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    Tips For Choosing an Aqualux Pool Interior

    If you’ve been thinking about buying an Albatross pool, have you considered which Aqualux pool colour to choose? Our strong, durable, long lasting Aqualux interior is available in a variety of colours and patterns, and they can make a huge difference in the appearance of your pool. The right colour can even provide you with some free pool heating! Our Aqualux options are on our Pool Colours page, but before you take a look at the range available, be sure to keep in mind some of the very important points below.

    Swimming Pool Colours

    Remember, the Water Will Affect the Colour

    Water itself is clear or close to it, but it filters light in a way that adds a blue tint. Even a pool with a white interior will look blue, and the more water the light has to pass through before it reaches your eyes, the bluer it will look. Lighter coloured pools will always look bluer in deeper areas. Pools with darker interiors will look flatter; the colour will be similar regardless of the depth. If being able to see the pool depth is a valuable safety feature for you, then you might consider opting for a lighter Aqualux option.

    Remember, Darker = Warmer

    Darker pool interiors absorb light and heat, and they can make your pool several degrees warmer on sunny days. If you live in an area where pool heating is always a boon, then a darker Aqualux colour is a good choice. If it gets so hot out that pool water can sometimes become uncomfortably warm, then opt for a light-coloured Aqualux option to help keep the water cooler.

    How Do You Want the Pool To Look?

    Aside from the concern of pool temperature, it all comes down to appearance. You might prefer a light coloured pool interior to harmonise with a light, cool decorating and landscaping theme or a darker colour for a dramatic, flat, modern look. Patterns that look a bit artificial on samples look fantastic underwater, adding richness to your pool’s appearance. There’s no doubt that pairing the right Aqualux colour with the right architecture and landscaping can make a real visual impact.

    Explore Our Gallery

    If you'd like to see pools with the various Aqualux colours and designs in person, then just pay a visit to one of our pool display centres. If you'd like to see a few pictures to give you an idea of what the Aqualux interior looks like in a number of different settings and landscapes, then take a moment to browse through our Gallery. We identify the featured Aqualux interior in each of our gallery pools. Just click on the photo to access a short article and information on the featured pool at the bottom of the page. Remember that the appearance of the pools in the pictures is affected by the time of day, direction of light and size of the pool, and that the appearance of the colours in the photos is affected by the camera, the photo editing software and your computer's settings. Actual installations will not necessarily look just like the pictures, but they should at least give you an idea of what to expect.

    Whichever option you choose, you’ll know that you’re getting a high quality, extremely durable pool interior similar to what is used in the world’s biggest pool: the San Alfonso del Mar Crystal Lagoon. Aqualux is supported by a ten year warranty however, the majority of our clients achieve between 15-25 years from their Aqualux interior. Find out more on our Pool Interiors page.


    How to choose a pool builder and compare pools?

    Want to know how to choose a pool builder?

    Do you have three swimming pool quotes but have no idea what to base your final decision on? A swimming pool is one of the smartest investments you can make; yet it is also one of the most difficult products to understand and compare.

    How to choose a pool builder?

    It is not uncommon for potential pool owners to become overwhelmed with information as they try to understand their options and pricing when researching pools. Unfortunately, some even choose not to get a pool as the decision becomes just too hard.

    Whether your reasons for wanting a pool are driven by property investment, health benefits or enhancing your family’s lifestyle, I have found emotion often plays a large part in the decision making process. Similar to a house extension, you cannot return a swimming pool nor can you take it back for a refund. For this reason, it is important the final decision be made largely based on facts more so than emotion.

    So you now have three pool quotes, what next? Apart from the pool price (which is important), how do you compare each pool quote? My advice, investigate each pool type quoted (is it a pre-engineered, concrete or fibreglass pool) and also look into the corresponding pool builder’s reputation.

    How to compare swimming pool types?

    You may choose to base your comparison on the overall aesthetics of a pool and although the look of the pool is definitely important, there is other key criterion worth consideration. The pool warranty, maintenance and after sales support offered once the swimming pool is complete should also be high on your list. The Pool Comparison Table below touches on a number of points worth consideration when comparing pool types and pool quotes.

