swimming pool

5 Considerations Before Building a Swimming Pool at Home

Hitting the beach is not always the best way to counter days of scorching heat. Why travel far to reach the waves when you can comfortably swim in a pool at home? What’s more, you can enjoy swimming all day and cooling off without having to weave through crowds the whole time.

If you have the means to have your own swimming pool built at home, you should first consult with a swimming pool designer. After all, building a swimming pool is not as easy as filling a tub with water.

Below are five swimming pool construction considerations that you should think about before taking the plunge (so to speak!).

1. Your reasons for wanting a pool

Having a pool is a huge investment, so it’s important that you have a substantial reason or purpose for having one built. This will also influence the type of construction, depth, size, and shape of the pool you’re going to build.

Are you going to use the pool for swimming daily laps as part of your workout or physical therapy? For recreation for the family? For entertaining guests? Is the pool meant to serve as the garden’s focal point? Do you want it to raise your property’s value?

Whatever your reasons may be for having a swimming pool constructed at home, it’s best if it can justify the associated expenses. Contact a swimming pool contractor and inquire after the budget needed to build the kind of swimming pool you have in mind.

2. The type of pool to get

Different swimming pools don’t just have different design styles; they also have different functions and mechanisms for handling the flow of pool water and treatment.

There are two types of pools:

Overflow – Because this can be an infinity pool and can level with the decking, this is mostly chosen for hydrotherapy spas. This pool uses a balance tank to treat and store the overflow of surface water that runs off when people get in the pool. The displaced water is then captured, treated, and pumped back inside the pool.

Freeboard or skimmer – The water level in this pool is about 150 mm below the pool’s deck which creates a visible edge. This pool doesn’t renew surface water since the displacements are controlled by the rising water level versus vacating the pool.

3. The pool design

It’s quite difficult to build and manage a pool. Issues like efficient water treatment, user safety, and pleasing aesthetics can be addressed through thorough planning, and the right design and specification. Your water treatment system should be an integral part of the structural, architectural, electrical, and mechanical design of your property.

After you determine the type of pool that you want, make sure to take into account the factors below in the design:

  • Pool size and volume
  • Hydrotherapy equipment
  • Location of the pool
  • Location of the balance tank
  • Anticipated bather load
  • Location and size of the plant room
  • Level of the pool, plant room, and balance tank

4. The right location

If you are planning to buy a property with the intention of having a swimming pool built in it, make sure that it can hold your preferred size and shape of pool. Small urban sites have strict requirements about construction, which may hinder your pool project.

It’s easier to build a swimming pool on a level site. So if the section slopes in your property are steep, expect construction costs to be higher. Avoid making the building process much trickier by avoiding properties with ground conditions involving rocky, very sandy, or unstable soil.

Where to place the swimming pool?

First, review council and building regulations on site coverage allowance, proximity to wastewater fields, pool fencing requirements, as well as the location of your basic utilities. Other factors to consider when deciding where to place your swimming pool include:

  • The swimming pool’s view from inside the home and the rest of your garden
  • Light or water features to add to make your swimming pool attractive when not in use
  • A location that helps maximize sun exposure to help keep the temperature of the water warm
  • Wind exposure; this may cool and increase evaporation of the water, so plant or build screens that will shelter your pool
  • How people will enter and exit the pool through circulation routes
  • A changing area
  • A poolside area where you and your guests can relax
  • A place where you can store the filtration equipment, sun umbrellas, pool cleaner, and swimming toys

5. The surface finish

The surface finish of your pool should be based on ease of maintenance, safety, hygiene and visual appearance. Pools are mostly finished in mosaic, tiles, or larger format. It’s imperative to choose a floor surface that minimizes slippage while also using the right sloping angle for proper drainage.

The rule for non-slip surfaces in pools is that they should be used only in critical areas such as treads of the steps, on top of the slope in the pool, and the deeper areas.

Doing your homework is the best way to ensure that you are making a good investment. If you’re serious about having a pool, keep in mind the above-mentioned considerations to secure the success of your project.


About the Author

Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.

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