When thinking about having a Pool built for you and your family to enjoy, there are numerous choices to consider. The one item that usually enters ones mind is "what is this going to cost?". Your budget is an obvious consideration, unfortunately we allow it to control our overall buying decision. When we allow the price to be the deciding factor we risk the following: Pool construction may be built poorly, choice may require more maintenance, may not function as you thought, may not fit the architecture of the space properly, may not be a good fit for you or your family, etc.
You should really sit down with a sheet of paper and a pen. Then write down every item and categorize them as follows:
Must Haves - such as: Swim Lane, Benches and Seats, Shade, Depths, etc
Wants- such as: Tanning Ledges, Water Features, Infinity edges, Basketball and volleyball, etc.
Would be nice to have- same as above
Would be nice but could live without- same as above
If you are having a hard time trying to visualize what you want then you should Check out http://houzz.com. There you can find pictures on just about anything to do with a backyard area and swimming pools ideas.
The next item to think about is the design or shape of your pool. You can go with a Freeform Shape that gives more of a natural look, or a geometric shape that ties more into the architecture of your home. Whichever you pick you want to make sure that the overall look of your pool gives you that WOW factor.
Now onto the different types of pools from the least expensvie to the most expensive:
Vinyl Liner Pools - This type of pool can be very versitle, unfortuenatly it is usually built as a very basic cheap pool. Your typical vinyl liner pool has a set of white entry steps and white concrete edging known as coping. While this type of pool gives you a lot of value for your money, there are many choices that can give this type of pool the WO
W factor that you are looking for, such as liner over the steps, cantilever concrete (which can give the same look as a concrete or fiberglass pool), Travertine Coping and Decking, Tanning Ledges, Water Features, etc. The PROS for this type of pool are: Very low upfront costs, can build just about anything, interior can be easily changed and is very skin friendly. The CONS for this type of pool are: At times can be very cheap looking, liner needs to be replaced every 8 to 10 years, may not be the overall look that you are going for.
Fiberglass Pools- This type of pool has come a very long way over the years. There are quite a few shapes and styles available. Fiberglass Pools can give you that high end look that you want, with very little maintenance. They also are the quickest to be installed, so that you can have very little construction time. Fiberglass pools can look very cheap if they are done the wrong way, such as leaving the top of the pool wall exposed or what we call the bond beam. Your high quality installations will use a Cantilever Concrete Edge or a Paver Edge that covers the top of the pool. This will give you a very high end look. The other cheap look is going with a White or Light Blue Color, most fiberglass companies charge quite a bit more for a Beautiful Interior Color, while others include it in there standard pricing. The PROS for a Fiberglass pools are: Very quick installation, Beautiful shapes and sizes, Nice color assortment, steps and benches integrated, very durable and less maintenance. The Cons are: Can easily not be installed correctly, white finish can stain easily, may not have the shape or size that you want
Concrete/Gunite Pools- This is the Grand Daddy of all swimming pools and the most desirable. This is the pool that you can do the most with and can give you the ultimate in high end looks. Any shape, style and size that you can imagine can be built with a Concrete Pool. Some of the popular features for these pools are: Tanning Ledges, Infinity Edges, Overflow Pools, Hot tubs, Beach Entries, Tile Finishes, Pebble Finishes, etc. One of the best features is you can easily make it any depth that you want. Most pools start a 3' entry depth, while concrete pools can easily start at any depth that you want, we usually build them with a 4' or deeper for residential pools. This type of pool is growing in popularity due to the versitlity of design and function. The PROS are: Any shape and size, Any Depths, Beach Entry and Tanning Ledges, Numerous interior Finishes, Beautiful Tile, etc. The CONS are: will need to replaster