    Pool Comparison CriteriaPre-engineered Swimming PoolsConcrete Swimming PoolsFibreglass Swimming Pools
    Design Flexibility
    - Any Pool Shape
    - Any Pool Size
    YesYesNo – must choose from predefined shapes and sizes
    Choice of Depths
    - Diving Floor Profile
    YesYesNo – depths are fixed in a fibreglass pool and the depths quoted are usually shell depth not water depth
    Choice of ColoursYesYesYes
    Custom Bench & Step DesignYes – pre-engineered pools feature a unique gently padded underlay creating a cushioned effectYesNo
    Pool Structure
    Self Supporting
    *The pool can be emptied without voiding the structural warranty.
    Ideally suited to volatile soil types
    - pool structure won’t crack, warp or lift
    Can be built on a slopeYesYesNo
    Transport Costs and Crane Required (can add between $1,500-$3,000 to the pool price)NoNoYes
    Ideal for Poor AccessYesYesNo
    Pool Interior
    Non-Slip Pool InteriorYes
    *Pool Tiles are the exception
    Depends on the brand of the fibreglass pool
    Smooth to Touch/Non-Abrasive Pool InteriorYesDepends on pool interior chosenYes
    Resistant to Algae
    *Inbuilt fungicide
    *All pool interior options for a concrete pool are porous and are prone to algae and bacteria growth
    *Can get ‘black-spot’ or Osmosis under the Gel Coat
    Low Maintenance Pool InteriorYes – in fact Aqualux requires no cleaning at all
    *All pool interior options on a concrete pool are porous and therefore require more maintenance
    Pool Installation
    Who Installs the Pool – Manufacturer or FranchiseeManufacturerNot ApplicableFranchisee
    Construction Time Frame5-10 days
    6 week minimum
    (average 3-4 months)
    2-3 days
    Quality ControlledYesNoYes
    After Sales Support
    Pool Shops/Bricks and Mortar Locations
    Yes – Open seven days a week year roundDepends on pool builderDepends on franchisee
    Pool Warranty
    Pool Structural Warranty10 years6 years and 9 months
    Depends on the brand of fibreglass pool
    *Some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty – what a lifetime warranty actually means is worth investigating as well as what voids such a warranty i.e. the water level drops by 30%.
    Pool Warranty Entity
    - Name of entity which provides pool warranty
    Pool ManufacturerPool BuilderSplit Responsibility – Pool Installer and Pool Manufacturer
    Split Responsibility Warranty on Pool StructureNoNo
    Pool Interior Warranty10 years
    Depends on the pool interior chosen
    For Example:
    Pool Tiles – 2 years Render 2-8 years depending on the brand
    Depends on the brand of the fibreglass pool

    How to choose a pool builder?

    Now that you know how to compare swimming pool types, the next and final step when comparing quotes is to examine each pool builder’s reputation and history.

    There are some pool builders not prepared to make the long-term investment in the industry and to their clients and choose to operate from home. Contactable on mobile only and with no office or display centre, it is very easy for these types of pool builders to vanish in difficult economic times leaving their clients with no support and more importantly, no warranty.

    There will always be plenty of bargain-basement operators, there will be pool builders laying claim to being the biggest and the best, and there will be those who use gimmicks or 24-hour super specials to make the sale.

    The real test lies in how long the pool builder has been in business and what their clients have to say about them and their product. When deciding on a pool builder, be sure to do your homework and look into:

    1. The Pool Builder’s Reputation – talk to family, friends and colleagues who have a pool, seek out referrals, testimonials and recommendations. Review websites and forums are also another platform to gain insight into a pool builder’s reputation.

    2. The Pool Builder’s Creditability

    - Are they a member of SPASA and the Building Commission of Victoria

    - Do they have a physical work address, website and landline or do they work from home

    - Are they a registered licensed builder

    - Do they have the appropriate insurance and liability cover

    - What experience do they have, how many years have they been in business and how many pools have they built (both in total and annually)

    - Can you see samples of their work i.e. display centres

    3. The Pool Builder’s Custom Ability

    Can the pool builder custom design and tailor your swimming pool to achieve what you want instead of what they want to sell you?

