Last Updated Feb 1, 2018 · Written by Craig Gibson
Thinking about installing a sparkling new swimming pool?
Tempting certainly, but you do need to do your homework first, and work out what you can afford, what type of pool is right for your home and who is going to carry the work out.
You also need to consider if a pool is going to increase the value of your home.
This article will help you work all this out, so you can make an informed decision and be taking a dip before you know it.
Planning is all about the practicalities of your new pool. This includes working out:
Learn more: What to consider before you install a pool
So, what can a pool builder do for you? Here are some jobs they can help with:
Build a pool: Whether you are looking for an above-ground or in-ground pool, and one made from fibreglass, concrete or vinyl a pool builder can make it all happen for you.
Resurface or renovate a pool: if your existing pool is a little worse for wear then resurfacing can help give it a facelift.
Repair a pool: Cracks and leaks are not only unsightly they are going to hurt your pocket when the water bill arrives.
In terms of materials, there are three common types used to make pools:
Fibreglass pools are made using a precast mould and are then dropped into a hole. They are quick to install, more flexible than concrete pools and less liable to crack but are only available in a limited range of designs.
Concrete pools are the most expensive option but you can design one to fit any space or size. On the downside they can crack if you have unstable soil and they do take longer to build.
Vinyl liner pools are the cheapest pool option, and a convenient way to swim on a budget. You can have this as an aboveground or inground, and you only have to change the liner every ten years
#hiptip: There are strict safety guidelines governing pool fencing in Australia - make sure yours is installed to the regulations
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There are strict guidelines governing pool fencing, primarily to protect small children from drowning.
Australian Standard AS 1926.1-2012 details all the specifications for pool fencing and gates. These apply to all pools that are deeper than 300mm, including inflatable and portable pools. The most critical regulations include the height of the fences and gate (1.2m +tall), the gap at the bottom of the fence (no greater than 100mm) and the spaces between the vertical elements of the fence (no greater than 100mm).
Some states and councils also require you to have your pool fencing inspected and your pool registered.
Check with your local council to make sure yours is compliant.
Learn more: Installing pool fencing
It depends where you live. In NSW for example there is a dedicated swimming pool building licence. In other states this could be covered by a general building licence. Best to check before you hire anyone, otherwise you could regret it.
When it comes time to get quotes make sure you ask all the right questions, so you hire someone with the right qualifications, experience and licensing. Some to get you going include:
#hiptip: Get at least three quotes before you commit to hiring anyone, so you can compare price and level of service
Time to get down to the nitty gritty, what your pool is going to cost. Lets take a look at inground pools first.
In ground swimming pools are the most expensive pools to install largely because of excavation costs. The two most common types of inground swimming pools are concrete and fibreglass.
According to installers of these types of pools:
The difference in price between a fibreglass pool shell and having the pool installed can be accounted for by the excavation work and the cost of a pump, heater and other accessories.
Above ground swimming pools are less expensive than inground swimming pools, but you need to factor in all the costs associated with them. DIY kits made from resin shells with vinyl liners start at around $3,500 and go up to $6,500 or more.
Timber decking will increase the price a further $1500 to $2000 and if excavation is required, it can cost another $2500, depending on the amount of excavation needed. If you're installing a larger above ground pool, you may also need to have a concrete slab poured.
When comparing prices of inground fibreglass pool or above ground pool kits, make sure everything is included in the kit price. For example, a fibreglass pool shell alone may cost around $7000, but a complete kit that includes a pool pump, filter, and other accessories might cost $9000. You may also need to buy a pool heater, which will add to the cost.
You will need council approval and pool fencing if you want to install a swimming pool in most parts of Australia. If you install an inground swimming pool, you will need paving around the pool and if it's an above ground pool, you will probably want to install a deck around the pool. Together, these costs can add thousands of dollars to the total cost.
In most cases, it's better to get quotes from pool builders That way you know upfront what all your costs are going to be.
Compare all your quotes carefully. If they are complete quotes and come with long-term warranties, the cheapest quote may be the best buy, but don't settle for an inferior quality pool. A swimming pool is a significant investment and a pool that lasts is a better investment than a pool that will need repairs after a few years.
*Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.