Why adding a swimming pool can be a smart investment!
The perfect holiday should be a chance to unwind, de-stress and enjoy the fun with loved ones. So, when you are looking at ways to invest in your business and improve your customer experience, a swimming pool is the perfect choice for luxury accommodation providers wishing to attract visitors while at the same time promoting good health and wellbeing.
Adding a commercial swimming pool to your business offering is a significant undertaking and needs careful planning if you are to reap the rewards of your investment. The size and specification of your pool will ultimately (and undeniably) affect the cost. Investing in a swimming pool on-site can offer a range of avenues for a return on investment. First off, you are offering a new facility to attract bookings, but it will also help keep guests on-site, and If you are retaining guests on-site, then there is an increased opportunity for on-site spending on food and drinks.
To start the thought process, firstly, you must consider your budget. Secondly, you need to imagine what type of swimming pool and added features you would want to be included that are tailored to your guests based on your accommodation offering. These will help you to ensure a return on investment. Your considerations could be a pool that offers more than just swimming but entertains with splash appeal for all ages and abilities or a pool that provides a luxury spa feel, with added features such as an inground spa, sauna, steam and wellness.
Before you start trawling through the internet and your diary is full of pool contractor appointments to come and quote for the work, there is help from SPATA (the Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association). SPATA provides a range of resources for commercial swimming pool buyers and a register of commercial contractors. SPATA offers advice to ensure that you get the right pool (indoor or outdoor) and the right contractor for your business (and guest) requirements.
Finding the right pool contractor from the offset can make the difference to your swimming pool project; money well spent will mean your business reaps the rewards in the long run throughout the pool’s life expectancy. You can find pool inspiration from the British Pool & Hot Tub Awards winners hosted by SPATA (and BISHTA – British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association). You can view images of these award-winning commercial and domestic pools and much more at www.spata.co.uk
Designing the Dream Swimming Pool
It’s a whole lot more than a hole in the ground
You are buying into a lifestyle and you will have firm ideas about how your new swimming pool will look, its features and how it will improve your business. Swimming pools are custom construction or installation projects, so make sure your pool contractor has high standards and is a member of SPATA.
You will want to find the right people for the job, but if you hear too many opinions, you’ll lose track of the pool that suits your business requirements. Inviting too many contractors to quote for the pool project, and you’ll get bogged down with the estimates.
Meet the contractor in person
Swimming pool contractors must visit the proposed pool site so that you can meet them, ask them questions about their work, and see the proposed site for themselves. This visit should take place before the contractor submits a quote for the works.
When is the best time to build a pool?
Most businesses want to maximise pool use during the summer months, so you will want to ensure that the pool is under construction out of season. Planning well in advance will help you get the pool when you want.
What’s in a design?
Ask for detailed drawings from the pool contractor so you can see what the final pool will look like and that nothing has been missed from your requirements. Additional money spent on the design and construction at the start may save you money over the pool’s lifetime.
Playing it safe
Swimming pools can present a risk if the proper precautions are not implemented at the design stage by taking safety into account from the offset, knowing that any risks for your guests using the pool have been reduced.
Outdoor or indoor swimming pools at your B&B?
There are fewer restrictions to the size, shape and overall design of an outdoor pool, so you can be as outlandish as you like. Outdoor pools lend themselves to being social as they integrate into the more expansive garden space.
Keeping an outdoor pool warm doesn’t need to cost a fortune, and installing a water heat pump can be incredibly efficient. Once a week or so, it will need leaves raking off the surface and its pH and chlorine levels checked, but whilst outdoor pools generally require more manual maintenance, it is easy to keep on top of the upkeep. An outdoor pool will need to shut down from October to March, and for added protection from the elements, if you intend to keep it full of water, it will require a robust protective cover to keep out the debris and provide safety.
An indoor pool can provide much more usability, making it a fantastic addition to an exercise suite. Indoor pools are great fun on a rainy day and can be enjoyed all year round, whether swimming a few lengths or enjoying a quick dip. Your guests can enjoy the pool whenever it suits them, day or night, summer or winter.
An efficient heating system will warm the water and the air within the pool room while eliminating the smell of chlorine, allowing the chance to swim in a lovely cosy environment all year round. What’s more, it doesn’t require as much maintenance as it is far less likely to become home to algae, leaves and other debris, and the environmental control unit will do much of the cleaning for you.
