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  • Third generation in the family business, Peita Otterbach brings 10 plus years of marketing experience to Albatross Pools with a proven track record aiding organisations in strengthening brand loyalty, creating product awareness and producing tangible results improving both bottomline and market share. Recently completing her MBA, Peita draws from her commercial experience across a number of industries and expertise in Digital Marketing and Strategy as she works with her father Michael Van Der Haar to expand and strengthen the distribution network of Albatross Pools throughout Australia and internationally. Peita also assists in the Pool Shops and Pool Display Centres having worked in both for some years during her studies.


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    Which Pool Cleaner Suits My Pool and Lifestyle?

    When you have a swimming pool, keeping it clean is a must for safe swimming. Automatic pool cleaners can make this aspect of pool maintenance a little easier. Not sure where to begin when it comes to choosing a pool cleaner? Consider your budget and lifestyle. For those who don't mind a little manual labour, a traditional pool vacuum may do the trick. However, those who want to save the time and hassle of manual labour may prefer a more costly suction or robotic pool cleaner or an in-floor pool cleaning system.

    By weighing some of the pros and cons of each option, you can choose the one that's right for you.

    Manual Pool Cleaning/Vacuuming

    When you purchase a pool from us, you always receive a free handover kit that includes:

    • Vacuum
    • Telescopic pole
    • Hose
    • Pool broom
    • Pool leaf rake
    • Water testing kit

    The manual pool cleaning option is great for people who love to spend time in their yard and is an effective maintenance solution for low-leaf problem pools as it enables you to clean the entire pool. This is by far the cheapest option when it comes to pool cleaning solutions, with out-of-pocket prices ranging between $200 and $300. However, this option can also be labour intensive as you cannot just walk away, and it also means working on the pool during the colder winter months while also having potentially higher water consumption.

    Suction Pool Cleaning

    A suction pool cleaner connects to your pool's skimmer, with a cleaner that moves across the floor of your pool to pick up debris such as dirt and leaves. From there, debris that is collected is caught in the skimmer basket, this basket then needs to be manually cleaned out on a periodic basis.

    Pricing for suction pool cleaners can range between $500 and $1,000, and many people enjoy this cleaner option because it is convenient and runs off the pool's existing filtration system (when your pool turns on so too will your suction cleaner if it is connected). It can easily be used every day to maintain a clean pool.

    On the other hand, this option does not allow surface skimming or the cleaning of additional pool surfaces such as the walls and steps, and the pool itself cannot be used while the cleaner is operating. Since the pump needs to be run while the cleaner is working, it can also cause wear and tear to your pool filtration system and will require more frequent backwashing of the pool filter.

    Robotic Pool Cleaning

    A robotic pool cleaner is a great option for those who don't want to do much in the way of manual labour to clean their pools or have much free time. These cleaners are totally independent, so they don't need to be connected to your filter or other pool components. Simply program the map/size of your pool and put the robotic cleaner to work. This type of cleaner will brush the floor and depending on the brand and model, can also brush the walls and waterline of the pool.

    You will need to empty the cartridge/basket/sock on a robotic pool cleaner as needed, and the cost for these can easily range between $1,200 and $5,000 depending on the brand and warranty, making them one of the more expensive pool cleaning options on the market.

    In-Floor Pool Cleaning

    For those who want to avoid manual cleaning as much as possible and want the ultimate bragging rights, an in-floor pool cleaning system is the ideal solution.

    In-floor pool cleaning systems offer a range of benefits including:

    • Pool will self clean all year round plus during normal filtration hours
    • No additional equipment is required around the pool making it clutter free
    • Can handle very high debris levels
    • Assists in heating and circulation throughout the pool
    • Versatile for all pool designs

    There are some drawbacks to this system. For a start it is at the top end of the price scale, with prices starting from around $9,500 depending on the brand, warranty and size of the pool. Another issue is that you need to decide to include an in-floor pool cleaning system during construction as it is not a viable option for those who have an existing pool. In-floor cleaning systems also add to the power bill and cannot clean the walls of the pool, only the water and loose debris.

    With all these pool-cleaning options in mind, which is right for you? Contact Albatross Pools today for assistance in choosing the right pool cleaner for your budget and lifestyle.

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    How to choose a pool colour?

    With so many pool colours to choose from, selecting the perfect pool colour for your backyard can be a tricky process. Clients often begin by asking to see the most popular pool colours when visiting our swimming pool display centres.  Yet, like most trends, what is popular today may not be popular tomorrow.  For this reason we encourage our clients to consider a number of important factors when choosing a pool colour.

    Look and Feel

    Before you begin to think about pool colour, first consider the look and feel you would like to create in your backyard. Are you after a tropical oasis, a Tuscan haven, a natural lagoon, or a modern chic outdoor space?  Be sure to consider the style and exterior tones of your home.  The theme of your backyard will begin to guide you towards a colour palette to work from.

    The Pool Colour

    Depending on the size of your swimming pool, your backyard design may feature your swimming pool as the centerpiece in its design.  Like any centerpiece, it should compliment the desired look and feel whilst adding the ‘wow’ factor to the overall design.

    Factors to be considered when choosing a pool colour include your backyard theme, pool surrounds, water reflection and water temperature, just to name a few.  To ensure the process of choosing a pool colour is as simple yet enjoyable as possible, I’d encourage you to use the table below as a reference point when selecting the right pool colour for your swimming pool.

