The “perfect home” home might look different for everyone, but everyone would love to have a pool. The backyard swimming pool has long been a symbol of status and comfort, making your home the destination for friends and family. Backyard swimming pools are an excellent means of exercise, as well as a gathering place for social events.
For many homeowners, the dream of installing a pool can be somewhat vague. You know you want a place to relax and have fun, but have you defined your necessities? Is a waterfall oasis part of your dream? Do you need an attached hot tub for relaxation? Will there be enough room to swim laps? Carefully considering your requirements is one of the most important elements of pool installation, and should be done before construction begins.
If you believe a backyard pool is in your future, it may be time to assess the details. Read on to learn more about pool design, amenities, and maintenance requirements. Before you call any construction company, you should have a fairly good idea of your pool basics.
Before you can determine your pool materials, you need to get an idea of what pool design suits the needs of your family. For example, do you have children or grandchildren who will be utilizing the pool? Does there need to be a shallow end and safety precautions for the deep end? Is there space for kids to jump in safely?
If you and your significant other are child-free and looking for a place to relax, your pool design might be entirely different. You may not need a deep end on your pool, because no one will be jumping in. You may prefer a pool that provides function over form, with room for swimming laps. Additionally, you may prefer a pool that’s smaller and with a more unique aesthetic design, so you can relax and float in the water.
The size and shape of your pool is dictated by the amount of space you have and your personal requirements. Some families choose to forgo the back lawn altogether, and simply designate the space for housing a larger pool. Other families may still want plenty of green space, with a small pool for cooling off when necessary. Assess how each of your family members will use the pool in order to gain an understanding of what you need.
Once you have an understanding of pool shape and design, you should be able to more easily determine the pool material. Currently, the most popular pool material in the U.S. is a gunite pool. Gunite pools are constructed from shaped rebar that is sprayed over with a concrete and sand mixture. While gunite pools offer the best options for unique pool shapes and design, they do come with a few minor downfalls.
Similar to other concrete pools, gunite pools enable algae growth, due to the porous surface of the concrete; this will result in a need for higher chemical levels in the pool. Additionally, concrete pools need more maintenance than other options. Gunite pools are a little more expensive, but their durability and reputation make the investment worthwhile.
Vinyl-lined pools are the bargain brand in the pool industry. Constructed from a wooden or plastic frame lain with sandbags, the pool is then lined with a thin layer of vinyl, usually only 20-30 mil thick. This type of pool is the cheapest option, but for good reason. While vinyl-pools have a smooth surface that does not foster algae growth, they are prone to developing leaks.
Vinyl pools require a lining replacement every 7-15 years, which will cost you at least a few thousand dollars. If you are looking to get a return on your investment, vinyl lined pools are the least popular choice, as they do not retain their value well.
Fiberglass pools are constructed from reinforced plaster that’s pre-formed into a basin. Fiberglass pools use similar construction methods to vinyl, where a frame is laid, filled with sand, and the fiberglass basin is secured. Fiberglass pools are popular because the smooth gel surface is non-porous, negating the need for a lot of chemical use and maintenance.
Unfortunately, fiberglass pools do have many drawbacks. Because they are a prefabricated mold, they are less attractive than other options, and limited to a width of 16 feet for traveling to the home site. Additionally, it can be difficult to match repaired areas to the pool’s original color, making it less aesthetically appealing. Fiberglass pools cost more to install initially, but do save you on maintenance costs over the life of the pool.
When it comes down to the aesthetic and functional appeal of the pool, there are many options available. Swimmers may enjoy ample room to swim laps or simply have a swim spa with jetted flowing water. Your amount of backyard space may dictate what you can have for exercise requirements.
Fun pool amenities usually include a hot tub, pool slide, or diving board. Many pool installation experts are able to attach a hot tub to the side of the pool, offering easy access and appealing aesthetic design. For added appeal, some contractors will have the hot tub raised slightly above the lip of the pool, with a waterfall flowing into the pool below.
Waterfalls have become an increasingly popular amenity for pools everywhere. With many pool owners wanting their pool to look as natural as possible, having a descending waterfall from a rock ledge can drive that aesthetic home. Additionally, you can landscape these pools, creating a heavily vegetated appearance around the pool. This simulated “natural” pool look is very pleasing for individuals who want the benefits of a pool without the sterile appearance.
Contact Designer Pools of Tulsa
Ready to create your own backyard oasis? Then Contact Designer Pools of Tulsa! We have over 16 years of experience, and can help design, install, and maintain your dream gunite pool. Don’t wait until the heat of the summer…call us today!