How to choose the right pool for your home or your family

Its August here in central Portugal and its HOT!. How hot? Hot,Hot!

Anyone who has a pool is getting ready to get in it and anyone who docent have a pool wants one !

10 x 5 meter in ground pool
It’s August it’s hot what are you waiting for


The endless choice of shapes, styles and depths of pools that you can have is mind boggling. Add to the mix water treatments, swimming pumps, heating, covers and you can go around in circles for years trying to choose the perfect pool.

It all depend upon who is going to use the pool and what they are going to do when they are in it.

Starting with the most common type of pool in this area.

In ground Pool
In ground pools usually consist of three types concrete, glass fiber and liner.
As a hole in the ground must be created to accept the pool in ground pools are more expensive than above-ground. A survey needs to be done to make sure the ground is suitable and vehicles can have access.
They are a permanent feature and do add value to a home when it comes time to sell. As an in ground pool is generally more appealing to potential buyers.

Blue mosic patern liner
Blue liner in an in ground concrete pool

In ground pools can have depths of 3-to-5 feet for the kids to splash around in or there are pools where you can do shallow diving in safety. They usually have a depth of between 6 feet and 7 feet at the deep end (its important to note that I am talking about water depth actual pool depth is actually more to cater for the skimmers)
Take time to think about how your family will use the pool. Is it going to be  a play pool or will the users prefer exercise.
Usually a rectangular design is chosen although if you want to entertain the children/grand children and still be able to swim 20 laps before breakfast then you could have an “L”shaped pool to keep everyone is happy. The long part of the L for exercise and a shallower short leg of the pool for children’s play.

L shaped pool
L shaped liner pool

Fiberglass In ground Pools
A fiberglass pool is made in one piece in a factory and then installed in one piece. This highlights one of the first drawbacks of a fiber glass swimming pool. Will you be able to get it from the delivery truck into position inside the excavation without cracking the internal gel coat.

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Fiberglass pools take approximately two weeks to install.
They are usually cheaper that a concrete or liner pool.
They do fade over time with the effect of water treatment and the sun,
They can also move in the excavation hole and are difficult to re align once this happens.
A large fiberglass pool has the ability to flex if there is ground movement. Which is handy but not if it feels soft or bouncy when you are inside it.

Concrete In ground Pools
A concrete pool is built in situ to your specifications by the pool-builder. It is the most common type of in-ground pool for poor load bearing terrain, infinity pools or complex shapes and levels.
They are very often finished with glass tiles, lime stone, marble, gunnite or shotcrete renders. Construction takes 6 to 8 weeks

Reinforcing steel
Construction of an in ground pool

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If you want a built in Jacuzzi, unusual shapes, depths or infinity its the way to go.
Finishes come in a wide variety to suite all tastes.
The interior finishes must be properly fixed when the pool is built or they will become unstuck leaving your pool an unsightly mess.
The interior finish can be changed in the future giving you the opportunity to revamp the look of your pool.


Vinyl Liner In ground Pools
A vinyl liner pool is somewhat of a misnomer. Its not the thin structure that you see bought from DIY shops as an above ground pool it is actually a reinforced concrete and block work structure similar to a concrete pool to which the vinyl liner is spread over the interior of the pool and water added. The liners are guaranteed for ten years but properly installed should last a lot longer.
The interior liner pattern and colour can be changed in the future giving you the opportunity to revamp the look of your pool.

Hardwood deacking makes a nice contrast to this blue liner pool
Hardwood decking

Above-Ground Pools
Above-ground pools are the least expensive type. They are also the most easily damaged. Quite often while they are being D.I.Y erected !. The filtration and water treatment equipment is rarely the same quality as a permanently installed pool.

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Relatively inexpensive way to provide a swimming space although don’t expect to do laps in them.
When you move house you could take you pool with you.
They are quick to build but you must make sure that you have the ground prepared very well before hand.
You also need to consider where all the water is going to go when you empty it. You neighbors will not thank you for 100,000 Liters of salt or chlorine water flooding and contaminating their prize flower display or lawn.
As well as vinyl there are timber, aluminum, fiber glass or steel structured pools.
If you cant get a digger into your pool site they may be your only option as they can be carried in as a kit and set up in situ.

Its getting exciting, we have selected the type of pool so lets get some builders quotes….  Before you do its worth finding out what the local pool safety regulations are especially if paying quests may use the pool.

With the pool you are going to need somewhere to locate all of the pump and filter machinery.

pump and filter system

You will also need an electricity supply and a water supply.
What about a patio or decking around the pool. It must be non slip when wet and blend in with you garden landscape.
Warm water – do you want to install a heater, insulate your pool, use a thermal cover, solar heating elements or accept that your swimming season will be shorter.
Pool side shower or cascade for pre and post pool bathing.
Steps or ladders to enter the pool. Steps are good for the elderly and ladders good for lap swimmers as they take up less room.