    Factor Light Pool Colours Dark Pool Colours
    Pool Colours Pacific Light Blue Maldive Mosaic Reef Pebble Mediterranean Marble Antique Bahama
    Caribbean Casablanca
    Costa Rica Dark Blue
    Pool Surrounds The tone of your pool surrounds should be in contrast to your pool colour. If you choose a light pool colour, consider  darker pool surrounds including:

    • Dark Wooden Decking
    • Bluestone
    • Dark Granite
    • Sandstone with red, brown and orange earth tones
    • Travertine with chocolate and caramel tones
    • Dark Limestone
    • Dark Slate
    • Dark Bric
    The tone of your pool surrounds should be in contrast to your pool colour. If you choose a dark pool colour, consider  lighter pool surrounds including:

    • Light Wooden Decking
    • Light Granite
    • Natural or Ivory Sandstone
    • Travertine with cream and beige tones
    • Light Limestone
    • Light Slate
    • Light Brick

    Pool Reflection

    A lighter pool colour will draw your eye to the bottom of the swimming pool and you may be more inclined to notice settled debris. A darker pool colour will reflect the pool surrounds and create a mirror-like effect. You will be less likely to notice any settle debris at the bottom of the swimming pool.
    Pool Water Temperature A lighter pool colour will reflect the sunrays and cooler pool water may result.  There is also a high potential for glare. A darker pool colour will attract and absorb the sunrays. A darker pool colour may increase your pool water temperature by 2 to 3 degrees.

    Impact of Water & Natural Light

    When people renovate or build, it is common to collect samples (bench top, splash back tile, paint swatch, cabinetry colour, etc) to see if the combination works well and creates the desired look and feel. In the case of a pool and it's surrounds, it is important to consider the impact of water and natural light (bright Summer's day vs. dull Winter's day) - samples can take on a completely different look and feel.

    Antique Pool Colour
    Antique in an Albatross Display Pool with a Pool Water Feature

    Helpful Pool Design Tip

    Take your favourite pool coping tile sample to your pool builder's display centre and place it alongside a pool with your chosen pool colour featured. This is the best way to get a feel for how your dream pool space will look!

    Pool Colour Samples taken inside under artificial light
    Pool Colour Samples in an Albatross Display Pool (water movement and natural light)

    Safety

    Don’t forget to consider how slippery your pool surrounds may become when wet. Perhaps consider a textured pool surround. And finally, we have found that dark pool surrounds can attract heat and retain heat in the surface, which may become uncomfortable to walk on during a hot summer’s day.

    We find by keeping a few simple factors in mind when choosing your pool colour, you will be able to achieve the desired look and feel in your backyard in little to no time at all! Your pool builder might help you to make the right decision. To see the pool colours available with Albatross Pools, simply visit one of our swimming pool display centres open seven days a week year round.

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    Why life isn’t a beach with a salt-water pool

    One of the first questions we ask prospective customers when they enquire about a new pool is what type of water they would like to swim in. Nine times out of ten the answer is the same: salt. When asked why, the reasons are invariably the same. “My friend has one.” “Salt water pools require no maintenance.” “I want the experience of swimming at the beach.”

    Now I don’t know about you, but my memories of swimming at the beach aren’t all that rosy. Frizzy, dry hair and skin, stinging eyes, faded bathers and the need to have a shower after swimming are not the attributes I’d want in my new pool. I’d prefer to have perfect skin and hair, clear eyes, bathers that last at least a few months, and avoid showering after every dip. So what are your water options?

    Salt vs. Ionic

    Every pool has a filtration system of some kind including a filter (sand or cartridge) and a pump (motor). A filtration system circulates the pool water. Every pool needs to be regularly tested and balanced to ensure safe and crystal clear water and to also comply with warranty conditions on both the pool and equipment. “Balancing,” means that the pH, Total Alkalinity, chlorine, stabiliser, calcium and metals are tested in the water before specialised products are added to ensure these levels are maintained within ideal parameters.

    If the pool owner doesn’t want to manually add chlorine or sanitise the pool manually (to keep their chlorine level within the ideal parameter), they can choose to incorporate a sanitisation system in with their filtration system on the pool to automatically generate chlorine or some form of sanitiser.

    The most common sanitisation systems are:

    • Liquid Chlorine and Liquid Acid Feeder (commonly known as a Chemigem)
    • Salt Chlorination System
    • Mineral System
    • Ionic Fresh Water System

    Ionic Fresh Water System

    If you want to avoid the hassle of washing salt off everything after you swim, then we recommend opting to have an Ionic Purifier in your Albatross Pool. An Ionic Purifier delivers a natural ‘soft’ feel to the water akin to freshwater. The Ioniser is an effective sanitisation system that releases controlled amounts of silver and copper into the pool water via electrolysis. Silver is a powerful disinfectant that prevents bacteria forming in the water, while copper inhibits algae growth. The presence of the silver/copper mixture creates a neutral water balance that effectively reduces the amount of chemical maintenance required throughout the year. As an added bonus, the Ionic Purifier is not affected by water temperature or swimmer usage, meaning a fresher, natural feeling pool year round. As chlorine is required in all pools, we recommend the use of an Inline Tablet when using the Ionic System. This will help circulate a small amount of chlorine throughout the pool.

