A landscaped pool is an investment in outdoor living that you and your family could enjoy every year. However, choosing the right pool for your family and home is not easy. There are many things to put under consideration such as: Will it be worth it? What kind of pool should I get? Should I get a saltwater or chlorine system? How do I want my pool to look? Hopefully, by reading through this guide, most of your questions will be answered and you will be one step closer to getting that dream pool for your home!
Benefits of Landscaped Pools
Whether you’re looking for a cool place to relax, an outdoor social space, or an aquatic exercise area, there are countless benefits of owning a pool, both physically and mentally. Here are some of the best benefits that come with becoming a pool owner.
1.) Add Value and Appeal to Your Home
Having a landscaped pool added could increase your home’s value by up to 7% depending on your location. It also makes your home more marketable when wanting to sell. This is even more so if you keep your pool well maintained, live in a nice neighborhood, and have visually appealing landscaping around the pool.
2.) Outdoor Social Gatherings
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a pool party on a hot summer day? Adding a landscaped pool to your home creates an outdoor space perfect for summer social gatherings where you can host events and enjoy time with your friends and family. Your house will become everyone’s favorite place to hang out and have a good time.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put much pressure on the bones, joints, and muscles through buoyancy, which reduces the risk of injury. It is a great way for people of all sizes and ages to maintain a safe workout that conditions the whole body. Just being in the water is good for cardiovascular health by relaxing the blood vessels, reducing high blood pressure, and protecting against heart disease.
4.) Relieve Stress
Not only does swimming improve your physical health, but your mental health as well. Aerobic exercise boosts the production of beneficial chemicals in the brain and body that influences how you feel. Swimming is also a great way to increase your overall sleep quality at night and boost serotonin, which in turn can help you feel less stressed out.
Considerations for Landscaped Pools
Becoming a pool owner is a big responsibility and there are many factors that are needed to be put under consideration besides how you want your pool and landscape to look. Whether you’re installing a big traditional pool or a small hot tub, these considerations apply to every pool style.
1.) Zoning and Other Laws
It is important to make sure that your property will abide by zoning ordinances for pools if one is installed. Many cities have strict maintenance and liability laws regarding swimming pools, making it imperative you follow them.
2.) Determine Budget
Having a pool installed can be costly, so it is important to know what pool styles and sizes that will fit your budget. It is also important to consider the monthly or annual maintenance costs that will come with the particular landscaped pool you want as well as insurance costs.
Besides the maintenance cost itself, you also need to consider how you will plan to maintain your pool. Whether you plan to do it yourself or have a contractor do your pool maintenance for you, it is important to keep your pool in good condition. If properly maintained, your pool could be a valuable asset when selling your house, but the opposite can be true if your pool is not well maintained.
Ensuring that your pool is safe should be your top priority as a pool owner. A fence or other barrier is required around every outdoor in-ground pool by law. You also must have supervision when children and pets are in or near the pool. For extra peace of mind, consider adding water alarms, safety covers, and safety accessories such as life jackets and pool floats.
Material Types for Landscaped Pools
There are many different options of material types for pools and each one comes with different pros and cons. It’s important to understand the difference between these material types so you will be able to make an informed decision about which material is best for you and your yard.
1.) Concrete with Plaster or Aggregate Finishes
Concrete and plaster are the most common material types used for landscaped pools. This is because concrete is durable and porous, which allows the plaster shell to hold water and provide stability. This type of pool is the most durable, does not corrode/oxidize, and is easily customizable. It is important to consider that concrete comes with higher installation and maintenance costs as well as a longer installation time.
2.) Concrete with Tile or Stone
Concrete with tile or stone are the materials used when wanting a more decorative in-ground pool. This choice of material does not have the same durability and longevity as the previous one but comes with more design options that can stand up to moisture and pool chemicals. It is important to consider that these types of pools can be difficult to repair or replace and require a precise chemical balance to avoid costly repairs.
Fiberglass is typically used when wanting a low-maintenance landscaped pool. It comes as a large shell that is positioned in an excavated hole. This type of pool has high up-front costs, but low lifetime maintenance costs. It is important to consider that these types of pools are difficult to customize since they are ready-made but manufacturers do offer many models and sizes to choose from.
