Renovations & Upgrades

Adding new features to your swimming pool: spas, water features, slides and more

Is your swimming pool yearning for a touch of excitement? Adding new features such as spas, water features, and a waterslide for pool can transform your backyard pool into a true oasis. Let's explore a variety of options to elevate your pool environment and provide tips for selecting the perfect additions.
Adding new features to your swimming pool in Australia

Short Summary

  • Spas and hot tubs come in various types, materials & sizes to suit any pool.
  • Adding a water feature or waterslide requires considering factors such as size, shape, type & safety before making the decision.
  • Alternatives for smaller pools include waterfalls, fountains and inflatable slides.

Types of spas & hot tubs

Spas and hot tubs offer a luxurious way to unwind after a long day or entertain guests in your backyard. They come in a range of types, materials, and sizes to suit your pool environment. From indoor spa baths and outdoor portable spas to in-ground hot tubs, there's an option for every taste and budget. But before you dive into adding a spa to your pool area, it's crucial to assess your pool mechanics, drainage, filtration, and pump system to ensure compatibility.

In addition to traditional spas and hot tubs, you might consider a "spool" – a compact swimming pool and spa combination that can enhance your pool environment and provide a unique experience.

Adding a spillover spa adjacent to your pool

A spillover spa is a raised spa with an edge that cascades into the deep end of a pool, creating a visually pleasing waterfall effect and a shallow surface for swimmers to relax and cool off. The spa spillway and dam wall design can be customised to match your pool's overall design, such as a single large spillway, multiple mid-size spillways, or a series of small notched or channel-style openings like a sheer descent waterfall.

A spillover spa adds a subtle water-feature effect, adding a touch of luxury to your pool area.

Adding an ingroud spa adjacent to your pool

An inground spa is a type of hot tub that is installed in the ground, typically in close proximity to a pool. When considering adding an inground spa to your pool area, it's important to enlist the services of a qualified pool contractor with experience in installing spas.

The expense of augmenting your current pool with a spa can range from $15 to $50K, and while the benefits include enhanced relaxation and entertainment options, it's important to weigh the potential drawbacks of heightened maintenance costs and safety risks.

Adding an above ground hot tub to your pool area

Adding an above-ground hot tub to your pool area is another option to consider. It's essential to take into account the available space, as well as ensuring the hot tub is correctly installed and all electrical components are compliant with relevant standards.

A concrete surface is an ideal base for a hot tub, and installing a pergola with a pergola roof and some trailing vines can create an "outdoor room" effect, elevating the look of the hot tub and the surrounding pool decking. Adding a rain curtain feature can further enhance the ambiance of this outdoor space.

Pro's and con's of adding a spa

While adding a spa to your pool area can provide relaxation, therapeutic benefits, and potentially increase property value, it's important to be mindful of the disadvantages, such as the expense of installation and upkeep.

Weighing the pros and cons of adding a spa will help you make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget.

Types of water features

Water features can add visual interest, soothing sounds, and a touch of excitement to your pool environment. From waterfalls and deck jets to scuppers and pool water bowls, there are a variety of water features available to enhance your backyard pool. Before selecting a water feature, it's important to consider factors such as size, shape, cost, materials, and flow to ensure it will fit into the overall design of the pool and complement its other features.

Incorporating a water feature into your pool offers aesthetic appeal and interest to the landscape, provides an area for guests to refresh themselves, and helps to keep swimmers cool during warm weather. Additionally, it can create a water-on-water experience that serves as a focal point and invites one to experience its atmosphere. With these pool features, your backyard oasis will be both functional and visually stunning.

Adding a water feature to an existing pool

Incorporating a water feature into an existing pool involves adding a decorative or functional element to the pool, such as a waterfall, fountain, or slide. A variety of water features can be added, such as raised spas, plaques with decorative sconces, bubbler fountains, LED illuminated laminars, rock formations with waterfalls and gusher fountains, and more.

Considerations before adding a water feature to your pool

Before selecting a water feature for your pool, it's important to familiarise yourself with the various types of features and consult with a pool designer or builder to ensure compatibility and complementarity with the overall pool design. Additionally, consider the size and material of the feature, the age range of users, and the amount of space available.

Don't forget to review the local government safety codes and regulations.

Pro's and Cons of adding a water feature

Incorporating a water feature into your existing pool can improve its aesthetic appeal and potentially raise its property value. However, adding a water feature could also necessitate additional upkeep and amplify operational expenses.

