Is Your Backyard Boring? Inground vinyl pools can use a facelift every 20 years or so, to keep up with Mother Nature, changing tastes and new, available upgrades. Indeed, vinyl liner pool kits have come a long way in 20 years!
I like to call pool renovations an investment in your pool, backyard and home value. Your pool was expensive to build, and with inflation, a renovation can seem almost as costly. But the original investment you made in your swimming pool will only last so long. Every 15-20 years, to prevent deterioration, and also to keep the pool fun and inviting – you’ll want to reinvest in your pool.
This blog post is about some of the great new ways you can reinvest and reinvent your vinyl lined inground pool. Here’s some vinyl pool renovation ideas to help you plan for a pool renovation in spring of 2013.
1. New Vinyl Liner
If your pool came with a basic blue liner, or if your vinyl pool liner is showing it’s age, replacing with a fresh, updated look is one of the most basic inground pool kit renovation ideas. Installing an inground vinyl liner can be completed in a day. While the liner is out is a good time to inspect the walls closely for rust or damage. Using Wall Foam on crusty, rusty or dusty pool walls is a good idea, to protect your new pool liner.
2. New Pool Shape
This would be the most adventurous pool renovation idea, but it can be accomplished. Pools can be extended on one end, to create a longer swim lane, or you can add curves to one or more sides of a rectangle pool. Anything is possible, but some are more possible than others, before a renovation – becomes a replacement!
3. Add a Spa
This is one of my favorite type of inground pool kit renovations. Adding a roto-molded spa right next to the pool, so that it spills over into the pool may be simpler than you think, and cost less than a portable spa.
Because they sit above the pool deck by a few inches, they stay cleaner and are easier to keep covered. You can add planter areas in the deck on either side to add some green next to the spa.
4. Add a slide
Slides are more popular than ever. The G-Force pool slide is just a taste of what’s available for backyard pools. If you want water park style thrills, installing a pool slide can be a perfect weekend project. Take a look at the slide installation manual to determine the footprint of the slide. Some slides need quite a lot of deck space, and need to deliver the slider in a very specific water depth, usually around 42″.
5. Re-do the pool deck
Replacing your pool deck can have the most dramatic effect on your pool and patio – and on your entire backyard! Broom finished concrete is so last century. Pool builders are using more often using pavered designs at a cost similar to concrete. Other options include Stamp Crete, where designs are stamped into a new concrete deck, and outdoor floor tiles. Natural stone decks, such as flagstone, are also popular.
Replacing the pool deck also enables you to redo the pool coping. Vinyl pools can now use stone or brick coping just as easily as concrete pools. Or you could install a cantilevered deck, which “floats” over the pool wall, so that the deck and coping are one.
For existing concrete decks, pool deck coatings can give a beautiful, although temporary facelift, while spray on cement coatings, can add a colored Kool Deck type of textured finish to any standard pool deck.
One option I don’t see used enough is the combination of concrete and wood decking. It’s an easy way to add interest and curves to your pool. They can be built on top of a concrete pool deck, or raised off the ground a few inches. You can use pine or redwood, or opt for a composite or recycled material. Wood deck tiles are a quick way to lay a new wood veneer over old concrete.
6. New Pump and Filter
Chances are, if your pump and filter are 20 years old, they may be a bit tired, or undersized, or inefficient. Upgrading your pool equipment to dual speed or variable speed pool pumps saves energy, while cartridge pool filters save water. Heat Pumps don’t burn fossil fuels and have zero emissions.
A common item for replacement during a pool renovation are the valves. 3-way valves are standard nowadays. They simplify plumbing and are easier to use than 2-way ball valves.
7. New Sanitizer systems
Two-thirds of new pools built in the U.S. today are built with a salt chlorine generator. Add salt to the pool, and the little chlorine factory creates chlorine through hydrolysis. Amazing devices. Other devices worth mentioning would be Nature2 purifiers, which uses trace minerals to reduce your chlorine consumption by half, and Ozonators, which use the power of oxygen to sanitize the water, and also reduce chlorine consumption.
8. Water Features
Ranging from precise laminar deck jets that shoot a sharp stream of water, to sheet waterfalls, and cascades over boulders, adding the lush sound of falling water can really boost your ambiance level around the pool. Water features may be built into a small retaining wall on one side of the pool, or into a mound of boulders. Elegant and refined or wild and natural, well thought out water features blend into the overall surroundings.
9. LED Pool Lighting
Pool renovations usually include an upgrade to the underwater lighting. Pool lighting has long ago left incandescent lighting at the station. Halogen and Fiber Optic lighting were popular 10 years ago, but nowadays – LED lighting is the way to go. Very energy efficient, LED pool lights deliver a deep hue to the pool water. Adding a second LED lamp through your pool wall can create a dramatic effect. I recently wrote a blog post on LED pool lighting.
10. Fire Features
You’ve added stone, wood and maybe glass around your pool. Why not add the element of Fire? Fire Pits, Tiki Torches and Fire Bowls warm the night air, and add an unmatched ambiance to your evening swims. Add some fire around your pool, and watch it draw people in, like moths to a light.
In addition to the above, take a look at the landscaping around the pool. Chances are, it could use some trimming and sprucing up. And no pool renovation could be complete without some attention to the comfort of those that will stay dry around the pool. Outdoor living rooms and outdoor kitchens are very popular today with high-end pool renovations. How about a swim-up bar? As I said at the start of this post – inground vinyl liner pools have come a long way in 20 years!
SPP Pool Expert