There’s no greater luxury than a backyard pool on a warm summer day. Whether you’re thinking above ground or inground pool, a variety of styles, sizes and finishes are available to fit your functional and aesthetic needs.
Should you choose an inground or above ground pool? This boils down to whether you want the permanence of an inground pool or the more temporary aspect of an above ground pool. Cost is also a consideration: inground pools are more expensive than above ground.
If you’re thinking inground, what type of design should you consider? Consider how you and your family will be using the pool to answer this question. Will it be used to swim laps and practice diving? Think about a rectangular pool with traditional deep and shallow ends. Is it going to be a spot for the kids to splash away the summer? Keep both ends more shallow and create an L-shaped design so the adults have a safe haven if they choose to jump in.
What types of inground pools are available? In general, you can choose from aluminum, concrete, fiberglass or vinyl-liner inground pools. Read on to learn about each. • Aluminum: These tend to be one of the least expensive options, and in this case, price does equate quality. Aluminum pools will be kinder on the pocketbook, but probably will not last for long. • Concrete: The most common type of inground pool, concrete pools can be custom-built to virtually unlimited shapes, sizes and designs, and the interior can be finished with anything from plaster to pebbles. They’re resistant to high temperature and function well in areas with expansive soil. Constructed in stages, it can take anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks for a concrete pool to be completed. • Fiberglass: Fiberglass pools are factory-manufactured and installed in one piece after the yard has been excavated; the entire installation process takes about two weeks. Fiberglass pools are generally easier to maintain than concrete and have a shock-absorbing quality that may be beneficial for earthquake-prone areas. Though they are more expensive, they require fewer chemicals and don’t need to be replastered so they may save you money in the long run. • Vinyl liner inground pools: Constructed in about one to three weeks, vinyl-lined inground pools are installed with a custom made sheet of vinyl between the water and pool structure. These work well in areas with colder climates as they can be easily winterized, although you need to be careful of the liner coming out of the track or leaking.
If you’re thinking above ground pool, what are the pros and cons? First and foremost, the fact that above ground pools are cheaper and temporary can be very beneficial for some. This means they’re portable, so you can move them around depending on sunlight, or even take it along to the next house if you move. They’re easy to install, come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can even work in small backyards.
What functional accessories should you consider? Covers, filters, heaters and cleaners are all helpful accessories you may want to purchase for your pool. Covers help to maintain safety, reduce debris and retain heat, while filters help keep the water purified. Heaters let you enjoy the pool year-round in milder climates, and cleaners will help keep the pool spic and span.
What decorative elements might jazz up your pool? Make the most of your design scheme with some extra elements to add a wow factor. Add a simple fountain for a soothing trickle, or a waterfall reminiscent of someplace tropical. Install fiber optic lighting to give the pool a dramatic night-time appeal, or if your backyard comes with a view, enhance it with a negative edge that fades right into the horizon. A slide leading into the pool can also add an extra dose of fun for your family and friends.
How can you ensure safety at your pool? This is of serious consideration if you have small children who will be near the pool. Purchase a certified safety cover, and consider placing a fence around the pool with child-proof latches. There are even pool alarms which you can attach to gates or put within the pool themselves that detect movement.
Get an idea of what’s right for you by browsing our wide selection of pools, ranging from the luxurious to the everyday.