Adding a swimming pool to your home has a whole host of benefits for you and your family. From enhancing your enjoyment every summer, to improving your fitness, and increasing the value of your property. Swimming pools can also enhance your social life, providing the perfect backdrop for BBQs and family functions.
If you have started looking at installing a pool on your property, you will know that there are lots of different options out there. And if you don’t know where to start, then choosing the pool for your home can seem confusing and overwhelming.
If you are considering improving your home with a swimming pool, one of the major decisions you need to make is which swimming pool type is best for you. There are various shapes and depths to consider and you also need to decide whether you would prefer an above ground pool or an in ground pool.
Finally, you need to make decisions such as the best swimming pool cover and security fences for the pool you have decided upon. Then there are the finishing touches such as landscaping and pool care equipment.
In the article below we will look at the different types of swimming pools available and help you to decide which pools are best for you and your property in South Africa.
What Are The Different Types of Swimming Pools?
Do You Want an In Ground Pool?
One of the main decisions when it comes to swimming pool types is whether you want an above ground pool or an in ground pool. These types of pools have very different aesthetic appeals, and installation methods, and the type of pool that is best will depend on a variety of factors.
In ground pools are the most common type of swimming pool you will find in residential properties. These types of pol can be a wonderful choice for families looking to increase their leisure and entertainment activities at home.
The cost will vary depending on the type of swimming pool you install. Variables include the size of the pool, the design, and the types of materials used. Some types of swimming pools to consider include:
- Fiberglass Swimming Pools. These types of swimming pools are usually the most expensive to install, but because of their high quality will have the lowest ongoing maintenance costs. They are speedy to install but cannot really be customized as they are built from a predetermined mould. They are also no wider than 16 feet usually.
- Vinyl In Ground Pools. These types of swimming pools have a vinyl liner surface than fiberglass. They also have a lower installation cost and you can customize them to the shape, depth, and size you would prefer. However, because the material is thinner and more susceptible to damage, you can be looking at having to pay for a vinyl liner replacement every five to ten years.
- Concrete In Ground Swimming Pool. These types of in ground pools are probably the longest lasting option although they are also costly to install. You will also be looking at an estimated three to six months of construction before a swimming pool is complete and ready for you and your family to use.
In ground swimming pools are great option due to better aesthetics, the variety of different materials you can use, and that they can add serious resale value to your property. They also tend to be more permanent and durable than above ground swimming pools.
However, in ground swimming pools can be expensive, and will cause more disruption to your yard during installation, and you need to commit to regular checks and maintenance to limit costly damage. Each type of pool material also has its own limitations and drawbacks in terms of shape and size.
Are Above Ground Swimming Pools Best?
The other most common type of swimming pool is an above ground swimming pool. In contrast to an in ground swimming pool, these options are installed directly on your property with no digging or foundations required. So, above ground pools are generally cheaper and faster to install.
You won’t need to worry about the extensive landscaping, building, and upheaval involved in installing this type of pool. So, these types of swimming pools are a popular choice for those looking to start enjoying the summer sun with their family as soon as possible.
There are also a variety of distinctive features and options you can add to customize your above ground pool such as jet sprays and coloured lights.
Above ground pools are also be considered to be safer and more secure than in ground swimming pools as the water entry point is above ground. This means that it is harder to children and pets to reach the water surface and enter a pool unsupervised.
However, many find that these types of pools can be disruptive aesthetically, and they will definitely be more of a noticeable feature on the property than in ground options. This can be weight against the savings in cost and time when deciding if this is the best type of pool for you.
You also need to consider that above ground pools are also unlikely to last as long as a pool in the ground. So, if you are looking to invest in a pool to add long term value to your property, this may not be the best option.
Do You Want to Install a Lap Swimming Pool?
As well as deciding between below and above ground pools, you also need to think about the purpose of the pool. There is a variety of different types of designs of swimming pools such as lap pools, natural, pools, and architectural pools. The best swimming pool types for you will depend on what you intend to use it for.
If the purpose of the pool is so you can swim laps and improve your fitness, then a straightforward lap swimming pool is a great option. This type of swimming pool will be a clear rectangular shape with a decent lap which will enable you to swim a decent length before having to turn.
The pool is generally between 30 to 70 feet in length depending on your property and preferences. They are usually designed so they are a consistent depth with no shallow end, to allow better lap swimming.
