Everything you need to know about finding a pool builder
A swimming pool is a great way to enhance your property and keep cool in the warmer months. Pool builders can advise on the right type of pool to suit your outdoor space and budget. Read on below for more information about pool builders and pool designs:
What Pool Builders Do
Renovate pools: If your pool needs a spruce-up, consider having it renovated. Pool renovations are done when you want to update your pool to a more modern shape and design, without the expense of installing a new pool. For more information see pool renovation.
Resurface pools: Pool resurfacing is a great way to give your pool a facelift or repair cracks, leaks and other damage. During the process, any rust, dirt and other debris is cleaned off the surface before it is left to dry. A new coating is applied and then the pool is refilled. For more information see pool resurfacing.
Repair pools: If your pool leaks or is cracked or damaged, you will need to have it repaired to save a lot of money and headaches later on. When your pool is damaged, it could be losing water at a rapid rate. This means more frequent refilling, using more chemicals to balance the water and, in some cases, an unusable pool. See pool repairs for more information.
Install a new pool: Adding a pool to your outdoor space is a great way to cool down in summer and provide months of entertainment. Pools can be above-ground or in-ground and made from fibreglass, concrete or vinyl liner. For more information see new pools.
Obtain permits: If you do want to build a new pool on your property, you will need to obtain permits from your local council. Your pool builder can help with this lengthy, complex process by gaining all the necessary permits for you. For more see pool permits.
Considerations When Building Pools or Spas
Ask questions such as how many people will be using the pool or spa, if it will be for fitness or entertainment, how much room you have in the backyard, what your budget is, and if you will need heating.
Consider more technical aspects such as the sort of soil you have, where underground piping and electrical cables may be located, and whether any trees are located nearby (tree roots can crack pools, not to mention the debris from falling leaves and the like). If there are problem trees, you may need to call a tree felling service to remove them for you (see tree felling).
Due to water restrictions in many parts of Australia, some water boards may limit how your pool can be topped up, or may even not allow the pool to be filled or topped up at all. Therefore, it is a good idea to check with your water board before beginning any new pool.
Council regulations will also influence the type of pool that you can build. Most councils require you to obtain the correct permits before any building is done, and there often regulations that you must adhere to, such as the distance from the boundary, and safety requirements.
There are some safety aspects that need to be considered when building a pool or a spa. Most importantly, you will need pool fencing as this is required by law if it is more than 30cm deep. Pool fencing should be no more than 10cm off the ground so that children cannot crawl underneath the fence. The fence railings (if applicable) should also be no more than 10cm apart. Gates need to be self closing and should only be operable from the top, so that children cannot open the gates themselves.
Types of Pools
There are two types of pools, inground or aboveground. What you choose will depend upon your needs.
Aboveground pools are cheaper than inground pools and can often be relocated, while inground pools can greatly add to the resale value of your home if located in the right area.
Aboveground pools come in two types, rigid-sided and soft-sided. Rigid-sided pools are the more common of the two and they are more permanent, due to the fact that they have a wall and a vinyl liner. The wall can be made from aluminium, wood, steel, or steel and resin. Soft-sided pools have the liner as part of the actual structure and it is this type of pool that can be moved or packed away if needed.
Aboveground pools are less attractive than inground pools, but this problem can be easily rectified through the use of decking or landscaping. Because aboveground pools require supports, ensure that you take this into account when selecting the size of your pool. There is also not a great deal of flexibility when it comes to the shape of the pool, as they usually come in set shapes such as circles or ovals.
Inground pools have a greater flexibility in design as, depending on the type of pool you select, they can be custom made to suit your needs (however, there are some limits). A designer will be able to help you create a pool that fits both your space and requirements. If you are building an inground pool, you will need construction permits, so talk to your council before beginning any work. Also expect the building process to take anywhere from three to twelve weeks.
There are three common types of inground pools: fibreglass, concrete and vinyl liner. Fibreglass pools are pre-cast in a mould before being delivered to your home fully formed. They are more flexible than concrete pools and can be lined with a vinyl liner. Concrete pools are the most expensive option but they are able to be designed to fit almost any space or size. The concrete is poured on site and the pool, when set, is then finished using a variety of options such as tile, paint or other materials. Finally, vinyl liner pools are essentially an aboveground pool that has been placed inside an excavated hole. This is the cheapest option for inground pools but the liner will need to be replaced around every ten years on average.
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