Picking the Right Swimming Pool - Custom or Cookie Cutter?  

by Pool Builders on 09-30-2012 in Articles

So you finally decided that it was time to move forward and get a pool built in your backyard. Now you have the task of deciding what type of swimming pool you want. This can sometimes be daunting, especially if it is the first time that you are building. If your dream pool is not a cookie cutter kidney shaped or rectangular, you need to interview pool builders who have the experience and skills to build a more complex kind.

For pools with special features like a vanishing edge that make the water appear to be flowing down a hill, there is extra engineering that needs to be done.Who are experienced in these types of pools know exactly what needs to be done, not just with the engineering but the limitations of how long the vanishing edge can be before it diminishes the water flow rate. If they don't, then your dream can become a nightmare.

Custom pool builders also have the skills to do fun features like grottos and water slides. Almost all pool builders can bolt an acrylic slide next to a pool but having a concrete or gunite slide in your pool, especially if they are large and have twists and turns, is another story. Not only can they turn out unattractive, but they can be non-functional. If they are not constructed properly with footings, they have a much greater likelihood of failure. Without some extra steps, the gunite may also have difficulty with cracking due to freezing and thawing cycles in the freeze areas of the country. There is also a bit of maintenance as the slide will have to be painted every year to keep it slippery. If not properly maintained, then the friction will make for a very slow, uncomfortable ride into the pool. The upside of having a gunite slide is that they are an affordable option that looks more expensive than it is. Custom pool builders can make gunite slides look similar to natural stone and they will fit better in a freeform pool design where you want the pool to blend in with other natural components in your backyard like mature trees and other rockscapes.

Grottos and caves are other custom options that provide secret hideaways in the pool that behind waterfalls or tucked in a secluded part of the pool design. They are great places to relax and cool off away from the noisy fun of the main area of the pool. Since these are relatively uncommon custom features, you have to especially careful that you interview pool builders who have the skill set to design these features in a safe and lasting way.

Other custom features that are becoming more popular are fire pits and bowls on and around a swimming pool. Fire adds a very dramatic flair to your pool experience, especially at night. Once again, only very skilled pool builders should be entrusted to build pools with these features.

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