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About Me


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  1. This may be of use to some people and of interest to others. Certainly I could not find much information before I embarked on our build and it was a bit of a leap in the dark. We designed our house with a swimming pool. It is quite an extravagance but my daughter and I really enjoy swimming and messing about in the pool and it is a luxury I have always fancied. The pool has now been up and running for the past couple of months and I am extremely pleased with it. The installers did a very professional job. As always I tried to make sure that there was as little maintenance as possible required. The filtration system by a company called DA-Gen is all automatic. In the last two months all I have had to do is put a pool cleaning robot like a Roomba in the pool every week and it polishes it up. Other than that there has been abolsutely zero maintenance. The installer told me that historically they would visit a pool once a month. They will probably visit mine three times in the first year and then less after that. The main job will be changing over the chemicals, and just checking everything is working. The pool automatically tests the pH level and adjusts as necessary. The pH is set at 7.2. The chlorine is set at 0.5 ppm which is the same as the local drinking water. The pool creates chlorine from salt when necessary and there is no chlorine smell or taste. The pool is from a company called Niveko. It is a one piece polycarbonate pool and came as a single piece on the back of a truck from the Czech Republic. The pool is 8.9m long, 3.4m wide and 1.3m deep. Thus it contains around 40,000 litres of water. I spent some time at the pool in the gym and reading advice from owners in America on what size to buy. Traditionally pools are twice as long as they are wide, but I wanted a pool that was long enough to swim lengths. Having tested out the gym pool I reckoned I needed at least 8m. If I could not get permission for this much floor space I would have investigated an endless pool where you swim into a current. Depth wise people recommended that a deep end was pointless as it was impossible to stand and play games. we often stand and play water volleyball and the depth is working out perfectly. More depth would just be more water to heat and more ground to dig out. I would recommend 1.3-1.4m depending on your height. I read up on various kinds of pools. A discussion with one company that build traditional tiled/concrete pools suggested a cost of £200,000 which was ridiculous. You can also have a liner pool where you build a concrete shell then use a waterproof liner inside. This is cheaper but needs replacing every so often. I also investigated building a pool from ICF. Although this seems like a good idea, I could not find anyone with expertise in it. Eventually I came across these polycarbonate pools. I liked the design as it has EPS insulation around the outside. The pool could also incorporate a built in cover. Around one third of the heating cost of a pool is due to evaporation. This also keeps humidity down. Finally the smooth finish compared to a tiled pool makes the build up of bacteria much less likely and reduces the need for cleaning and chemicals. It also means no sharp edges on your feet. The total cost for the pool, dehumidifying equipment, filtration, ventilation etc was around £80,000. The real cost is the 80 square metres for the pool room, plant room and changing room. This probably added around £120-150,000 to the build cost of the house. The building work was not complicated much by this, a deeper area of foundations was dug and the pool sits on a concrete slab similar to the ground floor of the house. We did find once we dug down that there was some underground water and it had to be tanked. The pool and ventilation were then put in place below floor level and covered up whilst building work continued. The pool sits on top of 150mm of EPS with a further 50mm around the outside. Historically a pool was a big negative on a house in this area, making them almost impossible to sell. The reason was massive heating bills and maintenance costs. Also they made your house smell of chlorine and the humidity would destroy your house. One thing that prompted me to write this is that we have our heating now all working as it should. I noted on another thread that they had not insulated the circulating hot water system. This has been done now. I thought that this was causing unexpected high bills for heating hot water. However, I have since realised that perhaps the main reason was that the pool, hot water and UFH had all been connected in series to the boiler. Thus when any one of them called for hot water from the boiler all the pumps ran. This was pumping hot water to all 4 UFH manifold in the house every time the hot water or pool called for heat. By my calculation the loops contained towards 200l of water which was constantly being circulated and heated unnecessarily. We have now separated the circuits and gas use has dropped dramatically. Before building the pool i tried to use @JSHarris heating calculator to calculate the cost of heating the pool. After a bit of messing around I decided that a pool was not different to any other room. The reason that pols historically use a lot of heat is that they were often put in orangeries or cheap extensions. Effectively you are trying to heat a large (80sq metres in my case) room to 28c all year round. These rooms often had single or double glazing. My pool is in a room as well insulated as the rest of the house with triple glazed 0.7 U-value windows. The area below the pool has 0.1-0.15 U-value, the walls 0.14. The heat recovery system is 90% efficient. The calculation said that the pool would cost around £500 a year to heat. Frankly even at £1000 I would have been pleased. Anyway I have been on holiday this week and checking our gas usage now that everything works as it should. We have been using 7-9 units a day depending on how much the pool is being used. We have been using 75-100 kWh of gas per day or around £2-2.75 a day in gas. Hot water is around £1 a day, so the pool seems to be coming in close to my calculation. I am very pleasantly surprised. This is heating the pool to 28C and the room to 24C when the pool is closed and 29C when it is open. The outside temperature has really dropped to around 15C. The humidity is kept to around 60% when the pool is closed and 65-70% when it is open. All in all it is a big extravagance but one I am very pleased with. It was great in the hot weather a few weeks ago, my daughter and her friends are loving it and hopefully I will get many years of enjoyment from it. In terms of things I would have done differently. We were a bit tight on the plant room and stuff just fits. The changing room door is quite close to the pool and the frame gets wet. We should have sloped the tiles back towards the pool so that when the kids jump in the water would run back naturally. I bought a squeegee to push excess water back in. Everything is pretty much finished, just some mastic around the room edges required. Heating costs may fall a little as the bottom edges of the windows have not yet been sealed to the floor and had compriband insulation outside, so we are probably leaking a bit of air. Pictures - Concrete pad awaiting the pool. Pool and ventilation below ground level. Plant room. These are the filters and chemicals, the dehumidifier/heater is behind the door. Changing room. We came up with the idea of building the bench out of wood effect tiles so it won't be affected by water. Changing room shower. Pool today after the kids were playing in it. Cleaning robot. The pool has two large colour changing LEDs that provide a great effect at night.