fence must run through brush, bushes, or low trees, it pays to do this clearing before the fence is installed. Clear the brush with a brush king, pruner, or other equipment down to a height of a foot or so, and cut to the ground anything heavy within a foot of the fence line, so that a mower can go over it. Then mow the ground within a foot on either side of the fence line, so that a two-foot swath is cleared all the way to the ground.

If you are installing a welded wire fence, try to make the ground flat all along the fence line. Unlike metal hexagrid fencing, welded wire fencing does not adapt easily to ground irregularities. So for ease of installation do your best to ensure that the ground along the fence line is as flat as possible before you start.

Order of Fence Component Installation

Plan to install the main components of your pool fence in the following order:

  1. Set the posts (including corner posts and any corner braces, end braces, and earth anchors that you may have).
  2. Attach the tie wire or top rail that runs along the top of the fence.
  3. Attach a length of fencing to the tie wire or top rail and supporting posts section by section, making adjustments for grade changes as needed.
  4. Secure the fence bottom with ground stakes.
  5. Install gates.


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