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How to Choose a Retractable Pool Enclosure

Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

Our retractable pool enclosure guide is intended to give you a more in depth look and first hand perspective on what it would be like to have a polycarbonate pool enclosure on top of your backyard swimming pool. 

Why Purchase a Pool Enclosure?

A retractable polycarbonate pool enclosure offers some important benefits that will help make your outdoor pool more enjoyable for the entire family.

  • Use your pool all year long and during winter.
  • No need to open and close your pool each season.
  • Provides added privacy.
  • Enjoy your pool with a closed dome during the winter or enjoy open an open air pool during the spring and summer months.
  • Reduce cleaning costs by keeping dirt, leaves, and debris out of your pool.
  • High clarity light transmission and protection against harmful UV radiation.
  • Durable aluminum framework and polycarbonate retain their characteristics for years.
  • Reduced cleaning time by keeping dirt, leaves and debris out of your pool.
  • High solar efficiency.
  • Retains the heat created by sunshine and increases thermal coziness inside the enclosure.
  • Restrict access by children or animals to ensure their safety.

Which Polycarbonate Panel to Choose with your Pool Enclosure? 

We offer two polycarbonate pool panels: Twin Wall or Compact Polycarbonate.  All pool enclosures include your choice of twin wall or compact polycarbonate.

Twin Wall Polycarbonate Panels

Twin Wall Polycarbonate

  • Obscured so it offers some privacy
  • Twin wall design offers 15% better thermal efficiency than compact
  • Available in clear and smoked colors
  • Less expensive than compact polycarbonate
  • 200 times stronger than glass


Compact Polycarbonate Panels

Compact Polycarbonate

  • This type of polycarbonate is clear as glass.
  • Provides a more clear view to enjoy your outdoor elements.
  • Available in clear and smoked colors.
  • Slightly less thermal efficient than twin wall polycarbonate.
  • More expensive than twin wall polycarbonate.
  • 200 times stronger than glass.

 Side Opening vs Center Opening Enclosure

Pool enclosures have a choice of two openings:

  • A side opening - enclosure opens from the center of the pool.
  • A center opening - enclosure opens from the side of the pool.

The polycarbonate pool enclosure panels are designed to stack on top of each other as you open the enclosure.  To do this, each enclosure panel has to be smaller then the next panel in the row.

For example, if you have a pool enclosure with 6 polycarbonate panels, each of those 6 panels will be a different size if you choose to have a side opening pool enclosure.  

Note: the actual number of pool enclosure panels is based on the size of your pool enclosure.  A type 1 pool enclosure has 5 panels and the type VI pool enclosure has 7 panels.  The longer the length, the more panels are needed.

In order to accomodate six separate panel sizes, each panel size has to have its own track in order to slide easily across your pool.

Side enclosure with tracks

The above pool enclosure has a side opening and each panel has a track groove that allows that panel to fully retract across the pool.

The Benefit of a Center Opening Enclosure

The main benefit of a center opening pool enclosure is that you do not need as wide of a track to accomodate the panels.  

A side opening 6 panel enclosure would have 6 enclosure panel sizes: 1,2,3,4,5,6 and would be lined up in size order, just like the above picture.

A center opening pool enclosure would also have 6 enclosure panels, but only 4 different sizes: 4,3,2,1,2,3.  The number 1 represents the center opening which can slide underneath the next panel size in either direction.  

The enclosure below is an example of a center opening with a total of 7 enclosure panels.

Center opening pool enclosure

With a center opening, you can save space around your pool by reducing the number of panel tracks which reduces the track width.  In the center opening example, the 3 and 2 sized enclosure panels share the same track which allows you to reduce the width.

Center opening pool enclosure are frequently used when working around narrow pool areas.

Enclosure Track Width Side vs Center Opening

Using a 6 enclosure panel as an example, the required track width would be:

  • Side Opening Enclosure: 2 feet 1 inch 
  • Center Opening Enclosure: 1 feet 5 inches

The difference may not seem very significant, but if you only have limited space around your pool, a center opening can make a big difference.

