The starting point
1. Registered practitioners
Every building project regardless of size carries some kind of risk. By using a Registered Building Practitioner you are hiring a qualified, knowledgeable professional to build your swimming pool.
You should always check if your builder is a registered practitioner as this is a mandatory requirement of SPASA Pool Builder membership that means they have an overseeing body that assists with education and standards.
By using a Registered Building Practitioner they must provide you with a major domestic building contract for work over $5000. Projects above $16,000 must also provide domestic building insurance.
Building a pool is a major investment for most homeowners and you’ll need to be sure your selected pool builder will be there from start to finish, and well after the completion of your construction. You can find information at the Master Builders Association on the correct way to engage a pool builder and have them scope your project. If the pool company in question is not highly experienced and backed by a flawless reputation, our advice is to dot every ‘I’ and cross every ’T’ when asking them to design and provide a proposal.
2. Building permits
All swimming pools and spas (both in-ground and above ground) greater than 300mm in depth require a building permit in order to undertake construction work.
A building permit is also required for installing and altering swimming pool and spa safety barriers including existing windows, doors and gates that provide access to the pool or spa area.
We suggest you always check with your municipal or private building surveyor before undertaking any works and obtain a copy of the building permit itself.
Your builder will provide you with a copy of the domestic building consumer guide. The Guide explains your rights and responsibilities and will help you to understand the roles and responsibilities of your builder and building surveyor.
You can learn more about the topics in the Guide and domestic building contracts generally at – http://consumer.vic.gov.au/buildingguide
Prior to the commencement of work, a building permit from a Registered Building Surveyor must be issued to the owner with the registered builder’s details. The purpose of this building permit is to ensure that your pool meets all the applicable requirements of your municipality’s planning scheme, relevant building regulations, Codes and Standards, including all relevant structural and safety requirements.
In order to obtain a building permit, the appointed surveyor can provide advice on the minimum requirements of an application from your council that will include the following:
- Copy of the Certificate of Title.
- Copy of the block plan showing all existing buildings.
- A letter of authority for the builder to apply for a building permit on your behalf.
- A signed agreement to comply with the requirements to provide a safety barrier/pool fence.
3. Council regulations
It is possible that town planning overlays may apply to the location of your proposed pool or spa. If that is the case, a town-planning permit may be required before any building permit can be issued so it is worth checking with the local council before starting any other works.
Most people are aware of the regulations about the mandatory requirement for child-resistant pool fencing. But it is best to check with your local council to see if there are any additional local building, zoning or safety regulations you will need to comply with to obtain a permit as these can vary between states and even municipalities.
State law requires that domestic building insurance must be issued for all domestic building work over $16,000 in total value. It is recommended that you DO NOT commence any work until your builder has provided this insurance and you have the certificate in your possession, or ask to see the building permit and their builder’s registration card. The purpose of this insurance is to ensure that you are protected against an incomplete pool and/or spa and any structural defects for up to 6 years in the event that your builder dies, disappears or becomes insolvent. Without it, you are totally unprotected and exposed in the event that your builder is unable to complete or rectify defects due to death, disappearance or insolvency. And if you sell your home you will be required by law to provide this transferable insurance to the purchaser.
If you have any other questions, please give us a call on 1800 625 331 or use our CONTACT US page.