Two phases of the swimming pool project
Talking to many customers over recent weeks, one of the areas that we can assist with is when you buy a swimming pool, it consists of two phases. One is the planning phase. The next is the logistic phase.
We participate with the Swimming Pool and Spa Association, so we actually have a contract that has a stop and go facility. This is something that we have actually been using for many years now, with many customers who have been building houses or they have been doing some more complicated planning stages in their backyards. Some examples are they’re building sheds or retaining walls, or they just don’t know all the things they need to do, either before or after a swimming pool.
So what we’ve done with these customers previously is we spec out the pool, the project, whether it has in-floor, whether there’s a spa, whether it’s the seven meter or the eight meter. Sometimes the customer doesn’t even know exactly what’s going to fit, because there’s a tree, or there’s a garage.
We work out all the costs. So they decide on, let’s say a seven meter pool, and then there’s the cost if they go to an eight meter. So there’s no surprises as far as the dollars are go, are concerned.
With the SPASA contract, we don’t need to go to the build phase until they are ready to go, and sometimes it might be whether the house budget comes in under the ideal amount, so whether they can even afford it or not. It has been hard previously to tell a customer that a swimming pool is more important than a kitchen, for some reason the pool is the first line item that will get crossed out when, when budgets are extinguished.
You decide when the pool installation starts
So this is not something that we haven’t done before. But what we’re finding now in these uncertain times, is that many of our customers are actually requesting this stop-go. We call it a 12-months cooling off period on a contract. And basically it puts you in the driver’s seat for when the pool will actually start.
Now, the question is, how long does it take to buy a pool? A swimming pool, once you press go, um, will take anywhere from six to 12 weeks, and in that period of time, we confirm with the manufacturer to go ahead and build your pool. We confirm with the permit company to go ahead and produce the permit. And this is when all the monies start to get spent. Prior to this stage, before you press the go button, there is just the planning phase. Now, for some people, they just want to run the two sides of the project at the same time.
So, you will sign up, and then while we’re planning all the finer details, all the pool’s being built and the permit side of things is happening at the same time.
If you prefer, you can do all the planning stage now, while we are in uncertain times, without fully committing to the full contract costs. Given a lot of people’s future income and just levels of anxiety is still unknown, this is a way that some of our customers have recently requested to go forward when it comes to buying a swimming pool.
Fixed cost in the pool contract
There is a cost. When you first put a deposit down with a contract, there is a 5% deposit. Now, this 5% deposit, let’s say the contract is 50 or 60,000, so it’s two and a half to $3000. This cost will then be non-refundable.
What you will receive for this pre-planning phase is you will get a engineered site visit, and we will actually set the location of the pool. We will set the top of the pool height. We will work out the beam design for whatever paver that you’re looking at. We will also work out where the equipment’s going, the footprint of the, of the pool equipment, and we will actually provide you a plan of that, including where the skimmer box is going to go, and the pipe run.
We will also provide you how much, ah, power is required to this pool equipment location. So any planning you’re doing with electrician, how much, um, h-how many amps are required for the, for the location, we can provide that to you as well.
You will have received from your 5% deposit all the plans, the detailed pool plans, the pipe plans, the equipment layout. This information and this intellectual property is yours. So you can use this to plan for the next five years, as far as all the other projects.
You can also, if you would like, put your contract on hold for a period of time as well. So we’re very flexible from that.
This will then allow you to proceed with any pre-work that you might want to do over this next phase, if you are putting in retaining walls or wanting to do any garden work, ah, or, or any preparation for a pool. We are currently putting on all our SPASA contracts this 12-month cooling off period.
For the stop or go on the logistics aspects of starting on site. If you decide that, for whatever reason, and you don’t actually need a reason, you don’t want to proceed with the contract, then a fully cancelled contract will be made available to you with no additional costs whatsoever passed on to you. The deposit will be non-refundable, but that will be the only cost of the whole project.
Once you do press go will be when the pool shell is manufactured and when work physically takes place on site. And then like all building contracts, there’s a staggered process of when each stage is completed, then the payments are made. If you want to proceed with the contract there will be no further, any price rises or anything like that that might come, and as a builder, we will most likely experience price rises over the next period. We will not pass those costs on to you.
Starting the pool construction phase
If you press the go button, that is when the contract will actually start to go into the construction phase. That is when we will order the pool, put down deposits with our suppliers. We will proceed with the building permit, and we will actually start the entire process of getting ready for construction. That is when the remainder of the contract will actually start. Usually this timeframe, we usually allow a six to 10 week period and we can liaise with you directly at the time, if there’s any concerns with deliveries or border changes between Victoria and New South Wales.
What happens if I push the stop button on the contract? So, at that point, there’ll be no questions asked. You’ll be able to completely cancel your contract. There will be no further cost whatsoever passed on to you from the cancellation of that contract.
We want you in control of your project, as far as the timing goes, as far as the big spend goes, with the swimming pool. We also recognize that lo-logistically, the building process sometimes is easier than the planning. The planning can actually take a long time. So we’re committed to investing in this planning phase, as long as you need, until you’re very comfortable in your own feelings and your own financial stability, and whatever else is happening in the world. So you will be in the driving seat of when the project will actually start.