What makes an ideal pool? The answer will be different for everyone. But this is a question you must ask yourself when you decide to purchase a swimming pool. A pool is a large investment which will have to meet your needs for many years into the future, so choosing the right pool is absolutely essential.
Here are some handy tips on how to select the best pool for you, ensuring that you make an informed choice and invest in a pool which will continue to make you happy for years to come.
1. How will your pool be used?
People use their swimming pools in many different ways, so the right pool will depend on your usage needs. Those who are serious about their swimming will probably find that a lap pool offers the most advantages, as these long, narrow pools are designed to offer a clear corridor of water with no obstacles or design features to get in the way. This shape is ideal for swimming laps and improving your health and fitness.
Large swimming pools are usually the best pools for families. Your kids may be small now, but they will quickly grow, and your pool needs to offer enough space for all of you to swim together and enjoy quality time by playing games in the water. You also need to think ahead to when the kids become teenagers. This is the time when they are likely to want to invite their friends over for pool parties, so it makes sense to invest in a pool which can accommodate this, enabling all of you to enjoy the range of social benefits that a backyard swimming pool can bring.
However, if you intend to use your pool primarily for relaxation, the ideal pools are usually plunge or courtyard pools. These are designed in more compact sizes, so they offer less length and width, but the depth is increased. This way, you can completely immerse yourself in the peace of the water, enjoying total relaxation and rejuvenation in the comfort of your own backyard.
2. How will it fit into your backyard?
You need to look carefully at the size and shape of your backyard when choosing the right pool. If your outdoor space is particularly large, this is less of a concern, as any pool will fit into the space. However, you do have to ensure that the design of the pool suits the architecture of your home, and that it can be positioned so it looks beautiful from all angles, including when viewed through the windows from inside your home.
When working out how much space your pool will need, you must remember that it has to comply with safety regulations. Your pool must be fenced on all sides, with no direct access from your house. There also needs to be a “non-climbable zone” of at least 90mm on all sides, where no large objects such as garden furniture are placed, so children cannot use them to climb over the pool fence.
If your backyard slopes or is an awkward shape, you should think about choosing a pool which can safely be built partially or even fully above-ground. This means that you can still get the most usage out of your backyard space while still being able to enjoy a strong, safe swimming pool. Sloping sites also lend themselves well to infinity pools, so this is something you might want to consider. These luxurious pools have a “disappearing edge”, enabling you to enjoy beautiful views over your surroundings as you swim, and really lose yourself in the outdoor environment.
3. How much control do you want over the design?
The best pools are those which suit your tastes and blend well with the style of your home. Creating a cohesive look gives your entire property a more stylish and sophisticated effect which will appeal to home buyers and increase the value of your property. This is another factor to consider when deciding how to select the best pool.
If you have a complete vision in your head of how you want your finished pool to look, and it cannot be matched by any of the designs you have seen, you should probably choose a concrete pool. These can be created in any style you choose, so no matter how unusual your pool concept, there is a high chance that it can be accommodated by a good pool builder.
However, if you are not a designer and you would prefer to find a more generic solution which can easily be tailored to match your tastes, you would probably be more suited to a fibreglass pool. These are prefabricated solutions which are manufactured in a wide range of sizes and designs, so it is easy to find a style which suits your property. These can be customised with different pool colours and lighting options, so your pool will still have an element of originality.
4. What is your budget?
This is one of the most important things to consider when choosing the right pool. For a pool to be the best choice, you have to be able to afford it. This is why you need to sit down and work out a detailed budget before you take the project any further, as this will determine the pool options which are available to you.
At the cheapest end of the market you will find vinyl-liner pools. These can have very attractive price tags, but the reality is that the linings can easily be torn or damaged with regular use of the pool, so you can end up facing considerable bills for repairs. In addition, the lining will need to be completely replaced approximately every five years, at a cost which will add up to a significant amount over the lifetime of your pool.
Fibreglass pools sit in the middle of the market. Many pool owners consider these the best option, as they are affordable, yet still offer the strength and build quality of a concrete pool. Compass Pools, for example, make fibreglass pools with ceramic cores, so they are designed to withstand even the heaviest usage, as well as the demands of the climate and even extreme natural events such as earthquakes.
Concrete pools are the most expensive options. This is because they have to be built completely from scratch in your backyard, unlike vinyl-liner or fibreglass pools, which are prefabricated and then simply transported to your site. Due to the amount of work involved in creating a concrete pool, it can take weeks or months to build, so the labour costs are considerable. Concrete pools also need tiling or cladding once they are built, which adds extra time and cost to the project. However, concrete pools are extremely strong and durable, so your pool will be built to last a lifetime.
5. How much time can you spend on pool maintenance?
Swimming pools can be time-consuming to maintain. We are all looking for ideal pools which require very little maintenance, but the time you will have to spend caring for your pool depends on the type of pool you choose.
In many ways, vinyl-liner pools are the most high-maintenance, as the linings are not strong enough to withstand heavy use. This means you will have to learn to be adept at spotting wear and tear, and check it regularly if you want your pool to remain safe and healthy in the long term.
Concrete pools also require considerable maintenance. This is because concrete is a porous material, so it provides an ideal breeding ground for algae and bacteria. Because of this, you will have to ensure your pool is cleaned regularly and thoroughly to ensure it stays hygienic and safe to swim in. Additionally, concrete pools can require retiling or repainting once or more during their lifetimes, which is a significant job.
Fibreglass pools are the easiest to maintain. They have smooth, non-porous surfaces which are resistant to algae and bacteria, so they require less time and less chemicals to keep clean. This benefit is enhanced still further by technology like the Vantage self-cleaning system from Compass Pools, which drastically cuts down on the amount of time you will need to spend cleaning and maintaining your pool.
Find out more about ideal pools
If you are still having trouble deciding how to select the best pool, Compass Pools is happy to help. Our specialist team can provide you with all the advice you need, ensuring you can find the perfect pool for you. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.