Everyone could benefit from an outdoor activity, especially if it is fun. A small pool for the backyard could be entertaining for family recreation as well as encouraging for regular exercise. The pool could also be a soothing and calming sight on your backyard.
However, a pool takes a lot of investment. Be it cash, time, or energy. Making a wrong decision may cost you a fortune. Before you took a jump and decided to install a pool, here are some questions you need to answer.
1. Why do I need a pool?
Do you need it for doing your laps or only for recreation with your children? Is it for brightening up your backyard, for a pool party, or only for relaxing? The answer will help to guide you through the next step, as it will affect your decision about the size or type of the pool.
A pool for fitness swimming has certain features that may not be found in a recreational pool; the size and depth will be remarkably different. A pool for an aesthetic purpose also has a more sophisticated design compared with a pool for children entertainment.
2. Is my backyard suitable for a pool?
This question is not merely about size. Small pool for the backyard is possible even on a narrow site, although it may be lacking in several aspects. However, the main consideration is soil condition and neighboring area. Ideally, the construction will be easier on level ground. If your backyard has a steep gradient, it may prove tricky and costs more for construction.
Different soil type also poses different challenges. Rocky soil or reclamation land present different difficulties and increase the cost. Any kind of construction surrounding the site needs to be taken into consideration as well, for example, wastewater facility, buildings, or gas and electrical installation.
3. Where should I locate the pool?
First of all, check the construction policy around your area. Find out whether there is a gas, cable, or telephone line passing through your surroundings. It may be possible to relocate them, but with an extra cost.
Next, consider the access to the pool, how people will enter and leave. Don’t forget to consider the shade around the pool. People on warm climate may want the water to stay cool. While other in cooler zone wants to make sure that the water stays warm, in this case, you need to seek for a location with more sun exposure. Last, consider whether you want to be able to view it from inside the house. It is important especially if you have small children.
4. What is the suitable size and style?
The size and style depend mainly on purpose and how large your backyard is. For the aesthetic purpose, a designer could tell which style that will complement the design of your home and backyard. However, if due to some limitations you could not afford the style that matches your home, try to place a transition area between the pool and the house, for example by creating a small garden or pebble path.
5. In-ground or above-ground?
It is no question that in-ground pool is more expensive since it involves soil excavation and removal. However, it delivers a more permanent and luxury feeling than the other type. The above-ground pool is suitable for you if the ground condition slopes steeply. In this case, you could install an above-ground fiberglass pool or steel with vinyl liner.
There is also a Do-It-Yourself model which can be easily disassembled without compromising the style and quality of the materials. This type is suitable if you still have a plan to move out, and want to install the pool in your new house as well.
6. What material should I choose?
The most common materials are concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl. Concrete provides the best flexibility, as it can be customized in various size and shape. For finishing the surface of a concrete pool interior, marble and tiles are the most common. But you can also use pebbles, specific pool paint, or colored quartz.
Fiberglass material is used in the pre-molded pool. The shapes and sizes are as many as you can find in the market. This type doesn’t allow for customization. However, it is cheaper than concrete pools. The fiberglass pool is installed by placing it into an excavated hole if you prefer in-ground style, or set above the ground with supporting structure.
Vinyl is a flexible liner. It can be used to layer the surface of other materials, such as steel or aluminum.
7. How much does it cost?
Generally, in-ground pool costs higher than the above-ground. Concrete material is more pricey compared with vinyl or fiberglass. But other factors affect the price as well, such as the difficulty in construction, land factor, style, size, and other amenities.
8. How long does it take to construct the pool?
An in-ground pool takes a longer time to finish due to the excavation process. It may take three weeks to three months depending on the difficulty of the construction. Meanwhile, above-ground pool only takes hours or days to install.
9. What kind of maintenance that I need to do?
The biggest maintenance cost is from the interior surface of the pool. The vinyl liner has a lifespan around 5-7 years, concrete with special pool paint needs re-coating after five years. Other maintenance costs are from pool chemicals and equipment.
Now, it is time to seek for the contractors to install your pool. After all, a small pool for the backyard will be a great feature to brighten up your house. As long as you weigh the pros and cons carefully, it won’t be a waste of fortune.