Summer Pool Tips

With another hot Australian summer approaching you may be thinking about buying a pool, or getting ready to take a dip in the one you already own.

We spoke to Spiros Dassakis, the CEO of the Swimming Pool and Spa Association (SPASA) NSW and found out everything you need to know about making a splash:

How do I know which pool is right for me?

Like any big investment for your home, when looking at installing a swimming pool, it’s wise to plan and do your research. And you need to ask yourself some key questions:

* What will you use the pool for

Entertaining, fitness or just plain fun? This will help determine the size and shape.

* How will it fit into your block of land and how will it complement your house?

Look at the size and slope of your backyard, and your council’s regulations – you usually need a development application – as this will affect the size and shape too. Councils often regulate on matters such as how far the pool is from the boundary fences.

* Do you have an ideal position?

If so, mark it out with pegs and string to get an idea about the relative size and position of the pool. Check the location in respect to the sun, shade, wind and vegetation.

* Do you want a prefabricated or custom-made pool?

This will determine materials, cost and time. How much maintenance you’re prepared to undertake is also a defining factor here.

* What extra features would you like to include?

A spa, lighting, water feature, rockery, temperature control (solar, heat pump, electric or gas heating), swim spa or landscaping such as decking, paving, seating or structures like pergolas?

* How will you incorporate a pool fence?

Design in a pool fence early. These are mandatory in Australia – the gate must open outward, be self-closing and latches must be out of reach for small children.

The fence needn’t be an eyesore as there are some brilliant options out there including the popular frameless glass balustrading that doesn’t hamper your view.

Only then will have a better idea of what type of pool is best for you!

classic pool

(Image: Pool from Classic Pools and Spas)

What are the main differences between above ground and in ground pools?

In ground pools is the term used to describe pools that are literally built into the ground. These can be concrete, fiberglass or vinyl-lined pools. Concrete pools in particular offer enormous design flexibility in terms of shapes and sizes.

Above ground pools or modular pools arrive ready for assembly, are quick and easy to install and as their name suggests, do not need to be put into the ground.

Above ground pools have evolved significantly over the past 10 years and they come ready-made in all shapes and sizes. These pools are an excellent option for sloping sites with hard access and limited options for excavation and look great with natural timber decking.

How much space do I need?

Again this is dependent on the size of your backyard and your individual or family requirements.

Classic Pools

(Image: Pool from Classic Pools and Spas)

What kind of preparation needs to be done?

As outlined above, you need to ask yourself a number of key questions that will help you to define the type and size of pool you require. In addition to this, it’s certainly a good idea to consult a reputable pool builder and SPASA member.

How do I know I’m buying a good quality pool?

Do your research or hire a consultant who can take into account your specific requirements and can provide advice.
When speaking with builders, ask to see examples of pools they’ve previously built (this is very important if you have a difficult site). And if possible speak with previous clients who’ve had a pool put in.

A rule of thumb is to do your research, think about what you want the pool for and ultimately ensure it’s what you’re looking for.

What kind of pool fence will I need?

Pool fence legislation varies from state to state so consult with your local council or SPASA.

What type of warranties should I look for when purchasing a pool?

Your pool builder should offer you a statutory seven year warranty. With fiberglass pools, additional manufacturer warranties of up to 15-25 years are common.

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