The dream addition to any Aussie backyard and the answer to your sweltering summer days and balmy summer nights: the pool.
As with any dream, the perfect pool does take some careful planning – there’s nothing worse than slapping the wrong pool into the wrong location! So before you begin landscaping and get caught up in the excitement, consider a few tips from our Landscape Architect Kelsie as she takes you through your pool consideration checklist.
Let’s start with Pool Material
Two choices: fibreglass pool or concrete pool. Which one is best? That’s up to you! There are pro’s and con’s for each type of material, so it’s important to do your research and see what will fit in best with your landscape, lifestyle and budget.
- Quick to install
- Low maintenance
- Generally warmer
Whilst they do typically appear to be the cheaper option, you’re limited in design (they are pre made!) so you will need to pick you pool shape from the types available.
Completely customised – choose shape and add extra features
A concrete pool may also be a necessary option if you have access problems and cannot have a pool installed by a crane.
Set concrete pools to be any shape you like, with the concrete surface allowing for additional styling like tiles to be added. If you’re looking to add a spa or water feature onto the pool, then you’ll need to go with a concrete pool!
Pool Size DOES matter
Instead of going for the ‘bigger is better’ mentality, consider not only the size of the pool, but the area you’ll have around it as well. Half the fun of having a pool is the lifestyle that comes with spending time around it, so if you opt for the biggest pool size available for your space, you may be sacrificing the hangout space around it.
Location, location, location!
Prior to deciding on the location for your pool, look at the shade and sun movements throughout the day to ensure you choose the best location. If you have a lot of tall trees on the east side of your property, you won’t get sunlight on the pool area throughout the morning. Or if you have a two-storey house facing west, your pool will be shaded in the afternoon.
When looking at placement, also consider the site line between your house and the pool. This is both for aesthetics and practical reasons, as you’ll want to be able to keep an eye on the kids in the pool both from indoors and your alfresco area if possible.
Finishing things off
The final element for your pool is the surrounding pavement. Pool coping is the pavement edging that runs along the top of the pool and can either be square-edged or bull nose, which is a rounded edge option.
You can opt to go with a traditional style concrete paver or look into natural stone, including bluestone, granite, sandstone and limestone. Keep in mind how the pavement will react long term with the elements of the pool like frequent wetness and exposure to chemicals like chlorine and salt.
Plus, don’t forget that darker colours and certain materials will heat up more in the sun – great for winter but can be a bit too hot for kids’ feet in summer!
Fencing, get around it!
It’s a legal requirement to have adequate fencing and a gate that automatically closes and locks around your pool to ensure the safety of children. There are several options for this, but our favourite is a semi frameless or frameless glass pool fence. This will enable you to see directly into the pool at all times, and won’t affect the flow between the alfresco, garden and pool courtyard space.
Read full pool fencing and safety requirements here.
Make your pool pretty with plants
Don’t forget to allow enough room between the pool and boundary fencing for some planting to soften the space! When choosing plants for this area, consider a species that doesn’t drop too many leaves or flowers as this may create frustration due to the constant need to clean the pool. Whilst a row of frangipani trees may look great as a backdrop to your Balinese themed landscape, plant them too close and hundreds of flowers in the pool won’t! They may also clog up filters, which can lead to your water salt or chlorine levels being affected.