    An Ionic system is also a preventative system as copper and silver prevents algae and bacteria from even forming whereas chlorine/salt kills algae and bacteria once they are present in the pool water. An Ionic system is also ideal if garden beds are close by the pool, as water that splashes out of the pool (kids having fun…or even adults!) won’t kill the plants like chlorine/salt will. The water from an Ionic pool will not leave a residue on the surrounding pool paving and glass pool fencing whereas salt leaves a white residue, which is the dried out salt itself.

    Salt Chlorination System

    Contrary to the marketing spiel, salt chlorinated pools are not the ‘set-and-forget’ miracle pool of your dreams. A lot of monitoring, maintenance and money goes into the daily running of a salt pool and could find you ruing the day it ever landed in your yard!

    While cleverly marketed as being able to swim at the beach at home, it is somewhat of a misconception and the truth is a little left of centre. Many salt chlorinated pools are sold to owners as maintenance free systems. This often leads to salt pool owners becoming complacent and only maintaining the pool’s salt level. Doing this will lead to great amounts of chlorine being produced, but none of the other essential levels that are fundamental to swimmer comfort and safety such as pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium and Stabiliser.

    A salt water pool requires constant monitoring, especially during the heavy summer usage period. For example, during the peak of summer an average sized pool (8 x 4m) would need 1 bag of salt per week. Unfortunately there is no home test kit to monitor the salt level in the pool. You must employ the expertise of the local pool shop which is an additional ownership cost that needs to be factored in.

    While you may relish the thought of swimming in a salt water pool, you may very well be sick of the sight of salt by the time you conduct your regular maintenance! The process involved in creating the salt water environment is complicated and a fine balancing act to ensure optimum swimming conditions.

    Some of the technical aspects include:

    • Adding 20-25kg of pool salt to the pool. As it dissolves it passes over the salt cell and through a process of electrolysis; the dissolved salt is turned into sodium hypochlorite (also commonly known as liquid chlorine – the big blue 15L drums you may see at a Bunnings or Mitre10).
    • Sodium hypochlorite is the main ingredient in household bleach. Think about that for a minute!
    • Sodium hypochlorite has a pH of about 13ppm, whereas your eyes/skin/hair require a neutral pH of 7.4ppm, hence the need to constantly add liquid acid or dry acid to bring the pH down.
    • Effective pH dosing systems can be incorporated into the salt chlorination system but the probes need to be serviced regularly to ensure the right amount of acid is being added to the pool.

    It is a fact of life that people who live in countries where winter brings snow, often find themselves renewing their cars faster than those who live in warmer climes. The reason for this is often found in a particular road safety method called ‘gritting’. This is where councils spray a salt-based mix on to the roads to dissolve the fallen snow and give vehicles safer passage. The downside is in the salt. It literally eats your car over time. Salt is corrosive and your pool will not be spared its wrath! Due to its pH and aggressive nature, salt can cause maintenance problems for your surrounding plants and paving. Salt delaminates sandstone and after only a few years can cause damage as seen below.

    Sandstone delamination caused by salt water

    Salt can also cause headaches for those with tiled, pebble and concrete pools as seen below.

    Calcification on a tiled pool.

    As mentioned earlier, high levels of chlorine are often produced by unbalanced salt water pools. Chlorine has a wonderfully unwanted ability to deteriorate all pool surfaces, whether they are concrete, pebble, tiled, fiberglass, the PVC membrane and the gel coat. It also plays havoc with the internals of gas heaters. While not intended to send you running for the hills at the thought of owning a salt water pool, it goes to show that there are many factors of salt water pool ownership that are often conveniently omitted from the sales brochure.

    What about Mineral Pools

    Salt is a type of mineral and therefore most mineral pools (magnesium for example) are subjected to the same inherent problems attributed to salt based systems.

    While a salt system is a great system that many pool owners opt for, it’s not as maintenance free as everyone assumes and certainly has additional expenditure and harmful repercussions for the pool internals and surrounds. In saying that, while we will always promote the benefits of an Ionic Purifier we also encourage customers to explore all options before settling on their water type. A swimming pool will be an integral part of your family’s time together for many years to come and extensive research should be conducted to avoid impacting the enjoyment of your new pool. All information supplied in this article is intended as a guide only and we strongly encourage customers to conduct further investigation into every available option.

    As a business we choose products for our customers based on close to 50 years of experience and knowledge and we also choose products that provide value both short and long term for the pool owner. In an Ioniser’s case, we recommend it as it is gentle on the swimmer and will not shorten the life span of the pool equipment, the pool and all of its surrounds. Salt chlorinators are just marketed very well – they do require maintenance, they shorten the lifespan of the pool equipment and the surrounding area, and by no means is it like the salt from the beach.

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    Why Small Pools Are Big

    These days new home block sizes are ever decreasing, resulting in smaller spaces being allocated to outdoor living and pool areas. For those who have their hearts set on installing a swimming pool, it means many homeowners have to become increasingly creative with their outdoor living space. If you've wanted a swimming pool but have been under the assumption that your yard is too small, you may want to consider a courtyard pool or plunge pool as a viable option! These unique and functional styles of pool are great for more confined outdoor spaces. Not to mention, they come with numerous additional benefits that a larger, "traditional" pool simply does not.

    Why Small Pools Are Big

    What is a Courtyard Pool?

