The size and specification of your dream pool will affect the cost, therefore, this guide has been designed to outline the options available and to help you to decide on the type of pool appropriate to your own needs.
Position, shape and size
Ensure your chosen position will benefit from maximum exposure to sunlight. Avoid trees and other foliage which could overshadow the pool or shed leaves and other debris into it.
Don’t build the pool too far from your house – a lengthy cross garden trek can take the edge off the enjoyment of your own pool!
Plan for the future. Within your budget, go for the largest pool that is practical for you. Small children grow up remarkably quickly; their circle of friends increases, so they are likely to use the pool more often.
Pools are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, mainly dictated by budget and site considerations. Before making your final decision, take advice from an experienced and approved contractor or architect.
There are three basic methods of pool construction, each with its own merits:
- Hard finish. A strong, waterproof reinforced concrete shell finished with tiles, mosaic, marblite or special
- Liner finish. A tailor-made PVC liner provides the necessary waterproofing, avoiding the need for a heavy structural reinforced base. Correctly designed and installed, liners are crease and wrinkle free and are available in a range of different qualities and attractive finishes.
- Fibre Glass/Ceramic. A one-piece moulded swimming pool shell that is strong, durable and requires minimal maintenance.
Please note that customers also have the option of having an above ground pool, which may be more appropriate
to meet budget and garden size requirements. Not to be confused with the basic, low cost ‘splasher’ pools, a range of high quality above ground pools are available in
a range of shapes and sizes that will offer years of fun and enjoyment. Often supplied complete with their own filtration system, good quality above ground pools also have a choice of optional extras such as access ladders, covers and countercurrent swim systems to create a bigger feel to a smaller pool.
If this is a possibility for you, then make sure you ask about this option as well as the other in-ground pool types mentioned earlier.
Planning permission is unlikely to be required unless you opt for an enclosed pool, or live in a listed building or conservation area. But it would still be wise to seek advice from your local planning department just to make sure.
Site access is an important factor. Excavation machinery will need to get in and out, so it is never too early to think about landscaping, given the availability of excavated material.
Soil conditions may need specific treatment and changes of ground level and existing structures will all need to be taken into consideration.
All of these factors can play a significant part in the final cost of the project. Once again, expert advice should be sought as early as possible.
Covered or open pool?
A covered pool increases the amount of time you use the pool throughout the year as well as reducing heating and maintenance costs. However, a covered pool will also incur higher installation costs. Pool enclosures come in a wide variety of forms including telescopic versions which can be rolled back in fine weather, air domes, large ‘conservatories’ and even log cabins!
If you do decide on an open pool, you may want to consider enclosing it in the future and you should bear this in mind when positioning it in your garden.
Heating and Maintenance
The majority of pools are heated and, therefore, consideration should be given to the best heating method. Oil and gas boilers and electric heaters may be your first thought
but don’t forget other options such as heat pumps, heat exchangers and solar panels, which are more
environmentally friendly and can significantly reduce costs and your carbon footprint.
Heat-retaining covers should be used where possible, however, irregularly shaped pools can sometimes make this difficult. Covers also keep the surface free from debris, insects and leaves.
Modern pools are so reliable that, in general, if properly looked after the pool will only need to be emptied for major repair work. The trick to pool maintenance is ‘little and often’ with perhaps only 5-10 minutes per day with an additional 20-30 minutes each week in the summer. Off-season, a properly prepared pool may only need a monthly check.
Accessories and optional extras
You want your pool to be as comfortable and attractive as possible and there is an enormous selection of enhancements and labour-saving devices available on the market. These range from underwater lighting, automatic water top-up, countercurrent machines and automatic
cleaners to diving boards, slides, special deck finishes and poolside furniture. Research what is available and choose the accessories and extras which suit your lifestyle to help you make the best use of your investment.
A well planned and installed pool will give years of pleasure to you, your family and friends and bring great health and enjoyment. …Go on – take the plunge!