Is It Easy to Walk Over the Pool Enclosure Tracking?

Yes, it is very easy to walk around and over the pool enclosure tracking with or without shoes. A few important things to know about the pool enclosure track:

  • It is only 1/2 inch high in height.
  • The track is slip resistant and comfortable to walk over with no sharp edges or protrusions.

Laguna Retractable Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

 Laguna Pool Enclosure

The Laguna is the most popular pool enclosure due to its tall height which provides extra space for entertaining and enjoying your outdoor pool. The laguna pool enclosure allows you more room to stand up even around the edges of the pool enclosure.

Choose the Laguna size Type based on your outdoor pool dimensions.  If you would like extra space for chairs, tables or a general entertainment area, choose a size that offers extra length or extra width:

  • Laguna Type I - 35 feet long by 17 feet 2 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.
  • Laguna Type II - 41 feet 8 inches long by 18 feet 8 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.
  • Laguna Type III - 41 feet 8 inches long by 20 feet 6 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.
  • Laguna Type IV - 48 feet 8 inches long by 20 feet 6 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.
  • Laguna Type V - 41 feet 8 inches long by 22 feet 2 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.
  • Laguna Type VI - 48 feet 8 inches long by 22 feet 2 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.


Universe Retractable Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

Universe Pool Enclosure

The Universe pool enclosure is a medium height pool enclosure. The Universe pool enclosure offers a nice combination of height while offering a more stable and secure structure designed for parts of the country with heavier snowfall or higher wind levels.

The main difference between the Universe and the Laguna pool enclosure is the Universe has a more sloped design.  This means that you have less enclosure height on the Universe around the sides than you do with the Laguna pool enclosure.

There is an optional upgrade to extend the height of the Universe pool enclosure.  Just give us a call at 888-704-3345 or use our contact form to ask about it.

  • Universe Type I - 35 feet long by 17 feet 2 inches wide by 6 feet 7 inches high.
  • Universe Type II - 41 feet 8 inches long by 18 feet 8 inches wide by 6 feet 7 inches high.
  • Universe Type III - 41 feet 8 inches long by 20 feet 6 inches wide by 7 feet 3 inches high.
  • Universe Type IV - 48 feet 8 inches long by 20 feet 6 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.
  • Universe Type V - 41 feet 8 inches long by 22 feet 2 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.
  • Universe Type VI - 48 feet 8 inches long by 22 feet 2 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches high.

Custom Pool Enclosures

If you have a pool with larger dimensions than the Type VI enclosure size, we can design a custom sized enclosure to fit your pool. 

If you would like to get a quote for a custom sized pool enclosure:

  • Just call our store at 888-704-3345 or
  • Use our contact form to send your pool’s dimensions. 

Swim Spa Enclosure Line

Oceanic Pool Enclosure 

The swim spa enclosure line is designed for smaller swim spa pools.  These pools are typically smaller than traditional pool sizes.  If you have a smaller, swim spa enclosure, we offer a few options that you can consider.

Laguna Swim Spa Enclosure

Laguna Swim Spa Enclosure

The Laguna Swim Spa Enclosure offers a similar design as the very popular full sized Laguna pool enclosure, but with a smaller footprint designed for swim spas. 

Choose an enclosure size that exceeds your pool's footprint.  If you would like additional space for tables and chairs, choose an enclosure with additional length or additional width.

Oceanic Swim Spa Enclosure

Oceanic Swim Spa Enclosure

The Oceanic swim spa is designed to offer extra high height for swim spas.  Choose from two primary sizes:


Universe Low Height Swim Spa Enclosure

Universe Low Swim Spa Enclosure

The low height swim spa enclosure provides all the benefits of a traditional swim spa enclosure at a much lower cost.  The main consideration with the small size pool enclosure is that you do not have the ability to fully stand up inside the enclosure.

The low size model is available in one size:

 Pool Enclosure Accessories

All pool enclosures come standard with the following:

  • One sliding or lateral door with lock.
  • Number of enclosure segments based on the chosen size.
  • Choice of Twin Wall or Compact polycarbonate panel.
  • Choice frame color: white, silver, charcoal and antique brown.
  • 15 year warranty on polycarbonate panels.
  • 5 year warranty on aluminum profile color surface finish.
  • 3 year warranty on packing elements, locks and other technical parts.

