Backyard Swimming Pools
Ahhh…yes… and hot tubs…does it get any better than that? Having your own little outdoor paradise right in your back yard!
I have enjoyed both a swimming pool and hot tub in my backyard, and I have to admit that I have LOVED THEM BOTH!
Because I live in Wisconsin, I only got to use my pool about 3 months out of the year, but every summer when I swam in it, I knew it was worth it. When those 90 degree summer days came a calling, I was ready to soak up the sun!
I currently have a home where there is only room for a hot tub in the back yard, and so unfortunately, I don’t get the pleasure of going for a dip anytime I want to anymore.
If you’re considering having a pool or a hot tub installed in your own yard, you’ll need to know all that’s involved with not only the installation piece, but the seasonal maintenance
as well. I always tell people that swimming pools aren’t for everyone,
only those few who really, really, really love to be in the water.
If that doesn’t describe you, you’ll quickly tire of all the work involved in keeping your pool in top condition.
Don’t despair however, there are other options available to you that may work out just as well.
Here’s a rough list of what’s involved in installing and maintaining :
- Purchase the pool
- Arrange to have it installed – If you purchase an above ground pool, it is likely that the company you actually purchase the pool from does not handle installation. They will likely have the name of a company that does handle installation. Discuss this with them prior to buying as the installation of the pool will be an additional fee. Installation should be part of the purchase price of an inground pool.
- Obtain a permit from your municipality for the pool installation.
- Plan how the pool will meet township regulations for safety – This often involves the installation of a child safety pool fence.
- Obtain a permit from your municipality for a fence, if you plan to install one. You will absolutely need to install a fence if you purchase an inground pool.
- Research the electrical requirements. You will need an electrical line installed for the ongoing use of the pump and filter system.
- Be aware that you may have to order other materials after purchasing your
pool. I had to order a few cubic feet of sand prior to the
installation, and water immediately after the completion of the pool.
For above ground pools, some water must be added immediately after
installation to prevent the sides from caving in. Filling the pool with
a hose is possible, but only after several feet of water have been
added. In Milwaukee, there is a service/company called ‘Water Man’
that delivers water for this very reason. The place where you
purchased the pool should have information for you on this type of
service in your area.
- Closing the pool – Remove pool
ladder, remove some (above and inground pools) or all water (inground
pools only), remove and clean filter, remove solar cover, add chemicals
and place winter cover over pool.
- Opening the pool –
Purchase a swimming pool spring start up kit and a new filter (new
filter may only be necessary once every couple of years), install
filter, install ladder, add water, remove winter cover, place solar
cover on pool.
- Weekly maintenance – clean pool, keep algae at bay, add chemicals, clean filter.
Whew!! Are you exhausted yet? Having isn’t all fun and games, but like I said,
I have never regretted my decision to purchase one.
Let’s discuss some of the options that you have regarding types of backyard
swimming pools, and also some of the general equipment or items that
you’ll need to care for your pool throughout the year.
Backyard Swimming Pools – Vinyl Swimming Pools
Vinyl swimming pools are either inground pools with reinforced walls that are covered with a vinyl liner, or above ground pools that are equipped with a
Above ground pools must always come equipped with a vinyl liner because the water must be held in the pool in some fashion. Vinyl swimming pools are just one of the options available with inground swimming pools. Inground swimming pools may be made up of fiberglass, which is a pre-formed pool that is literally lowered into
the ground; or concrete and tile, which can be difficult and/or costly to repair, not to mention hard on little toe-si-tos and swim suits; or vinyl. Vinyl swimming pools can last for longer than 15 years if they are maintained properly, and the replacement of such is fairly cost effective.
Backyard Swimming Pools – Fiberglass Inground Swimming Pools
Oh boy! These are the crème d’la crème of inground swimming pools!
