Swimming pools are often one of the biggest financial investments you will make in your garden and are usually a central feature of the overall landscape design. This makes them critical from both a design and maintenance perspective. A well-conceptualised swimming pool has the potential to add significant value to your property, therefore taking proper care of it increases the likelihood of a return on your investment.

“From the early stages of our design process we ensure that our designs not only look good but meet authority regulations. This is often a critical factor in later marketing and selling your property,” explained Robin Sykes, associate at Cracknell, a leading landscape architecture, planning and urban design practice. There are three main areas to keep on top of with pools, the three C’s – cleaning, circulation and chemicals. Ensuring that these are regularly checked will likely save you time and money over the life of your pool and prevent illness or skin reactions.”

It is best to employ a professional company on an annual basis to maintain all elements of the pool system, from cleaning through to maintenance and servicing of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements.

“Often the contractor who builds the pool can offer maintenance as part of their package,” said Sykes.

You get what you pay for

A common mistake, Sykes added, is to try to cut costs by using a cheaper contractor instead of a qualified design company. “Ultimately you get what you pay for,” he said.

Failing to install a child-proof protective fence around the pool area, not keeping the gates closed and not providing supervision of the use of the pool are also serious issues that parents must focus on.

Pool safety

Redha Salman, director at Dubai Municipality’s Health and Safety Department, said the responsibility of ensuring safety of children in private pools rests entirely with parents and guardians.

“We cannot enter private properties to inspect pools,” he earlier told Gulf News.

Homeowners must follow certain guidelines to ensure swimming pools meet health and safety requirements. “Chlorine levels should be maintained at 3 parts per million through a manual or automatic injection system,” said Naser Ahmed, group CEO of Tanseeq Investment Group of Companies, which provides landscaping services. “The PH of the water must be checked periodically and should be maintained at 7.4, which is the optimal level for the human eye. The pool should also be cleaned periodically. Both automatic and manual cleaning are necessary as there may be debris that is too large to be filtered by the pool’s filtration system.”

To beautify the pool area, Sykes recommended upgrading the lighting system. The right lighting mood will have a huge impact on the overall look of a landscape scheme.

He added: “New swimming pool tiles and coping can uplift a tired pool, while adding stainless steel trims to fixtures and fittings will also spruce things up. Another tip: white ABS plastic can look dated.”