For many homeowners, the space requirements of a new pool are almost as daunting as the price tag. After all, that’s a large chunk of your property that can be used for one thing and one thing only. When you’re not swimming, that expensive inground pool is just taking up space that could be used for other activities.
With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if you could make your swimming pool magically disappear when not in use? That’s the intriguing proposition of an Arizona-based company called Invisipools. They’re offering a swimming pool that converts into a patio faster than you can change out of your trunks.
The Swiss Army Knife of Swimming Pools?
An Invisipool can function as a patio, splash pad, kiddie pool, or full-depth swimming pool, thanks to a movable platform that can be raised or lowered via a control panel. The pool depths are 12, 36 and 66 inches, accommodating a wide range of activities and swimmers of different levels. Switching between the different depths involves turning a key and pressing a button on the control panel (the two-step process ensures you don’t accidentally trigger a change of pool depth).
An adjustable depth pool would seem to hold a lot of appeal for would-be pool owners who balk at committing to a single, static design. This could include folks who have little space to work with, as well as parents and grandparents who entertain kids of different ages. In addition to day-to-day versatility, it also offers some flexibility in case the pool owner’s needs change over time.
Unlike the circular Hidden Water Pools that generated so much buzz a few years ago, Invisipools are rectangular (different shapes are apparently in development). According to the company website, they will initially come in two different sizes: small (10′ x 18′) and standard (12′ x 24′). They recommend that the movable platform be made of composite decking or other lightweight materials.
While the ability to change the pool on the fly is cool, some people may miss the customization options typically available for an inground pool. That includes things like diving boards, water features, and ornamental touches that won’t work with the movable platform.
Safety and Maintenance Benefits
For many people, the main advantage of a pool like this isn’t the gee-whiz factor, but a much more practical concern – safety. Much like an automatic pool cover, this design makes it very simple to secure your pool when it’s not in use. Even better, you can allow youngsters to use the pool in the mode that’s safe and appropriate for their age.
Invisipools also says that their pools are environmentally friendly and easier to maintain than conventional backyard pools. The design includes a UV sterilization system that reduces the need for chlorine.
Finally, as with pool covers, keeping the water sealed off most of the time should reduce evaporation. That means you have to add less water, but much more importantly, it makes it cheaper to heat the pool. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that each pound of water that evaporates from an 80-degree pool drains 1,048 Btu worth of heat.
How Much Does an Invisipool Cost?
So, how much will one of these Invisipools set you back? As usual when you’re talking about inground pools, the answer isn’t straightforward.
Invisipools does not install the pools themselves, but rather works through local contractors. The exact price will vary significantly from place to place based on shipping costs, contractor rates, and other local factors. However, it’s safe to say that one of these pools will cost more than a standard pool of comparable size.
As we noted above, there are some money saving features built into the pool that should be factored in when weighing the cost. However, keep in mind that many of these same benefits are available by simply using a pool cover.
That said, the versatility of a pool like this could end up saving you a lot of money and hassle down the road. Every year, homeowners pay thousands of dollars to have inground swimming pools removed because their priorities or circumstances have changed. For people who are unsure about the long-term space commitment, having a pool that adapts to your needs could be worth the extra money.