Adding a pool to your property requires you have both the budget and enough space. However, you can work around both constraints by opting for a plunge pool instead of the regular inground full-size options.
Plunge pools are inexpensive and will also not take up a lot of space, making them ideal for cities and suburbs where space is very scarce. But, before you invest in one, it is good to make sure you understand what it is all about, its benefits, and its drawbacks.
What is a Plunge Pool
A plunge pool is for lounging and wading. It makes a great addition to your backyard if you are looking for a place to cool down in hot summer months or even just relaxing on the pool’s steps as you sip your evening cup of tea.
These pools are much smaller than regular ones as a typical one is between 2 and 6 meters long, and the width hardly exceeds 4 meters. Also, the depth varies depending on your preferences, but it is often around 4 to 6 feet.
Additionally, most plunge pools have a comfortable seating area around them for relaxation. Many will also feature swim jets, heating systems, and fantastic lighting to make them even cozier.
The Benefits of a Plunge Pool
1. Works Great in Small Spaces
The small size of the plunge pool allows it to fit almost anywhere. These pools can be as little as 2 meters long and just 3.5 meters wide, and so you can still have one even if you have the smallest backyard.
It is also possible to have these pools above ground since they are often just over a meter deep. Therefore, unlike traditional pools that will require you to sacrifice a considerable chunk of your backyard, plunge pools are space-saving.
Many homeowners prefer to have the plunge pools alongside decks or by a fence, meaning they hardly have any significant footprint in your backyard.
2. Cheaper to Install
Installing a plunge pool is far much cheaper than building an inground pool. Besides not having to buy many of the expensive fixtures that come with regular pools, they will save you on other costs such as excavation and labor as they do not involve much work.
When installing a plunge pool, you will need less material for the finish and enhancing the surroundings, such as tilling the edges and building a deck.
A standard inground swimming pool can easily cost upwards of $50,000 to install, depending on the type and material you are using. Plunge pools hardly ever cost more than $20,000, even if you use premium material and go a little extra with the features.
3. Faster and Easier to Install
Given the smaller plunge pool size, it should also be obvious it takes less time to install. There is not much excavation that you will need to do or lots of plumbing to install, meaning you can finish the job in a fraction of the time it would take to build an inground pool.
Some inground pools such as gunite can take up to 3 months to complete, but plunge pools will only require a couple of weeks of hard work at most to have them ready for use.
Their smaller size and relatively simple design mean you can even install one as a DIY project and save more cash.
4. Less Maintenance
You will not need to spend a lot of time maintaining your plunge pool as the smaller size means you need to add fewer chemicals, and cleaning is also simpler and faster.
Associated maintenance costs such as filters, pumps, and heaters are much lower with a plunge pool. Hence, it is easier and cheaper to maintain, which means it will give you a higher return on investment in the long run.
5. Conserve Water & Energy
Plunge pools can use up to 80% less water than regular inground pools. Additionally, they also use smaller, more energy-efficient pumps, meaning the pool’s energy consumption will be much lower.
The Drawbacks of a Plunge Pool
1. Limited Swimming Space
Although the size of the plunge pool is what gives it many of its benefits, it can also be the main shortcoming for some people. Since this pool hardly ever gets more than 6 meters long and 4 meters wide, there is not much swimming space there.
When you have several guests around, this pool will not accommodate them. Also, you can forget about long swimming laps if you have a plunge pool, as they are not possible.
2. Shallow Water
Plunge pools can be pretty shallow as most are typically between under 6 feet deep, which is not ideal for those that like diving into the pool. If you have kids that love diving into the water, plunge pools pose a significant risk as they can easily get injured when jumping in.
Besides the risk of injuries, shallow water makes it hard to maintain your preferred temperature. For example, the water will heat up quite fast on a hot summer day, and hence, the water will not have the same cooling effect you would get with a regular pool.
3. Not Very Aesthetically Appealing
An inground pool always makes a grand impression. Even if the pool comes in simple shapes designs, it will still draw attention as its size alone makes it stand out and adds to the value of your home.
Plunge pools do not have the same wow factors, and sometimes they are easy to miss. When you have one tucked close to a fence or patio, it is easily mistaken for a simple water feature rather than a swimming pool.
Although you can still give a plunge pool some beautiful designs and a nice finish, it will still lack the aesthetic appeal of a full-size inground swimming pool.
How to Install a Plunge Pool
Step 1: Identify the Spot to Install the Pool
Plunge pools do not take up much space, but this does not mean they can fit in every home. Hence, the first step in installing one is to identify the spot you want it and determine if there is enough space there.
Remember that even if you want to install the smallest plunge pool, you will need a little more space than its actual dimensions as there is also the relaxation space.
Step 2: Design Your Plunge Pool and Get Necessary Approvals
Even if you are very specific with your plunge pool’s design, shape, and size, it is always best to leave the design process for the expert. There is more to designing a plunge pool than just coming up with a fancy shape.
You have to consider various things such as the plumbing and electric systems, and only an expert will understand the best places to have the related fixtures.
Once you have the design, you need to get approvals for constructing the pool from your local authorities. Remember that pool construction regulations are quite different, so it is better to check the specific requirements in your area.
Step 3: Excavate and Prep the Hole
When it comes to the actual construction, excavation is the first step. Here an excavator will dig out a hole that is a little larger than the specified dimensions. Also, it should help prepare the hole by adding a few inches of crushed stones before compacting them.
Step 4: Install the Pool
The next step is installing the pool and what you do here largely depends on the type of plunge pool you choose. Some like fiberglass pools are pre-fabricated, and so once the hole is ready, they will only need to be lowered in place.
However, with others like gunite/concrete pools, most of the construction will be onsite. With these pools, you have to install a rebar framework and then spray the concrete over it to form the pool’s core structure.
Step 5: Add the Pool Equipment
After the basic pool structure is in place, you now need to add the essential pool equipment. They include things like the pump, filter water jets, water heater, and lighting if you want any.
Step 6: Give the Pool Your Preferred Finish
Lastly, give the pool your preferred finish. This often entails doing some landscaping and hardscaping around the plunge pool to improve its overall aesthetic appeal. You can also work on things like coping and decking to ensure you get an excellent finish.
You do not always need to have a huge budget and a lot of space in your backyard to own a pool, as you can opt for a plunge pool.
Plunge pools are more affordable and take up a fraction of the space an inground pool would occupy. However, to get the best from this fantastic pool type, always make sure you install it correctly.