7 factors to consider before you build/buy a swimming pool | homify
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7 factors to consider before you build/buy a swimming pool

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Colonial style house by FRANCOIS MARAIS ARCHITECTS Colonial
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Francois Marais Architects was established back in 1996. Since then, it has become one of the country’s prime architectural experts, with over 20 years of experience translating into an ever-growing portfolio, as well as branches in two of the country’s major cities (Cape Town and Johannesburg). Luxurious, upmarket houses make up quite a portion of Francois Marais Architect’s work, as the firm specialises in designing energy efficient and green-star rated buildings for both commercial- and residential spaces.

Today, we take a look at some of the company’s most eye-catching residential designs that all feature swimming pools. Why’s that? Because we are doing this for all our readers who’ve been considering adding a pool to their property, and we are simply here to offer sound advice and, thus, help you make good investment decisions! 

1. Which is best for you: a pool, a spa, or hot tub?

Like any major construction / renovation project, adding a swimming pool should be approached with proper planning and caution. For instance, maybe call a family meeting first to decide if a swimming pool is the best option for your family and household – won’t a spa or hot tub be the better option? 

It’s important to remember that building a swimming pool will result in disruption for your household for many months – that’s why you need to ensure everyone’s on the same page. 

2. What will you use it for?

Do you regularly swim laps to exercise? Or are you more of a hosting type who likes to throw sociable get-togethers by the pool? These and other questions can help pinpoint what type of pool would be the better option for your lifestyle and household. 

3. What size and shape?

Is there even adequate legroom outdoors for that swimming pool you’ve been dreaming about? Most of us have to make do with smaller properties, which means some very creative planning and special designing to make that swimming pool (which might turn out to be more of a splash pool than anything else) work for your available outdoor space. 

4. The budget?

Financing a swimming pool project is very much like any other home addition – those funds will need to come from somewhere whether it’s your home equity accounts, savings, or a home loan. 

Fortunately, there exists a pool design for most budgets, yet the largest maintenance cost to keep track of is the lining. Some concrete pools may need to be acid-washed every three to five years in addition to being re-plastered or resurfaced every 10-15 years. And since vinyl-lined pools can puncture, you should allow for repairs every five to 10 years. On the other hand, fibreglass composite pools are low maintenance and some even come with a 25- or 35-year structural warranty. Which of these do you reckon is best for your property and budget? 

5. Who’s taking care of maintenance?

The modern Camps Bay home with a 12 Apostles view by FRANCOIS MARAIS ARCHITECTS Modern

The modern Camps Bay home with a 12 Apostles view


Pool maintenance can feel like quite an endless task with that heater, chlorine, bromine, pumps, cleaners, etc. Are you sure you’re really up for this? If not, make sure there’s room in your budget for a monthly pool maintenance service to do the dirty work on your behalf. 

6. Is this pool for your forever home?

More space quickly and easily Modern Pool by FRANCOIS MARAIS ARCHITECTS Modern

More space quickly and easily


Consider your long-term plans before committing to a swimming pool. Yes, in some cases it might increase your property’s value (a great thing if you’re planning on selling later), but if you’re already living in your forever home, are you sure you’re ready to commit to this project? Will the months of labour cancel out the many many benefits that come with owning a pool? Only you can decide on that one! 

7. What pool trends to keep in mind

• With urban sites becoming smaller, pool styles have followed suit, which means there are just about endless options to choose from if you’re opting for clever space-maximising designs. 

• Infinity edges are no longer just for five-star hotels, with more and more residential swimming pools flaunting this super deluxe design. 

• Mineral water pools have proven to be much gentler on the skin and hair, which is why salt- and chlorine water pools’ popularity have been decreasing. 

Since we’re already outside we can check out these 7 of the best ways to upgrade your garden in 2020

Modern Houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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