Monthly Archives: December 2018

Procrastinating On Closing Your Pool For The Winter

By now, most of us Northerners have shut down our pools in preparation for the winter season.  Let’s face it, unless you are a polar bear and enjoy frigid cold-water temps you aren’t going to be swimming after November. However, there may still be a few of you out there that have delayed the inevitable and need some quick tips to get your pool safely closed now that autumn has faded, and winter mayhem is knocking at the door.

In order to prepare your pool for winter, it is crucial to complete some very basic maintenance. The first and most important step in shutting down your pool involves balancing the water that will be left in the pool.  Not only is balancing the pH of the pool critical for the pools water clarity it is also crucial in increasing the longevity of the pool equipment.  A pH level of between 7.2 and 7.6 is suggested in order to keep the water sanitized throughout the winter months.

Another vital step is to finish the season with a clean pool.  Cleaning the surface of your pool will help to prevent permanent damage and surface stains on the pools plaster while the pool sits stagnant in the coming winter months.  All leaves and debris should be removed before the pool is closed to prevent difficulties removing them in the spring.Along with cleaning the pools water the pools filter should also be removed and fully cleaned.  This will help the filter in the spring to operate properly and avoid complications opening the pool.

When closing your pool for the winter it is also important to protect the pools plaster from the growth of algae.  Algae can quickly turn the cleanest of pools into a murky mess. There are a number of chemicals that can be added to the water to maintain an algae proof environment. 

If you haven’t figured it out by now, it is important to leave the water in the pool.  DO NOT EMPTY THE POOL! The water should be left above the skimmer box.  Keeping the water in the pool prevents putting a strain on the structure which could cause extensive, not to mention expensive, damage.

Once these steps have been completed it is important to further protect the pool from falling debris by placing a cover over the top of the pool.  This also will help to keep the water balanced.

Now if you haven’t, go close that pool!  Winterizing your pool makes opening the pool in the spring 100 times easier.  If this all sounds like too much to you it give us a call and we can help!

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks,plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at

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The cost of making a splash in the backyard

When one of Sydney’s spectacular northern beaches is a short walk away, is it worth putting in a pool?

Fran and Stuart Boag, parents to three, wrestled with that question when building their Hamptons-style dream home.

Joshua Boag enjoys the family's swimming pool, while mother Fran Boag saw it as an investment in the property.
Joshua Boag enjoys the family’s swimming pool, while mother Fran Boag saw it as an investment in the property.Credit:Steven Siewert

Their conclusion? Future buyers would probably expect a pool to be part of the lifestyle package.

In the meantime, the family is thoroughly enjoying the life aquatic.

Their youngest child Lachlan,12, begins campaigning for his first swim of the season in September.

“We had Christmas here last year and we had all the cousins and everyone was in the pool,” Fran says.

“There are afternoons where we walk down the beach and then we just feel like having a refreshing swim at home.”

Their 35,000-litre oasis cost about $80,728. Excavation was $8600; the pool, its installation, and equipment including a pump and filter $42,000; fencing $7920; Geotech reports and private certifier’s fees $2348; tiles and tiling, coping, water feature, electrical work $9360; and deck $10,500.

Heating is on the back-burner, so maintenance, including aqua-therapy minerals, costs about $1000 annually, plus electricity.

The Boag family are not the only ones keen to make a splash in their backyard.

Australia has about 1.2 million constructed backyard pools, according to the Swimming Pool and Spa Association (SPASA). Figures from Roy Morgan show Sydney was home to about 15 per cent and Melbourne 9 per cent in September 2018. In regional NSW including the ACT, it hit 10 per cent and regional Victoria 9 per cent, both rising from 7 per cent in 2014.

In Sydney the proportion of dwellings with a swimming pool has fallen slightly because of apartment construction, but there’s steady growth in the rest of the state.

While there’s always the option of an above-ground portable pool for an outlay of a few hundred dollars, prices for a permanent constructed pool are much more, starting from $23,000 for a small plunge pool, according to an online search.

Natalie Bugden of Freedom Pools, which installed the Boags’ pool and this year won the SPASA’s national pool of the year award, says a fully functioning pool starts at about $45,000.

But costs can rise a lot higher. “We’re doing a pool and two spas in a house in Mosman that’s got all the bells and whistles and that’s upwards of $300,000.”

Heating, tiling, lighting and add-ons such as a cabana; an outdoor kitchen, toilet and shower; and water features all push up the price.

“A lot of people are using the space to be more of an outdoor entertaining area,” Bugden says.

Automation is also becoming a thing. “So from inside the house you can change your lights; put the water features on; turn on the jets in the spa.”

Or control systems can be operated by apps. “So if you’re overseas and you want the spa to be nice and hot [when you get home], you can set that on your phone from anywhere in the world.”

While backyard pools have traditionally been the domain of the suburbs, there is growing demand in inner-city locations.

Spiros Dassakis, chief operating officer, SPASA, reports increasing demand for plunge pools, swim spas, and other smaller offerings as properties are either subdivided or smaller lots are offered.

The energy-conscious are also turning to solar heating.

Not every swimming pool owner wants one. Tom Burns, director, Reverse Pools in Victoria, points to a variety of reasons why people get rid of a pool.

They might be empty-nesters or young families who prefer their kids to have a backyard where they can play year-round.

Investors might have different ideas to owner-occupiers about the worth of a pool.

The decision may be driven by fashion or legislation. “Thirty to 40 years ago they would build a pool smack bang in the middle of the yard and it would be a monster pool,” Burns says.

Now they are fenced on one side.

Burns says removing a pool can cost $7000 to $13,000, plus landscaping costs.

So how do you keep a lid on the price of a pool?

Think small. Pools can require 22,000-60,000 litres of water, according to SPASA. Fran says storms or lots of splashing can increase pool maintenance costs.

Be energy conscious. A typical in-ground pool can represent about 30 per cent of a household energy bill, according to

A minimum five-star energy-efficient pool pump and LED lighting helps keep energy bills lower.

Dassakis points to new technology such as variable speed pumps and filters designed to promote water sustainability too.

Bugden says it programs equipment for off-peak times. She suggests using a pool cover to keep heat in and opting for solar or gas heating.

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Written By: Christine Long

Published Date: 2 December 2018