Can I Buy a Pool Kit and Install my Own Pool?

Installing a swimming pool yourself can be a cheaper alternative than having a pool builder supply and install one for you, but you must apply to become an Owner Builder.


Will you really want to be an owner builder, with all the regulations, work and time involved?


As an owner builder you must meet all your legal obligations as follows:

1. Regulations – Permits by Owner Builders

Installation of a swimming pool requires a building permit.

A building permit is written approval from a registered building surveyor. It shows that your approved plans and specifications comply with building regulations, and allows building work, such as the installation of a swimming pool, to start.

Owner Builder has the following legal obligations:

  • Getting relevant planning permits from your local council
  • Being named as the owner builder on building permits
  • Getting a certificate of consent from the building practitioners board before carrying out domestic building works over $16,000
  • Engaging a building surveyor to issue building permits, conduct building inspections and issue a ‘Certificate of Final Inspection’ on completion of work
  • Ensuring that the work meets building regulations, standards and other laws
  • Getting relevant planning permits from your local council
  • Arranging for building inspections as required by law at specific stages of the building work
  • Obtaining domestic building insurance if you sell within six years of obtaining the Certificate of Final Inspection
  • Provide a defects inspection report if you sell within six years and six months of obtaining the Certificate of Final Inspection

2. Regulations – Work done by other people

Owner Builder has the following legal obligations:

  • Check the licensing or registration of electricians, plumbers, gas fitters, drainers and others who must be registered or licensed
  • To use a written appropriate building contract.
  • Appoint a building surveyor to issue relevant building permits and confirm the work complies with building regulations

3. Regulations – Work costing over $5000 done by other people

Owner Builder has the following legal obligations:

  • Use ‘registered builders’ for individual work over $5000
  • By law you must use a written ‘major domestic’ building contracts
  • Ensure any person engaged for work over $16,000 provides you with a current certificate of domestic building insurance for the address of the building project.

Special Notes

As an owner builder you need also be mindful that:

  • Only one owner-builder permit for a single home and associated work on that property is allowed, once every three years.
  • Under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 and Building Act 1993, you are responsible for warranties that apply by law to all domestic building work.
  • Warranties transfer to a new home owner for up to10 years from completion of the work.

Which Pool is Right for me?

There are four types of pools available. Below are ….

Fibreglass Pools: Pros and Cons


  • Low maintenance: The gel coat surface of the fibreglass pool shell is non-porous, preventing algae growth and reducing the chemicals required to maintain the pool.
  • No lifetime cost: Money doesn’t need to be invested in the shell of fibreglass pools, as there is no vinyl liner to replace and no resurfacing needed.
  • Non-abrasive: The gel coat surface of fibreglass pools is smooth to the touch.
  • Built-in Seats and Steps: Most fibreglass pool designs have seating and all have steps incorporated into the shell of the pool.
  • Manufactured in controlled environment: Fibreglass pools are built in the controlled climate of a factory.
  • Quick installation: Because the shells of fibreglass pools are built off site, the installation occurs more rapidly, 1-2 weeks on average (not landscaped).


  • Limited shapes and designs: Fibreglass pools are built from a mold, limiting the shapes and sizes to what’s offered by the fibreglass pool manufacturer.
  • No wider than 16′: Fibreglass Pools are shipped via the road. Shipping restrictions limit the width of the fibreglass pool shell to 16′.
  • In ground only: Typically, Fibreglass pools can only be installed in ground due to their limited shape variations.

Vinyl Liner Pools: Pros and Cons


  • Low initial cost: Vinyl Liner Pools have the lowest initial cost of any of types of in ground pools.
  • Customisable shape and size: No limitations on length, width, and depth.
  • Non-abrasive: The vinyl liner material is smooth to the touch.
  • Doesn’t foster algae: The material used in vinyl liner pools is non-porous so it inhibits algae growth.


  • Higher lifetime cost: On average a vinyl liner will last between 7 and 15 years at a replacement expense of $2,500-$3,500 plus the cost of water.
  • Liner warranties pro-rated: Many vinyl liner manufacturers have a 20 year pro-rated warranty….read the fine print.
  • Have to use pool with care: Dogs, items thrown in the pool, branches etc. are concerns. The liner is 20-30mm thick, one mistake could be costly
  • Lower resale value: When selling a home with a vinyl liner pool that’s more than 3 years old, the liner may be asked to be replaced before the sale of the house, or the value of the pool will be depreciated.

Concrete Pools: Pros and Cons


  • As big as you want: Concrete pools can be any size, shape, or depth.
  • More design flexibility: Vanishing edges, beach entries, tanning ledges, etc. are all a reality with concrete pools.
  • Works of art: Concrete Pools can designed as a work of art in the landscape.


  • High lifetime cost: Concrete pools need to be renovated every 10-20 years. This involves resurfacing and re-tiling the pool, costing up to $15k.
  • More chemical use: The surface of this pool is porous, so more chemicals and filtration are required to prevent algae. The alkaline pH of the shell also raises the pH of the water, requiring acid to counteract the effect.
  • More maintenance: These pools need to be frequently broomed or swept with a pool brush to remove algae from the plaster or aggregate surface.
  • Longer install time: Concrete pools usually take 2-4 months to install.

What Types of Pools are Available?

Swimming Pools are manufactured in above-ground or in-ground form. However, they are both available in different configurations including:

1. Plunge Pools

Plunge Pools are basically bigger than a spa but smaller than a swimming pool. They offer the great advantage of having a swimming pool despite having limited space. They are usually four metres long and up to three metres wide. Plunge Pools also are not typically any deeper than 1.2m at the deepest end.

2. Swim Spas

A Swim Spa is similar to a Plunge Pool, but has the added features of a Spa. Swim Spas have the option of adding hydrotherapy jets that can be used for exercise and swimming.

3. Swimming Pools

Swimming Pools are larger than Plunge Pools, typically more than 4m in length and 2.5m in width. Swimming pools offer features including LED lights, gas heating, energy saving pumps, salt water and PoolColour guard.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Pool?

It is common to consider buying a pool once the weather starts heating up, the best time to begin the pool buying process is well before then.


A swimming pool is there for life, so don’t rush the process for the sake of timing.


Sometimes planning a new pool can be a fast and easy process, however it can also take months of discussion and paper work before completion, which is why buyers should begin well before things start to warm up.


Factors that can effect a pools installation time:

1. The Design

You will have to first decide the specific location of the pool and where the boundaries are positioned.

2. Permits

Prior to installation, you must gain permission to install the pool. This procedure comprises of a pool plan and its surrounding areas. Construction cannot begin until a permit has been approved, which can take up to six weeks.

3. Pool Builders Construction Timeline

Once approved, your pool builder will allocate you into their installation timeline, which depends on how many pools they are already in the process of installing.

4. Type of Pool

Fibreglass pools are fast to install, usually only taking a couple of days. However a concrete pool will take much longer, up to several months.

5. Landscaping

The finishing touches, such as paving, decking and fencing will involve many tradespeople. These trades all become very busy towards the end of the year. Buying early can make scheduling easier with tradespeople booked well in advance.


Committed to the pool project and you have your plan?


The best time to buy is now