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Written by Perla Irish and published on

If you are considering adding a swimming pool and spa combo, you have many options and design choices to consider. An attached spa does so much for you and your pool. It not only enhances your swimming pool design but also gives you a relaxing space in which to unwind after a vigorous swim.

Careful planning is an essential first step to any building project, and pools and spas are no exception. A site must be carefully chosen, budgetary and legal restrictions taken into account, decisions that need to be tackled before your pool or spa becomes a reality.

Read This Before You Start Building a Swimming Pool and Spa for Your Home

If you want to get a pool and spa only because your colleague, best friend, or sister got one, you might want to rethink the decision. A swimming pool and spa is a major investment that requires planning, construction, and maintenance. It’s not the kind of investment you make impulsively to keep up with your neighbor.

Read This Before You Start Building a Swimming Pool and Spa for Your Home

Building a Swimming Pool and Spa for Your Home

A swimming pool will radically change the landscape of your home’s exterior. You want it to also change you and your family’s lifestyle for the better by adding one more way to have fun and exercise. As with most other major developments on your real estate property, building a pool and spa usually costs more than you had set out. So you better be prepared.

Your Reasons for Getting the Pool Should Guide Your Pool Design Choice

Give your decision to build a pool some thought. Share it with your partner and even your whole family to find out what their thoughts are about it. Let everyone share their reasons for wanting the pool or an alternative lifestyle investment they would prefer. Most of the time, everyone will be thrilled. Keeping all household members in the loop ensures you have support.

You also need to think about what you want to use the pool for. Did your physician recommend swimming for therapeutic purposes? Do you want the pool for swimming laps? Are you planning on using it the pool area to host gathering and parties?

Different pool designs cater to different needs so make sure you first identify your needs before you start building. Once you know exactly why you want a pool, you can start shopping around and looking at the numerous designs available.

One of the obvious places to research pool designs is sites owned by a professional pool and spa builders. In addition to searching for pool designs on Google, use Pinterest as it can be useful for viewing the pools right away without reading to an entire article. As much as possible, try and visit some pools in person to get a good idea of how they look like in real life.

The bigger your property, the more options you will have available for your pool design. But even if space is limited, there’s no shortage of swimming pool and spa designs that you can implement. You and your contractor might need to exercise some creativity to make the pool work in your limited outdoor space.

Hiring the Best Pros Pays In the End

As you look for swimming pool designs that fit your needs and those of your family, keep your budget mind. Remember that a swimming pool, like other major renovations, may end up costing substantially more than you had planned. So leave allowance for this as you set aside funds for the project.

The key to getting the right pool is striking the delicate balance between getting fully qualified and highly experienced pool builders to do the job and saving as much as you can on the cost of building the pool.

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In-Ground vs. Above-Ground Pool — Which Is Better?

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Written by Jasper Boekelman and published on

Nothing beats the heat like a backyard swimming pool, and homeowners considering adding one need to decide between an above-ground or in-ground version of their own, as Jethro Bodine so memorably put it, “cement pond.”

There are major differences between the two options for that potential new centerpiece of family and friend fun. Cost is a good place to begin, and either version can be pricey, depending on your wallet and willingness to spend on something that may not be attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell.

In-Ground vs. Above-Ground Pools

Consider your budget and surroundings when deciding what type of pool suits you.

Deciding on an in-ground pool versus an above ground pool depends on your budget and where you live. In regions of the country where it’s warm most of the year, an in-ground pool installed in the backyard is almost expected. In cooler areas or for tight budgets, an above-ground pool may fit the bill.

In-Ground Pools

A permanently installed in-ground pool can add value to your home, particularly if you live in a climate that is predominately warm most of the year. It can also enhance your landscape by providing a water feature that creates a pleasing view from inside the house or from a patio or deck.

But while providing a place for entertaining, exercise or lounging, there are drawbacks to installing an in-ground pool. Most obvious is the initial expense as a pool is a major investment. Follow that with the yearly maintenance including a boost to your electric bill for running the filter and/or heater; a hike in your water bill for constant refilling as water evaporates; and the chemicals, cleaning, and opening and closing for the seasons if you live in an area where cold winters prevent year-round use.

If you have your heart set on an in-ground pool, you’ll be dazzled by all the options available as you shop. There are nearly countless ideas for the shape of your pool, the materials for the liner or walls, the decking or paving materials to surround it, and the toys you can add on like waterfalls, slides and diving boards.


