How to Pick an In-Ground Swimming Pool?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 , , , , , , , , , ,


  Wouldn't it be great to have your very own outdoor oasis, complete with a swimming pool, cabana and barbecue grill? Just think what it would be like to sit and have breakfast poolside, complete with deck furniture with a big umbrella, your morning coffee, and the Sunday paper. The kids might be splashing in the pool, and your wife can be working on her tan at poolside. Many people feel they have truly "arrived" when they are finally able to have their own swimming pool.
  Swimming is a great way to spend a hot afternoon, and with advances in the design process, many more homes are now able to afford in ground swimming pools for fun, exercise or an improvement in their landscape. Installing a swimming pool no longer requires destroying your landscape, either, since you can design a type that fits naturally with your landscape.

 But before you take a headlong plunge into owning your own pool, it might be a good idea to consider what is involved with owning and maintaining a pool. What type of pool should you have for your property? What exactly is involved when installing a backyard pool, and how do you determine a budget for your project?
   The installation begins with the contractor excavating the pool site. Following this, a grid of rebar is placed into the hole for reinforcement, and the Gunite is sprayed behind and over the rebar to form the walls of the pool. When the Gunite has cured, plaster or a combination aggregate is then placed over the surface to give the walls of the pool the finished look desired. The pool is then finished off with the desired decking - either brick or ceramic tile. Many owners place ceramic tile around the perimeter of the pool, and down below the water line, to give a clean, finished look. Plumbing and electrical concerns should be handled by licensed contractors. Expect this process to take 8 to 12 weeks to finish, and expect your back yard to be a mess until the process is finished.
Considerations

  The cost of an in-ground pool starts with asking questions. How is your family going to be using the pool? Are there small children who will grow up with the pool, or are your children grown? How much time do you want to invest in maintaining your pool? What kind of ground will need to be excavated for the pool? Do you entertain frequently? If so, you will want to finish your pool with outdoor amenities such as pool furniture, decking, outdoor lighting and landscaping. All of these questions are relevant to the end cost of your in-ground pool.

Features

  The size and style of pool that you want will have the biggest impact overall on the cost. In addition, when figuring the cost of an in-ground pool, you have to add in any extra features you may want. The basic gunite pool should come with things such as a ladder for the deep end; vacuum and maintenance equipment; filter system; and coping, concrete decking, steps, handrail and underwater lighting. A basic 16-foot-by-32-foot pool cost approximately $20,000 in 2009.
Cautions

  Be wary of independent pool dealers, as this industry lends itself to con artists. There are good, honest, independent dealers, but this is a major purchase and investment. The last thing you want is to have a pit in your backyard with $15,000 spent, and suddenly the dealer is nowhere to be found. Just as you do the research on the type of pool you want and the prices and options, do the research on the dealer.

Play Pool

  Play pools are the most common types of domestic pools. They are generally a shallow pool about five feet deep.
Diving Pools


  Diving pools are deeper than play pools, at least eight feet deep, with a diving board on one end of the pool. These types are often combined by gradually increasing the water depth along the length of the pool.
Freeform Pool

  A freeform pool is a pool given a different shape, such as a kidney bean. They may also use rock features to add to the landscape of the home.
Lap Pools

  Lap pools are long, narrow pools that make it easier to swim laps. A lap pool needs to be long enough to comfortably do laps and wide enough that you will not hit the side of the pool while doing your strokes; a length between 45 and 60 feet and a minimum width of six feet is typical.
Vanishing Edge Pools

  A vanishing edge pool has one side that gives the effect that the pool is extending out to the horizon. They are also called negative edge pools or infinity edge pools.

Types of Pool Materials
  An inground pool can be made out of different materials, this is the most popular types of in-ground pools: 

1. Concrete

  Concrete pools are the most popular—and most expensive—type of pool. They're often called Gunite or Shotcrete pools; that's because builders pump wet concrete through a hose and shoot it from a gun onto steel-reinforced walls. Once the concrete cures, it's plastered, troweled smooth, and painted. 
  The benefit of concrete is that it can be formed to any size or shape for a truly custom pool. It generally takes between three and 12 weeks to install a concrete pool.

  That's longer than other types, but concrete is considered the strongest, most durable type of pool. And unlike other in-ground pools, existing concrete pools can be rebuilt, refinished, enlarged, or updated. 
Installation is best performed by a contractor. It is advisable to get at least three estimates on this type of pool before beginning. A search of pool manufacturers shows that a Gunite pool can run anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000, depending on how elaborate you wish your pool to be.
  The installation begins with the contractor excavating the pool site. Following this, a grid of rebar is placed into the hole for reinforcement, and the Gunite is sprayed behind and over the rebar to form the walls of the pool. When the Gunite has cured, plaster or a combination aggregate is then placed over the surface to give the walls of the pool the finished look desired.   The pool is then finished off with the desired decking - either brick or ceramic tile. Many owners place ceramic tile around the perimeter of the pool, and down below the water line, to give a clean, finished look. Plumbing and electrical concerns should be handled by licensed contractors. Expect this process to take 8 to 12 weeks to finish, and expect your back yard to be a mess until the process is finished.

