When you move into your own property or if you’re building one from scratch you have the option of creating a swimming pool. Always elegant and luxurious pools have come a long way in design and technology but are expensive to upkeep.
Shimmering blue and inviting in the tropical sun a swimming pool certainly adds a focal point to the architecture and design of your property. In many cases a swimming pool also increases the valuation of your home.
It was the stifling heat that made owning a home pool so attractive. We pictured going to work in our swimsuits, coming home, stripping and jumping into the cool blue water. Such bliss! We also pictured poolside parties and weekend fun. So when we went searching for a new home we looked for one with a pool or one with space to build one.
However there are two sides to everything. While a pool may have positive points it will also have negative ones. Here are a few pros and cos to having a pool in your home.
Climate-Having a pool is obviously wonderful in Singapore’s hot, sunny climate. You can use your pool practically all year-round. Enjoy the sun and the cool water at the same time.
Entertainment-Birthday parties and other big occasions take on added dimensions with a pool. Arrange a buffet table or a bar with tropical cocktails. And of course barbecues are perfect by the pool.
Exercise-No more excuses for big bellies. A pool is where you can enjoy good exercise every day. Make it large enough for doing laps.
Landscaping-Having a pool adds to your landscape aesthetics. If you know how to create gardens and grow plants to beautify your land, a pool is a wonderful focal point.
Spa-A pool can be a spa if you include water jets for massage and sections for soaking. Just imagine spoiling yourself this way after a hard day at work.
Value-A pool, in many cases, adds value to your real estate. Research the types and new technologies of swimming pools at resorts, spas and new building projects to see what’s in demand.
Safety-If you have young children or children who are plain stubborn, a pool can be a safety hazard. Set rules from the very beginning about who’s in charge, when to use the pool and when it is out of bounds. If children are using the pool there has to be adult supervision at all times. This goes for pets as well.
Humidity-As a large amount of water evaporates in the heat, there is the humidity effect. If there are inteior spaces near the pool there may be dampness so make sure you design spaces intelligently.
Maintenance- If upkeep is neglected for even as little as a week your pool could suffer. The balance of chemicals is an issue that you have to get right to maintain a safe swimming environment. When it rains this balance is askew and will need even more attention or else there will be an algae or bacteria problem. Once algae develops in your pool you must be extremely careful to thoroughly clean any devices or materials that could have been affected by it. Many pool companies offer monthly maintenance packages where a professional will come to your home to provide basic maintenance and inspections of your pool equipment. These packages are costly so factor this into your expenses.
Mechanism-Pools also have many mechanisms that must be monitored because if anything malfunctions it could lead to bigger more expensive problems.
Energy-You must also consider the energy costs of a pool. Depending on how often you run your pump (usually around 7-8 hours per day) and use your spa (jets, etc) your utility bills could increase substantially.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER AT A GLANCE
How much can you afford to spend on a swimming pool?
How much space do you have for a swimming pool?
What shape and size pool do you want?
Do you want an in-ground pool or above-ground pool?
Do you want spa features?
TYPES OF POOLS
These range from inflatable pools for kids to full-size pools at professional swimming pool companies. Most above ground pools range from 3m to 8m in diameter and can reach depths of 2m. With this type of pool, you have the ability to pick a pool that will easily fit into your budget.
Above-ground pools benefits:
Portable-You can take an above ground pool with you if you move by disassembling it.
Durable-Most above ground pool manufacturers use corrosion-resistant coatings and materials designed to withstand the elements.
Cheaper-It costs about 10 times less than an in-ground pool.
Fast-Building an in-ground pool can take months while an above-ground pool can be set up within a day.
While in-ground swimming pools cost more than other types of swimming pools, they can increase your home’s value in Singapore by as much as S$10,000 say real estate agents. In-ground pools look better than above-ground ones and the main things to consider are your budget, size, shape, pool material and use(spa, lap, landscape, etc).
POOL CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
Most of these types use a vinyl pool liner to cover a swimming pool shell. It may be the least expensive option for a swimming pool but the vinyl can crack, tear or puncture. If you want elegance and class this is not the pool option although vinyl comes in a variety of colours and finishes that imitate expensive tile, marble and slate.
Many second-time pool owners choose to install a fibreglass swimming pool rather than another pool as they are the only types of pools that do not require resurfacing, provided you maintain a proper chemical balance for the water to protect the pool’s finish.
Some fibreglass pools are 15 times stronger than concrete poolsand are the least expensive to maintain.
Concrete pools are less prone to cracks and tears in fluctuating weather conditions. Vinyl pool liners without climate crack protection can tear but most concrete pools can withstand the temperature changes especially if the pool installation company allows the cement to set properly.
Gunite pools are popular on the market and are built by using an air gun to spray concrete and sand to form the shell of the pool. The gunite is then covered with plaster to create a smooth and durable appearance. Gunite pools are the most expensive types, and are ideal for people who want a tailor-made pool to suit their needs.
Whether you decide to get a pool or not do your research and factor in the expenses and space that you need.