Portable swimming pools are extremely popular across Australia, providing a flexible alternative to in-ground swimming pools. But what makes portable pools so special? Are there any downsides to owning a portable pool? What factors should you consider before deciding to buy?
Here we take a look at everything you need to know about the portable pool concept, and why these convenient pools could be the right choice for you.
Why are portable pools so popular?
There was a time when only the richest homeowners could afford their own backyard swimming pools. Pools had to be built into the ground in a lengthy and complex construction process, so they required a lot of space and the work involved cost a considerable amount of money.
The concept of portable pools has changed all that. The pool shells are pre-fabricated in factories, in a wide variety of different sizes and shapes, so the vast majority of homeowners can find a pool to suit their backyards, even if they do not have much space available or the yard is an unusual shape.
Because there is far less building and installation work involved, portable pools can be purchased relatively cheaply, offering a convenient and cost-effective solution for every home. This is appealing to a wide variety of singles, couples and families, who prefer the idea of owning a portable pool to having a permanent swimming pool built into their backyards.
What are the options for portable pools?
If you want to purchase a portable swimming pool, there are three main options available to you.
1. Vinyl-liner pool
These are the cheapest options of all swimming pools. They are usually made from resin with a metal frame for support, and require a vinyl liner to be inserted before the pool can be used. Vinyl-liner pools are available in a number of different sizes, shapes and designs.
2. Shipping container pool
Shipping container pools are increasingly popular in Australia. They are literally made from shipping containers, with a fibreglass pool insert. As shipping containers are long and narrow in design, they make ideal pools for swimming laps.
3. Little Pools
The Little Pools concept is designed to be an attractive alternative to other portable pools. They come in two different shapes, so they can suit most backyards where space is limited. Designed in conjunction with a leading manufacturer of full-sized traditional pools, and using the latest swimming pool engineering techniques, Little Pools offer all the strength and durability of an in-ground fibreglass composite pool without the heavy price tag.
What are the advantages of a portable swimming pool?
A portable pool has a number of advantages over a traditional pool, depending on your needs.
The first and most obvious advantage is the cost. Portable swimming pools are much cheaper to buy than traditional pools. This is because traditional pools have to be installed in the ground. In the case of a concrete pool, this has to be built from scratch in your backyard, which is a complex procedure taking weeks or months. The cost of this is considerable, with in-ground concrete pools often costing $75,000 or more.
Traditional in-ground pools are available more cheaply than this, as fibreglass composite pools cost a lot less than concrete pools. These are pre-made in factories, so there is less building work involved, but they still have to be installed in the ground, so there is excavation and installation work to be done, which can cost a significant amount of money.
Portable pools have changed all this completely. They sit on the ground rather than having to be installed within it. This means there is hardly any cost associated with the installation of a portable pool. All it requires is a concrete slab installed to level the ground underneath the pool, which can be done quickly and easily.
The pool itself is pre-made in a factory, so it does not need to be built from scratch. This means that a portable pool is far cheaper to purchase than a traditional pool, whichever type and make of portable pool you choose. Pool ownership no longer has to be a dream, even if you are on a budget.
Depending on the type of pool you choose and the size and shape of your backyard, installing a traditional pool can take quite a long time. This could be a week or more for a fibreglass composite pool, or over a month to have a concrete pool built from scratch in your backyard. This can cause significant disruption to your lifestyle, as you will have builders on your property every day. It also means you will not be able to enjoy your new swimming pool until the installation process is complete.
Portable swimming pools do not have either of these problems. Most portable pools are sold as complete kits, coming with a pump and filtration system, so they can be set up and connected extremely easily. All you then have to do is fill the pool and it is ready to use, within a matter of hours. You are free to go about your daily life without having builders in your backyard, and you have the extra advantage of a pool that you can start enjoying straight away.
It might sound obvious, but one of the main advantages of a portable swimming pool is the very fact that it is portable. Many of us choose to move home once or more during our adult lives, and if we spend a significant amount of money on a swimming pool, we would like the option of taking it with us, rather than having to leave it in place if it is something we enjoy.
The ability to move the pool may also make your property more attractive, as the new owners might not want a pool, or the responsibility and upkeep that comes with it.
Should you ever decide to move on, a portable pool can easily be taken with you, particularly shipping container pools or Little Pools. These designs can easily be loaded onto a standard flatbed truck and moved to your new home, where you can continue to enjoy your pool in its new surroundings.
Are there any disadvantages to portable pools?
Every swimming pool has a number of disadvantages as well as advantages. In the case of portable pools, these tend to depend on the type of pool you choose.
1. Cleaning and maintenance
All swimming pools need to be kept clean and well-maintained, as they must be hygienic environments for families to swim in. Portable pools are no exception. They require good filtration and water circulation systems, otherwise this can lead to spots where the water is not being cycled properly, and algae can grow.
Additionally, it is essential to maintain the right chemical balance in the pool, as underestimating the amount of chemicals can cause the pool to be unhygienic, but overestimating can result in irritation of the skin or eyes. However, this is the case with all pools, not just portable pools.
Cleaning and maintaining your pool can be time-consuming, but it is an essential part of pool ownership. Fibreglass pools such as Little Pools are far easier to clean than vinyl-liner pools, as they have a non-porous, smooth surface, which makes it harder for algae to grow.
2. Damage and repairs
Some pools are more vulnerable to damage than others. Vinyl-liner pools in particular can easily be damaged with heavy use. This means you might have to repair rips and tears in the liner fairly often, especially if the pool is being used regularly by a family. On average, vinyl liners only last between five and ten years, at which point the entire liner will need to be replaced, so this needs to be factored into the cost of the pool.
Fibreglass composite portable pools are far less susceptible to damage, as they are engineered to be as strong as in-ground fibreglass pools. This means your pool is likely to last for many years without needing any major repairs.
Some people believe that above-ground, portable swimming pools do not look as attractive as in-ground pools. It is true that portable pools tend not be as harmonious with the appearance of the rest of your property, as they are not built into the ground. However, there are many landscaping and decking options which can make an above-ground pool blend in well with your backyard and its surroundings.
While customisation options for many portable pools tend to be limited, Little Pools have attempted to address this problem. Every Little Pool comes with three different options for the exterior cladding, which can be ordered in a range of different colours. There are also four vivid colour choices available for the pool’s interior. Thanks to the gelcoat surface, the appearance of the pool will not be damaged by the pool chemicals or exposure to the sun, so it will maintain its appearance for many years.
Is a portable pool right for you?
This is a question which you need to consider carefully. If you want the convenience of a swimming pool which you can take with you if you choose to move home, or you want your own pool at a lower cost than a traditional in-ground pool, a portable swimming pool makes a lot of sense, and can bring you and your family plenty of enjoyment long into the future.
If you would like to find out more about the Little Pools concept, please contact us. Our specialist team at The Little Pool Co will be happy to talk you through the options available to you, and help you make this all-important decision.