We often get asked, “Can we turn our outdoor pool into an indoor pool…?
The answer is… yes but there are a few things you need to consider when making your plans.
The first thing is Lot Coverage. For every project, you need to ensure that are you “allowed” per local codes/by-laws to increase your built area lot coverage.
For example in some jurisdictions the building(s) may only cover 10% of your land. Or in other areas, you must be a certain distance from the lot lines. Your pool may be located to close to an “edge” of your lot. Or the pool enclosure may need to be smaller to ensure you dont go over your coverage allowance. Consider with an indoor pool you still want pool side seating in at least one area, so look at the pool and deck and furniture and think about how big the new enclosure really needs to be.
The other site related item to consider is access. If the pool is located in an area of the site that is hard to reach with construction equipment, then the building will be more costly to install. It will take longer and there may be some limitations to the style of building you investigate adding. Is the pool on the side of a cliff, can a truck access the pool area, what damage might be done to the lawn and surrounding gardens if trucks are in and out of there for a couple of months.
Assuming there are no significant site related issues, here are the other items to consider when planning your pool transformation.
When your pool was installed, it was not designed to be indoor. The mechanical systems for an indoor pool and an outdoor pool vary. So first things first, you need to understand that there WILL be upgrades required to the existing pool mechanical systems. A local pool builder (no matter if you project is commercial or residential) is the best person to provide costs for this renovation/upgrade.
In line with this upgrade, when foundations are installed for the new enclosure, the location of existing piping must be kept in mind. Digging ditches and cutting pipes is a hassle for both the owner and builder and an added cost, unless piping is being replaced anyway.
In addition to the aforementioned upgrades you will need to add a mechanical dehumidification system to maintain the air quality of the pool environment. This is required for all indoor pools in addition to a heating and/or cooling system.
Consider the age of the pool. The pool has been outside exposed to the elements for a period of time. Outside of upgrading the mechanics, a 30 year old pool in a sparkly new building will look like a 30 year old pool. So there “may” be some aesthetic upgrades required, paint, tile, decking and such to make your renovated pool the one you imagine it to be.
So… once you have determined that your lot can handle a building with a larger footprint, the pool is accessible and you are aware you need to upgrade the pool itself… then yes you can turn an outdoor pool into an indoor pool.
Now you need to think about the type of enclosure you want for your pool. Consider the following. ALL pools are corrosive, it doesn’t matter if it is “salt water” or not, public or private, a waterpark of a lap pool… “Salt water” solutions are the same in that the chloramines in the air will EAT the building from the inside out. The maintenance alone on a building that is rotting or corroding makes the long term reality of an indoor pool a costly venture. New roofs and walls are expensive. Consider a building material like aluminum which will never corrode.
In addition depending on your location and climate, you may also be subject to aggressive environmental conditions; for example if your location is near a beach, you are subject to salt water, if you are in the mountains you must consider snow loads, and if you are in a southern hurricane zone, winds are your primary issue. Your building solution must be able to accommodate the environment at your specific site.
Operating costs are the last big item to consider with a pool transformation. It is much more expensive to operate an indoor pool that is year round than an outdoor one. You’ve added a new series of mechanical equipment to your indoor pool, all of which runs continuously. Plus you have a building you need to heat, cool and illuminate.
If you want a cost efficient solution to your pool transformation that works in any geography and climate, look for an all aluminum structure that opens up and is allowed to naturally ventilate. Even in the harshest coldest climates, turning off the AC or heat for a few months results in dollars saved. The energy savings from turning off lights and HVAC can be 20-30% a year if a space is naturally ventilated with openings in walls and a retractable roof.
Check out the Huff Aquatic Center at the Scheu Family YMCA of Upland California. This was an outdoor pool, built with the intent to transform theiroutdoor pool into an indoor pool, but due to funding the project was phased. So phase one was the new recreation center for the YMCA, then the outdoor pool and lastly was the enclosure of the pool. The transformation is incredible and just in time for the past few years of pandemic. The indoor/outdoor space became a gym, classroom, pool and party place!
The options are endless - reach out to OpenAire for help with your venue transformation, whether its transforming an outdoor pool into an indoor pool or something unique to your needs, in a way that is cost effective and maintenance free.
*The Scheu Family YMCA transforms their outdoor pool into an indoor pool.