Indoor Pool and or Hot Tub questions

midwestmamaOctober 20, 2009

We are in the design stage of a new build. We live in Central Iowa and it gets COLD COLD COLD here, so we have entertained the idea of having the pool and/or hot tub indoors. We'd like to have both a pool and hot tub, though may not end up putting them both inside.

Our builder kind of laughed as politely as he could when I said I was thinking of the indoor pool. They are not very common around here at all. Heated outdoor pools here are usable from perhaps May to September, so I was hoping to have one indoors we could use all year round. We have 4 young children and will be living out in the country, so would be much easier than trying to find a YMCA or other indoor pool to play in.

For the hot tub, we are looking to place it just outside of the Master Bath. The debate is, should it be on a deck, in a 3 season room style (unheated) room, or actually finished heated space.

Our concerns on both the pool and hot tub are construction costs, maintenance costs, and climate control (including humidity)

Any wisdom you can share?

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We are in CT and put in an IG pool this time last year. Our pool is an indoor/outdoor pool utilizing a telescoping pool enclosure. See our build at "attempting pics of joanneswimsct build' or similar; I can't remember...! Anyway, this is our first season w/ it open as the building was installed late last Nov. Unfortunately for us we have a neighbor's tree line that at this time of year cuts out 75% of our sun which w/ this type of enclosure is necessary for heating the air inside. If you happen to have full sun even in the winter you'll find the air inside w/o any extra heat source will be 30-40 degrees warmer than the outside air! That combined w/ a heated pool is paradise! Up until the beginning of Oct we enjoyed pleasant 80 degree air combined w/ 85 degree water w/o using any extra heat source other than the sun and our solar cover. Now that the sun is lower, the air inside struggles to maintain 70's midday and our water today was a chilly 76. When the kids want to swim we turn on our Jandy and w/i a few hours we have warm water. We'll probably shut down at the end of Oct as we're nearly out of propane... The enclosure company is called Libart; ours was from Canada but now Libart has a US headquarters; let me know if you want any more info and I'll be happy to refer you to the nice folks at Libart. IF you decide to go this route take our advice and under NO CIRCUMSTANCES must you allow your PB to pitch the deck TOWARD the pool!!!! Trust me, it's a disaster that we fight every time it rains...
Good luck and keep us posted!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 11:33PM
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That is really really neat! I am going to go research them right now! Thanks! And I will most definately keep your slope in mind, sounds like a no brainer now, but I could see believing a contractor telling me that, so thanks for the heads up. We have an area for the pool that is full sun all year round.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 1:27AM
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Any luck checking Libart out? Spoke to a Texas Libart customer at the beginning of our decision-making and found that she was able to use her pool year round even tho she lived in an area that sees snow in the winter. She said that they had had a snow storm one day but by the next day the sun was out and had warmed up the building so much she had to open the windows! 90 inside and 30 out... Sounds good to me! Wish I could convince our backyard neighbor to let us cut that tree line back from 60' to 30' tall; would really help to heat the building. We are down to nearly no sun inside due to the angle of the sun at this time of year.
Keep us all posted on your decision!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:00PM
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I have looked through their website. I haven't called them yet because I am not ready to have them pester me to install. We have offered on the lot and have to hear by 5pm tomorrow (this is just round one of the negotiations though) However, I am VERY interested in this. Do you mind if I ask how much it cost to install? What size pool do you have? Do you have them install it or do you hire someone to do it for you? I am REALLY interested in this, it seems like a good solution for us!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:07PM
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Joanne's pool enclosure is AWESOME indeed.
I'd love to put one in at my retirement home I'll be building in a few years.
Joanne, do you know if they'll sell just the kit or do they require that they do the construction too?
On a side note, since you already have propane you might want to consider a propane heater for the enclosure, I've placed a few into service over the years. With a retractable enclosure like yours you'll need a portion which stays in the same spot or use a quick connect gas fitting which is like a air compressor fitting for an air hose. The unit hangs from the ceiling on a mount like you'd see at an Ice House honky tonk. They'll use much less
propane than the pool heater and deliver a bunch of heat indoors even with one end portion of the
enclosure slightly open to provide some flue of
fresh air indoors.

See ya,

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 7:23PM
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Hi midwestmama and Kelly
The folks at Libart are really great. When I first called them I said I was in the investigative phase and would not be in need of a unit for a few years. I was only asking for price and tech info at that time and did not wish to be hounded by anyone. They honored that for nearly a year until they had a unit "come back" to the factory. The salesman remembered me and called to see if I would be interested in the unit as it was now half price. Original owner backed out after paying 50% so all I needed to do was come up w/ the other 50%. Our unit full price would have been $105K. In order to preserve the warranty, you need to allow them to install. Our installer was AMAZING! If you go ahead w/ Libart you must insist on Bill Robinson from WIT out of Metro DC. He travels all over and does an incredible job. The cost was $11K and worth every penny. He and his crew worked for over 40 hours over 3 days to finish the job. They left NOTHING behind as far as trash; he took it all w/ him back to DC! He even refused a tip and worked thru meals that I made for the crew. Imagine eating pizza made at 6 pm finally at midnight after being on the job since 7 am?! Did I mention they installed the week before Thanksgiving when it was dark by 5 pm and below freezing every day?
Anyway... our pool measures 20'X38' and we have at least 5' of decking b/ the pool edge and the building all the war around.
Kelly: thanks for the info on the air heater. I actually spoke to the Libart pres the other day and he told me to get the same type of heater. Said he would put me in touch w/ a guy in Canada who would walk us thru the install when we were ready. I'm hoping to find a ventless Hot Dogg; are they truly ventless or should I buy a vent kit?
FYI: the kids and I swam today after decorating for Halloween; pool temp a balmy 86, air temp not bad at around 70 w/ no sun and no other heat source other than the water! No need for a fog machine; gets nice and foggy all on it's own w/ the temp difference! Having our 1st annual Halloween pool party tomorrow; looking forward to more warm water and a lot of fun!!
Happy Halloween!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 12:22AM
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Im a general Contractor in the Las Vegas area.I built a room around an existing pool for my customer.the pool room was built with intentions that it would be used for cooling off .the room has drywall around its walls .there is a hvac system and dehumidifier that specs out for the squar footage.Ifinished the room addition in sept of 2011.Soon after i finished ,customer had a nonlicenced contractor install a wall mounted pool heater,with out my knowlege.I returned to the room in nov,2010 to find the room wett everywhere and noticed the tempeture of the water to be 87 degrees.What damages will this cause and can the room be engineered to compensate for the humidity and evaporation..what would be the difference in the pool with no heater , what has been changed in the specifacations now that a heater has been installed .please supply info as much as possible so i can inform customer that this maybe will cause damage in thr future...ty martin davisson

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:17AM
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How much head room did you engineer for?
What temperature water were you anticipating? There is a substantial difference in evaporative losses, both in increases in humidity and that with humidity increases, heat loss from the pool will also go up.
Is the heater vented to the outside?
What size is it?
Did you use standard gypsum board or green board?
What kind of wood did you use for studs, headers, etc...
Is the homeowner using a solar cover to reduce evaporative losses?


    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:04PM
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