A pool can be a significant investment, and you want to pick a reputable local pool company. Sifting through pool companies in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Newcastle can be time-consuming, especially if you’re not sure what to consider. Many people choose to search for ‘swimming pools near me’ or ‘local pool builder near me’ to…
The best pools can turn your backyard into an oasis where your family and friends can’t wait to gather. But finding the best swimming pools can present unique challenges, especially if you’ve never had one before. How do you pick the best size, and what elements do you have to consider? Since this can be an expensive investment, you must understand…
Site Inspection to Determine the Price of Your Pool Hi everyone, Steffan from Compass Pools here. One of the most common questions I get asked is how much is my swimming pool going to cost? To be honest, that could be a bit of a hard question to answer straight off the cuff. The reason…
Pool cleaning is an essential part of swimming pool ownership. But it is not a task any pool owner looks forward to! It can take a great deal of time and effort, when you would rather be enjoying the water. But cleaning a pool is essential if you want it to be a safe and healthy environment for you and your family. There are a number of different options available to you when it comes to pool cleaners…
One of the least enjoyable aspects of pool ownership is keeping the pool clean and healthy. A good pool water circulation system can be key to achieving this. In this article, we have taken an in-depth look at pool circulation systems. You can find out why they matter so much, what they do, and what your options are when it comes to choosing the best system for your pool.
Salt water pools are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, with more homeowners wanting to choose pool systems which are efficient, clean and kind to the environment. But are salt pools the right choice for everyone? We have put together this guide to salt water pools, covering how they work, their benefits, potential salt water pool…
Salt chlorination is the most popular form of pool sanitation today. When you install a salt water pool, you are getting a chlorinated pool without the hassle of having to lug home drums of chlorine or using commercial chlorine which contains other products which can cause problems. A salt water pool makes owning a clean pool easy. When the system is also automated, you can be sure the chlorine needs are matched to the pool needs and that the pH levels are kept in balance as well. To find out more, phone us at Compass Pools on 1300 667 445.
Anthony Cross: So Paul you’ve mentioned a lot about vinyl ester resins. You tell us that you’ve searched the world, you’ve been to the factories, you’ve sourced out the best product. But I also am aware in my role that you’re bringing these products in, particularly the vinyl ester resin and you’re reformulating them here in Australia before delivering them to our factory. What is important about doing that? Why is that something that you guys do?
The requirements and responsibilities for a first-time swimming pool owner can be quite daunting. To get an understanding of all that you will be expected to do to keep your pool in tip top shape, our Pool Owner’s Guide will benefit you greatly. Compass Pools has gone to considerable effort to produce this detailed and comprehensive guide which covers everything a pool owner would ever want or need to know. You can get your free copy by calling Compass Pools today.
Anthony Cross: Paul, you’ve worked with Compass for quite a few years. I guess it’s fair to say we do things a little differently to a lot of other fibreglass pool manufacturing companies. I know that you’ve spent a fair bit of time with us and your involvement stretches back many years, particularly with Ian Mewett who is the founder and owner of Compass Pools. What can you tell us about that collaboration between you and Ian and how that’s shaped your involvement in our industry and particularly with Compass Pools?
Anthony Cross: One of the people who is instrumental in the R&D efforts here at Compass Pools Australia particularly with our gelcoat and colour technology is Paul Bennet from Trojan Fibreglass. Paul sources the best raw materials from all over the world and then he carries out his own testing onsite and reformulation. I’m going to ask Paul a few questions about this today.
So Paul, just tell us a little bit about how that works and why it’s so important to get the best raw materials and best result for Compass Pools.
We get a great number of people who come to us and talk to us about putting in their first or their second pool who are really well researched. The more research somebody does in the swimming pool market, the more likely they are to become a Compass customer.
We also get a really high percentage of people who are getting their second pool. They may not have got a pool from Compass where they were living originally. But if they’ve moved or they’ve built a new home and they decide that living with a pool is something that they don’t want to miss out on, it’s amazing how many of those people, for their second pool, come to Compas
I get a lot of calls throughout the day from people who are in that early planning stage. The first thing they say is, I want a quote on an eight metre pool or a six metre pool or whatever it is. Realistically it’s hard to be able to do that. Putting the pool and all of the equipment and all of your choices aside, it’s about your site.
Being able to ballpark a pool on the costs, I don’t know if you’re on a slope. I don’t know if you need to have a standard bond beam on your pool. I don’t know if your pool is going to be raised up a little bit. I don’t know if you’re in the building stages and we might have to pop the pool in prior to the house being built.
There are many reasons people choose a Compass swimming pool. That’s pretty important when you do my job.
