Advice requested on pool covers
Our newly built pool now needs a pool cover since winter is on its way here in the Midwest. We are realizing our pool is about the worst case scenario for installing a pool cover.
There is a ~3 foot raised beam around about half of the pool and the bond beam is tiled.
The pool builder is concerned about cracking the tiles drilling in anchors into the bond beam (which is gunite and integral with the pool). We've talked about having the cover come up over the bond beam, but I'm concerned about whether that will cause premature failure of the pool cover.
We also have the added complexity of a pool deck which is dry laid travertine pavers (i.e. nothing sold to drill anchors into).
The spa is similarly situated (adjacent to paver deck and raised above the deck and pool about half way around).
We are considering draining the spa during the winter to avoid having to cover it. The spa is attached completely to the pool (shares bond beam wall).
Any advice is appreciated.
Is a non-attached cover of some sort recommended since we have all kinds of cover attachment challenges? (floating cover?)
If we do attach a cover, what is the best way to attach the cover given our situation?
What issues might we have with leaving the spa drained and uncovered during the winter? Is that a viable option or a bad idea?
Thanks as always for the advice!
I've put pictures below.