Home' Outdoors : Outdoors and Gardens 2014 Contents 130 SCOOP Outdoors and Gardens 2014
Whether it be manual, semi-automatic or fully
automatic, mesh, slat or liquid, a pool cover
is one of the most important fixtures you can
have. Not only is it a cost-effective way of
keeping dirt and debris out of your sparkling
new pool, it also reduces evaporation by up to
80 per cent in the summer months, which in
turn reduces chemical usage.
Furthermore, pool heating costs can
be reduced by up to 50 per cent simply by
using a pool cover, and a properly installed,
specially designed cover will lessen the need
for filtration, saving time on maintenance.
There’s also the benefit of peace of mind, with
increased safety for those with children.
“There are two big things people are looking
for in pool covers today: safety, and underground
hideaway systems,” says Richard Norrish of Elite
Pool Covers. “With many homeowners opting
for glass balustrading in their backyards, they’re
coming to realise they don’t want to ruin the
view with an unsightly pool cover.”
One favoured system is the Elite Solar Pool
Blanket. Not only is it easily operable for one
person, it can also be installed to new and most
existing pools of almost any shape and size. “The
whole box is made of marine-grade anodised
aluminium, under which the blanket is stored –
out of sight when not in use,” Richard says.
For those concerned about the appearance of
a pool cover, a liquid cover may be the answer.
Silicon-based liquid chemicals added to the
pool work to form a thin, invisible protective
layer on the surface of the pool, leaving you and
your guests to enjoy the view.
Photography Elite Po ol Covers
Choosing the right pool-surround material can often lead back to the same questions as
at the design stage: primarily, who will be using the area and to what level of maintenance
are you prepared to commit?
Natural stone is a unique, durable and low-maintenance option, offering a variety of
colours and textures to suit any outdoor space. Irregular shapes and patterns are often another
drawcard for this material.
Homeowners with young families often like the idea of having grass surrounding the pool,
firstly as a play area for their children, and secondly for its non-slip appeal. Real grass can often
be high-maintenance, so some turn to artificial turf. Known for being low-maintenance,
pesticide-free and aesthetically appealing, artificial turf is a great option, but it can become
unpleasantly hot underfoot in summer.
Creating an instant entertaining area, decking is an attractive and durable option for the
surrounding poolscape. “Timber in general has a warmth and softness that can’t be felt from
paving and concrete,” says Austin Pearce of Austin Developments. “Other than an optional
change in texture and material, timber decking is a great choice to cascade over uneven or sloping
ground levels. With lots of bold lines, it can also help create a feeling of width and length in small
areas, depending on board direction.”
While real timber offers rich colours and can be sanded to refresh the life of the product, it does
require maintenance, and there can be constant movement with changing weather conditions.
“Timber can be affected by chlorine and salt, so be prepared to replace timbers adjacent to the
pool more often than the rest of the decking,” says Janine Mendel of Cultivart Landscape Design.
For those looking for a no-maintenance, long-durability option, composite decking is
proving a popular choice. The downside is that it offers limited colours and somewhat lacks
the rich, warm colour and finishes that real timber offers. However, the pros outweigh the
cons for many. “Composite decking equals no board twisting and warping,” says Austin.
“It’s also non-slip compared to real timber, depending on the product; it features secret
fixing so there are no hazardous exposed nails and screws; and it is the perfect material for
around pools with water exposure.”
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