3 choices when planning a pool

Now summer has passed, are you regretting missed opportunities, or looking back on afternoons spent by the pool?

Whether you’re looking to build your very own watery playground or thinking about upgrades to your current pool, it’s best to get it started in winter so you’re ready for when the warmer months return!

Swimming pools are significant investments, with three key things to consider. 

In-ground versus Above-ground

The choice between an in-ground and above-ground pool typically comes down to cost – above-ground pools are significantly cheaper – but there are several other considerations to take into account.

First of all, where will your pool go? Is there space for the kind of pool you imagine? Remember all pools in Australia must be fenced, and in some states there needs to be space around that fence. Is the ground sloping, or occupied by an existing deck? Is it practical to excavate your yard? Sometimes these considerations make the two options closer in price, in which case, go with your heart!

The biggest drawback to above-ground pools is how they look. There’s less customisation in the shape of above-ground pools, so if resort-style living is what you’re aiming for they may not be the way to go. Above-ground pools also have a shorter lifespan than in-ground pools, which can affect their value.

Chlorine versus Saltwater versus Mineral

The type of water that goes into your pool will be affected by several factors, including your health needs, maintenance preferences, and even aesthetics.

Chlorine pools add chlorine and other balancing chemicals to the water, via hand or feeder. As chlorine is a strong chemical, it keeps the water extremely hygienic, but those with skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis can have their conditions irritated. Chlorine can also leave a faint smell – think the smell at public pools – so it also depends on whether you love or hate that scent.

Salt pools also use chlorine, but at a far lower concentration. The vast majority of Australian pools use this method as it’s considered a less heavy method of pool maintenance. It’s not quite like swimming in the ocean, but a lot of people think it’s better! 

The latest trend to hit the market is mineral pools. Mineral pools also use chlorine in their maintenance processes, but add magnesium and other minerals to the water, often in combination with salt. Magnesium has been shown to decrease muscle pain, and is great for sensitive skin conditions, as well as helping to prevent calcium build up on pool equipment. Mineral pools have a higher upfront cost than other options, but its health benefits have won over many pool owners.

Fibreglass versus Concrete

If you’ve decided to take the in-ground route, there are two main building materials to consider. Once the groundwork has been laid, fibreglass pools are easy to install because they arrive ready to go. The biggest advantage to fibreglass is its durability – it shouldn’t need resurfacing or replacing in its lifetime, and it’s durable, strong, and flexible. Fibreglass manufacturers need to be certified, so make sure you ask for their licence number.

While fibreglass pools come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, for something truly custom, a concrete pool may be best. Chelsea Watters, Designer and Project Administrator at Outside Signatures says everything from the pool shape, to the stairs and even the finish can be customised with concrete. 

“This means the pool can be designed to fit each and every project while meeting council compliance. Every job is different, so every pool needs to be designed differently to get the best out of the backyard,” Chelsea says.

“Concrete pools are also great for sites with limited access, all you need is a small access path so you don’t have to watch a crane carry the pool over your house.”

In conclusion

If you’ve been tossing up a pool for a while, hopefully this has helped clarify some of your questions. The most important thing is to make sure you’re up to date with all relevant legislation in your state, and to have fun once summer comes around!

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