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Thread: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country pool

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    Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country pool

    Hi All - I'm new to the forum and hoping to get some advice. I'm outside of city limits in the country a bit and we were hoping to get a pool built. One thing I didn't even consider at all was fencing. It didn't really come up as a necessity with the PB's, but after looking around a bit it feels like there maybe some liability issues, etc, not real sure though. My kids are 12 and 7 and swim really good, so my main concern is the liability type issues. The thing that I'm most struggling with on the fencing is where to put fencing that won't break up our yard. We have a little over 4 acres, its heavily treed and the actual back yard isn't too huge all things considered. I really like how open it is. We can step outside and play catch, kick balls around, ride bikes and dirt bikes, etc without having it sectioned off. I had visions of having the pool integrated into our outdoor activity life..up until the fence issue hit me. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out where to reasonably put a fence that wont cut things off from each other.

    We are planning on taking down the screened porch to open up the back of the house to the pool living area, adding some patio furniture, dining table, a couple sizable bbq pits, etc. I'm having a hard time trying to determine if a fence that would enclose JUST the pool would make sense vs having it enclose more of the yard and tie into the house (I'm guessing on the sides of the house). I really don't like either option as having the pool fully fenced would keep the patio open to the rest of the yard, but it would definitely cut the pool off a bit and loose that whole "integrated patio/pool living area" off the back of the house feeling. It would also take some of the nice view of the pool from the living room windows away as well. On the other hand if we enclosed more of the pool/patio/yard to each side of the house then we would have a less broken up pool area, but I definitely feel like it would break up the yard quite a bit and cut us off from our property. I know we would still have easy access to it, but I just think it wouldn't be quite the same if we had to go through a gate to get to our property. I know it sounds kind of lame and probably not something worth stressing over, but I really don't want to lose the open access to our yard. Anyhow, I would love to hear some thoughts or advice on how to handle fencing on acreage property. Here are some photos.

    Hand Drawn quick sketch:


    Pic of house from back yard:


    View straight out from porch:


    View down the side of the porch:


    Thanks so much everyone. - JD

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    Personally I would pick a layout option so that there was no fence between the house and the pool, and build a U shaped fence that connected to the house, probably something painted black, and I would go with a type that has high visibility through it, probably some sort of "picket" or iron fence style. One other advantage of a fence is it can help keep the wildlife out of the pool, I am not sure what sorts of wild life you may face there, but I know someone around here that lives on a similar size piece of property to yours out of town near here that did not have a fence around their new pool and an escaped cow found its way into the pool a year or two ago. Needless to say that was a BIG MESS.
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I agree with Isaac-1 - you do need a fence for the wildlife, because it IS an issue, things like to jump in, but can't get out, some like to clean their kills in it, bears, birds - hawks, eagles, racoons etc... really big mess and throws the pool chem off big time.
    13200 gal, IG, plaster, built 1985, replastered 2012, Mytilus MA-90C cartridge filter, 2716 Blue Line In-ground Pump and Motor (1 HP), (manual clean/brush/test with Taylor K-2006, TFP since 2012) in Northwest Houston TX

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I agree with Isaac - I would enclose the pool with the house. Depending on how much you want to spend you could include the well house or end it a few feet behind the pool. Deterring visitors of both the two and four legged varieties would be a concern for me. I've seen a lot that have used wrought iron looking aluminum and it looks very nice. You could have gates on the sides and/or back depending on where you want access. We had a new fence put in at our previous house and the metal fence was cheaper than a wood fence and looked much better!
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    Readyforapool's Avatar
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    One other thing I thought about - you may want to check your city requirements and with your insurance company - some have height requirements for pool fencing. Some are ok with a 4 ft fence others require at least 6 ft.
    Finally Done! - 21x34 IG, SWCG, depth - 3.6 - 4.6 - 6.6, Pentair IntelliFlow 3050 vs+svrs, 60 sq ft Pentair DE Filter, 400k BTU Heater, Polaris 280 w/.75 hp booster pump, Pentair EasyTouch wireless, 38 sq ft raised spa, wet edge Barbados quartz finish - ODK w/36 in Napoleon grill

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I agree with the others, a U shaped fence. Aluminum would probably be the least intrusive. Definitely need a fence to keep out the chupacabras. Those things seem to have a knack for scaring folks while they are enjoying the pool. Especially at night!
    Divin Dave,
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I too agree with the fencing thought mentioned about big U-shaped area from the back line of the house, perhaps 10' or whatever looks right, to each side of the house and back around. I would recommend putting at least three gates in. One at both sides of the house and one at the farthest reach of the fence. Those could be double gates that could be hooked in an open position so that when you are out there or are having parties, you can have it be open and accessible to all.

