Planning to install a pool so it’s ready in time for the warmer summer months? Here’s what not to do.
The amount of time that goes into saving, choosing, planning and finally installing a pool makes the moment you take the first plunge so much more rewarding. But failing to plan correctly could make for more of a headache than a relaxing place to spend the summer months.
1. Failing to talk to your local council before diving in
Putting in a pool requires planning permission from your local council, who will have a specific list of rules and regulations that will need to be adhered to. Before setting your heart on a specific design or size, get your hands on a copy of their requirements and either work with a contractor skilled in working through local governments or be prepared to file a lot of paperwork and designs with them before moving ahead. Also, be aware if your plans change after you’ve received permission, you’ll need to talk to a planning officer to make sure they still comply.
2. Not giving enough consideration to concrete versus fibreglass
When it comes to choosing between concrete and fibreglass, there are multiple considerations to make, and they’ll affect the bottom line of not only the installation, but also the cost of maintenance throughout the lifespan of your pool. Fibreglass is cheaper and quicker to install, and it is generally easy to keep clean. However, a concrete pool can be custom designed to any size and shape, making it popular with higher end homes – a well-crafted concrete pool is a work of art. If you do go for the costlier concrete, don’t skimp on the finishes; a poorly produced concrete pool can become a mildew magnet that will cost a fortune to fix. Vinyl pools are the cheapest of them all – but the rule of thumb is the less you spend up front, the more you’ll spend on maintenance, and the shorter the lifespan.
3. Not looking at placement as a key element of the design
While you’ll obviously think long and hard about where you want your pool in terms of looks, there’s more to it than that. Placing it in a spot where it will more naturally heat will extend the useable period of your pool during the year, and keeping it away from trees or plants that can cause damage or a constant need to clean (gum trees can create a cleaning nightmare and wear out your filtration system) is a great plan. Also look for a spot that allows you to use the rest of your yard to its best advantage – and if there is any likelihood you may subdivide in the future, ensure your pool doesn’t put paid to these plans.
4. Poorly plotting plants
Quite often instead of consulting a landscaper regarding the pool surrounds, people only consult the pool builder, says . “Often a pool will be placed in a corner and/or one metre from a fence line so there is no room for a green screen behind the pool – trying to fix that later once the pool has been installed is hard because of lack of space,” he says. He also recommends choosing plants that have minimal leaf drop and that don’t grow too big, or develop sharp, pointy foliage. “The Yucca, a very popular architectural plant, is a good example, people put these in when they are small but they grow very quickly and become very hazardous with their sharp leaves and the very invasive large bulbous stems that are extremely difficult to remove,” he says.