The Must-Have Accessories to Make Your Pool the Perfect Oasis
Category : Improve
If you’re putting in a swimming pool, you’ve no doubt deliberated about its size, shape, and depth, and you’ve created a budget that will make this all a reality. But once you’ve determined those basics, you’ll also want to consider the many options available so you can personalize and “accessorize” your outdoor oasis.
Some of the important things to consider include elemental items like building materials, pool system mechanics, and safety features. Others are personal touches that enhance the overall aesthetic of your entire backyard. Your options are vast, limited only by your imagination and your budget. So to prioritize your “needs” and “wants”, it’s critical to know how you plan to use your pool and how you envision it will look in your backyard.
Swimming Pool Surface Materials
There are many different options for a truly one-of-a-kind surface finish for your swimming pool. You have a range of choices when it comes to surface finish. Here are some common aesthetic choices for your pool that will make it your own:
- Vinyl liners: Today’s manufacturing techniques can create a vinyl pool liner in almost any shape and depth, with near-limitless color or pattern options. Plus, you’re not tied to the look of your liner – if you redo your backyard down the line, you can completely change the look of your pool with a replacement liner.
- Aggregate finish: Adding stones, pebbles, and beads to your plaster can bring an exciting and gorgeous texture to your pool. Not only that, but an aggregate finish can also be more durable than standard plaster.
- Coping: Pool coping is that protective lip on the edge of your pool over the pool wall. It protects your pool from the elements and adds accessibility to your pool. Ranging from concrete to brick to natural stone and pavers, coping is a defining element of your pool’s appearance.
Sure, every pool needs an easy way in and out, so you will have to purchase stairs. But today’s pools have so many additional add-ons to customize and beautify your unique area. Give your pool its own identity by including design accessories such as:
- Stairs and ladders: Ladders and stairs are mainly about functionality, but they have a visual impact as well. Jazz them up by adding distinctive trim and lights to both improve the safety of your pool and create a gorgeous accent.
- Tanning ledge: Otherwise known as a sun shelf, this ledge is a raised area in your pool designed for leisurely activities like tanning, relaxing, and socializing. It combines the sensation of water with the comfort of poolside tanning because the water in a tanning ledge is only about 15 centimeters deep. A tanning ledge also a great way for little kids and pets to enjoy the pool, giving them a comfortable place to splash around.
- Infinity edge: This special pool wall creates the illusion of a vanishing edge. Instead of the usual coping at the top of the pool wall, there’s a dip where water flows over. When you’re in the water, it looks as if the pool blends seamlessly into the horizon. This effect gives it a borderless appearance that has become synonymous with luxury pools.
- Water features: Scuppers, waterfalls, sheer descents, bubblers, grottos, and jets add excitement and beauty to your pool. And these are elements you’ll enjoy whether you’re taking a dip or relaxing pool-side. Bring the calming flow and rustle of moving waters to your backyard, turning it into a real-life oasis.
Selecting the right “essential organs” that keep your pool functioning throughout the year is key to convenient and pleasant pool ownership. While certain elements (like the pump and the filter) are definitely “needs,” here are several performance upgrades to seriously consider adding to your “wants” list:
- Pumps: Your pool pump is the beating heart of your pool. This essential item circulates your pool water to keep it sparkling and clear. But you must have the right pump for your pool: If yours isn’t powerful enough, your water will become stagnant. An upgrade to a variable speed pool pump can save energy, money, and reduce noise. Tip: Use our Filtration Savings Calculator to see how much save on electricity bills by switching to a variable-speed filtration pump.
- Filters: Pool filters work in tandem with the pool pump to maintain your pool water’s clarity by removing the small and microscopic debris that enters the pool. There are three main types of filters: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth. Each has different maintenance requirements, so be sure to find that one that matches your needs.
- Heating and cooling: Pool heaters and chillers adjust the temperature of your water so it’s nice and warm during the cold months or cool and refreshing on hot days. These temperature regulators can even help you get more use – and, hence, more value – out of your pool. In cold climates, a pool heater can extend your swim season. And on super-hot days, you’ll no longer hear the complaint that the pool is like bathwater. Tip: Find the perfect heat pump for based on climate conditions and pool characteristics with our Heat Pump Comparative Study.
