Should I place my swimming pool indoor or outdoor?

Swimming pools act both as a functional element and an aesthetical element. When it comes to domestic swimming pools there can be seen two categories; indoor swimming pools and outdoor swimming pools. In the simplest manner, indoor swimming pools are located under a shelter while outdoor swimming pools are located outside, without any kind of shelter.

Introduction

Water is one of the most vital elements for the life on earth. No water, no life. In fact, in order to a planet to be habitable, it is essential to have water within it. Humans use water for many reasons. Early humans used water to fulfill their fundamental needs. But when it comes to modern era, water is not just a surviving element, it is something that has a huge influence on aesthetic perception. Many of the architectural designs are combined with water, since it has many different characteristics. Swimming pools are one of the elements that relate to water.

Swimming pools act both as a functional element and an aesthetical element. When it comes to domestic swimming pools there can be seen two categories; indoor swimming pools and outdoor swimming pools. In the simplest manner, indoor swimming pools are located under a shelter while outdoor swimming pools are located outside, without any kind of shelter. Generally, indoor swimming pools can be seen in high-end luxury houses, Mansions. But doesn’t always have to be like that. Even without having a luxury house or a mansion, one can have an indoor swimming pool.

An indoor swimming pool (www.falconpools.co.uk)

Advantages and disadvantages of indoor pools

Advantages

One of the main advantages of having an indoor swimming pool is that the ease of access and proximity to the living area. This could come in handy for the people who prefer spending some time in water in nighttime, since they have to worry less about the security issues.

Indoor swimming pools comes in handy when the weather is not ideal. One can enjoy his or her swim leisurely even when the sky is cloudy or rainy or even if it feels like too sunny.

Since the indoor pools are not exposed to outdoor dust and debris, maintenance and cleaning of the pool can be relatively easy. Furthermore, indoor swimming pools are not exposed to direct sunlight, hence the growth of germs, especially fungi and algae is relatively low. This makes it easy the process of the cleaning the pool, especially the chlorination.

Ideal for agoraphobic people and for the people who needs constant attention.

Disadvantages

The initial cost of indoor pools is relatively high since it requires a shelter and sometimes this may lead to remodeling of the house.

Since indoor swimming pools require specific water pumps and lighting systems and the initial cost of these equipment could be higher.

Homeowners need to spend additional costs on a dehumidifier to maintain a comfortable level of humidity. Otherwise, the indoor area could be affected by fungi infections and algae infections on the interior walls.

People who prefer to have sun baths near the pool will not achieve the complete satisfaction, and also indoor swimming pools can trigger claustrophobic senses. 

Advantages and disadvantages of outdoor pools

Outdoor swimming pool (www.falconpools.co.uk)

Advantages

The initial construction cost is relatively low.

Sensation of swimming under the sky, can provide a positive emotions and feelings in user’s minds. According to the Biophilia hypothesis people tend to interact with the situations that are more connected with the nature. Outdoor pools are capable of giving that sensation of connectedness with the nature than indoor swimming pools.

When it comes to showcasing the house prestigiousness, outdoor swimming pools can play a major role, especially in the Sri Lankan context, a swimming pool is something rare in general households.

When holding a party, this could be something that is different from typical indoor household parties. A party with the opportunity to enjoy the water can be really enjoyable not only for the kids but also for the adults. And outdoor pools are the best way for this rather than indoor pools.

Pool Party for kids (www.theswimacademy.com)

Disadvantages

Could not be ideal for the houses that are closer to main roads, or factories since the dust and he debris of those places can affect the purity of water.

Algae, leaves in outdoor swimming pools (www.manningpoolservice.com)

Changes of weather can affect the water quality of the swimming pool drastically. The high level of rainwater can change the acidity of the water and the sanitation and chlorination costs could be high. Furthermore, weather conditions could affect the people’s choices of swimming since some people prefer a swim under the clear sunny sky.

For the countries that have seasonal changes, outdoor swimming pools could be really difficult, in winter. Even though Sri Lankan do not have seasonal changes, we still have times where the day could get really cold. In that kind of situation outdoor swimming pools might not be ideal.

Frozen swimming pool (www.abc.net.au)

As a tropical country, we have a higher biodiversity, especially when it comes insect diversity. Winged termites are one of the most common insects that can be seen in Sri Lanka. This could be a major issue for outdoor swimming pools. Imagines hundreds of insects in your swimming pool, not so appealing right?   

Insect in the pool (http://evader.bplaced.net)

Unlike indoor swimming pools the ability to access the pool can be issue when it comes to outdoor swimming pools. This could be an issue for a house where there are kids, especially the younger ones. Kids of this age are attracted to water. Hence it is important cover the outdoor swimming pools that have access for the kids. The cover can cost a great deal of money.

Outdoor pool covers (http://www.backyardcitypools.com)

Discussion

Both indoor and outdoor pools have their own uniqueness, pros and cons. Before deciding whether you need an indoor pool or an outdoor pool, there are many facts to be considered. Surrounding environmental situation, weather conditions, homeowner’s preference, the affordability, expected function of the swimming pool etc. building a swimming pool takes time and it’s a great deal of work. Hence it is important make the right choice when it comes to deciding whether it is an indoor pool or an outdoor pool. Because once it is constructed there is no turning back. And why regret later when you can make the right decision right now. Think about every aspect before the construction, that way you don’t have to have regrets or worries once your beautiful swimming pools is constructed.   

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S. Herath
Landscape Architect Department, University of Moratuwa

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