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What You Need To Know About Getting A Pool

A pool might seem like the perfect addition to a house in the tropics, but make sure you know what you're getting into before you start digging.

by / Published: 23 Oct 2017

What You Need To Know About Getting A Pool
Photo: iStock

Blessed with sunshine and tropical weather year-round, Malaysia is a great country to have a swimming pool at home. Unless it’s raining, it’s always warm enough for a swim.

Building a pool in your home is not a simple undertaking, however. Even the most affordable types of pool incur a fairly hefty cost. Here are some questions to consider before you decide on your new water feature.

What design would suit my compound and space?

Space is limited in the city, so large pools are rare. The shape of the pool can also alter the overall aesthetic of your property. Think about what the pool is for – a small pool is fine for the occasional soak to cool off and as a water feature, but not for doing laps.

What sort of finish does my pool need?

Common pool finishes include tiles, fibreglass or vinyl liners. A mosaic tile finish may look stunning, but if the water in the pool becomes too acidic, it can eat into the cement and roughen the edges.

A vinyl liner might be less slippery and need less maintenance, but not look as good. However, it is easier to fix a leakage problem with a liner instead of a concrete pool.

Should I have a saltwater or chlorine pool?

Chlorine kills contaminates in the water but many people don’t like the smell and it can also discolour hair (especially dyed). It’s cheaper to maintain but the pH of the pool will need constant watching.

A saltwater pool doesn’t have that chemical smell, is less drying on the skin and only needs cleaning annually. However, you need a saltwater generator – a higher initial cost – and salt’s corrosive properties might damage the lights and pool liner over time.

Photo: iStock

Is it better for my pool to have a concrete or plastic structure?

The most popular types of pools in Malaysia are concrete water-retaining structures with a tile finish. Ground pools are customisable but can cost anywhere from RM50,000 to RM100,000 and more.

A cheaper option (you can get one for RM10,000) is the above-ground pool, which can be easily set up in your garden, is portable and comes in many different shapes and sizes. However, it doesn’t look nearly as good and you will need to install fencing for safety if you have children or pets.

How can I make sure my pool is safe?

You can install hand rails, non-slip deck tiles and proper tall fencing around the pool. You might also want a safety cover to keep the pool leaf-free and children from falling in when no one is watching. Or get a pool alarm (in or above-ground) that will alert you when someone falls into the pool.

Common pool etiquette also applies: don’t run near the pool, supervise children and animals, never push others into the pool, and don’t go for a swim during a thunderstorm.

How often must I perform maintenance?

Monthly maintenance fees depend on the type of pool and whether you want to do it yourself. Regular upkeep is important; if you have many trees and shrubs around the pool, you’ll either need to clean it of leaves and branches daily – which takes about an hour if quick – or get a robotic pool cleaner. It’s also good to cover the pool when not in use to minimise evaporation rates.

Pool testing kits ensure your pool stays the right pH level. The four primary tests to do are for:

  • pH (7.2-7.8)
  • Chlorine (1.0-2.0ppm)
  • Total alkalinity (80-120ppm)
  • Calcium hardness (200-400ppm).

Shut the pool system off and add ABATE larvicide to the water to prevent mosquitoes breeding when you’re away for the holidays. Don’t leave your pool empty though; with the constant temperature changes, tiles may pop out of place due to heat expansion and cracks will appear.

How can I enhance the look of my pool?

Outdoor furniture is one of the best ways to lift your pool’s aesthetic appeal. If you have the space for it, daybeds and sun loungers are some of the must-have poolside props as you can comfortably laze in the sun next to the water and enjoy a slice of that resort life in the privacy of your own home. Common materials for these pieces include rattan and wicker.

Where do I find outdoor furniture?

Malaysia’s sunny weather means that there’s no shortage of demand for outdoor furniture and shops like Tabula Rasa offer an extensive range of chic, well-designed pieces that will bring character to your pool deck.

Monochrome hues are the norm as they’re easy to match, but there are other options like teak sling seats for those who prefer a more natural aesthetic.

Tabula Rasa
113, Jalan Telawi,
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 016-230 9759

Horestco
Lot 9, Jalan Kartunis U1/47,
Temasya Industrial Park,
Glenmarie, Shah Alam, Selangor
Tel: 03-5569 7999

 


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