    We have a U-shaped fence but it is a separated area. It is also on a slope so the back fence is not all visible from the pool deck. The black aluminum would be the most unobtrusive appearance wise.

    Good question and good luck!
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    Good to know on the wildlife. I didn't really think it would be an issue as I didn't think they would want to wonder into a pool, but now I know. We have quite a few deer, fox, cats/dogs and critters of all kind cruising around quite often, so I'd rather not deal with them messing up the pool for sure.

    As far as the "U" shape goes, does this mean to have it run perpendicular into the back of the house on each end or to have it run out perpendicular to the sides of the house for some distance, then start the U shape from that point? If I take the fence to the end of the house on the driveway side, then we would definitely have to go through gate to get to the backyard from the house and would have to go through a gate to get from the sidewalk that goes from the driveway area to the back porch of the house. I guess the only way around that is to have the fence somehow 'T' into the porch at some point, which I cant even visualize as it probably doesnt make sense.

    So sounds like you guys think a black metal fence would be preferred over some type of wood+wire combo. I was originally thinking about doing something like the wood split rail with the checkered wire mesh backing as I see that a lot on peoples property out here. I know pretty much nothing about fencing though.

    Thanks,
    Justin

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I would move the pool off to the side a bit to allow for more yard near the house. Then use a black iron or black aluminum decorative type fence. Do not use ugly chain link if you can avoid it as it just looks cheap. Black is sort of amazing as it almost disappears from view. I'd also not use wood as that will always interrupt the view.
    Just my opinion
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I would agree on moving the pool away from the house some, you have the room afterall. When I look at pool photos on here, I feel about 9 out of 10 pools are located too close to the house, I know this is often because of small back yards, etc., but if you have the space I can't see why anyone would want their pool only 10 or so feet from the backdoor of the house. My pool is indoors and in a separate building from the house, and even then the closest point the pool is to the living space in the house is about 75 feet apart, which which might make for a bit of a walk for a typical in ground pool, but does give nice isolation of noise, etc.

    Ike

    p.s. I feel fences with vertical main structural elements provide better visibility through them than ones with main horizontal elements , think ||||||| vs ====== since you get glimpses of the blocked area as you walk / drive along so your mind can fill in the blanks

    One other thing, are those Pecan trees?
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I know your said your outside the city limits, make sure your outside of the ETJ limits also. If your in the ETJ you will have to follow Gtown code.
    28k gal/raised spa, IG quartzscape, WhistperFlo 2 speed B2984T,DEV60 filter,Lxi400 NG heater, Polaris 280 cleaner, DIY Chlorine injection, Build completion 7/2013

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    We appear to be in the ETJ zone from what i can tell. Hmm..that makes things even more confusing as I'd want to follow whatever codes make sense to just to be covered. Those are oaks and live oaks mainly. A few cedars in the back, but mainly oaks everywhere.

    On where to position the pool, both PB's I talked to leaned towards putting it right behind the house so its clearly visible to the living room and "becomes an extension of the house" as well as ties into the porch. Now that you'all mention it though, I can see it both ways. I was thinking it would be part of the house, but can see where having it away from the house would make it a separate area altogether. Putting it out further would solve the fencing issue as I would think you would just fence the whole pool in by itself instead of fencing up to the house. I'm a little torn on that one as I feel like having it closer and decking that ties into the current porch (along with ripping out the screened porch and just putting cedar posts to open it up) brings it all together into 1 living and entertaining area. This sure isn't very easy..

