Pools and Spas for Every Location, Style and Budget


Are you thinking about installing a pool or spa? You’ll be spoilt for choice as they can not only be any shape or size, but also above-ground, in-ground, outdoor, indoor, concrete, fibreglass or vinyl-lined. This guide from the Swimming Pool & Spa Association (SPASA) will help you find the one that’s right for you.


Concrete pools and spas have been around since Roman times. They can be custom built for any location, installed in-ground or above-ground, and can include islands, swim-outs, pebble beaches, split levels, cantilevering and infinity edges. Concrete also offers the widest range of surface finishes – paint, pebblecrete, marblesheen, fibreglass, vinyl, tiles or quartz-coloured cement render can all create spectacular results. Concrete construction is complex and doing it properly takes time. Most concrete pool builders quote around six weeks to completion.


The fastest growing sector of the pool market – fibreglass pools – has benefitted from recent advances in technology. They are now a high-tech manufactured product that offers a combination of finish, features, style and colour. You can see exactly what you are buying beforehand and installation time is measured in days, not weeks. 



Not to be confused with the above-ground, vinyl-clad pool, these pools are often found in resorts. Set in the ground or partly exposed, they can be prefabricated or constructed on-site. The vinyl membrane is tailormade to the pool shape and vacuum fitted for a tough, smooth and easily maintained interior lining. Colour, pattern and shape choices are almost endless and most liners are chemically treated to resist algae. Installation is quick and transportation is simple, making them especially popular in country regions. 


Still the most affordable option, these pools provide many people with their first taste of pool ownership. Timber decking and landscaping can make them look great. Some can be partly installed below ground, but always seek the manufacturer’s advice first as the pool needs to be specifically engineered for this purpose. 


A growing number of diverse commercial facilities include a pool or spa. Once it was just municipal pools and aquatic centres but now many townhouse and apartment complexes, swim schools, resorts, retirement villages, schools and colleges, motels, hotels and health farms have them. Then there’s the aquaculture industry with fish farms, hydroponics and so on. Every commercial task is unique and complex and should only be undertaken by fully qualified technicians. 


The Belgian town of Spa was famous for its healing hot springs and today, medical professionals still recommend a soak in aerated water at 37 degrees Celsius to relax muscles and improve circulation. For the elderly, the warmth and low-impact exercise is especially valuable for reviving stiffer joints and weaker limbs. Usually concrete, fibreglass or acrylic, spas can be in-ground or portable and come in every shape and size, with an wide range of features and options. 


Housing booms are usually accompanied by a surge in renovations. Most concrete pool and spa builders offer this service and some specialise in it. Fibreglass can be used to cover old concrete, and even fibreglass pools can be renovated. Dropping in a vinyl liner is also a very popular way to bring an old pool up to date.

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