Take your pool to the next level
Demand for pools was through the roof during the past 12 months with requests for pool-related jobs jumping by a massive 175 per cent, the highest demand coming out of Victoria, reveals hipages, an online platform that connects consumers with tradies across the nation.
The site also confirmed that requests for new pools spiked by 28 per cent with COVID clearly making an impact. Maybe you're a part of that trend?
If so, here are six areas to consider closely before you take the plunge.
HAVE A PLAN FOR YOUR POOL BUILD
To ensure your pool perfectly complements your home-entertainer lifestyle, it's important to have a clear plan and that starts with identifying how you will be using the pool, who will be using it and the type of experience you want it to create.
Ben McTaggart, branch manager at Kennards Hire Preston, and equipment specialist from last year's season of The Block, says once you decide whether the pool is largely for exercise and cooling off, or whether it will play a key role in your entertaining at home, you can start prioritising the features you'll need and mapping out where things will go.
"This includes paving or decking and fencing, cooking facilities, lighting and plants," says Ben.
"And, you must make sure that water, power and gas can be run out to where they'll be needed."
CONSIDER THE POOL AND GARDEN TOGETHER
Always position the pool in a way that doesn't encroach on the overall garden area, says multi award-winning landscape designer and director of Franklin Pools, David Franklin.
"Pool positioning is something people often get wrong," he says.
"If you put a pool dead centre in a yard, you're going to be left with no usable garden space."
Instead, he recommends always considering the pool and garden together when deciding on placement to ensure you make the best use of the overall space.
He also advises, where possible, setting the pool to the side of the garden, but in a way that it can be enjoyed and appreciated from indoor and outdoor entertaining areas.
"It is important the pool sits where you can clearly see it and is not miles away at the end of the garden against the back fence," he adds.
GOOD POOL LIGHTING IS ESSENTIAL
Pools aren't just for daytime. By introducing some carefully considered lighting you can highlight special features and allow the pool to become an enticing backdrop to your evening entertaining.
"Lighting is a 100 per cent must," says David.
"Ambient pool and garden lighting will see to it that you get to enjoy your investment at all times."
Underwater lighting will make night-time dips easy and you can also consider installing lights to bring out certain areas around the pool, such as a raised deck or sitting area, a cabana or even feature landscaping.
SHADE YOUR POOL BUILD
Creating pockets of shade is essential, says Pete Roberts, owner of Pete the Poolman.
"If you have the space and budget, seriously think about adding a pool house or permanent cabana nearby to offer some shelter from the sun," says Pete.
"It's also worth installing a shade sail to cover a small section of the water, so you have somewhere to retreat to when it gets really hot and you're in the pool."
Make sure you keep things comfortable underfoot as well. Pete says travertine tiles are his top pick.
"The grey colouring doesn't absorb the heat as much, so it's a lot nicer to walk on when it's hot."
You may also think about introducing areas of artificial grass around the pool to add some softness underfoot, he says.
Like tiles, artificial grass provides a very low-maintenance solution.
"The grass also ties back nicely to the green in the garden," he adds.
FACTOR IN POOL AND GARDEN LANDSCAPING
Make sure you have factored landscaping into your budget, as nothing will let your new pool down more than an unfinished garden.
Ben McTaggart, of Kennards Hire, says hiring equipment and doing some of the tasks yourself will keep costs down.
In terms of design, he says nature is the best inspiration and will create interest.
"Consider adding a slope or raised garden beds," says Ben. "Planting shrubs and grasses on these slopes to the edge of the pool will provide a very natural look."
When choosing plants pick those that won't drop leaves, such as succulents, cactuses or even palm trees.
"Planting a deciduous tree next to the pool is asking for a clogged filter and lots of time on the pool net fishing out leaves and twigs," he says.
ADD A CREATIVE TOUCH
There are a number of design elements you can add that will take your pool to the next level.
David, of Franklin Pools, likes ledges of shallow water where you can sit a couple of low chairs.
"This helps make the pool area more interactive and gives it a resort feel," he says.
You may also like to raise the back wall of the pool, which would allow you to incorporate a cascading water feature, he adds. If a spa is part of your plan, David suggests having it set higher than the pool and applying a contrasting tile, to help define it as a feature.
"Try using a ceramic tile in the pool and maybe a glass tile for the spa; this will really make it a point of attraction."
"Pools don't need to be boring these days. You can have a lot of fun with the design no matter what space you're working with," he says.
Originally published as Take your pool to the next level