Their uncomplicated design can also mean they are a less expensive option than other pools with more customized shapes and features. They also generally require less water maintenance as they contain less water than wider options.
These aren’t the most visually interesting or family friendly type of swimming pools, but if you are looking for a pool to exercise in, then these are a great option.
What are Architectural Swimming Pools?
If you are looking to increase the aesthetical appeal and property value of your home, then these types of pools can be the best option. These highly stylish and customized swimming pools will be specially designed by an architect to provide you with a unique and beautiful swimming pool that integrates landscaping and property features.
Because of the customization factors of these swimming pools, the planning and installation stages can be lengthy. And they can be expensive depending on your requirements, preferred materials, and additional landscaping. Installation can be a lengthier process as well, depending on the pool you are having installed.
These types of swimming pools will be designed so that they are cohesive with your home and yard and as such can add to the overall aesthetic appeal of your property. These swimming pools are often designed and installed during the building of new properties to ensure that there is balance and harmony in the design. But it can be added afterward to provide an effect that is just as stunning and practical.
How About Infinity Swimming Pools?
For a completely opposite effect to conspicuous above ground pools, you can opt for a luxurious custom built infinity pool. These pools are a frequent feature at luxury resorts, high class resorts, and properties with spectacular sea views.
These swimming pools are also known as infinity edge or vanishing edge pools due to their most outstanding feature. The pools are recognizable from the illusion that the edge of the pool drops off immediately with no border or frame – giving a beautiful effect that is similar to that of the edge of a waterfall.
In order to achieve this effect, infinity pools are one of the more expensive types of swimming pools to install on your property. For this reason, these pools are usually found in commercial and business properties rather than residential ones.
It is estimated that adding an infinity effect to swimming pools can increase approximately 30% of the overall cost of your pool installation. However, similarly with architectural swimming pools, if you have the budget, the pool can add to both the beauty and value of the property. So, if beauty and aesthetic appeal are top of your list, this is a pool type you should definitely consider.
What are Natural Swimming Pools?
If you don’t like the idea of swimming in a pool full of chlorine and other chemicals, then natural swimming pools are an excellent choice. These greener, more environmentally friendly options will use plants to filter and clean the pool water.
However, because of this, the pool will need to be bigger than other options, as you need one area to swing in and one to devote to the water cleaning process.
The water regeneration section of pool is shallow and aquatic plants, water pumps, tubes, and gravel will be contained in the area. The clear water generated in this section will be added to the swimming section which you will then use.
Natural swimming pools usually include other aesthetically pleasing features such as waterfalls, boulders, and plants to provide a truly natural look to the area. As such, the pool can add greatly to the beauty and saleability of your home.
Due to the natural filtering process of these swimming pools, you will face lower ongoing maintenance costs, as you don’t have to pay for extra chemicals and treatments for the water.
However, due to the complicated nature of the pool and associated landscaping, these can be both costly to install and take a long time to be ready for swimming. You will also need to consider the extra cleaning and maintenance involved in the upkeep of a pool that has no chemicals.
These unique and beautiful swimming pools are a wonderful option if you have both the home and large space to create a totally unique and magical pool for your home.
Is a Saltwater Pool a Good Option?
If you want a natural and minimal maintenance pool, then you can also consider getting a natural pool installed in your home. These pools will contain saltwater rather than chlorine filled water and as such will be less is a drain on your monthly funds.
Salt water pools are less harsh on the skin and eyes or swimmers and you won’t have to worry about exposing your children to chemicals as they enjoy their swim.
However, converting a pool from chlorine to salt water can be an expensive process. And you may need to consider using specialist materials to deal with salt water elements.
Do you want a Plunge Pool?
This relatively small in ground pool is not really meant for swimming or family fun. Instead, they are kept cold and used as a way to cool down and relieve pain or stiffness after exercise and athletics.
It can be installed as a standalone feature or to be an additional option alongside a traditional pool. They are generally designed to be about 10 or 15 feet wide, squarish in shape, and have one depth throughout.
You simply plunge into the cold water after your workout for the relief and instant colling of the water. If you are an athlete or exercise intensely, then this in ground pool is a good feature t have, but more recreational swimmers may find that have no need for it.
Is the Spool Better for Your Property?
If you want a pool to gently relax and unwind in, with laps and high intensity exercise a low priority, then a spool can be a fantastic choice. These small pools are named after a combination of the words, “Pool”, “Spa”, and “Small” and are designed for lounging around in the water.
