Around one in ten Australian homes have a backyard pool – if you’re one of the nine homes that doesn’t have one, chances are you ponder it when the hot Aussie summer makes itself known!
The decision to add a pool to your backyard can be a daunting one, and it’s important to think about a number of different factors when it comes to putting a pool in.
A pool can add long-term value not just to your home, but to your family life too. Read on for five tips to make sure your pool installation is a successful one.
1. Choose your contractor wisely.
Just like building a new home, it’s important to choose a contractor that will install your pool safely, within regulations and within budget.
One of the best ways to find a good contractor 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 contractors to find one you can trust – this includes determining how long they’ve been in business for.
Also, make sure the contractor 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.
2. Get your fencing right.
Once you dive into installing a pool, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is fencing – and not just the permanent fence once the pool is finished.
It’s the law in every Australian state and territory that all swimming pools must be fenced correctly.
If anyone is living at the house during the construction of the pool, you’ll need to install a temporary fence.
However, even if the house is unoccupied, you’ll still need a temporary fence if the pool is in-ground and not self-draining – remember, rainwater can collect in the bottom of a pool during construction.
You’ll also need to ensure you get the correct temporary fencing – standard temporary fencing, construction fencing and crowd control barriers are not compliant, check out this temporary pool fencing to get an idea of what you may need.
3. Location, location, location.
You’ve probably already envisaged the perfect place for your new backyard pool, but there are a few things to consider to ensure you get the placement just right.
- Take the high road– If you build in a low-lying area, you could end up with debris and mud in your pool after heavy rains.
- Harness the sun- Plenty of sunshine will help warm up the water. If you pick a spot that’s away from trees, you’ll get the double bonus of warmer water and fewer leaves dropping into the pool for you to clean out later.
- Stay out of the breeze- Wind can increase water evaporation and mean the pool needs constant topping up. Plus, wind can make you feel colder when you’re wet – and not in a relaxing way!
- Look above and below– Make sure there’s no phone or electrical wires above your pool site, and remember to check if there are any sewer lines, septic systems or underground cables that might be affected during construction- a good place to start is Dial Before You Dig.
- Access- It’s important to make sure your new pool can be craned over your house, and your driveway can withstand the crane’s weight. Check for any trees or branches that might impede this step and find out if you’ll need council permits for their removal.
Taking these five steps will help ensure there’s no heartache on the day your pool arrives and after installation.
4. Avoid a budget blow-out.
You’ve put together your budget to get the pool up and running – but what about the landscaping and accessories that help you enjoy the finished product, and the tools that help you maintain your new investment?
Remember to consider extras like landscaping, ongoing pool maintenance services, tiling, decks, fencing, shading and furniture in your budget so your pool is fully ready for your enjoyment once it’s finished. Don’t forget the pool toys for the kids too!
5. Optional extras.
Thinking about adding jets, a spa or a whirlpool to your pool one day? It’s worth talking to your pool contractor in the early days, even if you’re not sure.
Plumbing a swimming pool is a simple but vital part of the process and if you use some foresight it can help make it easier for future additions to your pool.
Talk to your contractor about any upgrades you might be considering – this means you can get any pre-plumbing done during the installation phase, saving you time and money later.
Hopefully, these tips have informed your decision about whether installing a pool in your backyard is viable.