How to plan, design, architect a swimming pool design
Planning a swimming pool design can be a nice and easy if you follow these simple tips:

When you build a swimming pool in your home, you will wonder how you ever got by without a swimming pool. On very hot days, a quick dip is an instant way to feel refreshed. They�re also great for exercise, for summer pool parties and family get-togethers, and for your kids. There are endless uses for your pool, to not only help you keep your cool but to entertain with high standards.

Because your swimming pool can quickly become a point for fun, designing it to integrate with adjacent covered spaces will help to maximise its use, even in the cooler months of the year, as you simply can heat the water.

The addition of a poolside deck to accommodate guests makes the swimming pool area more conducive to entertaining. You can take an afternoon snooze on a cabana daybed after doing some laps, or lounge about comfortably with friends.

Pool location, location
To maximize the uses of your pool location needs to be right. Bassel de Jaroueh, Owner at CASA POOLS, says a well-positioned swimming pool can be viewed from the main living areas of the house, so you can enjoy it all year round. It should also be orientated so your outdoor entertaining areas flow into it.

�A good idea is to position a cabana a little higher than the water level so when you are seated, you�re looking out over the water,� he says. �If you have wood decking you can even structure it so the decking projects out over the pool creating a pier like effect.�

Attention to surrounding landscaped areas around the pool also helps to integrate the spaces and makes it more appealing, he adds.

�If you have a flat block, integrate different levels. For example, you might step up to the pool at the same level as the house, if you add raised garden beds, you give some form to the backyard,� he added.To maximise the uses of your pool location needs to be right. Bassel de Jaroueh, Owner andAttention to surrounding landscaped areas around the pool also helps to integrate the spaces and makes it more appealing, he adds.

�If you have a flat block, integrate different levels. For example, you might step up to the pool at the same level as the house, if you add raised garden beds, you give some form to the backyard,� he added.

Create for comfort
When the weather starts to cool, an outdoor heater or fire around the pool is a must. The crisp crackle of logs on the fire and the warmth of burning embers create a welcoming ambience on chilly nights. Patio gas heaters or heat strip heaters can also keep you toasty warm.

If you install bi-fold doors, you can open them up fully on hot summer nights to allow cooling breezes to gently flow through your cabana, while you sizzle a steak on the barbecue. In winter, cabana doors can be partially closed to retain the heat while you sit cosy and warm inside, perhaps sharing a delicious wood-fired pizza and a glass of wine.

�Add a big screen tv and you�ve got another lounge area. no matter how chilly it is outside.� says Bassel.

Install showers and a toilet and you have a self-contained space. In summer, the hordes of kids that would have been stomping wet feet through the house can get changed in the cabana. But according to Bassel that�s only the beginning. �During the winter months of the year the cabana can become a teenage retreat; those bi-fold doors will come in handy to keep the noise in,� he says.

Pool enclosures
There are many different types of enclosures to help you keep snug around your pool any time of the year. There are also enclosures available that offer cosy warmth in winter and can be retracted back in summer. Some models are designed to enfold a larger open pergola by using a nearby existing wall. When the weather warms up, just retract them as desired.

To make the most of your swim time, building an enclosed pool in your home is one idea. However, that can be a costly exercise, as that can also mean the associated costs of extending your home. With an indoor pool, you�ll have protection from UV rays during the summer months as well however, an indoor pool doesn�t allow you to appreciate and immerse yourself in the luxurious weather and outdoor lifestyle that is very much part high standard living.

Heat things up
With the changing seasons, sizzling summer days do eventually become cool autumn afternoons. Taking a dip in a chilly autumn afternoon might appeal to some, braving the chill in the dead of winter to a few, but heating your pool, at least partially, is bound to extend your swim time and keep those goosebumps at bay.

There are many ways you can heat your pool; with solar heating, pool blankets, heat pumps, motorised hard covers and roller covers. All of these have varying cost factors associated with their initial purchase and ongoing running costs.

Some people choose to heat only their outdoor spa, so they can still enjoy it all year round. �Even if the grown-ups shy away from the swimming pool in winter and just use the spa, the kids will definitely love thawing out in the spa and then jumping into the cool pool water,� says Bassel.

Or you can heat the pool just for special occasion get-togethers. If you have a party on a weekend, with a gas heater you can heat the water to a cosy temperature.

EXPERT TIP: Pool covers can reduce more than 75 per cent of ongoing costs. You don�t need to heat your pool as much, or use as much gas or electricity, the covers save chemicals and you�re minimising water evaporation.

Eco-friendly pool tips
- Install an energy-efficient pool pump. Slowing the speed of the pump will dramatically reduce the amount of power it uses. Remember, if you slow the flow rate, you will need to increase the running time.

- There are many options for pool covers and blankets, which will reduce the amount of water and chemical loss from evaporation and the amount of heat loss overnight if your pool is heated. If you don�t like the idea of putting one on and taking it off, consider using a liquid pool blanket.

- Reduce heating costs of a heat pump or gas heater with a solar pool heating system. There are various types of glazed and unglazed systems. Consider the aspect and pitch of the roof, the amount of roof space available and the aesthetics of your home.

Poolside decks
Decking is definitely back as a pool surround choice and many modern pool designs integrate both pavers and timber decking for textural and colour contrast. Decking needs to drain well and, if it�s shaded, also be regularly cleaned with a pressure cleaner, as dirt build-up can promote slippery fungal growth.

Decking is often combined with a coping paver but note that timbers with high tannin content, such as merbau, can cause staining on adjacent paving, compared to lower tannin timbers such as ironbark. You will need to use high-grade stainless-steel fastenings around a saltwater pool and if you stain the timber too dark it will be too hot to walk on.

Fence sense
Pool fencing regulations are strict for a good reason; they do prevent children from drowning. The main requirements are usually a 1200mm-high isolation fence with gaps of a maximum 100mm between vertical members.

Fences that don�t block any view of the pool are the most popular, such as frameless glass as the least obtrusive (and most expensive), framed glass, vertical tensioned steel cable or powder-coated aluminium. If you need privacy screening or a solid back for your sitting space, look at incorporating bamboo reed, brush fencing, lapped timber or aluminium slats. You may also want a screening section of fencing to hide a pool blanket roller or the back of the compulsory safety sign.

If you have any questions about how to properly prepare your pool for the winter months that were not answered above, please visit CASA POOLS for more information.