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D.I.Y. pool area makeover

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D.I.Y. pool area makeover

We are currently undergoing a major renovation of our 1915 Queenslander. Whilst we are busy trying to create liveable spaces, this summer we prioritised the pool area so our 3 kids could enjoy it over the hot months in QLD. 


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We aimed to install a new fence along the back wall, extend the exterior wood fence along the side and build a gate, add landscaping and paint the house which surrounds the pool, which is part of the new extension.


I’m delighted to say we have finally finished and am happy to share with the community.


Here’s a before Picture


Side Fence Project: Extending the original wooden fence


To remain budget-friendly we kept the original fence to the side of the pool, it was looking a little ordinary but was in good condition. To ensure compliance we needed to extend the fence and add a return from the new fence to the house. 


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Fence Extension


The original wooden fence was joined with chainlink fence. 

We ran a string line to ensure the new fence was inline with the existing fence and bolted the new timber posts to the existing chainlink fence posts, as these had been concreted in place previously.

We installed 3 fence rails overlapping the existing wooden post.

We set the stringline on the top of the fence pickets to ensure they remain at the same height of the existing fence.

Installed the fence pickets using a coil nailer with galvanised ring shank nails (2 nails at each rail - each picket had 6 nails), raising each picket to touch the string line, using a level at the side of each picket to ensure its straight.



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As we recently raised our house we kept a lot of the backfill that was taken out prior to the new slab going down. We knew we would need it, and we have a few gardens to backfill.  You can also add a listing on the marketplace looking for free backfill or search listings. Many pool companies and builders need to remove the backfill, and we have had loads for free using this method. You just need to ensure it’s clean.


Designing the garden


We have a 10m x 1.2m that gets full sun for most of the day. We wanted to add a low maintenance garden that didn’t shed into the pool (we have enough cleaning with 3 kids and 3 dogs).  Privacy was also paramount as our neighbour's deck overlooks our pool area. For that reason we chose Heliconia RAULINIANA, they grow up to 4.5m tall and thicken at the base without taking over.  To stick to our budget we chose to purchase young Heliconia’s, the more mature (and larger) they are, the higher they are in price so we saved a lot of money by deciding to be patient and letting them grow.


Due to the size they will grow they needed to be spaced min 1.5m apart and approx .75m from the fence. Usually I’m a relatively haphazard planter but as the area is a focal point I wanted to be precise to avoid any gaps.


After mapping out the garden and dividing the space, we could space them 1.6m apart to ensure consistency across the garden. Using a tape measure I measured from centre to centre of the heliconias and measured from the tile to the centre of the plant to ensure it was centre of the garden. (I chose not to measure from the fence in case there was a variation.


I then planted the Cordylines slightly in front and centre of the line of heliconias, to allow the heliconias more space to grow and add a pop of colour. 


Irrigation & Mulch


Although I love to garden, I have a relatively brown thumb, so I need to add irrigation to keep the garden alive. We used a soaker hose and ran it the length of the garden; one end connects to the garden hose, it’s a straightforward system. The soaker hose holes are on one side of the hose so we used landscaping pegs to secure the hose in place with the holes facing down.



We added hardwood mulch over the garden to finish it off.

Back fence install a Stratco Fence




For privacy and consistency we installed a Colorbond fence along the backwall.


It ended up taking a few days to measure and build the frames. The frame came unassembled and in standard lengths, each post was cut to length using a grinder.


We built the frames on the ground, then carried them over and installed them. We used shark fin base over the pool tile; these needed to be drilled in place. The posts outside of the pool area were concreted into place. 

Once the frames were in place it was smooth sailing and the fencing sheets were slotted into place and the cap readjusted.




The final step in this pool area makeover was paint. Initially we couldn’t decide what colour to paint the house, the top floor, the original Queenslander we had decided to paint vivid White and we could have played it safe and painted the whole house white to make it look and feel larger however I wanted the ground floor to effectively disappear allowing the Queenlander to take centre stage so ultimately chose to paint the ground floor Dulux Weathershield Night Sky, low sheen.  We painted the fence, the facia and gutters the same colour.


Sorry for the long update, we had a DIY list the length of our arms for this one area. This is the first area in the house that’s is now finished, we can’t wait to get back inside and get our kids rooms renovated.


Happy renovating






Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: DIY Pool Area Makeover

A-ma-zing work @Renowayoflife! You must be thrilled with the results as they're sensational.


Love the colour choice on the lower half of the house as well as the rest of the work you've completed.


Many thanks for sharing, as I trust your project will be of great inspiration to our members.


Well done!




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Re: DIY Pool Area Makeover

Thank you so much @MitchellMc 


The weather is really hot at the moment so we are so glad we finished in time to enjoy. 


Thanks Claire

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Re: DIY pool area makeover

Such a fantastic transformation @Renowayoflife!


You have done such a wonderful job creating an inviting pool space that is zen with your home. I love what you did with your garden space and how you thoughtfully mapped it out, it is going to be so gorgeous when your plants mature. 


Looking forward to seeing your kids rooms!




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Re: DIY pool area makeover

Thanks @KatieC 


I appreciate you saying so. We are loving it! After living in a renovation - that's still incomplete for nearly 2 years it's so nice to have one space finished, yu can relax and enjoy it and dream up new projects rather than stare at an old fence 😂


We start work on the kids room tomorrow but I think it will be stop start for a little while

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