Types of pool waterslides

For those seeking a fun and exciting addition to their pool, waterslides offer endless enjoyment for both kids and adults. There are a variety of waterslides available, including straight, curved, and spiral slides, as well as kid-friendly slides and custom slides made with pool tiles.

A well-chosen waterslide can serve as a focal point and provide hours of entertainment during the warm summer months.

Safety considerations for pool waterslides

Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to pool waterslides. Ensuring that the slide is installed properly and meets local government safety standards is essential to providing a secure and enjoyable experience for all users. It is important to inspect the slide regularly to ensure that it is in good condition and that all safety features are functioning properly.

Weight limits

When selecting a pool waterslide, it's important to consider the weight limits. Most pool slides have a maximum weight capacity of 124kg, which should be taken into account when choosing a slide suitable for all users. For example, both the Typhoon Water Slide and the Turbo Twister Slide have a maximum weight capacity of 124kg.

Proper installation

Proper installation of a pool waterslide is essential for safety and longevity. It's important to read the manufacturer's instructions in full, verify the slide overhang and water depth required for a safe slide.

Customising your pool waterslide

Personalizing your pool waterslide can create a unique look that complements your pool environment and reflects your individual style. Customisation options include colours, lighting, and landscaping elements, allowing you to create a waterslide that truly stands out.


Choosing the right colour for your pool waterslide is an important aspect of customization. Common colours for pool waterslides include blue, green, red, orange and white.

Select a color that harmonizes with the hues of your pool lining, or opt for neutral colors like grey or brown to blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment.


Adding lighting to your pool waterslide can enhance its visual appeal at night. Flush-mounted LED underwater pool lights are a popular option for pool waterslides. LED lights offer waterproof, energy-efficient illumination with a long lifespan.

Consider factors such as the size of the pool, desired type of lighting, and budget when selecting the perfect lighting option for your waterslide.

Landscaping elements

Incorporating landscaping elements around your pool waterslide can create a visually appealing transition between the slide and its environment. Rocks, boulders, and waterfalls are excellent options for crafting a natural, picturesque look that enhances your pool area.

Other elements, such as large rocks and water features, can make the pool more inviting and visually stimulating.

DIY pool waterslides: pros and cons

If you're considering installing a DIY pool waterslide, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before taking on the project. While constructing a DIY pool waterslide can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a pre-made one, it's not a simple DIY job.

Be sure to follow safety guidelines and take into account factors such as the size of the pool, the age and size of users, and the available space when planning a DIY pool waterslide.

Tips for choosing the perfect pool waterslide

When selecting the perfect pool waterslide, consider factors such as local safety codes and regulations, the size and material of the slide, the age range of users, and the amount of space available. Ensuring that the slide is secure and does not impede movement around the pool deck is also crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Consult with a pool professional to find the ideal waterslide that meets your needs and complements your pool environment.

Waterslide alternatives for smaller pools

For those with smaller pools, there are still plenty of options to add fun and excitement to your pool area. Alternatives such as waterfalls, fountains, jets, and inflatable water slides can provide hours of entertainment for both kids and adults without requiring the space of a traditional waterslide.Consider these alternatives to create a unique and enjoyable pool experience in your own backyard.


In conclusion, adding new features like spas, water features, and waterslides can significantly enhance your pool environment, providing relaxation, excitement, and enjoyment for the whole family. By considering factors such as size, shape, budget, and safety, you can create the perfect backyard oasis suited to your individual needs and preferences. So why wait? Dive into the world of pool add-ons and transform your backyard pool into a true paradise.

Frequently asked questions

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What is the most popular type of pool?
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The split between fibreglass and concrete pools in terms of numbers and popularity is very close - there is no clear winner. In some areas of Australia concrete pools are more popular and in others, fibreglass are more popular.

What colour options are available for pools?
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Swimming pool interior colour options are vast. Ranging from white through to black, with many shades of blue, grey and green, pools come in loads of colours. Each manufacturer (whether fibreglass or pebble or tiles) has a different range of colour options to choose from. 

The interior colour of your pool impacts both the perceived water colour of your pool and mood of your pool and pool zone.

What are the most popular pool types?
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The most popular pools in Australia are:

  • concrete pools - each one is custom made, giving the homeowner the ability to have exactly what they want in terms of style, colour, size, shape and depth,
  • fibreglass pools - with a wide range of sizes and shapes to pick from, fibreglass pools are generally a faster install option for those looking to swim sooner,
  • plunge pools - for those with limited space, or who only want to relax (instead of swimming), plunge pools are a fantastic option. They can be made from precast concrete, custom concrete or fibreglass.
  • shipping container pools - for properties on a steep slope, shipping container pools offer a wonderful solution. Only needing a stable footing, they can be perched high above the ground to suit a house on a steep slope.
Are waterfalls good for pools?
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Overall, waterfalls can be beneficial for pools since they help discourage algae growth and aid in circulating the pool's water. Additionally, it adds a visually pleasing element to the pool, making it a great choice for those who want both aesthetic appeal and increased hygiene.

