Pros and cons of hav­ing a swim­ming pool at home

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Jonathon Wing­field

QWe live on the edge of Har­ro­gate and for sev­eral years have been con­sid­er­ing whether we should have a swim­ming pool built in the gar­den of our home. Our chil­dren are ob­vi­ously keen but have you any ad­vice?

AUn­ques­tion­ably, pri­vate pools are glam­orous and great for par­ties. They can keep you fit and will al­most cer­tainly make you the most pop­u­lar par­ents in town. How­ever, un­less you live in a large £2m-plus prop­erty they may not make such a good fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment. Pools are very much a life­style choice con­tribut­ing lit­tle to the value of your house and of­ten lim­it­ing the num­ber of po­ten­tial buy­ers.

A sim­ple out­door pool will cost be­tween £20,000-£30,000. While an indoor one will be con­sid­er­ably more due to the build­ing en­ve­lope and run­ning costs, there is more chance of it adding value. Also it should be re­mem­bered that depend­ing on where they are lo­cated, even out­door pools may re­quire plan­ning per­mis­sion.

Lo­ca­tion is ev­ery­thing, so where at all pos­si­ble avoid ar­eas that will take the wa­ter into shade, are sub­ject to wind and de­cid­u­ous trees.

If you want to en­cour­age use then the pool needs to be in­te­grated into the de­sign of the gar­den, be close to the house and bar­be­cue ar­eas, etc.

Run­ning costs for out­door pools are about £10 per day so it is worth­while con­sid­er­ing al­ter­na­tive en­ergy sources such as ground source heat pumps and so­lar col­lec­tion.

Elec­tric pool cov­ers are a must and if chil­dren are to be the main users, I sug­gest a con­tin­u­ous depth through­out to­gether with a salt­wa­ter pu­rifi­ca­tion sys­tem rather than the more tra­di­tional chlo­rine. It avoids the chem­i­cal smell and is eas­ier on the eyes.

How­ever, an al­ter­na­tive worth con­sid­er­ing is a nat­u­ral pool. These are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly quite de rigueur. They can have a more or­ganic shape and rely on plants to clean the wa­ter rather than elec­tri­cally pow­ered fil­ters and chlo­rine.

Nat­u­ral pools cost about the same to in­stall but aside from the ob­vi­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits can be­come part of the land­scape and greatly en­hance the ap­pear­ance of your gar­den. Un­for­tu­nately, they won’t stand up to a teenage wa­ter polo match.

Jonathon Wing­field is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Acan­thus WSM Ar­chi­tects Ltd and Wood­hall Plan­ning and Con­ser­va­tion, Leeds.

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