Backyard pools are an integral part of the Australian outdoor lifestyle. There’s no better feeling than plunging into your own pool and enjoying the water with family and friends. But why do we love our swimming pools so much? And how can you make sure your pool is a stunning design feature that will continue to bring you happiness for many years to come?
Here, we take a look at the phenomenon of the backyard pool and offer our hints and tips for creating a perfect pool of your own.
Why We Love Backyard Pools
Outdoor living is extremely important to Australians — we see our yards as an extension of the home. A pool gives this important space a new dimension that adds value to our lifestyles. It is a place to relax and spend quality time with the people we love. We can teach the kids to swim, and enjoy playing family games in the water.
A backyard pool is also a great social space. We never need an excuse for a pool party during the summer months! Owning a pool gives you an extra incentive for inviting friends round to enjoy the water with you.
Having your own pool also improves your health and well-being. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, as you use almost all the muscles in your body to push against the resistance of the water. It’s great for getting fit, toning up, and keeping your weight at a healthy level — and it’s good for the heart and lungs as well.
In today’s increasingly fast-paced world, we need a haven of calm where we can take some time out and relax. A backyard pool is ideal for this, as water has been shown to have several important calming effects on the body. It lowers the blood pressure, relieves stress and anxiety, and improves the quality of our sleep, leaving us feeling more refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the day ahead.
As well as making you feel better personally, a pool is a standout feature that will add value to your home. It is one of the main attractions for Australian home buyers and renters when they are searching for properties. If your pool is attractive and well maintained, it will boost your property’s value as well as adding to its instant visual appeal.
Which Type of Backyard Pool to Choose
Your home should be a reflection of your personality, and your pool is an important part of this. It is also a large investment, so it is important to think carefully about what you need from a pool before you make a decision. There are a number of important factors that you need to consider.
1. What Will Your Pool Be Used for?
We all use our backyard pools in different ways, so it is essential to choose a pool that meets your needs. If you have a family or a large group of friends who are likely to be using your pool on a regular basis, the most sensible option would be a family pool. These are large pools with plenty of swimming space, but they also contain seating areas and a number of important safety features to make them ideal for children as well as adults.
Serious swimmers who want to concentrate on swimming laps and improving their lap times might prefer to purchase a lap pool. Long and narrow in shape, lap pools are designed to give a clear stretch of water, ideal for swimming laps. They comfortably accommodate one or two people at a time, but are not such a practical choice for families with children, who need the extra width to play games in the pool.
If your pool will mainly be used for relaxation purposes, you might also want to include the option of hydrotherapy jets. These are used to treat pain and assist with recovery from muscular injuries, and also with relieving stress and anxiety. If this is a facility you would like in your backyard, a pool and spa combination might be the right choice for you. This is a regular pool with a separate spa section, giving you the options of enjoying both swimming and hydrotherapy whenever you choose.
2. What Is the Size and Shape of Your Backyard?
This is an extremely important consideration, as it dictates the material that your pool can be made from. If your backyard is fairly regular in shape and you are looking for an attractive pool that you do not want to customise too much, a fibreglass pool is probably the best option. Tough, durable and built to withstand even the most extreme Australian weather types, fibreglass pools are also a relatively cost-effective option that can be installed in a matter of days. However, as these are off-the-shelf solutions manufactured in factories, they are not always suitable for backyards that are unusually shaped, and there are only limited customisation options. Fibreglass pools do come in a wide range of lengths, widths, and depths, though, and there are a great many designs and colour choices available.
If your backyard is an irregular shape that does not suit any of the available fibreglass options, or if you have a specific vision in mind of how you want your pool to look, then a concrete pool is a more practical choice for you. These are built from scratch in your backyard, so the installation process can take weeks or even months, but the finished product can be any size and shape you choose — it’s a truly bespoke solution.
3. What Is Your Budget?
Needless to say, this is the first thing you should consider when choosing a backyard pool. It is essential to sit down and work out exactly what you can afford before committing to anything.
