During the double dip recession, refurbishment and service contracts provided the life blood for the residential pools sector.
While the new build market is now improving, refurbishments in both residential and commercial pool sectors, still continue to provide steady revenue for many of the UK’s core pool and spa businesses. Whether it is updated designs, improved energy efficiency or the latest technologically-advanced products; repair and refurbishment means the difference between sinking or swimming for UK pool and spa specialists.
“There is undoubtedly some buoyancy in the refurbishment and renovation market at the moment and we are seeing a small amount of growth,” says Nigel Gray of Grayfox Swimming Pools.
“People are staying put in their homes and choosing to upgrade and improve, rather than move.”
Large scale pool refurbishment and renovation contracts tend to be for clients who have bought a new home and inherited an outdated pool. These clients want to modernise the pool and add new features such as jets and counter current units. Other clients simply want to put their own stamp on the pool by re-vamping the design to reflect their own taste.
“Current trends in swimming pool renovations include upgrading from an irregular shaped pool – such as a kidney shape to a regular shape. Apart from being seen as more contemporary, clients prefer straight lines because they can fit an automatic pool cover more easily and at less expense than a bespoke one,” says Jamie Smith of the London Swimming Pool Company.
“Refurbishment clients are also keen on water features, and counter current units have also become popular.” When Grayfox Swimming Pools were called out to survey an outdoor residential pool, the pool was in a sorry state. Dating back to the 1960’s, the pool had been painted numerous times and had fallen into a state of disrepair.
“The previous contractor had begun to refurbish the pool and had even put in an automatic cover, but the project had been left un-completed,” explains Nigel of Grayfox Pools.
Upon commencing the refurbishment project, the Grayfox team applied a Mapilastic tanking material and tiled the pool with Waxman Niebla tiles. The team also installed two new lights, supplied by Astral UK and a top-up unit.
“There was a water ingress due to a high water table and no ground drainage in place,” comments Nigel. “Bad weather also made the project more challenging, so we erected a tent-style canopy to keep the weather off and the team happy.”
Nigel explains that one of the most common challenges to be overcome with renovation projects is getting to know the structure of the pool that was built by another company.
“As is often the case, part of the renovation process is correcting suspect building methods and designs from the original build – typically where outdoor copings have been used in an indoor pool and there is no surround drainage. There can often be unforeseen hidden items that can cause unexpected problems.”
Jamie Smith of London Swimming Pool Company agrees: “When you’re dealing with a pool that you have not built from scratch, you have no idea how well it’s been built or what you will find until work starts. Problems can and do occur during a project so it’s essential to have a highly skilled team on each job; people who can identify and fix unexpected problems smartly.
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