So you’re thinking about adding a new swimming pool to your property, and maybe you’re not sure where to start. Like any significant renovation on your home, there are many things to consider before installing a swimming pool.
It’s essential to give proper thought and research before you even begin the process of installing a new swimming pool. Making the mistake of choosing the wrong builder, not adhering to legislation, or even selecting a less-than-ideal location can become costly in the long run.
So, what are the main things to consider?
- Purpose – why have a swimming pool?
- Budget – there are more costs to consider than just the pool itself.
- Location – choosing the right place on your property is essential.
- Legislation and choosing a builder – a critical step in the process.
- Maintenance – some important things to think about.
Let’s dive deeper into the points to get right before you start the process of installing a swimming pool.
Why install a swimming pool?
Installing a swimming pool is a big decision with a lot of variables to consider. But the first thing to consider is why you want a swimming pool to begin with. Is it to add value to your property? Do you plan to use it often? Do you simply want a place to cool off at home?
Whatever your reason, it’s essential to get clarity on the swimming pool’s purpose and research the pros, cons and responsibilities around owning a swimming pool.
A swimming pool is an expensive renovation, and skimping on costs could come back to bite you down the track in the form of further renovations or even fines. When a pool and the surrounding landscape is done well, it can provide you with enjoyment for many years to come.
As a starting point, a swimming pool installation can cost a minimum of $25,000 and often up to $50,000. The cost of a swimming pool can vary greatly, depending on the type you choose to install.
Usually the most expensive option as they require excavation of the landscape, an in-ground pool comes with extra building expenses. They also need a flatter landscape. That said, inground pools are seen as more permanent additions and add value to your property when maintained well.
An above-ground pool is a great alternative when the budget says ‘no’ to costly excavation. While you may need to build a platform for the pool to sit on, above-ground pools offer various solutions to tighter budgets and steeper landscapes.
It’s not just the pool you need to include in your budget. The surrounding landscape, decking, barriers and fencing are essential elements that need to be planned and included in your budget. It’s also important to consider who will be using the pool to determine any additional features required. For example, if you plan to have children or dogs access the pool, it is wise to include stairs into the pool to ease accessing and exiting the water.
You will want adequate space to include the pool, a lounge area, decking, fencing and landscaping while adhering to current laws and regulations around pools and barriers. You will also need to ensure the lounge spaces do not impede the Non-Climbable Zone (NCZ) regulations. Read more about NCZ and safety standards.
You may have a space in mind to place your new swimming pool. Be sure to consider the surroundings and how they can impact your swimming pool.
Trees are not great for your pool
There are several reasons why placing a pool close to trees may not be ideal. Placing the pool in a location that receives plenty of sunlight is a great way to heat the pool naturally, and trees can hinder the sunlight from getting through.
Trees also drop many leaves, seed pods and other debris that can become tedious to clean out of the water. Additionally, trees and their branches may pose a safety risk as they can be used as a climbable object for children to scale over pool fencing and gain access to the pool.
It’s best to choose a location away from trees.
Flat landscape or slope?
If you are planning on installing an in-ground pool, a flat surface is required. If you do not have a flat surface on your property, you may want to look into building a platform and installing an above-ground pool, as mentioned above.
Believe it or not, placing the pool in a windy position can end up costing you more. Wind will cause the pool water to evaporate faster, requiring it to be topped up with water and chemicals more often. Not to mention, no one likes lounging poolside with a flow of wind hitting their wet clothes and skin.
Legislation and choosing a builder
The importance of researching and selecting a renowned builder cannot be overstated. Resounding advice from any professional in the swimming pool industry is to ask family, friends and your community about their experiences with a swimming pool installation and who they recommend for the build.
You must hire a builder who knows the legislation around swimming pool installations and fencing laws. Fencing and barriers around your swimming pools should never be an afterthought. You will need to ensure adequate fencing around the pool during installation as rainwater can gather in the empty pool and become a safety risk. Find out more about pool and spa fence compliance here.
You will also require council permits, pool registration and a pool safety certificate issued by a licensed building inspector. To avoid potential fines, it is wise to have your pool barrier assessed before your inspection. Find out more about pre-compliance services.
Maintenance and additional considerations
Swimming pool maintenance includes the pool itself and the surrounding area. A swimming pool will generally require resurfacing and replastering. Some may even require acid washing if algae get out of control. Maintaining the area around the pool, including the deck, fence, gate, and more, is also essential. Read our tips for maintaining pool accessories and the surrounding pool area.
In addition to physical maintenance, you will be required to have your pool barrier inspected every four years to remain compliant with current regulations.
Installing a swimming pool is a big decision and requires a lot of responsibility. However, it is rewarding. When you do it right, your swimming pool will be worth the effort, delivering longevity, value, and many enjoyable summers.