Your spool experience can also be enhanced by adding features such as lights, hot tub elements, and colourful lights.
However, you shouldn’t expect to dive into the water and be able to swim a few laps. This is purely for resting and splashing around in.
The cost and installation time of the pool will depend upon the size and shape of the design you choose. But will be a lower cost option to build in your home than an infinity or an architectural pool if you just want a humble space to rest and relax in after a long day at work.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Type of Pool for You?
Now, that we have looked at the different types of pools available. You may have a clear idea about which option is one of the best for you. But before you make your choice, here are the factors to consider.
Establish your Budget Beforehand
Before you start looking at the best pool and features for your home, you need to establish your overall budget. This will help you to immediately weed out which options just aren’t practical for you and which styles to look further into.
It will also help you to make sure that you don’t overspend and waste money on features that are not necessary for your home pool.
What is the Size and Shape of Your Back Yard?
A pool can take up a large amount of space in your yard, and you need to think about how much space you need to be left over in your garden. Is there a sizeable level plain where the pool can be installed or will you need to remove landscaping to make sure there is enough room?
Think About Long Term Maintenance and Repair Costs
When deciding on the types of pools to think about, you should make sure to include ongoing repair and maintenance costs in your budget. You can also weigh up estimated added property value against the installation costs to get a good idea about whether an option is cost-effective for you.
Research Local Pool Installers
Once you have decided on your pool and budget, then the decision about your installer can also be an especially crucial factor. Make sure to consider several different local options, read online reviews, and ask for references and photos from previous customers.
Choosing based on the lowest quote alone may turn out to be a false economy if you have to pay for repairs and changes which wouldn’t be necessary if you chose a more reliable and reputable installer.
Other Decisions to Make About Your Pool
Once you have chosen your pool and installer, there are still some other factors to consider when making sure that your pool is safe, secure, and clean.
Pool Maintenance and Cleaning Equipment
Make sure that you are familiar with the maintenance and cleaning requirements of your pool. In order for the water to be safe for you and your loved ones to swim in, you need to make sure that the chemical levels are perfectly balanced, that bacteria and mould are dealt with, and that filters and pumps are functioning properly.
Family Safety and Security
You need to make sure that access to the pool is restricted and that children and pets cannot enter the water unsupervised. Two of the most effective ways to do this are to install a swimming pool fence and a swimming pool safety cover.
Swimming Pool Fences
A swimming pool fence will restrict access to your swimming pool and you can use a locked gate to prevent unauthorized entry as much as possible. In South Africa, if there is access to the pool from the street or other public areas, then the height of your fence should be at least 1.2 meters.
However, if your pool is within an enclosed property space, then you must have a fence with the required height of 1 meter or above.
What Type of Swimming Pool Cover Do You Need?
Another key factor in maintaining the safety of your swimming pool is making sure you select the correct cover. Investing in a high-quality pool cover can help you to keep your children and pets safely away from the water, reduce evaporation and keep heating costs down.
The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) states that if your pool has a depth of 30cm or above, then you should install a pool safety net or cover. This needs to be of a high standard and installed by a professional and accredited installer.
There are a wide variety of different covers available for your South African pools, including safety covers, heat retaining covers, roll-out pool covers, and customized options to fit in with your pool design.
What Are the Different Types of Swimming Pools That I Should Consider for My Property?
When it comes to enhancing your property with a swimming pool, you have various options to choose from with regards to types of swimming pool construction. Some popular choices include concrete, vinyl-lined, and fiberglass pools. Each construction type offers unique features and benefits, so it’s important to consider factors such as budget, maintenance requirements, longevity, and aesthetic appeal before making a decision. Researching the pros and cons of each type will help you find the perfect swimming pool for your property.
Where to Find High Quality Pool Covers in South Africa?
A high-quality and durable pool cover is an essential aspect of your overall pool installation and not an area to scrimp on. An excellent quality cover can last for several seasons before needing replacement and will be resilient to leaks, tears, and damage.
Investing in a premium pool cover can save you a substantial amount of money in terms of cleaning, water supply, and water treatment throughout the summer. For more information about the different swimming pool covers available in South Africa, make sure to check our website and blog.
Our expert pool cover installers will also be delighted to hear from you if you would like to know about your best options for keeping your newly installed pool safe and secure all year long.