Author Topic: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?  (Read 2645 times)

webguy

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House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« on: January 09, 2017, 03:41:43 PM »
I'm looking for advice on converting a screened-in pool area to a fully indoor pool area.  We're considering purchasing a house which includes a pool of this type but it would only make sense for us as a family if we were able to convert it into a pool that could be used year-round, due to the brutal winters here in Minnesota.  I'd obviously need to replace the screens with windows, and then add a heat source and some ventilation.  Does anyone have any experience with a project like this, and what things I'd need to consider or be aware of, the costs involved, etc?

I've attached some pictures to help.

Thanks in advance!

ketchup

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 03:46:19 PM »
You'll presumably have to also insulate the hell out of it.

Fishindude

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 03:53:47 PM »
Whole lot of problems associated with indoor pools.  Humidity ruins interior finishes so must be well ventilated.  Big room like this requires lots of heat and AC.  The chlorine in atmosphere is corrosive to many things.  A structure that big and wide open is expensive.  Would definitely be very cool but know what you are getting into and hire a good contractor that understands the challenges. 

nereo

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 03:58:56 PM »
Pools are a giant money pit, and trying to run that one in particular looks pricey.
Besides replacing those giant screens with double-glazed windows ($$!), you'll need not only a heat source ofr the room but (assuming it doesn't already have it) a heat source for the pool itself.  If the pool doesn't already have an in-line heater you'll need to add one - check to see if there's enough space in the pump room to do this, otherwise you'll have to expand the room.
Not sure from the photos but the walls will need to be insulated as well - my guess is they aren't well insulated if that was built as a 3-season.
Ventilation is necessary but closing off the space means it'll always be humid regardless. That creates havok with interior surfaces unless you have a lot of ventilation, which in turn makes heating it incredibly expensive.  Plus, without ample ventilation the chlorine makes for very poor air quality, and unless you have an exterior door between your pool and the rest of your house, your home will start smelling like a pool all the time.

It would be much cheaper to fill in the pool and turn the entire thing into one large room with lots of windows.

good luck!
(FWIW I used to service both residential and small commercial pools.)

webguy

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 11:59:46 AM »
Thanks guys, this is really useful information. Sounds like it might be more of a hassle than it's worth to convert it into an indoor space. I really appreciate the insights and advice, especially from @nereo!

Dicey

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 06:48:51 PM »
Sure there are.  None of them mustachian. If a family member "needs" an indoor pool for therapy, a gym membership will be so much cheaper.

Indio

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 07:31:40 PM »
The house I used to live in had an indoor pool. It used geothermal heat pump to warm the water so total water heating cost wasn't high. Interior walls were all stucco treated with anti mildew paint so humidity wasn't a problem. One wall was sliding glass panel doors but we never used them. Pool was sectioned off from rest of house by a breezeway making chlorine smell  non existent.
In winter we had some amazing pool parties, while looking at snow outside. Acoustics were great in there, and my orchid plants and ferns grew like crazy so the chlorine vapor was minimal. If the water is properly maintained there shouldn't be residual gas.

Pigeon

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 08:02:12 PM »
If resale value is an issue, do you have a friendly realtor acquaintance you could discuss this idea with? I live in the northeast and a friend just sold her mother's house. They had added a gorgeous in ground pool for well over $100k a few years back. The pool was a huge liability in selling the house and actually resulted in the house being worth less, let alone what they put in to it.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2017, 08:31:02 PM »
I was at a talk this summer by a Mensan who put in a pool in Cambodia, and used a copper ion system.  He said it was the best system he'd ever seen.  The water was like bottled water - no chlorine smell, etc.  Sounded like something I would spend some time tinkering with.

I've never seen a system like the one he described, but it's discussed on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swimming_pool_sanitation#Copper_ion_system

Fishindude

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 06:53:53 AM »
In winter we had some amazing pool parties, while looking at snow outside.
This would definitely be cool!

Mgmny

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 07:42:53 AM »
I also live in MN and i know of 2 people who have outdoor pools (and 1 with indoor, but that was built in his basement with the house, so different story) that have just heated the hell out of it during the winter.

Pool 1: Guy has an electric hard-top retractable system, so he hits a button, and a hard insulated cover comes out over the pool. You can walk on this cover, etc. It's awesome, and I'm sure quite $$. However, he keeps his pool heated 365 in MN. His is not covered at all, just in his backyard. I think with the hard top, it insulates better. Yes it will cost more in electricity to heat it during the winter, but it probably won't cost as much as basically rebuilding the structure around the pool. If he wants to go swimming in the winter, he hits a button from his house, the pool top retracts, he wraps a towel around himself, runs outside, jumps in the pool, and is good to go.

Pool 2: Tried heating her pool during the winter. It worked, but her first Xcel Energy bill came, and it cost her like $400+ to heat her pool in November/December. After that, she stopped doing it.

I honestly think that you could get away not enclosing the space, and just heating the pool. Obviously, you're not going to use it when it's -20 degrees like it was last week here, but if you get a good insulated top on the pool, and your goal isn't to throw pool parties (and just swim laps like 1x a day), the amount of time with the hard top off the pool will be very small.

Have you been to/heard of Bluefin Bay on the North Shore? They have a soft top mostly uncovered hot tub and pool they leave open year round, and people are using it right now, I'm sure. I am 80% sure they are using Geothermal heat for their pools though, so that would save some money. Drilling a geothermal well for the space would likely be FAR less expensive than completely remodeling the space.

emiloots

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Re: House with a pool. Can I convert it to be indoor?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 07:53:27 PM »
I know this thread is a couple weeks old so this may not be relevant any more.  Is closing it over the winter a deal breaker for you?  We have an in-ground pool (saline) and honestly it's a sigh of relief when we close it for the season.  It's a huge money suck, and even though it's saline which is lower maintenance it's still a lot of work, time, chemicals, and money.  Every year there's something new to fix and ours is relatively new, built in 2009.  Not trying to dissuade you from buying a house with a pool, we absolutely love ours - but it's nice to not have to worry about it for a couple months a year.