There are many things to consider when you start planning to build a new swimming pool. Maybe you have thought about tiles and coping finishes, or researched chlorinators and filtration systems. However, setting a reasonable budget is probably at the very top of your list of things to consider.
Each pool and site is unique and there are many variables which will impact your budget ~
- Site conditions
- Pool and spa design
- Structural considerations
- Availability of power, gas and water to the pool site
- Finishes specifications
- Systems specifications
- Extent of landscaping works associated with the project.
So we have prepared the below guide as a starting point for you to get an overall feel for the budget you should allow for when planning your pool build.
Please note the below information are not quotes. Once you are ready to take your dream pool project to the next stage, get in touch with us for a consultation and more detailed quote.
Soil Test & Engineering
Right at the start of your build a soil test must be undertaken so we and our engineers have an indication of the soil profile. Licensed engineers will then prepare engineering plans and reports for each pool taking the soil profile and the pool design requirements into account.
If your pool design includes windows, wet edges, infinity edges then additional specialist hydraulics and glass engineering will be required.
Planning and Building Approval
Not every project will require planning approval from the council, but they will all require building approval. The approvals and notifications process will depend on the location/heritage status of the property and individual council requirements. We will help you navigate this process and ensure your application passes through smoothly with all the required insurances and levies.
Pool size is one of the main factors in overall cost. The larger the pool the more concrete, steel, and tiles will be needed, for a start. Not to mention the higher powered equipment necessary to manage the larger pool water volume.
You should bear in mind that engineers will specify more concrete and steel in pools that have other structural requirements, for example
- Water depth of greater than 1.8m
- Pool walls supporting fencing or a water feature wall
- Raised pool walls or walls that are acting as retaining walls
- Pools that are immediately adjacent to other structures
- Pools that are built above natural ground level
As a guide the structure and pool filtration equipment for courtyard pools start from around $45,000 with the largest most complex pools costing over $200,000.
Spas are a wonderful additional to a pool but they are a very important thing to consider in a pool budget, as they involve specialised inclusions.
Spas require additional structural and finishing work as well as specialist spa jets, air blowers, pool control and heating equipment. Gas heating is recommended for spas for efficiency and to easily heat the spa water to 38C.
Dependent on the size, design, and finish, concrete swimming pool spas range from approximately $15,000 to over $25,000. See below for information on gas heating and control system costs.
There are a number of site related considerations that can impact on budget requirements as well…
We required 2.2m wide access during excavation. If access is limited, we will need to use a smaller excavator and bobcat which will extend the digging time from a standard one day dig to several days. Hand digging and removal of soil is also possible but again further extends the excavation time and costs.
Distances from Boundaries
When it comes to council approvals, one simple thing that will help fast track your applications approval is to have the pool over 1 metre from any boundaries. If this is not possible then your project will need to undergo Planning Approval as well as Building Approval, which costs slightly more and can extend your pre-build time.
If the site soil is too soft – eg sand or pebbly friable soil – then form-work will be needed to keep soil from caving in during the shell’s construction. We also have to use timber form-work if the pool is to be above the ground at any point.
Steel fixing stage with loss formwork and timber formwork
Some sites have natural rock where the pool is to be located. We will have to bring out the rockbreaker and also allow for additional dumping fees. Rocks can also cause voids (or holes) along the pool wall and they will need to be filled in with additional concrete. Fortunately rock is not an issue for most Adelaide metropolitan sites.
Tiles are the most visible component of a pool – we offer a large range of ceramic and glass tiles from local and national suppliers ranging from around $35 per sqm to over $200 a sqm. Bear in mind that the preparation works, tiling labour and specialist materials required to lay glass tiles will require a higher pool budget.
But rest assured no matter which selection you make, all our tiles are all high quality and beautiful.
Coping is the piece used to finish the top of the pool shell wall and can be done in a bullnose, square edge, tumbled or rebated finish.
You could consider natural stones such as granites, basalts or travertines or engineered stone in a diverse range of colours. Porcelain is becoming more popular and we love the texture and finish of timber decking around a pool as well.
Material costs can vary widely starting at around $70 to $80 a lineal metre to over $200 a lineal metre for the higher end stones and porcelain products.
