With global warming on the increase and the value of the pound going down, many people are forgetting the idea of going abroad for holidays and thinking about building a swimming pool in their gardens.
“Any size of garden can have a pool and smaller pools can work very well” says Brian Andrews of Heritage Pools (www.heritagepools.co.uk)
.“With a flat garden it is usually desirable to introduce some height into the design to create visual interest, while a pool built in a sloping garden can benefit from things like infinity edges, which are very popular.”
The time to start work really depends on when you want the pool to be in operation. Heritage recommend allowing between 12 – 14 weeks for the work to be done so it is a case of working backwards from when you want to take your first plunge.
The best time to start work is at the end of the summer because then the ground is at its driest and easiest to dig, but work can commence at any time of the year to suit. Access is one of the key issues when planning a pool because if everything has to go in an out through a small garden gate relying on wheelbarrows then it will take a lot longer and prove a bit more expensive. Starting work at the end of the summer also provides time to replant the garden in the Spring ready for Summer use.
“Building an average sized pool usually means carrying out around 100 tonnes of soil, which is the equivalent to around 30 skips so that’s a lot of soil to take out with wheelbarrows,” says Andrews. “We have certainly done it and so anything is possible but time has to be built into the planning process.”
It is often the optional extras that can rack up the costs but then it is these touches that often transform a pool into something quite special and property enhancing.
For many, safety is a priority so having an automated pool cover is essential to protect children and animals from falling in, as well as providing protection from the weather and debris.
Garden design company, Artscape (www.art-scape.co.uk) has noticed a significant trend towards natural landscaping. Customers are requesting less ostentatious installations and moving towards simpler and wilder designs that blend in with the natural landscape. Even the wealthy are making a move towards a simpler living, feeling that they need more of an “escape” from the pressures of the day to day. Most of Artscape’s briefs at the moment have ecological and sustainable remits.
Ross Moyse Artscapes managing director says, “Most of our customers are high net worth individuals who are not necessarily affected too severely by the current recession. However, their requests have definitely turned to natural landscaping, right down to chlorine-free natural swimming pools which are planted with microorganisms to maintain fresh water all year round. Clients are also requesting that their gardens become carbon neutral by planting trees to offset their footprint.”
K B Pools (www.kbpools.co.uk) are a swimming pool construction company, that design and construct indoor and outdoor Pools. “If a customer really wants a swimming pool but is restricted to space, but wants the pool for exercise they can purchase an ‘Endless Pool’ with an adjustable current. The Endless Pool is a customizable, personal pool that can be easily and affordably installed” .says director Julie Brennan
The Pool has a 16’ propeller that produces a deep ultra smooth swimming current fully adjustable as the current flows down the centre of the pool. If the customer already has an existing pool they can always add a counter-current system as an extra.
KB also offer the one piece prefabricated pools, that are craned into position and either put inground or into decking.
John Whiteside, who heads up Certikin’s One-Piece Pools division (www. certkin.co.uk) is happy to carry out a site survey to advise on suitability and will also arrange trips with prospective customers to RivieraPool’s factory and showroom in Germany. Says John. “What comes as standard with Certikin is a nationwide after-sales support network and a technical team that are always on hand to provide advice on operation, application and service.”
“There are 24 different models to choose from and each comes with the option of a FunPak. This is a flow and massage system with double jet counter-current system, two Turbojet massage jets, one Multi-Master massage jet and one neck shower.
Convert – the natural way
Clear Water Revival (CWR) (www.clear-water-revival.com specialise in the design and build of Natural Swimming Pools (with a nationwide partner network); and interestingly can convert existing chlorine pools or derelict water spaces into these natural eco pools to really enhance the outdoor living space, and at the same time reduce maintenance and running costs.
The strength of the business is based upon a tried and tested filtration system which harnesses nature’s processes with microorganisms and plants to balance the water chemistry, maintaining clean, clear and hygienic conditions all year round without the need for chlorine or salt.
Set up in 2006 by aquatic ecologist David Nettleton, and supported by a team of scientists, ecological engineers, sustainability consultants and landscape designers, CWR’s pool system can be retrospectively fitted to offer home owners or commercial operations an eco friendly alternative to costly and time consuming traditional chlorine pools, or redundant water spaces.
“We are seeing a growing awareness and desire to pursue a more green and organic lifestyle”, says David Nettleton, CWR Director, “and our pools meet this demand by maintaining a chemical free environment, helping to conserve natural resources and at the same time enhancing wildlife value in both rural and urban gardens”.
To meet a variety of design and construction requirements and specifications Clear Water Revival have developed 5 pool types to work with any project, ranging from a classic looking swimming pool with no direct plant interaction to a freeform planted pool for the more wild swimming experience.
There are still some myths surrounding the natural swimming pool experience and David Nettleton aims to dispel them:
• Heating: All CWR pool types can be heated up to 28 degrees if desired, which is often not possible with a ‘swimming pond’ system, however the pools generally require less heating due to darker lining colours and from gaining passive solar heating from the shallower water areas required for the plant zone.
• Costs: Ongoing maintenance costs are reduced without the need for chlorine, and energy costs are often about a quarter of a traditional pool because the pumps utilized are a lot smaller
• Hygiene: CWR water is so clean you can drink it – latest water samples show the pool water in line with, if not cleaner than mineral water!
If you are keen to test the exhilarating swimming experience in a natural pool Clear Water Revival have an open day at one of their show pools this June – so visit their website for details.
(The Landscaper will be diving into the world of pool construction again in our September issue)
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