04 June 2015
Should I install an indoor or outdoor pool?
The choice between an indoor and an outdoor pool largely depends on how you wish to use your pool. A luxury pool will enhance both the interior or exterior of a home, creating a stunning feature that will be admired by everyone. Whether it’s located indoor, outdoor or even on a rooftop, a skillfully designed pool that is in harmony with the architecture of your home and uses the latest technology to make it super efficient will also add value to your property. The key consideration in deciding where to locate your pool is how frequently you want to get into the pool, be that for a quick dip, serious laps, water aerobics or to play pool games such as water polo.
An indoor pool provides all-year-round use and is the obvious solution for the ‘every day’ swimmer. You can swim whenever you’re in the mood, irrespective of how grey the weather may be, or how dark it is outside. Unlike an outdoor pool, there is no need to undergo the annual winterisation process, where the pool is closed for that period to protect it from the elements. There is also a little less servicing required because indoor pools don’t suffer from the vagaries of airborne debris and leaves fluttering into the pool and marring the sparkling water.
There are different methods for heating indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Usually an indoor pool will be heated via an Environmental Control System. This unit will not heat your pool but it also heats the air, controls humidity and brings in fresh air and exhausts stale air, giving the pool room an extremely pleasant atmosphere – none of those horrible chlorine smells that you may associate with public swimming pools.
An outdoor pool is likely to be heated by a dedicated gas boiler but can also be heated via the use of an Air to Water Heat Pump. The heat pump uses the ambient air temperature and recycles it into heat for the swimming pool and they can be extremely efficient. The better units can provide 5kw of output energy for every 1kw of input energy – something really worth considering.
Everyone sets a budget for major purchases and it should be the same for a swimming pool – the complexity of the build, style, size and finishes chosen obviously determines the cost of the pool. However, when you’re making your decision, it’s worth bearing in mind that the design and build of an indoor pool typically comes with a higher price tag than an outdoor pool. This is especially true if you have your heart set on a subterranean pool that requires considerable excavation work.
Nothing beats an outdoor pool for a fun and relaxing get together with family and friends. Throughout most of the year in this country, we’re left wishing someone would turn off the big tap in the sky, however, when the sun is shining, there’s no better experience than languishing by a pool, swimming in the fresh outdoors, and enjoying alfresco dining.
A bespoke pool can be designed as the centerpiece in the garden, with the designer creating any ambience or theme you wish to achieve; traditional or ultra modern. There are many factors to consider for the location of an outdoor pool, ranging from the distance of the pool from the house to the location of the plantroom which must also blend with the garden design, which is covered in a guest blog by garden designer, Katja Griffiths. A big plus for an outdoor pool is free heating! The sunlight helps to heat the pool water, which reduces energy consumption and the overall running cost.
If you are still trying to decide on the big ‘indoor/outdoor’ question, it’s important to ask yourself how much you would miss swimming if the pool is closed for half of the year. As the days draw to a close you will need to put your pool into hibernation, from around September to March. The winterisation process is a straightforward job for the pool engineer, service it throughout the winter and re-open it come spring. But how much of a gap in your lifestyle will it leave if you can’t swim during the closed period? Many of our clients who install an outdoor pool are keen to enhance the ambience of their garden and love socialising by the pool, so they are happy to trade-off all-year-round swimming for the pleasure of outdoor swimming and pool parties when the pool is open.
Although you can’t swim in the outdoor pool during the winter season, you could make excellent use of the pool area in the winter if, at the planning stage, you ask your pool designer to integrate a Hydrofloors moving floor system in the swimming pool. A moving floor allows you to raise the floor from the bottom of the pool. This locks in place when it reaches deck level, creating a solid load bearing floor, so totally safe to walk on. This amazing technology means in less than 10 minutes, you can transform the pool area into a fully fledged patio to use for other things/activity during the autumn and winter.
When it comes to choosing between an indoor or outdoor pool, it’s all about what’s right for you and your family. If a daily dip is your passion, you have to go the indoor pool route. But if you love nothing more than soaking up vitamin D in your garden during the summer months, we think you’ll be happiest with an outdoor pool. If you’re still struggling to decide please get in touch – our highly experienced and friendly team of pool designers will be happy to discuss your options and offer objective advice.