So, you've been a bit lazy over winter, hey? You meant to get out in the yard and see to the pool but somehow, there was always something better to do. But now, with summer upon us, and Christmas around the corner, you've ventured out there and . . . horror!
Not only is it slimy, green and full of leaves, but you've noticed how out-of-date and tired it's looking. There are cracks in the pavers, pipes are dripping and, through the slime, you can see damage in the pool itself.
You can't afford a new one! And you don't want to leave it empty or fill it in. So how about a pool renovation?
With the passage of time swimming pools will need repairs, resurfacing, upgrading of electrical and filtration systems or installation of completely new systems. And this is a great opportunity to freshen up the overall look, too.
Resurface your old pool
Resurfacing is arguably the biggest part of any pool renovation. Old concrete pools usually require an upgrade after being used for two or three decades, especially if the pool has been neglected.
An experienced pool builder or renovator will explain the process and the options in terms of design, colour and tiles to transform your pool completely. Additional options include waterfall features and recessed lighting which can provide a fabulous night-time swimming experience.
If your pool is old you probably don't have a spa, so now's the time to add one! You could go for a fully-loaded spa with custom lighting, tiles and jet spa, or a low-depth spa that can also serve as a children's pool.
Keep your pool sparkling clean
It's extremely likely you will also need to upgrade the plumbing and filtration system. If your filtration and electrical systems are outdated, no amount of renovation can provide an elegant and beautiful look to your pool. Both of these systems play the most important role in keeping your swimming pool in a sparkling clean condition. Let your pool expert have a look at the existing plumbing and filtration system and make a recommendation for the best upgrade.
A simple renovation will cost a lot less than installing a new pool, and give you months of relaxation and enjoyment.
But if your budget runs to it, you may decide to go all out with new landscaping, even a kabana or pool house.
If you decide to tackle the landscaping, first see what you can rescue or re-use. For example, an hour or so with a pressure washer might be all you need to bring those pavers back up to scratch.
But if they are badly cracked or broken, replacement may be a better, and safer, option.
If you plan to incorporate a garden makeover around the pool, plan carefully and, if you're not sure, talk to a garden expert. The reason being that some plants really shouldn't be planted close to your pool!
Pick the right plants
For example, if planting trees you need to ensure their roots won't cause damage as they grow, by lifting pavers or even cracking your pool. Steer clear of bamboo, umbrella trees and rubber trees because they are notorious for causing problems to pools, paving and underground plumbing.
Plant at least 6 to 8 feet away from the edge of the pool if specimens are low growing and avoid deciduous trees and those with spines or cones.
Plants such as agave, aloe and yucca are good choices as they need little maintenance, don't make much mess and are easy to grow in full sun. Small palms and cycads bring a tropical look to poolside gardens.
If you have young children, carefully consider even having garden beds near the pool. It's easy for dirt and bark chip to end up in the pool, making the water dirty and potentially causing problems with your filtration system.
So, whatever your budget, there are ways to bring your pool back to life and enjoy a cool and relaxing summer.