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    Case Study: Brighton East Plunge Pool Project

    Good Things Come in Small Packages: Brighton East Plunge Pool Project

    As the old saying goes, ‘good things come in small packages’, and that was certainly the case with this project in Brighton East. The client had a modest, triangular-shaped outdoor area, in which they had desires of introducing a pool that was as large as possible. The difficulty arose as this pool was to go alongside an existing spa, and the client had also contracted landscape designers to find space for a lawn, fire pit, and an area for two spacious lounge chairs. While many might have thought this impossible, our team saw the opportunity for a challenge, focusing on the continuity of the space by delivering a practical layout that utilised proper balance and proportion.

    Initial plans had the pool placed at an equal level to the deck, but after the discovery of a flood overlay, the team realised this was not a viable option and had to create an alternative solution. This took collaboration between everyone involved in the project – our pool builders and designers, the landscape architect, the landscapers, and of course the client – to re-situate the pool to the property’s lowest point.

    After overcoming the challenges presented throughout the project, the finished result was a pristine 5.5 metre by 3-metre pool with a specially designed step for easier entry and exit, alongside a bench to promote better relaxation. The site itself for the plunge pool was alongside the rear and side of the boundary, as this was deemed the best position to complement the shape of the space, while also enabling ample sunlight to reach the lounges. To make the most of the limited room available, the clients opted to utilise an inground cover pit to store the thermal pool blanket, allowing them to keep the temperatures at comfortable levels all year round with their heat pumps.

    With our help, our clients finally received their dream of creating a pool zone steeped in a sense of continuity with their wider outdoor area.

    Utilising Balance & Proportion from Initial Designs to the Final Completion

    The initial stages of the project were obviously centred on overcoming the issues presented by the flood overlay. In fact, this one factor pushed back the overall timeline to over 12 months, which is a considerable amount of time for any outdoor project. Even entry to the site needed to be carried out through a 1.2 metre opening in a neighbouring property.

    The decision was then to continue the use of existing timber that could be found on the upper level of the home, establishing a flowing, continuity feature with the steps that led out from the alfresco area and into the pool’s lower zone. The steps can now serve multiple purposes, as they also provide an excellent seating area across the property’s levels.

    To connect the pool to the firepit area, bluestone paving was wrapped around the perimeter and continued throughout the artificial turf of the lawn with the use of well-placed stepping pads, creating a stunning contrast in both colour and form.

    With a focus on the overall balance of the final result, all features were taken into the design before construction took place, including sun lounges, lawns and the bench seating that evolved into a comfortable nook on the property. Once completed, this proved essential, as the new inclusion of a lower-level pool zone revitalised the tight space available without making it feel cramped or confined. The client’s family had a range of practical and welcoming outdoor features to enjoy all year round in a highly aesthetic space.

    Engage with Albatross Pools to Bring Your Designs to Life

    In more than 50 years of service, Albatross Pools has worked with more than 16,000 clients throughout Melbourne and wider Victoria. As one of the state’s longest-running and most renowned pool designers and builders, we thrive on creating solutions for challenging and creative projects, offering unmatched pre-engineered steel pools that perfectly meet client requirements and are ready for rapid assembly on site. To learn more, review our gallery of past projects, or contact our MPBAA winning team at Albatross Pools today.


    Case Study: The Ship’s Deck

    The Ship’s Deck – a South Yarra Pre-Engineered, In-Ground Plunge Pool for a Residential Courtyard

    Recently we had the pleasure to work with clients in the heart of South Yarra undertaking an exciting project. After purchasing an old, outdated block of flats, they were looking to create one larger, family home that would accommodate three generations at once. Naturally, they quickly realised that no family estate would be quite complete without a gorgeous swimming pool set amongst their stylish courtyard.

