Your Everything Guide for Summer Splash and Fun
There’s nothing worse than dealing with a hot summer day with absolutely no way to cool yourself off.
Sure, you can try to overload on ice cream, crank the air conditioner to 11, or sit yourself in front of an industrial sized fan in an effort to cool yourself down – but most of the time (almost all of the time) none of that is going to come close to cutting it.
But when you have your own pool in your backyard or in your home…
Well, everything changes.
According to some information published by four manufacturers and pool installation services throughout the United States, one in every four homes or so has a pool in the US – and it’s easy to see why.
When you have a pool, you have an entertainment hub. People are going to want to come over, take a dip, hang out in the backyard, and generally just kind of chill out – and it’s all because of the pool you have in your backyard or in your home!
At the same time, most people have heard horror stories of homeowners that just didn’t want to take care of their pool anymore and all of the headache and hassle that they had to go through on a daily basis.
There is a bit of truth to that for sure, but honestly (thanks in large part to modern technology), a lot of the heavy lifting necessary for keeping your pool in tip top condition has been eliminated altogether – or automated so that you enjoy a hands-free solution that gets the job done for you.
But that’s for a little bit later in this guide. Right now we are going to dive into the different types of pools and spas that you’ll be able to have installed in your home or on your property. Let’s get right to it!
Types of Pools and Spas
It used to be that if you wanted a pool in your yard, you really only had two options:
- You could go with an inground pool of just about any size and shape (provided you had the budget for it) or
- You could go with an above ground pool of just about any signs so long as it was perfectly round, provided that you had the space for it
Today, there are a lot of different options available to you when it comes time to pick and choose the right pool for your specific needs.
Inground pools are still probably the most popular of all the types of pools that are installed today, and the overwhelming majority of homeowners that decide to go with a pool usually end up choosing an inground pool in one shape or form factor or another.
Relatively expensive to have installed in your home or on your property, they look a lot better than above ground pools ever could, which is a big deal when it comes time to sell your home later down the line. They come in a bunch of different shapes and sizes, and use different construction materials (concrete and vinyl are the most popular two construction materials today), and almost always require having a team of professional experts come in, dig the hole, and then install the pool for you.
All of that contributes to their dramatically higher price tag when compared to most other pool options.
Above ground pools, on the other hand, are relatively inexpensive – but they also happen to be pretty unsightly unless you get creative in the ways that you go about hiding them.
Obviously, you’re always going to be able to know exactly where your above ground pool is just by the very nature of the installation, but sometimes you can help the entire structure to kind of “blend” into your property.
This is accomplished with landscaping, with decking and furniture, and with other outdoor projects that all work together to kind of camouflage your above ground pool. The fact that it is so obtrusive is its biggest drawback.
On the flip side, however, they are so much less expensive that you could almost have two above ground pools installed on your property for the price of one inground pool. And because the utility of both types of pools is the same, you’d have to be at least a little bit crazy not to at least consider going in this direction.
Indoor pools used to only exist in community centers and fitness clubs, but nothing could be further from the truth today.
Now, small businesses, most colleges and universities, and a number of private residences all have an indoor pool of one type or another (usually a “miniaturize” lap pool or something similar) installed in their homes.
These projects are pretty costly, not just because of the fact that they almost always include an indoor pool, but because you have to take into account cleaning the pool, maintaining the pool, keeping the pool area safe, as well as problems and issues with humidity and moisture – the kind of concerns that people without in indoor pool would never have to deal with.
However, waking up and taking a dip in your very own indoor pool is an experience quite unlike anything else. It’s something that you’ll never forget.
Hot tub/Jacuzzi tub
Not exactly a pool so much as an incredibly luxurious and oversized bathtub with massaging jets, a hot tub or Jacuzzi is the picture-perfect way to unwind after a stressful day or a busy week at the office.
Taking advantage of superheated water, color therapy technology, and a whole host of other special features that you’ll only find in these kinds of units, having a hot tub or Jacuzzi in your home or on your property completely changes the game and will dramatically increase the value of your home.
Requiring a lot less maintenance than a full-blown pool of any kind, they also happen to be considerably less expensive and one of the smartest investments (in your property value as well as in yourself) you can decide to go with moving forward.
At the very high-end of the scale, you have complete spa solutions that could potentially rival commercial facilities that cater to the rich and famous. Often times these spas have saunas, therapeutic tubs and features, multihead showers, and a host of other real luxury features.
The sky is the limit when it comes to pricing a brand-new spa in your home, but you should expect to spend at least $5000-$8000 (or even more) I’m getting just a bare bones kind of solution set up and installed for you.
Features You Should Look for in Your New Summer Toy
Before you decide to pull the trigger on the purchase of a new pool or spa, you’re going to need to make sure that it includes these features:
- An easy to use (and preferably automated) maintenance system
- The ability to be quickly filled, drained, and then re-filled with water
- A number of safety features around the pool or spa to avoid accidents
- Solar heating covers that work to insulate and heat the water contained within
- Electric or alternative energy water heaters
- Underwater lighting systems and color therapy systems
- Filtration units that are capable of handling all of the water in the pool or the spa (and then some)
…And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
You’ll obviously want to speak with the professionals that are going to install your new pool or spa about what kinds of features they would recommend you look into to get the results you’re after, as they’ll be able to point you in the right direction while at the same time steering you clear of features that would only waste your money.
This is one of the biggest reasons why it’s so important for you to choose the right professionals to move forward with. This is the kind of job that you want to tackle all on your own!
How to Choose the Right One
The first step in choosing the right pool or spa for your needs is really trying to figure out exactly what your ideal outcome would be, and then working backwards from there.
If you know that you would absolutely love the chance to jump into your pool every day after work (or before) and swim a bunch of laps to get in some exercise, you’d probably want to look into an inground or indoor pool.
If, on the other hand, you’re just looking for something that helps you relax and unwind, a spa, hot tub, or above ground pool will probably do the trick.
The second thing that you’re going to need to do is really figure out just how much space you have on your property or in your home. This is going to dictate exactly the kind of pool that you can and should move forward with, and is going to be one of the most important and influential factors of them all.
Thirdly, you’ll want to decide just how much time you want to spend cleaning and maintaining your new pool or pool system. There are a lot of robotic vacuums, robotic maintenance systems, and automated tools that will make your life a lot easier, but you’re still probably going to have to expend at least a bit of energy (and use a little bit of elbow grease) to get the best results.
Very few people want to spend a lot of time cleaning or maintaining their pool, and nobody wants to spend more time doing chores than actually enjoying a pool.
When you are armed with all of the information above, as well as lean on any extra resources you can find, you’re going to find that it becomes a lot easier to invest in the picture-perfect pool for your specific needs.
Obviously, everything is going to go a lot smoother if you start at your ideal and the result and then work backwards from there. Really try to envision what you want to get out of your new pool, look at all of the pros and cons of specific types and any limiting factors that may force you to go in one direction or another, and then begin actively searching for the right team of professionals to install your new pool.
At the end of the day, this whole process is going to be a lot easier than most people expect. Sure, there may be times where you want to pull your hair out, but once you are swimming laps in your brand-new pool (or floating around on an inflatable raft in the middle of the summer, as relaxed as you’ve ever been) you’ll forget all of that stress and pressure.
You’ll be too busy chilling out!