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Your own Mallorca swimming pool – asking the expertsNovember 13, 2018

Having the perfect Mallorca swimming pool for your home is all part of living the island dream. But there are plenty of factors to take into consideration when it comes to designing and building the right pool. So where do you start?

I began with my friend Arianna Lucarella, co-founder of G4Deco, a multidisciplinary firm of architects, designers and landscape designers. G4Deco designs and builds Mallorca swimming pools or collaborates in their creation as part of a team.

Arianna of G4Deco

If you’re fully in control of a Mallorca swimming pool project, where do you start, Arianna?

We make a full study. If a project is viable, we apply for planning permission – preparing plans, drawings and drafts to agree on the principal aspects of a project. We submit these to the town hall and obtain the necessary permission.

The drawings and 3D representations we prepare for our clients are highly detailed and include descriptions of the materials we’ll use. This is a vital part of the presentation for our client and the team. It shows the future of the project, covering every aspect, including engineering, lighting and so on. We profile every partner involved and all the relevant budgets.

Once the project is underway, we manage and supervise the construction until it’s completed to our client’s satisfaction.

Who do you design and build swimming pools for?

Mostly families in single occupancy houses.

What are the biggest challenges when it comes to creating a perfect Mallorca swimming pool?

To execute the project flawlessly and achieve the vision we had for our client, I’d say. Sustainability is also hard to achieve but we do everything we can to build sustainable pools.

Is it harder to build a pool in places like Deià in the mountains than it is in other parts of the island?

It’s more wonderful than anywhere else! ‘A pool in Deià’ sounds fantastic right away. Building a swimming pool anywhere shouldn’t be seen as ‘harder’, just more interesting. We’ll need to plan logistics and cost impact because of a mountain location so we can be honest about how long the work is going to take and any unusual costs.

Do you handle obtaining the necessary permissions for building a Mallorca swimming pool? What are they?

We do handle planning permissions and legal requirements, yes. These are the licenses you need to make sure your Mallorca swimming pool is legal and can be included in the deeds of the property. There’s the ‘plan territorial’ – the land ordinance plan for Mallorca – and each town hall has its own restrictions. Any project must be presented at the town hall to make sure it’s compliant and only realistic projects will be accepted for evaluation.

In general, and simplifying, a pool surface counts the same as an occupied house. So, if the total amount of space allowed for your home and garden is, let’s say, 150 square metres, this must be shared between the house and the pool.

You also have to take into account whether you have a terrace or not. Swimming pools and houses have the same occupancy value – one unit equals one metre. Because they’re a flat surface, terraces count as half a unit. So, if you want to build a 50 square metre terrace you have to make sure your license allows you to build 25 square metre.

So, if your occupancy allowance license is for 150 square metres, let’s say, you could divide this into 100 square metres for the house and 40 for the swimming pool. The remaining 10 square metres will enable you to build a 20 square metre terrace.

If a house has already been built, we check how many metres are left to be built on or if maximum occupancy has been reached. Long, narrow, rectangular urban pools may be subject to other regulations.

Pool by G4Deco

What are the essential things people need to know about obtaining permission?

Assuming the project we present adheres to the regulations, it can take up to a year to obtain permission. This can sometimes be less if the town hall doesn’t demand further changes or more details about one aspect of the project.

You pay a percentage of the total cost of the project to the town hall, which can be up to 6%. This has to be handled by an architect or architectural studio.

How about changing an existing pool?

If it’s done properly, once permission is granted it’s forever. You can build more comfortable steps, change the tiles, add a swimming training device like a swim jet or build more comfortable steps. But if you want to change the swimming pool lights, minor planning permission is needed and it’s fairly easy. As with the license, you pay a percentage of the total  budget at the town hall. Everything that does not involve changing proportions requires minor planing permission.

What should people look for in a Mallorca swimming pool designer and builder?

Good, realistic views, 2D renders and 3D that clearly shows the expected visual impact of the beloved swimming pool. An explanation of the engineering and mechanical aspects. Information about the systems that will be used and how they’ll be maintained. Flawless execution.

Would you recommend turning an existing water tank into a pool?

Of course. If it’s suitable and the transformation is feasible.

What are the key things to remember about maintenance?

A brief visual inspection of the machine room should tell you if there’s an issue in the systems, filters, regulators, water pH and other essential elements. In winter, you may want to think about reducing the hours the pumps are working to save energy and use covers to stop water evaporating.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Have a swimming pool in Mallorca? You, the family and your friends are blessed!

If you’d like to talk Mallorca swimming pools with Arianna, email arianna@g4deco.com.

The Charles Marlow view on pools in Deià and on the West Coast

After I’d spoken to Arianna about Mallorca swimming pools in general, I was keen to have an insight into the situation in and around Deià.

This pool is spectacular. It is separated from the house and is accessed by a rustic woodland pathway. The pool overlook the entire valley of Fornalutx and Soller. A piece of sublime luxury in the middle of nature. This villa isn’t listed online – get in touch for more information. It has 7 bedrooms, and the price is €6,500,000.

According to partner and Head of Sales at Charles Marlow, Charlie Hill, ‘A swimming pool is a must-have for most buyers coming to the area. But, due to restrictions, obtaining a license to build one is not straightforward. The majority of homes in rustic or highly-protected areas like ours can no longer get a swimming pool license. So, it makes sense to buy a home with an existing swimming pool. Having said that, don’t be put off by restrictions. Just make sure you speak to an expert.’

Maria Garde, West Coast Sales Director for Charles Marlow, adds ‘The homes on this coastline are all unique and, if they do have a pool, it’s usually special in its own way.’

Casa Nama pool, Deia, Charles Marlow & Bros.
What some pools don’t have in size they have in slick design. Such as Casa Nama’s pool which appears to have the terrace floating over the water surface. Click the image to see more pictures of this rental villa, in the heart of Deia village.

When it comes to rentals, Nikol Vlkova, Charles Marlow’s West Coast Rentals Manager, is quick to point out that ‘A pool is essential for 95% of her clients – especially families with children. Clients with children will look for bigger pools. It’s rare to find a home in Deià itself with a large pool but there are exceptions like Sa Tanca. We have a good selection of homes outside the village with decent-sized pools. Even if a home doesn’t have an especially large pool, it can be beautifully designed, which is the case with Casa Nama. Sometimes the type of water is important. For instance, some people prefer salt water pool. Out of season, a heated pool can be a deciding factor.’

If you’d like to know more about our selection of homes with pools, contact Maria. Should you want to rent a home with a pool, please get in touch with Nikol. Email Maria and Nikol at hello@charlesmarlow.com or call 0034 971 636 427.


This article does not constitute legal advice and is intended as a basic guide and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for taking professional legal advice suited to your particular circumstances. We recommend always consulting a professional for guidance before taking action – you can contact us here, and we can put you in touch with an expert from our network.

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