    Our clients made clear their specific desires of having a custom, partially elevated plunge pool that would still be considered a part of the home’s living and dining space. As a result, the pool itself was built 1.2 metres above ground level, and had to include a specially engineered beam and piers systems to adequately elevate the wall panelling. This presented a range of unique challenges but eventuated in a design spanning 6.0m in length and 3.25m in width, with an accommodating entry point for all members of the family, from children to grandparents. Thanks to well placed, frameless glass pool fencing, the sunken area of the pool itself continues to blend uninterrupted with wider features of the outdoor space, such as the kitchen, basketball area, vegetable garden, and even a putting green. Paired with the existing rustic red brick offering a striking juxtaposition with the calmer whites and greys of the sundeck, as well as the luscious blues of the pool’s interior reminiscent of Costa Rican coastlines, it is certainly an enviable spot to relax and call home.

    Overcoming the Challenging Logistics of a Narrow, Inner-City Location

    As mentioned above, challenges revolved around this particular project, largely from gaining access to the site. The property was located in a slim, inner-city street, requiring a 1.5m entryway needed to be cut into the garage’s rear wall simply to make logistics possible for the required teams and machinery. A 2.0m drop that started from the back door of the property to the garage then added further complexity and complications to the initial excavation and ongoing construction in the area.

    Another request made by the client was for all pool equipment to be hidden from view. This included the electric heat pump, which we successfully concealed inside of a long, thin corridor measuring 2.5m by 1.2m, which required extensive consideration surrounding the pool’s hydraulic design of the plumbing systems for the sake of securing optimal efficiency. Alongside the electric heat pump, the finished pool also had a range of energy-efficient equipment, a freshwater sanitisation system, concealed pool blanket, and lights sporting a range of dazzling colours, creating an ideal spot to be with extended family and friends every month of the year.

    Christening the ‘Ship’s Deck’

    The family had affectionately named this area of their property the ‘Ship’s Deck’ – a perfect summation for a cool, wooden sundeck alongside a crystal-blue plunge pool. The series of engineering and logistical challenges proved well worth it as the finished result offered a unique, low-maintenance and beautiful space to enjoy in a variety of ways for every member of their family. More photos of this plunge pool project can be browsed on the South Yarra Project Gallery >

    Albatross Pools – MPBAA Award Winning Pool Designers & Builders

    For over half a century, the team at Albatross Pools have operated as one of Melbourne’s leading custom pool builders, helping thousands of clients bring their dream designs to life. We are Master Pool Builders Association of Australia Award-winning pool designers and builders who love a challenge, offering pre-engineered parts that are available to be assembled on site, creating a simple, flexible and accelerated installation for whatever size or shape your swimming pool may be. For more information and inspiration, take a moment to browse our gallery of swimming pools completed across the state, visit our two display centres or contact us at Albatross Pools directly today!


    Case Study: Elevated Freeform Swimming Pool

    Overcoming Challenging Site Access & Building Constraints to Deliver a Custom-Designed, Elevated Swimming Pool in North Warrandyte

    Albatross Pools thrives when providing residents of Melbourne and wider Victoria with innovative swimming pools. We enjoy taking on projects that many would deem too difficult, and this was certainly the case with our recent clients from North Warrandyte, where the skills of our team were put to the test.

    The family home was purchased largely because of the opportunity to gaze upon the Yarra River below and out over wider Warrandyte. Despite being 2000sqm, unfortunately the property ‘s rear third was unusable, much like many North Warrandyte properties experiencing a steep fall of the land. An aged, multi-levelled decking area and portable spa constituted most of the outdoor entertaining area, but the family still felt too much of the space wasn’t meeting its full potential. This was most noticeable with an absent connectivity of internal and external living spaces, as well as a failure to capitalise on the impact of the bushland vista surrounding the property.

    The solution? Navigate the difficult foundations present within the property and reimagine the deck area, creating a relaxing entertaining space, complete with alfresco dining area, a sunken retreat zone, and of course, an elevated freeform swimming pool.

    Naturally, this was a big task, and required the careful collaboration of highly skilled landscape designers, builders, and our expert pool designers to bring the project to life. The finished result was certainly worth it, though, with the family overjoyed at finding the area transformed. Now, they have an alfresco space updated to include an outdoor kitchen and dining area next to a tranquil sitting space, relaxing fireplace and television station, where they can quickly move to immerse themselves in an elevated swimming pool custom-built to mimic the contours of a natural lagoon; all before cosying around the fire pit found in a sunken native garden, finally able to absorb the mesmerising Warrandyte bushland laid out before them.

