Thinking Of Building A Swimming Pool? Here’s Everything You Should Know
June 9, 2022
The range of options to build the pool of your dreams is increasing all the time from in-ground or above, concrete or fibreglass to infinity edge or lap pool. Indeed, wanting to have a pool is one thing and building it is a different story altogether. But don’t stress 🙂 Education has always been key and to make things a whole lot easier for you, we’ve gathered everything you need to know and consider so you can make the best decision to build your own backyard haven:
1-Your Reason For Getting One
Everything should start with why. You are more likely to make the proper selection about the size, shape, and kind of swimming pool if you have a good purpose for starting construction. So ask yourself, what is it really that you’re going to use this pool for?
Is it for…
- Backyard enhancement
There’s so many pool options out there to suit your needs. Even when you have a sloping block or a small backyard, there are solutions available like a Freestanding Plunge Pool.
You can even add a spa if you want. Most Australians enjoy pool time, but having the added luxury of a spa will undoubtedly help you unwind and relax, in addition to numerous wellness benefits.
Another crucial factor to consider is the area where you will install the pool. Not only does this affect the size, shape, and depth of your pool but also your budget. Remember that the type of surface you have in your location has an impact on its suitability. Installing a pool in rugged terrain, for example, is more expensive than on a flat surface. Similarly, if you reside in a rocky area, you will spend more money because excavation will require heavy machinery.
Swimming pools are cheaper to construct on a level site, so building costs will be higher if your block slopes steeply. Ground conditions such as a high water table or extremely sandy, rocky, or unstable soil will also make construction more difficult especially when it rains.
It is because of this reason pool builders and designers recommend getting your pool shell in before building a house. But if your house is already constructed and you just want to add a pool to maybe increase its value or to build an outdoor oasis, then the best you can do is ensure the area will be suitable for the construction.
A good pool builder will design your pool to accommodate the site conditions, which are always unique! The type of soil, underground services, proximity to structures, site elevations, trees, and, of course, the surrounding integration and landscaping vision must all be considered.
To help you decide where to place your pool, here are some key elements to take into account:
- Sight lines: Your view of the pool and the rest of the garden from inside the house. It will be more appealing if lighting or water features are added. If you have children, it’s crucial to see the pool from your home.
- Sun exposure: Does the location get enough sun to keep the water warm? Large trees can shade the water and drop leaves into it.
- Wind exposure: Cools the water and causes it to evaporate more. To provide shelter, plant or construct screens.
- Accessibility: Concerns how people will enter and exit the pool. Where will you spend your time around the pool?
- Storage: Where will you store the filtration equipment, pool cleaner, toys, and sun umbrellas?
Pool shape and depth, size, ledges, retaining walls, feature walls, spas, glass window panels, pavilion slabs, and fencing configurations are all important factors to consider.
Every pool, as well as any intended hard surface areas like extended concrete surrounds and slabs, will require permit permission from the local government or a private certifier, as well as your state water board.
Designing a pool to meet rules is a major responsibility, and in most situations, you’ll want to plan the entire backyard at the same time, so that all of the hard surfaces are plotted and authorised without having to halt work and reapply.
Pool construction can only begin once all necessary approvals have been obtained. The approval procedure varies greatly, with some local governments requiring months to complete. You may be able to hire a private certifier, which is much faster, depending on where you live and the type of pool you have.
A swimming pool is a valuable investment that can increase a home’s selling price anywhere between the $100 – $200K price bracket. In fact, 85% of home buyers believe that a pool will add value to their new home, with 42% admitting that a pool is a deciding factor when purchasing a property.
And so, it stands to reason that a swimming pool is an investment that pays for itself.
To give you an idea, a typical concrete pool usually ranges between $35,000 to $100,000 upfront but there are pool builders who offer great deals in the market. If you want to score a really good deal, you can consider buying pool packages online that already include benefits and features such as pebble interior lining and heating provisions.
Also, there’s actually a scenario where you don’t need to spend a single dollar to build a fabulous pool in your own backyard. If you have a home loan and you’ve been trying to save money so you can start sunbaking by your own pool this summer, stop right now.
There’s a better way.
