The weather’s starting to warm up and many people’s thoughts start to turn to splashing around in a backyard pool.
If you’re ready to turn those thoughts into a reality, congratulations! Pools not only add value to your home, they are special places that allow for relaxing escapes, family fun, and outdoor entertainment.
Before you crack out the shovel, there are a few things to consider. Swimming pools come in a variety of sizes and types, so you’ll need to decide not only what you want, but what will work best for your backyard and your lifestyle.
1. Your pool budget
As with any renovation or build, your budget is the initial and most important consideration. Pools come in a many finishes and sizes, and as such, very different price points. When working out your budget, factor in a pool landscapers – these professionals can work out not only which pool would be best, but also the decking and surrounding landscaping solutions.
2. Ongoing costs
Maintenance also comes at a cost: pool chemicals, water testing kits, skimmers, covers and a vacuum. If you’re investing in a heating system, keep in mind that there will ultimately be a bit of a higher energy bill as well.
3. Your environment
Is your backyard a complete blank slate? Do you have existing landscaping you want to work with? Size, access and slopes will all impact your final choice. Your house is also an obvious element of your backyard, so imagine what might be best suited to accentuate its features. A more modern building might be perfect for a pool built with clean straight lines. A more traditional house might be best suited to a different, more organic look.
4. Your available space
Consider the size of your backyard to maximise what is possible. If you have a smaller area to work with, a pool that can be placed along a back wall, which allows you to economise by using an existing fence.
5. Your other garden zones
Don’t be tempted by bigger being better. It’s important that the size of your pool is in harmony with its surroundings, and that you think about other “zones” – eating, lounging, entertaining and playing. It might mean a smaller pool, but a better used garden.
6. Your lifestyle
Did you want to do laps? How big is the family? Are you in a dip-in-climb-out sort of person? A deep and shallow swimming area, with more curves and water feature elements, might be perfect for a family, while others may love the idea of having a pool that’s much more suited to swimming laps. There are also many plunge pools, swim spas and aboveground options if you’re just looking to kick back and relax, or if space is at a premium.
7. Pool placement
The most ideal positioning for your pool is a spot that delivers privacy, sunshine in the autumn and spring, and shelter from the wind. If you have small children, you must also allow for safe supervision. You should also consider obstacles such as storm water drains, gas, electricity and sewers, as this will increase costs for future repairs of any of these services. If you are unsure of their location, check with your local council.
As for trees, overhanging trees can offer great shade, but tree roots can cause problems later on by placing pressure on pool walls – not to mention leaves in your pool. In a confined space, the most popular method is to position the pool against an existing feature such as the house, fence or other boundary.
Ready to take the plunge (as it were)? Our design team can work their magic on any major home improvements you might be considering.