How To Construct A Swimming Pool At Home?

If you own a residential property of fewer than 1.8 hectares in area and want to install a pool or spa, you must also install a pool safety fence or barrier. Before the pool can be filled with more than 30cm of water, a pool safety barrier must be:

  • installed to comply with the Modified Australian Standard
  • inspected by a pool safety adviser.

The Swimming Pool Safety Authority must issue a compliance certificate confirming the barrier meets the Modified Australian Standard. If you install a pool or spa on a residential property 1.8 hectares or larger, you should fence your pool or spa, but you don't get a compliance certificate. However, you can choose to opt in to get a compliance certificate.

Before Construction Begins

You and your contractor must take important steps before any work begins on your pool or spa.

Scope Of Work

  • Swimming pool construction, installation and maintenance (construction)
    • Earthworks and drainage for the construction of concrete swimming pools and spas
    • Place and fix reinforcement for the construction of concrete swimming pools and spas.
    • Construct formwork for concrete swimming pools and spas
    • Place and finish concrete or other materials to provide a shape or form for concrete swimming pools and spas.
    • Ancillary pipework including general filtration, sanitation, water chemistry, solar heating and basic hydraulics for concrete swimming pools and spas
    • Landscaping works are associated with concrete swimming pools and spas, including pool fencing and paving.
    • Ceramic tiling, painting, coping and internal finishes associated with the construction of concrete swimming pools and spas
    • Prepare plans and specifications for concrete swimming pools and spas that are:
    • for use in building work to be performed by the licensee personally
    • Maintenance and general repair of concrete swimming pools and spas
    • Install pool accessories, including, for example, pool heating systems
    • Incidental work of another class.
  • Swimming pool construction, installation and maintenance (installation)
    • Earthworks and drainage for the installation of prefabricated and fibreglass swimming pools and spas
    • Install prefabricated and fibreglass swimming pools and spas
    • Ancillary pipework for prefabricated and fibreglass pools and spas including general filtration, sanitation, water chemistry, solar heating and basic hydraulics
    • Place and finish bedding sand or other suitable materials for prefabricated and fibreglass swimming pools and spas, including packing, filling and levelling.
    • Place and fix formwork, reinforcement, and concrete to install prefabricated and fibreglass swimming pools and spas.
    • Landscaping works associated with installing prefabricated and fibreglass swimming pools and spas, including pool fencing and paving.
    • Install coping and tiling associated with the installation of prefabricated and fibreglass swimming pools and spas
    • Prepare plans and specifications for prefabricated and fibreglass swimming pools and spas:
    • for use in building work to be performed by the licensee personally
    • Maintenance and general repair of prefabricated and fibreglass swimming pools and spas
    • Install pool accessories, including, for example, pool heating systems
    • Incidental work of another class.
  • Swimming pool construction, installation and maintenance (maintenance and accessories)
    • Non-structural maintenance and general repair of swimming pools and spas
    • Install pool accessories, including, for example, pool heating systems
    • Landscaping works are associated with the maintenance and general repair of swimming pools and spas, including pool fencing and paving.
    • Incidental work of another class.

What Must You Do?

Before construction begins, you must apply for an interim compliance certificate.

  • Fill in the interim compliance certificate form.
    • interim compliance certificate form DOCX (75.3 KB)
    • interim compliance certificate form PDF (921.2 KB)
  • Could you submit it to the Pool Fencing Unit?
  • After receiving your interim compliance certificate, you must give a copy to your pool contractor.

If you want to use a boundary fence as part of the pool safety barrier, you must also do the following.

  • Fill in a dividing pool or spa barrier notice form
    • Dividing pool or spa barrier notice form DOCX (60.2 KB)
    • Dividing pool or spa barrier notice form PDF (621.4 KB)
  • Give a copy to the property owner that shares the boundary fence with you.

What Your Pool Contractor Must Do?

Your pool contractor must do all of the following:

  • see a copy of your interim compliance certificate before work begins
  • fill in the contractor notification form that states when work will begin and end
  • contractor notification form DOCX (64.5 KB)
  • contractor notification form PDF (870.0 KB)
  • submit the form to the Pool Fencing Unit
  • build the pool to meet all the conditions on your interim compliance certificate.

If you are installing your pool or spa, you must meet all the same requirements as a pool contractor.

FAQs About Installing A Swimming Pool

Start as you would with any big renovation project by establishing your reasons for putting in a swimming pool. These will have a big influence on its shape, depth, size and possibly even the type of construction. Will you use it for laps, recreation or relaxing? Is it for your children and their friends to enhance a view or act as a focal point for the garden?

