Lap pools vs. full-size pools: Which is right for you?

Local Pools and Spas Sydney All about lap pools

As space becomes more and more limited in the Greater Sydney region, more homeowners who want swimming pools are trying to figure out how they can have a pool with limited space. If you have a small or narrow back yard, choosing a lap pool may be an ideal solution for you. However, lap pools aren’t for everyone. In this article, we’re outlining the differences between lap pools and full-size pools, giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision you’ll be happy with for years to come.

What is a lap pool?

Lap pools are a lot like standard full-size pools, except that their dimensions are very unique. Rather than coming in wide, balanced, or intricate shapes like standard pools, lap pools are long, narrow, rectangular, large pools designed primarily for swimming laps. Our Fastlane Lap Pool comes in standard lengths of 10.3 metres and 12.3 metres and allows for length customisation up to 30 metres.

Likewise lap pool widths also vary a bit. Most include the width of one to three swim lanes depending on the pool owner’s personal preference. As a point of comparison, the Fastlane comes in a standard width of 2.78 metres. For this reason, lap pools are a popular choice for people looking to conserve space while still having a place where they can enjoy the health and fitness benefits of a thorough swim in the privacy of their own home.

Of course, lap pools have other purposes as well. Typically, lap pools include a large, comfortable seating area, so you can also use your lap pool for recreation and relaxation. Lap pools may be appropriate for a social swim with another person or for water games with small children.

Sydney Fastlane Fibreglass Lap Pool

Where did lap pools originate?

Historically, lap pools originated in ancient Rome and Greece, where citizens utilised them for aquatic sports, military maneuvers, and recreational swimming. It was popular in ancient times for emperors to have private lap pools filled with fish. In more recent decades, lap pools burst onto the scene in the United States back in the 1970s, when a California designer started incorporating them as a way to offer the glamour and luxury of a pool without the space complications. Today, lap pools have become popular all over the world and are an especially great choice for Australian families who value health and physical fitness but who may not have access to a large enough yard to justify a full-size pool.

How are lap pools installed?

The lap pool installation process looks a lot like the installation process for a full-size swimming pool. Depending on whether you choose an above ground pool or in-ground pool, this process will differ substantially.

When you order a fibreglass lap pool for above ground installation, a lot of the work is done before the pool ever gets to you. Our Compass fibreglass lap pools are prefabricated and delivered by road to your doorstep in one complete unit, ready to be installed. The installation process for an above ground fibreglass pool is essentially plug and play. The only potential difficulties to keep in mind are creating a level surface for the pool, and the potential need for a support structure. In most cases, a deck or other weight-bearing structure will be built around the above ground pool to provide reinforcement and extra strength once the pool is full of water and people. This process can take anywhere from an afternoon to a few days.

For an inground fibreglass pool installation, the first step is excavation. A substantial amount of groundwork will need to be done in your back yard to make room for your new pool. Once the excavation is complete, your prefabricated fibreglass pool will be installed in the ground, recovered, and set up for you to use. Though this process requires little work or attention from the pool owner, the installation process can take up to several days.

Local Pools and Spas Sydney Fastlane lap pool built above the ground with a water feature

Cost of lap pools

As with full-size pools, pinning down lap pool prices is tricky because there are so many variables. Expenses can range widely depending on materials used, the size of the pool, the difficulty of the terrain being excavated, and a number of other factors. In general, it’s safe to assume that your lap pool will cost about the same as what a full- size pool would cost.

Many people assume that due to their smaller sizes, lap pools are inherently less expensive. However, the process of installation and work involved in installation is roughly equivalent regardless of the size of the pool. While choosing the smaller pool may save a little bit on your bottom line, the difference in cost isn’t what you should use to decide whether a lap pool is the best choice for your family. Any type of pool—especially an in-ground pool—is a major investment for your property. Therefore, you should always choose the pool you love, that makes sense for your family’s lifestyle.

Fortunately, the addition of a lap pool adds immense value to your property. Apart from the everyday value of getting to enjoy a pool in your own private space, lap pools add significant monetary value to your home as well. This is especially true of in-ground lap pools, which lend any property an extra air of sophistication and luxury. Future prospective homeowners will not easily forget the impact of a well cared for lap pool, and most realtors find that homes with lap pools on premise tend to sell noticeably quicker than homes with no pool.

Lap pool cleaning and maintenance

One significant perk of lap pools is that having a smaller pool means cleaning a smaller space. If you’re pressed for time or just generally not interested in spending lots of free time scrubbing and maintaining your pool, this smaller pool can help offset some of that. Smaller pools also require less water and less chemicals, which can save you money each month as compared to full-size pools.

If the time and energy required for proper pool maintenance is of concern to you, it may be worth your time to consider choosing a lap pool equipped with intelligent pool technology. Smart lap pools offer all the same benefits of a non-smart lap pool, with the added luxury of automation. Thanks to recent advances in technology, a smart lap pool can almost entirely care for, clean, and monitor itself. This leaves you with tons of extra time for actually enjoying your pool rather than engaging in pool-related chores.

Features of a smart lap pool are customisable; you can choose the amount of automation that works for your lifestyle and budget. However, a few components of your lap pool that can be easily automated include:

Automated pool pump: Automated pool pumps use, on average, 85 percent less energy than standard pool pumps. Since running your pool pump consistently is essential to keeping your pool water healthy, having a more energy efficient pump is a godsend for many pool owners. Energy efficient models allow you to simply leave your pool pump running 24/7, which encourages water circulation, discourages algae and bacterial growth, ensures that your pool chemicals are evenly distributed, and rids the pool of uncomfortable cold spots.

Installing fibreglass lap pools

Self-cleaning features: Your lap pool can easily be equipped with self-cleaning technology. Though different pool builders offer a variety of self-cleaning mechanisms, we’re lucky enough to offer the Compass Vantage system. Simply put, the Vantage system uses a system of nozzles installed on the bottom of your pool to clean itself from the bottom up. The water circulates, efficiently scrubbing all areas within your lap pool. Then, jet streams of water push all the debris in your pool into the pool drain, leaving you with clean, fresh water and a beautiful pool. You can even set your pool to self-clean overnight so that your routine never needs to be interrupted by your pool’s maintenance routine.

Remote pool management: While smart lap pools of the past had to be managed from a management system within the pool owner’s home, modern technology allows you to manage your lap pool from your phone. Turn lights on and off, adjust the temperature, schedule cleanings, and more with just a few taps from anywhere in the world. Remote pool management is the height of modern convenience, and most pool owners are thrilled to learn that their lap pool can keep up with their busy modern lifestyle.

Lap pool alternatives

We at Local Pools and Spas Sydney are happy to offer a wide selection of lap pools for sale, as well as a variety of alternatives. If a lap pool doesn’t quite sound right for your family, we’d encourage you to check out one of our other smaller pool options. Plunge pools, infinity pools, swim spas, and courtyard pools are all popular options for homeowners who want a small pool but who are more interested in a relaxing atmosphere than athletic swimming.

For more information about lap pools or any of the lap pool alternatives listed above, please reach out to us. Our team of experts will answer all your questions and help you start the process of choosing the best pool for your home.

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