The best of both worlds
If you’d like an outdoor pool but want to extend its use during winter, a quick and easy way to protect it is a swimming pool enclosure. These are usually made from glass or polycarbonate material with an aluminium frame, so while they are permanent structures, they aren’t quite as substantial as a pool house, which helps with cost and flexibility. Assuming your pool is heated, it will be warm enough to swim in once it is securely enclosed, even on the coldest days. You will need to keep a cover on the pool when it is not in use, or condensation will become a problem.
What is the cost of adding a swimming pool to your B&B?
Pool costs vary, depending on the geographical location and the types of pool, starting from hundreds of pounds for the most basic paddling pool. The price of a swimming pool depends on the type, size, and quality. A purpose-built designer pool may only be a practical proposition for some accommodation providers. Where budget may be a constraint, it may be worth considering an above-ground pool (costing in the range of £1,500, rising to approximately £15,000 for a large, luxury package).
There are liner pool options for under £75,000, while a fully-tiled, reinforced concrete outdoor pool can be found for under £125,000. Larger projects (especially indoor pools requiring heating and ventilation) will be possible for under £150,000 but can easily be hundreds of thousands of pounds, depending on what is included in the pool package.
Accessories such as filters, heaters and pool covers are very important, but the lower water capacity of above-ground pools means maintenance costs are relatively low.
What do swimming pools cost to heat and maintain?
The average daily energy and chemical cost of running an indoor domestic 8 x 4m pool has risen with the recent hike in energy prices. As a starting point, SPATA recommends you budget at least £15 per day for an indoor pool and £8 to £10 per day for an outdoor pool.
Most pools are heated, so consideration should be given to the best heating method. Oil and gas boilers and electric heaters have typically been considered first, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Heat exchangers and solar panels can significantly reduce costs and carbon footprint.
SPATA would always recommend that to assist in minimising operating costs, a heat retention cover should ideally be used with whatever heat source you choose, as most of the heat loss from a swimming pool is from surface evaporation. However, heat is also lost through the pool shell walls and floor.
What are the golden rules that anyone contemplating having a pool at your B&B should follow?
Installing a pool is a significant undertaking and needs careful planning and project management to reap the rewards of your investment. The size and specification of your dream pool will affect the cost. Position, shape and size ensure your chosen pool location will benefit from maximum exposure to sunlight, so avoid trees and other foliage nearby, which could overshadow the pool or shed leaves and other debris.
It’s essential not to build the pool too far from your house unless you have changing facilities near the pool, as a long trek across the garden can take the edge off the enjoyment.
What are the latest features of top-end swimming pools?
Sustainability – with people becoming more conscious of sustainability, more consideration is now given to running an efficient pool. This may include the introduction of solar panels to generate heat for the pool, adding a pool cover that provides heat retention or installing an enclosure to extend the swimming season.
Infinity Pool – a pool designed with an infinity edge gives the illusion that the pool water is overflowing. An infinity edge can create a significant impact, especially when there is a fantastic view from that side of the pool; the effect can look like the pool blends into the landscape, creating uninterrupted views.
Floating Pools – a magical-looking pool design with the illusion of floating above the ground, using LED lights to highlight the effect, makes an exquisite-looking pool design by day or night. An integrated variety of levels around the pool makes space for dining, socialising and relaxing.
Diving down deep – a pool fitted with the darkest blue tiles to emphasise depth and space, creating the illusion of the deep blue sea inviting you to dive in and explore, complemented by lighting to further create shadows around the pool, producing the illusion of the ocean and its hidden treasures.
Moving floor – a design option that means a single space can be transformed in minutes. Take a basement swimming pool designed with a moving floor, and ‘hey presto! At the press of a button, the pool hall becomes a dance studio or party space. Or a garden pool transforms into a grassed play area as the pool disappears.
The ultimate pool and wellness experience – a pool suite with ALL the latest features to create wellbeing at home. Transforming a basement or situated in a pool hall, the spa experience has the swimming pool as the hero feature complemented by an inground spa alongside the pool, a wellness suite featuring sauna, steam rooms and behind a glass wall, and a fitness studio so users can view the inviting pool while exercising.