    Specifically, a courtyard pool refers to a swimming pool that is smaller in size; these pools are designed to be incorporated into smaller spaces beautifully and naturally. These pools are typically rectangular in shape and include our innovative Aqualux PVC membrane, though there are many additional ways in which their design can be customised. And when done correctly, they can also fit into the overall landscape of your yard to make a bold architectural statement. Typically, these pools are still large and deep enough for you to enjoy all the health and lifestyle benefits of a regular pool as well as offering cooling respite on a hot day.

    Reduced Cost

    One of the key benefits to choosing a courtyard pool is the cost savings, especially when compared to a larger and more traditional swimming pool style. Not only does it cost less in materials and labour to have a small courtyard swimming pool installed, but the operation and maintenance costs tend to be much lower as well. Your pool will require less water to fill it, and you'll go through fewer chemicals to keep your pool water at proper and balanced levels.

    Easier Maintenance

    Speaking of maintenance, does the thought of trying to maintain a large pool make you uneasy? If so, then you'll also love the fact that courtyard pools tend to be much easier to maintain due to their smaller size and thus smaller water volume. So long as you test your water regularly and follow the recommended maintenance schedule, keeping your pool's water safe and balanced is pretty simple. Of course, if you're still intimidated by the thought of maintaining your swimming pool, you can always consider a (relatively) maintenance-free option from Albatross Pools. We offer pools with time-saving features such as ionic water purifiers and even built-in pool cleaning systems so you can take the time, hassle, and guess work out of keeping your pool maintained!

    Optional Features

    Just as with a traditional swimming pool, there are all kinds of ways to make your courtyard or plunge pool your own. Consider, for example, having a swim jet system installed in your courtyard pool; these can be great for adjusting your water flow so you can swim at your own pace without worrying about bumping into the walls of your pool! We also offer heating systems to keep your pool at a comfortable temperature all year-round. You might even consider having wrap-around seating installed in the shallow perimeter of your pool to create more of an entertainment space and optimise your use of the space available in your yard.

    As you can see, smaller courtyard pools can make a huge difference in your yard and their many features and benefits have seen them boom in popularity. If you're thinking about installing one of these unique pools on your property, Albatross Pools is here to help. Contact us today to get started!

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    Swimming Pool Heating

    Solar Heating, Gas Heating and Heat Pumps

    Albatross understands and appreciates a swimming pool is both an investment in your property as well as your family lifestyle. To ensure maximum benefit and value year round, Albatross recommends every swimming pool have some form of pool heating. Like the design of your swimming pool, Albatross can tailor a specific heating solution to suit your family and lifestyle needs. Choose from solar pool heating, gas pool heating or heat pumps – the choice is yours.

    Solar Pool HeatingSolar Pool Heating

    Solar pool heating has been around for centuries and is the cheapest and most economical form of pool heating available. Simply set your desired pool temperature on your electronic controller and your solar pump will draw cold water from the pool, pass through heated solar absorbers strategically positioned on your roof and warm water is returned back to your pool.

    To read more about solar pool heating on Albatross swimming pools, download Supreme Heating's Heatseeker Solar Pool Heating Brochure.

    Gas Pool Heating

    Gas heating, also referred to as demand pool heating, allows you to swim in your swimming pool year round even in the depths of winter – entertain and stay fit and healthy year round.

    A gas heater is incorporated into your swimming pool’s filtration system and can maintain your pool at a set and constant temperature via an electronic touchpad. Simply set your desired pool temperature and your pool filtration system will pass cold water through the gas heater burners and return warm water back to your swimming pool.

    Learn about AstralPool Gas Heaters

    Pool Heat Pumps

    A pool heat pump operates similarly to a reverse refrigerator by transferring heat in the atmosphere to the pool water drawn through a heat exchange located inside the heat pump returning warm water back to the pool. A correctly sized unit can work in the coldest of conditions, offering a year round heating solution.

    To read more about heat pumps on Albatross swimming pools, download the Aquatight Titanium Heat Pump brochure.

    Pool Solar Cover

    A pool solar cover is designed to reduce water evaporation by up to 99.84% and depending on the type of solar cover chosen can heat the swimming pool water by as much as 8 degrees. A solar cover features thousands of tiny bubbles, which work together to collect and retain heat in the swimming pool. A pool solar cover works best when combined with another pool heating method such as a solar, gas or heat pump pool heating system. For ease of use, solar cover reels are also available on request. A $200 rebate is available as part of the Victorian Government’s Living Victoria Water Rebate Program effective 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015 on Smart Approved WaterMark solar covers and solar reels.

    Which ABGAL solar pool cover is best for your swimming pool?

    How to trim and install an ABGAL solar pool cover?

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    How Long Does it Take to Build a Pool?

    Interested in having a swimming pool built on your property? If so, then you may be wondering how long it will be before you can begin enjoying your new pool. This can vary greatly depending not only on the builder you choose, but the pool type and other factors as well. Still, if you want to get a general idea of what to expect from your pool building project, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.

    How Long Does it Take to Build a Pool?

    Choose Wisely

    A pool represents a large financial investment and will be a part of your family for many years, therefore it’s imperative that you take the time to research every aspect of your chosen builder and design before you commit. Visit the display centres (if they have one – it can be a warning sign if they don’t!) of your preferred companies and ask about their history. Next, arrange for up to three preferred pool builders to visit your property to conduct an obligation free site inspection. After carefully considering all quotations and your feelings on which pool builder suits your needs, select your pool builder. At this stage you will sit with your builder to custom design your individual pool along with preferred options and features such as lighting, sanitation, interior colour, pool heating, and pool cover if required.