Our boss lady, Remonda, is here to help you with refinancing the mortgage on your home to allow you to open up a huge number of possibilities, including shortening the life of your loan, reducing your repayments and allowing you to use the equity in your home to renovate.
4-Concrete or Fibreglass?
A swimming pool is likely to be one of the most valuable personal investments you will ever make in your home, and when it comes to installing one, the most common dilemma for property owners is deciding between concrete and fibreglass.
The truth is that there is no clear winner between the two, and it all comes down to which will best suit your needs. Concrete is popular among homeowners who value the design and overall appearance of their pool because it is highly customisable.
While concrete pools take longer to install, with an average completion time of 3 to 6 months versus 3 to 6 weeks for fibreglass, they give you complete control over everything from the look and shape to colour and custom additions like ledges. If you want a natural poolscape with waterline tiles, concrete is also a good option.
When it comes to construction and installation, the costs of a fiberglass swimming pool and a concrete pool are vastly different. Both are high-quality, durable materials. However, building a concrete pool will cost more because it takes much longer to construct, which means you will have trades on-site for a longer period of time.
Filtration systems, heating, lighting, and additional landscaping (e.g. decking) will make the most difference in price between two pools. These options are generally the same for both concrete and fibreglass, so their presence does not directly affect the price — depending on the add-ons, either material could be cheaper or more expensive.
When installed and finished, both concrete and fibreglass pools look fantastic, and most people will be unable to tell the difference. The real difference in appearance and design comes from concrete’s ability to be built in any shape or size you desire, whereas fibreglass pools are only available in factory-made models.
The pool’s feel may also vary depending on the options you select. Because of the gel coating applied over the raw fibreglass, fibreglass pools have a very smooth finish. Concrete pools are typically plastered or tiled, making them slightly rougher underfoot than fibreglass pools but providing a better grip.
5-Your Choice of Pool Builder
If you’ve decided to install a pool in your home, you’ll understand how important it is to select the right builder. Choosing the right builder will save you time, money, and stress because the job will be done correctly.
Any construction project, including pool construction, might have unexpected costs or setbacks. It’s critical to pick a reputed pool builder if you want your pool to be the finest hangout location for your friends and family. One thing you can do is ask colleagues who own pools for recommendations or search the web for the best pool builders in your area and read customer feedback.
If you’re coming up short on personal recommendations, we recommend checking with the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Australia (SPASA).
Also, it’s important to note that pool builders often specialise in one type of pool. Concrete and fibreglass pools are the two most common types, and most pool builders specialise in one or the other.
For example, if a pool business exclusively installs fibreglass pools, they’ll limit their opinion/quote to a fibreglass pool rather than the best and most cost-effective solution for your home when they assess your property. The worst kind of bias is hidden bias.
Seek a second opinion or find a pool builder that specialises in both fibreglass and concrete pools. You can be sure you’re receiving the best pool for your space rather than the finest pool for their commission.
How to choose the right pool builder?
Check that the builder’s licence is current and that they are eligible for Home Owners Warranty, which provides government protection if the builder is unable to fulfil the contract due to illness or liquidation. Having a valid policy in place for anything over $20,000 protects you both during the construction process and during the statutory warranty period. Blue Haven Pools is proud to offer insurance on all contracts worth more than $20,000.
Your contractor should be able to confidently explain the payment process for your pool installation, including all costs. If your builder uses complicated terminology or cannot explain why and for what they are charging you, it is likely that they are deceiving you. Your builder should also be able to walk you through your contract with confidence, informing you of your obligations and risks before you sign and pay.
Be wary of builders who charge a high upfront fee for things like tipping, fencing, power, and all the other costs associated with pool construction that would be much less expensive if you dealt directly with quality local trades like your local fencing contractor or electrician.
Long-term maintenance costs do introduce some price variation. Concrete pools are more prone to algae growth, necessitating more frequent cleaning and chemical treatment. Concrete can also wear out faster, necessitating more frequent repairs. These differences, however, are measured over decades, so don’t get too hung up on them.
Pool maintenance can consume up to 30% of a household’s annual energy budget. If you plan to sell your home in the future, it’s a good idea to have an energy-efficient pool, which is usually the main concern of homebuyers.
