6 Cool Alternatives to an Outdoor Pool For your Garden / Patio

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Alternatives to an Outdoor Pool

Last Updated on 21 April, 2021 15:58 by highreviews

If you have a large enough garden and a budget to match, it can be tempting to immediately start planning a swimming pool installation. While swimming pools will of course enrich your outdoor areas, they are not a practical option for every property. Not sure an outdoor pool is the right choice for you? Below, you will find six of the best alternatives to an outdoor pool to enhance your garden.

What are the alternatives to an outdoor pool for your garden or patio?

  1. Jacuzzi & Hot Tub
  2. Garden Showers
  3. Swim Spas
  4. Infinity Pools
  5. Japanese Fountains
  6. Artificial Ponds

Jacuzzi & Hot Tub Options

Before you splash out on a pool, ask yourself if you genuinely think you will be using it all that regularly. A swimming pool is all well and good, but unless you plan on swimming many laps each and every day, you probably are not going to get much use out of it. Furthermore, a swimming pool can be difficult to maintain, with endless water treatments and energy costs to think about. If you live in a particularly cold part of the world, a heated pool is a must if you want to be able to use it throughout the year. However, such pools can be costly and an impractical choice for many.

If all you want to do is sit back and soak, a hot tub or jacuzzi is probably a better alternative to a swimming pool. Admittedly, you will not be able to swim in one, but they can make a welcome addition to any deck or garden. When it comes to price, the cost of a hot tub can vary wildly. Free-standing inflatable hot tubs are a cost-effective choice and can be taken with you should you ever move house, while integrated or sunken designs can set you back considerably more.

If you have enough money to play with, you may want to think about investing a larger sunken hot tub. Not only will these provide you with some of the same functionality of a swimming pool, they are also likely to add some value to your property, unlike a free-standing hot tub.

Looking for more information and options about hot tubs? Our inflatable hot tub buying guide and reviews is definitely worth a read.

Garden Showers

These can be a great supplemental addition to your gardens if you have purchased a hot tub. They are also handy if you live near the coast or a communal swimming pool. If you are looking to keep cool during the warmest months of summer, a garden shower will take the edge off stifling temperatures and serves as a good alternative to a swimming pool. You have a huge range of options when it comes to garden shower installation, ranging from simple mounted shower head systems to more elaborate designs.

If you are considering adding a garden shower, you will need to think about privacy. If your garden is already fairly enclosed with a high degree of privacy, you can keep your outdoor shower room fairly minimal. However, if you are worried about being overlooked, think about installing partitions that will keep you concealed as you cool off. Aesthetics are also important.

Rather than being purely functional, an outdoor shower can provide your garden with real flair. Think about the types of material you will be using, with natural woods and stone being particularly attractive elements to introduce to your outdoor spaces.

Swim Spas

If you simply do not have the space for a conventional swimming pool, a swim spa is a good alternative. Generally speaking, swim spas tend to have a smaller footprint than standard swimming pools, although size is not the chief appeal of these swimming pool alternatives. Instead, it is the technology utilised by swim spas that make them so appealing.

Unlike a standard pool that houses still water, a swim spa will provide you with a noticeable current that you can use to swim against. This is ideal if you are looking to undertake resistance training from the comfort of home. It also means you do not need a particularly large swim spa in order to maintain a rigorous exercise plan, as you do not need sufficient dimensions for swimming laps.

While swim spas are far more flexible than swimming pools and a practical consideration for smaller gardens, there are some drawbacks. An above-ground system can be unsightly and really limit the use of your outdoor areas. However, hybrid systems are a good alternative for those who want a slightly sunken swim spa that can be integrated into decked areas.

Ultimately, swim spas are more affordable than regular swimming pools, even with the cost of installation factored in. In terms of maintenance and running costs, swim spas are also more practical than conventional swimming pools.

Infinity Pools

If you are more interested in upgrading the aesthetics of your garden with aquatic accents, an infinity pool will make a good addition to most outdoor spaces. Before we continue, let us make clear we are not talking about infinity swimming pools that are a staple of many a luxury hotel.

Instead, we are talking about decorative infinity pools that can be used to add some serious elegance to your exteriors. Infinity pool elements are best installed around the borders of raised areas, so you really need to have a deck or platform patio in order to incorporate such a feature.

If your garden is currently a flat and even surface, you will need to factor in the additional cost and effort of installing a deck before you start thinking about introducing infinity pool components. Although planning your infinity pool installation can take some effort, the overall cost of fitting one is relatively inexpensive and pales in comparison to the cost of a swimming pool.

Infinity pools are also low-profile additions to gardens, so they will not impede on your existing square footage. They are also incredibly easy to maintain, with next to no water maintenance required.

Japanese Fountains

If you prefer elegant exteriors and ornate aesthetics, you will probably want to think about incorporating some type of Japanese fountain into your garden. Shishi-odoshi fountains are among the most beautiful options. These fountain devices were originally designed to scare intruding pests away from gardens, so are a good idea if you are growing particularly delicate flower varieties or foliage.

The most basic version of this type of fountain includes a bamboo rocker that collects and dispenses water from a trickling feeder pipe, delivering a distinctive sound as it does.

These fountains are fairly simple in their design, but are incredibly multi-functional. For one, they serve to scare off unwanted bird and animal attention. The rhythmic motion and regular sound also adds soothing acoustics to your garden. Provided you have invested in some decent materials, they also look stunning.

Artificial Ponds

If you want your garden to have an aquatic element, a humble pond is always something to consider. If your budget is particularly tight, you can keep things simple with an artificial pond liner that can be sunk into the earth and framed with rockery and plants.

If you want something more unique, a bespoke pond design can provide a more natural addition to your gardens. If you intend to house fish in your pond, you will of course need to ensure you have purchased an adequate filtration system.

You will also need to keep on top of pond maintenance, although water testing kits and treatment chemicals are relatively affordable. You will also need to keep any fish stocks protected from predators. A pond guard or mesh cover will provide a high degree of protection, although these can distract from natural aesthetics.

If you want a more subtle deterrent to drive away predators, consider installing a shishi-odoshi fountain in close proximity to your pond.

In Summary

An outdoor pool is not ideal for every outdoor space. If want the ability to exercise and train, but do not have sufficient space for a larger pool, think about investing in a swim spa. Interested more in outdoor elegance than exercise?

An ornate Japanese fountain or pond will create a relaxing ambience in even the smallest of outdoor spaces. Looking to entertain in your outdoor areas? A humble hot tub will make a welcome addition to any deck, while an infinity pool border will add a luxurious edge.

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