    Obtaining a Pool Building Permit

    The next step of the process is to review and sign the SPASA swimming pool project contract and pay the deposit before submitting an application for a pool building permit. This will be handled by your builder, and will involve submission to the surveyor for approval. In some cases, engineering drawings will also need to be created and attached to the application.

    In most cases, pool building permit applications are processed within two to four weeks. Sometimes, additional information or permits may be needed, so this can create more delays. Either way, your builder will keep you informed and will send you a copy of the building permit when it is obtained.

    Deciding on a Start Date

    Next, it's time to work out an official start date with your pool builder. This timeframe is generally anywhere between four to six weeks after approvals, such as pool building permits, are received, as there are a number of additional steps that need to be completed before ground can be broken. This includes:

    • securing a licensed electrician to run wiring for any pool lighting
    • finding a licensed plumber to connect sewage lines, filters, and other mechanics
    • hiring a landscaper and pool fencer, if needed
    • obtaining an Asset Protection Permit

    Completion Times by Pool Type

    The time between when ground is broken and when your pool is complete can vary greatly based on the specific type of pool you select. For example, pre-engineered swimming pools and fiberglass pools tend to be among the fastest to install, with average times ranging between five to seven days. A concrete in-ground pool will take quite a bit longer, with averages ranging between three to four months.

    Pre-engineered Swimming Pools Concrete Swimming Pools  

    Fibreglass Swimming Pools

     

    Custom fabricated pool panels are installed (typically no longer than a day) Pool structure is formed (steel reinforcing cage)

     

    Depending on the size of the pool and degree of complexity this stage may take 1-5 days.

     

    The base is set (100% accuracy is critical)

     

    Concrete floor and backfill is poured (typically no longer than a day) Pool structure is internally plumbed prior to concrete placement

     

    1-2 days depending on the site and complexity.

    Truck delivers the pool shell and a crane lifts it off the back of the truck and cranes it over the property (if necessary) and is lowered into the pool hole. With the latest spa crane accident in Altona  possible regulation changes may impact the acceptable weather conditions a crane can be used - this may delay the project.

     

    Pool shell is levelled and pool shell is backfilled.

     

    Simultaneously, the fibreglass shell will be filled with pool water.

     

    The temporary pool fencing is installed simultaneously as the pool is being filled. Building surveyor inspects the temporary fence prior to the pool shell being filled. This temporary fence will need to be inspected every 30 days until the permanent pool fence is installed.

     

    Fiberglass pool shell is plumbed.

     

    Concrete beam also known as a ring beam is installed to hold the pool shell down and in place. Depending on the design of the fiberglass pool shell, this beam (when in steel form prior to the concrete being poured) will be inspected by a Building Surveyor.

     

    This will take 1-3 days.

     

     

    Pool is plumbed (typically less than a day) Pool structure (steel) is inspected by the appropriate building surveyor.

     

     

    Landscaper then builds/installs pool surrounds (time will be dependent on size of area, complexity of project and weather)
    Pool surrounds are backfilled (typically less than a day) Concrete shell is sprayed.

     

    (typically a day)

    Pool Fencer removes temporary fencing and installs the pool barrier (time will be dependent on size of area and complexity)
    Landscaper then builds/installs pool surrounds (time will be dependent on size of area, complexity of project and weather) Concrete Cures

     

    A minimum of 28 days is required.

     

     

    Building Surveyor Inspects Pool Barrier
    Pool Fencer installs the pool barrier (time will be dependent on size of area and complexity) Landscaper then builds/installs pool surrounds (time will be dependent on size of area, complexity of project and weather)

     

    Pool is Handed Over (couple of hours)
    Surveyor Inspects Pool Barrier Pool interior installed

     

    Depending on interior chosen and the pool size, this could take from a day to weeks if not longer for a fully tilled pool.

    Family is swimming
    Pool Shell is prepared and PVC Membrane is vacuumed sealed in and pool is filled (typically a day) Pool Fencer installs the pool barrier (time will be dependent on size of area and complexity)
    Pool is Handed Over (couple of hours) Surveyor Inspects Pool Barrier
    Family is swimming! Concrete Pool Shell is filled with water

     

    Pool is Handed Over (couple of hours)
    Family is swimming!
    TOTAL 5-7 days

    Excluding landscaping and fencing - this can add 2-4 weeks to a project.

    TOTAL 3-4 months TOTAL 5-7 days

    Excluding landscaping and fencing - this can add 2-4 weeks to a project.

    Other Important Factors

    Of course, some factors may be out of your builder's control when it comes to installing a pool, and may add more time to your project timeline. Weather is perhaps the biggest cause of pool construction delays, as clear weather is generally required for most of the installation work (this is especially true for concrete-poured pools). Another potential hold-up with your pool construction could be a lack of timely payment on your behalf; be sure to keep an eye on the payment schedule featured in your contract. Making payments on-time will help to prevent any delays in your pool construction.

    Finally, Council Requirements can also create roadblocks in pool construction. Fortunately, if you have a knowledgeable and experienced builder, these kinds of issues can usually be avoided.

