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4 Swimming Pool Options For Your Home

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4 Swimming Pool Options For Your Home

Summer temperatures in South Africa spells swimming - but which pool is best for you? This article focus on four types of very popular swimming pools – i.e. (1) infinity pools (2) plunge pools (3) natural pools & (4) lap pools.

Infinity Pools

The infinity pool is not a new concept. In fact, the first one known to us is the Stag Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, built in the early 1600s. Although no-one swam in it, it does have a vanishing edge. These pools are probably the most visually impressive of all the pools, but they’re not simple to build and are expensive.

There are various elements needed: elevation, distance and ideally a view, as well as excellent engineering. A huge amount of design goes into the filtration and water-level controls in order to manage what happens when, for instance, the wind blows or there are many people in the pool. The water that floods over the rim needs to be stored somewhere, so it has to be designed with this in mind.

There are some things to note: a rim-flow pool requires much management thanks to the two different levels – the rim-flow pool is at the top, and the reservoir at the bottom (it’s important that this be big enough to contain the overflow). Two pumps are needed, one to drive the water up from the reservoir, and another for the sanitisation process. The level controls are important factors. If one lives near the ocean, something to consider is that seagulls love infinity pools and sit on the edge, preening and plucking their feathers, and the guano is prime stimulation for algae and the feathers get into the filtration system. In short, a rim-flow pool requires maintenance, and you should use specialists.

However, what makes it worth the effort are how beautiful views are enhanced, especially if looking onto another body of water. A well-positioned pool also acts as a water feature, and that can add great value to a house. If built above or adjacent to living spaces, careful engineering is vital to avoid leakage. There should be no shortcuts when it comes to building a pool.

 

Plunge Pools

The humble plunge pool is probably the most cost-effective of pools, and there are many more advantages in terms of it being ecologically friendly – it uses less water, costs less to heat, but provides a maximum amount of fun and can add great visual impact in a home.

Plunge pools are often built within the structure of a house like this, and so careful engineering is vital because pools tend to leak. One must use a reputable pool consultant to make sure the structure is technically sound. Employ a company that has been around for a while, he advises, one with a reputable and long history.

Essentially, a tank must be built in the shape the client wants, a structure that then gets plastered, waterproofed and finished in various ways, depending on the effect one wants to achieve. This is where the size helps keeps costs down. Finishes – such as bold tiling – can be very expensive and a small pool obviously means less overall cost. The average size is 4 metres by 2.2 metres, so it also uses less water, which means less evaporation. It’s a smaller volume of water to heat, and this can be done consuming virtually no electricity by allowing the water to run through long black piping on the roof of the house so the water is heated by the sun – all that’s needed is a small pump. The ideal is to place the pool where it gets the full run of the sun, so it can absorb as much of its heat as possible.

A plunge pool is also not expensive to maintain, and infinitely manageable. One can use salt chlorination, which is healthier for swimmers, but the downside is that the pump tends to corrode and needs to be replaced every few years.

It’s important to secure a pool – today there are laws regulating this, he adds. There are various ways to do this, from a fence with a gate to a material pool cover that slides over the water surface on a roller mechanism that can be hidden away.

 

Natural Swimming Pools

These green pools originated in Austria and Germany, but in the last decade they’ve begun to spread to the rest of the world. They have a profound effect on people. It is, they say, the best part of their renovation year before last. Swimming in one of these pools is like being in a mountain pool.

The fundamental idea behind an eco-pool is that a natural ecosystem develops so the water regulates itself. All one needs to do is maintain it, empty leaf traps and vacuum the bottom of the pool once or twice a month, depending on the season. If the natural aesthetic appeals, one doesn’t even need do that.

The first step is a thorough analysis of the water chemistry so that the correct components, from plants to type of gravel for filtration, can be selected to create and maintain the ecosystem. A shell is needed to contain the water, and this can be made from a variety of materials. It is important to use rubber liners as it’s environmentally friendly, lightweight and of a very high quality. A pump is usually needed, but not always.

There are some things to consider: the pools are expensive to build, and don’t work if not properly designed, he warns – they can have huge algae blooms when the ecosystem is not in balance. They also take a while to become established, so people have to be patient – it’s similar to building a garden. But the pluses are huge. Long-term, if properly designed, these pools are less expensive and a lot healthier for all concerned – people and the fauna and flora we live in, and that’s certainly something worth considering.

 

Lap Pools

According to The Telegraph, the lap pool was one of the biggest property trends in the UK last year, for people wanting to exercise. These long skinny pools provide a good length for training. They’re beautiful and dramatic, but they’re technically challenging and very expensive.

The ideal length should be easily divisible by 100 (so one can easily add up to a kilometre or so). The widest it needs to be is 1.8 or two metres, but it’s much more fun for others (think children) if just a little broader – it’s not easy to play Marco Polo in a skinny pool. A pool stretching out vertically from a house is dramatic and lovely for the swimmer, who glides into a view. Running parallel to a house it’s equally impressive, and especially if there’s enough elevation to allow for an infinity edge. However, one should carefully consider its positioning – such a long, thin pool can be quite awkward because it can be a barrier in a space.

Technically, lap pools are complicated. They don’t behave like other pools and there are many things to consider: the depth, which has an effect on the flow of the water for the swimmer; placement of water outlets and inflows and pumps. Combined with a rim-flow edge, it becomes even more tricky. Specialists should be consulted.

 

Source – Visi Magazine.

Author Visi Magazine
Published 18 Jan 2016 / Views -
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