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Elderton Homes Blog

Pools, Pets and Paint: Tips for First Time Home Builders

Pools, Pets and Paint. For many first-time home builders, they are questions grappled with throughout the design process. Designing a home that balances the needs of your family (even the furry ones), captures your individual style through colour, or nurtures an outdoor lifestyle through the addition of a pool can be a tricky juggling act.

Here are some practical tips for first time home builders wondering how to plan for their pets, choose their colours and take the plunge into adding a pool:


Jumping in the backyard pool for a quick dip on a hot summer day has become a quintessentially Australian pastime. Many home builders want to include pools in their current or future building plans. While many homes can accommodate pools, it’s important to plan ahead if you want to include a pool on your lot.

Make sure your lot size has enough room to fit a pool and its associated infrastructure, without sacrificing other features you might want such as lawns, landscaped gardens or an entertaining area.

Installing a pool is a big project requiring a large piece of your backyard. Make sure you can install the pool without affecting services to your home such as plumbing, gas and electricity. Also, it’s important that the associated machinery has adequate access to the construction site.

All pools must have fencing that meets strict height and space requirements (yes, even if you don’t have kids) and you can face hefty fines for non-compliance. Visit the Department of Fair Trading website for more information about pool fencing.

All pools and spas in NSW must also be registered with the Swimming Pool Register, which offers guidelines on pool installation around the State.


It’s often said that pets complete a family, and it’s a sentiment that Australians have embraced. In 2016 alone it was estimated that there were more than 24 million pets in Australia, with around 5.7 million of Australia’s 9.2 million households home to a pet1.

Australians love pets, and if you’re building a home for your furry, feathered (or scaly) friend, then here are a few design tips you should consider.

Easy Clean Floors

Shedding coats and muddy paw prints are part and parcel or pet ownership. When it comes time to choose your flooring options, existing or prospective pet owners can do themselves a huge favour by choosing easy to clean options such as tiles or floorboards.

Containment and Storage

Owning a pet often means finding room for pet food, toys and other accessories. When working with your builder to design your home, set aside a bit of extra storage space for your pet’s essential items.


Some dogs love them, others hate them — but bath time is something that all dog owners must confront. Some home builders opt for deeper baths to make bathing a little easier, while others add warm water outlets in the backyard so they can bathe their dogs outside.


This one is especially important for cat owners who can all attest that litter trays can be occasionally be on-the-nose. If that’s you, then make sure the place you keep your litter tray (typically the laundry) has plenty of ventilation.


Anyone who owns a dog knows that they have a special talent for turning a casual stroll into a gauntlet of mud, puddles and dirt. While watching your dog explore the great outdoors is one of the great joys of pet ownership, it can be more troublesome when you get home to clean floors and pristine furniture. If you can relate, think carefully about access options to your home: rear and backyard entry may be a necessity!


If your pet is of the feathered variety, make sure you have a designated space for their enclosures, far away from airborne toxins and chemicals that can be potentially lethal.

Colour Schemes


Choosing colours for your home is one of the most exciting parts of the building process. It’s where you get to showcase some creative flair, and create a sense of mood and atmosphere to your home. Bright and bold colours are great for features, while neutral tones are calming and timeless.

Any colour scheme you choose should complement the light and space of your room. Check that your builder allocates time with an experienced Colour Consultant or Interior Designer who can help you to decide on themes and offer a second opinion.


Exterior colour schemes need to be finalised prior to lodgement as some estates require developer approval before lodgement. Basix could be affected by your choice of colour, which needs to be finalised before lodgement.

Some estates restrict the colour options you can choose from and may set a particular colour scheme as part of the estate design guidelines. If you have specific colour themes in mind (external colours) it may be best to check with the land owner for any guidelines you need to adhere to.

Tough Decisions Made Easy

Download our free guide The Ultimate First Home Builder Checklist, covering everything you need to know about building your dream home, from planning for your pets to selecting colour schemes.


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