One of the great things about it is that we have a small number of people out there who have soil conditions called reactive soil. One facet of our swimming pools is that they are literally twice as strong as a traditional fibreglass swimming pool and they’re built to ground conditions. Anyone who has done a lot of research on reactive soils and the right product for their place often ends up with a Compass pool.
Another reason people choose Compass pools is for a unique ability to be able to install these pools up out of ground, to put them in some really unusual site conditions that have generally only been the domain of concrete pools.
We’re often asked, if I install my pool, will I need a water tank? That is a really good question. As a general rule, pools up to around about ten metres generally don’t need a water tank. As soon as you exceed the ten metre mark which correlates to the number of litres in that pool as a rough rule of thumb, if your pool has more than 40,000 litres of water in it, under the BASIX rules it’s generally required that you install a water tank with your swimming pool.
The other tipping point is not just 40,000 litres, because you could have a pool or a volume of water that is a lot less than 40,000 litres, the other trigger is whether the overall project exceeds $50,000 in cost.
A great question we’re often asked is, if I’m going to build a house, how do I go about planning the pool? If it is such that you’ve got a block that when the house is built, you’re going to lose your access, it’s really important to consider putting the pool in first. At Compass, we call that a sleeper pool. So you can certainly come to us and talk to use about installing a sleeper pool.
The other consideration is, if you’re going to have access, we can certainly put the pool in after the house is built. But the consideration might be, if it’s going to be anywhere near the house for example, you want to make sure you consult with your builder and ensure that the footings for that house are constructed in such a way that it lets you come up and excavate near the house. So there are those sorts of considerations that must be taken into account.
One of the great things about Compass Pools and one of the great technological breakthroughs is that we won an Australian Design award for creating a product called Maxi-Ribs. Maxi-Ribs lets us take our unique ceramic core shell and free stand the pool without using retaining walls. What I mean by free standing is a that this pool is not necessarily a pool that is actually inserted into the ground. In some cases that pool may be partially out of the ground, meaning it is above ground, or it might be fully out of the ground. There are many approaches and versatile aspects of actually installing a Maxi-Rib pool. Give one of the team a call today on 1300 667 445.
A lot of people who come into the display centre to have a bit of a chat about what sort of pool might be right for them, the first question they always want to talk about is what shape or what size is going to fit in their block or the space that they’ve got in mind.
That is important definitely, obviously for what is going to fit in the area that you’ve got. But more importantly, or just as importantly, is how you see yourself using your pool. If you’ve got a heap of kids and you’re imagining it’s going to be pool party at your place every weekend, then you want to make sure that you’ve got a really kid-friendly pool. What that means is a nice say, a 7, 8, 9 metre pool is perfect for a big family, great for kids.
Compass technology gives us some incredible versatility. We’re now able to build lap pools up to 30 metres in length and at custom lengths. So we’ve moved on from just having a pool that is one set size. We also have the ability to add optional side steps to some of our swimming pools. We can do things such as recess Sunpod water features and create elements to a pool that are just not regularly seen in the fibreglass swimming pool market.
We have the ability now to connect bodies of water where we install a pool and we might install one of our wader pools or a nice spa or something like that and make all this connected and flow. It just adds to the overall wow factor of having a swimming pool. Let’s face it, a swimming pool is swum in a lot and that’s fantastic but for the other half of the time it’s a water feature. So we want this thing to look as amazing as possible. If you’ve got ideas and concepts and you want to talk to us about them, we’re all ears.
When thinking about installing your pool, thinking about where it goes may come naturally. This might be, ok, that’s the spot I’m definitely going to have my pool installed. Other properties might have tremendous flexibility. There can be a little bit of consternation about where that pool is exactly going to go.
When we’re generally talking about installation of a pool and you’re thinking about it in relation to your lifestyle, what is most ideal is that the pool becomes an extension of your living area. It’s an area that is connected to your house. You may want to see your kids swimming and so forth, which is an important factor as well.
There are lots of exciting things about building a swimming pool. But one of the considerations you need to take into account is what am I dealing with on my block? In many cases, we are out at properties which have things such as easements. They are areas which you just can’t build over. It’s on your property but it really belongs to the council.
Other considerations are things like main sewer lines and so forth. There is a house sewer line that generally connects the main sewer lines unless you’re on a system such as a septic tank and that is a different consideration altogether. But where you’ve got a house sewer line that connects to a main sewer line, and you think that is in the path of the pool, that is not such a problem. Those things can be diverted. The main sewer lines for example, or any other thing that is fairly substantial, needs to have really careful consideration as to how we build around it.
I guess first off most clients have a bit of an understanding of what they want. From there I lead into what they’re going to use the pool for, how much room they think they might need, how many kids, do they entertain a lot. It’s basically finding out what they need. From there we can work out the best way to go about that.
