Plunge Pools Enhance Home Beauty, Style & Value

Written by Breck Hapner

Plunge pools are trending in home markets as a chic alternative to Olympic swimming pools because of their intimate size and undeniable luxury. You see, homeowners from all income tiers are making the investment. It is no longer just a luxury perk indigenous to top-of-the-line mansions or exclusive resorts. The plunge pool has become a valued asset, the focal point of current and new properties.

Need an example? Well, let’s picture the scene: it is a glorious, albeit hot and humid day. The sun is shining, there is a slight breeze. Trees stand in the afternoon shadow as leaves gently dance. The grounds of your home are filled with the chatter of birds, and the sonorous sizzle of meat on the grill. You mosey from your deck, cold drink in hand, and engage in small talk with guests before sliding into the cool blue waters of your custom plunge pool.

Sounds like a good time if you have the right accouterments, yes?

What is a Plunge Pool?

Integrating with entertainment spaces like a full-size pool, but small enough for a brownstone’s backyard, plunge pools are a compact, simple, less-expensive economic alternative that have surged in popularity.

As a commercially-viable and elegant compromise, plunge pools became a top project for many homeowners due to their minimalism. The overall appeal is due to convenience and expediency, with a touch of extravagance. Enhancing the indoor-outdoor lifestyle, they are low-maintenance and high return.

A plunge pool is larger than a hot tub or spa, designed to offer the expansive advantages of a pool within a reduced area. They can range from 10 to 18 feet in length, 6 to 8 feet in width, and have a general depth of 2 to 4 feet. Plunge pools are less expensive to maintain, and are much easier to build than their full-size counterparts.

Plunge pools come in all shapes and sizes. They are usually installed in-ground in a rectangular format, or can be constructed to prescribed or specialized parameters. They can be used for exercising, lounging, or wading. In other words, there usually isn’t enough room for the back-stroke, but these petite pools offer a place to relax and cool off with a cocktail, and even  engage in aqua-aerobics or a bit of water rehabilitation.

Physical Attributes of Plunge Pools

As mentioned, the relatively small perimeter of a plunge pool also comes with emblematic features consistent with the particular variety. A plunge pool can be installed outdoors or indoors. Depths can vary considerably. For instance, shallow is preferred for relaxing, hydrotherapy, or low-impact aerobics. Deeper water levels provide the ability to create more of a fitness lap pool by installing resistance jets which generate a current to swim against, which is therapeutic when engaging in aqua-exercise.

So, in addition to the leisure aspects outlined above, plunge pools can also be customized to incorporate physical fitness components if desired. These work to transform the plunge pool experience, and can be achieved through the installation of specialized pumps into the hydraulics that produce swimming treadmills, or power stationary equipment.

Some extra upgrades may include heating elements to imitate spa-like conditions. For instance, jet installation allows water to be pumped into the plunge pool replicating whirlpool massage therapy. Like spas, plunge pools more often than not possess highly evolved temperature controls to adjust water heating or cooling, depending upon preference and/or task.

Photo by dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA

What Makes a Plunge Pool Different?

Aside from the fact they are a “haute” item, homeowners enjoy plunge pools because they can add further outdoor upgrades to their landscapes, such as a bar, dining and/or entertaining areas, extra decking, fire pits, play/recreation areas, and even additional water features. They can function together seamlessly to imbricate interior and exterior property boundaries, creating a truly unique indoor/outdoor living space.

Many plunge pools use “smart technology”, or smart controls. These are deployed via digital device remotely or on-site to set up or adjust the plunge pool environment depending upon your circumstance, occasion or particular need. So, yes, this is the equivalent of “lights, camera, and action” with every other application in your network, at your fingertips.

Another good example of smart tech is the outright eradication or minimizing of chores. Owners don’t have to spend days out of every week cleaning out debris, changing water and scrubbing their pools. Plunge pools now come with automated hardware that functions 24/7 to keep every element and system clean and operational. And because of the smaller size, let’s not forget the much easier to handle pool covers, that keep dirt out when not in use.

Photo by J.Montgomery Designs

How are Plunge Pools Interacting with Real Estate?

Homeowners can now have all the bells and whistles of a conventional pool for a lower cost that includes advanced customization. On top of this, plunge pools are less expensive to maintain because they require less chemicals, water, and energy to operate.

Real estate professionals have verified that plunge pools are a hot amenity for almost every type of buyer, and for every type of property. Builders of new/remodeled homes and apartments have heard the call, and are answering the demand. Developers have gotten interested in making private and communal plunge pools part of large-scale apartment and condo construction.

Realtor.com states that plunge pools can be a keystone element in higher-priced, inner-city sites to increase property values. In tighter metropolitan regions, lots can be much smaller, so plunge pools allow more efficient utilization of available square-footage. This equates to more for less.

A recent nationwide real estate agent pool survey by referral company Homelight found that a mid-tier or upscale pool costs from $70,000 to $100,000, and many plunge pools can be installed for $40,000 to $60,000, depending upon included amenities.

The general consensus between realtors: Most clients acknowledged plunge pools were a better value that provided the same luxury aesthetics and custom functional qualities offered by full-size pools.

Plunge Pool Sensibilities 101

Now, back to the beginning.

Maybe you are already a homeowner with a plunge pool, so you’re set. Perhaps you’re in the market to acquire a property that can only fulfill its promise if a plunge pool is added.

Your backyard, whether palatial estate or modest condo, can be used for the installation of your relaxation destination. Think about the pleasure of soaking in absolute privacy just steps from your bedroom. That’s why plunge pools are now sought-after.

As always, stay tuned to Haven for trending home improvement articles and insights.

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