Types of swimming pools
1. Plunge pools
Plunge pools are typically smaller but appear bigger and deeper than most spas or swim spas. These pools are very popular as a landscape feature or are incorporated into entertaining areas for family and friends. Plunge pools are popular in inner-city suburbs where block sizes are limited. Plunge pools commonly have edge seating or steps, waterfalls, blade edges or wet edges to enhance the pool as a real feature over and above typical spas.
2 . Family pools
Pools generally measuring above 7 x 3m are considered a family pool and defined more by their multiple purposes. Primarily recreational, angular, round or oval, a family pool can improve family lifestyles by injecting FUN and exercise into spending time with children and family and the social atmosphere means the kids are safe at home. Be aware, the family pool will mean lots of visitors, so keep the fridge stocked and plenty of towels at the ready.
Above ground pools
There are lots of different types of above ground pools, and you can choose shells made of plastic, rubber, fibreglass or concrete as well as additional features to suit your budget.
Above-ground swimming pools offer an alternative to in-ground pools, which may be difficult to install in some backyards because of access or the type of ground you have. They come in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes, and can be accommodated even in smaller backyards or on uneven terrain, so are the ideal choice for many people.
It’s good to know as well that above ground pools are safer simply because of their higher entry points.
A bonus is that depending on the materials used for their shell, they are simple to maintain and require fewer chemicals than an in-ground pool.
Using steel-reinforced concrete to form a shell, concrete and plaster are the most common in-ground pool-building materials and were the first ones used when residential pools became popular. Why? Concrete is durable and porous, allowing the plaster-coated shell to hold water, provide stability, and be replastered when needed, adding to its longevity.
Here’s how it works: after a hole has been excavated in a yard, the sides and bottom of the hole are lined or framed with rebar (steel rods). These can be sculpted into nearly any shape conceivable (from rectangles to boomerangs to hearts and guitars), along with adding steps, ramps, and other features. After the rebar is positioned, spraying a finish using shotcrete or gunite makes the pool shell. This spray-on method helps a contractor in deciding the size and shape of a concrete pool. In most cases, a pool with modern curves should not cost any more than the same-size pool with a more traditional, angular shape. While shotcrete is applied to the pool surface wet or dry, gunite is applied dry.
Various materials can be added to pool surfaces made of concrete or plaster, including tile, stone, and human-made textures. Alternative finishes with textures are becoming increasingly popular, like pebble aggregate or (Pebble Tec, a glass alternative Beadcrete, Wet Edge’s Primera Stone, NPT’s JewelScapes, StoneScapes, and QuartzScapes). Expect these aggregate finishes to last about 8 to 12 years.
A swimming pool made of fibreglass will be sold as a large one-piece shell that arrives at your home by truck and then is positioned in the excavated hole with the help of a crane. Unlike concrete pools, fibreglass pools are ready-made, making it rare to request a customized design. Most fibreglass manufacturers offer many models and sizes to choose from. Steps, spas, and benches are usually pre-formed.
Fibreglass makes the pool-building process quick and easy. Its smooth interior surface is slick, making it tough for algae to cling to. However, fibreglass can be more costly. After 10 to 15 years of exposure to the sun and chemicals, the fibreglass deteriorates.
Pools that are lined with vinyl are built with metal or plastic frames above ground or set into the excavated hole. Prefab supporting walls or panels made of plastic, steel, or aluminium are joined to the frame, making a form that is then lined with heavy vinyl to form the pool shell. The bottom of a vinyl liner sits on a bed of sand or other material, while the top is held down by the coping, which creates a finished edge and also acts as a border for the pool deck.
Like other materials, vinyl deteriorates with long-time exposure to the elements along with pool chemicals. Some liners come equipped with fungus and UV inhibitors, which can extend the life of a vinyl liner from 10 to about 18 years or so.
3. Lap pools
Lap pools are typically longer and thinner than most family pools. A straight lap pool may be 10 x 2.5 metres. Lap pools are great to keep fit. A straight lap pool will occupy a smaller footprint in your yard. The lap section is often kept free of obstacles like steps and ladders, the sides are straight, not angled, and to ensure the swimmers’ arms can move freely and safely.
Lap pool features typically include water jets, additional underwater lighting and heating for use all year round.
4. Infinity pools
An infinity pool is a reflecting or swimming pool, where the water flows over one or more edges, producing a visual effect of water with no boundary. Such pools are often designed so that the edge appears to merge with a larger body of water such as the ocean, or with the sky.
Infinity edge pools are popular in coastal or rural areas where vast landscapes or views are present in the background and the concept is often used at hotels and resorts.
5. Swim spas
Quite simply, a Swim Spa is a machine that allows you to swim continuously against water current. You never “hit the wall” or have to turn around to continue to swim laps like in a regular pool or a lap pool. Swim Spas provide the absolute best swimming exercise workout, using the least amount of space in your home or yard.
Swim Spas also act as smaller swimming pools in the sense that you can play around in them, or with some of the split-models, you actually have a hot tub spa in one end of it and a swimming area in the other end.
The popularity of outdoor spas came with the growing trend of higher density living. With higher prices of lots and properties, people are looking for luxury solutions in squeezed-in spaces. These spas are available in many shapes and sizes, from a romantic two-person spa to a model suitable for entertaining up to 10 people. Typically, they require the space of five meters square or less to install. Due to its small size and the availability of shapes, these spas can fit almost everywhere – on your porch, outdoor room or a remote, secluded corner of your backyard. This way you’ll have more space in your backyard for landscaping features, no matter how small it is.
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