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Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:18

From Drab To Fab

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From Drab To Fab From Drab To Fab
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If your swimming pool is in dire need of a facelift, then a pool makeover could be perfect for you! April Davis looks at some of the most important considerations to make before you embark on your renovation journey.

From finding the right designer to selecting the products that are right for you, there’s a lot to think about before you can start re-designing your swimming pool. While giving your pool that extra sparkle may be high on your list of priorities, it might need more than a cosmetic touch-up. Fixing the internal structure of your pool is essential in making it more vibrant and will ensure it stands the test of time.

After you’ve determined whether your repairs are cosmetic or structural, you will need to consider how much you can spend and who can help you realise your vision. Have a think about what role the pool will play in your lifestyle, how you will operate and sanitise the pool, and of course – what do you want it to look like?

To take some of the stress out of planning your next pool renovation project, Pool + Outdoor Renovation speaks with Barrie Dawson, the owner of leading pool renovation company, Vic Pool Renovations, to discover what should be considered prior to undertaking a pool renovation.


First and foremost, you need to consider your budget. Prices will vary depending on your project, but if you’re planning a complete overhaul of your existing pool, you might need to be prepared to splash some cash. However, if you’re only after a fresh coat of paint, the associated costs may be minimal.

One of the most important things to remember is to budget for unexpected costs. It won’t be until your pool is drained and work has begun
that you’ll truly see the condition it’s in. There might be a crack in the pool’s lining that needs to be fixed, or edging that needs to be replaced, you won’t know until you’ve started renovating. Fixing your pools foundations is necessary and can’t be ignored, so get on top of it before it ends up costing you more time and money.

Having a budget is important, however, keeping to it is often easier said than done. If you’re concerned about over-spending, let a third- party handle your finances. This could be a family member or a close friend; someone you know will make you see objectively about unnecessary extras.


Once you have your finances sorted, it’s time to start looking for the person, or company that you will employ to bring your pool makeover to life. According to Dawson,

“You should always engage a few pool renovation companies and make sure they listen to your requests and work with you to achieve your desired outcome.”
He also points out the importance of companies being contactable for the duration of the project to ensure the renovation runs as smoothly as possible. Ideally you want a company that’s adaptable and up-to-date with the latest products and innovations in the pool design industry, who will provide you with written warranties on all the products and services provided.

“A good renovation should last more than 25 years, so make sure the company is reputable and experienced. Ask to view their portfolio to use as a reference so you can see the craftsmanship and quality you can expect to receive.”


According to Dawson, one of the most common reasons people renovate their pools is to accommodate their lifestyle.

“A pool usually plays a big role in the backyard and a lot of people renovate to allow for their growing family or their entertaining habits,” he says.

If you want your pool and outdoor area to suit your lifestyle, you might want to look at a design that’s easy to maintain or that will complement your surrounding landscape.

“There are so many variations in pool surfaces, paving and fencing that you need to consider a number of things. People usually want a pool surface that’s easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing and a filtration system that’s easy to use and doesn’t need much maintenance.”

Glass fencing is often incorporated into outdoor pool areas for families who have children or pets, not just because it creates a modern, clean finish but also because the pool remains visible.

When renovating your pool for your lifestyle, you should also look at what your pool areas primary use will be. Do you want a lap pool for swimming or a pool and spa combination for when you have friends over? If you’re a social butterfly who enjoys entertaining, pool decking or paving should play a large role in the design process. Likewise, if you have a big family who spends holidays and birthdays lounging around your pool, it might be worth considering re-designing your whole outdoor area to make this possible.


To create an aesthetically pleasing pool, design elements are a must! Whether you want a tropical haven, outdoor oasis or clean lines with modern finishes, designing your pool makeover can be an enjoyable experience.

“Attention to detail can make a big difference in your final outcome. The use of underwater LED and garden lighting can bring the area to life at night and your paving choices need to reflect the area. Paving or decking should always be chemical-resistant and functional, but the colours and textures should fit in with your design goals.”

From choosing a colour scheme to deciding on your finishes, the design stage of any renovation can be a lengthy process. If all goes to plan you’ll potentially be looking at your pool area for more than 25 years, so you want to make sure you nail it.

The designer you hire to execute your renovation will be able to provide expert advice and guide you through this process. A quality designer will be able to listen to your brief and bring your design goals to life, although, it’s important not to get carried away. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and start picking pool shapes, finishes or products that aren’t practical for you or your budget. At the end of the day a stunning pool with a ‘wow’ factor that isn’t functional, probably isn’t going to be much use to you.


If you’re selling your home, or want to make sure your home maintains its value, proper pool maintenance, or an extensive pool renovation could potentially make you a lot of money.

As Dawson explains, simply having the work done won’t increase capital - the products you choose are vital for increasing the value of your pool and home.

“The surface you choose is the single biggest factor in getting value from your renovation. This can be achieved by adding solar or gas heating to extend your swimming season. By adding a solar blanket, you could potentially use your pool all year round.”

Running costs should also be considered, with certain speed pumps saving you money and the correct sanitation system can see you spending less on chemicals. This is where you will notice the difference between a good pool design company and a bad one. Experienced and knowledgeable pool designers and builders will be able to guide you through product selections that will ensure you get optimum value for your money.


For families, one of the main reasons for renovating is providing a fun and safe outdoor area for their children. Findings from The Royal Lifesaving Association showed that 266 people drowned in Australian pools between July 2013 and June 2014, proving that pool safety is still a major concern both commercially and residentially.

“Keeping children and pets safe around water is a high priority when having a pool. Supervision is key, but having a fence that meets Australian safety standards and self-closing gates with working locks are legal requirements,” says Dawson.

Ensuring there are no climbable objects close to fencing is also essential in ensuring the safety of your children and pets. If you decide to install a solar blanket over your pool when it’s not in use, choosing one that a child or pet won’t be able to get tangled in should play a major role in the decision-making process.

Considerations for child proofing are best made in the design stage because it can be difficult trying to incorporate safety features as an afterthought. Frameless glass fencing is the perfect fencing option for homeowners with young children or pets, as it not only enhances the space aesthetically, but gives you a clear un-obstructed view of the pool area at all times. It might also be worth installing a video or alarm system so you can keep an eye on the pool even when you’re inside.

Children can be very sneaky and with their inquisitive minds you should always be prepared for any scenario, no matter how unlikely it might seem.


No pool renovation would be complete without taking full advantage of the industry’s technological innovations. With new products coming out every year, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting your filtration and heating systems. Once again, your pool designer should be up-to-date with all these new technologies and able to advise you on what’s most suitable for your needs and budget.

“Having a filtration system that’s suitable for the volume of water in your pool, coupled with a salt water chlorinator can make looking after your pool a lot easier. Likewise, a self-dosing system and a good quality pool cleaner means it will virtually look after itself,” says Dawson.

A pool system that makes for easy maintenance will come in handy if you lead a busy lifestyle and don’t have a lot of time to be cleaning and caring for your pool. For these reasons, full remote automation systems are gaining in popularity.

“You can download an app on your tablet or smartphone and control everything from valves to filtration, lighting and heating remotely.”

The reach of these systems is phenomenal. They enable you to turn on your heating system as you’re leaving work so that your pool or spa will be ready for you to jump in to when you get home. Opting to install these products during your renovation will mean you save time and effort in the long run, and can be the difference between a dirty, poorly maintained pool and one that stays looking great in the long-term.


Read 507 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 December 2015 23:57