Typically ordered with your coping to match, paving is ordered by the square metre. So you first need to understand how big an area will be paved. Material costs will vary from $80 a sqm to over $200 a square metre. The labour rates will vary as well depending on site preparation works and site conditions.
PLANT & EQUIPMENT
A filter, chlorinator, and pump is the minimum that every pool will need – though even then, there are alternatives such as salt chlorination, freshwater systems or mineral pools and single speed or variable speed pumps.
Would you like the ease of an in-floor pool cleaning, or would you prefer a pool robot? Do you want the wow factor of deck jets, splash-down jets, or a water-feature? Is the convenience of an auto-water leveller for you. Do you want to be able to exercise at home with swim-jets?
As you can see there are a lot of options and costs will vary depending on the size and complexity of the design and any impact on the underlying pool structure.
Infloor cleaning systems for small pools start from around $15,000 whilst a good robotic pool cleaner that does both floors and walls is around $2,000. Splash down jets or deck jets start from a few thousand dollars and water features can cost approximately $20,000 depending on size and finishes.
Heating is a personal choice – for a more detailed discussion on heating options see our ‘Best way to heat your pool’ blog, which runs through the different merits of heat pumps, solar heating, and gas heating.
It would be prudent to allow $5,000 for the smallest solar heating system or heat pumps. Larger pools can require over double that budget and we may even need to specify commercial heaters on the largest pools. Gas heaters range from approximately $6,000 to $10,000 and additional works such as flues and ventilation may be required. See below for more information on gas supply and connection.
Solar pool heating
Pool Plant Enclosures
A standard pool plant set up will occupy approximately 2m by 1m. Much larger set up areas are required if gas heaters, heat pumps, swim jets or in-floor cleaning systems are required.
Many councils require pool plant to be enclosed to reduce the noise impact on neighbours. Perhaps there is room in an existing or planned shed or garage. If not it would be prudent to allow an additional budget to build a shed or custom enclosure for the pool plant.
Pool blankets can heat your pool by up to 8 degrees, improving your swimming experience and saving you energy, water and money.
Allow $1,000 for a good quality roller and blanket. In ground blankets are becoming more popular as they virtually disappear when not in use and are easy to use. Allow approximately $7,000 to $10,000 depending on pool size.
For those of you wanting the ultimate in convenience and safety with a built in Remco Automatic Retractable Pool Cover $30,000 would be a reasonable starting allowance – again subject to pool size and complexity.
Spot the inground blanket!
Pool Control Equipment
We recommend pool automation and control systems particularly for pool and spa combinations, as they simplify the operation of technical equipment.
Pumps, lights, cleaning and sanitisation systems, pool and spa heating and water features can all be pre-programmed to run without you lifting a finger or can otherwise be turned on and off with the touch of a button.
Allow between $2,000 to $8,000 for pool control systems depending on the complexity of your pool and spa set up. We can help you select your ideal pool control system.
Fencing is essential for safety around pools, and councils will not approve projects with unsatisfactory safety boundaries, so ensure you plan ahead in the budget for your pool fencing.
Pricing for pool fencing is per metre and can range from approximately $300 a lineal metre for tubular fencing to over $1,000 a lineal metre for custom panels or fully frameless options.
Standard frameless glass panel fencing
Custom frameless glass panel fencing
And don’t forget your boundary fencing!
Boundary fencing is vital to ensure compliance with Council requirements if your pool is located on the boundary. Your existing boundary fence may already be pool compliant, but it may need replacing entirely or just some adjustments such as screen tops to meet minimal height requirements.
Electrical and Gas Connections
Electrical connections will need to be made to the pool equipment by a licensed contractor, and gas supply connection and commissioning in the case of gas heating.
Depending on the location of the pool plant and the availability of utilities on site, these costs can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands if a new gas line needs to be run.
Urban Oasis can manage utilities connection to the pool plant for you but in new home constructions it is often more cost effective for the home builder to provide for the swimming pool power, water and gas provisioning when they are planning for the new home.
So there you have it!
If you are dreaming of building your own urban oasis, these are a number of important things to keep in mind and to allow for during the budgeting stage. But with a little bit of planning will set you up well for a smooth build.