Pool construction has advanced to the point that the sheer amount of design options is enough to make your head swim. There are many fantastic ideas out there to play with and potentially incorporate into the construction of your pool. Unfortunately, with as many options as exist today, there are also some we just don’t recommend. Read on for pool builder ideas you should avoid.
1. Fiberglass Pool Construction
Most people have experience with concrete pools, as they are by far the most prevalent and versatile pool type in the world. Concrete construction is renowned for strength and durability. However, that sort of long-lasting construction is typically a major financial investment, which can be a deal-breaker for many people who want a pool on the cheap.
The rising popularity of fiberglass pools is a response by pool builders to a demand for inexpensive, in-ground pool options. Instead of a pool shell made from steel-reinforced concrete, a fiberglass pool uses fiberglass for the pool shell. The result is a more financially accessible swimming pool but one whose strength and dependability pale in comparison to concrete. Also, fiberglass pools typically only come in preset shapes and sizes, so you’re stuck with someone else’s vision.
2. Vinyl-lined Pool
Again, this is a seemingly cheaper alternative to a concrete pool but one that presents disadvantages that quickly negate the initial cost-efficiency. Vinyl-lined pools are easily damaged and discolored compared to concrete pools. They also tend to grow algae faster than concrete. The vinyl liners eventually have to be replaced, which can cost several thousand dollars. Considering these points, vinyl-lined pools offer a poor return on your investment.
3. Pool Design That Is Too Large for the Space
When it comes to pool builds, bigger is not always better. A pool should fit well within the available yard space. A pool that takes up nearly every square foot of a yard is not only aesthetically undesirable, but it can be wildly impractical by being hard to clean, and it severely limits backyard activities and usability. The ideal pool size is one that is proportionate to the yard in which it sits. An honest pool builder will advise you on appropriate sizes.
4. Building the Pool Too Far From Your House
While there should be some reasonable separation of the swimming pool to your house (you wouldn’t want to step out your back door only to find yourself nearly walking into the pool), it’s generally a bad idea to situate a pool too far from the main structure on a property. The number one reason for this is safety. If you have children or plan to host guests who have children, you or the adults supervising them should be able to see them from the house and have them be close enough to assist them in an emergency.
Besides the safety concerns, building your pool too far from your house can become an inconvenience. Think of all the walking back and forth to answer the door for your guests or get food, drinks, towels, etc.
5. Insufficient Decking
Most first-time pool owners don’t realize that they will spend more time around the pool than in the pool. If there is too little deck space around your pool, it drastically limits options for seating, storage, and entertaining.
6. Decking Material That Is Incompatible With Water
Some deck materials are more compatible with wet conditions than others. Poured concrete is common but can be a safety concern as it’s easily prone to becoming slippery when wet.
Decking materials that are most compatible with water are travertine pavers, flagstone, and acrylic-lined concrete.
7. Landscaping With Messy Plants
Nobody wants a dirty pool full of debris, but that’s exactly what you’ll have if you choose to install plants and trees around your pool that are prone to shedding leaves.
Instead, use palms, cacti, succulents, and decorative grasses in your pool-adjacent landscaping. These plants shed very little and will keep your pool relatively debris-free while still achieving an inviting environment. Bonus: These plants also require less watering, which will save you money each month.
8. Trees With Large Root Systems
Planting trees that develop large root systems adjacent to your pool is asking for trouble. Within a few years, the root systems will expand and threaten first the PVC plumbing, then the structural integrity of the pool shell. Most of the time, trees that tend to grow large also have large root systems. Avoid planting or building near oaks, evergreens, and other large species.
9. Flotation Pool Cover
A cheaper alternative to hard pool covers, flotation pool covers are only good for keeping leaves out of your pool. They do nothing to keep people or critters out. In fact, they also can be a major safety concern. There are many incidents on record of people falling or jumping into a pool with a flotation cover and drowning after becoming entangled or trapped by the cover. Steer clear of these.
10. Skipping Safety Barriers
Pool builders may overlook adding safety barriers in their quote or even tell you barriers aren’t necessary. In reality, every home with a pool should have some type of safety barrier, such as door alarms, door closures, gate springs, window locks and/or pool fencing. The degree to which safety barriers are used is specific to the homeowner’s needs, but often depends on the age range of the children/grandchildren who live in or visit the house.