Most in-ground pools are made of either concrete (gunite or shotcrete), vinyl or fiberglass with concrete being the most popular, according to The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). The gunite, which is applied via a hose on-site, is covered with a layer of textured plaster made from the same material as the gunite, but this layer is often colored with pigments to give the pool a blue, white or gray color, depending on what look you want. The plaster is often topped with a few rows of ceramic tiles for a decorative effect. A gunite pool takes several weeks to build, but the advantage over other types of materials is that you have more options as to the shape you want.

A vinyl pool refers to the liner of the pool. These are generally prepackaged pool kits and are often ready to use in about a week. The vinyl liner hangs from the wall panels which can be made from aluminum, galvanized steel, plastic or pressure-treated plywood, depending on the manufacturer of the kit. Vinyl pools do not generally offer as many options for the shape of the pool, but they do offer many options in the patterns and colors available. For example, vinyl liners can be imprinted with tile patterns that you would otherwise have to pay a premium for if you were to have a fully tiled pool. Vinyl liner pools also tend to be less expensive than a concrete pool.

A fiberglass pool arrives to your site fully built. Imagine a huge bathtub that is sunk into the ground. This type of pool has limited sizes and shapes, but still, there are generally plenty of options to choose from and they take about a week to install. They tend to cost more than a concrete or gunite pool.

Classic blue and white is still the norm when it comes to colors for the walls or liners of pools, says James Atlas, co-owner of Platinum Pool Care. But embellishments that personalize your pool are on the rise. “The opposite of crisp blue is black or gray for liners and walls,” says Atlas, adding that properly applied glass tiles attached to the walls just under the coping on concrete pools are replacing standard ceramic tiles.


In-ground custom-designed concrete or gunite pools offer the most variety of shapes. Vinyl liner in-ground pools typically come in straightforward rectangles but can also include rounded ends. Fiberglass pools generally come in a limited number of shapes but still offer many options.

Trending across the board is the classic rectangle. It’s being driven by the rise in popularity of the automatic pool cover, says Nick Vitiello, design engineer and project manager of Lang Pools. “Auto covers make the pool more efficient and safe.” Attached to the pool under the coping on one end and typically running along embedded tracks in the coping, they help prevent evaporation, hold in heat and can reduce the use of chlorine. While an auto cover can be installed on a freeform pool, it increases the cost and may not be as aesthetically pleasing as it is on a rectangular pool.

A wood deck around an above ground swimming pool.

Above-Ground Pools

If you want a pool in a hurry or are on a tight budget, an above-ground pool is an option. The advantage is that they take just a few days to install, they arrive in a kit form to your yard and are erected by a team of installers.

Many higher-end above-ground pools include decking and railing options that are included in the price or can be added on at purchase. They can be heated to extend your swimming time. An above-ground pool is, by far, the least-expensive option for a pool. Kids love them, and built-in fencing and locking gate options make them safe as long as an adult monitors them.

The main disadvantage of an above-ground pool is that it generally adds no value to your home. They also have some of the same problems as in-ground pools, such as water evaporation and maintenance issues. They typically come in just either 48 inches deep or 52 inches deep so they are not suitable or safe for diving, should that be your sport.

Permanent or Temporary

An above-ground pool is considered a temporary addition to the backyard even though you may have spent time and money incorporating the pool into your outdoor decking or living spaces, and your landscape. When it comes time to sell your home, you may find that it detracts from the overall aesthetic of your yard. But they are much more easily removed from your property than in-ground pools are.


Above-ground pools typically come in round or oval shapes so you are limited to what is available; however, the size of the shapes varies. The advantage of this is that you can start out small then work your way up to a larger pool as your family grows along with your budget.

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Swimming Pool Dangers

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Written by Admin, and published on

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. But like many activities, swimming in a pool has its downside.

Despite attempts to disinfect the pool, some pathogens may still lurk in the water. And research suggests that disinfectants may pose their own health hazards.

The Dangers of Swimming Pools

A brief explanation of swimming pools, their dangers, and how parents can ensure their children’s safety in and near the water. Every year, 283 children under the age of five are killed in swimming-pool related accidents. Besides this, 2,700 water-related emergency rooms are recorded. Swimming pools can be fun and relaxing, but they are also dangers, especially to young children.

Numerous studies have shown an obvious connection between swimming pools and serious injuries. According to the government, drowning is the second most prominent cause of accidental injury-related death of children between one and 14 years of age. For children between the ages of one and four, the government considers drowning the number one cause of injury-related deaths.

