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Thinking of Putting in a Pool? Read This First

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

A photo of an outdoor pool overlooking the ocean. The water in the pool is clear-turquoise and surrounded by white pavers. There is a cream bench seat at the far end with a brown leather handbag resting on it. Trees lean out from the left to overhang on the pool and a blue ocean is seen beyond

Image Source | Pina Caldera Residence

Summer is fast approaching and with the longer, hotter days comes the need to cool off and chill out. In previous years, we’ve been so thankful for having beautiful Australian beaches only a short drive away. But let’s face it - basking in your very own pool is a luxury that many of us would love to dive right into! If you’re thinking of putting in a pool, read on for our tips and tricks to make the most of your summer luxury.

Location, location, location

An outdoor pool. In the forground is a cream bench seat with beige cushions and a timber deck style table. The pool is surrounded by white tiles and timber decking and filled with clear-turquoise water. In the background is a sandstone house with native trees and a curtained cabana

Image Source | Pinterest

One of the first things to consider before purchasing a new pool is location. Do you have a flat area in your backyard perfect for a pool? Will some landscaping be needed instead? The amount of space you have and your backyard terrain will help determine the size, shape and style of your pool. After all, most of us don’t have space for an olympic sized swimming pool at home!

An outdoor pool and poolhouse. The pool is large, rectangular and filled with bright blue water. Floating on top are three white balls. The pool is surrounded by cream pavers. In the background is a bricked pool house, painted white with a black corrugated roof. There is a covered walkway to the poolhouse, a woman in a blue dress is walking through it. There are two large empty pots in front of the pool house and it is open, with glass doors either side. It is a sunny day with a clear blue sky.

Image Source | Thomas Gouws Architects

The other thing to think about when it comes to location is how close or far away your pool will be from the house. If it’s near your house, you can have easy access to everything you need inside, including drinks, snacks and towels. On the other hand, having the pool a bit away from the main house is the perfect excuse to create your own cabana - perfect for both storage and as a little luxurious getaway from your house!

Planning & budgeting

An overhead photo of a large outdoor pool. The pool is rectangular with stone steps leading in on the far side. It is filled with light blue water. A lady in a pink bathing suit floats in the pool on a blue mat. The pool is surrounded by large sandstone pavers broken up by green lawn. There is an assortment of lounge chairs and outdoor cane chairs at the far end of the pool and a potted plant. The back wall is covered in bushes and shrubs, as is the left side of the space.

Image Source : Bahama House, Harbour Island | Photo: Julia Berolzheimer

Outdoor pools are a wonderful addition to a home, especially when facing an Australian summer, but they are an investment. Like most things, it’s a good idea to have a shop around for your options before deciding. Keep in mind that the size and material of your pool with play a big factor in your overall price. In Australia, fibreglass pools start at $10,000 for a DIY kit, and usually end up around $25,000 - $40,000 with installation. In contrast, concrete pools start at around $30,000 installed, with the average price being $50,000. There are benefits and drawbacks of both styles of pool - check out our guide here.

A photo of an outdoor pool and house. The pool is in the foreground and filled with blue water. It is surrounded by white pavers. The pool house is behind the pool. It is a white bricked building with a black shingle roof. A large chimney is in the middle of the building with two windows either side. There is a wooden pergola attached at the front with some outdoor chairs set up in an entertaining space. Large trees can be seen behind the house.

Image Source | Pursely Dixon Architecture

When working out your budget, keep in mind that the pool itself isn’t the only cost involved. Other aspects to consider include:

  • Landscaping - most pool installers will ask you to hire a separate landscaper prior to the pool being installed

  • Decking and paving - there can be big variations depending on your chosen material

  • Fixtures such as a pool fence and lighting

  • Any optional extras such as lounge chairs, fire pits, decor, storage etc

Costs of upkeep

A long, thin outdoor pool filled with turqouise-clear water. The back of the pool and right side are decked in a light timber. There are four brown lounge chairs at the back of the pool and two double sized lounges on the right with black cushions. The left of the pool and next to the back decking is lush, manicured green grass. In the background there is an abundance of green shrubbery

Image Source | Vert Turquoise

While pools can be a great addition to a home, it’s important to also factor in ongoing upkeep costs. One of the biggest costs will be keeping your pool warm and clean. Unfortunately, pools can be absolute energy hogs. The good thing is that if you have solar power, the expense to the planet and your back pocket can be virtually offset.

For those without solar, take note of increases to your electricity cost - pool heating and filtration will typically add $500 - $2000 to your utilities bills each year, depending on the size and type of your pool, as well as your energy provider.

An outdoor pool and entertaining area. The area is paved in cream with large steps leading into a pool on the right. The pool is filled with clear-blue water. On the left of the pool are two brown deck chairs with blue cushions. A tree overhangs. Behind the pool there is an inlaid alcove with a blue bench seat. Pink vined flowers drape over the top of the alcove. A set of stairs leads behind the pool to the right of the alove. The side of a tan bricked building is seen next to it.

Image Source | Subdivision Studio

Additional running costs will depend on the type of pool you’ve selected. Concrete pools need extra maintenance in order to avoid algae and concrete rot - you’ll need to call in the experts every three to five years for an acid wash to make sure the surface stays clean and healthy, and there’s also a need for resurfacing every fifteen to twenty years. Fibreglass pools will require some cleaning, but the costs are typically lower than that of concrete.

Enjoying your poolside paradise

An outdoor pool and deck. In the foreground there is a staircase in light timber decking leading down to a decked area and pool on the right. The pool is rectangular and filled with turquoise water. There is a cream garden edge next to the stairs. A black and cream coat lays on top with a straw handbag. The garden has a fern and a few smaller cactus style plants and is filled with white pebbles. In the background there is a clear pool fence with lots of green trees and shrubs beyond.

Image Source | my burleigh reno

Once you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to think about how to best enjoy your pool. Consider both relaxation and entertainment options both in and out of the pool. Can you create some space for lounges or other outdoor seating? Do you want to set up an outdoor projector for movie nights?

If you have the space, use it! Our family loves to get the fire pit going and roast s’mores during our pool movie nights. Even if it’s too cold to go for a dip, you’ll still be inclined to sit around your pool and soak up its tranquility, even during winter.

A photo of an outdoor pool. In the foreground there is timber decking and a bench seat/storage space. Timber stairs lead up to an above ground pool. It is surrounded by the same timber decking with white retaining walls either side. The pool is filled with turquoise water and overlooks a majestic view of green hills, tan gravel paths and lots of trees.

Image Source | Arqui+Arquitectura

Our last recommendation… don’t skip your pool blanket! So many people throw so much money away because they don’t know where to put their pool blanket, and can’t be bothered to drag it in and out. A little planning can go a long way, like this cleverly constructed storage that hides away the pool blanket and other pool toys when not in use.

Putting in a pool is definitely an expensive luxury, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a great investment. Especially if you plan ahead and get creative about its functionality, its cost per use might just be worth every penny. 

A millennial woman, residential interior designer based on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, Australia. She is wearing a white and grey tweed blazer with a white cami, jeans and black framed glasses. Her hair is dark blonde and she is smiling with her legs crossed and her arm rested on a marble and walnut side table surrounded by native Australian flowers and plants. A watercolour abstract painting in a matted and brass frame hangs on the wall behind her as do charcoal drapes.

Krista Collard Interiors is a full service design-build firm focusing on creating timeless spaces that honour sustainability and functionality across the Greater Sydney area.

Ready to transform your home? Get started by booking a complimentary Discovery Call with us!


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