Planning a pool? You may want to consider some pool enclosure ideas for your design, before you go ahead with installing one of these gorgeous outdoor features.
There are plenty of reasons why an enclosure makes a worthwhile addition – whether you go for something small and simple or a fully kitted-out pool hall. As the experts at SPATA (The Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association) explain, 'Enclosing your swimming pool not only enables you to use it for more of the year but also means that you are more likely to use it earlier and later in the day. Added to the savings in heating and cleaning which a pool enclosure can bring, the prospect becomes very attractive.'
There are lots of different types available, to suit all kinds of pool ideas. We've rounded up some of our favorite looks.
11 stylish and practical pool enclosure ideas for your space
Want to bring a pool enclosure into your landscaping ideas? You're sure to find a look to suit your plot below.
1. Go for a sturdy sectioned style
One of the most popular approaches for pool enclosure ideas is to opt for ones made up of sections of aluminum, PVC and polycarbonate, or glass.
As SPATA explains, they span the pool and can either be fixed or mobile. The latter often have sides that can be lifted up into the roof and/or sections to slide back enabling bathers to enjoy the sunshine.
This example is super practical and stylish, allowing the pool to be enjoyed whatever the weather, while still allowing plenty of sunlight and air to filter through. And, its contemporary look will complement all kinds of modern pool landscaping schemes.
2. Protect your outdoor pool from insects with a mesh screen
Instead of polycarbonate or glass, you can also opt for mesh screens. This is ideal for keeping mosquitos and other insects out, so you can enjoy a more relaxing swim and sunbathe. Plus, as the mesh is so fine, you can still enjoy a cool summer's breeze on a hot day.
This design covers the entire seating space as well as the pool, spanning seamlessly from the building's roof. It still offers that outdoor, airy feeling, while keeping everyone protected from pesky bug bites. Plus, it will help with maintenance too, as will keep fallen leaves and other debris out of the zone.
Looking for more ways to keep bugs out? Try adding some of the best plants to repel insects around your plot, too.
3. Opt for traditional elegance with a conservatory
'With frames available in wood, PVCu and powder-coated aluminum, a conservatory offers an elegant and practical solution to pool enclosure needs,' says SPATA. 'A single-glazed conservatory can comfortably extend pool use from Easter to Christmas while a double-glazed version is suitable for year-round use.
'Aluminum frames are particularly versatile,' they add. There are tons of color finishes available, plus as SPATA says, they are 'virtually maintenance-free.'
'Sliding roof panels and hinged windows ensure excellent ventilation on hot summer days,' they continue. And, 'a double-glazed conservatory even acts like a giant night-storage heater, with the combination of heat from the pool and daytime solar gain removing the need for any additional space heating in most cases,' they add.
Of course, they will instantly elevate the aesthetic of your pool design, too.
4. Open up the view
SPATA explains how some sectioned pool enclosures feature wall panels that slide up into the roof. This is ideal if you want to have more flexibility over the amount of shelter offered, as you can open and close them easily. And if you have a view as beautiful as this, then you're bound to want to take it in uninterrupted from time to time, either from the pool itself or from your sun loungers.
You can also opt for designs with doors at the end, which makes them even more flexible and convenient to use.
5. Add character with timber
Enclosures made with timber offer a relaxed, naturalistic setting for a pool, and when built correctly, can be incredibly sturdy. Plenty of windows and wide doors in this design maintain that indoor-outdoor feeling, alongside pots of plants.
However, you will need to proceed with some degree of caution with this sort of structure. 'A swimming pool enclosure makes extraordinary demands on the wood used in its construction, due to the high humidity levels of the surrounding environment,' says Karen Bell, Creative Director of David Salisbury who manufactures and installs top-of-the-range hardwood pool enclosures. 'With this in mind, you'll need to consider the frame of your structure carefully.
'Oak is often a great choice,' she says. Not only does it give you the character and beauty of real wood, but it is also strong and durable, as well as being a sustainable option.
6. Keep it discreet with a low enclosure
If tall pool enclosures feel a bit OTT for your plot, then you might prefer a low-profile model. They are much less imposing on a space, so work well for smaller gardens.
