Those of you who have started looking will know, and those who are about to look will find out, that your choice nowadays is unbelievable. That choice may depend on various criteria such as your budget, use of the pool, available space, number of pool users, filter type, sanitation and security.
The following are some examples of the types of pool available:
Above ground pools
• These range from the plastic models which can be purchased in the supermarket for around €100 to €300. The metal and wood framed pools range from €2,000 to €10,000.
• The quality of the cheap ones is questionable but in the end you get what you pay for. If it’s only to last a season, then why not?
• However, most of the filtration units are only just good enough to cope with the size of the pool and as they are above ground the water tends to be warmer. Warmer water is more susceptible to algae growth so keeping the water chemically balanced is more critical.
• Only in-ground pools or partially in-ground pools are covered by the security laws in France. So if you are looking for a cheap way to cool off then this may be your best option. Planning is not needed for these kinds of pools.
Fibreglass or monobloc pools
• These range from around €12,000 to €25,000. You will need to make sure that the transport cost and the associated lifting equipment are included as this will bump the price up considerably
• Installation can be DIY or by a professional. Some companies offer a day with an installer included in the cost
• The size of these pools is dictated by the transportation restrictions so they tend to be only in the 3.5m – 4m wide range
• Any kind of filter can be used on these pools
• Planning and security will have to be considered with these pools
Block and liner concrete pools
• This is one of the oldest ways of installing pools and many traditional builders prefer to use this method, as opposed to the modern panel method
• They can be tiled, painted or have a liner, can be any size and shape, and can have any system of filtration installed
• The price for a 10m X 5m pool can range from €25,000 to €40,000 depending on the specification
• Planning and security will be needed for these types of pools
Concrete pre-cast pools
• The same points as for block and liner concrete pools apply to pre-cast pools, but they have the added problem of having to be transported – ensure that the price includes transport and lifting
• These pools can be of galvanised steel, plastic, polystyrene, even wood. They are the most widely used pools
• The prices are more attractive; a 50m² pool costs from €15,000 upwards
• These pools have liners
• Planning and security is needed for these pools
For all of the above pools, you will also have to consider the following:
• The most commonly used filter medium
• Filters 30-40 microns
• Needs a pump house to house the filter dome and pump, which can make it more expensive
• Some departments in France insist that the backwash water from the sand must go into a separate tank, which will further increase the cost
Zeolite high-filtration media
• Can be use instead of sand to give a finer filtration around three microns, more expensive than sand but worth it
• Filters to 10-15 microns
• Often housed behind the stepladders or in a block together with the pump
• When used in a block, which hangs over the side of the pool, there is a need for a pump house
• Easy to clean with a hose pipe, so there is no problem with separate tanks to take waste water
Diatomaceous Earth Powder (DE) – the finest of all filter mediums
• Filters to around two microns
• About the same cost as a sand filter
• Needs to be housed
• Needs regular re-charge with fresh powder
• The most commonly used sanitizer
• The most widely available sanitizer
• The cheapest sanitizer
• Can have reactions on skin so people with skin problems should seek medical advice
• An electrolyser liberates chlorine from a salt solution to sanitize the water
• Needs to be fitted in-line with the filter
• Can cost up to €2000 for the unit
• Uses ultra-violet light to sanitize the water.
• Costs around €2,000
• Automatically monitor the PH and sanitizer level
• Very efficient use of chemicals
• Can be expensive (from €3,000)
A good pool company will give free advice on all of the above. They will also deal with the planning application for you, within the cost of the pool.