Blue Haven pioneered the EnviroSmart Mineral Pool over ten years ago, which features cutting-edge equipment that ensures the purest mineral water possible all day long, benefits the environment, and reduces maintenance costs. We help homeowners save approximately $800 in power, 12,000 litres of water, and 80 per cent less in pool operational costs each year through this innovation.
The good news is that you are not required to use Blue Haven as your builder in order to purchase this technology. This can also be used to replace your existing pool filtering system.
Every Australian state requires residential swimming pools and spa pools to be fenced by law. Although an Australian Standard applies to pool fences across the country, each state and territory government has its own laws and permits to ensure that every pool fence complies with the standard.
The most common misconception about swimming pool barriers is that they are shared with your neighbour. Current Australian standards require boundary barriers to be 1800mm high, with the NCZ or clear area measured on the inside of the barrier.
Furthermore, retaining walls, objects, or level changes within a property that would otherwise reduce the height of a barrier must be at least 500 mm away from the barrier.
Climbable barriers, trees, shrubs, pool filtration equipment, and garden sheds are examples of non-compliant objects. These objects are frequently required to be moved or modified.
To protect your pool from possible damages and to restrict unauthorised entry and ensure pool fence compliance, be sure to keep these things on your checklist to achieve proper compliance:
- Install an approved CPR sign inside the pool area. Most choose the shallow end of the pool.
- Check your pool gate is self-closing and that the gate opens outwards from the pool.
- Look over if there are no gaps under the fence that exceed 100mm.
- Check the height of the latching mechanism – it should be 1500mm above the ground.
- Ensure that your pool fences are 1200mm high measured from outside the fence from the ground level or any surface within 500mm of the fencing.
- Look for climbing hazards outside your fences and remove them – this includes pots, furniture and fixed structures that should be relocated out of the climb zone.
- Remove trees, hedges and vegetation. They can be used to climb.
- If there is a Boundary Fence as a part of the enclosure, it must be 1800mm high and completely free of climb points.
- Keep other activities out of the pool enclosure – no clothesline, no BBQ or dining, no trampoline or cubby house.
- Glass fences will need a glazing certificate provided to the certifier to ensure the right quality of glass has been used and is not likely to explode in the future.
- There are to be no doors or windows opening from the dwelling or other outbuildings entering the pool area.
- No vegetation or obstructions must be seen within a 900mm arc from the top of the boundary fence within the pool area.
While rules must be followed, your pool fence does not have to be boring. There are a variety of sultry pool fence designs available today that will allow you to not only meet safety requirements but also improve the overall aesthetic appeal of your backyard.
You can keep it simple with a steel pole fence, be stylish with a glass pool fence, or choose the ever dependable old metal that’s sturdy and easy to clean. If you want to give your pool a stylish and one-of-a-kind appearance, a laser-cut screen is an excellent choice. It can also be made to almost any design and to meet the Australian Pool Safety Standards (AS1926.1 – 2012).
You can add a natural finish to Jarrah sleepers, a type of Australian tropical hardwood, and install them at slightly varying heights for a completely different approach to pool fencing.
8-What Will Go Around It
Did you know that you’ll spend about 20% of your time in the pool and the other 80% by the pool?
We spend a lot of time by the pool, whether we’re sunbathing, reading a book, listening to music, chatting with family and friends, or having a BBQ. That’s why you should really consider what goes around your pool including landscaping, plants, and furniture. They are what make your pool stand out!
They also set the tone in a room that will quickly become your haven. There’s a lot to consider: lighting, furniture, fire torches, umbrellas, greenery, poolside pavilion, deck chairs, and so on.
Setting aside the same amount of money for landscaping and furnishings as you do for the pool itself is an easy way to budget for the finishing touches. If you’re looking for the best pool accessories for ultimate fun during the summer season, you can look into enjoyable floating amenities and exciting floats to spice things up.
Aside from the fun accessories and toys, keep a separate area for essentials such as pool chemicals and emergency supplies. When you need to access a specific element, having accessible storage space will help you save energy and time.
Ready to get building and customising?
If you are planning on building your dream pool to life, don’t hesitate to contact us at 13 20 25. You can also check our online pool package deals here: http://bluehaven.com.au/pool-spas/pool-package-deals/