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OFTB Terrace HouseWhen Rose decided she wanted to build a family-sized swimming pool in her Albert Park backyard, there was just one problem: space.

“We wanted to make sure the pool was large enough to have a decent swim and play, given the limited space we had to work with,” Rose said.

Having completed an extensive renovation of her two-storey Victorian terrace house, she was also keen the pool complemented the finished home, which she shares with her husband and 10-year-old son.

“We didn’t want the pool to seem like an afterthought, but instead look as if it was done at the same time as the renovation,” she explained.

Taking the plunge

James Lascelles, senior landscape architect and designer at Out From The Blue, was the man tasked with bringing the family’s dreams to reality.

Mr Lascelles said the tight L10m x W6.5m site sat between the house and stables that had been converted into a garage and gym.

“Rose was keen the pool didn’t take up the whole courtyard so they could easily move between the two buildings, as well as have space to sit or kick a ball around,” said Mr Lascelles, who worked with contractor Vivid Landscapes on the project.


His solution was to site a slim L8m x W2m pool against a side boundary wall, which left space for a bluestone paved area between the pool and the glass fencing, with a decked area and artificial lawn on the other side.


“Real grass wouldn’t have grown very well there because it’s in a spot overshadowed by a high wall from the warehouse next door,” Mr Lascelles said. “Synthetic turf also makes for a very low-maintenance garden.”

The hardwood timber decking also forms a path between the house and the gym/garage and spreads out into a larger covered deck next to the house.

Let there be light

When it came to selecting materials, Mr Lascelles took some of his cues from the colour palette and timber battens used by architect Matt Gibson, of Matt Gibson Architecture + Design, who renovated the former stables.

“We were very much about complementing what was there, rather than throwing a lot of new materials at it and making it busy and different,” Mr Lascelles explained.

The striking wall of timber battens features a number of LED light boxes, which won a gold award for Best Lighting Feature at the 2019 Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria’s Awards of Excellence. (The project also scooped the Best Residential Concrete Pool under $100,000 award.)

“We didn’t want a plain, vertical wall behind the pool as it can look a bit boring, so putting something geometric and three-dimensional there adds interest,” Mr Lascelles said.

The lights are maintenance-free LED panels instead of globes. “This was important to the client because getting to the light boxes is near impossible,” he added.

Into the blue

The bluestone tiles around the pool’s edge were chosen because they would be more robust than timber in that position.

“They are also Melbourne’s signature stone, and link in with the cobblestones in the laneway at the back of the garage,” Mr Lascelles said.

The vibrant ceramic pool tiles were selected because they make the pool look brilliant blue even without sunlight. And even on cooler days, the pool is the perfect temperature, thanks to solar and electric heating. With the project finished, Rose said the pool delivered everything they asked for.

“We love it. It’s been a great addition to our home,” she said. “It’s perfect for our family summers, it keeps us active and is great for entertaining. And we love that it’s so low maintenance, with everything from cleaning to lighting to filters being automated.”

Top tips

Thinking of putting in a pool? Here is some advice from Mr Lascelles on pool design:

• Bigger is not necessarily better – get the pool size right and work in proportion with the rest of the garden.

• Leave enough space between the pool and the fencing to ensure you can easily walk around the edges or sit and relax.

• Install gas or electric heating in addition to solar so you can use the pool for more months of the year.

• Think about the position of your pool, not only so you can see it from the house but also where the sun will hit it in the afternoon.

• Don’t try and cut costs by leaving out timesaving features like in-floor cleaning.

• Consider adding a spa to extend the use of the pool year round.

Read this article by Joanne Hawkins on

OFTB Terrace House 2 OFTB Terrace House 3 OFTB Terrace House 6 OFTB Terrace House 4

shutterstock 140089714 kids jumping into poolOn 1 December 2019, new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety came into effect in Victoria.

As of 1 December 2019, it is mandatory for owners of land where a swimming pool or spa is located, to register their pool or spa with their relevant council. In addition, owners are now required to obtain and lodge a compliance certificate for the safety of their pool or spa barrier every four years.

Owners will need to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to carry out an inspection and issue the compliance certificate.

