Considerations to build a perfect pool:

There’s nothing like installing a good looking pool and bragging about it at the next braai. But planning your dream pool can be harder than it first seems. Consider your options and obligations before breaking ground, and pool construction will proceed swimmingly.


1) Pick a pool – There are 3 main types of pools. Concrete with marblite, concrete with fibre

glass lining and fibreglass shells. Concrete pools are truly custom build and can be formed to virtually any size or shape.  These pools are often called Gunite or hand packed pools. Once the concrete cures, its plastered to a smooth finish. It typically takes longer to install a concrete pool than any other kind. But its considered the most durable and strongest type of pool. Unlike any other type of pool, existing concrete pools can be remodelled, enlarged and updated. Concrete pools can be lined with pool plaster (marblite) , fibre glass or epoxy pool paint. Fibre glass shells are factory-moulded pools which are sent to the excavated hole by truck or crane. As a result fibre glass shells can be installed much faster than any other pool types. Fibreglass pools have a super smooth gel coat finish that’s extremely durable and stain resistant. Fibreglass pools are non-porous, so they use less chemicals and has less maintenance. Fibreglass shells come in fewer sizes and shapes than concrete pools.


2) Pricing – Cost varies widely depending on the type of pool, soil condition, accessories and of course the size and shape of the pool. Generally speaking concrete pools are the most expensive and fibre glass shells the least.


3) Check municipal building regulations and the site’s zoning – Swimming pools is subject to building and zoning regulations just like any other home improvement project.

Fibreglass pool on trailer

4) Site the pool – Picking the perfect spot for your pool is just as important as the swimming pool itself. Experienced Swemgat contractors can provide valuable insight.


Pool placement tips to consider:

  • Sun shine – take advantage of free solar energy by placing the pool away from trees and shade
  • Block the breeze – a windy location can greatly increase water evaporation and make you feel uncomfortably cool when wet. Create a wind break with a wall or planting trees or shrubs.
  • Storm water – avoid low lying areas where flooding is possible
  • All clear high and low – Stay clear of all over head electrical lines , sewer lines and septic tanks.
  • Eye sight – Whenever possible, build the pool within view of the house to keep an eye on swimmers even when you’re indoors.
  • Accommodate accessories – When determining pool placement, be sure there’s enough space for accessories such as a spa (Jacuzzi), slide, diving board, bench seats and utility shed.


5) Water circulation system – The pool’s water circulation system is designed to keep the water clean and crystal clear. To do this effectively it, it uses both filtration and sanitization. The pump is the heart of the circulation system. It draws water from the apc(automatic pool cleaner) through a skimmer in the weir and then through the filter system and back to the pool.


There are 2 main types of filtration systems, namely sand filters and cartridge filters:


  • Sand filters are the oldest and most common method of pool water filtration. Sand filters are cleaned by backwashing, which involves reversing the water flow through the filter and flushing the dirty water into a waste line.
  • Cartridge filters have been around for a couple of years but only recently begun to skyrocket. This system uses large cylindrical cartridges to screen out dirt. Its recommended to use a large cartridges. Cartridge filters don’t require backwashing. Instead you simply remove them and rinse off the dirt with a garden hose, a process that uses much less water than backwashing. Cartridge filters are recommended where the surrounding pool area is more clinical than normal. Example: Where there is allot of paving surrounding the pool, indoor pools or a well established garden with less dust and sand.


6.) Budget options to consider – There is allot more to a pool than a hole in the ground. You need to enhance the landscape, buy accessories and invest in pool maintenance.

List of typical extras to consider – outdoor lightning, landscaping, paving or decking, pathways, patio and patio furniture, fencing or safety nets, heating (solar panels, solar blanket or heat pump) and equipment shed.  You’re not likely to need all of these items, but keep them in mind when formulating your construction budget.