Planning the installation of your pool during the colder months is the perfect way to ensure you’re ready to dive in by the time summer rolls around. Below are five main factors to consider when preparing for your pool:
1. Create a look book
Gather design inspiration from a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and even scenic shots taken on holiday, pay particular attention to the pool water colour and the finish/treatment, tile or otherwise that is helping to create it. Then get an expert in to advise on making your design vision a reality. A good landscape designer will then put your ideas into a cohesive plan that considers your property holistically as it is not just about the pool. A comprehensive landscape design will mean you are ready to construct a clear vision of what your pool oasis will look like come summer.
2. Find a credible team
After you’ve established your aesthetic vision the next step is to source the right team to execute the job. Ensure they are credible and well established; a great way of monitoring this is to check that they are a member of the right associations. Spasa for pool builders and the LNA Landscape Association NSW (for which I am the current president) for all of the other exterior construction builders; as this will mean that they are highly regarded, have earned the respect of the construction industry, government bodies and other associated professionals. Going with a LNA member will also offer protection should there be any issues during the design and construction phase, as all LNA members have the necessary insurances and proven track records.
3. Establish a budget
It’s likely that you will have an idea of what you’re willing to spend on your pool installation and materials. However, it’s also important to speak with your team to establish a more accurate idea of what the process will cost. Design experts will be able to collate more information and give you an estimate on what it will cost to make your pool come to life and integrate within your outdoor space.
4. Check your local building codes
It is important to know the rules before you embark on the pool installation process. The NSW legislation states that pools must be registered with local councils or risk facing fines. To ensure compliance with the regulations, a ‘Development Application’ can be lodged through council, or if certain guidelines are met a ‘Complying Development’ can be carried out through a licensed private certifier. Both will need to meet the following requirements: that pool fences are 1.2m high (with no gaps of more than 100mm), all horizontal pales must be at least 900mm apart, latches must be 1.5m above ground and boundary fences must be 1.8m high.
5. Water features for a finishing touch
Once you’ve made the decision to dive into swimming pool ownership, why not add a stylish water feature. A water feature can be an eye-catching addition to any pool design and also adds to the ambience with the sound of running water. I recommend installing your water feature during the initial construction period as retrofitting can be difficult and costly.
– Matt Leacy is a landscape designer and director of Landart Landscapes.