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If you're thinking about installing a pool on your property, then one of the first things you'll want to decide is whether to pour a custom-designed concrete pool, purchase a prefabricated fibreglass pool or choose a pre-engineered pool. Since concrete pools were the most common choice in Australia for many years and are still popular today, let's take a look at the pros and cons of installing a concrete pool.
Concrete Pools Have Their Advantages
Poured concrete offers more design flexibility than any other type of pool construction. Since concrete pools are created onsite from a material that is poured into forms, then hardens, they can be any size and shape. There are many options for the interior finish of concrete pools, from paint to tile to a pebbled surface. Concrete pools are a common choice for lots that require an unusually shaped pool or for families that prefer a large pool with curved edges, for example, a circular or oval pool that's bigger than the standard fibreglass models. The structure of a well engineered, well-built concrete pool can last almost indefinitely if the pool is on a stable site. For some projects, a concrete pool may perhaps be the best choice.
But There Are Associated Costs and Risks
Poured concrete pools also have a few drawbacks, and they are mostly cost-related. Concrete pools can be very expensive to build, especially if they're complex. If your site isn't straightforward, then your concrete pool may need to be designed by a fully qualified engineer, and that will add expense. The costs don't end with the design and construction of the concrete shell. The interior finish of the pool can cost thousands of dollars to install initially and will generally need to be refreshed, repaired or renovated every two to ten years. Each time the interior finish is renewed, it can cost as much as it did to install it initially. So, a concrete pool is generally more expensive to build and maintain than other types of pools, even when everything goes smoothly.
When there are issues with the site, then a concrete pool can be very problematic. Because their structure is heavy and rigid, they need to be founded on stable, undisturbed ground. Concrete pools can potentially settle unevenly and even crack if the soil underneath and around them is not stable and consistent.
There's Another Option: Pre-Engineered Pools
Pre-engineered pools have been a popular choice in the US and Canada since the mid-twentieth century. They're constructed with a concrete base, and their Aqualux walls are backed by a strong and durable steel framework. The entire Albatross pool structure is engineered from the highest grade of zinc enriched steel available. By utilising the most advanced clinch-lock technology during the manufacturing process, there are no welds resulting in superior strength and durability of the pool structure.
Aqualux is strong enough to span between the supports in the frame (as shown below), and it also forms a beautiful and durable finish for the inside of the pool. Pre-engineered pools are faster to build and in most cases less expensive than concrete pools. They offer speedy installation similar to that of a fibreglass pool, along with the design flexibility of a concrete pool. They also have lower maintenance costs because the Aqualux interior finish is so non-porus and durable.
Like a concrete pool, a pre-engineered pool can have a very long service life. Indeed, Albatross Pools has been building pre-engineered pools in Melbourne since 1969, and the pools we built early on in our business and have kept track of are still in service after more than 40 years. For many projects, especially large, rectangular pools, pre-engineered pools have the advantages of concrete without the extra cost. For some projects, they are a better choice in every way. For example, pre-engineered pools are more flexible than concrete pools, so they are less likely to be affected by volatile soil conditions.
Please don't hesitate to call or e-mail with any questions you may have. We can advise you on whether a pre-engineered pool is right for your property, or whether you'll need a custom designed poured concrete pool to meet your needs.