With summer already here our minds start turning to the thought of lounging or splashing around in our own pool. Choosing the best pool for you and your family takes some careful thought, planning and design to make the most of it.
Prefabricated vs. custom pools
There are two basic types of pool; prefabricated which are typically fiberglass and custom built pools which are typically concrete. As the name suggest prefabricated pools are fabricated off site and then installed into the final location. The main advantage of prefab pools is that they are less expensive and easy to install, the drawback is the limitation on shapes and sizes. The obvious advantage of concrete pools is that the only real limit of what’s possible with the design is your imagination, the main drawback is the increased cost.
Custom designed pools
In this blog we will be looking specifically at design considerations for custom concrete pools. The beauty of custom pools is that they are designed specifically for their location and purpose. There are a number of considerations to ponder when assessing what type of pool is right for you.
How will you be using the pool?
Whether it’s swimming laps, taking a dip and cool off or somewhere for the kids to splash about these are a few important things to consider to make sure your pool is fit for purpose, because once it’s installed it is very difficult and costly to try and change.
Who will be using the pool?
Kids, parents, friends, friends of friends, family. Considering all the different groups of people who will be using your pool will help you maximise its use and your enjoyment
How many people will be using the pool?
Will yours be a pool built for two or a tribe? Being able to accommodate the different members of your family, and their differing activities, as well as friends and family is critical to maximise your enjoyment of your pool. The number of people who will be using the pool at peak times will largely dictate the size of your pool.
When will you be using the pool?
If night swimming is your thing, or you love entertaining with a ‘wow’ factor, then a great lighting system is essential for your pool. It is important to keep in mind designing your pool for all seasons so that there is shade available in the hottest months and that there is enough sunlight in the cooler months.
With pools often acting as water features during the colder months it is important to consider the aesthetic elements, particularly if you have a small block or are intending to build the pool up to or close to your home. If building new it can look stunning to use the pool wall as a foundation for the house to sit on lke this project in Kew.
Where is the pool located?
The location of the pool in relation to your house can have a big impact on design and usability. A pool that is on the southern side of the house will be shaded from the sun on cooler days and will take more energy to heat up or maintain water temperature. The pool on our Wheelers Hill project has great solar access to the east and north allowing longer swimming into the cooler months and is well positioned to receive shade from the house to block out the hot western sun in summer.
Though opinion on this varies, for some serious lap swimming the smallest length you would want to consider is about 15m. Smaller and there are too many turns and its hard to get a good stroke going.
Plunge pools are a great idea if are just looking for somewhere you can dip into and cool off on a hot day. They are luxurious and effective way to use a small space.
Spas can be a stand alone item or can be combined with the main pool using a change in level, waterfall effect or even as a feature as has been designed in our Eaglemont project.
Combining different pool types can be the answer to many of these questions as it caters for all uses and users. Our Sandringham project (directly below) is one example of this with a recreational pool, lap pool and spa combination wrapping around the house.
Pool detail & stunning effects
As mentioned earlier the only real limit to what can be done with custom pools is your imagination. A simple idea is building a pool up to your house to create a stunning effect. Other details include creating an ‘infinity’ edge, water features, glass walls, underwater viewing windows… and the list goes on.
This stunning house by Metropolis design is literally surrounded by and immersed in water.