4 considerations that could affect your pool finishes choices!

4 considerations that could affect your pool finishes choices!

In previous blogs we covered the topic of pools for lifestyle considerations (see blog – 5 factors that turn your pool area into a lifestyle experience! ) and got serious with the legal implications that arise during pool building (see blog – Pool Construction Legal Requirements & Implications ).  All of this leading towards the final stage of pool building and the more detailed aspect – what materials and “look” you want!

There are several stages of pre-build planning that will impact the aesthetics and material range choices you make for your pool.  These are:

  1. Knowing your budget
  2. Who is building the pool
  3. Size and layout
  4. Location


Knowing your budget is integral to ensuring you are completely satisfied with your pool.  Engaging a qualified pool builder who incorporates all associated costs within their quote will negate variation and budget blow outs.  If you have your heart set on doing it yourself read all obtained quotes and put everything in writing including authority to proceed works and the dollar amount you are allowing to complete set tasks.

When it comes to selecting finishing materials it is key to remember that whatever your choice of material, it will need to withstand years of water submersion, climate and chemical exposure.  Bathroom or flooring tiles cannot be utilised as pool tiles endure a different making process that meet low maintenance and durability requirements however there are an abundance of colour, pattern and even mosaic art tile choices available to create a visually pleasing pool.  Like all things, the more detail and higher quality tile you choose the more you should expect to pay.

A slightly lower cost option is exposed aggregate, also known as pebble-crete which will still give your pool the look of a high quality finish.  Pebble-crete is applied by spraying the inner concrete pool shell and looks similar to outdoor pebble concrete finishing but with smaller stones.  There is a range of pebble-crete colour types that when the pool is filled with water, exudes different shades of blue or green.

A more cost effective option still is the option of a fibreglass or vinyl pool. Over time, however, these types of pools will have greater wear and tear and may need replacement much earlier than updating a concrete shell pool. Ultimately it is matching the look of the pool you want with the budget you have allocated.


If you choose to employ a certified pool builder you may find that the cost of finishes and materials purchased through them will be less than that through a retailer.  This may balance out the cost associated to services rendered therefore reducing your time and effort.

Another factor to consider before engaging a professional is their style and signature “look”.  Some pool builders finished product may not suit your taste so before signing contracts ask to view some of their work and speak to past clients to gain a better idea of what you will end up in your backyard.

For owner builders, there are many images and “how to build” guides found on the internet and home design magazines. These sources may create false confidence in the competence required to achieve what you are looking for. As with most building projects, experience is key and a certain level of competence is required to undertake a big project like pool building. Professional workmanship is important in achieving a high end quality finish. Trying to save money by managing all the relevant trades yourself (without prior experience) could end up costing more than by choosing to build with a licensed pool building professional.


Your budget will influence every element of your pool build decision making.  For instance, as the pool gets bigger, the more expensive it becomes.  Furthermore, this will increase future costs associated to pool ownership; from maintenance, pump size, chemicals and higher energy and water bills.

The size and layout of your pool will determine the finishing material available to you.  For instance, round shaped pools will cost slightly more to form up and more to tile. The vast majority of pools over the past 10 years have been square or rectangular.

The overall size of the pool will impact your budget from a pool fencing perspective also.  Whether you choose to use aluminium pool fencing, glass or perhaps an even more custom solution, the regulations around pool safety and fencing are very strict and must always be adhered to. So, the  bigger the pool and pool surround, the likelihood is you will need to allocate more of your budget to fencing. Therefore when budget is an important factor in decision making, the size of your pool is important.


The often used catch phrase “location, location, location” is just as apt in pool building as it is in real estate.  Where you build your pool will affect not only the lifestyle benefits but the materials and finishes choices.  In most modern home designs, the pool is as much a prime feature of the overall house design as it is a swimming hole.  With this in mind by locating the pool close or near the house itself may save money with unnecessary cost of running services greater distance from the house than required. As discussed in the points above, there are other factors that impact the choice of materials which will affect the “look” of your finished project.  It is wise to keep these points in mind during the planning stage of your pool build so that the results match both your aesthetic and budget expectations.