A Beginner's Guide to Swimming Pools and Clubhouses

by Pool Builders on 10-10-2009 in Articles

The present generation of homebuyers is 'accessories'-driven, and for good reason. After all, the concept of a home being nothing more than a place to hang your hat is outdated and obsolete. Today's homemakers want something more out of their properties than four walls and a place to cook. And why not? Shouldn't one's home be a place of relaxation, recreation and renewal?

Swimming pools and clubhouses count amongst the most basic requirements for many residence buyers for this very reason. The lifestyles they lead take a lot out of their energy reserves, and they are sick of having to search for sources of recreation beyond their homes. Swimming pools and clubhouses started off as luxury fads a few years ago, affordable only by the exceedingly rich.

This has changed drastically. Aware that the demand for such 'extras' is more than just a passing phase or fashion, many builders now include them as standard facilities in their residential properties. They are no longer considered mere luxuries, but necessary parts of the overall package.

MAKING A SPLASH

An increasing number of residential projects offer a swimming pool, a clubhouse or both to buyers as charged-for value-adds. Swimming pools, in particular, are in increasing demand. It is a well-known fact that every human being is born with a natural affinity to water, and that this is actually a very natural need. Because of the deep sense of wellbeing that contact with water provides, no holiday resort is complete without some kind of swimming pool.

And there are indeed many kinds. From the Olympic-sized, international lap-length version to a children's wading pool and the ornate kidney-shaped pool. The type most residential projects offer today comes somewhere in between these, and serves the purpose well.

Objectively speaking, the availability of a swimming pool at a residential complex usually has only snob value at the outset - a prestige point that one likes to mention when talking about one's real estate acquisition. In all likelihood, one may not even be an accomplished swimmer in the first place. The actual benefits of a swimming pool may dawn on a new homeowner only much later. Nevertheless, is a definite attraction, even if it is just to splash around in after a day's work or to lie beside in a beach recliner with a good book.

Apart from being an excellent means of relaxation, most doctors recommend swimming to those who need to lose weight or require cardiovascular exercise. Also, there are few comparable means of enjoyment for kids than a good frolic in water on a hot summer afternoon.

In other words, having a swimming pool within easy reach is a definite advantage, no matter if it is actively used or an 'eventuality'. This being so, paying a little extra for this 'accessory' is doubtlessly a wise investment. On the other hand, one should also be aware of the pointlessness of such an expense at the cost of more necessary features. In other words, in makes little sense to pay extra for a swimming pool facility if it means forsaking a badly needed extra bedroom. Also, one should know that being part-owner of a swimming pool will mean a certain recurring expense for its maintenance.

As a last note on this subject, here is a handy yardstick to such expenses - the larger the number of apartments in the scheme, the lower will be your personal outlay, since the expense gets spread around much thinner. You should give serious thought to such an investment if the scheme under consideration consists of less than 40-50 flats.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB

Clubhouses are also here to stay, though the concept was not very clearly defined initially. Basically, it is a place of communal recreation to which you and your family have complete access if it part of the purchase deal. The clubhouse feature is extremely popular amongst contemporary real estate buyers, and most will even forgo a swimming pool for its sake. It is usually included in the total package deal, though in some cases a builder may charge extra for clubhouse facilities.

How can a clubhouse add to your wellbeing? Well, imagine a centralized facility that offers everything from indoor games such as badminton, squash and card tables to a fully equipped gymnasium. A place where you can celebrate your child's birthday in true style, meet with friends over tea in the afternoon or drinks in the evening, avail of audio-visual equipment, or participate in communal social events. In many cases, a clubhouse serves as a 'second home' and getaway for the family, and alleviates the boredom that can creep in even within the most balanced of households.

The availability of a gymnasium is always a blessing - many who have never considered exercising before choose to start simply because they have access to one. It is probably the most important 'accessory' of all. Many clubhouse-based gymnasiums now feature high-tech equipment on par with the best that commercial ones have to offer. But one must be discerning, and not be carried away by mere availability. Every gymnasium worth the name must ideally offer the services of a certified exercise instructor; there have been documented cases of grievous injury sustained by over-enthusiastic beginners who lacked proper guidance in exercise techniques.

Since the maintenance of a clubhouse is also part of the responsibility of a residential project-member, the same guidelines that apply to swimming pools should be considered here.

IMPORTANT GUIDELINES ON SWIMMING POOLS AND CLUBHOUSES

* Ensure a fair expense-sharing ratio - the bigger the residential project, the lower your expense.
* Establish that these facilities are properly equipped and maintained.
* Inquire about the availability of a trained and certified instructor at a clubhouse gymnasium.
* Do not sacrifice more important amenities or facilities in favor of them.

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