Vinyl is normally used when wanting a low-cost landscaped pool that’s customizable. Pools that are lined with vinyl are built with metal or plastic frames. These types of pools are the least expensive and can be built in any size and shape. It is important to consider that vinyl deteriorates, which is why water chemicals need precise balancing to slow down deterioration and liner replacements are costly.
Saltwater vs Chlorine
Saltwater and chlorine systems are the two most common pool systems, but similar to material types, both systems come with different advantages and disadvantages. Considering and understanding these pros and cons is crucial for determining which pool system is right for you.
There are several reasons why you might choose salt water over chlorine, the main ones being less maintenance and lower maintenance costs. You don’t need algaecides because the system naturally helps prevent algae from growing on the water and walls. Pool-grade salt also costs a lot less than chlorine. Saltwater systems don’t require most of the harsh chemicals used in chlorine systems, resulting in the water being gentler on your skin, eyes, and hair as well as not fading swimwear or towels.
There are also several drawbacks that come with saltwater systems, the biggest one being that saltwater is corrosive. It tends to corrode any metal objects near the pool such as outdoor furniture and grills as well as natural stone. Some pool parts and components might also be made of materials that are susceptible to corrosion from salt causing you to make replacements. Saltwater systems also have higher upfront costs and energy bills compared to chlorine systems.
The main reason many people choose chlorine over salt water is because it is not corrosive. This means that you won’t need to worry about replacing components due to corrosion. There are also fewer upfront costs than salt water systems because there is no need to purchase expensive equipment since you can perform all water tests and chemical balancing on your own without the need for a professional.
The biggest reason many stay away from chlorine is because chlorine pools rely on harsh chemicals to keep the water sanitized. Chlorine is known to irritate your eyes and throat, dry out skin, and fade swimwear and towels. Even though there are no major upfront costs, chlorine systems require a steady supply of chlorine and other chemicals which can become expensive over time, even more so than the cost of salt for saltwater systems. You also need to consider where you will store your chemicals to keep them out of reach of young children and animals.
Different Styles of Landscaped Pools
Pools come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs. Thinking about what you plan to use the pool for and how many people will be using the pool at the same time will help you decide on which style you want for your landscaped pool.
1.) Standard Pools
Standard landscaped pools generally range from 10 by 20 feet to 20 by 40 feet, the most common size being 16 by 32 feet. The depth of these pools can go anywhere from 3 to 10 feet. This style of pool can comfortably hold 6 to 12 adults depending on its size and is also the most customizable in terms of shape, length, width, and depth.
2.) Infinity Pools
Infinity pools can have the same length and width as standard pools but are usually only 4 to 6 feet deep. The main difference between standard pools and infinity pools is that the water in an infinity pool flows over at least one edge. This produces a visual effect of water with no boundary. They are also generally more expensive than standard pools because of this feature.
3.) Lap Pools
Lap pools are usually around 40 feet long, but can reach up to 75 feet. The width of these pools usually ranges from 6 to 10 feet and only one to two swimmers can swim in this type of pool at a time. The primary reason many people choose this style of pool is for fitness. They also require minimal space, making them ideal for houses with small yards.
4.) Plunge Pools
Plunge pools are considered miniature versions of traditional pools. They typically run from 6.5 to 10 feet wide and 10 to 22 feet long with the depth ranging from 5.5 to 7 feet. Due to their smaller size, these types of pools are built specifically for lounging and cooling off but can also be used for exercise. They also require less maintenance and cost less than the previous three styles, due to their size.
5.) Hot Tubs/Spas
Hot tubs and spas are the smallest style of pool you can have installed. The average hot tub size is between 7 square feet and 8 square feet with a depth between 2 to 3.5 feet. These kinds of small, heated pools are intended for relaxation and hydrotherapy. The portable, above-ground style is usually referred to as a hot tub while the in-ground style, which is often built connecting with an in-ground pool, is referred to as a spa. It is important to note that spa maintenance can be more extensive than pool maintenance.
Choosing the right pool for your family and home is a significant investment and can be a challenging task. Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the benefits and considerations of having a pool, the material types, salt water vs chlorine, and the different styles of landscaped pools that are offered. After considering all of these factors for your future pool, you should be one step closer to enhancing your home and lifestyle.