While these statistics are tragic, not all swimming pool related injuries are fatal and steps can be taken to avoid them. Swimming pools pose a variety of dangers – not just drowning. In 2009, 564,000 people were prevented from drowning by a life guard. Unfortunately, not all pools have life guards. Electrical defects, slippery sidewalks, ladders, diving boards, slides, and other hazards can easily cause fatal or non-fatal injuries. There have been several cases of children who have been severely injured, or even disemboweled by public pool drains.

When a victim survives a swimming pool injury, it may take a great deal of time for them to recover. In fact, some injuries, such as disembowelment, will have life-long ramifications. Many victims of serious injuries suffer from severe emotional and psychological scaring as well. Swimming pool injuries, especially serious ones, can often times be avoided. In order to make sure that a child or other person is not injured in a pool, tell them to never play near drains of suction outlets – even in small, “kidding pools” and hot tubs. If a pool has a loose, broken, or missing drain cover, do not enter the pool. To prevent drowning, make sure that pools are surrounded by fences to keep children from falling into them.

Removing floatation devices and other pool toys from the water may discourage children from going near the water. The presence of toys may encourage them to enter the pool without adult supervision. While on vacation, be sure to inquire about the safety precautions recreation centers, parks, and hotels have taken to make sure their pools are safe. Adults must never leave a child alone near a pool, even if it is a public pool and the child can swim. Even children and adults who are adept swimmers can suffer injuries a pool, but accidents can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken.

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Such an efficient professional service. I phoned Daniel to inspect our pool and within an hour our pool had been inspected, certified and a compliance certificate issued via email. Highly recommend 👍
Zamia Selman
Zamia Selman
00:25 30 May 19
Such an efficient professional service. I phoned Daniel to inspect our pool and within an hour our pool had been inspected, certified and a compliance certificate issued via email. Highly recommend 👍
Zamia Selman
Zamia Selman
00:25 30 May 19
Punctual, friendly, professional, and responded to all communications courteously and expeditiously. From phone call to pool certificate being issues in just one working day. Well done! Would highly recommend.
Andrew Mitrega
Andrew Mitrega
03:14 29 Apr 19
Punctual, friendly, professional, and responded to all communications courteously and expeditiously. From phone call to pool certificate being issues in just one working day. Well done! Would highly recommend.
Andrew Mitrega
Andrew Mitrega
03:14 29 Apr 19
Very impressed with Daniel’s professionalism and knowledge. A very thorough inspection and helped me immensely with his advice on steps to achieve compliance. I have no hesitation in recommending his services to any pool owner.
Jan Kirkham
Jan Kirkham
07:30 14 Mar 19
Very impressed with Daniel’s professionalism and knowledge. A very thorough inspection and helped me immensely with his advice on steps to achieve compliance. I have no hesitation in recommending his services to any pool owner.
Jan Kirkham
Jan Kirkham
07:30 14 Mar 19

Swimming Pool Safety Checklist

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Swimming Pool Safety Checklist Tips

“How do I ensure my pool fence is compliant?”

This is a question we are often asked by many of our clients.  Whilst we endeavour to provide as much information as we can to anyone in need of a safety certificate there can be areas of non compliance which are not as obvious as others.

That is where a swimming pool safety checklist can come in handy. A good swimming pool safety checklist should clearly demonstrate most if not all the areas your pool barrier needs to pass in order to ensure you will be issued a pool safety certificate in the fastest time possible, avoiding the additional costs of re-inspection fees and unnecessary delays which may hinder the sale or lease of your property.

How To Ensure Your Pool Fence Gate is Compliant:

swimming pool safety checklistThe pool fence gate is one of the most critical aspects of the overall compliance of your barrier. A non compliant pool gate can lead to fines which may exceed $20,000 or worse still the drowning of a young child.

The most important aspect is that the gate is self closing and self latching from all positions. This includes fully open to simply resting on the latch. That’s right resting on the latch. The good new is that most gate hinges are adjustable so you can easily increase the tension with a flat head screwdriver in order to get the gate closing properly from all positions.

The next thing to check is the hinges. The distance from the top of the top hinge to the top of the bottom hinge must be a minimum of 900mm. Unless the bottom hinge has an angled safety cap which can usually be purchased from Bunnings separately or are sold included with a set of new hinges. Hinges are very easy to be relocated on aluminium pool barriers and usually should not take more than 5-10mins to do this if obtaining an angled safety cap to make it non climbable proves difficult for you. As long as they have the minimum 900mm distance apart you are good.

