All Australians love entertaining outside and garden areas and swimming pools are a great focus of our lifestyle. When designing these areas, you must consider that everyone has certain needs to be addressed, budgets not to be exceeded and features to be included for this external extension of the home living space. The garden areas and swimming pool can be extravagant and the swimming pool can incorporate alfresco spaces and fully equipped cabanas, outdoor kitchens with woks and barbecues. Other gardens can incorporate tennis courts, day beds for relaxing with soft furnishings including cushions, throw rugs, candles and conversation fire pits set within paved entertaining areas, children’s play equipment and lawns, all integrated together to create your own extensive private resort at home. The garden areas and swimming pools do not need to be extravagant to work. A simple 8m x 4m pool with an umbrella over an adjacent lawn area to throw down a few towels and lie upon, set in luscious gardens, can be just as relaxing and enjoyable. “The most important component of the design is to integrate and unify the garden areas and swimming pool with the flow of the home and the overall property, taking into account the lifestyle of the owner, the style of the house and all aesthetic and functional considerations. The aim is to create a finished product that enhances a client’s lifestyle and adds immeasurable resale value to their home,” says John Storch of A Total Concept Landscape Architects.
The first step
Look at the overall property and determine what other utilities are required. Objectively, take into account the size of your property and what you can fit within it. Then access your budget and lifestyle. Think about the size of your family and whether you plan to use the space to entertain large or small numbers.
Analyse your property for physical aspects such as north-facing locations, sun and shade requirements, noisy neighbours or nearby roads, prevailing winds and potential views and position your pool and associated garden components with these aspects in mind.
Consider what budget you are setting aside for the swimming pool and garden areas. Can all the works be undertaken at once or does the project need to be staged over a period of time? If the project will be staged, consider what needs to be undertaken and when so that finished works do not need to be ripped up at a later stage to complete new works. An example of bad planning could be placing the new paving in first only to realise later that drainage was not allowed for or the cabling needs to be installed under the paving for lighting at a later date.
The professional option
Seriously consider employing a landscape architect to help with the second step of the process.
The second step
Design As with all projects, you need to undertake a design to ensure that all the required components are included. The analysis and extent of works decided in the first step can then form a brief for a landscape architect in an initial consultation or for you to start your design. Home owners are increasingly looking for professional assistance to look after their entire projects and A Total Concept Landscape Architects & Swimming Pool Designers provides this total service. The staff at A Total Concept are also flexible in the extent of service that they provide and are willing to help as much or as little as their clients need. The landscape architect can then undertake the designs, obtain building approval, provide detailed specifications for all aspects of the project including swimming pools, cabanas and gardens. They may tender the project and recommend and then organise the pool builder, landscape contractor and other trades. Often the landscape architect undertakes the total management of the construction for their clients.