As the weather seems to improve in the UK, many people are building swimming pools to enjoy their home to the full whenever they can. But when the British climate of old reasserts itself, this investment can seem like a wash-out. To protect the investment and, more importantly, allow you to use your swimming pool all-year-round, the concept of using a conservatory as a pool enclosure is a welcome solution.
Specialist conservatory builders are recommended for this kind of build and this article offers a brief guide as to what options you can discuss with them when obtaining a quote. After investing in the considerable lay-out for a pool, it is worth considering carefully how you want to enclose it.
This is probably the most important consideration in the design of a pool enclosure. And this means the conservatory design menu is a great place to start, because if handled professionally, the options centre around the use and enjoyment of natural light. Ask each builder that youre considering about how you can best conserve the natural light available to your pool.
Firstly, the more sunlight you can bring to the water, the less heating you will have to pay for. Secondly, the more light reflecting on the water, the more space you will feel in the enclosure and more beauty you will see in that space. If you’ve ever swam in a pool with little or no natural light, you will know the huge difference it can make to the enjoyment of that space.
Windows and doors should be considered first in terms of their flexibility, meaning how much and how many can you open? Think of how hot a conservatory can be on a sunny day, particularly if it is south-facing. This can be an advantage for a pool enclosure, as mentioned above, but if you’re not swimming it can be unbearable. It’s not just about the heat: pools require chemicals for hygiene and these can smell and that must be ventilated.
With an enclosed space, you’ll now have the opportunity to dine or entertain friends, so flexibility is an essential element of your design brief. Windows should be able to open as much and wherever possible, so sliding or folding doors should also be considered. A whole side elevation can be opened up in this way.
Blinds also add flexibility. Yet so often they’re added as an afterthought, in the first hot summer after a conservatory is built. Plan them into your design, so that you can benefit from the advice and expertise of the conservatory builder. A good one will have a vast array of options, from electrically-operated automatic blinds (which can be surprisingly affordable), to colourful shades that replace dark windows in the winter with a lighter appearance of considered interior design. Continental shutters are an interesting option, allowing you to control the amount of natural light you want to let in, by adjusting the slats as the weather changes. It’s all about flexibility.
Finally, consider carefully the materials you want to be used to build the enclosure. Do you want the space to remain consistent with adjoining rooms or do you want a stunning contrast mixing traditional with contemporary? For example, wood can offer both, but there are many types and with different qualities of ageing. Ask how the wood will look in five years time in a sunny/moist environment and is this eventual appearance what you want for your home?
Choosing a design is both about asking the right questions of the builder and having the understanding to be able to answer the questions they put to you. Take a look at as many pictures as you can, so that you know what’s available and how that will fit around your home and your pool.