Indoor or Outdoor Swimming Pool - Which Is Best?

by Pool Builders on 10-02-2011 in Articles

There are three main divisions in the indoor-or-outdoor swimming pool debate; apart from the obvious 'indoor' and 'outdoor' preferences, there is the 'both' camp who wish to have the benefits of an enclosed pool in cooler weather and an open-air pool on warm, sunny days.

Two families who live near the South Herts / North London borders have had swimming pools for a number of years; one family has an open air pool and their friends have an indoor pool. Both families claim that this is an ideal arrangement because they are happy to share facilities, depending on the weather.

The family with the open air pool use it most of the year because, even in cold weather, the water and the air just above the surface is warm. The children of the family with the indoor pool prefer to use their friends' open air pool during the summer months.

Other friends, a family in mid Hertfordshire, who were putting in a pool a few years ago, could see both points of view and decided to look round for a 'best of both worlds' solution, settling on a retractable telescopic pool enclosure over an outdoor pool, a concept that was new to the UK. It worked well, taking only a minute or two to push the enclosure either way - or, in fact, just a few seconds to leave the pool half enclosed. There were some teething troubles with condensation, requiring a de-humidifier to be installed for use when family and friends were enjoying the pool inside the enclosure.

It isn't just the weather that is a factor when deciding whether to house the swimming pool or not, permanent buildings are generally subject to planning permission and will require a larger budget than the pool alone. Most popular are brick built or timber-framed pool-houses; occasionally a pool may be housed in a permanent glass structure.

Telescopic enclosures are still a 'new' idea, 12 or so years after the installation referenced above. Other 'new' ideas that have been around for 3 or 4 years include retractable glass pool side enclosures which can be installed around an outdoor swimming pool or an indoor pool.

Retractable glass doors require a solid structure on which they can hang, accommodating an aperture width of up to 7 or 8 metres. They are made of tempered ('unbreakable') safety glass. When open, the breeze can flow through unhindered and sight lines are minimal; when the doors are closed, they are weather resistant yet allow an uninterrupted view through the sets of frame-less glass doors. Around an outdoor pool, most of the cool air is felt from the side winds, therefore a 2 metre high glass barrier is quite effective, prolonging the time that an outdoor pool area can be comfortably used throughout the year.

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