How to understand your Pool Building Contract: a checklist

How to understand your Pool Building Contract: a checklist


Are you finding your pool building contract confusing? Here, we run through a handy checklist put together by SPASA to make your life easier

Pool building contracts can be confusing but The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia (SPASA) produces extensive building contracts for its members, ensuring peace of mind for both parties. These contracts comply with local state legislation and are consumer-friendly agreements that are presented in a clear and concise manner, easy for all parties to read and follow. Only SPASA pool builder members can issue you with SPASA’s own contract, but the organisation has provided an important advice checklist for homeowners to consider before signing any pool building contract. We’ve put together a list of questions based on their advice.

Things to note related to your contract:

  • Is there a customer checklist included in the contract? There must be one, and it should be read and completed before signing the contract.
  • Has a datum or fixed reference point been nominated and the height of the pool to that datum point clearly shown?
  • Has information regarding statutory warranty been included in the pool building contract?
  • Many states have a cooling-off period after a contract is signed. Have you checked what the cooling-off rate is in your state before signing?
  • Will the penalty costs (liquidated damages) for late completion realistic, so your pool gets finished on time?


How to understand your Pool Building Contract: a checklist

Things to note related to price

  • Is access for all necessary building works and machinery part of the contract price? It must be, and should therefore not be deemed as an extra at a later time.
  • Are all applicable state and Federal taxes included?
  • The costs of plans and specifications and local government application fees (except for deposits and other charges) must be included.
  • Is cost of tipping quoted? It must be included in the contract price.
  • Is the cost of all “prime cost” items and site costs clearly shown on the contract? “Price on application” is not acceptable for such items as rock excavation, tip fee, special equipment etc.
  • Has the cost of overburden excavation and all above-ground formwork and structural requirements necessary to construct the pool in the nominated position been included? Consider the height of the pool relative to its surroundings. 

How to understand your Pool Building Contract: a checklist

Pool specifications needed to be included

  • Have the full details of the type and size of filtration to be supplied, including any accessories (light, heater, chlorinator etc), been provided?
  • If the walkway and coping is included in the contract price, has the width been nominated?
  • Solar heating: are you getting enough “collector” to adequately heat your pool? A rule of thumb is that a collector area of 80 per cent to 100 per cent of the surface area of the pool is required. Insist that the amount of collector is mentioned in the contract.
  • Suitable filtration, sanitation and heating equipment to do the job must be included. Have you checked the suitability of this equipment? If you don’t do this before you sign, you may find you are charged more for a larger size. If the wrong size equipment is used, it may not perform adequately.
  • Is the pool location on the property, and the position of the filtration equipment, shown clearly shown on a diagram? The contract price must allow for the supply and installation in these positions and for the supply and installation of all necessary pipe work.
    Is the type and size of equipment appropriate for the excavation? Transporting to site, considering the access and working space, must be included. 

    Things to note

    • Never sign a contract without first having your site inspected by a qualified pool builder.
    • The maximum deposit you are required to pay on signing a contract varies in each state. Make sure you check what the maximum is in your state before paying any deposit.
    • To prevent lengthy delays in obtaining approval from council, insist that your sales consultant submit plans to council within a reasonable time.


  • To find out more about SPASA pool builders, visit