Wouldn’t it be great to have a swimming pool at home? It’d be so convenient – no more driving to the beach, on a hot day you can just pop out the back and jump in the pool. And a swimming pool is a great reason to have a pool party or a handy distraction for the kids when you’re hosting the family barbecue.
But there are downsides as well. Pools can be very expensive; it’s not just the price of the pool you have to consider, it’s also the installation, construction and landscaping. Or you might find a swimming pool is actually too large and overwhelming for your section. Pools are time-consuming to maintain and some people find them a bit of a hazard to children and pets.
The more affordable, easier alternative is the Endless Pools® swim systems, from Hot Spring Spas.
The straightforward installation of an Endless Pool, the streamlined design and their unobtrusive use of space makes these swim systems well worth considering as a practical and more affordable alternative to a traditional swimming pool.
To make your decision-making process a bit easier, here are 11 reasons why traditional swimming pools are now out of date.
Pool installations invariably cost a lot more than the quoted price of the pool. A pool itself may seem like a bargain at first glance, but you need to consider the additional costs of engineering reports, stabilisation, council consents, excavation, removal of landfill, large water quality and heating systems, covers, landscaping, planting, pool fencing; and that’s only the obvious things. Many hurdles can trip you up, for example, excavation difficulties in volcanic locations such as Mt Eden, high water tables in coastal regions, and restricted site access in established properties. If this is not enough to put you off, there are ten points to go!
2. Strict legal requirements
In-ground pool installations require resource consent and a building consent for your pool fence. You will need to contact your local council for information specific to your region, and we recommend you speak to at least two different advisors to ensure you have been provided the correct information.
So there’s a bit of work you need to do well before construction even begins. Children under 5 years old cannot go near your pool unless they are supervised by a responsible adult. The law requires you install adequate barriers including fences, gates and suitably constructed doors that meet prescribed safety standards.
This is wonderful for peace of mind, but you must consider the accessibility of your pool area and the aesthetic problems fences can present.
3. Lengthy installation timeframes
Your beautiful property will be turned upside down and covered in mud and machinery for months. Let’s take a breath and really evaluate what disruptions you will face during your pool installation. Weather is a big factor – pool building is restricted to fine days and perfect soil conditions. This is New Zealand after all. Be prepared for things to drag on longer than you anticipated. Co-ordinating your tradesmen is another challenge, no matter how organised and patient you are.
Here’s the checklist – engineer, architect, pool builder, excavation crew, crane company, drain layers, electrician, pavers, deck builder, pool fence installer, heat pump installer, water quality installer, landscape designer and gardeners. And you can bet there’ll be a few more tradies as well!
A small section will present limitations on the size of your wonderful new pool. You must think through how you wish to use your outdoor areas. You’ll not only need to allocate space for the pool, but think about its relationship to the house itself and other outdoor and recreational areas.
5. Limited seasonal use
Unless you are happy to pay huge heating bills for year-round use, chances are your pool will be utilised for only a few months of the year. New Zealand’s climate may allow you 4 to 5 months to enjoy a swim. Some of us learned to swim in cold pools and can enjoy a brisk dip, but the generations who have followed have vastly different expectations on water temperature. Screaming toddlers and whinging teenagers don’t necessarily add to the pool-side atmosphere you had in mind.
6. Limited function
Why exactly do you want a swimming pool? If it’s for fun with family and friends, or for relaxation and cooling down, then that’s brilliant. But if your pool is under utilised there’s a danger it’ll end up being an attractive landscape feature. After all, a backyard pool is hardly ideal for fitness swimming (unless, of course, you install a Fastlane* swim machine by Endless Pools!). Some pool builders will try to sell you a 9 metre pool as a lap pool, but even 11 metres is too short to swim for any cardiovascular gain before having to turn again. We recommend you try swimming (or even just floating) in every pool you are considering and ask yourself:
- Is it too big for the type of aqua-exercise I want to do?
- Is it too short to swim a decent length?
- Is the swim system provided suitable for my swimming and exercise needs?
- Will my health and well-being be benefited by this purchase?
Do you have time to clean your pool every weekend?
Unless your pool is installed with a cover that completely encloses all of its edges, you’ll be faced with the constant removal of debris - leaves, sand, dirt and air-borne pollutants. There are many automated cleaners available on the market, but these, too, come at a cost and don’t look particularly great crawling around your beautiful pool 24/7.
You may think Fabio, the pool valet guy who pops round once a week to stand pool-side working on his tan, is an attractive option for cleaning your pool, but beware, he comes at a cost as well!
8. Maintenance costs
To state the obvious, the larger the pool the more it will cost to maintain. A larger water volume will require greater chemical consumption and heating energy than pools with smaller water volumes.
Fabio, our pool valet guy, certainly knows how to charge for his services, and so do our electricity providers. Some pool surfaces require maintenance over time, and if Fabio is not as good at chemistry as he looks, poor water quality could affect your pool surface and componentry, including pumps, filter and heater.
9. Earthquake resistance
Large in-ground pools do not respond well to moving earth.
This is another simple and obvious fact. Concrete and fibreglass pools are subject to distortion and cracking – in many cases repairable and probably covered by insurance, but ask any earthquake victim how long it took to have their pool repaired. This may be a low risk consideration in many parts of New Zealand, but to have an operational pool available to use to relieve the stress and trauma of a natural disaster would be a god-send.
What happens if you need to relocate? Many people put the lid on their pool plans when they evaluate the longevity of their present location. You might change jobs, or need a bigger house for teenagers, a smaller house when they leave home – there are so many variables.
An in-ground pool generally presents over-capitalisation on a property, so think carefully before you invest or speak with local real estate agents for advice in this area.
11. Return on investment
Just how much benefit will you gain from your pool in dollar terms?
There are several ways to look at this, but consider firstly the number of months use you will have in your large pool (around 4 to 5 months), divided by your total investment.
Secondly, will the benefits obtained by a larger pool be significantly more than those gained by a smaller Endless Pool alternative? Do those benefits match the increase in investment required? There is a lot of emotion involved in a pool purchase decision, just as there is with buying a car. A wise person chooses a car by its functional purpose and value-added incentives.
For all of the above reasons, more people are choosing the Endless Pools alternative – the latest in swimming pool trends in New Zealand. Above ground, or in-ground, the Endless Pools range of products provide cost effective installation, year-round use, easy and affordable maintenance, and an all-in-one home fitness system.
It makes sense really - Endless Pools swim spas are the practical, affordable and very attractive option.
Call 0800 363 5377 for more information now or book your test swim by clicking here.