If you wanted a swimming pool 30 years ago, there were few choices: You’d typically get a rectangle, white plaster, inground pool. Fast forward to today and the choices are endless. Pool ownership is now possible for any size backyard, with any size budget.
The most affordable swimming pools today are typically above ground pools. These also used to just come in standard round, but several shapes are available today which also include rectangle and oval. You can add features to complete the backyard above ground pool area such as decking, fountains, lighting and even saltwater systems.
If you are thinking of getting an inground pool, there are several different considerations you should take into account before you choose the type - including budget, the weather in your area, how you will use your pool, yard size, etc.
Gunite pools offer the most design flexibility because they can come in any shape imaginable. Because they can offer the most customization with features, they are often the most expensive, but provide the most creativity by the homeowner. A gunite pool allows the pool designer and you to use you’re your imagination when building your dream pool. Freeform gunite pools are becoming very popular because the pool can be built to accent the features of the home and backyard. They can take up to 12 weeks or more to construct.
Fiberglass swimming pools are pre-constructed, making installation one to three weeks. They are available in a number of shapes and sizes, as well as textures. There are some major advantages to owning a fiberglass swimming pool. Fiberglass has the ability to expand and contract great. This is why in earthquake prone areas fiberglass pools are a growing trend. Another major advantage of the fiberglass pool over the other swimming pools is the surface – because it is so smooth, dirt and debris have a hard time sticking to it, making maintenance easy!
Vinyl swimming pools are also available in a variety of shapes, but because they are less labor intensive than gunite pools, are also less expensive. The great thing about vinyl pools is that now the liner options are increasing, creating a huge variety of choices for the homeowner to customize their swimming pool. Vinyl pools also allow the homeowner to add a great deal of features, making for a more inexpensive way to create a dream backyard. Unlike gunite pools are greatly influenced by freezing temperatures, Vinyl pools are very popular in freeze prone areas because of their ability to adapt to ground expansion and contraction. A vinyl swimming pool can be constructed in around 3 weeks, possibly longer if many features are added.
In addition to the shapes and features mentioned above, there are a few specialty features you can add to your pool to make it useful for other activities. If you are looking for a “sport pool”, a pool where you can have the ability to play volleyball or basketball, you would simply make the depth level at all ends. Also, there is also the ability to make your pool “endless” or a “resistance” pool by adding a special jet feature that allows a swimmer to swim against a current. This is a great feature in smaller pools that will still allow you to get the full swimming advantages of a larger pool.
Whichever pool you choose, remember to add safety features no matter the size, depth, or how you intend to use it.