Concrete Pool Design Interview
A professional pool design interview will usually take around two hours.
There is a lot more to this than sketching a shape on the back of an old envelope.
We like to begin with a professional design meeting with clients on site in their home.
To start we need an accurate scaled plan of the house including boundaries, sewer locations, and soak wells and above ground obstacles such as out buildings.
In my 37 years in this industry, I have seen the results of commission salesmen who have actually sold pools that are not able to fit in the space available. Perhaps they sold the price and not the pool.
If the client does not have a plan I actually measure the yard myself and get it right the first time.
Design should start with areas required apart from the pool.
Some of the items to consider are space for the dog, lawn areas for the kids, paved areas, gardens, retaining walls, fencing and filtration equipment location.
In the prefect design you will have both shade and sunny areas to entertain, perhaps a Bali hut, gazebo, patio, play equipment zone and perhaps have a barbecue.
The most successful design method is to actually mark the pool shape out on the ground with a long tape so the client can see the exact size of the water.
- Changes can be easily made at this stage with the client being involved in the size and shape.
- Selection of the prefect pool location can also depend on shade from trees and the house.
- A pool located in full sun will be warm and a shaded pool will be a cold pool so heating may be a requirement.
- One of the best places to start designing is actually from inside the house to see how much of your pool will be in sight. The angle of vision from the house can guide the designer with the pool shape.
In my experience you spend more time looking at your water showpiece than you do swimming in the pool.
Safety due to easy vision of the family playing in the pool has a unique priceless value.
- Swimming Safety is an important issue so I try to avoid placing seats or steps at the end of swimming lanes so people are not likely to break their noses on underwater ledges.
- Traffic flow around the pool will determine where seats, steps and ledges are located.
- Clients need to discuss their walking access to the pool and location of pool fencing and gates.
- Children will run around and jump into the pool so give them the space to do that safely without being jammed against a fence or garden bed.
When the client is happy with the shape we start sketching the pool and yard and measure every item accurately.
Now we can and get into our two hour meeting discussion and start preparing a specification.
Design sketches and Engineer drawings
Let us assume that you have had your pool marked out in the property and decided on the pool shape and are now ready to prepare a detailed specification.
Specific items to consider:
- Confirm Pool swimming lane length: actual water size.
- Pool width to plan in various sections.
- Shallow end depth: actual water.
- Deep end depth: actual water.
- Shape of pool floor. With a concrete pool we can shape the floor to suit you.
- This can be all one depth, sloping or even with a diving bowl.
- Play area such as steps and shallow areas depths are also worth consideration.
- A large step to sit on with a cool drink may appeal to you.
- The family however may wish to train for the Olympics and have tumble turns at each end.
- It is a good plan to measure your kid’s height standing and sitting to help with these depth questions.
- Get the family involved with steps to make sure both you and granny can actually get in and out of the pool.
- Skimmer box filtration location is best using prevailing wind directions to help skim the pool surface and best left to the designer.
- Pool water returns are best located to create complete circulation of water.
- Pool blankets are now compulsory in Perth.
- In ground pool covers may impact on plumbing so discuss the above ground or in ground option for blankets.
- Waterline tiles are inside the entire perimeter.
- It may be a good idea at this time to consider retaining walls, water features, raised platforms, spa jets, air blowers, swim jets, paving and sterilization.
Sketches to Engineer
- Engineer drawings are required by local government and of course the pool builder.
- After you have confirmed that you are happy with the pool design, detailed sketches are prepared and sent to the Engineer for steel and concrete specification.
- These are comprehensive drawings and cost $500 -$1000.
- Some builders lock you into a contract early based on a standard simple specification and assume that you will happily pay for any extra engineer details after they receive the Engineer details.
I find this very disturbing and unethical so I make sure the client is aware of the total price requirement before we enter into an agreement.
At this stage to order engineer drawings and prepare for a council building application is part of the pool price and is included the initial deposit.
Our designer supplies you with copies of all the scaled sketches which form part of your construction contract.
At this stage a guide to price is possible for the standard pool specification.