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Let's get the basics out of the way first, as these are the most common questions:

  1. Planning Permission: If you don't live in a Conservation Area or a listed house, you will probably not need to get planning permission for your outdoor swimming pool, but do check with the council before you go too far in the process.

  2. Timelines: If you want a pool for the summer, you need to start thinking about it at the end of the year before and be constructing it by the new year start. A bespoke pool takes about 12 to 16 weeks to build, weather permitting.

  3. Pool Covers: A cover is vital in retaining heat in your pool. We would recommend an automatic cover that will work at the push of a button because manual ones are cumbersome and take two people to fit each time. If the budget permits, go for rolling decks over the pool to use the space for other activities. 

  4. Pool Depth: There's a misconception that deeper is better. Flat-bottomed pools usually suit the whole family, but if you do want a diving end, the minimum depth is 2.2 meters. Also if the budget permits, go for a moving pool floor to have the pool depth whatever you want it to be. 

  5. Pool Finish: Natural stones like limestone dissolve in the pool's chemicals, but porcelain tiles are almost indestructible and can be indiscernible from natural stone.

  6. Pool Filtration: Sand filters are the most popular pool filtration systems, but they need backwash that uses heated and treated pool water so the new generation of cartridge filters is also a viable option. Some people find chlorine aggressive so it might be wise to use other primary disinfection systems, such as UV, that cut down on the use of chlorine. It sanitises the pool a little bit better and also reduces pool chemical costs.

Outdoor Pool Circulation Systems

There are several types of outdoor pool circulation systems, each one with its own pros and cons. The main difference is the construction of the shell according to the flow of the water. The circulation design is also a major part as every pool is unique and the most important thing to take into consideration is the client's needs. With proper design and construction, a pool will be much easier to maintain and it will offer you joy and relaxation for many years to come.


Freeboard Swimming Pools (skimmer circulation)

The freeboard swimming pool, as shown above, also widely known as the skimmer pool, has been the most popular outdoor pool circulation method in the UK as it enables a more cost-effective option than ultra-level or infinity-edge pools. This design also allows the pool to be finished in the vinyl liner which is both less expensive than tiles and a lot quicker.

In freeboard/skimmer pools, the water level is usually regulated around four to six inches below the pool surround. There are now specialist high water line skimmers available in the market now that allow you to fill the pool up to only an inch below the edge, but there would always be a gap (freeboard) in the water level and pool edge, hence the name. The skimmers are active suction boxes sitting on the edge of the pool and drawing off surface debris and body oils.

The freeboard swimming pool is suitable for both outdoor and indoor applications and can be designed around modern and traditional surroundings. Generally, the top edging is finished with edge tiling, then the top of the pool wall can also be a border or strip of tiles, while the lower part of the walls and the floor can be finished in tiles or plaster.


Infinity Swimming Pools (partial overflow circulation)

Infinity swimming pools, as shown above and in the main pic on this page, are also called vanishing edge swimming pools or negative edge swimming pools. One of the popular trends in swimming pool design, an infinity pool gives an unhindered view of what lies beyond the pool to swimmers. The design of infinity swimming pools is highly specialised and it is imperative that all circumstances are considered before the actual construction begins on site. Some of the most stunning pools ever built are infinity pools with a lake, bay, or garden beyond. 

An infinity pool provides better circulation than a skimmer-type pool but is also prone to more heat loss due to a higher water surface area when the infinity edge is operating, but to mitigate that we design the infinity pool in a way that it can be run as a skimmer pool when it's covered and not in use. 


Ultra Level Pools (full overflow circulation)

If you do not have a sloping garden or grand view of a lake or countryside, you can install another form of infinity pool called the mirror pool or ultra-level pool. In a mirror pool, the infinity edge is taken around the entire perimeter of the swimming pool. The cost of a mirror pool will be a little more than the cost of an infinity pool of the same size with an infinity edge along one long side.

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