Once a pool or spa is registered, the local council will notify owners of the due date for the first certificate of pool barrier compliance. Owners are required to arrange an inspection and lodge the certificate with their local council by the due date.

SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis, applauds the Andrews Government for bringing in this new legislation that will ensure the safety of all Victorians.

“Backyard pool and spa owners can now relax and enjoy the fantastic lifestyle that comes with pool and spa ownership, knowing that their wonderful asset will now be safer than ever. This legislation will help focus attention on a critical component of pools and spas. The regulations allow for a low-cost environment to deal with mandatory barrier inspections and we applaud the state government for a well thought out piece of legislation.” says SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis.

Registration of pools and spas

Victorian backyard pool and spa owners have until 1 June 2020 to register their pool or spa with their local council. The maximum fee that a council can charge is $31.84.

For pools and spas constructed prior to 1 June 2020 that have an unknown construction date, an information search fee may be charged, up to a maximum of $47.24.

Pools and spas constructed after 1 June 2020 must be registered within 30 days after issue of occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

Inspection and lodgement of certificate of barrier compliance for pools and spas

  • For pools and spas constructed on or before 30 June 1994, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2021
  • For pools and spas constructed between 1 July 1994 and 1 May 2010, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2022
  • For pools and spas constructed between 1 May 2010 and 31 May 2020, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2023

For pools and spas constructed on or after 1 June 2020, a certificate of barrier compliance is due within 30 days of occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection. This certificate must accompany an application for registration. The next certificate of compliance is due four years after registration.

Hefty fines will apply for pool and spa owners who do not register their pool or spa

The fee for lodging a certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance will be up to a maximum of $20.50, with certificates of compliance being required to be lodged once every four years.

Pool owners will have 60 days to bring their pools into compliance, if an inspector identifies any non-compliant safety concerns.

These new regulations also introduce a new class of registered building inspector: Building Inspector (Pool Safety). This new class of building inspector will be limited to carrying out inspections and associated functions for the purposes of the new regulations only.

The state government introduced this new scheme after numerous coronial investigations found that un-maintained and non-compliant pool barriers had contributed to the deaths of children in backyard pools.

The Victorian Coroner recommended strengthened pool safety laws after investigating several drowning cases.

“As the peak body of the swimming pool and spa industry in Victoria, SPASA Victoria is delighted that these new safety measures will increase the enjoyment of pool and spa ownership for all Victorians”, said SPASA Victoria CEO, Chris Samartzis.

For more information visit

SPASA Victoria Media Release - New Laws to Improve Swimming Pool and Spa Safety - 29 November 2019

Victorian Government Media Release - Keeping Kids Safe With New Pool Safety Regulations - 29 November 2019

For further information please contact:
Kathryn Barres – Marketing Communications Co-ordinator

Telephone: 03 8526 7799 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For Media Comment: Chris Samartzis, CEO SPASA Victoria – 0418 443 758

shutterstock 298334042 thumbs up girl with logoWhile swimming is most often associated with Summer, it's a physical activity that anyone can participate in at any time of the year.

As soon as the weather heats up, everyone starts looking around for the friend with the pool or swim spa. But how wonderful – and more convenient – would it be to have one of your own in your own backyard!

Swimming isn't just a fun way to cool off during the Summer. Swimming is one of the few activities that doesn't cost a lot of money or require expensive equipment – and it holds no age or ability barrier.

CEO of the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA Victoria) Chris Samartzis says, “Swimming pools and spas are wonderful additions to the lifestyle of every Australian home. Exercise - and the social capital provided by a pool or spa - are immeasurable. With the current childhood obesity epidemic, the health and fitness benefits of pool and spa ownership are undeniable.”

Here’s an article featuring 8 incredible health benefits of owning a pool

Swimming provides countless health benefits to pool and spa owners:

  • Increases Flexibility
  • Burns Calories
  • Helps You Quit Smoking
  • Improves Coordination and Posture
  • Improves Posture
  • Good for Anyone and Everyone
  • Total-Body Workout
  • Cardio Conditioning
  • Beats the Heat
  • Self-Esteem
  • Taller, Longer, Leaner Body
  • ​Weight Loss
  • Socialisation
  • Team and Individual Sport
  • Prevents Drowning
  • Improves Mental Health
  • Helps with Chronic Diseases, Post-Op, and as Physical Therapy
  • Relieves Stress
  • Boosts the Immune System
  • Family Oriented
  • Joints

Add Value to Your Property

Not only is swimming good for you and fun for the whole family, investing in a home pool or spa can add value to your property. Read the articles below to see why owning a pool or spa makes smart financial sense. So if you’re looking for a cheap, fun and healthy activity over Summer - or thinking about investing in a swimming pool or spa for your home – visit and remember – always choose a SPASA Victoria Member!

