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How to get your dream pool

Instead of heading to the beach or a public pool next summer, you could have your own pool in the back yard to enjoy every day.

If you’ve got the budget and the space, a pool is an incredible addition to your home and is great for exercise, family fun and keeping cool.

But installing a pool is a big investment, so a lot of research and planning is a good idea. First you need to establish your budget for building, filling, landscaping and fencing.

Buying-Guide_3You will need to consider your lifestyle and the reasons for getting a pool. For the more exercise-focused, a lap pool might be the
best choice, while families often want larger pools. If there are young children, you might choose to include a wading area or other differences in depth, along with a slide or other play features. Meanwhile, if it’s for older children or adults only, a bigger adjacent area for cooking and entertaining might be factored in.

You will need to know where the pool will be located, as this can have a bearing on cost. The choice of location might rest on a number of factors, including hours of direct sunlight, available shade, protection from wind and the placement of existing services like power and water.

Many homes have a pool as part of an outdoor entertaining space, making it almost like an extension of the home itself. Or, if you have a larger block, you might choose to have the pool located further away from the house, with landscaping to make it a separate feature.

You will need to choose a builder by getting quotes from several. Make sure the written list of inclusions is clear. Friends’ recommendations of builders can be helpful here, but always check accreditation and warranties. Check that your chosen builder is a SPASA member.

To settle on a design, you might collect pictures of pools you like, whether they are friends or ones you’ve seen in magazines or online.

A list of colour, shape, size, finish and landscaping choices will then help you narrow down the options with your builder.

One of the biggest decisions is the type of construction. The choices include above-ground, or concrete and fibreglass in-ground pools.

Above-ground pools are less costly and can usually be taken with you if you move on. They can also be installed with a surrounding deck so they are less conspicuous.

Fibreglass and concrete in-ground pools are more expensive but can be built in most shapes and sizes and there’s a myriad of tile and paving finishes available to customise the design.

You can choose between chlorinated or salt water pools. Each sanitation system is very effective and both have positives and negatives. Review each type of system and invest in a system that you can understand and know its limitations. So when there is an issue (and there eventually always is) you know the steps to take to rectify it.

Another thing to consider is ongoing running costs and the need for any extras, such as covers or solar heating. You might also need to speak to your home insurer to check whether equipment such as the filter is covered.

Depending on your builder’s timeframes, by starting in the off-season you could have a pool ready to go for next summer.

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