    4. The Pool Builder’s Pricing

    As with most things, quality comes with creditability and price. If the pricing quoted is too good to be true, then it probably is. If you are comparing two or three quotes, be sure to compare like-for-like (the same size, shape, optional items etc) – there will certainly be large differences in price if each quote is for a different pool size.

    Armed with an understanding of different types of pools available and each pool builder’s reputation, you can now make an informed and final decision. Be comfortable with this decision and enjoy the exciting times ahead relaxing by your soon-to-be-built swimming pool.

    If you haven’t received an obligation free swimming pool quote from Albatross Pools, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you before you make a final decision.


    A Solar Pool Heater, Gas Heater or Heat Pump: Which is Right For You?

    If you’re buying a new pool, especially in Victoria, then you are probably going to want to add on a heating system so that your pool will be usable for more of the year. After all, even a pool that’s good value is a major investment. If you’re using it for a few extra months, that really adds to the benefits. Suddenly, you and your family can use your pool for socialising, relaxation and exercise in the spring and autumn as well as in the warmer months. You’ll get more for your money and you’ll get more out of your pool.

    Here’s a quick run-down of the options for pool heating. Every type of modern pool heater will be available with a controller that can be set up by time and temperature; they’ll monitor the temperature in and out of the pool.

    Solar Heaters

    If a solar pool heating system can work on your property, then there’s a good chance that it will be your first choice. It lets you use free energy from the sun to heat your pool, requiring only a little bit of electricity to run a high efficiency pump and power the controller. A solar pool heating system will be less expensive to operate than either of the alternatives, and you can feel good about using renewable energy to heat your pool.

    If you have a roof that’s north-facing and that has at least as much area as the pool surface area, then it’s almost certain that you can use a solar pool heating system. Usually, an east or west-facing roof will work, too. Your pool heating contractor will install a network of metal or rubber pipes on your roof. When the pool is cold and the roof is hot, the pump will switch on and circulate pool water onto the roof until the pool heats up to the temperature you’ve selected.

    Solar Pump Supreme Heating
    Solar Pump Supreme Heating

    Solar pool heaters aren’t a new technology. Some of our Australian solar heating companies have been perfecting them since the 1970s, so they work remarkably well. They’re a popular choice, and for good reason.

    Gas Heaters

    If you have a natural gas service in your area (most people do) then a gas pool heater is an option. You might opt for gas if you can’t go solar or if you prefer a 100% quick and dependable pool heating system. These systems have been around for many decades and are more efficient than ever. They’re easy to install, they can usually heat your pool more quickly than a solar system can, and they can make your pool usable all year. Some of our clients opt for a solar system with a gas heater as a backup for cloudy days and for the winter months.

    Heat Pumps

    Heat pumps are powered by electricity rather than gas. Similar to gas heaters, they can provide heat to your pool any time, year around (depending on the brand of heat pump, it is difficult to heat the pool water with a heat pump in the midst of winter). They work like backwards air conditioners, pulling latent heat from the air and transferring this heat to heat your pool water. Like gas heaters, they’re easy to install. If you’re trying to decide between a heat pump and a gas heater, then the best choice in terms of running costs depends on the gas and electricity rates in your area.


    Pool Heating Options

    If you're thinking about having a pool installed, then you should also be thinking about whether or not to heat it. Pools can add so much to your family time and they're great for entertaining, too. However, especially in Victoria, there's a large portion of the year when it's too cold to swim in an unheated pool. Adding a heating system can extend the swimming season by a few months or even to the entire year, depending on your location and the system you choose. A pool is a serious investment. Adding a heating system can help you to get the greatest possible value out of it.

    Solar Pool Heating

    If the startup cost of solar pool heating is within your budget and you don't need to swim all year around, then solar pool heating is a fantastic choice. It harnesses the free energy of the sun to heat your pool.

    Here's how it works. Solar collectors are installed on a north-facing roof, and they occupy approximately the same area as the pool surface. In a conventional system, the collectors are simply pipes for water circulation. Solar pool heating systems are driven by sensors in the pool and on the roof. When the temperature difference is great enough, then the pumps are switched on by a solar controller. Once the pool water reaches the desired temperature, the system automatically shuts down.