(Well, in my opinion anyways.) Fiberglass inground swimming pools aren’t the most expensive, top of the line pools that can be installed in your backyard, but I just love them! They’re smooth and seamless, they can be installed in record time compared to other inground varieties, and their surface is virtually indestructible. Not to mention the awesome inground swimming pool covers that you can purchase with one of these beauties. Learn more about why I’m dreaming about one of these pools!
Backyard Swimming Pools – Kids Swimming Pool
Maybe you don’t need to go through the whole ’Ta-DA’ of owning full-fledged pool.
Maybe you need something that’s going to give your kids a little bit of
relief on those super hot summer days, but not something that’s going to take a
lot of time to maintain.
Let’s face it….maybe YOU want a little relief on those hot summer days too! 🙂
The pools like are pictured here is one my friends use every year.
Oh, they kill the grass underneath for sure! But the beauty of this thing is that it’s reasonably priced, and can be taken down every year.
That lowers the amount of maintenance they need to do (hard to believe, but taking down a small pool is actually easier than winterizing and opening up in spring a big one!) and makes it easier on their budget.
They paid like $200 for a decent sized pool!
Not to mention the fact that they don’t need to do any excavation or permanent changes to the landscape in their yard.
The variety of pools available are truly amazing! Make sure you find a pool that can be easily taken down and stored at the end of the season!
Blow up versions, like this one with the inflatable edge, seem to work well in this regard.
And always place your pool where you’ll be happy with it for a few months…it’s not convenient to have to empty it, move it and refill it on a regular
Backyard Swimming Pools – Swimming Pool Dome
These things are so cool!
It’s literally a clear, see-through dome that can be placed right over your above ground or inground pool or spa. It comes equipped with a flap door, and a couple of windows for ventilation. So what’s so great about that, you may wonder? Well, let’s talkabout it…
A pool dome will:
- Keep all of the misc. falling debris out of your pool!
– All of those leaves and twigs and “stuff” will just gently fall away
off to the side, not to find itself cluttered in your pool.
- This means that your swimming pool vacuums will be getting a lot less use! – Seriously, cleaning the pool is such a tedious task and anything that can be done to reduce that, all the better!
- It will reduce the amount of evaporation of water from your pool which
means less water waste and inevitably less chemical use. – Saving both you and the environment at the same time. What a deal!
- It will help capture the sun’s heat and keep it in the pool, much like a greenhouse would do for plants. – This will help extend your swimming time, which is very important to those of us living in the Northern climates who only have a few brief months with our pools…sniff…sniff…
- It will help keep that chilly wind off of your back!
– You know what I mean…when you’re trying to get a good swim in, but
the wind makes it a little too cool even though the sun is high in the
sky? No need to worry about that with a nice toasty dome!
I just think the swimming pool dome is the greatest thing ever, and I really need to get one in the future.
I haven’t had much luck finding these items on the web, but they do sell them at Pools Inc..
They have a pool dome to meet everyone’s need – literally all size round and oval pools, and domes for in-ground pools and hot tubs.
It may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely worth checking out!
Backyard Swimming Pools – Swimming Pool Games
What fun would be without a few good games to entertain your family and friends?
There are literally tons of swimming pool games, toys and inflatables available to meet all of your pool fun needs. Check out some of the toys listed below at Amazon.com – they really do have the best prices on games, floaties, masks, slides, fitness aides, balls, and more!
Some of the more popular items are:
- basketball games
- volleyball games
- ring tosses
- rockers and riders
– for those of you who aren’t familiar with these babies, they’re about
5 feet long, and about 4 inches in diameter, and you can use for a
whole heaping load of fun in your pool!
- lounge chairs – many of which come equipped with cup holders of course, so you can have your sparkling beverage within arm’s reach
- beach balls – seriously, if you own a pool, you cannot have enough balls!
- diving games
– kids LOVE to play diving games (actually, so do adults), competition
starts flying with some of these swimming pool games come out
- inflatable toys and floats – not only lounge chairs, but slides, see-saws, water monster floats, and lots more
- inner tubes
- children’s life vests
- and more…
I’m particularly a big fan of the floatation vests and swimming suit “float ware” for kids! Seeing my niece fearless in my pool last year, makes me acutely aware of how necessary these items are.
