Published : 20 May 2015
It's no secret that winter is the best time to have a swimming pool installed and there are currently some great buys around. But before you go down that path, take some time to consider several important issues. Remember, this is probably the most expensive upgrade you will ever make to your property.
Need versus desire
Firstly, the tough question. Can you afford to do this, and will it get the use it deserves? Many people love the thought of a pool but then find maintaining it becomes a chore and the kids are always at the beach so it doesn't get used. Then there are chemicals to buy, water restrictions, safety checks etc.
But, having said that, if you have the space, the budget and the time to put into upkeep, it can give you more pleasure than any other 'room' in the house. It will provide endless hours of fun, exercise for all the family and, of course, somewhere to cool off on those long, hot summer days.
Above or below?
The next big question is in-ground or above-ground? An above-ground pool is the cheapest and easiest to buy and install. And with today's designs, if you add some decking and landscaping, it can look almost as good as the more expensive in-ground pool.
Above-ground pools have a steel frame - which should last around 25 years - and a vinyl liner, which should last about 15 years.
The second most affordable pool is an in-ground fibreglass pool. Durable and flexible, fibreglass can be shaped into just about any size or shape, and is smooth and algae-resistant.
Solid as a rock
A concrete pool is built into the ground and the price depends on factors such as accessibility to the site and the amount of earth-moving that has to be carried out. It also depends on the finish you choose, with pebble being the cheapest and tiles the most expensive.
Rules and regulations
Now that was the easy part. The next steps are very important. You need to:
- Shop around for a contractor
- Preferably get 3 written quotes - including a written list of inclusions and exclusions
- Try and view previous work, and/or check with Fair Trading to make sure the contractor is above board
- Ask your local council about any rules or regulations
Your chosen contractor will advise on issues such as pumps, filters, chemicals, heating etc, and possibly landscaping and fencing too. And that's all there is to it! So get onto it now and you could be relaxing in your very own pool by Spring!