De­sign­ing a pool

In­stalling a new pool can take longer than you ex­pect, so it pays to start plan­ning now, writes Jen­nifer Veer­huis

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - ADVICE - Jen­nifer.veer­huis@news.com.au More

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.”

Shape shifters

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.

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