As we find ourselves working longer hours, being away from the home more, and craving relaxing time with family and friends, more and more people are looking for ways to enjoy leisure activities within the home.
And when summer approaches – or year-round depending on the situation – having a pool is something many covet. That’s clear from Auckland Council records, as the Auckland Pool industry continues to push through the highest number of pool consent applications per capita in the country, says co-owner of Auckland Inground Pools, Donna Richmond.
These statistics are, perhaps, a testament to the modern lifestyle, and the desire to enjoy our precious leisure time in the home to the extent that is possible. “Having a pool at home is a nice way to promote spending relaxing time together with friends and family and is an easy form of entertainment for all ages.”
It’s a cohesive addition to a home, but one that once decided upon, offers many options in its type, construction, shape, depth and so on. “Whether someone is wanting a basic rectangular-shaped pool, or a more custom-built option, almost anything is possible with concrete pools,” Donna says.
While other types of pools have their own advantages, including fibreglass and above-ground vinyl-liner pools – concrete is streets ahead in its ability to allow complete creative freedom while also ensuring longevity and strength, and is the core focus of Donna and husband Kerry’s work at Auckland Inground Pools, the company they started together in 1999.
“We find that people generally choose concrete pools because that way, the design is completely theirs. They don’t have to conform to pre-made molds so from an architectural perspective, this allows more design freedom.”
Once a homeowner or designer has decided on a pool, there are various options to choose from. While the more classic rectangular pools remain a popular choice, so too do free-form designs that typically fit in with natural elements of the site and can also often allow for an increase in the size of the pool as they are tailored to fit in with the available space.
As Donna says though, one of the most crucial elements about pool design is ensuring the final result creates the ‘sparkle’; the shimmering effect when the sun shines on the water. Auckland Inground Pools use several types of cosmetic rendered surfaces, which are applied on top of the concrete shell, to create this effect.
“Having this gives the water that real sparkle. It has the pleasant effect of creating the pleasing vision of crystal clear water.”
The plaster products, including both Quartzon and Hydrazzo, are available in a range of colours. Hydrazzo is slightly smoother to touch but Auckland Inground Pools utilise several ranges regularly depending on a customer’s product choice. “Having the water colour – which is really a refracted view of the pool’s interior – right, is crucial. Without colour and shimmering in the sun, no pool will look as visually appealing as it could by incorporating a rendered surface.”
But it’s not just swimming pools that people are coveting at the moment. Rock pools are also popular, adding their own type of ambience to a landscape. “Rock pools can really resonate with certain landscapes creating a backyard oasis. There’s a certain tranquility about having a rock pool water feature that doesn’t compare to anything else.”
Rock pools are another core part of Auckland Inground Pools’ work and the team are highly experienced and able to offer both design services or work with an architect to create any solution required. Donna says to ensure rock pools are imbued with the most natural feel possible, their team always sources rocks locally, allowing the feature to be pertinent to the area.
Donna and Kerry have been involved in the pool industry for almost two decades together and now have a dedicated team of employees who are experts in every element of pool design and construction. The team specialise in concrete pool construction, and renovation and refurbishment of existing pools.