”Misfortune is a stepping stone for genius, the baptismal font of Christians, treasure for the skillful man, an abyss for the feeble.” (Honoré de Balzac)
Before you start building the your dream swimming pool, you better be careful to the bureaucratic process that the construction of in-ground or semi in-ground swimming pools require. Without a specific permit you might commit an infringement of building regulations which might be a penal crime for the designer, the builder and the client. It’s better to get information at your town hall to know which permits you need before you build a swimming pool.
First, you have to choose the shape. A construction swimming pool doesn’t have a specific shape. You can use your creativity and the lines of the ground where you want to build it. But shapes that are a bit too complex might not let the water flow easily and limit the choice of essential accessories such as swimming pool covers and automatic cleaners. Choose a shape that blends with the environment and which is easy to maintain.
The evaluation of the available space is fundamental. Experts say that the optimal size for a household swimming pool is of 50 square meters: a good compromise between costs and advantages. However this depends on the use of the swimming pool. In recent years the sizes that have been required mostly were 3x7m, 4x8m, 5x10m but in case of a swimming pool for sports purposes you definitely need a bigger one. The depth isn’t limited by regulations but you usually refer to designer’s experience taking into account client’s needs. The limit depth, in other words the depth in which even a non-swimmer feels comfortable is of 70cm for children under 6 and 170 cm for over 18 adults. However, nowadays the trend is to build swimming pools that have a 120-150cm depth with a flat floor and a few deeper holes or mini-holes with a mild slope. With this depth all users can swim, play and relax. Moreover, swimming pools with a greater depth can be dangerous and are generally harder to heat up and can’t be used to play.
Which kind of swimming pool should you choose? Taking into account water flow, you can choose among infinity swimming pools
and skimmer swimming pools. Infinity swimming pools, considered by many the classiest and the most elegant ones, come with a spillway along the border of the pool. The spillway comes with a grid that conveys water in a compensation basin which is placed between the pool and the filtering system. The water is drawn toward the filtering system, filtered and then let out into the pool through the flows on the floor. The flows let out the filtered water in the pool and by doing this create a current that pushes the water and dirt to the spillway. For this reason you better place them carefully so to grant an optimal flow in the pool. Infinity swimming pools are the best aesthetical and functional choice because the spillway grants water surface’s cleanliness while having the good looks especially if the spill is only on one side giving a waterfall effect. However, this kind of swimming pool is more expensive and more complicated to build. First of all, you need to build a compensation basin that recovers the water lost when the users get out of the water. The recovery of the water level should be done with water coming from the water system which is colder and non-disinfected. There’s another element you have to consider: minimum dimensional allowance. The natural ground adjustment under the weight of the full pool can make the spill irregular. As an alternative to the infinity pools there are the simpler skimmer swimming pools
where the recirculation of water is granted by a series of openings on the wall called skimmers whose number and size depend on the surface of the pool. The skimmers draw water from the pool surface to send it to the filtering system while the flows on the walls push the water towards the skimmers. Each skimmer covers a 25 square meter surface but you better install additional ones in case of irregularly shaped pools. The flows have to be placed so to facilitate the recirculation of the water and so opposite the skimmers taking into account prevailing winds because winds might hamper an optimal recirculation and thus a good filtration. Because of its construction ease (it has less construction allowances) and for budget reasons (it doesn’t have a recirculation basin) the skimmer pool is the most commonly installed one.
The most difficult part in building a swimming pool is the support structure and this is made worse by several different kinds of pools available on the market. The most common way of building a pool is with poured in place concrete or with the use of disposable formworks, reinforced steel sheets or fiberglass. On site poured concrete swimming pools are solid and tough, they are ideal for the construction of free form swimming pools but their construction is more complicated and it takes more time compared to other kinds of pools. For this reason it is also the most expensive solution. As an alternative you can use permanent active formworks which, while still tough and resistant, lower the construction costs and time. The in-ground steel swimming pools won’t let your creativity burst but their installation is fast and less expensive compared to reinforced concrete. They are covered with PVC and their installation is easy enough to make it possible to install it in a DIY kit. Single piece fiberglass pools come with a polyester and fiberglass shell which is reinforced on the sides by ribs which make them free-standing and water pressure resistant. Their outer layer might undergo deterioration in time thus losing brightness and deterioration of the structure itself because of dents and cracks. Despite their installation convenience, they cannot be customizable and they are hard to move around especially if you choose large ones.
Which pool liner
should I choose? There are many different kinds. From PVC to tiles, from special mortars to simple paint. Aesthetics and your budget would determine your choice. Moreover, the swimming pool has to have special railings to get in and out of the water safely.
What does the installation of the swimming pool entail? If you place it outdoors, it has to go under the sun as much as possible so you have to put it far from trees and bushes. If you decide to place it indoors you need to install a room heating system and a dehumidifier in order to avoid condense build-up. In both cases you have to consider building a technical room for the recirculation pump, the filter, the joints and the electric switchboard as well as the automatic water treatment and heating devices. The technical room can be masonry made or an in-ground fiberglass box with a walkable cover. Don’t forget to outfit the surrounding area with deck chairs, garden umbrellas, tables and, why not? A series of floating pool lounges
to make your swimming pool bath an unforgettable experience!