Get a pool in time for summer

It may be winter but if you’re thinking of installing a pool this year you need to start planning now.

A backyard pool can be fun for the whole family, so if you’re considering getting one built before next summer, you’d better get cracking. There are all sorts of things you need to do, including council approvals, pool design, selecting a pool builder, landscaping plans and then hope for good weather during the construction. You need to plan carefully, because once your pool is built it is a permanent fixture in your yard.

Here are some tips to help you plan.

The length of time it takes to build your new pool is heavily influenced by the type of pool you choose. There are two types of pools — fibreglass and concrete and the difference in construction time between them can be significant. One of the benefits of installing a pre-moulded fibreglass swimming pool is that the pool shell arrives pre-built. Instead of having lots of different contractors on site for several weeks or more, your fibreglass pool can usually have water in it within a couple of days, with the installation completed with a couple of weeks.

One benefit of a concrete pool is that you are not limited by shape or size. But remember, a detailed and complex shaped pool may take several months or more to build, assuming of course the weather is fine.

Another consideration is fencing. Your pool fence must comply with legal requirements, which can include the objects close up against you proposed fence. Children must not be able to climb over your pool fence, so your pool location must be in clear space or against a high compliant wall.

Every new pool that is built needs to be passed by the local authorities. Once you have designed your pool you’ll need to submit a development application (or complying development certificate, or permit submission) with your local council. Assuming you’re not building your pool yourself, your pool builder will most likely look after your council applications, though probably for a fee or as part of the construction quote.

The application needs to show the details of the construction process and outline how safety standards will be met. The processing time for a permit varies between councils and can change depending on demand and available council staff. One to two months is not an uncommon time to wait.

The construction of your pool cannot start until approval has been given from your local authority. The earlier your application is submitted the more likely your project will be finished on time.

The availability of contractors will also affect the construction time. A few days of heavy rain can move timings by weeks as contractors catch up on lost work days. Ask your pool builder to provide a construction plan including a timeline. Schedule a weekly meeting to go over work in progress and agree any changes or shifts in deadlines. This will ensure you have the right expectations and help minimise any friction on site.

Plan to finish in November, as if you are not finishing until close to the Christmas break, delays would mean you don’t get your pool completed until the end of summer in the new year. You won’t be able to do your landscaping until the pool is finished, but you should still be able to enjoy your pool once it’s filled and the water is balanced with the right chemicals.