A patio pool brings water close to the house. Since you will be looking out on the water much of the time, this is the kind of pool where it makes sense to install some type of water fountain. A wide selection of devices that display moving water is available. You can also indulge your imagination when you plan the lighting for the pool. You can buy anything from underwater or floating pool lights to lanterns that can be strung along the pool’s edge.
What You Should Know: Being able to step through a terrace door and stand next to a pool is a wonderful feeling. But remember that a pool this close to the house poses a danger not only to children but also to unsuspecting visitors who may not realize there is water at such close range. That is why lights are essential, especially at night when at least a small warning light should be kept on at all times. If there are young children around, you have to install a safety grate in the pool. You will probably want to avoid a regular fence for aesthetic reasons; however, a wrought-iron fence can look quite attractive, particularly if it is embellished by climbing plants.
- The pool’s size depends on the size of the patio; the depth can be anywhere up to 32 inches (80 cm).
- If flagstones or tiles have to be cut to size, this job should be left to a professional; the use of the cutting tools requires proper protective clothing (danger of flying sparks and fragments).
Materials to Seal the Bottom: Preformed shells are used because they are easiest to install. Before you remove the patio tiles or other type of flooring, trace the outline of the future pool exactly where it is going to be. Many manufacturers will supply patterns of the available shapes for this purpose. If you don’t have a pattern to follow, place the shell on the ground with the opening at the top and trace the outline on the ground in chalk, using a two-by-four held vertically to guide you (hold a carpenter’s level next to the two-by-four to make sure it is vertical). Then take up the tiling and excavate the hole. Now lower the shell into the hole. You can set the tiles back in place around the pool exactly where they were. If you don’t want to cut them to fit along curves or corners, you can leave those areas, which are usually not very large, uncovered and plant them with bamboo or a ground cover. This gives the pool a very nice look.
Plants: You can have any marsh and aquatic plants you like in the pool. For the edge, choose any types of tub plants that fit aesthetically with what is growing in the water.
Animals: Goldfish, koi, or native fish can be kept in a patio pool, but if there are going to be fish, you will have to use a pool filter. To bring electricity and the air hose from the air pump to the pool, use protective PVC pipe. Have the spaces between the patio tiles widened enough to accommodate the PVC pipe, and run the pipe to the power source. But both the electrical wiring and the stone cutting should be done by professionals!
The Pool’s Margin: The patio setting will largely determine the design of the pool’s edge. Decorative tiles or handsome stones around the pool can lend an especially elegant note.
Upkeep: Maintenance is the same as for other garden pools that require a thorough cleanup in the fall.