Choosing a Swimming Pool Enclosure

Choosing a Swimming Pool Enclosure

One of the big problems that many owners of outdoor swimming pools face is not being able to use their pool for the full 12 months of the year. Anyone living in a temperate four season climate will find that the autumn (Fall) and winter months can prove too cold for swimming, even in a heated pool.

The problem is that, whilst it is possible to heat up the pool’s water to a suitable bathing level, the outdoor environment makes getting into and out of the pool a “chilling” experience.

Add to this the increased energy costs that result from a bigger differential between the ambient air temperature and the desired pool temperature, plus the heat loss through evaporation, and winter bathing becomes a less appealing prospect.

There is of course a solution and it is simply to protect the pool with some kind of cover that offers sufficient space to allow swimming beneath it.

Enclosure options

When it comes to swimming pool enclosures there are three main options.

  • The first is a temporary inflatable cover that can be erected and then removed each time the pool is used. This type of cover, typically a bubble or pool dome, is secured around the perimeter of the pool and then inflated. A suitable convection heater can be used to pump warm air into the dome and, although cheap and cheerful, it will work. On the downside this type of enclosure is not suitable in wind and is better used on cooler summer days where the air temperature is cooler, but not cold. This type of enclosure is not suitable for medium to large pools.
  • The second option is a telescopic enclosure. These enclosures are normally metal framed with safety glass or polythene (like a poly tunnel) and they slide over the pool providing some protection and plenty of light. As with the bubbles and domes they are better suited to cooler spring or summer days and they can be opened when the day warms up. Their design makes them suitable for any square or rectangular pool and they can be built over a good sized swimming pool. Top of the range telescopic pools have a motor and remote operation.
  • The third option is the pool house, a proper permanent structure built to house the swimming pool. This option is the only one that genuinely offers the opportunity to use the pool 365 days a year, irrespective of outside conditions.

    A pool house can be built of brick or stone with large glazed areas and it offers the flexibility to control the environment around the pool using heaters and dehumidifiers. The design of the building can incorporate features like insulated walls and high performance insulated glass to help with the retention of heat, and a bathroom or changing room can be accommodated within the building.

    A pool house is the most expensive of the swimming pool enclosure options, however it is both permanent and controllable and it is the only truly suitable option for temperate climates where low temperatures and high rainfalls can be expected. A pool house can be purpose built to accommodate any size and shape of pool.