Where to begin?
Building a swimming pool is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make.
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There are many decisions to make when building a pool. While deciding on pool equipment and aesthetics can be an overwhelming part of building a pool, it becomes more straightforward once you know all the options. There are five basic pool equipment and 10 key things to consider when building a pool.
1. How you will be using the pool
You need to consider whether your pool is for recreational purposes (family leisure/casual swim) or for exercise and training. Form should follow function. If you answered recreational, then a conventional inground swimming pool should suit you and your family nicely. If you answered exercise and training, you might want to consider a lap pool.
2. Consider your budget
Think carefully about how much money you want to spend on the entire project. Keep in mind that you will need to account for excavation costs (making the hole for the pool and replacing lawn), installation, ongoing costs like equipment and pool chemicals, your design choices and the surrounding pool area. The exact cost of your new swimming pool depends on various factors.
3. Size, Shape and Depth
The type of pool you select will depend on a number of factors, including the size and layout of your backyard, how many people will use it, how, and how often you plan to use it. If you intend to do laps, you'll generally need a longer and deeper pool. The size of pool you require will also assist you in establishing the perfect location for your pool and whether or not your wish to keep lawn and gardens around the area or create a patio lifestyle with the pool as the focus.
4. Inground Pool types
Generally, inground pools are characterised into three types and suit different needs:
5. Pool Sanitation System:
After you determine the shape, size and depth, it’s time to figure out your pool’s sanitation system, and whether you want a chlorine, saltwater, or mineral system. Traditionally, pools have used a chlorine-based system because it’s cost-effective and straightforward. However, it requires regularly adding chlorine and other chemicals into the pool that may irritate skin and eyes — not to mention frequent monitoring of chemical levels. Mineral system has grown in popularity in recent years. It’s a healthier alternative that provides soothing water quality and easy maintenance. Read the pros and cons in this article to figure out which sanitation system is the best for you.
6. Consider the surrounding amenities/layout you want
Consider your preferred location of your pool and the space around your pool. In winter, when you won’t use your pool as much, you might want to design “zones” for entertaining, or for your kids/dog to play. Do you want a BBQ area, or a pool deck, or an outdoor table setting? Let inspiration fire your project.
7. Consider the time it takes to design and install the pool
After the design process and getting approval from your local council, installation time is generally between 8-12 weeks. Although, the more complicated your design choices are, the longer the installation and building process. Pool construction time depends on a variety of factors.
Remember that pools in Australia require fencing, amongst other safety measures so be sure to check the rules and regulations around swimming pools in your local council. Any swimming pool that contains more than 300mm of water and uses a water filter needs to have council approval before it can be installed. Once you've decided on the pool design and location, you'll need to submit plans and specifications to your local council. Your pool supplier should be able to help you with your application.
9. Choose your builder wisely
Just like building a new home, it’s important to choose a builder/contractor that will install your pool safely, within regulations and within budget. Here’s a list of questions that you should be asking your builder. One of the best ways to find a good builder is to get referrals from family and friends – they’re likely to be honest with you about their experience good or bad. It’s also wise to talk to a number of builders to find one you can trust – this includes determining how long they’ve been in business for. Also, make sure the builder you go with is insured and find out about the available warranty. A good place to start is the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia – their website can help you find accredited contractors in your area.
10. Finally, do your research!
It’s important to do your own research on design choices and pool types and systems. But it is just as important to confirm the feasibility of your decisions to your pool builder/architect. Be sure to ask additional questions to get the most out of your investment. And get several quotes for your pool project from credible builders in your area.