Craig Schloer loves autumn. When the weather turns chilly at his suburban Philadelphia home, he likes to float on his back and watch the autumn-hued leaves drift by . . . everywhere but into his pool water.
“That’s one of the joys of owning an enclosed swimming pool,” says Schloer, the 69-year-old owner of a storage company. Since adding a 24- by 40-foot custom-built enclosure to the rear of his home in 1996, his family has enjoyed nearly year-round swimming.”There’s even room for a hot tub. And I never have to fish branches and bugs from the water,” Schloer adds.
“The beauty is, people are out there vacuuming their pools. I clean mine maybe twice a year,” Schloer says. “I don’t have to winterize. Technically, I can use it 12 months with enough propane to keep it heated.“
If you’re going to invest in an outdoor inground pool, why not use it whenever you want, rain or shine, night or day? A swimming pool enclosure provides that convenience, with warmth, privacy, and year-round sunshine, thanks to its light-transmitting, polycarbonate roof panels.
A pool enclosure also saves you time, money, and hassles. These structures, which can be constructed as part of your home or as a stand-alone unit, retain heat and eliminate wind-accelerated evaporation. This all leads to a reduction in your maintenance and chemical costs. While it brings Mother Nature indoors, ceiling panels are treated to fend off the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. And many enclosures serve double duty. In addition to covering a pool, they are used as a sunroom, four-season patio, or a place for outdoor dining.
Schloer’s pool enclosure resembles a greenhouse. It has a peaked roof with sliding roof panels and walls of sliding doors. The swimming pool inside is a 16,000-gallon, kidney-shaped. Swimming pool enclosures can be made to fit any pool and nearly anyone’s budget.
Permanent swimming pool enclosures are an ideal choice anywhere but are especially well-suited in regions with high winds and heavy snowfall. If you’re building the pool and enclosure at the same time, a southern or southwestern exposure will maximize natural sunlight; in warmer climates, you might even eliminate the need for a pool heater altogether.
As a permanent structure, swimming pool enclosures are built with a high-strength, tempered aluminum framework and stainless steel fastening hardware. The paint finish is usually a long-lasting, electrostatically applied powder coating that requires no maintenance. The roof and wall panels are glazed with glass or light-transmitting polycarbonate, a thermoplastic, shatterproof glass substitute coated to block out ultraviolet rays. In a customized structure, you can choose from a variety of roof styles and structural details like molding, ridge cresting, and finials, as well as gutters and an overhang.
A pool enclosure can increase the value of your home. For maximum payback come selling time, real estate appraiser Stephen Sweeney says an enclosure should meet three criteria:
- It should be a permanent fixture
- It should be attached to the home so you can walk into it (from another room)
- It should be heated.
Meeting those three factors, the enclosure is considered “living space” and added to the total square footage of the home…”especially if it is used as a “huge recreation room,” he adds.
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