Visit SPASA Victoria’s webpage highlighting all the benefits of Pool & Spa ownership HERE

25 Fantastic Reasons to Own a Pool or Spa

A Swimming Pool - The Number One Way to Boost the Value of Your Home

A Place to Unwind: Understanding the Benefits Of Having A Swimming Pool

The Age & Herald Sun Promote the Value of Pools

Pools Add At Least $140,000 In Value to A House

Buy a Pool & Invest in Your Future

Pools – A Worthy Investment

SPASA Victoria Media Release - The Benefits of Pool & Spa Ownership - 15 October 2019

The PoolPools are a defining part of our national identity.

Evoking deep nostalgia and childhood memories, this two-part documentary takes a look at the Australian identity through the prism of the pool.

Narrated by Richard Roxburgh, this fantastic documentary includes interviews with Christos Tsiolkas, Myf Warhurst, Matthew Mitcham and Hannah and Eliza Reilly and follows the evolution of the swimming pool in Australia demonstrating how pools have been integral in crossing gender, religious and cultural divides that have brought communities together.

Watch both episodes on ABC's iView HERE

2019 city of melton 3A huge congratulations to SPASA Victoria members Melton Pools & Spas for winning Best Retail Business for the City of Melton!

Melton Pools & Spas are now back-to-back champions having won in 2018 and 2019 in this category.

Well done Serana, Tony & team!

2019 city of melton 2 2019 city of melton

Benefits of Having a Small Pool At Your HomeHave you ever thought about clever ways to improve your time at home? Have you ever thought to invest in a small swimming pool? Have you ever thought what might be the benefits of having one? Well, if so, then this is the place to be as we’re going to explain to you the benefits of having a small pool at your home.

Tons of Fun

The best thing about a pool, regardless of size, is that it offers you tons of fun. We’ve all wanted a pool as kids, and now we can have it. Thinking about it now, I still want the same things I did as a kid, and a pool is definitely one of those things.

Help Get You Into Shape

A small pool might not be ideal for getting you into shape, but it can certainly help you. Your pool can be the place where you do your exercising. Did you know that water exercises such as swimming helps work every muscle in your body? As a matter of fact, swimming is a type of activity that is most recommended if you want to address the issue of muscles. It’s the best activity for stamina, and it’s great for the mind as well. But did you know that you can also do your exercises inside the pool? This beats having to pay for gym fees, and you can dump into the water every time you feel like it.

Smaller Pool Means Less Maintenance

One of the biggest drawbacks to big pools is the fact that they require regular maintenance, which can be so boring and exhausting. The biggest benefit of having a small pool is the fact that it requires less maintenance and less work.

The question of flexibility is oftentimes subjective when it comes to pools. The first thing to note is that most small pools are made out of eighter vinyl or concrete, which are quite flexible materials. But in terms of quantity, larger pools have more options since they can also be made out of fiberglass. However, concrete and vinyl are better than fiberglass, so we have that one to remember.

The other thing to note is that a smaller pool requires less space and fewer materials to produce. This makes it ideal for you to choose different styles and shapes using the flexible materials of your choice. If you want to check more benefits click here.

It Might Be a Small Investment, But It’s an Investment None the Less

It’s definitely worth having a pool around, as it racks up the price of your property. Though it costs money, it definitely adds more to your overall property cost. Smaller pools require cost less money than bigger pools, and they add less value to your property than bigger pools. But the main thing to note here is that it still adds value regardless.

It Helps You Sleep Better

A benefit when it comes to your overall health, swimming pools are great for improving your sleep. If you ever feel stressed and cannot sleep, just hop in for a quick swim and you’ll be sleeping before you know it.

Read this article in full HERE

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