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‘Pool’ for thought: What you need to know to pick the perfect pool

13-10-09The bumper-to-bumper traffic of driving to the cottage every Friday night will soon be no more. You’ve made the decision to install a swimming pool in your own backyard, a place where family and friends can gather to make lasting memories. Now that your mind is made up, you’re faced with another big question: What kind of pool should you get?

Aside from size and shape, design and budget are two other considerations that need to be weighed carefully. Depending on your preferences, the size of your backyard, and intended use, there is a swimming pool to suit every need. With the following information in hand, you can start your journey to pool ownership.

Option #1: Inground

No doubt, inground pools are more expensive than above-ground or onground models, since they require excavating your yard to accommodate them. However, they can provide a better return on investment (ROI) if you decide to sell your home down the road. A well-landscaped yard complete with an inground pool will not go unnoticed by potential homebuyers. While installing one requires a great deal of planning, effort, and cost, taking a refreshing dip in your own pool can be more luxurious than a five-star resort. If an inground pool is what you want, the next step is deciding whether it will be constructed from concrete, vinyl, or fibreglass.


Infinite design configurations are possible with concrete pools.

ADVANTAGES: If you’ve got the budget for it, a concrete pool offers infinite design configurations with the added advantages of durability and strength. Underwater shelves, vanishing edges, elaborate steps, and graduated and beach-style entries are just some of the options that can be incorporated into a concrete pool. But why stop there? The interior surface can be finished in a variety of materials to create an exotic look. Picture the walls covered with colourful tile fragments forming a mosaic design, or ceramic-coated quartz crystals that create an underwater sparkling effect.

Constructing a concrete pool is labour intensive and requires six weeks or more to build, depending on site and weather conditions. However, the end result can be a unique, custom-built aquatic feature.

INSTALLATION: To install a concrete pool, a crew will need to excavate the earth where it will be located. Once done, concrete is installed using one of two methods. The first is the poured-in-place technique, which entails pouring concrete over a grid of steel-reinforcing rods (rebar) between prepared forms. The wet-mix shotcrete method is the other option, which involves spraying pressurized, pre-mixed concrete through a hose at high speed to fill in and cover the rebar.

After the rebar is filled in and covered, the concrete is finished in plaster or another coating, then painted or accented with finishing materials. Once done, coping and border tiles are installed around the pool perimeter, followed by underwater lights and other components you may wish to have.

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