Here’s a couple of games for that don’t need many “props.”
- Whirlpool –This works best if you have a round pool and a good number of people (although not too many to actually do damage to the pool!) Have everybody get in the pool and line up around the edge of the pool. Everyone should start walking around the edge in the same direction for a few minutes working their way up to a run. Once you’ve got a good whirlpool action going, everyone should turn around at the same time and try to go the other way. Laugh hysterically as people “fall out”, and give into the current!
- Diving for Leaves –This one works best with younger children, as you’ll see in a minute (or adults who don’t realize you’re putting them to work!) Set a time limit, say 5 minutes, and start the clock ticking…whoever can get the most leaves from the bottom of the pool wins! Everyone has to put their leaves in a pile on the side of the pool, there should be a judge to count the leaves, and there should be specific rules about small vs. large leaves and the number of points each one gets. Make sure you have some type of cool “prize” for the winner of this game to make it worthwhile! I can think of no better way to clean your pool. : )
Backyard Swimming Pools – Swimming Pool Leaf Cover
Do you need to keep leaves out of your pool during the swimming season,
or do the major issues come only during the off season?
The answer to
this question will determine how you deal with the leaf issues in your
pool. If you’ve got your pool parked this close to any trees, you WILL have leaf issues throughout the year!
If you’ve ever tried to open your
pool after a long winter, you’ve undoubtedly had to deal with the large
amount of water that’s sitting on your winter cover!
If your pool is near a tree or two, you’ve also had to deal with leaf debris left over
from the fall. A swimming pool leaf cover can make removing this debris much easier.
It’s surprising how much weight can be added to winter covers just from
the leaves alone!
Backyard Swimming Pools – Swimming Pool Solar Covers
If you have a pool, you will need a solar cover.
You’ll need a solar cover for your pool if you have an inground or above ground pool, if you have a heater attached to your pool or not, and whether or not leaves
are an issue in your yard.
Solar covers serve many issues when it comes to . There are also ways to make sure that your solar cover stays in tip top shape for many years. Some of these ways involve avoiding mistakes that I have already made with my pool (isn’t that how we learn best??) Let’s talk a little about swimming pool solar covers and the purposes they serve.
Backyard Swimming Pools – Swimming Pool Vacuums
When deciding on one of the many for purchase, that purchase will undoubtedly come with one of many vacuums available today. The one that comes with the purchase of the pool is generally sufficient to do the job, however it is probably not the best performer on the market. There are a surprising large variety of swimming
pool vacuums available for purchase today, many of which
require a delightfully minimal amount of effort on your part to
operate! The one I have in my pool can run by itself for hours…gotta
Backyard Swimming Pools – Swimming Pool Closing
Oh boy…this is one of my least favorite activities…next to opening
the swimming pool that is. At least when you’re opening the pool,
you’re looking forward to the new season. Swimming pool closing is not
only tedious, but it’s kind of a downer. Unfortunately, it is a
necessary evil if you own a pool. Let’s discuss swimming
pool closing in more detail.
Backyard Swimming Pools – Child Safety Pool Fence
If you have a swimming pool, you will most likely need some type of fence to ensure the safety of others. Your municipality will have rules and regulations pertaining to the type of fence, height and/or design requirements, that you will need to have installed in order to be ‘code compliant’ with the city. A child safety pool fence is not only for those families with small children, but for anyone who owns a pool. A kid to a swimming pool is like a moth to a flame! You’ve got to be sure that if there are any “opportunists” in your area, you make sure that you’ve done everything possible to keep them from getting hurt in your yard.
If you’ve managed to make your way through this page of information, and you haven’t run screaming, you may be able to add one of these delightful additions to your own backyard.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you, and that your backyard brings you
lots and lots of enjoyment for many years to
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