A swimming pool is already a luxury. However, many homeowners don't stop there. They decide to add to their backyard oasis by including a spa. Combining a spa with your swimming pool installation or even adding it later creates the feeling of a backyard resort. Find out your main choices in integrating the two pools.
When you're installing a swimming pool and spa together, you have several options for integrating the two. If you're adding on a spa later, though, your only choice might be a detached spa. This installation is also ideal if you don't have a lot of space around the pool.
Raised spas are a popular choice for combining the two. A raised perimeter spa can be either attached or integrated with the pool. With an attached raised spa, you can add the design element of a spillover. Contractors build one wall of the spa lower so that it spills a sheet of water into the pool. Additionally, you could have funnels build into the wall of the spa that spill the water.
The third option is to integrate the spa with the pool. In this construction, the spa is located inside the swimming pool. A wall dam keeps the two temperatures of water separate. However, the overall appearance is that the spa is part of the pool's shape.
For the spa liner, you have two main options - fiberglass or gunite. Fiberglass typically comes as a prefabricated shell. The main bonuses of fiberglass liners are that they are less expensive and they come already designed with seating, jets, and lighting. The downside is that you don't have as much customization available.
The more customizable option is gunite, which is a process of spraying concrete onto a metal framework. Because the contractors build the framework, they can design it into any shape and size you want. They can also fully customize the seating, jets, and lighting. The downside is that gunite spas are costlier and more time-consuming to install.
When choosing between the two, you may be weighing cost over customization. Generally speaking, though, you should match your swimming pool to your spa. If you're using gunite for the pool, it makes sense to choose the same for the spa.
If you decide on a gunite spa, you'll have to decide how you want to finish it. In this case, the finish doesn't have to match the swimming pool exactly. Instead, you may choose to complement the pool. Many homeowners choose to have the spa tiled. That way they get the benefit of the expensive material without having to finish an entire pool that way.
One of the most popular finish options is plaster. Contractors mix dye with the plaster. The color of the liner can affect how deep or vivid the spa water looks in relation to the pool water.
Contractors can also choose from a wide range of aggregates to add to the plaster. These aggregates can add texture and shine.
If you're choosing a prefabricated fiberglass liner, you're somewhat limited in the shape of the tub itself. Fiberglass shells typically come in round, square, rectangle, hexagon, and octagon. Some of those shapes come with modifications such as cutting one or all of the corners.
With gunite liners, your shape choices are limited only by your imagination. If you want a freeform spa that conforms with a naturalistic pool, this is the ideal material for your spa.
Either way, when choosing a shape for your spa, consider how it will integrate with the pool. The spa should enhance or echo the shape of the pool. For example, you could choose a square spa that echoes the clean corners of a rectangular pool or add a circular spa to soften those corners. The point is to be deliberate in your choice.
Design a beautiful swimming pool and spa combination that complements your backyard. Visit Timberline Pool & Spas Inc. for more inspiration in designing your backyard retreat.