If you’re standing at the edge of an unfamiliar body of water, it’s never safe or sensible to just dive in head-first. It’s no different when deciding that it’s time for a pool at your place. Here’s a list of things you should dip your toes into first before taking the plunge.
Think about your budget
Whilst it might seem easy to get a handle on your initial construction costs, which can vary wildly depending on your personal taste and building site, it’s also to important to remember that like any other construction, a swimming pool is never a “set and forget” scenario. Ongoing maintenance and running costs, future repairs and possible upgrades should play a big role in forming a decision on whether to proceed or not.
What will you use your pool for?
Entertainment or exercise? Maybe both? Deciding the main way your pool will be used is of vital importance when choosing design and placement. If you’re after a relaxing oasis, you won’t need as much space. If your focus is fitness you’ll need to think about the space needed for a lap pool and the impact this will have on your outdoor living area.
Choose the right location
There are many different factors at play here. From a safety perspective it’s a good idea to have line of sight from some point of the house to the pool, especially if you have children using it. Try and place the pool where it can catch as much direct sunlight as possible, to help maintain a comfortable temperature. Consider any existing trees near the pool to judge whether falling leaves will lead to more time with the scoop in your hand and less time in the water. A sheltered position from wind is also a good idea to help lessen evaporation and avoid excessive water bills.
Depending on your choice of pool type (above or below ground) you’ll generally have to make a choice between vinyl, fibreglass, or a concrete pool. Each option has its pros and cons. Consultation with a licensed pool builder can help you make the right decision.
Traditionally, pool water sanitation has used a chlorine-based system. While that is a relatively simple and effective system, the use of dangerous chemicals can be off-putting for some. Saltwater or Mineral based filtration systems continue to increase in popularity for their effectiveness and natural water filtration. Do some research into the most effective application for you, based on your time available for maintenance. If your budget allows, there are many firms who can manage your pool’s water quality for you, leaving you more time to enjoy in the water.
No matter where you are in Australia, there are requirements for your pool to be fenced. In NSW, your pool must be fenced under construction and clearly sign posted “this swimming pool is not to be occupied or used”. A licensed pool builder will be knowledgeable about requirements needed for your pool to be legally secured, as will any certifying authority. Check with your local council to ensure compliance and avoid costly remediation.
If you live in a naturally cool area or can’t place your pool in an area where the sun can help regulate its temperature, you may need to investigate options for heating your pool. Solar technology has advanced dramatically and is likely the most efficient and cost-effective option. You’ll also need to consider factors such as wind and storms, and the impact that debris could have on your pool. A pool cover is a simple and effective way of managing these worries, with the added bonuses of aiding your pool’s thermal stability and reducing any evaporation.
Take the time to think about what kind of use your pool will see over time. Maybe your kids have grown up and left the house. Maybe you’re thinking about incorporating a spa. Certain types of installations can be included in the plumbing and space, for you to have the opportunity to change things up without as much new work needed. This can also be a great selling point if you are taking your home to market, allowing any potential buyer to reimagine the pool area in their own way using the existing construction.
Choosing your builder
The trickiest and most important aspect of the process is picking the right builder for you. If you have family or friends close by, consult them on their experiences when building a pool. Check out reviews on the internet. In New South Wales any pool building costing more than $5000 must be conducted by a licensed builder or swimming pool builder. Reputable builders are likely to be a member of the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia.
The NSW Department of Fair Trading recommends getting quotes from at least three builders before commencing work. Any work quoted at $20,000 or more will be covered by the Home Building Compensation Fund during the construction and warranty period, bringing you extra peace of mind. They also advise to be wary of builders that encourage you to register as an owner builder, which means that you assume full legal and financial responsibility for the project. Further important tips regarding pool building can be found here.
Everything’s set. Construction, completed. Landscaping on point. Pool furniture at the ready. Time to send the invites for the pool party, right? Not just yet. Has your new pool been certified by a licensed inspector?
Get your Pool Checked by Trusted Building Inspectors
It’s the box you need to tick before enjoying your new pool. You must be certified as complying with Australian building standards, and that safety and fencing requirements have been met. Exceptional Building Inspections can help you with an accredited certifier, ensuring the safety and structural integrity of your new pool, as well as being across all necessary registrations and notifications to statutory bodies. Our all-in-one service ties up all the loose ends at the end of your build and once your certification is complete, it’s time to make a splash and start celebrating!
Contact Exceptional Building Inspections today to book your certification inspection. Check out our website for a comprehensive rundown on all the services we provide or call us on 02 4950 4197 or 0412 188 199. You can email if you prefer at email@example.com or use our contact form here.