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by Guest Blogger Ash Auckle, May 3, 2012
So now that you’ve made the choice to buy a swimming pool, you’ve got to make sure that you get exactly what you want. After all, this is typically a once in a lifetime expense and you want to plan it properly.
A lot of thoughts will be running through your head when planning the build, and to help you along the process, here are some top tips to keep in mind as you consider a swimming pool for the fun, family togetherness and fitness that it can bring.
Location Location Location
The location of your pool is important. It’s best to pick an open area, away from the trees and bushes, as this avoids things like leaves and insects dropping in the pool. You should take into account the best location for privacy and also what part of your garden sees the most sun. Don’t forget, you’ll need to have access to electricity and water supply!
Shape and size matters
When considering the shape and size of the pool, take into account the reason why you’re buying it in the first place. Is it somewhere just to cool off in the summer? Or are you looking for a pool to do laps in without so many flip turns? The shape and size will be dictated by your motivations; but it is worth remembering that picking a free form shape will mean water circulation will be more efficient. And, of course, a smaller pool will be cheaper to install.
Picking the right type of pool
The first choice is between picking an inground or above ground pool. An above ground pool avoids the need to gain planning permission, it also tends to be cheaper than inground pools and isconsiderably easier to install - as they don’t require ground excavation. That said, the look of having an inground pool cannot be beaten, and with this option you have a choice of finishes. A tiled pool is a popular choice and is often the one recommended; it gives the best finish, but it can be the mostcostly and time-consuming method. Liner pools are another option, and they are a much faster and cheaper option. Again it won’t give the same finish as a tiled pool, but they are strong, durable, can be easily fitted for any pool and are easily repairable. The final option is a preformed pool - a pool that has already been created and can be installed within a couple of weeks. But it is important to your preformed pool from a reputable dealer as a poor one can last as little as two years.
Go with a reputable contractor
It can be tempting to go down the DIY route, but a swimming pool contractor will have access to all the knowledge, tools, materials and manpower needed to make the project go smoothly. When picking a contractor, the top tips are to make sure you go for someone who has been around for at least five years, is licensed and is a member of professional organisations. If you are able to get testimonials of previous clients, or even visit some of their previous pools, so much the better, as you will be able to form a better opinion. If someone is offering the work at a cheaper price than others, always ask yourself why. You need experience and accountability with a project of this size.
Consider building your pool out of season
Building your pool out of season might sound a strange idea, but you will often find it is a cheaper option. Many contractors, especially the best out there, will be busy in the build up to the summer months. It might mean that your pool doesn’t get used much to begin with, but you are likely to pay less for the best out there. You may even enjoy a better end product, the result of construction during a less hurried time of year.
Install a solar panel heater
Whilst the initial outlay might be higher for a solar panel heater than a conventional heater, they have a very low annual operating cost and are cost competitive with gas and heat equivalents. It is worth considering installing a solar panel heater and a gas heater too as the gas heater can be used to heat up the pool initially, and then use the solar panel heating to keep the temperature constant. Typically these solar heaters will last between ten and twenty years, without any repairs.
Invest in energy efficient pumps.
Yet another potentially large expense, but cheaper pumps are often heavy onelectricity usage and can sometimes consume more than their initial cost injust one year! Spending a bit extra can mean that you save money in the long run, especially for inground pools. View our 2-speed, 3-speed and Variable speed pumps at poolcenter.com.
Build a fence around your pool and install pool covers.
Both of these measures will help give you a bit more piece of mind when owning a pool, as they will act as a safety measure for those with little children or pets, preventing them accessing the pool area. Building fencing around yourpool can offer you both more privacy from nosey neighbours and help limit the wind from stealing heat from the pool. On the other hand, the pool cover can help you lower your costs, as leaves and other items are stopped from falling in, lowering your chemical bill. Your heating bill should could be cut in half with a good cover, as you will retain more of the heat that you put in.
About the author: Ashley Auckle works with Ascot Pools, a leading swimming pool construction and maintenance company, based in the South-East of England
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