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Swimming Pools 101 – Everything You Need to Know Before Adding a Pool
By Mike Holmes
Monday, December 14th, 2020 @ 11:05am
Trust me – there’s nothing better than being the grandparent with a swimming pool. Of course, my pool isn’t just for the grandkids benefit – when I get time off over the summer, odds are good, you’ll be able to find me either lounging in my pool, or sitting on my back deck, overlooking the pool. If I am able to get any time off to relax at home, I’ll probably be poolside.
There are a lot of good reasons to want to add a pool to your home, but before you break ground on your pool project, here’s what you’ll need to think about.
Know WHY You Want a Pool
There are a lot of great reasons to own a pool, especially now that we have travel restrictions. It’s great to have easy access to your own private pool.
So your decision to get a pool should be based on the fact that you, your family, and friends will get use out of it! To me, it’s a good investment when you look at it that way. My pool is designed to work with my landscaping, it offers a great reason to have the family over on those hot summer days, and it gives me the option for an alternative workout – which especially matters these days when we have to abide by physical distancing rules.
Know What Type of Pool You Want
If you’re choosing an inground pool, you have three options: fibreglass, concrete, or vinyl liner pools. Each on has its own pros and cons which may help dictate your decision when it comes to material choice.
If you are in Canada, check out Leisure Pools. They are the world’s largest fiberglass pool manufacturer.
Fibreglass Inground Pools
Fibreglass is a great material to choose with a ton of advantages:
- They tend to be durable,
- Lower overall maintenance and costs
- Quick install
You may be limited on shape and size of the pool, so if you’ve got a unique vision for your pool setup, you’ll need to consider something else. That said, fibreglass pools still come in a wide range of styles, so if you do your research, odds are pretty good, you’ll find one that fits your needs.
Vinyl Liner Pools
Vinyl liner pools tend to have a lower cost point for installation – meaning less money paid up front to put it in. Though overtime, the cost to keep it running will likely outpace the money you saved installing a vinyl pool over a fibreglass one. On the positive side, they tend to offer a bit more customization than a fibreglass pool.
Finally, concrete pools are tough, and they’re highly customizable. If you’ve got a vision for your pool that can’t be met by a fibreglass or vinyl pool, you can bet it can be done with a concrete model. Of course, this comes with a cost, as concrete pools tend to be the priciest option of the three. They also require the most maintenance. So you’ll have to decide if the tradeoff is worth it.
Know What Kind of Maintenance They Need
I love my pool, but like any other structure in your home, it requires care and maintenance. Your choice of material will dictate what you need to do to care for the structure of the pool.
No matter what kind of pool you have, you’ll need to make sure the water chemistry is maintained properly. So how do you do that?
You’ll need to test your water regularly to check the chlorine and pH levels. Your needs may vary depending on usage. But a good rule to follow is, testing at least twice a week during the height of the season, plus after a rainstorm, or you’ve done any major fertilizing around your property.
You need to do your part to keep your pool clean. This involves regular skimming and vacuuming of the pool, which will help prevent algae growth. Don’t forget to regularly clean the filter and skimmer baskets.
My final tip for pool maintenance is this: at the end of the season, call in your resident pool pro. They can give your pool unit a good inspection, and make note of any potential problem areas. If you know early on that your liner is in need of replacing, or you’re due to resurface your pool deck – knowing at the end of your pool season can help you get a jump on next year. By scheduling your major maintenance early in the season you’re ready to swim all summer long.