Swimming Pools 101

Sorry cold weather regions! it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit as I write this post here in southern Nevada, USA. 

During a hot summer (or winter), nothing is as refreshing as a swimming pool. Although it might be seen as a luxury that many can’t afford, a pool is often worth the splurge since it serves many functions. Besides being a nice place to cool off, it can have a unique shape, colorful back-splash or water feature that adds visual interest and enhanced design to your backyard. In your location, it might also be a solid investment but, it can be a liability if you have a pool with a dysfunctional design or poor proximity to the home. In many areas with hot summers and mild winters, backyard pools are a buyer requirement, and therefore having one can help your home sell faster and for a higher market value. From a Realtor’s perspective, just be careful not to introduce too much whimsy or, lets say, imagination into the design. Doing so may create a water pit that buyers don’t want. This may sound odd but, you may want to share your pool plan with a trusted Realtor for feedback. I volunteer!!!

Okay, back on track, as you get ready to start your pool and/or spa, map out your space and determine what size, shape and style works best for you. Factor sell-ability into the design. Next, talk with a pool specialist about what material is best in your particular situation & budget. Finally, think about other small accessories, like a diving board, slide or cabana, that can add interest and entertainment to your space. Caution-Diving boards and other thrill seeking components will require a certain pool depth.

What type of pool should I install?

More than anything else, your backyard size and overall weather will dictate what kind of 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 or plunge, so to speak! — though an indoor pool might. Raise your hand if you have space and wherewithal for an indoor pool…….. Nobody? Okay, lets move on. 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 a traditional pool, try an above-ground unit instead. You can still swim away your summer months without making such a big commitment. But 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 pool?

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, and it therefore will need to be replaced more frequently. Concrete and fiberglass are popular, sturdy options, while metal above-ground units last longer than plastic ones. To liven up a blah pool, 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. You can purchase a home protection plan to help absorb the costly maintenance disasters.

What pool accessories do I need?

Even though a pool is naturally fun, there are many ways to boost that fun factor even more. Install a diving board (remember my comment above on the pool depth), 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 pool 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. Ahh, the ultmate money pit!

Final thought

You’ll have the option of a chlorinated or salt pool. Each requires certain unique component add-on’s. Salt seems to be kinder on the eyes and skin. Finally, safety. Make certain the your backyard and pool and/or spa is gated and secured to avoid life threatening issues. Here in the desert, we hear about several deaths every summer from parents or guardians turning their backs for a few minutes and the unthinkable occurs.

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