I guess the most common questions that we’re always asked is should I lay pavers on sand or should I lay them on concrete? Traditionally, we used to lay all our pavers on sand around a pool. Most of the time they were a small format, so we could get away with laying them. These days, most people want large format pavers, large format concrete or natural stone. So nowadays you can’t lay pavers on sand around the pool purely because of the movements around the sand that washes out. You get a far better job on concrete.
One thing that you really have to consider when planning your new pool is what colour it’s going to be. The good thing about the Compass pools range is the Bi-Luminite and the Vivid series of colours offer a huge range. You can go from a nice grey base, the stony rivers, the creeks, through to shallow water of the beach, through to the deepest part of the bluest oceans.
The reason we’ve got such a great range is to cover what everyone’s choices are. If you want a real wow factor, bright, modern sort of design, there’s definitely going to be a pool colour that is going to fit into it.
We’re often told by people looking at planning their pool and installing it, I’ve got young children. I’m worried about them, they’re not great swimmers, there’s a little baby. So what I want to do is I want to create a beach area, something shallow in the pool.
One really important aspect of a swimming pool is when you install it, if you’re planning to stay in your house for quite some time, you’re really going to live with whatever you’ve got for as along as you’re in that house. The important thing is to think, they’re children for a little while, but they grow up. It’s not long before they’re incredibly competent swimmers. They’ve got all their friends home from school and they want to use as much of that pool as practically possible.
A lot of people who come into my display centre to have an early-stage think about getting a pool always want to know what is involved in getting a pool. Among a hundred different things that are important when you’re planning a pool, how long it takes comes up pretty often.
You need to, I think, nut it down into four areas. They are planning the pool, getting the approval to build the pool and having the pool built, so that is effectively the installation of the pool. That is before all the nice cosmetic, easier things like the fencing and the paving all come to fruition.
Another fantastic testament to the Compass pool is that we have a lot of people who are not too far dissociated from the pool industry purchasing a Compass pool. We do a lot of pools for real estate agents. They know the power of introducing a prospective buyer to a house and saying, hey, this pool literally looks after itself.
I’ve had a couple of great experiences working with a few council people this year. They’re choosing their Compass pool for really specific reasons. I put a pool in just recently for the head inspector of one of the local councils here. He’s got an interesting job. He would go out to properties and he would issue them with what is called a final occupation certificate. That usually happens about twelve months after someone has had their pool installed.
I love the question does Vantage in-floor cleaning and circulation really work? If I get asked that question, I usually know that person hasn’t been out and spoken to anybody who owns our system. We are so fortunate to have literally thousands and thousands and thousands of these systems installed right across Australia. Now if you can find someone, or certainly call us, we will put you in touch with as many people as you like to talk to, to understand how much difference the Vantage in-floor cleaning and circulation system has made in their life.
Once a customer brings their council approved paperwork into the office, usually the timeframe from receiving approvals and the pool going in the ground is between six to eight weeks. That’s a rough timeframe. Weather is something that is beyond anyone’s control but it is usually between six to eight weeks.
Filtration equipment is obviously a really important part of your pool. What we need is usually around two metres, two and a half metres but that depends on the amount of space you’ve got available in your yard. So we can customise the installation of your equipment to best suit your yard.
I talk to a lot of people have anxiety about access to their house. The first thing to let you know is just about everything is possible. Ideally, we’d turn up at a block, it would be flat, we would have no house in that spot and we could drive straight in with all the equipment. Realistically when a pool is built, we literally want to turn up with the biggest digging machine and excavator and as many tipper trucks, usually three, as we can, to keep running that fill out of that property.
Most properties that we consider have great access are properties that you can pretty much drive a car to where you want to put the pool. That is pretty much as good as it gets in most cities today. Outside of the city, on rural properties and so forth, that is an added bonus because it is often very easy to get to the site you want to put the swimming pool.
I’ve helped hundreds of people plan their new pool. I really think that the three most important things to have a bit of a think about when you’re doing that is first the purpose, what you’re actually going to use your pool for. Is it for kids, family fun, is it just something pretty to look at, have barbeques around? Does it need to be suitable for anyone elderly who is getting into the pool?
The other thing is effort – how much effort you want to put into owning it. If you’re time poor and you do not see yourself out cleaning the pool or out there testing the water chemistry, there are certain things that you can do that can take a lot of that effort out of it.
The Vantage in-floor cleaning system, what if something goes wrong with it? What a great question. I can certainly understand people having concerns about it. There is a lot of misinformation about that system out there, particularly if you talk to pool builders who are just unable to equip their pools with a Vantage system.
The Paramount Vantage system is a system that has been exclusively and specifically designed for Compass ceramic fibreglass swimming pools. There is no pipework underneath the swimming pool. Where the in-floor rotating heads are inserted into the pool, that recessed area is part of the swimming pool. They are very close to the radius of the swimming pool and that is what ensures there is no pipe underneath the floor of the swimming pool.
