Before you jump into buying a pool here are a few things to consider…
Why do you want a pool?
Got your pen or mobile device ready? Jot down all the reasons why you want to install a pool. What purpose will it have? Who will use it the most? Be aware of the space you have – measure it so you know exactly what you’re working with when you go window shopping. Consider the shape and even the depth that will work for you and the space you have. Be honest and write down any possible issues you think you’ll need to overcome.
What are your short & long term costs?
This will ultimately give you an idea of the ongoing costs associated with having a pool. Ask yourself, “How much have I got to invest up front?” In addition to the basics, consider if heating is necessary, accept that you’ll have additional household energy usage & ongoing maintenance but ultimately be confident that this will be a long-term investment.
Review your current Insurance
A simple phone call to your insurance company is a good idea find out about additional coverage for your new pool.
Be realistic about the timeframe & your budget
Once you come up with a budget – stick to it!
Whilst this may be easier said than done it’s imperative to be realistic about your budget in the first place. Naturally the more additional ‘bells and whistles’ you incorporate the greater the cost, but aesthetically it may complete the overall look of the pool design. So allow for these costs up front. This is where working with an accredited builder and/or designer is useful. Sareen Stone works with a number of reputable and award winning pool designers & builders; give Gary a call to discuss your options on (02) 9666 9222.
Don’t forget to consider the time factor. Discuss this with your pool builder so that you’re both on the same page. Depending on the style and the material used time can be a major factor, so ensure you know when you want to start, when the builder can start and the time it will take to complete the job. Be sure to get this in writing when you are working out your contract.
Building Codes & Pool Laws in your State and Local Government Area (Council)
Swimming Pool Acts and Regulations apply to all residential pools in Australia. Your local council has the responsibility for administering the Swimming Pools Act and Regulation in its locality, therefore make an appointment and discuss with them what is required of you.
You should discuss requirements specific to your area including any natural conditions that may affect your future swimming pool. Ask where you need to go to get plan approvals. Investigate what limitations there are to your pool site. If it is close to the building it may need extra structural reinforcing. If the ground is sloping retaining walls may have to be built, and these all need extra care to ensure that they can take the extra strain that a pool will cause.
Also check out Fair Trading in your state for guidelines on building a pool.
Consider the hot topics of energy efficiency & sustainability
Take time to research energy efficiency and sustainability for your pool. According to the Department of Industry & Science, “maintaining an in-ground pool can account for up to 30 per cent of a household’s energy bills and a pool pump can be the largest user of electricity in a home—sometimes using more energy than your washing machine, clothes dryer and dishwasher combined.”
To improve energy efficiency, consider options such as a multi-speed pool pump or one that has a 5-star efficiency rating. Make sure your pool equipment is functioning correctly; use your pool cover and where possible opt for an off-peak energy tariff. You can also install solar energy lighting and solar heating for the cooler months. Visit SPASA for additional information on buying & building a pool.