With more than 25 years of experience in landscaping, Dave Franklin is director of Franklin Landscape & Design, one of Victoria’s leading boutique landscape design firms. Dave’s landscapes have been showcased on The Block, Australia’s Best Backyards and Open Homes Australia. Better Building speaks to Dave about the latest innovations in pool technology.
Whether it’s from chlorine or saltwater, a lot of people have skin allergies that can be easily aggravated upon entering a pool. There’s nothing worse than thinking the kids are set for a few hours of play until a few pesky rashes arise on their skin, and cries for mum and dad echo through the house. The latest innovation in pool technology, the magnesium-based swimming pool, is set to combat these issues and change the custom-built pool industry as we know it.
“The benefits are second-to-none,” says Dave. “I’ve got young kids with skin allergies and we have a magnesium pool at home. As a joke, we call it the fountain of youth.”
“I see it more in spa centres and day spas and hot springs. It used to be only five percent of the market and now, for my business, it’s close to 90 percent of the market. It’s set up the same way as any other pool, and it’s cleaned the same way. The only difference is it’s 100 percent natural and as they say, it really gives you health benefits,” he adds.
Dave uses Mineral Swim for his pools, a water system that combines minerals from the Dead Sea, with ozone water purification from Ozone Swim. The system is ideal for skin hydration and alleviates skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, ultimately proving to be a healthier solution that is gentler on sensitive and allergy-prone skin.
For those looking to build a pool, Dave suggests allowing a period of three to six months from quote to completion. The design and quote alone can take around one to four weeks, and then permits often take two to four. The construction usually takes around three to six months, so to make the most of the Australian summer, planning your pool should begin in the middle of the year.
“The busiest time to build is Christmas time, which I hate,” says Dave. “It’s absolutely crazy.”
It’s also important to consider the differences between the main materials used – concrete, fibreglass and tiling. While concrete pools are more expensive, they are generally more durable than fibreglass or tiles, and provide an easier surface should rebuilding or updating be required.
“I’d recommend going for a concrete-based pool as it allows you to be more playful and funky with the design,” says Dave.
While each type of pool surface has its own in-pool cleaning system installed, it’s the concrete-based surfaces that allow for easier construction of wider, more comfortable steps.
As for trending colours, Dave says it can be quite unpredictable. “A couple of years ago, I did about 15 ice-blue pools in a row. Then there was a trend for all white. And this year, I’ve noticed a lot of charcoal.”
For builders working on new projects and constructions, Dave recommends using the same engineer as the pool builder for a smoother process. And if this is your first pool installation, or a retrofit, consider beginning now, before the onset of summer holiday madness.