Pool Buyers Guide – Part 4

April 24, 2017

What’s This All Going To Cost Me?

Why are there so many horror stories about hidden costs?

I solemnly swear that I’ve read dozens and dozens of ‘hidden cost horror stories’ online and can’t help but wonder if these people live under a rock….

Sorry to be so blunt about it but construction is not a simple cash and carry product like a McDonalds Happy meal or Drive Away No More to Pay Mazda……. You have to plan for the unexpected!


Basically, anything that requires construction can vary at any given time. These are NOT HIDDEN COSTS. IT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD that this is normal for construction projects and we are very upfront about roadblocks that may hinder your pool project.

So where are these ‘hidden costs’ hiding and how can we shine a bigger spotlight on it for you?
       …..come out, come out, wherever you are……….

Council reports
Geotechnical reports, acid sulphate reports, arborist reports, surveyor plans are all required. Arghhhhhh, this is frustrating for you and the builder. No one wins here but you gotta do what you gotta do with local government, and comply with any regulations. Be prepared for anything.

Sewer lines
If building within 600mm of a sewer line you need a sewer peg out by Sydney water and they charge over $1000 to do the peg out and construction inspection. Do your homework and get a sewer diagram before you obtain a pool quote….

Rock excavation, domestic sewer lines and anything else that is underground
This is well and truly hidden and beyond anyone’s control. You can carry out soil testing which usually costs as much as removing the first 10 cubic metres of rock. So is it worth it? Unregistered domestic sewer lines need to be diverted if encountered whilst excavating. This is annoying and must be actioned straight away or you’ll be without a toilet that day. What can’t be seen can’t be quoted but all good pool builders will provide an upfront contract rate so you can plan for worst case scenarios.

Contaminated soil disposal
Soil removal is usually quoted at $1100 to $1400 per 30-tonne load of soil. If an asbestos cubby house is hidden under the pool, then the cost will escalate. Other contaminates include concrete waste, bricks, metals and garden waste.

Raising boundary fences
If you are using a boundary fence as safety fencing it has to be 1.8m high, not 1.2m high like your normal pool fence. This means you may need to raise it and eliminate any footholds.

Damage to driveways
It is possible that damage may occur to paths, driveways, gardens, roadside kerbs and lawn. While all care is taken to minimise impact, please be mindful that machinery will cross the same path to run out soil over one hundred times. In addition, the soil will need to be stockpiled, usually on a front lawn, prior to its long haul removal. If you have any concerns about restoration, most builders can help with quotes for smaller + lighter machinery vs cost to repair in the event of damage. In most cases, the cost for mini machines is far more excessive than restoration costs to damaged areas. You may be able to hire rubber matting to protect the area at your own cost if desired. (Simply google rubber mats to protect grass/driveways)

Electrical and gas lines
Most pool builders will provide electrical conduits to pierce the concrete shell only. It is then your responsibility for the light conduit to be extended to wherever you want to switch the lights. A draw wire must be put in place by an electrician. Electrical connections for the filtration equipment are also not included in a contract. Same with a gas line. You will need to arrange a licensed gas fitter to run the line from street to gas heater.

Control panel
Your lights and equipment are manual, including your spa blower.
If you want to automate up to 10 devices you can install a control touch pad which can be controlled via Wi-Fi and your mobile phone.

Soundproof filter box enclosure
More and more certifiers and councils are making it a condition of approval to provide a soundproof enclosure around your equipment. These can be purchased prefabricated or you can incorporate it into a larger shed style and house all your pool accessories, salts, toys etc…

Extra pool pump
Most pools have one pump that can be valved to control the pool or the waterfall or the spa at different times. If you want to run them all at the same time, you need one pump for each feature.

Pool cleaner
An automatic pool cleaner is not standard inclusion, and you will need to clean the pool manually unless you buy one.

Waste bins, rubbish management, dewatering the shell.
You will need a 2 – 4 cubic metre waste bin for all site waste including concrete washout, plumbing offcuts, timber and formwork, tin sheets, pier tube offcuts, coping wastage/cuts, boxes, interior bags, slurry. Most builders will load it for you. Most customers get the bin at the end, but those who hate the sight of rubbish or have small children and/or pets may like to plan to have the bin there for the duration of the build. The pool is to be kept free of water for the duration of the build by the owner or pay a small fee to have the builder do it when needed.

Coping supply and feature wall finishes
Everyone has different tastes which affect the cost of materials. It’s best you choose your own and have the builder lay it for you. Most wall finishes are bare concrete so you may need to pay extra for materials and labour.

Very rarely are the following items encountered during construction: surveyor pegs to confirm property boundaries, form work, piering and backfilling carried out below existing ground level, necessary works to stabilize site conditions such as excavation collapsing due to unstable soil or consequences of rain and the use of pump/spear pumps for dewatering if you’re on a water table, cutting of existing pavers, additional pipework if you want to locate the filtration far away from the pool, a backwash line if you want a sand filter, silt barriers or other erosion control measures, traffic control if you live on a main road with no parking and I think that’s about all folks!


Is it true that I’ll spend just as much on the landscaping as the pool?

A pool is a pool! At the end of the day, it’s what you do around it that makes it sensational! There is a certain way to design, shape and colour finish your pool but what brings the backyard to life is the landscaping.

It’s easy to spend just as much on the landscaping as the pool which is why it’s more common these days to choose a builder who can integrate the pool and landscaping together, so you save time and MONEY!  

Instead of an average 200mm coping width around the pool, why not extend the walkway? This means you won’t need two concrete structures… pour the surrounds with the pool build!

Instead of building a retaining wall why not incorporate an upturn wall with the pool structure? This doubles up as holding back the dirt and can become a lovely water feature. Or, it can even double up as a poolside planter box.

There is quite a bit of money being spent on glass fencing these days. It’s really in. A glass fence can add as much as $8000 if the pool needs to be fenced on all 4 sides. In some cases where boundary fencing is used as a barrier, this needs to meet the 1.8m height requirement which also falls under landscaping costs if you need to raise or replace the fence.


Up to $30,000 finance pre-approved by close of business today

Luckily for you, we offer up to $30,000 finance. The fee on this amount is only 8.95% over an 18-month repayment plan. You can apply for pre-approval today via email promo@bluehaven.com.au

We also offer another service working with a broker to refinance your current home loan and incorporate the pool and landscaping. In most cases, the re-financing can see your monthly repayments reduced so much that the pool is virtually ‘on the house’…… Once the finance is in place, you can spend it with us or you’re free to invest elsewhere. We charge $199 for this consultation which comes off your pool price if you choose us. You can start the process today via email Remonda.m@bluehaven.com.au

Read More:

Pool Buyers Guide – Part 3

Pool Buyers Guide – Part 2


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