    As you can see, the amount of time it takes to build a pool can vary greatly, and there are many steps involved in the process. Albatross Pools specialises in efficient and timely construction of in-ground pools for your home, and our Aqualux PVC membrane pool is satin smooth and extremely kid-friendly! Contact us today to find out more about how we can turn your dreams of pool ownership into reality!

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    Pool Builder Checklist

    Don't Build a Swimming Pool Until You’ve Asked These 10 Questions!

    So after many months of research and deliberation you’ve decided to invest in a swimming pool. You will have your own reasons for the purchase, whether a large pool for years of fun-filled summer days with the family and a lifetime of memories, a smaller plunge pool with swim jets for fitness, or to add a focal point to your backyard landscaping. Whatever your reasons an in-ground pool is a huge purchase for many homeowners, so of course you want to make sure you end up with the pool that's right for your needs. After all, unlike many other purchases, a swimming pool cannot be simply "returned" or exchanged if you're unhappy with the result. This is why it's so important to take your time shopping around for a new pool and carefully weighing your options before you decide to take the plunge!

    Pool Builder Checklist - Image 2

    If you are on the cusp of deciding on which pool builder to go with but can’t quite decide, here are ten key questions you should ask of any prospective pool builder before you consider hiring them for the job.

    1. How Long Have You Been in Business?

    Start by finding out about the pool builder's experience; ask how long they've been in business under their current name. Unfortunately, some less-than-reputable companies out there will simply change names if and when they run into financial trouble or receive bad feedback from customers. Therefore, the longer the pool builder has been in business, the better. It’s also imperative that they are a member of the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA) as this shows a commitment to upholding the values and code of ethics imposed on members.

    Also, make sure that the company you hire for your pool building job is one that does the work themselves rather than contracting out other workers.

    2. Can I Speak With Past Customers?

    Don’t be afraid to ask the pool builder for references. Also ask how many pools they have completed over the life of their business, how many pools have they completed this past year and of those recent ones, how many would be happy to give references? Reputable builders will be proud to give you details of past customers. Speak to them about their experiences and the quality of workmanship. If you get the chance to speak with references, be sure to ask the following:

    - Was it a pleasant experience working with the builder?
    - What pool option and accessories did you opt for?
    - Did the builder have the experience to overcome unforeseen problems?
    - Would you do anything differently?
    - Would you use the pool builder again?

    3. What's Included and What Costs Extra?

    Any reputable company should come out to your home and perform an obligation free site inspection before giving you any kind of quote for your project. Be wary of any pool builder that refuses a site inspection as it is an integral part of formulating a quote. Being on site allows a representative to measure your proposed area and advise on placement, levels and effective methods of installation. Any potential problems that may arise during the inspection should be handled by the representative via phone calls to experts such as senior installers, engineers, or construction managers. The site inspection is also an ideal time for the representative to meet the client and their family. A pool will be an extension of the family, a place where many hours are spent together, therefore it is imperative that the pool meets the needs of the family in terms of current and future needs, pool design and pool use. Some pool companies attempt to save money and time by skipping the physical site inspection, favouring instead to create quotes utilising technology such as Google Earth. How can you be offered a transparent and honest quote for a pool that meets the needs of your family or the uniqueness of your property if a representative never sets foot on your land?

    Soil tests are usually only conducted if there are concerns about your land, but are a requirement for certain pools due to the nature of their construction. There are other specific costs that need to be included in any pool quote though, items such as ‘overburden’ that covers all earthworks costs in relation to the pool, ‘boxing’, where one end of the pool is above natural ground level and may require timber boxing for the installation of the concrete, obstructions such as gas and electricity lines, sewer and storm water pipes, rock removal, cave-ins and tipping fees. Site access can have a bearing on cost. Inaccessible backyards or awkward access can add time and money to the excavation and building process as concrete trucks and cranes need specific access.

    4. What's Your Proposed Timeline?

    Many traditional pools can take some time to build, but you should always have a general idea of the construction timeline for your pool. Before you sign any kind of contract, then, make sure you've received a proposed timeline for your project and that it works with your schedule. While it is rare that a company can guarantee your pool will be done by a certain date (especially with unpredictable weather), you should have a general idea of when each stage of the project will be done. Quality pool builders are in high demand, and coupled with unforeseen delays in gaining permit approvals and the completion of progress payments may be the only speed humps to what should be a smooth process.

    5. How Can I Customise My Pool?

    Your pool is a major purchase that you'll be living with for many years to come, so make sure it's exactly what you want it to be by customising it where possible. Take some time to inquire with a potential pool builder about the types of customisation options available. For example, you might want to consider a custom lighting package to transform your pool at night, or you may want to explore unique shapes and sizes for your new pool that include safety steps or wading areas for little ones. Just make sure that your builder is confident in completing whatever it is you have in mind before moving forward.

    6. Where Will The Pool Be Located?

    Having a pool builder show up and start digging a hole without forward planning will only end in tears. Solid planning with regards to pool location is paramount. During the site inspection and planning stage, a quality pool builder should make you aware of the best location for your pool, taking into account local council laws, existing utility pipes and cabling, water run-off, and how much yard can be covered with pool and decking. Your builder should also advise you on pool orientation based on sun and wind exposure and the ease of access for swimmers. A pool will also need to look aesthetically pleasing, which leads us to...

