Ever dreamed about having in a swimming pool in your backyard?
Just imagine spending many sunny afternoons chilling with a cocktail on a lilo, as your Spotify tunes pump out. Now doesn’t that just sound wonderful?
Well, as exciting as this might be, if you are in a position where you are thinking about building a backyard swimming pool, it is important not to get carried away in terms of its design and construction.
Putting in a pool is, after all, a major investment. Not just in terms of cost but also time, energy and subsequent maintenance.
For the process to be successful, a lot of meticulous planning is necessary, and several key decisions will need to be made along the way.
While it can be a stressful process, if you are thinking about building a backyard swimming pool, here are 11 tips to ensure it goes swimmingly.
- 1 1. Do your research
- 2 2. Find a reputable pool builder.
- 3 3. Choose what pool shape you want
- 4 4. Establish what you can get for your budget
- 5 5. Check your local building codes
- 6 6. Consider the implications for your insurance
- 7 7. Don’t skimp on the features you want
- 8 8. Consider long-term costs
- 9 9. Keep safety in mind
- 10 10. Be green, eco-friendly and energy efficient
- 11 11. Think landscaping and finishing touches.
1. Do your research
Having dreamt of one for years, you might already know which type of swimming pool you want.
But if you don’t, then it is worth doing some research on what the latest styles and trends are.
There are lots of different styles of pool around, including concrete, fibreglass and vinyl, as well as filtering and cleaning systems. There are also chlorine pools, saltwater pools or mineral water pools to choose from too.
So, it is a good idea to make yourself aware of your options. It is also worth creating a folder of different styles you like, as this will give your builder a firmer indication of what you are looking for. Therefore, ensuring you are both signing from the same hymn sheet.
2. Find a reputable pool builder.
Once you are ready to put in a backyard swimming pool you are going to need to find a reputable builder.
Whilst it might be tempting to just pick whoever provides you with the cheapest quote, it is important to make sure they will do a good job.
Again, do your due diligence to find a professional who has many years of experience of putting in swimming pools. Visit their showroom or office, look at their website, check their accreditations, read reviews about them online and ask to speak to references in the form of previous clients.
As the process of putting in a pool can take several months, it is important to choose someone you have faith in, can work well with and doesn’t try and push their ideas on you.
3. Choose what pool shape you want
This is probably the hardest part, as there are lots of designs you can choose from. But choosing the right design of swimming pool is a crucial factor in creating the overall look you are trying to achieve in your backyard.
For instance, the classic kidney bean pool design can easily blend into your garden surroundings and give your space a more natural look. While a rectangular design radiates a more timeless aesthetic. By contrast, free form swimming pools are great for those who want to add grottos and waterfalls and L shaped pools can make good use of unusual spaces.
Take some time to consider factors like the weather because if you live in colder climates, for example, you might want to add an enclosure to ensure you can use it all round. Likewise, for when the weather is warm, think about where you get the most sun from, as that would affect your positioning.
It is also worth determining how you will use your pool too. Is it for the children to play in predominantly, or as a relaxing entertaining space for guests. Maybe it is going to be a stylish architectural statement, or even just a way of adding value to your property.
Knowing how you intend to use your pool will go a long way towards determining what it will look like and how it will be constructed.
4. Establish what you can get for your budget
You probably have a figure in mind when it comes to the construction and installation of your new swimming pool.
But it is important to liaise with your pool builder to determine what exactly you will be able to get for that amount of money.
Before giving them the green light to proceed, make sure you receive a fully itemised quote from them in writing.
You may need to adjust your original plans slightly, but you will at least have the peace of mind of knowing how much the project will cost.
5. Check your local building codes
If you choose a reputable builder, they will work to code. However, it is a good idea for you to avail yourself of the rules and regulations surrounding it as well.
In, Australia the building code clearly stipulates that all pools, regardless of whether they are above or below ground must have a pool fence to a minimum height requirement.
Other regulations regarding building permits, restrictions and noise policies may also apply. So, making sure you are aware of what they are should help you understand what is required for the project.
6. Consider the implications for your insurance
When putting in a backyard swimming pool, it is important to contact your insurance provider to ascertain how this might affect your homeowner policy.
This is an especially a good idea if you insure your home and family with NRMA, as you could choose to take up the option of being covered for a range of eventualities that other companies might not provide.
7. Don’t skimp on the features you want
This might be a contradiction, given what we previously advised in relation to sticking with a budget. However, it is important that you get the pool of your dreams first time around, because it will cost you more money to refit a swimming pool at a later time and also be much more difficult for your builder to do.
Alternatively, you might just want to wait a little bit longer until you have the money to put those features in.
8. Consider long-term costs
Putting in a backyard swimming pool involves a very big initial cost. However, it also involves regular upkeeping costs too.
While you can take steps to reduce these ongoing costs (more on that later), it is a good idea to understand how much it will cost you to run your pool throughout the year.
This includes the price of keeping your swimming pool full and clean, as well as having it regularly maintained.
9. Keep safety in mind
Above and beyond any fencing requirements enforced by local building regulations, you might also want to consider other safety measures.
These can include alarms, that alert you to when somebody or something enters the water or child proof locks on the gates. Both of which could give you extra peace of mind.
10. Be green, eco-friendly and energy efficient
There was a time when swimming pools were not considered environmentally friendly. However, the industry has come a long way towards making them eco-friendly.
Not only can they be built with green materials, they also now come with heaters that use solar power. There are also several natural methods for pool filtration too, including having an attached pond, which replaces the need for chemical water treatments.
Swimming pool covers can also help to avoid evaporation of water, while lighting timers and pumps can offer excellent cost and energy savings too.
11. Think landscaping and finishing touches.
Without proper landscaping, a swimming pool can look a bit dull. So, it is worth figuring out how you can lift the area up. Plants add an excellent aesthetic to its overall design, as does decking and borders. Make sure you add these to the mix when finalizing the blueprints for the pool.