SWIMMING POOL ON THE TERRACE: INTRODUCTION
The dream of many is to install a swimming pool on the terrace of the house. However, it is not always feasible both for technical and structural reasons, for example because the terrace is not able to support the weight of the pool or there is not enough space, and because the costs are not within everyone’s reach.
Assuming, however, that there are all the necessary conditions for the realization, it is good to know that in most cases the swimming pools on the terrace can be put without requiring specific permission either to the municipality or to the condominium. These are, in fact, structures above ground for the construction of which it is not necessary to follow any bureaucratic process.
However, it is a good idea to notify your neighbour of your intention in order to avoid arguments and bad feeling. When, on the other hand, it is necessary to carry out structural reinforcement of the terrace, it is necessary to present a certified report of commencement of activity (Scia) to the municipality and file the calculations with the Civil Engineers. The swimming pool on the terrace increases the value of the property by about 20% with a consequent increase in the economic estimate of the apartment.
Normally the architects doing the design are responsible for the structural calculations or where to apply the necessary reinforcement to the pool area to be added. For this, it is essential to know the weight of the pool and the weight of the water in addition to the age of the house, the type of floor and the maximum resistance. Of course, it is also possible to do exactly the opposite, i.e. find out what is the maximum size of the pool that can be supported, the measurements and, above all, the depth.
We understand what it’s like to have a weight like water on top of the deck, and also why reinforcement is needed. Try to imagine a pool measuring 5×3 meters and with a maximum depth of 15 meters.
With a height of 0.80 meters of water, so not too deep, we would have about 12 cubic meters, which is equal to 12,000 liters of water. Therefore we would need a floor that supports an overload of 800 pounds per square foot of water plus the weight of the pool.
This would give us a total reinforcement of 1200-1300 kilos per square metre, to which the overloading of the people using it will also have to be added.
We’re pretty sure that by now you’re starting to think about one of those cool inflatable pools that don’t require masonry work, however even then you’ll need to keep the weight of the water in mind.
Another decisive step is related to the choice of the pool to be installed on the terrace.
The above ground pools on the market are able to meet all needs. Most of them are modular pool models, which can be installed in a short time and in some cases can also be dismantled.
You can choose between different types for the internal structure, external finishes or accessories: from those covered in impregnated pine wood to those with shaped and knurled edges or with joints and concealed hardware for the safety of children. There are also pools with non-slip edge and ladder as well as plastic or fiberglass pools that are easy to assemble and maintain.
For those who have a passion for swimming in addition to the economic availability there are pools against the current, equipped with a motor that generates the waves, adjustable in intensity according to their needs and the type of training that you intend to follow. Typically, this type of pool also has temperature control, so you can enjoy it comfortably even during the winter months. At the same time you can enjoy a spa style whirlpool.
When you go around choosing a swimming pool, it’s a good idea to bring along the rough measurements so that you can only evaluate those that you can actually install.
Once an engineer has calculated the structural reinforcements and other variables, you move on to choosing the right materials for your pool.
Among the most widely used systems for the construction of swimming pools we can highlight three: polyester, stainless steel and shotcrete . Fiberglass reinforced polyester is a very quick option to install, although with limited sizes and patterns. We also have to consider that they require more maintenance. Stainless steel has a high level of strength and a perfect seal, offers more design freedom and does not require very complicated maintenance. It also does not discolor and is very lightweight. Shotcrete, or projected concrete, is a solution that consists of high-pressure projection of concrete allowing total adhesion on walls and floors, and the possibility to build on any surface with high strength. It also saves money in transporting machinery and personnel and provides the ample sealing and impermeability necessary to prevent leakage.
In any case, on roofs it is important to bet on double glazing: a glass that acts as a container containing water and another underneath that prevents leaks and is located on the underside of the floor. For coating, you can use porcelain, gresite or liner, with high-frequency welding that fits to size and has a great seal.
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