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With summer drawing to an end, what better time than to start thinking about next summer! If you are considering having a swimming pool installed so it is ready for the next summer season, then now is the time to start thinking about it.

The installation of a swimming pool is an intricate and costly process, so you want to make sure that you get it right the first time.

The first step in avoiding future problems with your new pool begins with the installation process. Therefore, it is important that you take the time to ensure that you:

1. Do your site researchInstalling a pool is an expensive exercise and may be even more so, if you have not done your research to ensure your site is suitable for pool installation. If a pool is installed in unfavourable site conditions such as unlevel land or inadequate ground conditions, then you will likely have issues with your pool later down the track. For example, if the pool is installed at a site with sandy or unstable soil, then this could lead to movement of the pool resulting in cracking and water leakage. If this occurs, you will incur significant costs to have the issues rectified.

Whilst in some circumstances, your builder can level the land or adjust ground conditions, this would be at an extra expense which you would be required to budget for.

 

2. Comply with Council Regulations & relevant legislation: Prior to commencing work on your pool installation, it is also important to ensure your pool design meets any requirements under Council Regulations or other legislation and that you obtain any necessary approvals. For example, it is common for your Local Council to have requirements on how close you can position your pool to a property boundary. If you install your pool breaching these requirements, you could be fined or be required to remove the pool or part thereof. 

You should also consider any legal health and safety requirements for pool fencing and any electrical component of the pool such as lighting, pumps and filters.

 

3. Engage the right contractors: Don’t be afraid to carry out due diligence checks on the builder and its contractors that you want to engage to install your swimming pool. This means checking to make sure they hold any relevant licences and also making enquiries as to their reputation. A good reputation is usually earned through good quality work. We do not recommend attempting to tackle the installation of the pool yourself. 

 

4. Read the paperwork: It is likely that your builder will provide you with a contract to sign before it will commence the pool installation for you. Once signed, the contract becomes a legally binding document. As such, it is important that you understand the terms, risks and any hidden costs which may included in the contract prior to signing it.

If you do not understand the entire contract, seek legal advice before signing it. An experienced lawyer can help you interpret the contract and identify the issues and risks to you.

 

5. Review the job: Immediately after your pool has been installed and prior to filling it with water, we strongly suggest you have the pool works inspected by an independent engineer or builder to ensure there are no issues and the installation is in accordance with any relevant industry standards. If the inspection report identifies that the installation is non-compliant, then you can report back to your builder to arrange to have the issues rectified. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to get your builder to return to the site to carry out any repair work.

 

6. Know your rights:  The installation of a swimming pool is considered domestic building work under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995. This means that, in most circumstances, your builder is bound by statutory warranties under the act, namely that it agrees to:

  • carry out the installation in a proper manner to accepted trade standards and in accordance with the plans and specifications;
  • use only materials that are good and proper;
  • perform the work in accordance with all statutory requirements;
  • perform the installation with reasonable diligence (if the contract does not stipulate a timeframe which the work is to be completed)

If you feel your rights have been breached or require further information about the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at Clarke Hemmerling Lawyers (08) 8333 2130.

This blog was written by Michelle Moore, Associate at Clarke Hemmerling Lawyers

This blog post does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is a general commentary on matters that may be of interest to you.  Formal legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on any matter arising from this communication.