2. Vinyl

  Vinyl-lined pools are the second most popular type of in-ground pool, and their numbers are growing. Each pool is made from a one-piece flexible liner that fits into an excavated hole, and is then attached to a steel- or aluminum-framed wall. Vinyl pools come in a limited number of sizes and shapes. Most are rectangular, but L-shape and freeform liners are also available. The average-size vinyl pool can be installed in one to three weeks
  This is nothing more than a vinyl liner that is installed within support walls, typically made of steel, fiberglass, aluminum, or pressure-treated wood. A bracing system is utilized to keep things stable.
   Installation is accomplished by excavating the hole for the pool, placing the support walls with bracing, and then installing the vinyl liner. The hole is always lined with a layer of sand to produce a good foundation for the liner, and to insure that there is nothing in the ground that may puncture the liner.
  After the installation, coping is installed to secure the liner, and holes are cut for the pool attachments, such as the skimmer and filtration system. Many people like a vinyl pool for its ease of installation and the fact that vinyl pool manufacturers offer a wide variety of patterns and colors to suit any taste.

  The big danger with a vinyl-lined pool is that pointy pool toys, playful dogs, and sharp objects can rip or puncture the liner. Damaged liners can be fixed, but it's best to pay extra for a heavy-duty liner that's at least 20 mm (millimeters) thick. 

3. Fiberglass
  Another type of installation is the fiberglass pool. Less expensive than a Gunite pool, the fiberglass pool is simply a one piece insert that is placed into the ground. For this type of installation, you must have room for a flat bed truck and a crane to access your property.    
Expect to pay $9,000 to $15,000 for a fiberglass pool, depending on size and shape.
  Fiberglass pools are factory-molded into giant bowl-shaped shells, which are then set into the excavated hole by a crane. And while sizes and shapes are somewhat limited, the big advantage is that a fiberglass pool can be installed in as little as three days. It's also the most affordable type of in-ground pool. 
  Installation of a fiberglass pool is quicker than with a Gunite pool.
A hole is excavated, and the fiberglass insert is placed into the ground by a crane, with special attention paid to the shell being placed level. A foot of water is then put into the insert to anchor it in place, and then water is added to the pool. As water is added, sand is packed along the sides in proportion to the amount of water put into the pool to insure there is no bulging of the liner. Concrete decking is then poured around the flange of the fiberglass insert to lock it into place. The fiberglass pool is often preferred to Gunite pools as there is no need for resurfacing or liner replacement.

  Another benefit is that fiberglass pools have a super-smooth gel-coat finish that's extremely durable and nonporous, so these pools tend to use fewer chemicals than concrete pools. But before deciding on a fiberglass pool, be sure you've got plenty of space in your backyard for the crane to enter and maneuver. The area must also be free of any overhead wires or power lines. 

Optional Equipment

  If you want an automatic in-ground cleaning system to help keep a gunite pool clean, you will need to add another $1,300 to the cost of the basic pool package. Adding a sauna to your pool will cost another $3,200. Waterfalls average $2,200, and the median cost of a slide for your pool is $2,500. Heaters can prolong your swimming enjoyment for approximately $2,500, depending on what type you buy, with the heat pump being the more expensive. There are also solar heating packages that start at $100 and go up in cost, but with no electrical expense, this a good investment if you are in a location that gets ample direct sunlight. The basic package will always give you the least expensive decking, coping and underwater lighting, so be prepared to take a realistic look at the cost of upgrades.

  Generally, all  types of pools are available . But certain types are more common than others in some regions. So before getting your heart set on any one type of pool, call at least three different pool contractors in your area and ask which type they install. You may find your choices limited simply by what's available in your region. 
   Finding the right pool for you is simply a matter of deciding your needs and your budget. And when budgeting for a new swimming pool, don't forget to include the cost of fencing, landscaping, utility shed, and other pool-related expenditures. 
  So many different styles are available that there is surely something for everyone. Always remember to shop around, and get the best estimate you can for installation of an in-ground pool. If you are more adventurous, and like to do things yourself, consider an above-ground pool. Before you know it, you and your family will be enjoying themselves with a nice cool dip in your own backyard pool on hot summer days.

And now relax! :) It's summer!



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