When your family decides to go to the beach for summer vacation, where do the kids end up? What about during your Walt Disney World vacation? How about your vacation to Puerto Rico—where was most of your time spent? Like many others with children, it is likely all three of those questions had the same answer and it was “the pool.” So, if the pools in the Outer Banks, Orlando, and Puerto Rico are such a family favorite, why not consider adding one to your own backyard?
Like many parents, you probably want to make sure your children maintain a healthy active lifestyle. You want them to learn to appreciate the outdoors, not more video games, and get exercise, not sit around on the couch. A backyard swimming pool has the opportunity to give your family just that: a place to play outside and have fun while staying active.
So, you’re sold. You decide to go ahead and get a backyard pool. Congratulations, I know you will have so much fun, just as soon as you finish making decisions on the type of pool you want and all of the extras that go along with it. We are here to help make that decision just a little easier by providing you with some of the information you will need to get out of research mode and into your new pool faster.
The first decision you will have to make is whether you want an above ground or in ground swimming pool. While above ground swimming pools may not be as attractive, they are often less expensive and easier to install. You can also pack them up and move them if you leave your home. This makes them perfect for renters. Unfortunately, the options available for above ground pools tend to be quite limited.
There are many more options available with in ground swimming pools. One of your first choices will be whether you would prefer a fiberglass, vinyl-lined, or concrete swimming pool. Your decision will most likely be determined based on various factors associated with each variety; such as price, installation, and personal preferences.
Fiberglass pools are available in a large range of shapes and sizes. These pools are manufactured at a factory and brought to the site to be placed in the ground. Since these pools come already manufactured it may be impossible to have them installed in some yards.
Many people enjoy fiberglass pools because of their durability, lasting beauty, and ease of maintenance. Another benefit to fiberglass pools is that algae cannot grow into the walls of the pool. (For those of you who may have been lifeguards you know the nightmare that the smallest amount on algae can turn into.) Since algae cannot grow into the pool removing it can be as simple as a quick scrub or shocking the pool with chlorine.
If you decide on a fiberglass pool make sure to select one from a company with a long standing history of providing quality products and get your swimsuit ready because these pools are made at the factories and brought to the site in one piece, you will be ready blow up the float and jump in the pool in no time!
Vinyl-liner pools are actually made waterproof by just that, a vinyl liner. They are pre-engineered so they do not require a long time to construct once they have arrived to the site. They are also available in a large range of colors and sizes. The one main drawback is if the liner is torn, then the whole thing must be replaced and this can be very costly in the long run.
Concrete swimming pools, or gunite pools, are the most versatile option. Since each pool is formed on site there is a lot more flexibility in the size and shape of the pool. They give the homeowner an opportunity to express their style and fit into the space of the backyard. There is also a wide range of color options available allowing for maximum creativity. The homeowner can choose between white plaster, colored plaster, painted concrete, pebble, quartz, or glass bead finishes (to name a few). Because there are so many options available gunite pools also tend to be the most expensive of the three varieties.
Once the type of pool has been selected you may now begin browsing through all the extras available. Do you want to add a diving board or slide? What about an automatic vacuum? Have you thought about a misting system to keep you refreshed as you sunbathe atop your float? A heater can add to the number of days you can spend in your pool. All of these options will impact the way you use and enjoy your home pool.
The less glamorous choice you will have to make will be the type of operating (pump) system you will select for your pool. Basically, your main decision will be whether you want to go with standard chlorine to maintain the pools balance or if you would like to go with a more popular alternative like salt. These decisions will best be made with a pool contractor once you have decided which type of pool with best suit your family’s needs.
If you are trying to keep things a little green there are some great new options available in pool pumps and accessories. In some pumps you can trade the old chlorine tabs for just plain salt. Salt works as an agent and with electrolysis it is converted into natural chlorine with is much less harsh on your eyes, skin, and swim suit. There are also progressive pumps available that instead of running constantly only run when needed. This greatly reduces the energy consumed by the pump.
There are also a number of green options available for heating your backyard pool. You can harness the power of solar energy to heat your pool. With sophisticated casing and thermostats cold water can be drawn out of the pool into a solar heater to be warmed by the sun and replaced with warm water.
Before you are ready to jump into the pool, stop and think about the landscaping environment you would like to create around your pool. It is possible to create custom bio ponds that are in ground pools that actually look like ponds with grass leading up to them, and plants around the edges working as natural filters.
If you are looking for landscaping that is a little more standard there are plenty of options available. If you chose an above ground pool you may want to consider adding a raised deck around you pool to sunbathe on. If you opted for an in ground model your options are wider and include concrete, stone, pavers and so much more. They even make decking material that will reduce heat absorption making your deck an even friendly place to hang out.
There is also a wealth of patio furniture available to suit you backyard pool environment. You can create your own little cabana with a wet bar and everything or simply put out a few lounge chairs and a table for snacks and drinks. With so many types of furniture available the possibilities really are endless.
If you have made your decision that this summer is the time to install a backyard pool, don’t wait any longer and contact a pool contractor today. He can have you out of the lawn chair and onto the float in no time.
By Blake Slusser