The project architect will usually design the approximate size and position for the swimming pool. However, you will need to engage a landscape designer to design and specify the exact details for the new pool, such as overall dimensions and shape, water depth, type of entry steps, colours and interior finishes and the position of the pool equipment.
The swimming pool is an important part of the overall landscape design and a design feature, so it must be fully integrated with both the house design and the garden design and usually involves some collaboration between the architect and the landscape designer. I recommend that you start by putting together a design brief for the swimming pool consisting of a list of features you would like to have included as well as some photos of pools you like.
Some important considerations when designing a new swimming pool are:
- Ground levels and the height of the pool in relation to the living area floor level.
- Storm water drainage for the pool overflow and drainage of the surrounding paving / decking.
- The services required for the pool i.e. sewer, water, power and gas.
- Pool fencing and safety measures. Note: very stringent regulations now apply to all new pools.
- Are you having a spa?
- Solar heating requirements and gas or other heating systems?
- The type of pool cleaning system?
- The size and position of the pool equipment area (this should be as close as possible to the pool but away from the main living areas so the noise from pumps running for several hours each day don’t become a problem).
Once you have finalised the design and specifications for your new pool, you will need to organize some pool quotes and engage a pool builder. I recommend that clients should get three pool quotes and they should always use a pool builder that their landscape designer and house builder has worked with before.
Also, make sure the pool quotes include allowances for:
- The pool building permit fees
- Engineering for the pool
- The pool equipment as specified
- Excavation and tipping costs
- Water to fill the pool when completed
- Time schedule to fit in with house building and landscaping
- What costs are involved if soil conditions are poor during excavation and construction?
The total cost of a new swimming pool and the landscape gardening on most of our projects usually works out to be between 10-20% of the total budget and is always money well spent.