Home | Articles From Issue 23 | Better Together
Image Credit: Franklin Landscape & Design

Turning your dream home into a reality is one of life’s greatest achievements and deciding to put a pool in is the cherry on top. Here, Annie Slevison speaks with David Franklin, the director of Franklin Landscape & Design, about the benefits of building a pool as part of a new home development.

IS IT COMMON FOR POOLS TO
BE DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED
TOGETHER WITH A NEW HOME?

“Yes. Clients usually know at the beginning of the home design process whether they would like a pool, so architects [will] usually locate the pool on site at the same time as they design the house. The design and location of the pool will often be adjusted to suit the landscape design.”

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF
BUILDING THE POOL AT THE
SAME TIME AS THE HOME?

“It’s easier to get all the engineering drawings and permits done at the same time to ensure the house and pool dig are co-ordinated, and any changes that may be required to comply with permit conditions can be made early on. If the pool dig is done while the house is built, it is not going to undermine the house. Machinery access to the backyard is [also] easier before construction of the home has commenced.”

ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS
TO LEAVING THE DESIGN AND
CONSTRUCTION OF THE POOL UNTIL
AFTER THE HOME IS COMPLETED?

“By waiting, you can see exactly what space you have to work with in terms of the site’s size and layout, and the pool’s orientation to the sun. Conversely, if you do wait until after the house is built, access [may be restricted] and greater effort is required to ensure that the pool dig and construction does not damage the house in any way, which may lead to higher costs.”

HOW WILL THE NATURE OF
THE SITE IMPACT HOW THE
POOL IS CONSTRUCTED?

“If the site is steep, a retaining wall may be required above or below the pool to create a flat level and control site drainage. It’s also important to know the soil and substrate type, as the pool needs to be engineered with this in mind. If there’s a solid rock base under the soil, it will be a more complicated excavation, whereas a sandy base will require reinforcement of the pool shell.

“If your site has limited access, it’s possible to crane machinery over and into the backyard. With a good builder, anything is possible.”

WHAT ARE THE
SAFETY REQUIRMENTS?

“A good builder will know and follow all safety requirements during the construction phase, and a pool permit requires compliance with safety code AS 1926.1.”

WHAT SHOULD HOMEOWNERS
BE MOST MINDFUL OF WHEN
INSTALLING THEIR POOL?

“Australian standards require the installation of safety fencing. The pool fence should be designed in a way that works with the overall space to ensure ease of access and attractive sight lines throughout the backyard. Pool equipment also needs to be located in close proximity to the pool, but ideally as inconspicuously as possible.”

HOW CAN READERS ENSURE
THEY ARE GETTING THE BEST
VALUE FOR MONEY WHEN
BUILDING THEIR POOL?

“Do your research to find a reputable pool builder with a strong portfolio of work. They may be more expensive than someone with less experience, but mistakes can be costly, so it’s important to get the job done right.”

HOW CAN READERS ENSURE
THEY ARE CHOOSING THE BEST
POOL BUILDER FOR THEIR PROJECT?

“Word of mouth is always a good source of local recommendations. Look for pools that you like in magazines or online, and then browse the builder’s portfolio of work on their website. Call them to arrange a consultation to chat about your vision – make sure you feel confident with their professionalism, and don’t hesitate to ask about their credentials.”

HOW LONG DOES IT GENERALLY
TAKE TO CONSTRUCT A POOL AND
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BUILD?

“Typically 8–12 weeks. A pool project generally takes longer when built at the same time as the house as there are more tradespeople and machinery on site.

“A good builder can build a pool at any time of the year!”

To find out more about Franklin Landscape & Design and how you can build your pool and new home together visit www.franklinld.com.

Photography by Patrick Redmond

Image Credit: Patrick Redmond
Image Credit: Patrick Redmond
Image Credit: Patrick Redmond
Image Credit: Patrick Redmond

Knowing the location of the pool early in
your design will allow your home builder
to keep all services and underground pipes
clear of the pool zone.

Image Credit: Patrick Redmond

Top considerations for building your pool with your home

INTEGRATION AND CO-ORDINATION

A key advantage of completing all outdoor features with your new home is the opportunity to integrate and co-ordinate all the design elements in the property. This way you can continue the aesthetic of the interior through to the exterior pool area and landscaping for a cohesive aesthetic. Further, knowing the location of the pool early in your design will allow your home builder to keep all services and underground pipes clear of the pool zone.

PIERING AND FOUNDATIONS

Depending on its proximity to the pool, the house may require piering or additional foundations to allow for the pool. You can discuss this with your home builder.

POOL SAFETY COVER

For safety, your pool may need to be boarded or covered up while the home is constructed. This is an addition that can be co-ordinated with your builders.

EQUIPMENT LOCATION

Keep in mind the height of your pool’s filtration equipment, as it shouldn’t be too close to windows or the safety fence. Ideally, it should be within ten metres of the pool, but out of the pool zone.

EXCAVATION

Building your pool as part of a new home development can minimise the impact of disruptions caused by excavation. Sloping blocks and the removal of rocks often require heavy machinery and their continuous access to the pool zone could damage your new home or create noise pollution when you are trying to settle in. For an easier, safer and seamless result, it is best to construct the property as a whole.

ACCESSIBILITY

If you decide to build your pool after your new home, you may run into issues with restricted access. Standard machinery required for the pool

build may not fit within the house compound, and mini equipment can prove costly. Talk to your home builder to organise access areas for the pool excavation machinery – doing so will avoid unexpected costs during construction.

POINT OF INTEREST

A pool is as much a visual feature as it is a functional addition to the household. Constructing your outdoor space with a pool and landscaping that complement each other is often less complex when completed at the same time as the home.

THINK AHEAD

As you will be spending a lot of time enjoying your pool, consider the build an investment and don’t get hung up on price where it counts. Although sticking to your budget is important, keep in mind that a quality builder is paramount and will achieve a result that increases the value of your home.