How much depth needed for pool slide?
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Pool slides need to be installed over water that is at least 1 metre deep, however deeper water will help prevent injuries, so try to install your new slide into the deep end of your pool.

What makes a pool slide slippery?
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The combination of a smooth surface and sufficient water running on the slide is what makes it slippery and enjoyable. Smooth pool slides are engineered with this in mind, usually made of fibreglass, polished metal, or even acrylic. Water flowing along the length of the slide helps keep it slick as people slide down.

Can you add a water slide to an existing pool?
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Yes, you can add a water slide to an existing pool by using the services of an experienced pool builder. As long as your pool is structurally sound, they can safely install the new slide and connect it to a water source. Make sure to have a plan for installation ready and have sufficient space for the slide.

What is the slide in a pool called?
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The slide in a pool is commonly referred to as a flume or runway, making for an exhilarating and fun way to cool off on a hot day.

Slides are a great way to add excitement to a pool, and they can be enjoyed by people of all ages. They provide a thrilling ride that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Can I light up any type of pool?
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In short, yes. Most pool builders will include some basic pool lighting when installing a new pool. Some of the most impressive pool lighting we've seen is in non-standard pools - think infinity pool, lap pool, spa and more. A rain curtain designed into an infinity pool is incredibly effective and is the perfect way to create a feature in your house.

Are LED pool lights brighter?
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Yes, LED pool lights are generally brighter than halogen and incandescent pool lights. LEDs emit light of a more even and intense brightness, creating a clear, crisp illumination.

LEDs also feature adjustable colour temperatures to enhance your nighttime swimming experience.

What is the best light for a pool?
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The best light for a pool is LED lighting. It is energy-efficient and provides the same bright effects as halogen lights, while being more cost-effective. LED lights are durable and can provide a beautiful underwater light show. With a remote control you can easily change the colours to match any mood or occasion.

With LED lighting, you can enjoy the bright and true colour of your swimming pool at any time of day or night.

What is the difference between a concrete, shotcrete and gunite?
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In short, all are a form of concrete and are quite similar. Concrete is a mix of water, cement, sand and coarse aggregates, normally gravel or stone. The cement binds the sand and aggregate together which hardens to form concrete.

Gunite differs from concrete in two main ways. Firstly, unlike concrete which uses large and small aggregates, gunite only uses small particles. The other difference is in how it is mixed. The concrete for swimming pools typically comes pre-mixed and needs to be applied in one go to avoid weak points, whereas a dry mix of gunite is fired through a howe with the water being added at the point of delivery. Unlike a concrete pool, this means you can stop and start when using gunite without any issues. Due to this difference in technique and the smaller particles, gunite also offers a smoother finish and is less prone to cracking than concrete.

Shotcrete is pretty much the same thing as concrete (it comes ready mixed), but instead of being poured when it is applied, it is fired out of a hose at high speed - hence the name!

What is the best pool shape for a small backyard?
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For small backyards, you the best choices are either a plunge pool (which are typically round, square or rectangular), or a freeform pool. Plunge pools can be prefabricated and installed quickly or custom build. Freeform pools, with curves and irregular shapes, can be tailored to the exact size and shape of the space available, however must be custom build on site. Freeform pools also provide more room for the addition of patio furniture, decks, and landscaping to make it look even more inviting.

Adding these features can create a beautiful and inviting outdoor space that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

What is the best shape pool to get?
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For the best shape pool, opt for a classic rectangular design. It offers a sleek and modern look that provides plenty of space to swim laps or enjoy other water exercises. Sticking with a rectangular shape pool also gives you the most options when it comes to pool types - you now have the option of both concrete and a fibreglass pool. Whereas if you go with a freeform pool or L-shaped pool, or any other shape that is less common, you will be limited to a concrete pool.

What is the cheapest swimming pool to build?
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The cheapest swimming pool to build is an above ground vinyl-liner pool. These pools are affordable and can be great for those with tight budgets who are looking to enjoy more leisure time.

Although they require a liner change approximately every 10 years, these pools offer great value for money.

Adding new features to your swimming pool: spas, water features, slides and more

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