Pool Renovations … Tips, Trends, and Money Saving Ideas
The recession of 2008/2009 has dramatically changed the “landscape” of home improvements. There are many homeowners having second thoughts about investing money into their home to beautify, improve and increase value or most importantly to allow for more quality family time due to perceived high cost. We have seen a shift in buying patterns in the landscape field from extreme and lavish spending to more value-based improvements. Don’t get me wrong, we still do some pretty exciting projects, but these are the things that many clients are asking for. When it comes to the outdoors, the best way to add value to your home is to renovate. This is a huge trend right now; many people already own a pool, patio, deck or bbq area. The following are value based ideas to spruce up these areas.
Inground pools: Whether your pool is gunite or vinyl, there is one easy way to upgrade and save big money. Consider changing you current one speed filter pump to an energy efficient variable speed pump. These pumps are so efficient that they can cut your energy costs to 1/6th of what they currently are. There are several manufactures that offer these pumps including Pentair, Sta-rite and Jandy. They will cost about $1,000-$1,500 but pay back time will be three years or less.
Other ideas would be to simply change the coping, tile and color of your pool. In gunite, there are many color options in marbledusts, pebble finishes and even all-tile pools. In vinyl pools you can change a staircase, add a bench or swimout, change the coping and of course change your old liner. The choices in liner are almost limitless and it is amazing what a new liner does to an old faded pool! There are even pebbled colored liners in a tan tone that make them look more like a gunite pool.
More involved pool area renovations have become popular recently because the total cost of the job is significantly reduced due to the existence of a pool. This type of renovation usually goes smoother when there is a plan, a landscape contractor and a pool builder working together. Some examples of add-on renovations to the pool would be to redo the liner or marbledust, repiping the pool (especially on older pools or ones with leaks), upgrading pool equipment to newer more efficient models, insulating walls, adding stairs, benches, swimouts, water features, a slide, a campfire and spillover spas to an existing pool.
Pool surrounds: Renovating around a pool is sometimes easier than renovating the pool itself. It could be something as easy as fixing a settled or damaged patio. Other ideas for renovating around a pool might be upgrading to a new patio material like Techo Bloc “Inca” pavers. Be sure to compact and install enough base to
prevent future settling.
Another popular upgrade is adding a waterfall. Insist on a rubber liner under the waterfall to ensure that it will be leak free for a long time.
Patio sizes can be reduced and adding stepping stones can be cost effective way of creating a pathway around your pool. Boulders set in the landscape and used for retaining steps are yet another way to reduce the cost of retaining walls and adding beauty.
Written by: Bill Renter