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Maintaining a home

5 home pool installation tips

13 October 2017

Having a pool in your own backyard is the Aussie dream – cooling off during those long hot summer days and making your neighbours green with envy. But before you dive in and buy one, there are a few things you should consider, like how does a pool affect home insurance and whether your backyard is suitable. We've listed 5 home pool installation tips to get you started.

1. Measure your backyard

Grab a tape measure or some rope and map out the ideal area for your pool. This will give you an idea of how much of your backyard will be taken up by a pool. Measure that space so you know the rough dimensions to give to a builder or pool company. Be sure to include fencing when considering your space requirements because any new pool built after 2010 requires a four-sided barrier around it.

2. Understand what sort of pool you would like

Pools come in a few varieties. Know which sort you would like and which sort you can afford. The two main options are:

  • Above-ground pool – this type pool is generally the more economical option as it's much easier to install and a lot less labour-intensive
  • Below-ground pool – the more expensive option. Not only labour-intensive and more time consuming to construct, but you also often have to factor in landscaping, lighting, and other extra features, which can add to the overall cost.

Both above-ground and below-ground pools can be constructed in either fibreglass, concrete, vinyl-lined, and stainless steel, all of which can affect the price.

3. Get a quote – preferably more than one

By getting several quotes from different pool companies you will know not only how much installing a pool will cost you, but it'll also arm you to negotiate the best deal possible.

4. Research your relevant state laws for pool installation

The laws around owning, installing, and maintaining pools across Australia vary state-to-state, however, here's a list of a few laws that are commonly shared:

  • All swimming pools on residential properties with a depth greater than 30cm are required to be surrounded by a safety barrier (e.g. a pool fence)
  • All pools built after 2010 require a four-sided barrier, with no direct access from the house.
  • Safety barriers must be a minimum of 1.2m high
  • It's illegal to leave a pool gate propped open
  • A building permit is required before installing a new pool, spa, or barrier – this permit needs to be issued by a registered building surveyor
  • Building work must start within 12 months of the date that the building permit was issued
  • During construction, if a new pool is filled with more than 30cm of water it must have a temporary safety barrier around it
  • In New South Wales and Queensland pool fences must be inspected by licensed inspectors and pools require registration and certification in NSW and QLD respectively.

It's important to note that the size and permanence of the pool doesn't affect regulations. If your pool has a depth greater than 30cm – even if it's a cheap, small, inflatable pool – it's legally required to have a fence. Be sure to check your state specific laws before installing a pool.

5. Check that your pool is covered on your home insurance policy

Make sure you have included the value of the pool in your home sum insured. If you've recently had a pool installed, you should call your insurer and update your policy – so that your investment is covered.

We know you're not running a five-star hotel, but you should also make sure your pool is well maintained, because damage caused by neglect to the pool or surrounding areas may not be covered under your home insurance cover. Ensure your pool is well cared for with these pool maintenance tips:

  • Regularly checking your pool for any sudden or dramatic loss of water
  • Keeping an eye out for any damp or soggy patches surrounding the pool
  • Noticing new or growing cracks in or around the pool
  • Ensuring any pumps and filters are correctly housed and clear from blockages.

Installing a pool at home is an exciting and rewarding process, creating hours of fun during a warm summer's day, as well as potentially adding value to your home. However, pool safety and maintenance are serious issues and need to be well planned.

If you're unsure about how does a pool affect home insurance then give one of our insurance specialists a call on – 13 11 55 (Mon-Fri 7am-9pm, Sat-Sun 8am-6pm) or visit us in store.

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

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