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Pool Safety Nets–Pros, Cons, & Costs

If you have a swimming pool and a family, then you are familiar with the need to take safety measures around your swimming pool. A pool safety net helps to reduce the risk of accidents around the pool by creating a barrier between pool water and open air. Drowning incidents are a real risk when talking about backyard pools, so doing what you can to keep your children and pets out of harm’s way is important.

Read on to learn about the pros, cons, and potential costs of using a pool safety net to secure your backyard swimming pool.

What is a pool safety net?

A pool safety net is a strong net that uses tension to create a barrier along the surface of a swimming pool. To create this tension, a central tension device is installed, allowing the pool owner to place and remove the net. When pulled all the way shut, the net becomes extremely taut. This creates a surface tension that is similar to that of a trampoline.

To install, pool contractors will place anchors around the perimeter of the pool. These are permanent installations, and are set into the deck so as not to become safety hazards. Once installed, they will stay in place until the pool is modified or the decking or coping is removed.

Pool Nets vs Automatic Pool Covers

There are two main safety methods when it comes to creating a protective barrier between pool water and open air. These methods include automatic pool covers and pool safety nets. We’ve discussed automatic pool covers at length on this blog before, and they are extremely effective in increasing the safety of your swimming pool, however they aren’t right for every pool design.

While automatic covers are convenient and effective, they do not work on organically shaped pools. They are only able to be installed on straight edged or rectangularly shaped pools. This makes their use limited if you are interested in a swimming pool design with curved edges or a more organic shape.

In terms of effectiveness, both approaches will work well to provide additional safety. The method you choose will have more to do with the shape of your swimming pool, budget, and personal preferences. 

Pros of Pool Safety Nets

There are a lot of upsides to using a pool safety net to secure your swimming pool.

Safe and Effective.

First and foremost, when installed and used correctly, pool nets are extremely effective. The space between the netting is large enough to test water temperature. At the same time, the knit is tight enough to prevent children and pets from falling through or becoming caught. Most pool nets can hold a significant amount of weight. This means that while in place, they will keep almost anything safe, dry, and out of the water.

Easy to install.

While perhaps not as easy to install as an approach such as a pool fence, pool nets are simple to have installed in your outdoor space. The process is quick, minimally disruptive, and can be completed by a qualified team in under a day.

Minimal Aesthetic Impact.

One of the largest reasons homeowners opt for pool covers over structures such as pool fencing is the design implications. Pool safety fences can be large and unsightly. Even the nicest brands on the market don’t exactly fit into an expensive backyard redesign. Pool safety nets, on the other hand, are low profile and minimally invasive. When in place, the eye can skate right over them. Conversely, pool fences create not only a physical barrier, but a visual barrier as well. 

Works for ALL Pool Shapes.

As discussed, a pool safety nets closest competitor is the automatic pool cover. An automatic pool cover is a pool barrier method that slides on and off the pool at the touch of the button. This is extremely convenient. However, automatic pool covers are not suitable for all pool shapes. Pool safety nets are.

Unlike automatic pool covers, netting can be stretched to fit any size or shape of swimming pool. This is a huge benefit for homeowners who want the minimal look of a pool cover, but do not have a rectangular shaped pool in their yard. It’s also great for pools with attached spas that need to be covered, as seen in the image above.

Cons of Pool Safety Nets

While pool safety nets have a lot of great selling points, there are a few drawbacks to this form of pool security that should be considered.

Manual Removal and Placement is a Hassle

Pool safety nets are easy and quick for contractors to place, and extremely effective one installed. However, in order to do their job, they need to be used correctly. This means taking the time to remove and recover your pool with the pool net after every use.

This process takes between 5-10 minutes, which isn’t a lot of time. However, it is an extra step that can become a hassle for some homeowners. If you believe that the process of placing and removing a pool net will dissuade you from using it properly, then a secondary or alternative option such as a pool fence may be a better choice for your family.

City Safety Codes

When making any kind of backyard renovation or modification, it’s critical that you are familiar with your cities safety codes and ordinances. Some neighborhoods may allow for barrier methods such as automatic covers and nets to be used exclusively, while some may require the use of a pool fence.

No DIY Installation

Installing a pool fence may be a straightforward and fast process for an experienced team of pool contractors, but it isn’t exactly a DIY project. Unlike methods such as pool fencing, install of a pool net will always need to be done by a team of professionals.

How much does a pool safety net cost?

The cost of a pool safety net will vary from brand to brand, and depends on factors such as the size of your pool, and labor costs for the team who installs it. On average, however, a pool safety net will run you anywhere between $1,500 for smaller pools, to $3,000 for larger pools.

This pricing is about equal to installation of a high quality pool fence, but far cheaper than the average cost of an automatic pool cover, which can cost over $10,000 for complete systems.

Common Pool Safety Net Brands

There are a number of commonly used pool safety net brands on the market. Online sellers include:

Each brand has the same general approach, with slight variations in cost, design, sizing availability. Access to install will depend on where you are located.

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