With ten years’ experience working with Compass Pools, probably the biggest inclusion for a swimming pool that makes the biggest difference when I talk to people and revisit pool owners is certainly the Vantage in-floor cleaning and circulation system. Everyone gets really excited by the fact that it cleans the swimming pool. That’s a great thing and we love the fact that it does. But the in-floor cleaning and circulation is so much more than that.
It’s a system that is designed to effectively circulate water. Let’s face it, a swimming pool is very similar to a bath, it’s just a lot bigger. If you get in the bath at night and make the water all dirty, when you get out you can pull the plug. You can’t pull the plug easily on your swimming pool. So some time ago, the industry determined, how do we make that pool healthy? To do it, we’ve done it through the use of sanitisers and a fairly basic circulation system.
We’re often asked how long is it going to take to build my swimming pool?
There are a couple of different elements that come together for that. Obviously we’ve worked through the time for contracting the swimming pool, designing it, doing all the bits necessary for now to be well on our way to having a pool in the backyard.
The next step for us is we need to manufacture it. Every Compass pool is built to order. We don’t build your swimming pool until we get an order for it. So it’s always your very own swimming pool, issued with its very own birth certificate. This is an important element of Compass Pools.
One of the great reasons people choose Compass Pools is we’re often told, our friends told us not to get a pool and that’s why we’ve come to you. That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, does it? But what that tells us is that they’ve been out and they’ve been heavily influenced by somebody who owns a Compass pool.
It is usually somebody who owns a Compass pool with a Vantage in-floor cleaning and circulation system. Those friends, family or the people they’ve been influenced by have told them, our pool is easy. What people are saying about owning a swimming pool in terms of it being a lot of work or maintenance to do, that can literally disappear. We’d welcome you to come and talk to us about how we can make that happen for you.
Having worked at Compass for a little under ten years now, one of the best pieces of advice I can give anybody considering or looking at putting in a swimming pool is take your time. A swimming pool is generally something that when people are considering putting one in, they’re usually pretty committed to their house. It usually means a long term investment in the property that they currently reside in.
This is not like going out and purchasing a motor car. If you went out and bought a motor car and decided, you know what, I just don’t like this car, there is something wrong with it, you can sell it. You can’t sell your pool without selling your house. So you want to be really careful when you think about all of the different options and all of the different inclusions that you can make part of that swimming pool.
As a pool planner, the number one question that I get asked nearly every day of my life is how much does that pool cost? It’s a great question, it really is, but the truthful answer is how long is a piece of string? It comes down to exactly what you want and on your site.
The things to think about in being able to even give you even a ballpark range is how big do you want your pool to be? Do you want it to be five metres or do you want it to be fifteen metres? Do you want to have a very automatic system so that you aren’t manually cleaning your pool, it’s looking after itself, it’s the easiest thing in the world to own? Do you want your pool to look spectacular at night with beautiful lights in it? Do you feel that you might want to heat this pool? Do you feel that you need to have a cover over this pool?
We’re often asked, what is the difference between a concrete and fibreglass pool? That’s a great question. The one tremendous advantage that concrete has over fibreglass is that you can shape that concrete pool any way you want to shape it. If you want to go round a right hand bend in your yard or so forth, then you can certainly do it. But if there’s a Compass shape that appeals to you, that you certainly think is going to suit your backyard, then the benefits of a fibreglass pool over a concrete pool seriously stack up on the fibreglass side.
Generally fibreglass pools are much quicker and easier to install. This cuts down on both the build time and sometimes some of the associated costs that are unforeseen in relation to concrete pools. This is because of the nature of the job and the fact it is an ongoing building process.
One of the exciting things about working here is I can’t tell you the number of times that somebody has walked in the door or I’ve turned up at somebody’s house and I’ve said, how did you hear about Compass Pools? They’ve said, Joe down the road, has one of your pools, he’s had it for eight years and he’s never cleaned it. We hear that a lot. The reason for that is that Compass Pools was the first company in the world to create the world’s first in floor cleaning and circulation system for fibreglass pools.
That’s not something you have to have but it is pretty hard for us to install a pool today without somebody giving it really serious consideration or adding it to their swimming pool.
Often people will walk into Compass or they’ll give us a call on the phone and they’ll say, how much for a swimming pool? It’s such a great question and is a difficult one to immediately answer. There are just so many different options and inclusions and site differences and things that are particular or may be particular about that pool. These will change the overall cost.
It’s not dissimilar from someone walking into a car yard where there are a whole range of cars on offer and saying, how much for a car? No one really does that because we’ve all been educated enough to know what a car is and that there are lots of different inclusions you can have.