The following upgrade options are available with any Pool or Swim Spa Enclosure:

  • AirGuard
  • Extra Sliding Door
  • Double Sliding Door
  • Sliding Screen Door
  • Sliding Window
  • Sliding window screen
  • Fixed Window
  • Fixed Window Screen
  • Lift Up Gate
  • Lift Up Draft Seal
  • Double Sided Lock
  • Panic Door
  • Solar Power Remote Motor (Large or Small) size
  • Extended Pool Track
  • Extended Height Options
  • Additional Reinforcement for High Snow / High Wind Areas



 AirGuard closeup

The AirGuard is a supplemental sealing solution for pool enclosures.  An AirGuard functions in the same way that a rubber seal prevents air from coming through your front door.

 AirGuard Color Options

If you plan on enjoying your pool enclosure in the winter, we highly recommend adding an AirGuard to your pool enclosure.

Double Sliding Doors

Double sliding doors adds extra opening space when walking in and outside of your pool enclosure.

Double Sliding Doors on Pool Enclosure


Pool Enclosure Lift Gate

Add a lift gate to your pool enclosure to easily move chairs and tables inside or outside of your pool enclosure.  The lift gate is like adding a small garage door on one end of your pool enclosure to help you move items in or out of your pool enclosure.

If you add a lift gate to your pool enclosure, we strongly recommend adding a draft seal to your lift gate which works similarly as the AirGuard to prevent cold air from getting inside your enclosure.

Pool Enclosure Lift Gate


Pool Enclosure Extended Track

Use an extended track so that you can move your entire pool enclosure to the edge of your pool.  This allows you to keep your pool enclosure on the track, but have it pushed all the way to one side of the pool.

Pool Enclosure Extended Track Option


Pool Enclosure Sliding Window

Add an extra window to your pool enclosure to increase air circulation.  You can also add a screen to any window to keep out insects.

Pool Enclosure Window


Pool Enclosure Color Examples

Polycarbonate Color Options

 All Polycarbonate pool enclosures offer two main color options:

Color of Pool Enclosure Frame (color of construction in chart)

  • Bronze (brown color)
  • Anthracite (charcoal color)
  • Silver
  • White

Color of Sliding Rails (two choices)

  • Bronze (brown color)
  • Silver

Color of Polycarbonate Panels

  • Transparent (clear; available with compact polycarbonate panels)
  • Translucent (obscured; available with twin wall polycarbonate)
  • Smoked (partially tinted; premium upgrade option)

If you are not sure which color you prefer, we have included a few examples below showing each of the primary enclosure colors:

Laguna in the Bronze Color with Compact Polycarbonate

Laguna in Bronze Color


Laguna in Anthracite Color with Compact Polycarbonate

Laguna in Anthracite color


Laguna in Silver with Compact Polycarbonate

Laguna in Silver Color

 Laguna in White with Compact Polycarbonate

Laguna in White


Laguna with Twin Wall Polycarbonate

Laguna Enclosure with Twin Wall Polycarbonate

Additional Pool Enclosure Ideas

We have a collection of pool enclosure videos that will give you an up close look at many different types of pool enclosures.

If you see a style that you really like, give our store a call and we can provide you a quote for any pool enclosure you see in this video. 

How to Install a Pool Enclosure

Installing a pool enclosure is easier than you might think.  Customers that purchase a pool enclosure typically use one of two options:

  • We offer a custom installation option. This is an additional charge on top of the pool enclosure close cost.  If you are interested in this option, contact us by phone at 888-704-3345 or use our contact page to request an install quote and we can provide you a full quote.
  • Many customers also use a local contractor to install their pool enclosure.

A standard sized pool enclosure typically requires two people and takes 1 to 2 days to install. 

See the video below for an example of a typical pool enclosure installation:


For more ideas, browse our full selection of Pool Enclosures.