Time is more precious than money. And today, people have very less of it. They don’t have the energy to clean pools on the weekends and prep them for use during the summer months. People are looking for quick ways to keep their pool forever ready for parties and casual hangouts. They want to invest minimum time and effort to get the result of professional clean-ups.
Currently, there are multiple ways of doing that. Some people prefer simpler automatic pool covers that use existing pool covers in combination with electronic motors. Others prefer complete solutions like pool enclosures. Pool enclosures come across as elite and luxurious. As a result, most people believe it to be cliché for the Hollywood Boulevard lifestyle.
However, the simplicity and low maintenance needs of these enclosures have won the hearts of millions in multiple cities and suburbs of the country. You can find them across the states irrespective of the local climate and lifestyle.
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Why Does Your Pool Need an Enclosure?
If you have an outdoor pool, you should consider getting an enclosure for it. A pool enclosure or shelter creates a semi-indoor/outdoor space for your family and friends. It is similar to a sunroom, except it houses a complete swimming pool you can use at any hour or day.
An enclosure protects the owners from lousy weather and the pool from intruders. You can expect full protection from debris, leaves, and UV-rays from most quality enclosure materials. The standard pool enclosure uses weather-proof material with unique UV-protection qualities.
What Does the Cost of a Pool Enclosure Depend upon?
Some people shy away from the prospect of getting a new enclosure because they deem these structures to be expensive and beyond their pool budget. The real cost comes from gathering the permits, building the foundation and paying for the architectural work and size of the pool enclosure.
Enclosures may be affordable for any homeowner, but here are a few expenses you need to keep in mind before you take a plunge.
Several factors determine the cost of pool enclosures. The prices depend upon:
- Size of the pool
- Size of the area to cover
- Snow load
- A wind load of the area
- Type of enclosure (fixed or retractable)
- The material considered for the structure and glazing
The Size of Your Pool
It is common practice to build an enclosure according to the size of the pool. It is possible to match the enclosure shape and size according to the needs of an irregular pool shape. Although the overall cost of an enclosure increases with the increasing size and shape, the price per square foot decreases significantly for larger enclosures.
You might want to include seating area on the deck, decorative lighting fixture, and fountains for your new indoor-outdoor pool. However, their costs will be separate. You should speak with your expert architect and pool enclosure company for an estimate. The pool enclosure cost will depend upon the size and layout of the pool as well as the deck.
The Design of the Enclosure
After you work out the size of the enclosure, it is time to consider the design. Do you want a free-standing structure that covers only the pool? Or, do you want to make it an extension of your house connecting your backdoor to the yard? The cost will depend upon the decision you make.
As you can understand the position of your pool and its distance from the house will also influence the expenses here. When you decide to build your enclosure near an existing wall, you can deduct the cost of building a new wall for the pool enclosure.
The Type of Enclosure – Retractable or Fixed
Telescopic pool enclosures have two types of parts – one fixed and the other moving. You can open the movable parts during the warmer times to let air in. It can also give access to the rest of the open space outside the enclosure. Retractable ones are great options for people, who host garden parties and pool parties in the summer months.
Fixed enclosures are perfect for those, who do not have much open space aside from the pool. If you do not want to leave a connecting doorway to the yard or garden, a fixed enclosure is the best option for you. They are cheaper than retractable enclosures since they do not require electric drive systems or movable parts.
Climate Considerations – Wind and Snow Load
While deciding on the type and design of pool enclosure, people rarely account for the wind load or snow load. However, an architect or engineer has to think about all of it. If you live in a city that receives considerable snow and the wind is high, your enclosure might require stronger support than the ones in low-wind areas.
It is common to come across pool enclosures with a considerably higher number of structural members in areas with high snowfall and strong wind. At the same time, the roof structure of enclosures in these areas is ideal for withstanding heavy snow and rain.
Quality of Framing Materials
You can browse hundreds of framing materials including wood, vinyl, steel, and aluminum. Most engineers will recommend aluminum due to its affordability and durability. If you choose steel or wood, you might need to install a separate HVAC system for the pool area to control the humidity.
Steel and wood tend to rust and rot respectively over high exposure to moisture. You also need to choose acrylic and polycarbonate for the glazing since glass is more costly and fragile. Although condensate forms on the inside of both polycarbonate and acrylic glazing during the winter months, it is not a problem for aluminum frames.
So, What’s the Real Cost of Building a Pool Enclosure?
The average cost of a pool enclosure can vary significantly depending on the few factors we have discussed above. The national average is around $75 per square foot, but the actual cost can range between $45,000 to a whopping $200,000 depending on features and size as mentioned earlier.
For an estimate, you should always speak with an experienced company that can give you the accurate price on installation. Once installed an enclosure can be a long-term investment since it not only keeps your pool out of the reach of trespassers, but it also adds to the resale value of your property.