Designing Swimming Pool Enclosures
Swimming pool enclosures can extend the usefulness of your pool and make an attractive addition to your home. However, even pool enclosures from kits are expensive, so taking the time to design the enclosure that fits your budget, and your lifestyle, is key. Here are eight steps to assist you.
Step 1—Make a List
Make a list of the features you want your enclosure to have. Are you going to be satisfied with four walls and a roof, or do you want seating, skylights, or even sliding walls that open onto a deck? Consider a dehumidifier, as it will extend the life of your enclosure.
The dreaded “b” word. As with any home improvement project, your dreams must be tempered by your budget. If you opt for a simple pool screen enclosure (lattice to shield the neighbor’s view), you can get by with $500. If you opt for an enclosure that is more of an addition to your home, even a simple enclosure could run as much as $10,000. Every option adds to the cost. High-end materials and finishes will cost more, as well. Once you have your budget, compare it to your wish list. Decide which things you can afford.
Measure the size of your enclosure. Make sure you measure the length and width of your swimming pool, including a buffer zone that you want to be covered. If you have a diving board or slide, make sure to measure the vertical, as well. This will give you an idea of how large your enclosure will be.
Consult with a local pool supply store, look at enclosures on the internet and DIY stores in order to get an idea what is out there.
Step 5—Get Quotes
Get quotes from several different companies. Quotes should be free and will give you a better idea of how much your project will cost. Don’t hide the fact that you are taking multiple bids. Remember, a local contractor may be pricier than an online source, but may give better service. You should also compare prices for kits. Decide how you will heat the enclosure (natural light might not suffice in winter). Include this in the quote. Make sure to check to see if the quote is for an enclosure only, or if it includes installation!
Step 6—Spend Some Time Comparing
Look for regional designs (especially in high-snow or windy areas). Compare warranties and building materials. Some enclosures have glass panels, some have pool screen enclosures. Which are you paying for? Compare safety features, such as fencing or self-locking doors that will keep children out without supervision.
Step 7—Check the Credentials
Before buying from any manufacturer or signing a contract with a contractor, check them out with the Better Business Bureau and your state’s Contractor’s Licensing Board. If the contractor’s bond is impaired, go somewhere else!
Step 8—Get it in Writing First
Once you have picked what you want, get everything in writing before the project begins.