If you have a clear idea of its purpose, the rest of the decisions (and there will be many) won't bwon'thard to sort out. But before you progress your pool plans any further, make sure you ask the most important question – given that the average amount Australian homeowners spend on installing a backyard pool is $50,000 – will you use it enough to justify the expense?

Swimming pools are easier to build on a level site, so construction costs will be higher if your block slopes steeply. Ground conditions such as a high water table or sandy, rocky or unstable soil will also make building trickier.

The size and location of your property will naturally determine your pool's size, shape, and design. However, urban sites can have strict requirements for positioning your pool near property boundaries, so be aware that shading from other buildings or neighbouring trees might also limit where you can position a pool.

Once you've on the type of pool, it's working out the position. Check council and building regulations regarding site coverage allowance, pool fencing requirements and proximity to stormwater drains. Your pool builder should contact your construction company and You Dig service to check the location of utilities such as gas, electrical, telephone, cable and water.

Options Where To Put A Pool:

  • Sightlines
    • Your view of the pool from inside the house and the rest of the garden. Adding lighting or water features will make it more attractive. Seeing the pool from the house is essential if you have kids.
  • Sun exposure
    • Does the location maximise sun exposure to help keep the water warm? Large trees can block the sun and drop leaves into the water.
  • Wind exposure
    • will cool the water and increase evaporation. Plant or build screens to shelter.
  • Accessibility
    • How will people enter and exit the pool? Where will you hang out around the pool?
  • Storage
    • Where will you keep the filtration equipment, pool cleaner, toys and sun umbrellas?

The first question to consider when determining your pool's pool suction is whether the pool should be in the ground or above it. Soil excavation and removal are costly, but in-ground pools generally have a more permanent feel than most above-ground types.

It may be cheaper, faster, and easier if you have a steep site. However, install an above-ground pool made from fibreglass with a surrounding deck, especially if access is tricky. Talk to local pool contractors, ideally those recommended by people you trust. The cheapest swimming pool option is a prefabricated, above-ground type, usually made from fibreglass or steel with a vinyl liner.

DIY models that can easily be disassembled are great if you rent and want to take the pool with you when you move. Options range from basic models with no filtration to larger types suitable for swimming laps, including extras such as decking, steps, and filtration equipment. Unfortunately, most have a limited lifespan.

A basic concrete pool is generally more expensive than one made of fibreglass (from about $25,000 upwards). This is because many concrete pools have a customised shape and size, so you might find it costs you well over $50,000.

Many additional pool installation expenses need to be factored in, including covers, decking, landscaping and heating systems in some areas of Australia. Then there are the ongoing costs of filtration (running and servicing pumps and filters) and keeping the water clean (chemicals, saltwater chlorinators, self-cleaning units and suction cleaners).

The highest maintenance cost for swimming pools is the lining. Some concrete pools may need to be acid-washed every three to five years and replastered or resurfaced every 10-15years. Vinyl-lined pools can puncture, so you should allow for repairs every five to 10 years. Fibreglass composite pools are low maintenance, and some come with a 25- or 35-year structural warranty.

TOP POOL TRENDS

  • Urban sites are getting smaller, and so are pool styles. There are some very clever space-maximising designs on the market.
  • Infinity edges used to preserve hotel pools, but they're possible for residential pools now.
  • Mineral water pools are more gentle on the skin than salt or chlorine water pools as they use magnesium-based sanitisers and are growing in popularity.
  • According to Peter Baily, swim jets, plunge pools, and long, thin lap pools that run down otherwise disused side passageways are very much in demand.

Concrete Or Fibreglass?

Concrete and fibreglass are the most popular materials. A steel-reinforced in-ground concrete pool has traditionally been viewed as the strongest, most durable pool option, but advances in fibreglass composite technology have increased this material and strength.

Although the use of sprayed concrete techniques (rather than boxed poured concrete) has sped up the process, the installation of a concrete pool can take about three months, much lengthier than fibreglass (as little as three days). Bad weather can hamper construction, and the porous nature of concrete can lead to algae and mould issues if the surface is not properly finished. Concrete offers flexibility in shape, size and depth if you want a customised design. You can also get an infinity edge or a "beach" (gent "y shelving) entry to the pool. There are many options for finishing a concrete pool's pools, including marble plaster, tiles, pebbles, coloured quartz, swimming pool paint, or vinyl.

Infinity edge pools can be achieved with concrete and fibreglass pools that sit above the ground. 

