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When you want your own swimming pool...

Pool Considerations:  Warm Water makes a HUGE difference...

What temperature will your pool water be?

The first thing you need to know is that you definitely NEED pool heat.  Warm Florida weather notwithstanding, an in-ground pool seeks the temperature of the ground, settling out at about 68, way too cold to enjoy.  Lest you think the kids can gut it out and warm up in the hot tub, you’re usually not told that the pool & the hot tub share the same heater, so no pool heat means no hot tub heat.

Once again the management company comes into play.  Most charge $25 to $30 per day for pool heat.  They let you opt out KNOWING the 90% of their guests arrive, realize the situation and return to the office to pay for pool heat.  THEN, to make matters worse, the pool frequently takes 1 to 2 days to come up to a comfortable temperature, so you spend the money, but get minimal usage. 

THE QUESTION THAT NO ONE THINKS TO ASK:  If I am paying for pool heat, what water temperature does that mean I will get?  The temperature varies wildly.  Some management companies set the pool thermostat for 72, some to 76, 79, 81, 83?  If you don’t ask, you’ll get whatever temperature they give you.

Ask if the previous tenants in same home are getting pool heat.  If you inherit a pool that has cooled for a week, your first day or two will be too cold to use.  Ask the management company if you can pay to get the heat turned on two days before you arrive and turned off two days before you leave.  The pool will be warm when you get there and will drift cooler the last two days, but still be usable (except the hot tub).

Ask the Management Company if they refund any days that the temperature is not their advertised temperature.  Strange, extreme winter weather, or just inattention to detail sometimes has the water cooler than normal.  Take a small oral thermometer with you and ask for a refund for days that were not at their published temperature.

The best option is finding a vacation home where pool heat is included.  You won’t have to worry about taking time to bring the pool up to temperature because the pool is always warm and the hot tub always inviting.

Romancing the Mouse response – pool/hot tub heat is complimentary and our pool water is usually kept at 83 to 85, much warmer than any other management company offers (strange, extreme winter weather occasionally impacts this)

Ask which direction the pool faces.  A south-facing pool ensures that you have sun throughout the day.  East-facing means you’ll enjoy the beautiful sunrise with your morning coffee but lose the afternoon sun, which could be just right if you want to have the kids use the pool and not worry about sunburns and sunscreen.  West-facing means you’ll have to wait until the morning sun climbs high enough in the sky and you'll lose your shade in the warmest part of the day.  North facing is best if you are trying to avoid the sun.

Ask if there is shaded area near the pool.  It’s nice to have the choice so you can still watch the kids even if you’re a bit too pink from too much time in the sun.

If you have young children, ask what rooms have a view of the pool – if the common area (kitchen and living room) faces the pool, you’ll be able to watch the kids in the pool from inside the house.  If the only rooms with a view of the pool are bedrooms, it limits your options to supervise the pool from inside the home.

If you have young children, ask what pool safety features are included with the home.  Most homes have either child-safety fences that isolate the pool or there are alarms on all doors leading to the pool.  The fences are foolproof, but they split the lanai and make things feel a tad crowded unless you take them out.  The buttons to reset these alarms are designed to be too high for young children to reset, so you are alerted of their increased proximity to the pool.

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Romancing the Mouse response:   Most of our pools are southfacing with a shade  space to avoid the sun if you wish.  We have one lakefront 6 BR/4 Bath home in Windsor Hills with an east-facing pool which is great to avoid the afternoon sunburns.

All of our homes have the ‘great room’ area facing the pool in order to allow parents to monitor the younger swimmers from inside the home.  All of our homes have safety fences.