Trends in backyard pools
New homes in the West Orange area and in Horizon West often have limited backyard space. This poses a unique challenge for people interested in building a pool at their home. It’s caused pool companies such as Dixie Pools and Spas, based in Winter Garden, to get creative with the design.
Recent pool trends work to the homeowner’s advantage, said Bill Godek, senior designer at Dixie Pools.
“I think people are doing smaller pools and better materials,” Godek said.
If you are thinking about taking the plunge and buying a pool, there are several options to consider, including surface materials, salt vs. chlorine and decking.
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Three common options for pool surfaces
Quartz. The most affordable of the options. A common brand is Diamond Brite.
Pebble. Pebble is the next step up, with a common brand being Pebble Tec.
Glass beads. The most expensive of the finishes, glass beads are popular in California, and Godek foresees the trend growing here. The light from the sun bounces off of the beads in the pool, creating a luxury look.
Typically, the quartz finish manufacturer provides a 10- to 15-year warranty, while pebble and glass beads usually afford a lifetime warranty.
SALT OR CHLORINE
The majority of new home pools now operate on a saltwater system rather a chlorine system.
“It’s just easier for the consumer to maintain the water,” Godek said. “What the salt system does is it allows them to make mistakes without having to spend a fortune to get it back right.”
The salt level in a pool is 2,500 parts per million, as compared to the Atlantic Ocean, which is 25,000 parts per million. Therefore, the salt in your pool is 1/10 of what you would experience in the ocean.
Overall, salt pools create a softer feel that causes less irritation in your eyes and on your skin, Godek said. Moderate maintenance is needed. The water still needs to be tested weekly to maintain the appropriate salt level. The salt system can be more forgiving for consumers who forget to keep up with the maintenance of their pools.
In the long run, saltwater pools can be more affordable. A salt system costs between $1,200 and $1,500, based on the size of the pool, for a one-time installation. In contrast, buying chlorine chemicals costs about $400 each year.
Most commercial pools at water parks are starting to use ultraviolet and ozone systems. Ozone is a gas system in which ozone is injected into the water and kills bacteria and algae. Ultraviolet kills bacteria through the use of an ultraviolet light. As a safety measure, chlorine is added. These systems kill bacteria better than chlorine, but they don’t have a half-life. Therefore, the device only works when the equipment is running.
Buyers have a range of options for the surface of the pool deck. A concrete deck is the cheapest, but most of the smaller pools steer away from that in favor of higher-quality products. Pavers are the next on the scale, and the high-end options are travertine or glass tile. Many of the luxury pools have travertine, and glass tiles offer unique options, like tiles that glow in the dark.
In the West Orange area, labor shortage can extend the amount it will take to complete your pool. Once construction begins, pools usually take 10 to 12 weeks to complete.
Godek said financing is also more readily available for people interested in purchasing a pool.
About Bill Godek
Godek has spent more than 30 years in the pool industry. He is currently senior designer at Dixie Pools and Spas in Winter Garden. Contact Dixie Pools at (407) 298-9159.