    Exploring the Cooperation of Albatross Pools & the Landscaping Team During the Build

    This wasn’t a simple project, as we have mentioned above, but it was an excellent opportunity to have our expertise contribute to a wider vision. Anthony Scott Landscape Design was initially engaged to formulate how the property’s upper bank could work to create a variety of living zones capable of providing both year-round entertainment, whilst also acting as a seamless connection between the home and the adjacent bushland. To help with this, an elevated, freeform swimming pool was selected with curved edges to soften the angular lines overly apparent across the deck and residence.

    To make this happen, our designers and builders at Albatross Pools had to carefully coordinate their efforts with the professionals at Parkview Landscapes, who were the landscapers handling the execution of the designs, to develop the wave and deep spring curves desired during the component fabrication. Additional attention also had to be placed on the custom floor profiling and bespoke step and bench design featuring multiple tiered concaves and cervixes, as this work goes beyond those of a standard project, regarding fabricating a pool interior with a perfect fit for the allotted space to ensure integrity isn’t compromised.

    At the time of installation, we encountered further difficulties, as the property was located on a site where access to the pool was limited. Excavation was made challenging by the sizeable fall of land along the access path, and given the desired finishing height of the pool, combined with the soil condition in the chosen location, further structural engineering was required, including piering.

    Appreciating the Completed Result of the Elevated Swimming Pool

    Here at Albatross Pools, we love when our team can stretch their talents and deliver a custom designed pool that meets our clients’ every request and more. With the North Warrandyte project, the 6.5m x 5.8m freeform swimming pool was designed to resemble a naturally flowing lagoon, shaped like a fluid triangle, with three distinct waves pulling closer to the home. The antique colour with an interior imitating black pebbles contributes to the lagoon-aesthetic, complemented by the neighbouring bluestone, raw steel elements and large format natural timber decking. There is also a fluid step and bench design introduced to the pool’s internal construction, and edges pushing to sweep across the length of the extended decking space to create the infinity-like feel desired for the final result. With a depth that spans from 1.1m to 1.8m, the corner ‘wave’ holds the deeper area, filled with a set of spa jets alongside a feature ledge to produce the illusion of immersing in a natural deep spring found amongst the Australian bush – the perfect spot across the expansive residence to find tranquillity and intimacy with the beautiful surroundings.

    MPBAA Award-Winning Swimming Pool Designers & Builders at Albatross Pools

    Despite the complexity of the project, it all appears worth it now, given the family’s delight at seeing their North Warrandyte property – initially purchased for the views – finally catering to their desires for a space to appreciate it.

    For over 50 years, Albatross Pools has worked with a selection of clients to deliver a range of MPBAA (Master Pool Builders Association Australia, formerly SPASA Victoria) Award winning steel, pre-engineered swimming pools across Melbourne and wider Victoria. For more information, review our swimming pools Melbourne gallery, or start a conversation with our expert team by contacting Albatross Pools today!


    Case Study: Highton ‘T’ Pool Project

    At Albatross Pools, our passion is to create custom designed pools to improve the lives of our clients in whatever way possible. Recently we completed a new design for a Geelong family living in a Highton estate in need of a special request. Their 38-year-old son lives with a disability often requiring professional help within the home, and they were searching for a space he could feel calm, independent and enjoy himself on their new property that was also safe to use. He is short in stature, so needed the pool to be designed with accessibility in mind for easier entry and exit, as well as providing him with the ability to stand at every point. Previously he had been using the public pool, but as he didn’t understand the importance of closing his mouth underwater, he would often swallow a dangerous amount of water, leading to him suffering from an array of unsettling illnesses like gastro. The clients having their own, well-maintained private pool with an alternative chlorination system would mean fewer chemicals present in the water, protecting their son if ingested, as well as being gentler on his skin.