    7. What About Landscaping?

    If you want a monstrosity that you draw the blinds to avoid seeing, any pool builder should do. But if you want a pool that is the star of your backyard then you want to select a pool builder with experience. Most pool owners will spend more time admiring their new pool from afar, as opposed to swimming in it, so it needs to be an enjoyable feature all year round. Allow your pool to be an extension of your indoor style so it flows naturally out into the yard. Landscaping should integrate the pool into your current design so it appears to have been there forever. If you wish to break your pool area and landscaping away from the home’s design, consider having a changing landscape that leads gradually into the new. Ask your pool builder if they do landscaping or can at least provide the names of reputable landscapers they are happy to work with.

    8. What Pool Design?

    Rectangular and square will be the limited choice from most pool builders, but others will offer fluid pool designs in almost any shape that will ensure you find the perfect one. Again, you should select something that complements the design elements and architecture of your home. If your home already contains lots of edges, such as eaves and straight pathways, you should stick with a straight edged pool. If your home and garden contains curves, a kidney shaped or round pool may suit best.

    9. What About Maintenance?

    Nobody likes doing maintenance, regardless of it being a pool or not. No pool is completely maintenance free, but thankfully technology has eased the burden. A choice of multi-speed pumps, in floor pool cleaning systems, Ionisers for water purification, and automatic sanitisers will all make your life easier. Speak to your builder about the options you have for automated maintenance. Some pool interiors also have inherent maintenance benefits, such as an Aqualux interior that is resistant to algae.

    10. What’s My Warranty?

    Warranties vary between the types of pool chosen. You need to clarify in writing with the builder the terms of your warranty. Ensure you ask:

    - What specific items does the pool builder’s warranty cover?
    - What is the duration of the warranty?
    - What is the process for making a warranty claim?

    Some pools, such as fibreglass ones, don’t react well to being drained. This can lead to damage and the costs associated with replacing the water and making garden repairs if works need to be conducted.

    Fibreglass pools often come with a ‘split responsibility’ guarantee that are a confusing mix of responsibilities between manufacturer and client, client and installer, or manufacturer and pool installer. Concrete pools are commonly backed by a 6 year 9 month structural warranty with an interior warranty that varies between types; 2 year for tiled and 5-7 years for rendered. Pre-engineered pools are often backed by lengthy 10 year structural warranties and 10 year pool interior warranties.

    At Albatross Pools, we offer no-obligation quotes and have two convenient SPASA award-winning pool display centres where you can experience the Albatross difference for yourself, so be sure to contact us before you make your final decision. Our unique Aqualux PVC membrane pools are a wonderful solution for many homeowners, and we have many years of experience in handling pool construction projects of varying scopes.

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    Spools: Where Spas and Pools Collide

    Have you been thinking about having a pool installed on your property, but aren't sure you want to fully commit to having a large pool taking up a substantial portion of your outdoor living space? If so, then you may want to consider having a Courtyard Series Pool installed on your property. These innovative pool designs are quickly gaining popularity, especially as larger home floor plans inevitably lead to smaller yard sizes for many Australians.

    Spool_Albatross_Pools_Courtyard_Pool_Spa

    What is a Courtyard Pool?

    Specifically, a courtyard pool combines the best features of a pool and spa. These pools are smaller in size (similar to that of a spa), while still being large enough to accommodate several people in a casual, relaxing environment. Furthermore, these "spools" are extremely versatile not only in their size and design, but in their available features as well.

    For example: Somebody who wants to enjoy the fitness benefits of a swimming pool without the large size and maintenance that comes along with a "traditional" pool can have swim jets installed in a spool, allowing them to swim continuously in-place. Think of it in the same way you would use a treadmill!

    Spools: Where Spas and Pools Collide

    Benefits of "Spools"

    There are numerous benefits to installing a courtyard spa-pool (or spool) on your property. The first benefit comes if you have a smaller property footprint; you may have thought that you would never be able to have a pool on your property without giving up all your green space. With a spool, you can have the best of both worlds. You can design your spool to be a focal point or simply allow it to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your yard.

    Furthermore, because of their smaller size, spools also tend to be much more affordable in cost, making pool ownership attainable to many. Combine this with the easier maintenance and running costs and you have a swimming pool and entertainment solution that's fit for just about any budget or lifestyle.

    Spools are incredibly customisable as well, so you can truly tailor it to your taste and requirements. Each Courtyard Series Pool features a variety of step and bench designs, which we call comfort seats, located in the shallow end for you to choose from. This child-friendly seating area incorporates a unique cushioned underlining for enhanced comfort that is unique to Albatross Pools. Additional steps can be designed into the seating area with many designs available across our Standard, Alternative and Enhanced Standard seat options range.

    Albatross_Pools_Spa_Courtyard_Water_Curtain_Spools

    Interested in Adding a Spool to Your Home?

    If you're interested in adding a spool to your home, Albatross Pools has you covered. We offer three different sizes to suit your yard, as well as numerous seating and design options. From there, you can select your pool interior colour and enhancements to make your courtyard pool a perfect escape from the stresses of daily life. From energy efficient pool pumps, our Ionic Fresh Water Purification System, and the convenience of the virtually maintenance-free CleanAssist™, to lighting, heating, swim jets, and more—your customisation options for your spool are almost endless.

    Save on space, money, and maintenance hassles with a courtyard pool or spool from Albatross Pools! Contact us today to find out more about how to get started. Our experienced and knowledgeable team would be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have as well. If you would like to see an example of a completed courtyard pool, then feel free to visit a display centre at Dandenong or Warrandyte to experience the luxury of an Albatross Pool for yourself.

