What does life look like on the other side of COVID-19? It is a hard one to answer as the virus is still on our doorstep with no expiry in sight. One thing is for certain, life will be different. There has and probably will be continued heartache as the world battles something it cannot see and does not understand. In the midst of COVID-19, is there a silver lining?
Personally, this pandemic has forced my family to refocus on what is important and everything else (that consumed us previously) has simply become irrelevant. Our health and spending quality time with our kids is our focus. With a winter escape to Bali or Queensland off the cards for the foreseeable, investing in our home and a life at home is back on the agenda.
We don’t have a pool, we do however, have a grand plan for our dream backyard. With the pool front and center, we were going to update everything from the back door to the back fence and were planning to do it all at once in a couple of years. Not anymore. Keeping our boys busy year-round, being able to continue swimming lessons and looking after our health and wellbeing is now the priority. Our grand plan isn’t off the cards, we will just go about achieving it differently.
Perhaps you too are in a similar position? Consider exploring finance options and staging your project so you too can enjoy a new pool sooner rather than later. Don’t forget to consider alternate heating solutions other than solar - a life at home needs a pool you can enjoy and keep the kids busy year-round!
Tip 1. Consider finance solutions for your dream outdoor space
By now, you may have an idea of how much a pool costs. The next consideration is how to finance a pool.
Some dip into savings whilst the majority choose to extend their mortgage. If you are the majority, STOP and take a moment to compare your mortgage with the Outdoor Finance Calculator. The refinancing process through AB Phillips could free up enough money to fund your new pool project without the need of increasing your monthly mortgage repayments.
Tip 2. Tackle your grand plan in stages and consider alternatives
You can still have your grand plan but consider how to achieve the dream in stages. By staging your project, you could afford to install your swimming pool sooner rather than later and make the most of the restrictions we now find ourselves. Choosing alternative surrounds is also a great way to achieve the look whilst saving money!
Stage 1. Install your swimming pool
- Lighting, provision for pool heating (and if you choose gas, running of the gas line), water leveler, spa jets and infloor cleaning (if you are wanting this option - keep in mind there are much cost effective alternatives) must be installed at the point of pool construction. Everything else can be added once budget allows.
- There are plenty of different poolside paving options on the market ranging from man-made products to natural stone. Whilst some of the more conventional paving options can sometimes be expensive, it pays to consider other options like OFF-FORM concrete. This type of finish can give you a high-end look without the high-end price tag.
- If you choose to stage your project, consider basic safety barrier fencing instead of other options.
Stage 2. Structures & Remaining Hard Surfaces
Stage 3. Planting & Dressing
Find yourself without a grand plan but like the idea and want to understand how you could then stage your total project? Seeking the advice of a landscape architect such as Anthony from Anthony Scott Landscape Design would be a great place to start.
Tip 3. Swim year round with a total pool heating solution
Let’s face it, we live in Melbourne and are not gifted with the consistent warm weather of the Gold Coast. We do however have extreme waves of heat and without easy access to kilometres of stunning beaches, a pool in the backyard is the next best thing!
The restrictions we find ourselves in highlight the need to be able to swim and enjoy a pool year-round. Most people think solar but unless we have 3-4 days of consistent weather above 25 degrees (and a pool cover is on at night to prevent heat loss), the pool will simply not be warm enough to swim. By far the cheapest to run (averaging $200-$300 per year), solar does however provide the least amount of swim time. There are alternatives worth considering, if your dream pool was 40,000L for example:
Swim year round with a combined system, choose from:
- 100% Solar System and a Gas Heating System (250 or 400MJ Unit)
- 100% Solar System and an Inverter Heat Pump System (minimum 21kW Unit*)
Swim nine months of the year with reduced combined system, choose from:
- 100% Solar System and an Inverter Heat Pump System (minimum 17kW Unit*)
- An Inverter Heat Pump System (minimum 17kw Unit*)
Swim six months of the year with a singular system, choose from:
- 100% Solar System
- An Inverter Heat Pump (minimum 13kW Unit*)
If you are looking at a combined system, an additional controller is worth investing in which will then communicate between the two systems to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible.
Take the September school holidays of 2019 for example: pool owners with solar only were not entertaining the kids in the pool – the pool water was simply too cold. Pool owners with a gas heater on the other hand were entertaining the kids and their friends for the entire two weeks – they had complete control of their pool water temperature. Food for thought
Looking to invest in a life at home?
We are here to help! To slow the spread of the virus and to protect our team and more importantly you, everyone across the business including our construction crew follow good hygiene principles and practice social distancing. We’d welcome the opportunity to work with you on your dream pool and would encourage you to still contact us during the period of COVID-19.
We have a number of contact-free options to choose from:
- Speak to a member of our team 7 days a week on 1300 136 316
- Submit an online pool enquiry and your local Albatross Pools Designer will contact you directly
- With the assistance of Google Earth and any plans you may have (or sketches), our Pool Designers can provide an indicative pool quotation subject to an obligation free site inspection.
- With direct access to your outdoor space (without the need to enter your home), our Pool Designer can visit your property to conduct a site inspection. You can then speak via mobile with the Pool Designer while you remain inside your residence. This option is subject to Government advice.
- When you choose to buy an Albatross Pool, a Digital SPASA Contract is available.
- If you are concerned of your circumstances changing in the near future due to the impacts of COVID-19, we do have an option available known as a Preliminary Works Agreement. This would allow us to proceed with a soil test and a pool permit application on your behalf. Once the permit is issued, the Contract is then entered into for the original value less the amount paid for the Preliminary Works Agreement. If your circumstances do change, your only financial obligation is the cost of the Preliminary Works Agreement.
*Confirm the appropriate heat pump size for your pool with your pool builder.
Take care during these challenging times we find ourselves in. Remember to focus on what is important. If that happens to be spending time at home with your family and investing in a life at home, we are here to help!