The French have never dreamed so much of having a swimming pool and more and more of them are making their plans a reality. With an increase in the number of pond constructions in 2020 – + 6.3%, i.e. 175,000 additional swimming pools according to the FPP (Federation of Swimming Pool and Spa Professionals) – the market is very dynamic. France is located elsewhere on the first step of the podium at European level, and on the second at the international level.
A craze noted in the four corners of France. “Geographically, the South-East of France remains the leader with around 1 in 4 gardens. New equipment such as pool enclosures can heat the pool all year round, which is essential when you live above Loire. Today, manufacturers are able to respond to a national demand and not just a regional one“ explains Joëlle Pulinx-Challet, General Delegate of the FPP.
Swimming pools for all budgets
The price of swimming pools is also helping to attract a growing public. Previously, you had to spend between 35,000 to 45,000 euros to build a swimming pool. Today, the price is between 15,000 and 18,000 € for a buried basin. Above-ground pools, which are more affordable, are also on the rise.
A price drop of almost 50% which is due first of all to the reduction in the surface area of the pools, the demand for small pools steadily increasing. “The average budget corresponds to that of a car, that is to say between 22,000 and 24,000 euros. It can then increase depending on the levels of equipment chosen, but there are swimming pools for every budget and every need“ ensures the general delegate of the FPP.
Everyone therefore seeks to refresh themselves, even on a low budget. Joëlle Pulinx-Challet confirms that “demand is moving towards shallow pools (1.20 and 1.50 m) but which are all the same better equipped. The scale is no longer in fashion, today aesthetics are important. This is why we opt for stairs or a submerged beach. The blue liner is replaced by the sand or gray color especially in modern homes. The equipment has also evolved a lot, particularly in terms of heat thanks to home automation “.
What does the swimming pool look like in 2021? What are the trends and innovations that make this equipment ever more attractive? We take stock.
A mini-pool for small gardens © Piscines Waterair
This is the big trend right now, especially if your garden is medium in size. The advantage is that you don’t have no need for a building permit if it does not exceed 10 m2, and you can install all modern equipment there, including the counter-current swimming system which advantageously replaces the swimming lane.
Specialists have also adapted to this new demand, with models that change according to the size of the garden. Previously, we displayed average dimensions of 72 m2 for 1.80 m of depth, against 32 m2 for 1.40 m today, with rather original shapes. According to the FPP, 2025 should see the appearance of very small formats of 7 x 3 m for 1.30 m of depth.
An ever more connected swimming pool
Home automation, which makes it possible to automate and program functions in the house, also extends to swimming pools. These are now controlled remotely. With its new technologies, you can control the quality of the water, turn on the heat pump, activate the lighting, control the filtration system, and even open and close the safety cover, or even raise or lower the movable background.
“Today, you are able to control your pool remotely from your smartphone” explains Joëlle Pulinx-Challet. “In the parameters, we go from the simplest to the most complex. The base remains the sensor which floats on the water and which sends the characteristics of the swimming pool. The sensor replaces the strips indicating the water quality. From a distance, we can react according to the result. In the more advanced options, there are also centralizing boxes that send data to the heat pump, such as planning to heat the pool when you come “.
Increasingly ecological swimming pools
Increasingly ecological swimming pools © BioPoolTech
The swimming pool is no exception to these concerns. The treatments are increasingly ecological and heat pumps more efficient and more economical. “There has been a lot of progress since the 90s, particularly on the heat pump (less greedy) or LED lighting. The motor, that is to say the pump, is in fact sized in relation to the m3 of the swimming pool. And those with variable speed automatically adapt to the water temperature and external conditions. The pump is self-regulating via its telephone. The automatic swimming pool cover saves calories, keeps heat and eliminates the phenomenon of “evaporation. There are even covers with solar blades that heat the swimming pool. The products are also more economical and more ecological than the products of the past”.
Pond maintenance is therefore increasingly easier, thanks in particular to certain equipment, such as the salt chlorinator “which makes it possible to transform salt into chlorine and consequently to disinfect your basin easily and automatically. This system is economical and ecological, it makes it possible not to overdose the products”.
Opt for a natural basin?
The swimming pool, by definition, has disinfected, disinfectant, recycled and renewed water. The natural basin does not meet these criteria. It is a particular concept which is characterized by the use of natural products (replacing chlorine) such as plants to clean the water. Aesthetically, it blends naturally into the landscape. But is it really ecological?
Some piscinists will answer “yes” because there is no use of chemical product. Others will say “no”, because the natural basin is ecological only in its name. Besides, it wouldn’t be that healthy. For Joëlle Pulinx-Challet, “the pool cannot be heated. Bacteria proliferate there, there is therefore a health risk of having non-disinfected water. For this, you will have to run the pump (the motor) 100 % of the time, therefore the pond becomes energy intensive. If the water is cloudy due to algae or insects, you only have one solution, empty and refill the pond. More water will be used than one. traditional swimming pool, therefore not very ecological “.
An above-ground swimming pool
An above-ground swimming pool © Intex
More affordable, easier to install, the above-ground swimming pool is gaining more and more followers. It does indeed require no work, and you can take advantage of it immediately. A trend noted by many specialists. “2020 has been an exceptional year from every point of view with significant demand even creating stock shortages. And in 2021, customers were looking very early on for swimming pools and spas” confirms Elsa PY, Marketing Manager at Intex.
“Before the health crisis, demand was already on the rise due to the heatwave and the lack of providers. We sold very little during the summer season. Since then, the situation has changed. We are ordered large models late in the season. and which will remain active until the end of September “ she adds. This enthusiasm is also driving professionals to constantly innovate (imitation wood cladding, maintenance solutions, etc.).
The movable bottom swimming pool
Gadget? Undoubtedly not, because the movable floor allowsincrease the level of safety of your pool and save space. The operation is very simple, a tray goes up and down according to your needs. In the high position, your children will not be able to fall into the swimming pool and you can use it as a terrace. In addition, you can vary the pleasures by choosing the height and make it a paddling pool for the little ones or a real swimming place for the whole family.
The infinity pool
The infinity pool © Diffazur Piscines
It is a dream with its aesthetics and its view of the sea, the mountain or a lake. The infinity pool is also expanding. The water flows delicately with a slightly dull sound that evaporates into the landscape … In terms of price, however, we are on the high-end.
Swimming pool: safety priority
This is an essential point on which you should never ignore. The law of January 3, 2003 obliges each owner of a private swimming pool, buried or semi-buried, to equip himself with a safety system against the risk of drowning accidents. For this, there are 4 devices mentioned by law:
- flexible or rigid barriers (NF P90306 standard),
- immersion alarms (NF P90307-1 standard),
- security covers such as tarpaulins, movable floors, etc. (standard NF P90308),
- lifting, telescopic, high or low pool enclosures, etc. (NF P90309 standard).
For above ground pools, the purchase of a secure ladder is essential. It must include a formwork, a shutter, a barrier or be able to be lifted so that a child alone cannot access it.
All its security measures must be accompanied by an alarm for swimming pool and the bathing place closed and locked. And the presence of an adult is always essential. “France is the best performing country in terms of protection systems. Despite this, security must always complement the vigilance of adults” recalls Joëlle …