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    The Health Benefits of Owning a Pool

    Incorporating physical activity into your daily life is a great way to improve your health and wellbeing, but finding the time isn't always easy. Not to mention, not everybody enjoys a sweat-drenched session at the gym. Fortunately, if you own a swimming pool, whether that’s a family pool or a lap pool, you can enjoy a number of health benefits with a daily swim.

    The Health Benefits of Owning a Pool

    Enjoy Low-Impact Cardio

    Unlike other forms of exercise that place a great deal of weight and strain on your body's joints, swimming is an extremely low-impact exercise that allows you to burn calories and get your heart pumping without aggravating joint problems in the process. This makes it a great workout solution for those with certain forms of arthritis, knee pain, and other injuries or medical conditions. Plus, swimming is a wonderful form of cardiovascular exercise that's great for your heart health and burning calories.

    Achieve a Total-Body Workout

    Swimming is also one of few forms of exercise that actually targets all the major muscle groups in your body. Consider, for example, a workout on an elliptical machine, which mostly targets the leg muscles (but also requires the core to be engaged). While you're swimming, you're using your legs to kick, your core to stay afloat, and your arms to paddle. In this sense, you're achieving a total-body workout that will help you tone down and shape up faster than many other forms of exercise that only target certain muscle groups at a time.

    Improve Your Core Strength

    Speaking of your core, there is perhaps no better way to train and strengthen your core than with regular swimming. While you're in the water, your core is constantly being used to keep yourself balanced and afloat—even though you won't likely notice it. If you've been looking for a way to train your core and ab muscles that doesn't involve endless sit-ups or crunches, here's your answer.

    Give Your Back a Break

    Do you spend a lot of your day hunched over a computer desk or even standing for long periods of time without adequate foot arch support? If so, then your spine could probably use a break. Spending even just a little bit of time in your swimming pool each day can help to take a lot of the stress of daily life off your back, which can help to relieve pain and discomfort as well as reduce your chances of developing a spinal condition.

    A Small Space Goes a Long Way

    While the thought of swimming endless laps in a giant family pool or lap pool is fantastic, the practicalities of such a large pool may not suit all homes. It is a common misconception that to utilise your pool for recreational swimming you need a large pool, but that is no longer the case. Trainers suggest a minimum of five metres to do laps in a stationary position, which is the combination of outstretched body, arms, and the splash from kicking. A healthy swimming regimen can be conducted in The Classique Courtyard Series pool when combined with a swim harness. A quality harness will only set you back around $100 and offers the ability to swim laps in a circular pool or a smaller Courtyard Series pool with the added benefit of resistance options for serious swimmers. A smaller pool is ideal for today’s restricted block sizes and has the bonus of being cheaper and quicker to heat.

    These are just a few of the primary health benefits of going swimming in your backyard pool. And on top of all these benefits, swimming is one form of exercise that most people agree is actually enjoyable. Interested in finding out more about the benefits of swimming pool ownership? Contact Albatross Pools today. With 48 years of pool building experience and more than 15,000 pools designed and built, we can help you find the pool design that's ideal for your needs so you can start enjoying the health benefits swimming has to offer.

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    Is There Property Value In Owning A Pool?

    Torn over the decision as to whether or not you should install a swimming pool on your property? Some homeowners, for instance, are concerned over the impact a pool addition may have to a home's resale value down the road. Fortunately, recent studies have shown that pools add a significant amount of resale value to a home. This, in addition to the luxury and relaxation that a backyard pool affords you on your own property, adds to the ever-growing list of reasons to install a swimming pool.

    How Much Value Can a Pool Add?

    One Secret Agent study found that a swimming pool could add between 10% and 16% to the total value of a house, or at least $140,000. This range varies due to the different impacts that a pool addition can have in various neighbourhoods. For example, in one suburb, pool ownership may be more desirable than in others where a community pool or similar amenities may already be available. Still, on average, you can expect your home value to increase by 10-16% with a standard pool installation. In this sense, despite the initial investment required to add a pool to your property, you can enjoy a great return on investment should you decide to list your home for sale down the road.

    Why Buyers Want Homes With Pools

    There are many reasons as to why a pool can be a major draw to prospective homebuyers. For starters, it's worth considering that people are beginning to spend more and more time in their own homes as a result of busier schedules across the board. As a result, people feel more of a need than ever to have their own sources of relaxation, entertainment, and recreation on their properties. A pool provides an excellent combination of all three of these needs, especially for young families.

    Is There Property Value In Owning A Pool?

    Even for families who live close to a local water source, such as a lake or beach, a swimming pool is a huge draw. This is because, especially with younger children, it can be a time-consuming hassle to pack and prepare for a day by the water. By having a pool on one's own property, it's easy to save time and avoid that hassle while still getting to spend time in the water. A personal pool also provides more privacy than any community pool or beach possibly could.

    Designing Your Ideal Pool

    In order to maximise the increase in property value in planning your pool installation, working with the right team of experts is key. At Albatross Pools, we have the expertise to design your dream swimming pool while incorporating it into your existing landscape and design style, thus maximising the use of your space and overall functionality. We have a variety of pool designs and innovative features to create a unique, beautiful space in your yard.

    See what a difference a swimming pool can make to your home's value. Contact Albatross Pools today to find out more about what we can do for you!

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