Who doesn't want to enjoy year-round swimming from the comfort of their own home? As chance would have it, Indoor swimming pools create an appealing opportunity for just that.
There is much to consider before constructing an indoor swimming pool, however. One big question to ask yourself before installing your indoor swimming pool is that of what type of indoor pool is best?
As we will see in the paragraphs below, each of the three basic pool types meets varying needs and have different design features that may or may not align with what you desire for your indoor pool.
Comparing what each pool type offers to your own wishes and non-negotiables is a great way to decide which route you should ultimately take.
In the following sections, we will begin our discussion by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of indoor swimming pools.
We will then examine the three different types of indoor swimming pools and the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you pick your perfect pool, followed by information about the construction and cost of installing your own indoor swimming pool.
Indoor Swimming Pool
Indoor swimming pools have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The benefits include reduced maintenance compared to outdoor swimming pools since debris does not enter the pool, reduced use of chemicals since there is no sunlight to affect sanitizer and chlorine levels, and year-round swimming.
While an outdoor pool may lack in appeal compared to an indoor pool, you can add certain accessories to extend the swim season, such as an automatic pool cover to trap heat created by sunlight and prevent debris from entering the pool. These may be helpful to those considering an outdoor pool due to a tight budget.
The downsides of choosing an indoor swimming pool over an outdoor pool include a higher building cost, higher energy costs from heating the pool and airspace, and no option to sunbathe or ability to tan alongside the swimming experience.
As we will see below, three different pool types exist from which to choose for constructing an indoor swimming pool: fiberglass, vinyl liner, and concrete.
Any of these three pool types work for indoor pool installations, but each differs in variables such as flexibility of design and cost to maintain. Thus, one type may suit your purposes better than the others.
Types of Pools and Their Purposes
There are three basic pool types to choose from when installing an indoor swimming pool. These are fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl liner. As mentioned previously, each type has its own sets of pros and cons.
The key features of a fiberglass indoor swimming pool are that maintenance is easy, durability is exceptional, and installation is fast. Below we look at a more detailed rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing fiberglass.
The pros of opting for a fiberglass swimming pool include:
- Low maintenance due to the nonporous fiberglass shell, which prevents the growth of algae and thus reduces the number of sanitizers and other chemicals for maintenance.
- Little to no upkeep cost since there is no liner to replace and no need for resurfacing.
- The smooth surface of the fiberglass shell is non-abrasive.
- More rapid installation resulting from off-site construction of pool shell.
- Design of most fiberglass pool shells incorporates steps and seats.
- Option to incorporate beautiful designs with elements such as water features or colored finishes.
- Limited options for shape and design in pool construction resulting from the use of molds to create the shell.
- The size of width maxes out at 16 feet due to shipping restrictions.
- Initial cost usually $10,000 higher than vinyl liner pools.
- Repairs sometimes result in mismatched colored finishes.
Vinyl liners are cheaper to install and offer more customization than fiberglass, but there are also cons to consider. Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a vinyl liner for your indoor swimming pool.
- Smooth, non-porous surface is non-abrasive and prevents algae growth.
- Initial cost is low compared to fiberglass or concrete indoor swimming pool.
- Shape and size are customizable with no limits on width, length, or depth.
- High lifetime costs since vinyl liners need replacing every 5 to 9 years and cost between $2,500 and $3,500 to replace the liner alone.
- 20-year pro-rated warranties in the fine print of many manufacturers.
- Lower resale value since the vinyl liner deteriorates with time.
- Pool requires careful use because the liner is only 20 to 30 millimeters thick and liner replacement is costly.
Concrete swimming pools combine the best of both fiberglass and vinyl liner pools in that they are durable and offer greater potential for customization.
However, the porous surface of concrete pools creates complications for pool maintenance. They also have higher installation and lifetime costs than fiberglass pools or vinyl liner pools. Outlined below are the advantages and disadvantages of concrete swimming pools.
- Unlimited options for size, shape, and depth.
- Pool designs features are more flexible, with the possibility for things like beach entries, tanning ledges, vanishing edges, and more.
- Pools constructed with concrete are well-suited for incorporation into landscape designs.
- The porous surface of concrete indoor swimming pool requires more sanitizing chemicals and filtration.
- The alkalinity of the shell requires you add acid to your pool water counteract the rise in pH.
- Higher maintenance resulting from algae growth.
- The longer installation that takes between 3 and 6 months to complete.
- High lifetime cost since concrete pools needs resurfacing and re-tilting every 10 to 15 years at a cost of between $10,000 and $20,000.
Construction and Costs
Things to Consider for Your Indoor Pool
Before the construction of your indoor swimming pool begins, you need to consider a couple of things.
First, will you construct your pool inside an existing structure or enclose it after construction? If you build the pool first and enclose it later, take care to install water and electrical for the enclosure before pouring the pool deck. If you already know the size of the structure, you can pour the footings with the deck.
Second, what accessories will you need to consider installing with your indoor pool? A pool heater is important for indoor pools since they receive little or no sunlight to heat the pool. Traditional pool heater options include natural gas or propane heater.
Automatic pool covers are essential to the success of indoor swimming pools since they help control moisture by halting evaporation of the pool water. They offer an added benefit of conserving energy since they help hold heat inside the pool, reducing the workload of your pool heater.
Construction Costs for an Indoor Swimming Pool
Constructing an indoor pool is no small expense. The swimming pool itself costs between $40,000 and $60,000. A typical structure to enclose the swimming pool can cost over $100,000. Installing the dehumidification system costs between $20,000 and $30,000. Using these figures, an indoor pool can cost $200,000 or more.
For some, an outdoor swimming pool is a more suitable option for their budget, since it eliminates the need for both an enclosed structure and a dehumidification system, leaving the base cost between $40,000 and $60,000.
Adding accessories to an outdoor pool such as an automatic pool cover, pool heater, and more can enhance your experience with an outside pool. They also cost far less than the expense to construct an enclosing structure.
Another factor affecting the cost to construct an indoor pool is the pool type you choose, since fiberglass, vinyl liner, and concrete each vary in terms of initial installation cost.
An additional consideration aside from construction costs is the lifetime cost of your pool. As we saw earlier, the pool type affects this cost, with fiberglass being the cheapest and concrete being the most expensive.
There is much to consider in choosing what pool type is best for your indoor swimming pool, especially when each has their own pros and cons.
Those looking to save time and money during the installation and over the course of the pool's life may find a fiberglass pool to be the most suitable choice since it has little to no lifetime cost and is easy to maintain.
If you are looking for something with greater flexibility in design while still keeping installation costs low, a vinyl liner will be the optimal pool type for you. Vinyl liners have the lowest initial installation cost and do not have limits for shape or size.
If durability, customization, and incorporating artistic design features into your pool area are important considerations, then choosing a concrete pool may be the best course of action. Concrete pools allow for decorative designs and last longer than vinyl liners before needing to resurfacing and re-tilting.
Choosing the right pool type is not an easy decision. Review the advantages and disadvantages of each type and determine which features are most important to you. Then select the pool option that meets most if not all of your specific indoor pool needs.
Before you know it, you will enjoy a warm and relaxing swim in your very own indoor pool.