Swimming pools: A splashing addition

By at home

swimming pool_indoor_23_10_12What could be better than a lavish pool in the stretches of your back garden, or an indoor sanctuary for use year-round?

Pools provide a great opportunity to relax as well as exercise, so it’s important to pick one that suits your lifestyle as well as your design preferences – whether indoors or outside in your garden.

Do you want to swim laps to challenge our Olympians, or are you looking for somewhere to take a leisurely dip with friends and family? Will you have children in the pool or is it for adults only? Do you want to be able to swim all year round, or are you looking for a fair-weather option? Questions such as these will affect your choice before buying. Also, bear in mind that a well-constructed and designed pool can add value to the price of your property but if the building work is shoddy, it will do the opposite.

How much will it cost to create and maintain?

When it comes to building a pool, you should consider not just the price of the pool itself, but how much it will cost to maintain. Of course, the price of the pool will vary according to its size, style, design and any additional installations. Fitted lights, heaters, diving boards and jet bubbles all make a swimming pool more luxurious, but they come at a cost. For indoor pools, you may want to consider roll-on, roll-off floors that can transform a pool room into a comfortable games room, providing usable space in minutes and at the touch of a button. Contractors such as Portrait Pools also offer automatic swimming pool covers that mould to any shape or design.

Remember to take into account the cost of pool insurance and maintenance. Often, the contractor that builds the pool will be able to offer a service that includes weekly, monthly or holiday maintenance. This will be determined by the pool’s location – indoors or out – plus its size and how often it is used. The pool’s temperature, clarity and pH levels all need to be checked and maintained, and are crucial to whether you can use your pool as and when you want.

How long will it take to build a pool?

This will vary depending on style and the number of features you want to include. On average, to build an in-ground swimming pool will take approximately six to eight weeks. A basement pool will require extensive excavations, and a typical basement will take approximately 10 to 16 weeks for the structural phase to be completed. The actual swimming pool build will be additional to this.

What about the paperwork?

If you want to build a pool, you must get planning permission and comply with building regulations. Contact your local council, which will have more information. If the pool has a capacity greater than 10,000 litres, which is designed to be refilled automatically with mains water, you must also inform your water and sewerage company or authority before you begin work. There are also guidelines on energy conservation and low energy use that relate to swimming pools. Finally, if you want to empty your pool, you should check the best way to dispose of the water with your environmental regulator or water and sewerage company or authority. You’ll need authorisation to dispose of pool water into sewers, surface waters or groundwater.

Sarah says… ‘I love the idea of an outdoor pool. I’d choose one where you can adjust the depth by lifting the floor. This also allows you to “put it away” when you’re not using it, so the space can still be a part of your garden.’


Picture credit: Shutterstock


This article was first published in at home with Sarah Beeny in August 2012. [Read the digital edition here]

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