Surrounding your swimming area with a pool fence is more than a good idea for Arizona residents. It's also the law. This doesn't mean, however, that your enclosure need be utilitarian-looking in order to offer the right safety protection.

What to Know Before You Start Building Your Arizona Pool Fence

Backyard swimming pools in Arizona are about as standard as backyards. Arizona is just one of several warm-weather states that have pool fence laws. This is due to that very high number of privately-owned swimming pools. These enclosures protect young children, neighborhood pets and wildlife from accidental drowning.

The laws regarding a pool fence are strict and detailed. They dictate all kinds of different aspects of erecting a pool fence. Some of these include:

* Height of fence

* Spacing of panels and bars

* Distance between the pool and the fence

* Type of gate and latch required and where the latch should be placed

Most pool fence companies in the state are familiar with these regulations. However, it doesn't hurt to do your own due diligence as an owner.

Get to know these regulations before you even begin plans for your enclosure. It may save you some headache (ore even money) down the road. (You can find these regulations on the Arizona State Legislature's Website.)

Choosing Your Pool Fence Style

Private home owners are moving increasingly away from the old standard wooden enclosure. Instead, contemporary home owners are opting for modern materials. Not only do these materials look more updated, they have another major advantage over wood. They're stronger, last longer and are less prone to wear and weather damage.

Two of today's most contemporary pool fence styles include:

1) Iron: Iron is a marvelous material for creating swimming area enclosures. It is timeless in terms of style. When forged in heat, it is malleable and pliable. It can be stretched and turned into and endless number of designs and shapes.

Of course, when iron is cooled, it becomes one of the strongest and hardest metals on earth. An iron pool fence will withstand high winds and storms. It is extremely difficult to break through. Because of this, it offers much greater security than a wooden enclosure.

Iron is also relatively easy to care for. A wooden fence generally needs an annual coat of paint to preserve it. Otherwise, it will weather much more quickly.

Iron, on the other hand, needs little upkeep (depending on type of alloy and rust-proofing). It will likely last several years before showing signs of rust. This is especially true if it's rust-proofed to start with.

An annual cleaning of iron gates and fence posts will remove any dirt and debris. You can do this with a hose or power sprayer. Apply a coat of rust-proof paint after a few years, or when rust begins to appear. Your manufacturer can provide you with the specifics on maintenance.

2) Glass: This type of enclosure is typically made up of glass panels between iron posts. Glass has a more modern look than iron. However, it's still an excellent choice of material that won't appear dated in ten years.

Glass pool fence panels are tempered. Tempering the glass strengthens it and prevents it from shattering. Glass panels can be transparent, partially opaque or totally opaque. They may be frosted or etched for added depth and artistry.

A glass pool fence requires a bit more upkeep than one made completely of iron. Like a window, the glass panes will get noticeably dirty over time.

Unless you're extremely particular, count on giving them two or three good cleanings per year. You'll also need to properly care for the iron posts as you would with an all-iron pool fence.