Want to install a swimming pool but can’t decide on the type and design that’s right for you? We asked Jamie Smith from the London Swimming Pool Company to give us a few pointers before you dive in…
How much does space dictate the kind of pool you can go for?
The majority of our clients are in London, so there will be constraints imposed by the size of the basement, while outdoors, where there is plenty of space, the options needn’t be limited to a regular rectangle. Having said that, the London Swimming Pool Company is adept at working around logistical problems and rising to a challenge – we once installed a stainless-steel pool in a London penthouse, which had to be craned up to the top floor. Not the easiest of projects.
What are the options for personalising your design?
There are plenty of ways to put your stamp on the finished look, from pool lighting and massage jets to the tile finishing. Water features are popular too – whether they’re fountains and spouts or water running down the wall, and mosaics have come a long way since dolphins, with clients designing their own patterns. A plain dark mosaic on the floor, which becomes lighter and fades as it creeps up the sides of the pool, is a popular look, as are stars and gold tiles.
Any other trends that you have seen emerging in recent years?
More and more people like to have a minimal freeboard, where the water level is as close to the top as possible, just underneath the coping stones. It creates a very contemporary look.
What is the time-scale for installing a new pool?
On average it takes about 26 weeks of work, spread out over the course of the building project. Outdoor pools take less time at about 10-12 weeks.
People are increasingly choosing moving floor pools as an alternative to traditional pools. What is the attraction?
A moving floor pool allows you to use the space for other purposes – anything from a dance floor to a cinema. When the moving floor is activated the pool is covered with a solid floor that blends seamlessly with the surrounding floor or outdoor terrace.
A lot of your clients will have children, so safety will be a priority.
Yes, safety is definitely something that needs to be considered during the design process – you will need to factor in a shallower area for children, and think about various other ways of safeguarding their safety, from electronic alarms to safety covers. We build pools with the Hydrofloors movable floor system which – they can be set at any depth making them ideal for younger children, and they become totally sealed off when the floor is raised and locked in place.
Jamie Smith is Managing Director of the London Swimming Pool Company