Fibreglass pools tend to cost significantly less than concrete pools, as a concrete pool has to be constructed from scratch on your property, so there is a lot more work involved. A concrete pool will also have to be either tiled or pebbled, unlike a fibreglass pool, which has a protective gel-coated surface pre-installed. This adds even more to the cost of a concrete pool in comparison.
However, the cost of the pool itself is only the beginning. You also need to consider related costs such as lighting, heating, and cleaning systems for your pool. There are a wide range of options available, so you will need to consult with your pool specialist, who will be able to advise you on the most appropriate choices for your individual property.
Finally, the area around the pool will need to be landscaped to ensure it looks its best and provides a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone who uses the pool. The cost of landscaping, as well as that of installing the required safety fencing that meets legislative standards in your state or territory, also need to be factored into the overall cost of your pool.
Choosing the Right Positioning for Your Pool
The position of your pool will have an impact on its appearance and functionality. It is important to plan the positioning of your backyard pool before the installation process begins.
Choose a sheltered spot that offers privacy to you and other swimmers using your pool. This will have the added advantage of sheltering your pool from the wind, so it will feel warmer. If you can achieve all of this in a location that faces north and gets plenty of sunlight, then you have a real winner, as your pool will feel warm and pleasant to swim in for many months of the year.
If your backyard is quite small, you can make the most of the space by positioning the pool alongside one of your property’s other features, such as a fence or even the house itself. Ideally, position your pool at the point where your backyard has its longest span to create an impression of more space.
You should also give some consideration to the views of your pool from different locations in the yard and from inside your home. Your pool will be the main focal point of your backyard, so it is important to position it in a way that makes it look attractive from all angles.
If your backyard slopes or your property has stunning views of the natural environment or the city, you might want to consider an infinity pool. Sloping sites are ideal for this, as a slope makes the “disappearing edge” of the pool look as if it is actually falling away. To create an infinity pool, part of your pool will need to be constructed above ground, so you will need to consult with your pool specialist to choose the ideal positioning for your pool.
Getting the Landscaping Right
For a backyard pool design to be truly attractive and ultimately functional, you have to give careful thought to the landscaping design around the pool area. Depending on the size and shape of your backyard and the type of pool you have chosen, the landscaping can either be done at the same time as the pool installation or once the pool itself is complete.
The first thing you need to consider here is safety. The fencing around the pool area must meet Australian Standard AS 1926 so as to ensure the area is safe for children. The design must also have no large objects such as chairs or tables located close to the pool fences, as young kids could climb on these to get over, resulting in a safety hazard. It is also a good idea to make sure any paving or tiling around the pool area is slip-resistant to add an extra element of safety.
Once you have ensured your design is safe and meets all regulations, it’s time to consider what else you want to do with the space. Does the area around the pool have room for enough seating, so everyone who will be using the pool has the option of relaxing in the sun when they get out of the water? Do you want to create a decking area, or will the whole of the patio be tiled or paved? Will you be planting any trees or shrubs close to the pool?
Additionally, you should think about how practically the space can be used for entertaining guests, as you might want to host a pool party or two! Is there room for a barbeque and a dining area with chairs and tables? You might even choose to create a fully-functional outdoor kitchen with a cooker, fridge, and food preparation area. You will need to make sure this is not located too close to the pool and that all flooring is safe and easy to clean.
The landscaping is where you can truly put your personal stamp on the design of your backyard pool area. A great design will suit the layout and size of your backyard, function exactly as you need it to, and highlight the pool as the main aesthetic feature of your yard.
Need More Help Choosing the Perfect Backyard Pool?
With so many factors to consider, choosing the right pool for your backyard can often be a difficult process. But when you get it right, it opens a new, exciting chapter in your life. If you would like more assistance, our team of highly experienced pool specialists is always happy to offer help and advice. Please contact us for more information.