    The property itself was newly built upon an elevated block. With some early preparation, we were able to create a smooth design for a swimming pool spanning 8 metres in length, 2 metres in width, with a helpful 1.2 metre staircase off each side to create a final ‘T’ shape design. The final depth was also measured to be 1.16 metres throughout the entire pool to ensure the ability to stand was never compromised and fulfilling the exact designs of our client’s dreams. 

    Breaking Down the Build

    Exploring the Finished Result

    Professionally Designed & Constructed Swimming Pools across Melbourne & Wider Victoria

    Albatross Pools is a MPBAA (Master Pool Builders Association Australia, formerly SPASA Victoria) Award winning pool designer and builder, working with a range of diverse clients on barrier-breaking, steel, pre-engineered inground swimming pools throughout Melbourne and wider Victoria. Delivered meeting your exact specifications and assembled onsite, it has never been simpler to receive rapid installation of such custom, quality models for any shape, size or depth. Learn more by browsing our swimming pools Melbourne gallery, or speak with one of our talented professionals by contacting Albatross Pools today!


    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.


    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.


    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!


    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?


    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 PoolsConcrete 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 BarrierPool 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 monthsTOTAL 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!


    Albatross Pools: Kid-Friendly Interiors

    It's time to dispel the myth that vinyl pool interiors are only for above-ground pools. In reality, vinyl interiors have become increasingly popular not only in residential pool construction, but in building some of the largest resort pools in the world. If you've been looking to build a swimming pool on your property and are struggling to decide on the right family friendly interior surface for your needs, consider an Aqualux PVC membrane for long-lasting durability and unrivalled smoothness.

    Kid-Friendly Pool Surfaces

    If you have children, one of your main concerns around having a pool built on your property is safety. With "traditional" in-ground pool interiors, it is not uncommon for the surface to be quite rough, especially on children's sensitive skin. Even the highest quality traditional pool interiors of concrete, tile and various sized pebbles can create uneven surfaces that are damaging to even tough adult skin. Kids are balls of energy in a pool, constantly jumping, flipping and dragging along the poolside; the slightest deviation in the pool interior’s surface will cause cuts and abrasions.

    With our Aqualux PVC membrane interior, however, parents don't need to worry about cuts and scrapes caused by the roughness of a traditional pool interior because this surface is satin-smooth and kid-friendly. We have taken into consideration how soft, sensitive, and prone to water-logging a child's skin can be, which is why our vinyl pool surface is designed to be free of rough edges and abrasions. At the same time, the surface remains slip-resistant, so you can let your children enjoy the pool with confidence.

    When you feel this unique pool interior for yourself, we're confident that you'll understand just how much more practical it is than the other pool surface options out there.

    Additional Benefits of Our PVC Membrane

    In addition to being kid-friendly, our Aqualux PVC membrane affords a number of  other benefits over traditional pool surfaces. Consider, for example, that our flexible pool surface is able to expand and contract to accommodate the ever-changing climate here in Australia. With your typical concrete pool surface, you would inevitably see cracking and hairline fractures over time (much as your home shows small signs of settling over the years). However, with the flexible vinyl material of our pool interiors, the flexibility prevents cracking and keeps your pool looking like new while also keeping it water-tight. This in-built toughness also ensures your Aqualux pool interior is virtually untearable, being able to stretch over 200% before breaking.

    Meanwhile, vinyl doesn't interfere with the chemical balance of your pool water like other materials can. For example, did you know that pebbles, concrete, and even tile designed specifically for use in pools can affect your chemical balance? And when you own a pool, maintaining that healthy balance is a key factor. By choosing an Aqualux PVC membrane pool, you'll have an easier time keeping your water balanced just right, which means you can spend more time actually enjoying your pool and less time adding chemicals and testing your water.

    Overall, vinyl pool interiors are not just a practical option, but they're a great choice for families with children. By not having to worry about your child's feet getting scraped or scratched on a rough pool surface, you can spend more hours enjoying your new swimming pool in comfort and confidence. Ready to find out more about our pool design options? Contact our team at Albatross Pools today to get started on your dream pool project!

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    Dandenong VIC 3175, Australia

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    226 Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road
    Warrandyte VIC 3133, Australia

    Monday – Saturday: 9am to 5pm
    Sunday: 10am to 4pm

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