- Automatic and saltwater chlorinators: Sanitation is key to a healthy, enjoyable pool. Chlorinators of all types reduce manual labor by automatically dispensing the correct amount of chlorine into your pool. Saltwater generators transform ordinary non-iodized table salt into chlorine. Since maintenance is a part of pool ownership, this can be a great time-saver.
- Robotic cleaners: Cleaners aren’t directly tied to the functioning of your pool, but they might as well be. Since pool maintenance such as scrubbing and vacuuming must be performed, many new pool owners opt for a robot. They do the work of dislodging organic matter and clearing debris for you. All you do is drop them in and take them out when the cycle is finished.
- Automated systems: It can’t get much easier than linking together your pool and spa functions, lighting, and water features at the touch of a button. You can even automate daily pool equipment functions, such as filtration, sanitation, and cleaning.
Pool Safety Features
Safety is one of the most important aspects of pool ownership. If you have kids – or expect children to use your pool – safety features like fences and pool alarms should be first and foremost on your list of “must-haves.” Also keep in mind that many local jurisdictions have safety requirements for residential pools, so be sure to look into what your local regulations require. The following safety add-ons can give you peace of mind:
- Fences: Pool fences are barriers typically used for the safety of pets and children. But fencing can also help keep small critters out of your pool – a win-win for all!
- Pool covers: Covers add safety and protect your pool from weathering and organic growth. There are several different types of pool covers, each with different uses. They can be solid, mesh, or tarp-like, and they range in the amount of debris they keep out. Solar pool covers are an alternate blanket-like design that traps heat from the sun, manages water temperature, and conserves pool chemicals.
- Pool alarms: These alarms provide you with an alert when there is an unexpected breach or entry into the swimming pool water. There are surface and sub-surface versions. The surface level alarms have a sensor that detects waves in the pool. The underwater versions are triggered by a change in water pressure. They are an affordable way to add a safety element to your pool when the cover isn’t being used.
Sure, having a swimming pool is great on its own – but you can opt to add even more glamour to your backyard paradise by including a greater range of outdoor amenities. If you love hosting outdoor gatherings at any time of year, consider these features to help keep your family and guests entertained. Broaden the scope of your backyard with the addition of some robust amenities like:
- Spas: Built-in spas or hot tubs are classic partners to a swimming pool. In addition to the relaxing comfort they provide, there are also health benefits to a hot tub such as pain relief, stress relief, and improved circulation.
- Fire features: Fire pits, and outdoor fireplaces bring a cozy feeling to your backyard. The dramatic lighting adds an exotic flair to backyards and pools alike – plus, they’ll help keep the party going when the temperatures take a dip. Some models intended for poolside even incorporate moving water for an elemental double feature.
- Outdoor kitchens: If you enjoy entertaining around your pool, you’ll love an outdoor kitchen. A quality outdoor kitchen lends an unparalleled appeal to your backyard and ensures that you can keep the party outdoors without compromising comfort.
- Decking: Decking is one of the most important aspects of a backyard space. It unifies your backyard and plays a huge role in the overall aesthetic. Options for decking are natural stone, pavers, inlays, slate, deck coatings, stamped concrete, wood, tile, and more. Consider factors like heat resistance, slip factor, maintenance, and, of course, appearance when choosing a decking type.
- Gazebos and pergolas: These eye-catching shade structures create allure and establish distinct seating areas. They frame outdoor kitchens, bars, and furniture while still allowing for a breezy, open layout. Using them is the perfect way to create a relaxing destination away from the walls of the house.
- Pool lighting: Swimming pool lighting is a surefire way to add spark to your pool. In addition to making your pool safer, many of today’s pool lighting systems offer fun features like multiple color options and built-in light shows. Many are programmable and compatible with smart home features, too.
- Landscape lighting: Proper lighting is an underrated feature of a backyard because of the cozy warmth it can bring. Light your steps, paths, and seating areas with landscape lighting to make your yard safer and more secure. But also think about illuminating trees, plants, and sculptures to amplify the beauty of your backyard oasis.
Pool Accessories Can Make Your Dream Pool a Reality
Today’s swimming pool options are vast. If you have a vision, you’re like to find a way to make it a reality. With all the choices, it might be hard to rein in that vision – so be sure to take as much time as you need to consider your “needs” and “wants” carefully. Then you’ll be sure to create the backyard paradise of your dreams.
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