Poolside plants, pool cover and fencing

nameBrandon

Active member
Mar 24, 2019
26
Chicago
Hey all, I'm an (almost) new pool owner, as we're under contract for a property that has a pretty nice gunite pool setup, which I unfortunately know very little about (and have never owned a pool). I'll be working with the current owner to learn more, but had a few questions I wanted to bounce off your collective expertise (and please see included photos taken just before closing this year for reference).

  • Landscaping that close to the water - Any particular chemical levels or other items I should pay attention to? Obviously chlorine.. My initial thought was plant life that close might drive an increase in likelihood of algae growth...? And the viney plants / moss on some of the rock features, any concern there? Should it be removed?
  • Cover - Current owner drains ~18 inches, winterizes, keeps an eye on leaves during the fall and just lets it freeze. With those rock features and non-standard size, is it worth it at all to look into some sort of custom pool cover?
  • Fencing - There is perimeter fencing on the property (~2 acres) but the wife really wants some other sort of fencing around the pool as we have a 2.5 year old, and she's worried about her, as well as friends that come over. Obviously we've done swimming lessons and will continue with those, but I'm kind of at a loss for ideas on how to fence this thing and what that would even look like... Really appreciate any ideas here.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,992
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP and congratulations on the new house.

If you maintain the proper FC level for your CYA algae will not be a problem. I suggest you review ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

I happen to not like seeing moss and mildew around my home and pool and use Wet & Forget Concentrate, No Scrub Outdoor Cleaner | Product Information to kill it without affecting plants or the pool water.

Finding a good looking way to childproof fence a pool is difficult. Look at Life Saver Pool Fence: Voted Best Pool Fencing by Parents
 
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nameBrandon

Active member
Mar 24, 2019
26
Chicago
Welcome to TFP and congratulations on the new house.

If you maintain the proper FC level for your CYA algae will not be a problem. I suggest you review ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

I happen to not like seeing moss and mildew around my home and pool and use Wet & Forget Concentrate, No Scrub Outdoor Cleaner | Product Information to kill it without affecting plants or the pool water.

Finding a good looking way to childproof fence a pool is difficult. Look at Life Saver Pool Fence: Voted Best Pool Fencing by Parents
Thanks so much for the great starting points.. much appreciated!
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,388
NE/Pa
I can see why he doesn’t cover it n the winter. It would be a beast to cover. This is a sick setup! Jaw dropping. It’s like you fouNd it walking throughout the the woods. So natural. I love the rocks sticking out the not the pool with the moss. I love the growth in the background. So the seats? What material are they? Rock? What kind and color of plaster? I’m seeing green on the side in the one picture? Is that reflection cause of depth or is it the color of the plaster? This is such an awesome pool. Ya prob hard to maintain cause of the plant life but oh so cool!

I know you got a young kid but if you fence this pool you are going to kill the look I think. I know prob not the best advice but.
 
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nameBrandon

Active member
Mar 24, 2019
26
Chicago
I can see why he doesn’t cover it n the winter. It would be a beast to cover. This is a sick setup! Jaw dropping. It’s like you fouNd it walking throughout the the woods. So natural. I love the rocks sticking out the not the pool with the moss. I love the growth in the background. So the seats? What material are they? Rock? What kind and color of plaster? I’m seeing green on the side in the one picture? Is that reflection cause of depth or is it the color of the plaster? This is such an awesome pool. Ya prob hard to maintain cause of the plant life but oh so cool!

I know you got a young kid but if you fence this pool you are going to kill the look I think. I know prob not the best advice but.
Thank you! We love it as well, really neat setup. Not entirely sure myself on the color, though I know what you're talking about.. I think it's mostly reflection, but plan to inspect more closely next time I'm on the property. The gunnite / plaster is a lighter aquamarine color, similar to the color you see in the sunny areas in the photos. That being said, it is about 15 years old, and it would surprise me if it's been washed at all since. Given the tree cover and leaves (I should show you the photos when the leaves came down, and before they were cleaned out... you couldn't even see the water), it could be staining. The owner mentioned at one point inviting me along when he opened the pool this year, as our closing will be well after that date (he usually opens mid April, which is still early in the Chicago area).

Agreed on the fence. I think the compromise is probably a removable fence similar to what ajw22 mentioned. We'd just use it for the next 8-10 years until our daughter is old enough to be safe around the pool. At least it would be semi-transparent. A shame to do that, but far better than the alternative.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,388
NE/Pa
I totally get it. I got a 6 yr old and a 9 yr old.

The plaster might be perfect if he took good care of it. I would def hook up with him and get a feel for what his routine was.

Keep us updated!

And start reading! Lol

Jimi
 
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todd.brock

Silver Supporter
Jan 18, 2018
224
Cincinnati/OH
Safety fence may not be pretty, but imagine if it saves your kids!!

The fence I have seen goes into sleeves and is removable. I bet you could position the sleeves to go into mortar so when you pull the fence in later years, just fill the mortar joint vs drilling through the stone work. I love the look of it, but that has to be a maintenance nightmare for someone, lol.
 
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Dave31410

Bronze Supporter
Feb 27, 2018
112
Savannah, GA
Presumably the child would only be out there when adults are present. Most current codes require an alarm on the door from the house to access the pool. You can add on easily if you don't have one. That way if the child wandered out the alarm would go off. I think that would be a difficult pool to fence.
 
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nameBrandon

Active member
Mar 24, 2019
26
Chicago
Presumably the child would only be out there when adults are present. Most current codes require an alarm on the door from the house to access the pool. You can add on easily if you don't have one. That way if the child wandered out the alarm would go off. I think that would be a difficult pool to fence.
Thanks! Like a lot of semi-recent systems there's an alarm that announces the name of the door opened for the entire house, so I assume that and the perimeter self-closing gate cover the code requirements. The wife requirements, on the other hand.. :p

I did find out there's an infloor cleaning system so hopefully that helps a bit with the maintenance.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,388
NE/Pa
Funny thing with code. Security system that chimes and announcing door doesn’t cover for pool code. Still need a separate alarm cause it’s a “different” sound. Ask me how I found out? Ask me if I did anything about it though. I just don’t see the point of it in my home. Even when my kids were small not once not ever did they try to open up a door to go outside. They still now being 9 and 6 still don’t open a door to go out without telling us even if it’s to let the dog out.

So what’s up with the plaster color. I’m really curious to know.
 
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Phx_Jay

Bronze Supporter
Nov 6, 2017
150
phoenix
That is an amazing looking pool. One of my favorites already! I like that pools that look very natural like that. I'm hoping to grow plant around the water to give it that natural look as well. I would keep the plants cut back to be just out of the water. It shouldn't be a problem but no reason to have them in the water. A custom cover might be pretty difficult with that shape but I'm sure some company could design one.
 

Uncle Salty

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2017
292
South Carolina
Absolutely beautiful setting. Having said that I would go insane skimming leaves out as I’m kind of ocd when it comes to debris in the pool, that would be a full time job! I imagine the house is equally stunning just from the one pic, congrats on your new purchase.

Salty
 

TexasPool128

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
74
N. Texas
Beautiful! Get your kiddo into swim/float lessons. I’ve pulled several children out of the water, that weren’t supposed to be in it, and lessons would’ve helped (I’m a firefighter/Paramedic so I see the bad side of pools often). If I had a small child, I wouldn’t care how a fence changed the ambience of that beautiful setting. The flip side of that coin is not something you want to ever deal with.