Swimming pools - planning and design

swimming poolPlanning on building a swimming pool?

Owning a pool is a wonderful addition to your home but comes with responsibility, below are some tips for adding a swimming pool to your home.

Placement: In urban properties pools are often positioned in close proximity to the house. Try to locate your pool so it’s in full sun. Avoid proximity to large trees.

Design: The size and shape of pool you choose should be determined by your swimming requirements.

A typical family recreational pool may have sloped floor 
from 1.0 to 1.8 metres. A shape that compliments your site could be free form, classic or more commonly rectangular in a modern home. Consider step placement for easy access so as not to compromise the swimming area.

If you want to make swimming a part of your daily workout but have limited room in your backyard, a narrow lap pool might be the best option for you. These have a typical depth of 1.4 to 1.5 metres throughout. If space will allow, a length of 20-25 metres will enable competitive swimmers to train effectively.

Surrounds: Allow space all around the pool for a deck or paved area. As well as being a space to relax, the poolside area needs to provide easy access to the pool. It also minimizes the amount of grass or dirt entering the water and catches overspills.

Safety: For safety it will require fencing to a standard that conforms to the NZ Fencing of Swimming Pools Act. Some councils will allow the zone between house and pool to be unfenced though self-locking doors will be required along with a safety cover.

Finishes & Construction: If you are looking at a custom design then consider a concrete pool. Finishes range
 from traditional tile to rendered plaster coatings such as Quartzon or Hydrazzo. Fibreglass and vinyl liner pools provide a more cost-effective option but generally have 
a shorter lifespan.

Water Quality: Healthy, sparkling water is a product of good filtration and chemistry. A high water turnover
and efficient filtration can significantly reduce chemical demand and cost. Though there is a huge range of sanitising systems available most use chlorine derived from liquid, tablets or salt.

Cleaning: Some owners enjoy the relaxation of cleaning their pool manually. Alternatively “creepy-crawly” type cleaners will do a reasonable job if set up correctly. Some pools have a network of cleaning nozzles built into the floor and steps that pop up and push water across the pool floor, forcing debris towards a suction drain for automated removal.

Covers & Heating: Evaporation at the surface significantly drops the water temperature and can be greatly reduced with a cover. Heating your pool by solar, heat-pump or gas will significantly extend the swimming season and boost the temperature on colder or windy summer days.

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