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The Home Depot

Pros and Cons of a Lap Pool

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Pool and Hot Tub > Pros and Cons of a Lap Pool
Pros and Cons of a Lap Pool

Swimming is one of the most effective exercises the human body can perform, and because of its low-impact nature, people of all ages and many different levels of ability can benefit from it. One of the major difficulties of swimming for exercise is the lack of places to do it. Public pools are often too rowdy to really get in a workout; swimming holes, lakes, and other natural bodies of water are great, but many homeowners simply live too far away from them. To reap the benefits of swimming for exercise, many homeowners have taken the leap and installed a lap pool on their properties. There are many upsides to this decision, but a few downsides that are important to be aware of as well.

    A lap pool may not be as desirable as a traditional backyard pool when it comes time to sell your home.
  1. 1.Pro: Utilize Unused Space

    One of the great things about a lap pool is that its narrow, lengthy design can fit into areas of the property that many traditional backyard pools cannot. Though it wouldn't be accurate to say that a lap pool can be installed "anywhere," their flexible design allows homeowners a lot more options than other pool types.

  2. 2.Pro: Budget-Friendly

    While there are some high-end lap pools that are way out of range for a normal household budget, there are also plenty of examples of lap pools that are far more affordable than traditional backyard pools. Above-ground "portable" lap pools installed within a deck are not only versatile in design, but they can be installed at a fraction of the cost of many other pools. Additionally, swim spas (small, often self-contained pools that use current to simulate swimming laps in a manner similar to how treadmills simulate running for miles) offer an affordable alternative to a full pool and can be installed in relatively limited spaces.

  3. 3.Con: No Pool Parties

    One of a lap pool's major benefits is also one of its major drawbacks: Limited scale. Though the narrow width allows more flexibility for installation, it also reduces the number of ways your pool can be employed. Backyard pools have long been settings for outdoor gatherings and summer get-togethers, but playing Marco Polo in a lap pool is easier said than done.

  5. 4.Con: May Add Less Value

    Because it can be put to only a limited number of uses, a lap pool may not be as desirable as a traditional backyard pool when it comes time to sell your home. In general, improvements to a property that may not appeal to the majority of the population are not performed for investment purposes, but for the benefit of the property's current inhabitants. Lap pools, though more popular than home bowling alleys or personal dark rooms, may be included in the same category of improvements that may not add as much value to the home as the cost of their installation.

  6. 5.Lap Pool Maintenance

    Generally speaking, a standard lap pool will not have significantly more or significantly fewer maintenance requirements than a conventional pool. For some homeowners, this might be seen as completely neutral, but for others who would prefer to use their pool for more than exercise, this may be viewed as a "con" as a traditional pool can play more roles without requiring more maintenance.

  7. 6.Lap Pool Durability

    High-quality portable lap pools may be considered the equal of high-quality above ground pools in their components' life expectancy. Traditional lap pools that are set in the ground may be compared to traditional in-ground pools of similar quality. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors keeps a list of different home components and their expected longevity. According to the IACHI, filters, pumps, and vinyl liners can be expected to last for about a decade while a concrete shell has a life expectancy of over 25 years. In many cases, lap pools are surrounded by wooden decks; expect the structural elements of wood decking to last for 10-30 years and wooden deck boards to last for about 15. Opting for tropical hardwoods like Ipe or other alternative decking materials can certainly extend the life of your deck, but will require a much more substantial initial investment.

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