Friday, 21 August 2015

Finished pool

With the pool completely filled came a lesson from the pool company on how to operate the equipment. There was a lot to remember and you should take notes so as to remember what everything does. There's at least a one inch high stack of instruction books to go with the equipment.

We're absolutely overjoyed with the pool and surrounds, seen here through our dining room window.

Completed pool

We just need to sort out that back fence, and stain the bench seat along the side fence.

The first evening we gave the pool lights a workout. They can change colours using a remote control.

LED pool lighting, set to blue
With completion comes regular cleaning. In the first weeks the pool has to be completely brushed every day for the first week, then every second day for the second week, every third day for the third week, then once in the fourth week.  In that period it is manually dosed with liquid chlorine each day. This is to brush off any mineral deposits on the finish, and it helps bring out the blue in the Quartzon.

Scrubbing the pool finish - in winter
In our case, that meant cleaning it in the rain, at the end of winter, each evening. If you are building a pool, you will need to factor this in. If you can't clean it yourself, every day in this phase, you'll need to pay for someone else to do it for you.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Filling the pool

Within a day of the Quartzon being applied, the pool had to be filled.  Once water is flowing into the pool, it can't be stopped. If flow stops a line is left in the finish of the pool.

At dawn the next day.

From our garden tap, it took just over a day to be half way up the skimmer box - about 1.5 tiles from the coping tile (a little higher than in this picture).

Friday, 7 August 2015

Pool render

Following from the fencing be completed and certified as compliant, the pool interior was rendered.  We selected a Quartzon finish - Santorini, which is white with blue flecks.  It is one of the cheapest two finishes. The more colour you choose, the higher the price (when you get a quote for a pool ensure you know what colour range is included).

Before the render is applied, the pool is drained of any rainwater and cleaned. This was done while we were at work, so we don't know how long it took or what is involved.

The Quartzon finish was applied in a day, transforming the drab grey of the pool shell. This photo was taken in the early evening.

Santorini Quartzon finish

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Pool fencing

The next task was for the pool fencing to be erected. The pool can't be filled until a compliant pool fence is installed and it is certified by a building inspector.

We decided to have a glass semi-frameless fence alongside the pool, with the exception of a short length of black metal fence over the easement. It can easily be removed.  The side gate, which can't be seen from the house, is also black metal.

We also opted for two gates in the glass fence.  Nearest the house is one which has two functions - a route past the pool to the side gate and entrance to our yard, and importantly, the shortest route to the deepest part of the pool in case of an emergency.

The other is down the yard, leading to the shallow end of the pool and the grass.

The posts and glass were delivered a few working days ahead of the installation date.  Remember to mark a space where you'd like the very heavy sheets of glass put - against a solid fence or wall, on even ground.  We didn't specify a spot - and then had to move them during the weekend when they were blocking our planned work.

Before installation day, the post holes were drilled into our new pavers and the underlying concrete.

On the actual installation day, our fence was erected in less than a full-day, transforming our pool area.

Semi-frameless glass pool fence

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Poolside seat

To maximise garden space, we positioned the pool as close as we could to one property boundary, leaving a narrow garden bed along the fence. The pool is positioned 'square' to the house, and the house isn't parallel to the fence, so the garden bed gets narrow as you walk away from the house.

Our original plans were for bamboo, but Ned of DesertScapes by Design advised that the bed wasn't wide enough, and that when stressed, bamboo drops a lot of debris. That's the last thing you need right beside a pool.

Our revised plan was to put a painted treated pine sleeper as garden edging and to plant something else. Then I had the revelation of a seat the length of the pool.

The trouble with a seat against a boundary fence is the pool regulations and whether it might be a platform that aids a child to climb down from the fence.  We telephoned the building surveyor and were given the all-clear. We had to remain outside the regulatory 900 mm non-climbable zone (what the standard calls an NCZ) from the top of the fence. The regulations allow exposed railings higher than our seat, as long as they are outside the 900 mm NCZ.

Ned went to extra lengths to ensure that our budget seat looks good, including chamfered edges, sanding the timber for a smoother finish and dowels to hide the bolts.  Once the timber has dried out some more we'll paint it.

We're looking to plant papyrus in pots behind the seat, and a strip of LED lights along the seat itself.