Swimming pools have had a long, colorful history dating back to the sixth century B.C. According to one account, “the most prominent pool history comes from the ancient Greeks and Romans. A major change in the quality of life occurred in these times as individual wealth increased and, with this increase in the standard of living, came luxuries like pools.”
The home pool remains a popular addition. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder site notes that approximately 16 percent of American homes have a pool. While most of these pools are built outside, there is a trend among custom home buyers of requesting an upgrade to an indoor pool. This is particularly pronounced in areas that have longer cold weather periods. Colorado is one of those places.
To get some insights on the popularity of indoor pools and the hottest amenities for these “rooms,” two experts in custom homes were asked about their experience with clients. Taking a deep dive into the discussion on the pros and cons of indoor pools are Barbara Chappell and Kim Cieplik of Solid Rock Custom Homes in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Using a Pool Year-Round
The popularity of indoor pools in Colorado is evident in the fact that Solid Rock Custom Homes has not built any outdoor pools.
“We have only had requests for interior pools,” noted Barbara Chappell. “This has everything to do with our Colorado weather. Pools are not cheap to build and maintain and if a customer is going to invest in one, they want to be able to use it year-round.”
“There is also a question of space limitations,” said Kim Cieplik. “Some lots simply do not have enough room for an outdoor pool. If a homeowner wants to have access to their pool more than two months out of the year and they want to have a backyard, they will typically opt for an indoor pool.”
“The most popular additions to these pools are kitchens and bathrooms and these are all about convenience,” Barbara said. “Another interesting amenity is a home office connected to the pool. We have a client who is a stockbroker and he likes to start off his day swimming so he set up a home office in his indoor-pool room. Now, after his morning swim, he can walk down to his home office and do his job! He added a large TV that gives him constant updates on the markets. So, this was a combination fun space and workspace.”
If you’re interested in building a custom home that brings your outdoor oasis indoors, contact Solid Rock Custom Homes for more information.
The Typical Size and Shape of an Indoor Pool
Most of the interior pools are a standard size and shape, which is rectangular. This is due to the limitation of the space.
“Usually, our clients ask for rectangular pools,” Kim said. “This allows for more space around the perimeter. It also helps with the budget because unusual designs are much more expensive to execute.
“There is more flexibility for an outdoor pool, with wide curves and other non-linear shape, but for indoor pools, most of the pools we’ve done are around 20-25 feet wide and 40-50 feet long. Of course, depending on the size of the space, these dimensions can be increased. “
Barbara added, “Most of these pools are designed to accommodate different lifestyles. For example, some of our clients have had grandchildren and they want stairs in the shallow area and in the deeper area they might place a slide or diving board. We have even had pools that were ‘enhanced’ for pets. We have done a 12-foot deep koi pond. When the family felt like taking a swim, they joined the fish!”
Brick for Indoor Pools
Brick has always been an important part of outdoor pool areas and patios. So, what about indoor pools?
“We’ve used brick for accent walls in our indoor pool spaces,” Kim said. “With the stockbroker who wanted to have his office near the water, he ordered a large indoor-outdoor fireplace for the pool and the (outdoor) patio area was made of brick.”
“Brick adds that rustic feel that is so popular in Colorado, and it has amazing durability against the water,” said Michael Earley of Acme Brick. “Indoor pool area kitchens, pizza ovens, bars and other great amenities are greatly enhanced by brick construction.”
Bringing the Outside Inside
In the past few years, there has been a design trend dubbed “transterior,” which is focused on visually bringing the outdoors inside. This is done with wall-to-wall windows, glass ceilings and greenery.
“We’ve designed many of these ‘transterior’ types of indoor pool areas,” Kim said. “Our customers want to feel like they are outside while having the comfort and convenience of being inside, especially during a cold, Colorado winter!
“We’ve done floor-to-ceiling windows (some almost 20 feet tall), large sliding doors and large skylights on the roof. During the day, this allows natural light to flood the room and at night you can be sitting under the stars in your pool. Depending on the location of the home, the views at night can be breathtaking. We’ve also incorporated greenery and wall murals depicting water scenes for the pool area.
“These windows, skylights and sliding doors add significant expense to the indoor pool project,” she said. “However, in most cases, the homeowners want to have that feeling of being outdoors while being inside.
The Creature Comforts of Indoor Pools
Since indoor pools don’t receive the wear and tear of the outside elements, most “creature comforts” can be included in their design.
“We’ve included rubberized flooring around the pool,” Barbara said. “This prevents the accident potential of slippery tile. This could not be used in an outside pool because of the elements. However, for an indoor application, this is very smart. We have also incorporated some types of tiles that are not rated for outside use.
“One of our customers was concerned about the liability of an open pool, so he added an automatic pool cover built in to the pool that was strong enough to withstand the weight of an adult. When they had family gatherings, they didn’t have to worry about someone accidentally falling into the pool.
“Vinyl pool liners, which if used outside would be damaged by the hail storms we have in this part of the world, can also be used for indoor pools. This is a very convenient addition to the pool.”
This Luxury Has a Price Tag
The cost of adding an interior pool to a custom home depends on many considerations.
“The basic indoor pool, with slide and diving board, will typically add about $125,000 to the cost of a custom home,” Barbara said. “And the structure surrounding the pool and amenities, such as bathrooms and kitchens, can add another $350,000, making the total somewhere around $400,000-$500,000.”
An indoor pool that can be enjoyed year-round is a luxury that many custom home buyers love. If you are interested in designing an innovative oasis for your indoor pool, contact Solid Rock Custom Homes for a no-obligation consultation. For more information on including brick in your building plans, contact Michael Earley at Acme Brick – Denver.