As summer approaches, your thoughts are turning towards finally installing that swimming pool you've been dreaming about for years. Should you start getting quotes from pool builders
now, or should you give your pool more careful consideration? A pool is a big expense and will have an equally big impact on your landscape. Here are some things to consider before installing a pool.
Check with Your Local Council
You can't install a pool of any useable size without council permission. Regulations vary from state-to-state and even council-to-council, so contact your local council first to find out everything you need to know about installing pools in your area. Your council may also be able to give you invaluable information about precautions you should take before installing a pool. For example, you may need to have a geotechnical survey conducted to determine if the soil is stable enough for an inground pool or if a large rock formation may be hidden under the surface of the soil where you want to install your pool. You might also need to find out if there are underground cables in the area where your pool is going to be installed.
In some states, all pools must be registered and in most parts of Australia, pool fencing has become mandatory. There may be extra expenses involved that you have not considered. Checking with your local council first will help you work out your pool budget and determine what type of pool you can afford to install.
Plan Your Pool
It can be hard to visualise the impact a pool will have on your landscape. You might want a large pool, but will it take up too much space in your yard? One way to visualise your pool is to stake out the area you want it to cover. If there is not enough room for landscaping and access to both sides of the pool, it's probably too large.
When you have a fair idea of how large a pool will fit into your available space, have a look at our Pool Design Ideas
pages and see what others have done. Notice the placement and size of the pools, but also look at the landscaping around the pool. You want you completed pool to fit into your landscape and complement your home design, so look at the details that make one pool look more inviting than another.
Also think carefully about what you want to use your pool for. If it's for exercise, a long rectangular pool may be best. If you don't have enough room for a swimming pool, consider installing a plunge pool with resistance jets in one end of the pool. Resistance jets allow you to "swim in place" by creating a current you have to swim against.
If you want a pool that the children will share, you will want it to include a shallow area. You might also want to consider making the children's pool separate from the adult pool to help ensure young children don't accidentally get in over their heads.
Getting Quotes for Your Swimming Pool
When you have a complete picture of the pool you want, you can start getting quotes for your swimming pool. To get an idea of how much pools cost, read How Much Does a Pool Cost
? A fibreglass inground pool costs less than a concrete pool, but if both of those options are outside your budget, you can consider installing an above ground pool.
While your swimming pool will be your greatest expense, other expenses are not insignificant, either. Get quotes from pool builders for a complete pool, including pumps, filters and a heater, but don't overlook other costs such as:
Make a list of all the related expenses. Some pool builders offer a complete services or you may need to get separate quotes for landscaping and other costs.
It's always a good idea to add 10 percent to your budget to account for overlooked or unanticipated expenses. Pool heating and maintenance are ongoing costs you want to be prepared for, too. If you've anticipated all your initial and ongoing costs ahead of time, you'll be able to relax and enjoy your new swimming pool.