Getting a Swimming Pool – Where Do I Start?
If you are considering installing a pool, do your homework. In order to know that you are taking the correct steps contact your local building commission. They can tell you where to start and what steps to take.
Builders must be registered with the Builders Commission Practitioners Board. They must hold a current building registration. Before you sign a contract with any builder ask to see their registration card, or go to the Building Commissions web site. Once you have a registered builder, get a contract. The contract is for your protection, as well as, the builders. Be sure that you understand what you are signing.
Victorian state law requires that domestic building insurance be issued for all building work over $12,000, this includes pools and spas. Do not begin installation until you have an insurance certificate in hand. Without this insurance you are completely unprotected. The insurance certificate ensures that when the pool is completed, there will be a 6 year structural warranty. If, in the future, you decide to sell your home the insurance certificate is transferable. You are required, by law, to provide the certificate to the buyer.
Find out if you will need a planning permit. Town planning overlays may apply to your property, if so, you will need a permit. Before work begins, you will need to ask the building surveyor for a building permit. The building permit ensures that all municipal guidelines have been met, as well as, all safety and structural requirements. In order to obtain a building permit your builder will need the following:
1. A copy of the Certificate of Title2. A copy of the block plan showing all existing buildings3. A letter of authority for the builder to apply for the permit on your behalf4. A signed agreement to comply with the requirements to provide5. A safety barrier/pool fence
Also, the building surveyor will need; a copy of the town planning permit(if required) and a copy of the insurance certificate(from your pool builder). You will be issued a certificate of final inspection and a copy will be given to the builder. The certificate must be issued before filling the pool.
Once the pool is complete, you will need to contact your local water authority, to find out if water restrictions apply. You will have to complete two forms, one is the water exemption request, the other is the water conservation plan. Under the water conservation plan, you will list the areas where you will save water, e.g. water saving shower nozzle, dual flush toilets. Some water saving devices qualify for the Victorian Government’s rebate scheme. Your pool builder can assist with these forms.
Your warranty will commence once construction is complete and you have been issued a Certificate of Completion from your builder. Your pool will be covered for 6 years under the domestic builders insurance. Contact your builder with any concerns about your pool.