So You Want to Build a Year-Round Pool?

You have made, or will make, a considerable investment in your pool. It is then quite proper to consider how you might get the most use out it despite weather-related issues. Such issues could be seasonal in nature, such as Winter pool closings, or may be temporary periods of nonuse based on weather conditions.
The good news is that you have options. What are they?

  1. You can build an interior, indoor pool.
  2. You can build and enclose an outdoor pool integrated into the architecture of your home.
  3. You can build and enclose an outdoor, freestanding pool.

Technically, all of these can represent “indoor” pools. After all, a pool enclosure on an outdoor pool transforms it into an indoor pool.

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Let’s take a closer look at all three of these choices.

Building an Indoor Pool

When the idea is to enjoy a pool year round, an indoor pool certainly fits the bill. In addition, its very nature lends itself to privacy.

Building you indoor pool requires a good deal of planning for construction. A typical home designer may not have the skills required to deal with the intricacies of the pool and its required infrastructure. Such intricacies can include accommodating the variety of materials possible for the pool structure, a dedicated HVAC system, humidity control measures, lighting, deck slopes and drainage, and more. So choose a design partner or architect with experience in pool design.

Build an Indoor Pool

Indoor pools can be costly. Your imagination and budget will, of course determine the full cost. The pool itself has a cost, the space required by the pool has a cost. The additional equipment needed has a cost. Then there is the labor needed to build the pool and infrastructure. In the U.S., indoor pools have an average cost of around $200K1 and can easily reach seven figures.2
Another factor of importance to sun worshippers is the lack of it for indoor pools. Even with ample glass measures, typically limited to a single side, it’s still not quite the outdoor experience.

To get the outdoor experience with indoor conveniences, try one of these other options.

Build and Enclose an Integrated, Outdoor Pool

In recent years, this architectural trend has taken hold. Here, the pool is technically outside the walls of your home. Yet, it is integrated into the home design in such as way as to not look like an afterthought. In fact, these beautiful structures seamlessly integrate into the home and landscaping.

To gain the indoor component and make the pool usable year round, an enclosure caps off the design. Here, you can have the full advantages of weather protection and still worship the sun. And these glass structures can filter out harmful UV radiation.

For this approach, you typically have what is known as a lean-to enclosure. This means that one or more sides of the structure are attached to the home.

Another design possibility for these integrated pools is a retractable enclosure. As you might suspect, these can be opened for the true outdoor experience and closed whenever needed. Retractable enclosures can be manually operated or conveniently motorized.

Indoor Pool - integrated pool enclosure

Other options for the lean-to enclosures include windows and doors, shading, and translucent or opaque panels for privacy.

Integrated and enclosed outdoor pools can be costly. However, when comparing like pool sizes and designs, the integrated, enclosed approach is generally less costly than the indoor pool.

Build and Enclose a Freestanding, Outdoor Pool

It is always more economical to build an outdoor pool. Even after adding an enclosure, the costs will be much less than for an equivalent indoor pool.3

Outdoor pools cost less to maintain, especially when you consider total energy-related costs. Outdoor pools can also naturally ventilate. This is helpful for taking away harmful chemicals in the air, such as chlorine.4 Improperly ventilated indoor pools leave you susceptible to these harmful effects.

The added enclosure makes it possible for you to use your outdoor pool all year long. There are numerous types of enclosures for outdoor pools. These can include fixed, retractable, and removable enclosures. They can be constructed of screens, glass, or fabric. And, there are good, better, and best options.

Inflatable pool “bubbles” or domes are examples of good choice and generally cost around $5000.5 They can offer some weather protection and help keep debris out of your pool.

Better options includes tubular framed and fabric structures. Here you can spend $15-25K5 and get better protection and perhaps even privacy advantages.

Indoor Pool - Freestanding pool enclosure

Best options are freestanding structures which can include retractable pool enclosures. These can cost $60K and more but can offer all of the advantages of an indoor pool while still providing the outdoor experience.

Conclusion

Today’s homeowners have numerous choices for enjoying their swimming pools year round. The possibilities are limited only by imagination and budget.

Here at Libart North America, we are experts in creating indoor comfort with the outdoor experience. We specialize in retractable pool enclosures and other types of kinetic architecture. Ask us about a good faith estimate for your project.

References

  1. LuxuryPools.com, Blog post
  2. Aqua Magazine, October 2009
  3. Hidden Water Pools Cost
  4. Pool FYI
  5. Larry Weingard, July 2015 post