Who Will Build It?

Ask for referrals from friends and colleagues who own pools. Word of mouth recommendations will usually lead you to a good pool builder. However, if you're up short on personal recommendations, SPASA is the peak body representing hundreds of professionals and businesses across AustralAustralia'snd spa industry.

What Will Go Around It?

Fencing, paving, landscaping and a pump house can equal the pool cost. But, whether you're rested in timber, composite decking, pavers or stone, the most important considerations are slip resistance and maintenance.

Consider how much space you have to play with and whether your pool surround will meet with existing paving, as that might dictate the thickness of the material you'll use.

Pool Mistakes To Avoid

Choosing the wrong location for the pool so you can't round it easily, it's saded or there for sitting and relaxing or entertaining your guests.

Skimping on decking or paved areas around the pool to save money. Remember that people spend more time beside the water than in it, and trying to add more space after the construction process is finished can be expensive.

Buying on price alone. Cutting corners is not worth it with swimming pools. Underestimating the size of the project and the resultant upheaval. Expect dirt and chaos, and you'll see them better when they happen.

Swimming Pool Designs Ideas

Summer, we miss your balmy nights, ice cream delights, and endless light. But most of all, we miss the lounging by the pool. So we rounded up forty striking swimming pool designs to help inspire the summer days ahead. From a Tuscan-style retreat to a rustic farmhouse swimming pool and even an indoor lap pool, these design-savvy pools will make you want to dive right in and float the day away. So take a mental vacation and jot down some style notes from these unique swimming pool design ideas.

Optimise It For Laps

how to construct a swimming pool at home (3)If you're planning on using your pool for exercising, stick to a rectangular shape. Long and linear is the name of the game, and this shape works well in the backyard, too, because you'll pool cover options with the classic shape.

Create An Eye-Catching Passage

Design a pathway that visually draws the eye to the pool and provides a clear way for people to approach it. Here, Janice Parker Design opted for an offset stacked bond pattern.

Choose Decking Wisely

Here, Studio Robert McKinley used different materials to distinguish the separate hangout spots and to optimise their distinct functional purposes. For example, the concrete flooring under the fire pit sitting area is durable, low-maintenance, and affordable. The lawn functions as a nice segue to the pool, where wood decking, though pricier, makes the pool maintenance much easier.

Add A Baja Shelf

Baja shelves are the perfect pool addition for lounging in the shallow end without having to submerge in the water fully. They'reThey'relly just a super-sized version of a top step, where you can dip in and out or relax on loungers.

Enhance The Surroundings

how to construct a swimming pool at homeThis pool seamlessly blends into its surrounding environment with a light stone tile border and gravel walkway. Even the shutters on the château in the distance pick up on the light blue water. Take notes from this lovely swimming pool to create a pool area that feels straight out of the French countryside.

Copy The Bondi Baths

The Bondi Baths at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, are a world-famous landmark for a reason—they're striking as a pool can get. The dramatic seascape is gorgeous enough on its own, but the lap pool that directly transitions into the ocean is enough to make us pack up and move down under. While it might be difficult to replicate the seaside spot completely, the graphic black and white colour scheme alone is worth copying.

Bring The Outside In

This indoor to an outdoor swimming pool is about as unique as it gets. Architecturally striking, this pool also offers up some practical perks. Now you can swim indoors or outdoors depending on your mood or the season. The glass wall helps ease the transition.

Have Fun With Color

Make a splash with bold tiles in your pool, then balance things out with a clean-lined, classic rectangular pool design. If red isn't your colour of choice, try something unexpected but softer, such as Millennial Pink.

Set The Mood

Chose a darker stone tile in your pool area for a moodier environment. Opt for daybeds and cabanas instead of basic lounge chairs to make it feel like an expensive pool club.

Construct A Raised Deck

Construct an elevated deck if your pool area is next to your garage or another less beautiful area. Then, rise above those functional spaces for a retreat that feels anything but ordinary.

Chanel Your Favorite Destination

Turn your pool into a Tuscan retreat with burnt orange umbrellas, cypress trees, and terra cotta tiles and planters. Instead of a full roof over the patio, add a pergola to create a nice geometric look while letting the sun dapple through. And then pour yourself a glass of red wine.

Conclusion:

Whatever stage of planning your swimming pool is a major investment, the range of options is increasing all the time: in-ground or above, concrete or fibreglass, painted or tiled, infinity edge or lap pool.

The key to making good investment decisions is doing your homework first, so if you have a pool in your backyard, consider the following questions, which will help you discover exactly what you want.

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