Family Swim: Strategies for Choosing the Right Type of Pool


A swimming pool in the backyard is a dream — and not just for the endless fun that it promises. A pool out back can just feel wonderful — your own little water body can tell you in a way few other things can, that you’re somebody.

It used to be that when you were ready to buy a pool, you only had a few basic design choices to pick from. You could either have a round pool or a rectangular one, and you could choose from perhaps two or three different lining materials.

As limited as the options were back then, they are completely over the top now. The choices available today are additions to a range that includes the standard bearers , though — simple and affordable above-ground plastic pools and in-ground pools with plastic lining. These pools can be a great way to get started until you have enough socked away to fund one of the many sophisticated higher-end options.

Start with a choice that you may have never thought of before

Most people have only heard of chemical-based cleaning. Unfortunately, chlorine doesn’t agree with everyone. If better, more natural choices were available, it would bring many homeowners more into pool ownership than would consider the possibility now.

Luckily, there is at least one chemical-free alternative available. Natural pools, as they are called, are the “organic” option of the pool world. Natural ponds, with their flora and fauna, need no chemical-based purification system to keep the water from turning bad. 

Natural pools use water-based plant life, too — carefully chosen for their purifying behavior. A natural pool can be a spectacular education to children, too. Not only do they teach kids appreciation for natural ways of achieving important goals, they teach them about how ecosystems work, as well. 

Most natural pool designs employ two sections. The plant life stays on one end, while the other remains free for swimming purposes. Others are designed to closely resemble real ponds.

Take advantage of the creative design options available today

Certainly, you can still order a standard, rectangular pool with simple white tile, no lighting, and a conventional depth gradient. It would be a mass-produced design, and you would get a competitive price.

There are so many families trying new, adventurous designs now, though, that they no longer come with the kind of price premium that they used to. If you’re even somewhat flexible with your budget, you can always find a pool design that you’ve never seen before, one that wows everyone who comes to your home, and that doesn’t cost too much.

How about an artificial beach in your backyard?

Beach entrance pools use gentle gradients, and a sandy pool surface. Some use saltwater, and others make do with freshwater. Many homeowners are surprised to discover how tiny pools with a little sand and the right color scheme can immediately evoke the feelings of a sunny beach.

A mini spa right in your pool

Some people love pools that are flat and still as glass. Others, though, like a little animation in their water. Bubblers are little underwater fountains that create jets of water and air. The jets show up on surface as little frothy mounds. They can add a wonderful babble to your pool, and also be fun to swim over, just as if they were little Jacuzzis. You could put as many of these in your pool. Some pool designers set off little sections that have full-fledged whirlpools built in.

A pool with integrated furniture

When you think of pool furniture, you usually think of easy chairs by your pool. What if you had furniture built right into your pool, though? Pool designers these days love designing integrated seating under the water and tables that are barely above the surface. These can be fun for little parties.

Not every pool is about fun

Pools can be about lounging around, or they can be about exercise. If you like to get plenty of activity  through the year, long and narrow indoor lap pools can be an excellent idea. They tend to be cheap to heat, as well.

Finally, there’s an endless variety of pool materials to try today. You could spend a lifetime exploring them. From various kinds of rock to beautiful jewel-finish tiles, these surfacing options can be utterly captivating. It’s important to remember — with the kind of choices available, you probably could afford a pool. It makes far more sense to start with a baseline pool design and upgrade over time, rather than wait for years to save up for the perfect pool.

James graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Astrogeophysics and he holds an MBA in International Management with a concentration in German from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. James designs and consults on Natural Swimming Pools/Ponds (NSPs) throughout the Americas. He has over 30 years of experience in the traditional swimming pool business as the owner of Rin Robyn Pools and he has been marketing NSPs in the Americas as a Partner with the BioNova® Global Head Office in Munich, Germany since 2007.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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