The Guide - Outdoors

Pools & spas in new homes

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So, you’d like a pool in your new home? Lucky you! There’s no doubt about it, if a pool and / or spa is on your new home ‘Want List’ and you can afford it, they’re a great addition to any home. Kids love them and get hours and hours of fun and exercise out of them, and it’s lovely for the adults to cool off at the end of a long, hot summer’s day.

Pools and spas can be perfect. Kid’s love ‘em and they’ll never be bored in summer with a pool to jump into. They also involve some work, and safety issues that every new homeowner should be aware of before they take the plunge.

- newhomesguide.com.au

Why do you want a pool?

The first thing to ask yourself is, ‘What do you want a pool for?’ To swim in, yes, of course. Pools can be a good way to relax and cool down in really hot climates, they might be mostly for small children, or as an at-home fitness or training option. The main purpose of your pool will determine crucial things like length, depth and what you need for the area around the pool.

Pool type

A pool is just a waterproof hole in the ground right? Er, no, not quite. A pool requires a fairly major construction effort and is a permanent fixture in your home from then on, so it pays to understand what you are paying for, and what that means now, and in the long-term.

Materials are the biggest choice you’ll need to make and include concrete, fibreglass or vinyl-liner pools.

Fibreglass is probably the most popular because they tend to be more affordable, they can be easier to clean and keep healthy, are quicker and easier to install than concrete pools and usually include long term warranties in the region of 25 years.

If fibreglass is the best for your home, do some research and shopping around with specialists in this type of pool because not all are created equal.

Running your pool

This is definitely worth thinking about right at the very beginning because it will have a big impact on how you maintain your pool, keep it clean, and also what it will cost you to run. The main things affecting the running costs of your pool include electricity, pool chemicals and maintenance time.

Consider the type of filtration system and how that works. Traditional systems skim the water from the top, filter the water and then push it back into the pool. Enhanced systems will offer greater capacity to filter and mix more of your pool’s water in a day, and that means the water is kept cleaner, and will require less chemicals and maintenance.

Operating systems

There’s a bit of machinery required to run a modern pool and keep it clean and clear. Pumps, filtration and heating systems all need to be considered. These systems have to run for around 8 hours per day in summer, and 4 - 6 hours per day in winter and they use electricity to do so. There are energy efficient pumps available, and while they save on power, they may also mean compromises in the effectiveness of the overall filtration and cleaning.

Choosing your pool partner

Just like choosing your builder, it’s worth spending some time deciding on a company before you spend your money with them. Look into the company and how long they have been in business, visit and look at their display pools, check online reviews and even ask to speak to some recent clients.

Adding on later

It is possible to install a more basic and affordable version of your perfect pool at the beginning, and then add features later. The financial advantages of this are obvious. A good example is a heat pump. You can include the plumbing infrastructure for this during stage one, and then wait a year or two before adding the heat pump and / or solar heating system.

Some features have to be installed during construction, such as an -in-floor cleaning system. This is the most progressive technology in new pools and is the most efficient and effective option to keep your pool water as clean and hygienic as possible. The smartest decision you can make is to go deep when you do your research and work out the best options for your home, your family and your budget.