All About Swimming Pools
We don’t often write about swimming pools because as far as return on investment is concerned a pool is at the bottom of the list. For example: after 5 years a $200,000 home might sell for $230,000 to $250,000. With the addition of a $35,000 swimming pool that same house (again 5 years later) might sell for $3,000 to $5,000 dollars more, or $233,000 to $255,000. Not a very good return on investment. In fact, it equates to a pretty big loss. On the other hand, if you can afford the depriciation a pool can provide years of fun and relaxation. But a pool is a lot of work and requires DAILY maintenance and upkeep, and will definitely add $$$ to your utility bill.
Having said that you should know that both of us are terrible when it comes to money. We both have had in-ground pools. One was constructed with gunite (a troweled-in-place cementicious material) and the other a liner type. And although we are both familer with the molded fiberglass kind neither one of us has ever owned one. We can remember listening to the pool salesmen. “Gunite with plaser is the best, the most durable and far less expensive than fiberglass”. He only sold gunite pools. And the other salesman said, “A liner pool is the least expensive and easiest to maintain”. He only sold liner pools. Truth is they’re all good. And we suggest that you get whichever type fits your particular needs and budget for your swimming pool construction.
The consumer’s philosophy about pools has changed quite a bit since we bought ours. Folks are beginning to build their pools onto their property as an extension of their home’s interior. Actually, the basic shape of the pool has become extremely important. They aren’t just rectangles any more. We can remember the days when the kidney shaped pool was an extrodianary achievement. Now, the more unusual the shape the better. For the contemporary home there are two intersecting squares. For the mediteranean home arches and sunken pillers. For the Californa ranch – well the kidney style still works there. Just kidding!
Pools also are shallower now. Diving has been replaced with floating, exercising and just plain swimming. Today’s pools are more usable by more age groups at both ends. The deep end is no more. Diving laterally has replaced diving downward. And now the younger set can wade from one end to the other. Shallower pools make both ends accessible to games increasing the activity area and getting full use out of the pool. We sometimes wonder how many serious injuries occurred between the advent of home diving boards and today.
One thing you want to be sure of when you purchase a pool is to upgrade filtering and cleaning equipment. There are two basic types of pool cleaning: surface cleaning and subsurface cleaning. Filter ports at the water’s surface known as skimmers draw floating debris into the pool’s filter system and make light work of leaf removal. The other type, subsurface cleaining, is handled in two ways: First, a subsurface vaccuum system on wheels constantly traverses the bottom of the pool for 3- to 4-hours a day vaccuming up debris that sinks to the pool’s floor. Another subsurface problem is dirt. Dirt in the air always seems to end up at the bottom of the pool – and it must be vaccumed as well. Here, a pump jet agitates the water (thus mixing in the dirt particles) allowing the filter system to capture the dirty water and filter out the particles making it crystal clear and pumping the cleaned liquid back into the pool.
Regardless of what type of pool you select cleaning and maintenance will be an ongoing task. But the big thing that you will have to deal with is a safety fence. In our community for example the fence around the pool must be six-feet tall and all gates must be locked from the inside. In addition to that you may want to make another consideration if you have childeren of if children regularly vistit. And that is to be sure that you have a safety fence (with locking gates) between the back of your home and your pool area. Just as the building department will want you to protect your neighbor’s children from themselves you will want to protect your family in the same way from within.