There’s nothing quite like getting into a refreshing backyard pool on a hot day. And it’s hard to beat how beautiful and visually appealing a backyard looks when it has a pool in it. For many homeowners, a pool is the perfect addition to their landscape and their home wouldn’t be complete without it. But not every pool is right for every yard.
Things like how you intend to use the pool, the budget you have to work with, and how much space you have can all affect the answer to, “what type of pool best suits my backyard?”
When it comes to backyard pools, most homeowners choose an in-ground pool. There are 3 main types of in-ground pools: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass.
At Odyssey Landscapes, we can help with poolscaping for any kind of pool. But to help make sure you’re picking the right pool for you, let’s dive into some details about these 3 types of pools and you’ll maybe even find some backyard pool design ideas at the same time.
1. Concrete pools
Concrete is made with a mix of water, cement, sand, and a coarse aggregate (stone or gravel). When a pool shell is made with concrete, it’s created by spraying gunite (a dry mix) or shotcrete (a wet mix).
This material must then be cured, and when it’s used for a pool shell, this takes about 28 days.
It does take a lot of pressure to crush concrete, but it has low tensile strength, which refers to the force it takes to pull it apart. If you try to bend or flex concrete, it can crack on the surface. If a pool is made with just concrete, you can see how this wouldn’t be ideal. That’s why pool builders will add a steel web to the pool shell. When the steel and concrete is combined, they create a much stronger surface that’s less likely to crack.
Concrete pools are the most popular, but they’re also the most expensive type of pool and they take longer to install than others. However, unlike other types of in-ground pools, they can be resized, rebuilt, or refinished. They’re also the best option if you’re looking for a truly unique or custom pool.
Curious about what an in-ground pool might cost you in Australia? Have a look at this useful guide.
2. Vinyl pools
Next to concrete, vinyl is the most popular option for an in-ground backyard pool. These pools are made by covering an excavated pool with a fitted vinyl liner which is then attached to a steel or aluminum-framed wall.
It typically takes between 1 and 3 weeks to install a vinyl pool. Unlike concrete pools, vinyl pools are more difficult to customize, which is why they tend to come in a standard rectangular shape. In some cases, L-shape liners are available, too.
Along with the lack of variety in pool shapes, vinyl pools have one other drawback: the liner can be punctured by sharp objects like pool toys. To work around this, paying for a thicker, heavy-duty liner is usually recommended. Otherwise, the vinyl can be repaired, but you may have to do this a lot.
3. Fiberglass pools
Fiberglass is the least common of the 3 primary in-ground pool materials. While they happen to be the most affordable backyard pool to install (and the quickest), their sizes and shapes can be somewhat limited. That being said, this is a durable option that often requires the use of fewer chemicals since they’re less porous.
A crane is needed to maneuver the fiberglass pool into the excavated space in your backyard, so you’ll need to have the necessary space to do this. That includes making sure it’s in an area without overhead power lines.
Saltwater pools vs. chlorine pools
Something else to think about with a backyard pool is whether you’ll choose a saltwater pool or a chlorine pool. Both have their pros and cons, and the right choice depends on a few different factors.
Saltwater pools have recently become very popular. Interestingly, they aren’t chlorine-free, but instead use a process called electrolysis to produce just enough chlorine to disinfect the water. With a special salt chlorine generator, salt is converted into chlorine. With less chlorine, however, many swimmers (especially children) find their skin and eyes are less irritated after swimming. It’s also less likely to fade swimsuits as a traditional chlorine pool would.
As far as cost goes, saltwater pools require a higher initial investment than chlorine-pools. Due to their more complex system, they also require a licensed and specialized technician for repairs which can be costly.
Chlorine pools have the advantage of costing significantly less to install than a saltwater pool. Rather than the natural process of electrolysis that saltwater pools use to produce chlorine, these pools have chlorine added. They also use less electricity than saltwater pools since they only require a pump and cleaning equipment to operate.
Once they’re installed, chlorine pools tend to require more routine maintenance to check water levels than a saltwater pool does.
Speaking of caring for your pool, maintenance is important to keep up with if you want your pool to be the safe and fun place it was intended to be.
To help make backyard pools lower maintenance, a great option is investing in an in-floor pool cleaning system. We talk all about this option here and why it can be such a good choice for homeowners.
Landscaping by an in-ground pool
Of course, we couldn’t finish this post without discussing how to landscape by an in-ground pool. Or as it’s also called, poolscaping.
When you choose plants to go around your pool, these are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Avoiding plants that attract bees and other pests
- Choosing plants that don’t have a lot of falling leaves or debris that will end up in the pool
- Low-maintenance plants, especially if they’re in hard to reach places around the pool
- Consider if plants have invasive roots that could damage the in-ground pool material
- Picking plants that are safe for animals and children
For all of your poolscaping needs, Odyssey Landscapes is here to help! Give us a call today.