Photo courtesy of ParknPool
Get the Most Out of Your Swimming Pool
During the summer months, no other amenity is enjoyed more than a swimming pool. Though a pool can add to the value of a recreational area, managing and maintaining it is a major investment of time, energy and money. For a public swimming pool to be safe, successful and enjoyable, its management staff must address many issues. Proper management is the key to retaining a pool’s value. Recreational managers play a key role in the day-to-day management and operation of the swimming pool. Their responsibilities range from obtaining the proper permits and licenses to training the staff on the pool’s rules and regulations.
It is vital to set clear rules and regulations to follow when using the swimming pool. By setting a comprehensive set of rules and communicating the rules to all staff, you ensure the safety of patrons and reduce liability. The procedure for laying down rules and regulations governing swimming pools varies somewhat. In some instances, staff will meet and set the rules and regulations collectively. Other organizations may adopt rules and guidelines from other recreational or municipal pools.
It is crucial a pool be well maintained to prevent accidents from occurring. Proper maintenance also protects the pool from damage and prevents it from damaging the surrounding property. This is where professional pool management companies come in. Professional pool management companies specialize in managing swimming pools and health club facilities for cities, parks, clubs and other organizations—some even provide lifeguard and maintenance staffing. Many areas with pools use these companies, in part because of the reservoir of employees they provide, and to reduce the burden on their managing agent.
Management needs to assess risk and confer with their insurer to make sure the pool their patrons enjoy so much isn’t setting them up for catastrophic loss. What about extra coverage for peace of mind? How much a pool actually impacts your bottom line depends on the pool and how it’s rated. It has impact, but it’s not necessarily a driving factor in your premium unless you have a large loss or extensive claims history. Hint: Adding a few commercial umbrellas or a shade structure will help give you an extra limit of liability.
Swimming pools involve plumbing, heaters, pumps and pool furniture that may occasionally need repair. Many pool management companies do not handle extensive repairs themselves but are responsible for contracting an outside company to do the work. Mechanical problems usually require immediate attention and can be quite costly, running anywhere from $500 to $30,000. In addition to the technical repairs and upkeep, there are other costs involved in maintaining a recreational pool. When comparing the costs of maintaining and operating a pool against the benefits, many find that having a pool is worth the expense. For prospective patrons, amenities such as a pool are very important. A well-designed and thoughtfully located pool enhances the aesthetics of the overall property.
Properly equipping the pool deck is essential to enjoyment and safety. To avoid liability, always furnish the pool area with commercial pool furniture. While residential grade chaise lounges, poolside chairs and tables, and umbrellas have an enticing price, they are not made for public use. If injury occurs on a piece of residential furniture, management is on their own when it comes to lawsuits. Conversely, commercial pool furniture is engineered and built to hold up to constant use daily. If a piece of furniture were to break, you have the manufacturer's product liability insurance to protect you. In budgeting for an enjoyable pool deck, these are the furniture pieces that you might need:
- Chaise Lounges
- Poolside Dining Chairs
- Poolside Dining Tables & Side Tables
- Commercial Patio Umbrellas
- Umbrella Bases
- Trash Receptacles
- Lifeguard Chairs
While swimming pools may make for happy patrons, they are often a challenge to manage and maintain, but by forming a close working relationship with a pool management company and by taking proactive measures to make sure the pool is safe and healthy, the stressful elements of managing a swimming pool can be minimized.
What Is The Best Layout For Your Pool Area?
“Space planning” is a perfect way to describe how an attractive and safe pool deck is created. Take in all the information relevant to the site as well as your personal desires for how you use or plan to use the space. The resulting site plan will allow you to create an atmosphere that appeals to everyone.
Circulation: Your pool doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it is part of the overall site plan with its connections between your indoor and outdoor spaces. For example, if you’re only doing a portion of the pool deck, consider how it blends with the rest of your outdoor space so you can see the best layout to fit your needs. Furniture for pool decks comes in more varieties than ever before. In the past, the space was created and then furniture found to fit it. Today the desirability of commercial grade outdoor furniture can be used to lay out an area that is sure to accommodate it.
Dining Tables and Chairs: Good quality, commercial-grade poolside tables and chairs will allow your residents and guests to enjoy a snack or a meal in a comfortable, safe atmosphere. Sturdy, attractive furniture creates an inviting spot to socialize and take a break from the heat. Tables come in many different shapes and sizes and can be made from fiberglass, acrylic, recycled plastic, aluminum, lightweight resin and more. There is virtually an unlimited variety of dining chair styles to mix and match your seating needs. These dining sets get a lot of use, so be sure to choose furniture that will hold up in all seasons and canbe easily stored over the winter.
Umbrellas and Shade: It is extremely important to understand the difference between an umbrella made for use in a public setting versus one made for residential use. From the canopy fabric to the rib strength to the umbrella base, there are significant differences in what you see in your local patio furniture store compared to what a commercial-grade umbrella has to offer. To the untrained eye, these important details are all but invisible. ParknPool has 25 years of experience in the construction of commercial umbrellas and can be an invaluable resource to help you choose the right umbrella for your recreational pool.
Chaise Lounges and Side Tables: One of the most common pieces of pool deck furniture is the chaise lounge. Like all pool furniture, you should only purchase commercial-grade lounges. These items get used and abused more than any of your furnishings and need to withstand everything from heat to body oils and lotions to constant moving to vandalism. Seemingly small details like pinch points, thickness of the vinyl straps or sling fabrics, the number of welds on the frame and ease of storage can make all the difference to the safety and comfort of your patrons. Don’t forget side tables! After settling into a lounge, you’ll want the convenience of a side table for drinks, magazines and other personal items.
Lead Times and Ordering: Be aware that nearly all commercial pool furniture is custom-made to order and can take up to 20 weeks to manufacture and deliver. To save yourself this lead time, ParknPool now offers multiple items that are available to ship within six to eight weeks. Because there are so many color combinations and styles, manufacturers will place orders into a production schedule that can vary depending on many factors. If you have a special event or your pool is scheduled to open on Memorial Day, for example, give yourself plenty of time to receive a quote, have it reviewed for approval and remember to consider estimated shipping time for delivery to your facility. With very few exceptions, furniture will ship via common carrier/tractor trailer. It is extremely important that you have the resources to inspect all your items while the driver is still present. If there is any damage, you must sign the delivery receipt as “damaged,” or a freight claim will not be able to be filed. This is a large investment, so it is worth taking the time to ensure that everything is correct when it is delivered.
Other pieces to consider are lifeguard chairs, trash receptacles and water fountains. You may also want to tie in the surrounding areas with picnic tables, benches, pet waste stations and grills.