Transform and Save An Older Pool

Many communities with an older, deteriorated pool are faced with difficult questions. Is the pool up to current code? Does it meet visitor expectations? Should the pool be closed? Can the pool be renovated or must we rebuild? When you do your homework and work with the right partners, even swimming pools that seem unsalvageable can be transformed into "like new" renovations with dramatically extended warranties. And while any construction project will require an investment, if you stay open to alternative approaches, you can save up to 75% compared with the cost of building a new pool. Keep the savings in the bank or apply them to expand the recreational opportunities at your newly renovated pool. Waterslides, climbing walls, play amenities and activity fun pools can easily be added with the significant savings.

Where the Savings Are

The No. 1 way to lower the cost of your pool project is to make sure you're not limited when it comes to exploring problem-solving options. To a consultant who mostly designs new pools, every old pool needs to be replaced. Look for consultants with specific application experience and knowledge of pool renovation alternatives—someone who has employed the full range of cost-saving options available. If you work with a consultant that specializes in designing and building new pools, where a higher project cost translates into a much bigger paycheck for their firm, you might not even learn about the full range of renovation options available. A consultant who's mandate is actively looking for ways to save your community as much money as possible can free up significant funds for other recreational investments. A $4 million new pool project that costs only $1 million to renovate for a like-new pool?

It is all in how you approach the problem. Where do the savings come from? Through the reuse of as much of your existing infrastructure as possible. Remember: The reuse of infrastructure is the absolute greenest possible construction option—a positive selling point you can share with your community.

Don't Limit Your Options

Make sure you interview at least three companies about their approach to your pool's problems. A phone review is free, but an onsite evaluation and full review with an estimate and proposal is seldom more than $2,500 and well worth the cost—even if you don't contract with that firm. Discuss their experience employing cost-friendly and efficient renovation technologies. Involve pool renovation specialty companies in your discussion to better understand exactly how they would approach solving your pools problems. Many companies even offer a full design/build approach, which can be highly beneficial in saving not only money, but time.

Renovation Systems

Many times, older pools suffer from deteriorating surfaces, which leads to cracks and leaking, settling and possible shell structural damage. If your pool is constructed from concrete, fiberglass, steel or aluminum and the pool shell is damaged, cracked or leaking, a commercial pool membrane can be an affordable and proven effective solution to permanently solve the leaking and surface degradation issues.

PVC is reliable and durable—so much so that all modern pools use PVC piping throughout the project. A membrane made from reinforced PVC takes those same desirable features and applies them to your pool's interior. Commercial PVC pool membranes protect your existing pool's concrete from the damaging effects of chlorinated water by eliminating contact and preventing water intrusion, they eliminate leaking and minimize freeze-thaw cycle damage on water infused concrete. Pool decks can also often be restored with a textured reinforced PVC deck coating. Leaking perimeter supply piping can be abandoned and a new stainless-steel gutter with grating system can very cost effectively be installed.

On top of resolving issues with leaking and damaged pool surfaces, a textured PVC membrane offers a colorful, aesthetically pleasing look, with the added benefit of providing a more comfortable surface and secure footing. Changes to the shape of your pool like adding a beach entry or step entry area can also be easily accomplished. With more than 20,000 commercial pools employing PVC membranes, you can find one to inspect nearby.

Don't Overlook These Issues

Be sure you're aware of all of the issues that need addressing when you renovate your existing pool. Oftentimes, facilities on a tight budget will diagnose a single problem, when there are actually multiple issues to address. Your pool shell might be leaking, but is your piping in working order? Be sure to pressure-test all your existing piping.