A pool or spa can give you a perfect spot in your backyard to exercise, play or entertain. Asking the right questions before you make that financial investment will help ensure years of worry-free enjoyment.
- Salt-water or chlorine?
Salt-water pools are technically chlorine pools. The main difference is the way the sterilizing agent (chlorine) gets added to the water. In salt-water pools, the chlorine generator breaks the salt molecule into sodium and choline. Although it’s still a chlorine pool, the salt water has added benefits. It tends to be easier on the eyes, skin and hair, and it also acts as a PH buffer, making pool chemistry a little easier to maintain. Plus, it’s safer for children and pets because there are fewer toxic chemicals to store. Although there is a higher upfront cost to install a salt system, the expense could be the same or even less in the long run.
- Vinyl liner, fiberglass or concrete?
Although vinyl liners are the least expensive, they require more maintenance, are the most fragile, and typically have designs limited by templates. Fiberglass pools can be installed quickly and have relatively high durability, but you are limited by design. The final costs also can sometimes equal that of concrete pools. Concrete pools are, on average, the most costly up front, but they can be custom designed and built, have high durability, and are the most aesthetically flexible.
- Pool shape?A good designer takes into account all preexisting conditions, listens carefully to the homeowner’s needs and style, and assembles a design that will hopefully look beautiful and function well. Keep in mind that there are more design limitations when working with vinyl liner and fiberglass pools than concrete pools. While template pools require the land to first be leveled, concrete pools can be built on steep slopes or uneven grades.
To enjoy your new pool for years to come, choose high quality equipment upfront, take good care of it, and keep your pool clean.
Source: Brad Renken, CBP, owner and founder, Hearthstone Environments