What is a spool?

Essentially a spool is a smaller size swimming pool with added spa-like features. Typically measuring 10 – 16 feet long and 6 – 8 feet wide, spools are ideal for restricted spaces or oldy shaped backyards.

Spools also considered to be a versatile alternative to swimming pools as they allow you to enjoy cool water on warm days and a hotter temperature for a therapeutic experience in the evenings. For those who like working out, the powerful jets can create a current to swim against which is a great alternative to lap pools.

Find out how much space you actually need for a pool here.

Depending on the individual design, a spool may feature some of the following:

  • Dimensions between a standard pool and a spa;
  • Powerful spa jets;
  • Current generation system;
  • Robust heating system;
  • Built-in seating around the perimeter;
  • LED lighting;
  • Water feature.

What is the cost of a spool?

Spool 02
The cost of the spool will greatly depend on the design and how you intend to use it

Spools are a great space-saving alternative to a conventional swimming pool but aren’t necessarily going to be saving you a lot of money. That’s because spools tend to have several built-in expensive features that drive up the price tag.

Also impacting the cost of a spool is the material it is made out of. Just like pools, spools can be made of a concrete or fiberglass shell. They can also be finished in a simple render, aggregate or fully tiled which will greatly inform your budget. A spool will also require fencing that complies with your local regulations. This is a common cost many people forget to factor in when installing a spool.

A guide to Californian pool fence regulations can be found here

That being said, spools are relatively simple to install and can be done in a shorter time frame than a standard swimming pool. The ground works will typically be less than a larger pool as the evacuation footprint required will be smaller.

More often than not, a spool will cost less than a full sized in-ground pool and more than a conventional spa. The price to install will also be much less than if you installed a pool/spa combination.

When considering the costs of a spool, you’ll also want to factor in how you plan to use it. If you’re planning to use it the majority of the time as a relaxing hot tub, the cost to run it may be considerably more than a standard swimming pool. However, if you will only be heating it occasionally, the overall costs will be less.

Is the maintenance less than a conventional swimming pool?

If you regularly clean your spool, it won’t take as long as cleaning a conventional swimming pool, but it does require just as much maintenance.

Spools will need to have the pH level and total alkalinity checked on a regular basis and chlorine checked a couple of times a week. The pool skimmer, pump and vacuum will all need to be cleaned of debris weekly and the surfaces brushed clean.

It is also advised to drain and refill the water of the spool every 3-5 years.

Find out what determines the level of pool maintenance here

Should I install a spool?

There are several reasons homeowners are choosing to install a spool over a full-sized swimming pool or spa. These include:

  • Restricted space;
  • Oddly shaped or a steep site;
  • Unable to finance a pool/spa combo;
  • Desire versatility to use the feature year-round;
  • Not as time-consuming to maintain;
  • Improves the aesthetics of the outdoor space whilst being functional;
  • Allows for space for an entertaining area or play area.

Before you decide on the type of pool you’re going to install in your backyard, take a look at the inspiration, advice and tips on our Learning Library.