There are lots of telescopic designs on the market which can be retracted along rails to suit. Even though they are lower in height than more traditional designs, they are still roomy enough to swim comfortably beneath them. And their slimline appearance also sets a contemporary tone.
You can use them as winter covers too, making pool maintenance easier. Many designs also have safety locks included, which is great from a safety-point perspective as will keep young children out of the water when unsupervised.
7. Invest in a pool hall
'Perhaps the ultimate in pool enclosures is the traditionally built, architect-designed structure, either as an extension to your home or as a separate pool hall,' says SPATA.
'Naturally, it is vital to work with both an architect and a pool specialist who understand the special heating, ventilation, and dehumidification requirements.
'With this type of building, the world is your oyster when it comes to materials and design,' they add.
This impressive build is nothing short of stunning. We adore the high ceilings, statement windows, and large skylights which will allow plenty of sunshine in. Meanwhile, the pared-back color palette gives the scene a Mediterranean vibe.
If you're not sure about enclosing your pool in this way but still fancy a structure nearby for entertaining, changing, and relaxing, then our pool house ideas offer more inspiration.
8. Add shelter with a pergola and wall combined
An alternative approach to pool enclosure ideas is to opt for a pergola overhead. From traditional timber designs to modern louvered looks that can be opened and closed, they're a stylish way to give your pool just a bit of overhead additional shelter from the elements.
Take your scheme a step further and combine a pergola with a feature wall on one or two sides, too. There are so many stunning garden wall ideas to get creative with, and it will instantly screen the space, offering extra privacy.
9. Fill your pool enclosure with tropical plants
One of the advantages of opting for a larger, fully contained pool enclosure is you can fill it with your pick of the best tropical plants. They will thrive in the warm and humid conditions, and a jungle-inspired backdrop is the ideal setting for a serene swim.
Bordering beds have been installed in this stunning setup, for hosting plenty of architectural greenery. Alternatively, use plenty of oversized planters to line the sides of your structure.
10. Turn heads with an infinity design
Infinity-style pools will always offer the wow factor. And as this luxurious scene shows, it's still possible to create the look even with a pool enclosure.
Raising it above an outdoor pond in this way creates a gorgeous effect. Or, even better, how about opening the view up onto a natural pool? Either way, you'll always be able to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors, while being protected from inclement weather.
11. Position your pool in a courtyard
Instead of a purpose-built pool enclosure, you may wish to position your pool in its own private courtyard within your home. Perfect for lovers of open-plan living, a setup like this blurs the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, is super convenient for impromptu swims, and looks fantastic.
The lack of overhead cover means there's no keeping off the rain, but having rooms or at least walls on all sides will shelter you from harsh winds.
Do pool enclosures keep a pool warm?
Pool enclosures are a great way to help pool water retain heat, which in turn means you can extend your swimming season comfortably past the summer months. So, however you choose to heat a pool, it's well worth adding one to your structure to save on energy costs.
What is the cheapest way to enclose a swimming pool?
The cost of pool enclosure ideas varies widely, depending on the style you go for.
One of the cheapest options tends to be simple screen enclosures – the type that will keep insects out. According to HomeAdvisor, these cost around $14 per square foot (around £10). Glass ones cost more (around $55/£40 per square foot), and retractable designs are generally more again ($100/£73 and up per square foot). As you may expect, bespoke pool halls are the most expensive.
However, another budget-friendly option is a pool dome. These are air-inflated structures that completely enclose pools. As SPATA explains, they are secured either by fixed anchors or by means of water-filled tubes which weigh the structure down.
'Access is usually by means of a zip door which keeps the air at a suitable pressure and temperature. For added comfort, airlock or revolving doors can be fitted and a heating element can be included in the fan box.
'While many domes are left in place all year round, their simple construction means they can be erected in the spring and collapsed in the autumn. Alternatively, you may prefer the pleasures of open-air bathing during the summer and choose to inflate the dome later in the season. Whichever you choose, there is no doubt that a dome offers value for money and makes a pool much more flexible to use,' they add. According to HomeAdvisor, most people will spend between $870 and $1,500 (the equivalent of £637–£1,099) on this type of structure.
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.
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