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What type of pool should you choose?

What type of pool should you choose?


What is a basin? It is a structure that has to bear the weight of the water it contains and the pressure of the earth surrounding it. Is also waterproof. Several types of basin structures can overcome these constraints.
Depending on your budget, there are various possibilities, from the ready-to-swim pools - shell pools, ready-to-install pool kits, including the panel basin and the wooden semi in-ground pool - to the concrete basin.
Pool professionals generally specialise in one or two of these technologies: you should therefore choose a pool installer whose specialist field corresponds to the type of basin you have chosen for your future home project.


Let's have a look at the most common types of in-ground basins - also known as sunken pools.


The concrete basin (or concrete pool)

Principle: reinforced concrete is used both for the structure and to ensure that the basin is waterproof.
Advantage: this method of construction gives you complete freedom to choose your pool's shape, size and depth.
It also gives a great versatility of finishes: paint, resin, tiling, etc.


Masonry basin with liner (or masonry pool with liner)

A PVC membrane called a liner that is factory-made to the pool dimensions or a reinforced PVC liner with a fibreglass core that is laid and welded on site ensure that the concrete or concrete-block basin is waterproof. Various colour liners are available.
Advantage: as the liner is removable, it can be replaced in the event of a waterproofing problem.
Disadvantage: this technique offers less freedom to choose your shape than concrete. This is because the more complicated the shape, the more difficult it is to lay the liner.


Panel basin with liner (or panel pool with liner)

The walls of this type of pool are made of prefabricated steel, resin or concrete panels, which makes it easier to build and reduces the cost accordingly. A liner is used to ensure that it is waterproof. The floor of the pool is generally made of reinforced concrete.
How does it work? The panels are assembled to give the walls the shape you have chosen. The concrete is then poured along the walls to strengthen them according to the technique known as permanent formwork.
This type of technology is used for "prefabricated" pools sold as ready-to-install kits.
Advantage: this technique offers the same choice of simple shapes as a masonry basin with liner, at a lower price.


The polyester shell basin (or polyester pool, also known as a shell pool or polyester shell pool)

It is entirely factory-made from resin and fibreglass. The shell provides the structure and is waterproof. Simply dig a hole and place the basin in position: this is the fastest construction method.
Advantage: the process is particularly economical.
Disadvantage: the variety of shapes is limited.
Caution: as the basin is delivered in one piece, you must provide a viable means of access to the site. Otherwise, a telescopic arm which passes over the house to the garden is often used to deliver the shell, which is a tricky operation.


Infinity basins (or infinity pools)

Usually reserved for luxury projects and particularly suitable for spectacular environments, mansions or exceptional natural sites, they constitute a separate category, due to their design.
In most pools, water is circulated by one or more skimmers that skim off the surface of the water and send it to the filter. With infinity pools, the water cascades over one or more sides of the pool and is collected in troughs. A pool with water cascading over all its sides is called a mirror pool or reflecting pool.
Although shell polyester or panel solutions are available, infinity pools, which are usually tailor-made concrete structures, can reach very high prices: in addition to their relative complexity, they require absolute precision on the part of the pool installer to manage the wall levels and ensure that the overflow is properly distributed. A job for an experienced specialist.
Advantage: aesthetic effect guaranteed.
Disadvantages: the overflow technique requires the construction of a buffer tank for collecting the water from the troughs; the water is then drawn in by the pump and directed towards the filter. An infinity pool also requires a high-capacity pump able to generate the overflow.

NB: Above-ground pools, above-ground wooden pools, above-ground steel pools, above-ground inflatable pools, etc. are not included in this document which focuses on in-ground pool projects.

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