Designing a pool
Installing a new pool can take longer than you expect, so it pays to start planning now, writes Jennifer Veerhuis
Winter may be setting in but it’s the ideal time to dip your toes in if you want a swimming pool next summer. Fifth Season Landscapes directoror Phil Antcliff (pictured) says the process ess can take a few months including g planning, getting approval and then getting it built.
“Everyone wants to be swimming for Christmas,” he says. “Basically, you need to factor in the timeline of the design and then the timeline of the build.”
He says after going through the design phase there’s an approval phase, with Complying Development the faster option.
In the swim
Fifth Season Landscapes primarily builds concrete pools but the company can also install fibreglass pools and Phil says there are advantages for both types.
“Concrete pools can be built in locations that might prove difficult to access,” he says. “There is no limit to the size of a concrete pool and a concrete pool offers a lot more flexibil flexibility with design.” H He says concrete pools need to cure fo for a minimum 28 days once they have been poured but have greater longevity. On the other hand, there can be a cost saving with a fibreglass pool. “You can get a precast shell made to a certain size by a manufacturer and basica basically you dig your hole and then crane it in,” he says. “There’s less time in the build process.”
While traditionally larger pools are popular, Phil says there is a trend towards smaller pool sizes, driven by smaller blocks of land and smaller backyards.
He says typical pool sizes are 6m by 3m and 7m by 4m, with most people opting for rectangular shapes.
For the coping, or the edging around the top of a pool, Phil says natural stone tiles are a popular option. Limestone, bluestone and travertine all work well, although sandstone can be affected by chlorine.
Phil says lighting is an important feature of many backyard pools, whether it is in the pool or across the whole garden.
Safe and sound
Phil says pool fencing must be certified as part of the approval process.
“There are a lot of rules around the size and location of the fence and the items that can go near the fence,” he says. “We have to be careful that there’s nothing climbable within the zone of the fence and from a safety point of view, we don’t want people being able to climb into the pool area, especially kids.” Pool heating is also worth considering. “Heating helps you get another month either side of summer,” Phil says.
“Solar is probably the cheapest version of heating when it comes to running costs, but with gas or electric heating you can turn up the temperature and get the pool as hot as a spa, potentially.”
Phil says a completed 6m by 3m pool can cost in the ballpark of $80,000, once all the extras are factored in.