If you’re think­ing of in­stalling a pool, be sure to read Three Birds’ Lana Tay­lor’s tips first

Real Living (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Choos­ing your ma­te­rial This is the most im­por­tant de­ci­sion you’ll make, so do your re­search. Fi­bre­glass pools are usu­ally cheaper and quicker to in­stall than their con­crete equiv­a­lents (three weeks in­stead of three months), and their smooth sur­face makes them eas­ier to clean and gen­tler on the skin. Con­crete pools, on the other hand, have the huge ad­van­tage of be­ing able to fit any shape you want. With con­crete, you can add ledges, al­coves and swim-outs, but with most peo­ple opt­ing for clean, rec­tan­gle shapes these days (bye-bye, kid­ney styles!), fi­bre­glass is def­i­nitely worth a closer look (I’m bi­ased, I have one).

De­cid­ing on a clean­ing sys­tem Chuck out the pool vac and skim­mer, and get your­self a “self-clean­ing” pool sys­tem. These pools have noz­zles in the floor, which pop up and flush wa­ter around, push­ing all the leaves and de­bris to­wards an in-floor drain in the deep end. This drain sends the de­bris into large leaf bas­kets that you empty maybe once a month (and it takes all of 30 sec­onds). It’s a mas­sive labour-saver and there’s no ugly tubes float­ing around on the pool sur­face to spoil the vista.

Find­ing the right colour Don’t rush this im­por­tant de­ci­sion, be­cause I can guar­an­tee that you will look at your pool more of­ten than you’ll swim in it. So ask your­self, “What colour wa­ter do I want to see?” Find some ex­am­ples from mags or on­line and show them to your pool com­pany, who can ad­vise what in­te­rior sur­face you need to achieve that look. Some other things to re­mem­ber: darker colours ab­sorb heat and make your pool warmer; lighter colours show the de­bris at the bot­tom of the pool more eas­ily; and depth is what re­ally brings wa­ter colour to life.

And be­fore you lock in your de­ci­sion, ask your pool com­pany if you can visit and view some ac­tual pools. Noth­ing beats eye­balling the real thing. De­mys­ti­fy­ing min­eral wa­ter When I was grow­ing up, it was a big deal to have a salt­wa­ter pool over chlo­rine. Now there’s also the op­tion of min­eral wa­ter, and I’m not talk­ing about the stuff you or­der in a cafe. Min­eral pools claim to de­liver a range of health and well­be­ing ben­e­fits be­cause the tran­quil wa­ter is filled with nat­u­ral emol­lients that re­lax and re­ju­ve­nate you with every swim. The best bit? Any pool can be con­verted to a min­eral pool sys­tem.

What about heat­ing? If you can’t swim in any­thing less than 28 de­grees, there are three main types of heat­ing for you to check out: #1 Gas – it heats the pool quickly, but can be costly to run.

#2 Heat pump – the ini­tial cost out­lay is larger, but they’re ef­fi­cient and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

#3 So­lar – de­spite a large ini­tial out­lay, this can be the most cost-ef­fec­tive op­tion, how­ever, it’s very re­liant on the weather.

Don’t for­get pool lights Here’s a tip if you want your pool to light up the night: ask your pool com­pany if you can in­stall the sub­merged pool lights on the walls that can’t be seen from your house. Why? You want to see the pro­jec­tion of light rather than the ac­tual light bulbs. This is only an op­tion with con­crete pools, as fi­bre­glass shells are pre-fab­ri­cated with the light lo­ca­tions pre-de­ter­mined.

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