What Type of Swimming Pool Should a New Pool Owner Purchase?

by Pool Builders on 12-16-2010 in Articles

Swimming pools can be one of the nicest things to add to your home. There's nothing like soaking a hot day away at your own home. However the prospect of selecting and purchasing one can be daunting. There are a few types of pools available on the market, each with its own benefits & drawbacks. Choosing the wrong type can be an expensive, frustrating mistake, especially if you've never owned one before.

In-ground pools are the most common type. They are usually considered to be the most desirable because they can be built in a variety of shapes, depths, and sizes. In-ground pools are usually fairly large, so you have more room to swim and space for more people. Additionally, they may add to the value of your home since they are permanent features. However in-ground pools do have some drawbacks that you should be aware of. The first of these is cost. In-ground pools can be very expensive, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 or more. This represents a large sum of money for most individuals, and often requires loans or other financial commitments. In-ground setups also require a great deal of space, both for the pool itself as well as for the associated equipment that goes with it. Another drawback is the major problems that occur if there is a crack or leak. Fixing the leak often requires that you drain a large amount of water and hire a contractor to make repairs. This could be quite expensive. If you aren't aware of the leak and it continues for some time, it could cause major problems with your house such as damage to your foundation. Finally, in-ground pools must be installed in adherence to municipal ordinances by professional, licensed builders.

Another type of pool available are conventional hard walled, above ground pools. This type uses aluminum or steel walls to support a vinyl liner that contains the water. Above ground models are substantially less expensive than in-ground pools, typically ranging from $1,200 to $5,000. The drawback is that they are typically smaller and shallower. Additionally, since they are not fixed structures, they will contribute little value to your home. Another issue is accessibility. Since the pool is above ground, you must have a ladder to enter & exit it. Most owners will find that a stairway or small deck is also needed to make entering the water safer and easier. Finally, above ground hard walled pools use a liner that's somewhat thin, so this liner must be replaced every 4-6 years. This adds more expense to equation, especially when you consider that the water must be drained and refilled each time.

In recent years, a third type of swimming pool has come on the market - these are known as soft sided above ground pools. One of the most common manufacturers of these pools is the Intex Corporation. These can be purchased at many local retail locations, including home improvement centers, sporting goods stores, department stores and sometimes even grocery stores. All site preparation and setup is performed by the owner. Intex pools are similar to conventional hard walled above ground models, but they do not have the hard sided steel or aluminum walls. As an alternative, soft sided pools simply use a thicker liner. Some models hold the liner up with a metal frame, others hold the liner up with an inflatable ring that floats on top of the water. The main advantage of soft sided Intex pools is affordability. Small models are available for as little as $200 to $250. Even the larger models are still relatively inexpensive at around $450 to $700. Another attractive quality, is that Intex pools usually come in a kit that includes all of the pumping, filtering and cleaning equipment that's needed. Yet another benefit is set up time. An in-ground pool can take several weeks to be installed, and a hard walled above ground pool can take several days. On the other hand, an Intex pool can be ready for water within one to three hours after your site has been prepared. Soft sided pools are an excellent choice if you have not owned a pool before, or if you do not plan to stay at your home for several years. Of course, soft sided pools do not have the longevity of their more permanent counterparts - you may have to replace the entire unit after just a few years. However, this issue is offset by the low replacement cost.

So as you can see, each of the three types of pools have unique benefits and drawbacks. In-ground pools are a great choice if you can handle the expense and plan to stay in your home long-term. Intex above ground pools cost very little and are a wise choice for first time pool owners and individuals who do not want to be tied to a pool long term. Hard-walled above ground pools fall somewhere in between. New pool owners should also spend some time learning the basics of good maintenance. Helpful resources found on the internet can provide plenty of information and guidance on all aspects of maintaining clean water. If these are followed, your pool will be a wonderful and safe sparkling oasis of fun for your family.

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