With new materials and improvements in construction technology, there has never been more choice available to the homeowner shopping for a backyard swimming pool. Some provide flexibility with regards to size and shape. Others speak to durability and permanence. To help you decide what kind of pool best suits your needs, here’s a brief introduction on the different kinds of in ground swimming pools on the market, each with a different price point and advantages.
1. Concrete Pool
The conventional building material of choice for in ground pool construction is concrete. This type of pool begins with excavation and a framework of steel. Concrete is poured and then sealed with a coat of plaster (which can be re-applied over the years as needed). In recent years alternatives to plaster have become popular, including pebble or glass aggregates and tiles. Using a reinforced steel and concrete base is a tried and true method for pool building and it can be extremely durable and easily customized to the owner’s specifications. But it is also costly, labor-intensive and can take many months of disruptive activity before anyone is able to use it. Another disadvantage is that concrete pools are susceptible to cracking as the ground settles or shifts.
2. Fiberglass Pool
A popular alternative to a concrete build is to buy a standard fiberglass shell and have it lowered into the excavation. This is a higher cost solution, but this type of treatment will last up to 15 years before deteriorating. With a smooth surface, it’s fairly easy to maintain. Fiberglass pools are known to crack and fade over time, due to the nature of the material. Repairs can be completed but often do not match the original color, causing visible imperfections.
3. Vinyl Pool
Homeowners working with a smaller budget often turn to vinyl-lined pools. These utilize a metal or plastic frame and supporting panels, a sand base and vinyl liner. This type of pool has a life span of 18 years or more, if treated with UV and fungus inhibitors to prevent the degradation of the vinyl. They are available in non-standard shapes and sizes, which makes them easy to incorporate into smaller properties and blend with existing landscaping elements. The downside to vinyl liners are that they can be easily punctured, which can cause a pool failure with costly repairs.
4. Shipping Container Pool
A newer in ground pool configuration uses the sustainable practice of upcycling metal shipping containers to form a swimming pool. It’s less expensive than a fully equipped in-ground pool, and some models have the added advantage of portability – you can take it with you when you move. Shipping container pools with fibreglass liners come largely pre-assembled, and can be placed above ground or partially below on a concrete pad or gravel. Some models include features such as clear viewing panels in the side and hot tub partitions. Shipping container pools do not have structural walls which could lead to a pool failure, their corrugated walls and wood floor also have the potential to rust if they are not manufactured correctly.
5. Dunk Pool
Dunk pools are also a fairly recent innovation in backyard pool technology. Their engineered design is made of steel, they are extremely durable and take up less space than conventional swimming pools. This means they can be tucked into areas unsuited for large in ground or above ground pools. Square or rectangular in shape, dunk pools are great for kids wanting to splash or cool off, and for adults pursuing a healthier lifestyle with aqua fitness exercises. They are a faster install than many conventional pools (and cost less too). And they are user-friendly with temperature and lighting controls that integrate to a smartphone app. For more information about the dunk pool phenomenon, contact us.
Before making an investment in a backyard pool, think through why you want a pool and who will be using it and for what. You may be surprised to learn that a conventionally constructed in ground pool may be too much pool for your purposes. For example, swimming laps aren’t the only way to use a pool for exercise. You may find that a smaller dunk pool will more perfectly do the trick.