Australian plunge pools are now more popular than ever, with many homeowners seeing them as the ideal small swimming pool solution for their backyards. But what is a plunge pool? How is it installed? What are its characteristics and features?
Here we explore everything you need to know about plunge pools, so you can find out for yourself whether one of these small, convenient pools is the right choice for you.
Characteristics of a plunge pool
Plunge pools are small pools which are primarily designed for relaxation rather than serious swimming. Plunge pool size tends to range between 2 metres and 7 metres in length, by 2 or 3 metres wide. Many plunge pools are also fairly shallow, although some are created deeper in order to allow better exercise within a relatively small stretch of water.
In order to assist with the relaxing experience, plunge pools also tend to have fairly large seating areas, such as wide bench seating, so you can sit comfortably and enjoy the de-stressing effects of the water.
Why are plunge pools so popular?
Plunge pools are extremely convenient due to their small size. This makes them particularly popular with residents of Australian cities, where there is not often enough space available for a full-sized swimming pool. Even in suburban areas, newer homes these days tend to be built on smaller blocks of land, so a small plunge pool can be the ideal solution for those who still want their own pool in the backyard but do not have a lot of room.
Plunge pools are also ideal for areas where the weather gets particularly hot, as they offer the ideal solution for cooling down by plunging into the water. This is why they are called plunge pools, after all – they are named after the pools which form at the bottom of waterfalls in the natural environment, which have been used by people for thousands of years as a means of cooling down.
What are the benefits of plunge pools?
Even if your backyard is small, you want it to look as attractive and well-designed as possible. Including a pool creates an attractive focal point in your backyard, which you can then plan the rest of your landscaping around. It adds a touch of luxury, making your property appear more desirable. There are now so many different plunge pool designs available that you can easily find one to suit your tastes, fit well into the space in your backyard, and coordinate with the architectural style of your home, creating a unified look which enhances every aspect of your property.
Families can also benefit from plunge pools. While they are not really large enough for the whole family to swim in together, they can be ideal for those with young children, as the smaller size makes it much easier to supervise the kids in the pool, keeping them safe and getting them used to enjoying the water at a young age.
However, the main benefit of a plunge pool is that it provides you with a great place to relax. Stress and anxiety are now more prevalent than ever before in Australia because of our fast-paced, hectic lifestyles, and it can help enormously if you have a small, relaxing pool to escape into at the end of the day. Spending time in the water is extremely beneficial for both mental and physical health, as it leaves you feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated, equipping you better to face the stresses of modern life.
Having all these benefits in the comfort and privacy of your own backyard is ideal, so it is easy to see why Australian plunge pools are more popular than they have ever been before. This is a trend which is only likely to grow.
How are plunge pools installed?
This depends entirely on the type of plunge pool you choose. For the most part, they are installed in the same way as full-sized swimming pools, with concrete plunge pools being built from scratch in your backyard, and fibreglass plunge pools being prefabricated and delivered as a whole pool shell to your home before being installed in your backyard. These methods apply to most plunge pools, as most are inground plunge pools, which means that they are actually built into the ground in your backyard.
Whether you choose a concrete or fibreglass plunge pool, the building method for an inground pool involves excavating the ground before the building work can begin, and altogether the installation process can take a number of days or even weeks to complete.
Modern pool building methods now mean that you can also have a fibreglass or concrete plunge pool installed partially or fully above ground. This is an ideal solution for homes where the backyard slopes, or where there is not enough space to install an inground plunge pool comfortably. Building an above ground plunge pool involves creating a supporting structure which is strong enough to hold the weight of the pool when it is filled with water and people, ensuring that the pool is safe and durable, and that it will last for many years.
There are different methods of doing this. If you choose a ceramic core fibreglass plunge pool from Compass Pools, for example, and you want it installed above ground, a patented Maxi Rib structure will be installed underneath the pool, giving your plunge pool the strength and durability it needs to give you complete peace of mind.
Some homeowners attempt to install their plunge pools in their backyards themselves, but this is not recommended, and can end up wasting a lot of your time and money. DIY plunge pools are available, and some consumers are attracted to them because of their cheaper prices. However, they tend to be made of cheaper materials which are not designed to last. The installation process itself is never as easy as it seems, so it is recommended that you engage a licensed and experienced pool builder who will cover all their work with a warranty to protect you if anything should go wrong.
How much do plunge pools cost?
Plunge pool costs depend on the type of pool you choose and the way you want it installed. Concrete plunge pools tend to be more expensive than fibreglass, as each one is designed individually and they are not mass-manufactured like fibreglass plunge pool shells. Concrete and fibreglass are both extremely strong materials, so you can see your plunge pool as an investment which will last a lifetime and bring you a great deal of enjoyment.
As plunge pools are smaller than regular swimming pools, many people assume they will be a lot cheaper to build, but this is not necessarily the case. The process is the same for installing an inground plunge pool as a full-sized swimming pool, so there is a very similar amount of work involved. Plunge pools are also often installed on smaller and more difficult sites, so this can also add to the cost due to the extra planning and effort.
If you are looking for a top quality plunge pool of a decent size, you can expect to spend on average between $25,000 and $50,000. The smallest sizes tend to start at around $13,000. This seems like a large amount of money for a small plunge pool, but you are getting the benefits of excellent build quality and the exact same technologies that go into full-sized swimming pools.
Installing an above ground plunge pool is much cheaper as there is far less work involved in the building process. Cheap above ground plunge pools (not fibreglass) tend to cost between $2,000 and $7,000. This is a considerable saving, but many people prefer the look of an inground pool as it is built to look like a part of your property instead of sitting on top of the ground.
Of course, if you want to risk going down the route of a DIY plunge pool, you can pick one of these up for a lower price again. However, this is not always a good investment. They tend to be made of vinyl-liner, which can easily rip and tear, so you can find yourself having to repair the pool or even completely replace the liner more often than you bargained for. In the long run, these pools often work out more expensive.
Could a plunge pool be right for you?
The many benefits of plunge pools mean that they are a good choice for many homeowners. They are also easy to customise to suit your needs, with features such as swim jets, enabling you to swim properly in a small stretch of water, or spa jets to aid with relaxation and help to relieve muscle pain. This means it is relatively simple to create a plunge pool which is completely customised to suit your needs.