Perhaps one of your fondest childhood memories is splashing around in your yellow, three-ring inflatable pool that your parents put in the backyard for you. Even before you tested the waters with your big toe, you probably watched your father’s lips joined to the air hole as he blew up this pool, his face turning redder by the minute.
Only now do you appreciate good old dad and how many breaths he had to take so you could enjoy that pool for about ten minutes until you tired of it. If you took gym class in middle school or maybe you were active on the swim team at the high school or collegiate level, you had near-daily access to a pool and gained a new appreciation for it. Visiting the “Y” or local high school open swimming sessions left you longing for a swimming pool of your own mainly because the hours often weren’t conducive to your schedule, or it was just too darn crowded.
So if the thought of owning your own pool has niggled at your mind for a very long time – now is the time to make that vision a reality and not just a pipe dream. Stop noodling around the internet looking at pool pictures, because we can help you turn your pool and landscape into a private paradise.
A Pool Makes Perfect Sense
Here in the U.S., we Americans have less leisure time than most other countries. We have our weekends, and a handful of long holidays each year, plus our allotted vacation time from work. The modern family consists of both parents working and their kids often involved in extracurricular school activities, and there is often no time to just stop and take a deep breath and catch up.
If you’re lucky enough to own a vacation home or cottage, the family can regroup there on a regular basis. But in today’s hectic world, more and more people prefer the “staycation” over the hassle of airline travel during those precious few weeks of respite from the workplace. Yes, R &R is what you need!
Now, everyone’s idea of a vacation is different. Some people enjoy jet setting from one exotic locale to the next, while others prefer domestic travel venues across our United States. Vacations are long-anticipated and oh so fleeting … just a few weeks and the trip is over, though the memories (and often the credit card bills) will linger long after you tuck your suitcase away.
If the concept of a “staycation” appeals to you, why not consider spending the money to add a backyard pool to establish a re-connection with family and friends? A backyard pool is a long-term investment; it is something to be enjoyed, not just for two or three weeks out of the year, but every single day during the warm weather months, if you so desire.
Even your teenagers, who often balk at the very idea of spending any quality time with their parents, will be eager to hang out by the pool and join you for a swim. But wait … there are more reasons why a pool makes perfect sense.
Access To A Healthy Lifestyle
It’s not selfish, but smart – even heart smart – to consider a pool for health reasons. Swimming is a superior aerobic exercise. Besides toning all the visible muscles, it also conditions the most-important muscle in the body: your heart. Swimming is an excellent exercise regimen for keeping in shape, no matter what age you are; in fact, many arthritis sufferers benefit from swimming because any body movements do not cause a harsh impact to the skeletal system.
A heated pool provides warm and soothing benefits as well. If your main reason for purchasing a pool is for fitness, you might want to consider a swim spa or a lap pool. A swim spa is a hybrid of a pool and spa and has water jets in which the swimmer must swim against a constant flow of water which provides an intense workout. A swim spa is ideal for small yards, as is a lap pool, because the latter’s shape is long and narrow, and the preferred means of a good water workout.
Today’s Backyard Pool
The backyard pools in the past were just rectangular receptacles geared to hold chlorinated water, a ladder to access that water, and an attached diving board. A few inflatable pool toys provided some fun and frivolity. There are a wide range of options for every backyard and budget, so before you contact a landscape contractor to discuss the placement of the new pool in your yard, there are a few items to take into consideration first.
In-Ground Or Above-Ground Pool?
An in-ground pool can be costly as they must be built and poured on site, so it takes longer to construct an in-ground pool. But an in-ground pool offers a cleaner look to your backyard and the shape can be sculpted to fit your area. There are a large variety of pool accessories which you can purchase for the ultimate pool experience, such as special slides or water games, as well as enhancements like fiber optic lighting.
An above-ground pool is less costly and since it is not a permanent structure, there is the option to disassemble the pool and take it with you should you move. You can arrange to have the pool assembled by the retailer or it can become a do-it-yourself project. Above-ground pools usually take up less space, making them perfect for smaller yards.
If the economic factor weighs heavily in your decision of an in-ground versus above-ground pool, well … the less costly choice, of course, is an above-ground pool. Perhaps niggling at your mind is the fact that you will likely only get six months’ use maximum out of a pool. Unfortunately, our weather here in New Jersey does preclude the possibility of enjoying a swim year-round, that is, unless you have an area large enough to house an indoor pool.
A knowledgeable landscape contractor can work with you in this aspect as well, but for most pool owners in this cold-weather state, Labor Day or shortly thereafter signals the end of the summer and pool time. There will be some maintenance involved at that time to close your pool, since most outdoor pools, whether in-ground or above-ground, must be completely drained of water, or the water must be continually heated, to avoid ice damage due to expanding and contracting of the ice, to your pool walls. But on a positive note, most people can enjoy at least half of the calendar year in their pool, in what will amount to many precious hours of leisure time spent with family and friends, priceless criteria wouldn’t you say?
The pools in the past were a boring rectangle in the ground with a ladder and a diving board, but today’s pools come in every shape imaginable. The pool does not have to be “one size fits all” and often may be tailored around the softscape, which is another word for your landscape. Here is where your local landscape contractor will work with you to keep a harmonious balance in your yard, wherein the pool melds into the background, instead of detracting from it. A skilled landscape contractor will create a landscape design which will integrate the softscaping (your plants and bushes) right into the hardscape (the actual pool and its walls and non-living portions of your yard).
The landscape designs are endless … some people want a tropical lagoon look, where others want the pool area to be surrounded by rocks or a waterfall, and a pebbly texture can even be applied to the walls of the pool for a special effect to blend into the total natural look.
Diving boards are becoming passé with the trend toward “diving rocks” from which to pause, jump and plunge into the pool.
Another new trend is the increased demand for salt-water pools which are perfect for people with chlorine sensitivities plus your pooch who likes to go for the occasional dip in the pool. A saltwater pool is not chlorine-free, but it uses a chlorine generator instead of a direct addition of chlorine, lessening the reduction of chloramines which cause skin irritation. Another added bonus is no irritation to your eyes, skin or hair or your dog’s fur.
A Final Thought
A word to the wise … perhaps no status updates on Facebook about your newly acquired pool for the short term, or else long-lost friends and seldom-seen family members will be paying you a visit with their bathing suit conveniently worn underneath their clothes. One thing is for sure: you will be the pulse of the neighborhood or the go-to place for family gatherings going forward with your beautiful new pool. All you need to do now is contact your local landscape contractor today.
If you’re thinking about adding a pool to your back yard, let us know. We can design the perfect wading or swimming space for you, your family and lifestyle.