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    You could put it out a bit and still have it as an extension of the house - just means more $$$$ for the decking! Then if you want just fence the pool area, might be safer if you have small kids, that way you can control the pool access. The only downside I see to that is you have a fence obstructing your view of the pool from the house! Decisions, decisions!
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I would suggest looking through various pool photos online, both here and other places on the net, google image search, etc. to see what distance from the house looks good to you. As I mentioned above it seems about 9 out of 10 pools are built close to the house (at least close enough to have one continuous deck space connecting them, usually in the 10-15 ft range.
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    Boy, I'm all over the place now after reading the comments and looking at photos online. My original plan was:

    - Tear out screened porch as it closes the house off too much. Replace all 2x4's with a handful of cedar support pillars. Put a few large steps about 8' wide in the middle of the porch down to the pool decking.
    - Do about 600-800sqft of decking around a free form pool (either stamped concrete in a lighter color or kool deck)
    - Don't put in a spa (we don't have gas/propane, only electric and don't want a huge bill. Also, it adds 8-12k to the pool cost, so we figured it wasnt worth it)
    - Make the free form not too wiggly so the boys could play basketball/sports/etc. Was thinking around 3.5' to 6' to 4' (or something like that)
    - A sizable baja step for adults to lounge
    - Was aiming for a 3' wide concrete border around the back of the pool for easier access all around
    - Was leaning towards salt system with Oklahoma flag stone coping. I'm a little leery now though reading all the salt horror stories.
    - Overall pool perimeter around 88'-90'

    Now, with the whole fencing issue, plus looking at maybe moving the pool out from the house a bit more, i'm starting to reconsider almost all those options. There's a lot of pics of rectangle simple pools with just a strip of concrete coping and no decking that look interesting. I'm not sure if one style of pool fits more for our type of home (1978 ranch home). Then again theres a lot of simple free form pools that look nice as well. We just don't like all the added rock/water falls/etc and would rather keep it simple, but not look cheap or dated, which seems to be a little of a challenge as well. Any thoughts on what design of pool you think would look best in our yard?

    Thanks,
    JD

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I am biased towards ours but we do have an acre so we have space in common (not as much as you though). In our thread you can see our fence (the kind you mentioned- split rail with metal mesh). It does block some vision though, but easier on the pocket book for a larger area. Ours is rectangle and concrete decking (just with the appearance of stone). I do echo the comment about separating the pool making it feel like a getaway. Though that option is not what many are looking for.

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    What about a classic looking pool running the length of the house - something like this minus the spa and the cabana? Or you could do a free form but run it the same way?

    Finally Done! - 21x34 IG, SWCG, depth - 3.6 - 4.6 - 6.6, Pentair IntelliFlow 3050 vs+svrs, 60 sq ft Pentair DE Filter, 400k BTU Heater, Polaris 280 w/.75 hp booster pump, Pentair EasyTouch wireless, 38 sq ft raised spa, wet edge Barbados quartz finish - ODK w/36 in Napoleon grill

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I really wanted that pool but this yard is narrower at the back and it just didn't look right so we changed to the free form. You have the space to do just about anything. As Isaac said, look at photos, save the ones you like then go back through them and see if there's a common theme - shape, color, decking type - that will help you narrow down your choices. Good luck!
    Finally Done! - 21x34 IG, SWCG, depth - 3.6 - 4.6 - 6.6, Pentair IntelliFlow 3050 vs+svrs, 60 sq ft Pentair DE Filter, 400k BTU Heater, Polaris 280 w/.75 hp booster pump, Pentair EasyTouch wireless, 38 sq ft raised spa, wet edge Barbados quartz finish - ODK w/36 in Napoleon grill

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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    I just saw this thread and thought of your fencing question. Take a look at this:

    first-post-pics-included-t52411-20.html

    I think I would lean towards a fence like this.

    Steve
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    Re: Stuck on fencing design/options for Texas Hill Country p

    Quote Originally Posted by shuye
    I just saw this thread and thought of your fencing question. Take a look at this:

    first-post-pics-included-t52411-20.html

    I think I would lean towards a fence like this.

    Steve
    Yes, that's the perfect fence, IMO.
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