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One of the most relaxing and calming things in our known universe is water. It sustains us, gives us life, fills the earth, grows the trees and plants, and gives strength to the lakes and the rivers which flow into the sea.
There are two main kinds of pools, and they each serve a separate purpose. A fish pond is made with relaxation and beauty in mind, and it serves no other purpose. When you have a pond in the middle of your garden, it provides a more pleasant atmosphere and has a pastoral effect on its surroundings. This always creates an interesting juxtaposition, especially when we’re talking about a pond in a garden situated in the middle of a busy city. The option of escaping from the hassle of the daily grind to the bosom of your own little slice of heaven cannot be replaced by any other experience. Many times, a fish pond will be accompanied by waterfalls, fish, unique flora and vegetation, and a general ambiance of nature.
On the other end of the spectrum is the swimming pool, which is created for a more physical type of enjoyment, but also provides the user with a feeling of freedom and enjoyment of the mental kind. In this article, we will focus on swimming pools, and discuss the various aspects of building one in your yard or roof.
Installing a Swimming Pool
First of all, installing a swimming pool is tantamount to saying: we are interested in enjoying life to its fullest. We want to give ourselves a gift, greatly elevate the value of our property, and we are not about to apologize for it! That is my take on it, and I don’t mean it to sound proud or egocentric. This is about freedom and quality of life.
However, building a swimming pool in a private home is no simple matter. This is an issue which invariably carries with it many expenses. The initial expense is several dozen thousands of shekel, with more expenses to follow, some more regular than others (Arnona, maintenance, repairs, etc.). There are several models of pools to choose from, and it is imperative to know which to go for and invest in.
That being said, in spite of the expenses and the logistical nightmare involved in getting the proper permits and going through the actual construction – when you have a private swimming pool in your home, you can really feel the stress levels go down. The option of coming home from a hard day’s work, stripping down, and letting the water do its thing and move us about while we swim and breathe deeply… it is incomparable. Truly.
Materials and Types of Pools
As previously stated, a home swimming pool comes in a variety of models and each has its own unique qualities. Most of those who install a swimming pool are interested in enjoying it for many years, which is why it is important to invest the time and money in choosing the proper materials, and to construct the pool using the services of an experienced company, which will be able to guarantee the durability and strength of the pool, even when faced with the harsh conditions of the water, the chlorine, and the weather.
Different materials react in different ways to water. The most standard and most popular material for constructing a swimming pool is concrete. It is also the most stable and durable of materials, and it doesn’t necessitate repairs or much maintenance. Underground concrete pools are usually covered or coated with ceramics or mosaics. These are made to order, and installing them is a relatively simple matter. Installing a concrete pool requires various permits from the local municipality, as well as branches of government, so you must make sure that everything is in order before work commences. It is a shame to waste time, money, resources, etc., only to get slapped with a fine when construction is finished.
- Advantages – can withstand a lot of damage, has reinforced concrete strength, the option of a colorful coating, and it is much more aesthetically pleasing than other kinds of pools.
- Disadvantages – it is expensive and has more expenses down the line. Plus, the installation period is a somewhat longer.
Another type of pool is the industrial pool. These are pools which are constructed with boards and built to the customer’s specifications. They are coated with vinyl, PVC, or another kind of hard plastic. As with the concrete pool, all of the required permits must be in order, and it also carries with it a variety of payments for various branches of government and municipality.
- Advantages – cheaper than concrete, quicker installation, and comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors.
- Disadvantages – the pool’s coating demands replacement occasionally, the vinyl or PVC could rip and tear (causing water to escape), and the water is what holds the pool in its place in the ground, so there is less replacement of water throughout the lifespan of the pool.
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Yet another type of pool is a fiberglass pool. This kind of pool is relatively thick, and it carries with it the option of different coatings, which combine together to make a highly durable and efficient barrier which can resist various kinds of damage and temperature changes. The fiberglass skeleton is combined with different layers of plastic and tree sap, which provide the pool with a very clean look. Fiberglass pools come in different sizes, but they are usually of the smaller variety.
- Advantages – no need for any additional coating (the fiberglass itself is thick enough), it is very presentable visually, and has a rapid installation time.
- Disadvantages – short width and depth, higher initial costs, less eco-friendly, and it is less impressive aesthetically than colorful and coated concrete pools, for instance.
The last pool on this list is a different, yet equally popular, one – the above ground pool. This is a pool constructed of PVC or another hard plastic and is situated above the ground. Because there is no underground construction or infrastructure involved, it becomes a much simpler matter. The pool usually arrives packed in a box, and all you need to do is build it, fill it up with water, turn on the pump/filter, and jump right in.
This type of pool requires no serious maintenance, and it is the ideal choice for those who don’t have the desire or funds to spend on a sunken pool. It is the cheapest option by far, and it has the ability to achieve some of the same goals associated with those other pools.
Above ground pools:
- Advantages – significantly cheaper than other models, can be accessorized easily and does not necessitate any permits or pre-planning.
- Disadvantages – higher replacement rate, set sizes and dimensions and does not raise the value of your home the way a sunken pool does.
A Pool of Professionals
In order to build an underground pool in a private home, you will need to assemble a team of professionals. Installing the pool may take several days, but the ongoing process, until those days arrive, can be harrowing and sometimes frustrating. Keep your eye on the prize, and you will find that it is worth the temporary headache. When you make the move to build a pool, keep in mind that it won’t happen right away.
Here is a (partial) list of professionals which you will need to assemble in order to get the proper permits and start the process: An architect, structural engineer, skeleton contractor, mortar specialist, electrician, floor tile specialist, and more. All of these individuals – or a part of them, at any rate – will meet, visit the location, make notes incorporating every factor, and consequently submit plans for construction.
In the case of a concrete or fiberglass pool, the initial construction will be digging and building the infrastructure. This includes preparing the earth, sealing it, laying the foundation, plumbing, etc. Once the construction engineer gives the go ahead, the mold of the pool will be lowered down onto the surface. In the few days after that, the mold might be subjected to various trials, tests, and changes – as needed – in order to ascertain the pool’s resilience and water durability. After that, the professionals will cover up what demands covering, and seal off what needs to be sealed. The last phase would be to shake the hands of your crew of professionals, see them off, fill the pool with water, strip down, and dive into the deep end!
A private pool in the yard or on the roof is a fantasy for many of us, but it is not as far-fetched as one may think. With such a variety of materials, models, and qualities, it is a dream which is not too far from reality. In essence, what remains is simply to choose. I recommended you consult with a professional, build your budget, calculate your expected expenses, and see what kind of surface area you have. What is fit for a family in one kind of home, will not necessarily fit a family living in another type of home. What is your primary objective in building this pool? Is it for beauty? Fitness? Raising the house’s value?
Getting advice from friends and family is all fine and good, but in the case of swimming pools, it is best to take the advice of an individual who has owned more than one type of pool, and who can give you some points to think over. You can’t really take the advice of someone who has owned only one type of pool. It is always best to conduct a bit of research, ask around, and see things for yourself, before wasting time and money which you will never see again. This is a rule of thumb for any kind of repair and construction job, and it certainly applies when discussing the construction of a swimming pool which can cost your upwards of many thousands of shekel.
Remember, a swimming pool is a matter which requires a long-term commitment on your part. If your future is somewhat uncertain, and you are not 100% sure of your intent, it could be that an above ground pool is your best bet. But if you have the money, the desire, and the resources to invest – a colorful and accessorized concrete pool will be able to make you, your property’s value and your quality of life positively soar into the clouds. When will you come down from there? Maybe only in the winter.