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During a hot, humid summer, nothing is as refreshing as a mediterranean swimming pool. Although it might be seen as a luxury, swimming pools serve many functions and are therefore often worth the splurge. Besides being a nice place to cool off, a spa with a colorful backsplash or water feature can add much-needed visual interest to your yard. In your location, it might also be a solid investment. In places with hot summers and mild winters, backyard pools are a buyer requirement, so installing one can help your home sell faster and for a higher market value. More 
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The dream for this family was somehow fitting a custom pool, spa, fireplace, larger patio areas, an outdoor kitchen, a large serving bar, formal gardens, and also some grass for the kids to play on all in a very small back yard! It was a challenge but all was accomplished with beautiful results. In fact, this project is featured in the 2009 Fall issue of Luxury Pools Magazine
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As you get ready to start your in-ground swimming pool and spa remodel, map out your space and determine what size, shape and style works best for you. Next, talk with a specialist about what material is best in your particular situation. Finally, think about other small accessories, like a diving board, slide or cabana, that can add interest and entertainment to your space.

What type of swimming pool should I install?


More than anything else, your backyard size and overall weather will dictate what kind of in-ground swimming pool you can and should install. If you live somewhere that is warm only four months out of the year, an outdoor pool might not be worth the splurge — though an indoor one might. A hot tub or spa might also be a better option, since you'll get more use out of it if cold weather is more frequent. If you don't have enough money or space for the traditional unit, try an above ground alternative instead. You can still swim away your summer months without making such a big commitment. If you have your heart set on an in-ground, consider your yard needs before taking the plunge. It takes up space, so determine a good yard-to-pool ratio that works for your family.

What material should I use for my spa?


The quality of your materials can easily dictate the life of your outdoor pool and spa. Although vinyl is often the cheapest option, it also is the least durable, so it will need to be replaced frequently. Concrete and fiberglass are popular, sturdy options, while metal above ground units last longer than plastic ones. To liven up a blah space, consider adding a colorful mosaic tile border or an interesting stone water feature. You can even incorporate it seamlessly into your landscape design by using natural-looking materials, or opt for a contemporary infinity edge. Regardless of what you do, the short-term costs shouldn't be your only consideration; consider long-term maintenance and repair costs as well.

What swimming pool accessories do I need?


Even though swimming pools are naturally fun, there are many ways to magnify that fun factor. Install a diving board, slide and small waterfall to make swimming more enjoyable, or add pool floats and loungers for upped relaxation. A cabana can help with entertaining during parties, while an outdoor shower and changing station come in handy once you're ready to head indoors. Be sure there are plenty of umbrellas and chaise lounges on hand too, so you can sit outside and enjoy the nice weather.
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