The Must-Have Summer Centerpiece
For classic summer fun, you can't beat a Swimming Pool. Offering instant entertainment for all ages, a pool is a great investment that greatly increases the aesthetic value of your yard and adds value to your home. In-ground fiber glass and concrete pools add an average of 5% to home value, according to the National Association of Realtors. That translates into an extra $25,000 of value for a $500,000 home, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at, particularly if you're planning to sell your house at some point. If you live in a neighborhood where most of your neighbors have pools, it may actually be damaging to your home's value to go without one as it could make the home harder to sell. Thinking about taking the plunge? Consider these ideas to create the perfect backyard sanctuary.
1) Hot tubs and saunas.
Take a relaxing soak or steam before cooling down in the pool. Hot tubs are particularly suited to family-friendly get-togethers by providing adults with another place to relax while the kids play in the pool.
2) Comfortable furniture.
Is there anything more relaxing than lounging poolside? Choose durable chairs that resist fading, preferably in a light color that will reflect more heat than it absorbs. Tables in between provide guests with a handy place to set down drinks.
Consider adding a canopy or pergola over some of the seating to give guests shelter from the sun on the hottest days.
4) Landscaping and hardscaping
A wooden deck or tiled patio provide a great hangout spot and transition seamlessly into a walkway leading to the pool area. Around the pool itself, think about dramatic greenery and decorative stone to make a strong visual statement.
A pool house nearby is a convenient place to stash kids' pool toys and your cleaning and safety equipment. It can also serve as a place for guests to change into and out of swimsuits.
6) Underwater lighting.
Add lighting to boost visual appeal and help nighttime swimmers navigate the pool. Color wheels with multiple hues give the lighting system an element of drama. For an extra statement, add lights around the pool and in the landscaping.
Extend the swimming season by adding a heater. Pool covers can assist with this task by retaining solar heat in addition to their main purpose of supporting pool safety and keeping debris out of the water.
8) Extra features.
Homeowners who would have otherwise bought a vacation home are increasingly making their backyards into staycation spots instead, adding water features, underwater lighting, and even climbing walls to turn the backyard into a destination. One recent Ahmann Design project stacked dramatic tiers of stones and plants around a stunning pool at the center. One set of stone staircases leads to the gently sloped pool, while another starts next to the pool and leads visitors to a water slide. At the bottom of the stairs, guests can relax in comfortable chairs surrounding a fire pit. With a little creativity and the help of a designer, you too can build the perfect getaway right in your own backyard. Enlist an expert and get started on the aquatic escape of your dreams.