Want to install a pool for summer 2019? You better start now
Pools are a six-month process "at best" according to landscaping expert.
Those looking to enjoy a pool by the end of this year will need to start now says leading landscaping designer Matt Leacy. Leacy, co-founder and creative director of Landart Landscapes, says the process of developing a design concept through to installation can take months to complete.
“Developing a concept – if done properly – usually takes between two to three months, and then you’ve got to factor in getting the design approved to build, which can take up to three months," he said.
"Once approved, the pool needs to be installed. After all is said and done, you can potentially be looking at a six-month process at best."
For those looking to invest in a pool for summer 2019, Leacy outlines four steps homeowners need to consider: planning, finding the right team, budgeting and building compliance.
Leacy says it is important to get a professional to assess your property to ensure it will be suitable to install a pool, and not doing this can be a costly mistake down the line.
“You don’t want to do things in reverse – buying a pool on a whim without first looking at things like how it will connect and integrate with existing spaces and the overall outdoor aesthetic is very rarely a good idea,” he said.
“Every year, we hear from people who have rushed their purchase for summer and have ended up having to spend extra time and money post pool-installation refitting sewer lines, gardens, design elements and the like.
Finding an expert team
According to Leacy, when looking for an expert team it is important that they are credible, trustworthy and capable of delivering the promised product. You also need to check the company has the required certifications.
“In New South Wales, this means the SPASA for pool builders and the LNA Master Landscape Association for all other exterior construction. There are equivalent bodies in all Australian states that are worth checking out if you’re unsure.”
"I would also recommend making sure that the company has the correct licence and insurance for the type of build you are carrying out,” Leacy says. “A pool builder’s licence is different to a structural landscaper’s, so make sure that they have the appropriate licence.”
While your budget is a factor you will need to consider, Leacy recommends working with a company that offers landscape design and pool installation services rather than just design.
You should start with a rough budget in mind, says Leacy, as it will allow the design team to develop a plan that is achievable.
But Leacy warns not to skimp out on necessary costs.
“Budget considerations should always be balanced against the need for a quality final product."
“You can only pay for what you can afford, but you don’t want to barter down too much on price because the quality of the pool will ultimately suffer."
If you don't have the money upfront, you can also consider financing options for pool installations.
There are various codes that need to be met when installing a pool, especially when it comes to fencing.
“A big part of whether or not a pool is deemed compliant comes down to the fencing around it," says Leacy.
“In all states, a pool needs to be fenced to certain heights to be approved. Pool fences in New South Wales need to be at least 1.2 metres high – and if the pool backs up onto a boundary fence, the boundary fence needs to be at least 1.8 metres high."
“You’ve also got minimum requirements relating to the size and height of gaps, horizontal pales and security latches.”
Leacy says that pool fencing legislation varies throughout Australia and you should check with your local building authority if you're unsure what rules apply to you.
Thinking about installing a pool?
Check out our guide to financing your pool installation and how to maintain a swimming pool.