The following diagram is provided courtesy of the QBCC Queensland Building & Construction Commission.

You will notice from the diagram above that the bottom of the knob of the pool latch must be a minimum of 1500mm from the ground level. So its not 1500mm to the very top of the latch.

If this is not the case you should be able to relocate the latch to a higher position by removing a screw which is generally used to hold it in position.  This may require you to also repositon the latching mechanism which may know be out of alignment.

Why You Need A Pool Safety Certificate

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Pool Safety Certificate Inspections

pool safety certificate inspectionsAs of December, 2015, every swimming pool in Queensland, Australia is required to be inspected and have a Pool Safety Certificate. This safety certificate is an official document that ensures that a pool complies with all the safety regulations and standards for pools in Queensland and must be provided by a licensed pool safety inspector.

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Australian Pool Fence Safety Standards

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The following article provides a detailed overview of the current pool safety standards in place across Australia.  This information will give our readers a better insight into what constitutes non compliance which include diagrams to provide a clearer explanation of the current pool safety laws currently in place.  This information is kindly provided by he SPASA website and we trust you will find this information helpful in assessing your own pool fence for compliance.

Australian Pool Fencing Rules – An Overview

Australian Standard AS1926.1 – Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools

The current Australian Standard AS1926-2012 (the standard) is in place as the standard in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT. In these jurisdictions, the standard is called up by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and in many cases, there are local variations effected under legislation. Northern Territory operates under AS1926.1 – 11293.

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Pool Safety Tips

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Once in a while we come across some helpful pool safety tips online that we like to share with our readers.  The following article has some good information regarding pool drowning statistics and some good pointers on how to help avoid them.

Pool Safety Tips – Important Lessons

With the weather warming up and summer fast approaching we are about to enter the most dangerous months for kids around the pool.

The recently released Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2011 found that 42 children aged 0-14 years drowned in Australia between 2010/11. Of those deaths 16 of them occurred around family and public swimming pools. This is an alarming figure when the majority of these deaths could have been avoided.

It is not surprising that 41 percent of all drowning deaths in Australia took place in summer and peaked in January. As a nation we live in the water, from surfing to swimming, Australians can’t get enough of it and most kids are in the water before they can walk or talk. But how do we avoid losing our kids to the Aussie summer lifestyle?

For over 15 years Royal Life Saving’s Keep Watch program has been educating parents and carers on strategies to keep their children safe when in, on, or around the water by promoting the 4 Keep Watch actions:


– Supervise Your Child – Always be within arms’ reach.
– Restrict Access to Water – Provide barriers to water locations.
– Be Water Aware – Introduce your child to water through water awareness classes; discuss hazards and put rules in place at aquatic locations.
– Learn Resuscitation – Resuscitation is a skill for life. A rapid response is the best response in an emergency.

Without a doubt the most effective way to keep your kids safe around the pool is active adult supervision. Nothing beats keeping your eyes on your kids and even if you think they are excellent swimmers, accidents still happen. In 46 percent of all drowning deaths around swimming pools falls occurred immediately prior to the drowning. The effectiveness of active adult supervision cannot be underestimated.

But don’t let that deter you from teaching your children to swim. It is still the best way to equip your child for a life around the water. In many cases knowing how to swim can make the difference between losing their life and keeping it.

As Christmas fast approaches one of the most popular items on the wish list will be a swimming pool and many families are turning to inflatable pools as a cheaper alternative to in-ground ones. But what many people aren’t aware of is that these pools are just as dangerous as other types and need fences and barriers put in place to keep kids safe. Check with your local council on what safety restrictions are required before you decide to purchase.

Pool toys and products can also pose a threat to young children drawn to colourful toys left floating in the pool. Be sure to put all toys away after your time in the pool with the kids has come to an end. While floaties and noodles are great products for kids to use as their confidence in the water is developing it can sometimes give parents a false sense of security in regards to their child’s swimming ability. Adult supervision is still vital even when your child is wearing floaties. For more information you can print off the Royal Life Saving Pool Toy Safety checklist.

Another great resource for summer safety is the Royal Life Saving Home Pool Safety Checklist which is a comprehensive list of checks from pool chemicals to faulty gates.

Drowning is preventable. If parents and carers put simple safety measures in place it is possible to radically reduce the number of young lives lost around the pool this summer.

Always be mindful that we need to do our part in maintaining the safety of young children in any way we can.

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