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Have you decided to embark on a new pool project to liven up your backyard? If you’re a novice when it comes to construction, it can be a little daunting to begin a major project when you don’t understand the lingo. When your pool project is underway, there are some terms that are likely to be thrown around, and it pays to have some knowledge of these before you start. That’s why Queensland Pool + Outdoor Design has spoken to Danny Harvey of Narellan Pools to lift the lid on some important terminology you will be likely to come across while your pool is constructed.

Know Your Pool

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make before embarking on your pool project is the type of pool that will suit your outdoor area and lifestyle, as well as the materials that will work best for you.


“The term above-ground typically refers to vinyl liner pools or blow-up pools, which can cost significantly less than an in-ground pool,” Harvey says. “[They] vary in size from wading pools for kids to adult lap pools. The owners can take the pool with them or sell it when they move home. Concrete and fibreglass pools can be built above ground and this would normally be dependent on the site requirements.” You should be conscious of your fencing requirements if you decide to build above ground, as these pools are subject to the same laws as in-ground pools.


“An in-ground pool … is sunken into excavated ground. They are predominantly fibreglass or

concrete, but can be [made from] vinyl liner or other forms of construction,” Harvey says. “It can be designed as a seamless extension to the home.”

Fibreglass Pools

Visually appealing, quick to install and easy to maintain, fibreglass pools are a great option. “Fibreglass pools have come a long way in the past 25 years,” Harvey says. “Once, the only fibreglass pool option was a washed-out blue colour with the top of the shell merging with a plain or exposed-aggregate bond beam around the perimeter of the pool. Now we are spoilt for choice on shapes, brilliant colours and the ever increasing customisation of fibreglass pools.” The shell strength, longevity and safety features for children that fibreglass pools boast make them an ideal option for most projects.

“Fibreglass pools have added safety features for kids [and are] easier to maintain [than concrete pools] due to their smooth surface. The building process is much quicker than concrete pools. With the wide range of shapes, sizes, colour combinations and unlimited custom-design features now on offer, it’s easy to see why fibreglass pools have become a popular choice…”

Concrete Pools

If you have a large-scale project on your hands, a concrete pool may be the way to go. “Concrete pools have been around in one

form or another for centuries,” Harvey says. “Unlike the fibreglass pool, which is built in a factory and shipped to site, a concrete pool is built on site. There are more construction stages involved in building a concrete pool and therefore the build time is generally longer and the cost in most cases will be more. Concrete pools are ideally suited to those [who want] an unusual shape or a commercial-sized pool.”

Infinity Pool or Negative Edge

“An infinity pool is a swimming pool where the water flows over one or more edges, producing a brilliant visual effect,” says Harvey. “The water flows over the edge into a holding tank of water below. Costs are a lot higher than a standard pool due to the engineering required to customise the pool for site conditions. Evaporation is also a lot higher in a negative edge pool.” An infinity edge can be used to overlook another body of water and give the spectacular illusion that it is merging with the ocean or the horizon.

Perimeter Overflow

To add a streamlined aesthetic to your home, you could install a pool that looks like a sheet of glass, or one that appears as if it is perfectly contained without walls. “This effect is created by a perimeter overflow, [which is] a style used in high-end modern swimming pool designs in which the water overflows its edges and into a hidden slot or catch basin, where it is then recycled back into the pool,” Harvey says.

Top Image Credit: Narellan Pools