Today we’re featuring a guest article on planning pool and hot tub surround from Emily Matlovich, writer for CADdetails’ blog Design Ideas for the Built World.
If you are like most people, your pool surround has been neglected for many months. As everyone anxiously awaits the arrival of summer, they begin to finally prepare their backyard for activity that it hasn’t seen since the first snowfall. They cut the grass, open the pool, and finally, sweep the surround.
That’s when it’s noticed – wood splinters begging for a new home, moisture spots causing uncertainty towards the strength of the wood below, and nails ready to claw at draping towels. It’s determined that the season won’t be the only thing that changes – It’s time for a new pool surround.
Before immediately replacing a pool or hot tub surround it’s important to consider all the design choices that can impact the longevity, safety, and aesthetic value of it. You want to ensure that the surround will not only satisfy the homeowner but also exceed their expectations. So how do you pick a surround with such high standards? You consider the following steps that will lead to success.
Choosing a Material
The first important decision that you must make when choosing a surround is the material that will be used to complete the project. The material that has become the preferred choice for pool decks is concrete because it is strong, versatile, and with the use of a vinyl membrane that has been tested to meet chemical resistance requirements, it can also take on multiple aesthetic forms.
Choosing a Design
After the material has been selected, the next step is to design the layout of the pool or hut tub surround. This can greatly differ depending on the individual’s needs. Some may choose to make their surround layered because it offers easier access to a hot tub or provides plenty of seating space for entertaining guests. Others may consider a more intimate approach to their surround or focus predominantly on function over aesthetics. Whatever the preference may be, the look and feel can be customized for each particular space.
Whether the surround is designed with individual or entertaining purposes in mind, there is still a point in the evening where the surround will succumb to the darkness. Instead of it being a time of wishing for more sunlight, installing lights into the aquatics surround can make it not only safer to stay out past dark but also adds visual interest to the surround.
Although lights can allow for longer use of the amenities, one of the factors that deter people from enjoying a dip in the pool or a soak in the hot tub, is a lack of privacy. The last thing you want are neighbours infringing upon your enjoyment. So, one way to ensure this doesn’t happen is by putting railing up around your pool and/or hot tub. There are many options available to best incorporate in the existing exterior design including frosted glass wind screens or durable aluminum plank privacy fencing. As an added bonus to providing privacy, a railing also makes the area safer to enter and exit.
Arguably the most important factor for choosing a pool or hot tub surround is the safety measures. In order to determine the level of measures needed, you must define what your surround will predominantly be used for – is it going to be an area for entertaining guests? Will it just be built as a means to enter and exit the pool? Regardless of your answer, you want to be certain to include preventative measures against slipping within the surround. Such measures should include railings, lights, appropriate entrances into and out of the pool, and a non-slip surface which can be achieved through a vinyl membrane.