    Gas Pool Heating

    Gas pool heaters are the preferred option for people who need a system that will deliver heat 100% predictably and dependably. Similar to the gas water heaters used with radiators for space heating they can be controlled by hand, by timer or by a thermostat, and they work with a pump and a filter to take water from the pool, heat it and return it. High efficiency gas heaters can be a good choice, particularly for small pools on that are located in well-populated areas, near gas distribution pipes. They provide dependable pool heating, usually at a reasonable cost.

    Electric Pool Heating: Heat Pumps

    Heat pumps are electric pool heating systems, and they work a little like backward air conditioners. Some salespeople will say they’re "100% efficient." Electricity is always 100% efficient at the point of use. However, it is not necessarily very efficiently generated and it incurs line losses in its journey through the power grid. Therefore, heat pumps are usually the least efficient choice for pool heating.

    How To Choose a Pool Heating System

    Remember to consider both start-up and long-term energy costs when choosing a heating system for your pool. Energy costs are likely to continue to increase, so a solar system may pay for itself fairly quickly in reduced utility bills. For the ultimate pool heating system, you can add a small gas heater or heat pump as a backup to your main, solar system. Take a look at your gas and electricity provider's web site and at government web sites before making a final choice. Whichever type of pool heating system you choose, select a contractor with a clean record and an established reputation in your community.


    Is a Concrete Pool Right For You?

    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.

    Pool Formwork
    Source: Wikipedia Commons, Concrete Pool Illustration

    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.

    Pre-engineered Pools

    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.

    SUV on pool membrane

    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.


    Thinking about buying a pool but don’t know where to start?

    Buying a swimming pool is one of the smartest moves you can make but it can also be one of the most confusing products to understand. Concrete pool, fibreglass pool or a pre-engineered pool? Chlorine pool, salt-water pool or fresh water pool? Solar pool heating or gas pool heating? Standard pool pump or energy efficient variable speed pump? So many options to choose from. Continue reading "Thinking about buying a pool but don’t know where to start?"


    Why Aqualux out performs other pool surfaces?

    How do you measure performance? Normally you will measure and collect data and evaluate it. When it comes to your swimming pool, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the pool surface, but do you know how they all perform?

    Unless you’ve owned a pool or even owned several pools with different pool interiors, it is hard to make a comparison because you cannot rely on your experience; you have to be guided by the experiences of others.

    Often vinyl pool surfaces are linked with only above ground pools, but truth is, there are hundreds of thousands of pools all around the world with a vinyl pool surface. The reason is, it is one of the easiest pool surfaces to maintain and it remains flexible so it won’t crack and leak, like other cement based or hard pool surfaces.

    Our changing climate here in Australia means the ground expands and contracts as the rain falls or we have extended dry periods. This means the soil around your swimming pool can shrink and move which can damage a pool with small cracks followed by leaks unless it has a flexible pool construction like a pre-engineered steel structure and a flexible pool surface that will keep your pool watertight. Think about your house, most houses show the signs of small cracks from movement over the years and your pool is no different. Using a commercial vinyl pool interior will keep you pool waterproof as it stretches and flexes to accommodate regular ground movement.

    When it comes to looking after your skin, especially young children, a vinyl finish is smooth and soft on your skin yet textured for grip. No need to worry about rough edges of harsh abrasions, it is gentle on your skin even after hours in the pool water.

    One of the most important parts of owning a pool is keep the water balanced and healthy for your family. Vinyl is an inert pool surface, meaning it does not affect the chemical balance unlike cement based pool surfaces such as tiled, concrete, pebble and quartzon. A commercial vinyl pool surfaces makes it easy to keep your pool in balance with the water crystal clear ready for swimming. So when looking for a new pool, or renovating an old pool, choose a pool interior that is flexible, soft to touch on your skin and easy to look after.

    Albatross Pools specialise in pre-engineered steel swimming pools with an Aqualux commercial vinyl swimming pool surface available in a range of pool colours. Visit one of the fully landscaped swimming pool display centres open 7 days a week to touch and feel an Aqualux pool surface.

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