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Load-bearing retractable pool covers


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By Byron in Lebanon, IN on 2/3/2009


I was doing a little research on a feature I would like to include in the house we eventually will build and thought I would share this (since it took me forever to find it and even experts in the industry have no clue where to go for something like this). If you plan on ever adding an indoor swimming pool, you might also consider the following:

youtube.com/watch?v=9MST9QvuM1w

From Wutgroup in Minnesota wutgroup.com

Given the ton of airtime "It's a Wonderful Life" gets around the holidays with it's retractable floor over the swimming pool scene, you would think more pool owners would want something like this. It makes sense for us because my wife comes from a large family (many of which live nearby), and any family gathering we would have would be a LARGE gathering. The convertible space would come in very handy.


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By Faye in Marseilles, IL on 2/3/2009


Byron, the house I am building does have an indoor pool and I did look into these types of systems in my early research. I was very surprised at the cost of them. I did not price this particular brand though. Have you talked to any reps to see what it would be? For me, I decided to just spend the $$ building a larger enclosure so I would have plenty of room for entertaining large gatherings. Below is a picture of my pool before drywall -- haven't had a chance to take more recent pictures.
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By Byron in Lebanon, IN on 2/4/2009


Sorry, I have not Faye. The site did not list any prices and I have not checked with any Wutpool reps, given that it could still be a while before we build and even then, the indoor pool is on the extras list that would be among the first to chop in efforts to economize. They did mention in the video that the cost would be less than building an additional enclosure for entertaining (uhhh yeah, I would HOPE so!), so take that for what it's worth.

What systems did you look into and what kind of costs were you seeing for them?


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By Faye in Marseilles, IL on 2/5/2009


The systems I looked at was more like a retractable safety cover. You know the one they show an elephant walking on. Can't think of the name offhand. The prices ranged from $5K-$7K and they weren't load bearing like yours. I see you are in Indiana. I'm in Central Illinois (west of Joliet). If you have any questions about the indoor pool part of your plans let me know. It is very difficult to find info on them.
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By Grant in Blacksburg, VA on 2/8/2009


I've got a big enough walk-out basement to have the pool indoors. Entertainment space won't be my problem. But my wife likes an outdoor pool. Of course, an outdoor pool can't be used as many months of the year. So we eventually want to have the added expense of a retractable pool enclosure. Of course for "safety's sake" with all of our grandchildren, we'd also like to have a retractable pool cover that the elephants can walk on <groan>... $$$$ keeps adding up.

My wife wants me to figure out a way to have the shallow end of pool inside of the walk-out basement and the rest of the pool outdoors, with something like a garage door that can be opened to allow volleyball across the pool. I haven't quite figured this one out yet. But wouldn't it be cool if we had a retractable floor above the pool inside the basement! Not likely to happen with budgetary considerations, but we can always dream...


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By Faye in Marseilles, IL on 2/8/2009


Grant, My first grandchild was just born two weeks ago, so I too have put some thought into safety. I put keypad locks on all the doors going into the pool area that only my husband and I will have the code to. We are also putting in a floating alarm that will sound if someone gets into the pool. They have an indoor/outdoor pool setup (like your wife was wanting) at some of the water parks in the Dells. However theirs is an indoor pool with outdoor hot tub. We go there in the winter and you swim from inside out to the hot tub. It's very cool but I imagine it costs a fortune to heat.
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By Byron in Lebanon, IN on 3/20/2009


Faye, I visited the flower and patio show in Indianapolis today and talked with a pool rep about load-bearing retractable floors and he mentioned that he has a relation with an outfit that does them but has never done one because of the cost. I asked if the outfit was the Wut Group and that rang a bell for him and he confirmed it was. I asked him what the price range was and he mentioned a range of $150K-$250K (*choke*, *gasp* !!!!)

And I think the Wut Group advertised that they were cheaper than building a separate enclosure. I think not (at least not for residential). For that kind of money, I can build extra wide and not ever enclose the pool or even build a separate area for entertaining. I could even build another house. Or hire an engineer to put something else together for me. That is an expensive system. It would still be cool though. Wow.


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By Faye in Marseilles, IL on 3/22/2009


Byron,

 
Wow, that is high! It would be cool but not practical for the residential market. I have found that most of what is out there is geared towards commercial indoor pools and priced accordingly. It is very difficult to find info and to design a residential indoor pool. I think ours is pretty good. We are using a salt generator to avoid the chemical smell and fumes and have installed a tankless pool heater for maximum efficiency. We also used radiant heat for the space heating for the comfort factor (warm floors for bare feet).

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By Byron in Lebanon, IN on 4/21/2009


Yes, I have seen those types of covers, but the objective was to incorporate a cover that converted the pool area to floor space that could be used for entertainment purposes. As much as I love my family, they are imperfect and I do not see any of them walking on water. :)

However, it is begining to look like it would be cheaper to build two structures. One for the pool (like what you suggest - to bring the cost down) and one for the entertainment area (maybe an indoor B-Ball court). We do have 3.6 acres and the extra structure would cut down on the mowing required :).


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By Faye in Marseilles, IL on 4/21/2009


Byron,


My house is shaped like a T with the pool on the backside. I did not use an elaborate system for dehumidification due to the huge costs involved. I was concerned about the chlorine fumes and smell, so I went with a salt generator. I also put in venting skylights as well as windows and doors for cross ventilation. I have hydronic radiant heat in the room as well as a tankless pool heater for the pool. I also have a wood-burning fireplace for additional heat. I am concerned about condensation and humidity, but plan to use a cover on the pool when not in use and feel that if I keep the room temp and pool water temps at the proper balance - I should be OK. I also used green board on the walls and then coated them with a special epoxy paint that is resistant to mold and mildew.
 
I attached the pool to the house because I did not want to have to walk outside in the winter to get to the pool. If you are planning a separate structure, please think about adding a breezeway between the pool structure and your house.

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By Grant in Blacksburg, VA on 1/9/2011


Hmmmm... Has anyone looked into the idea of putting a deck on a track system so that it can be pushed over the pool, and then pushed back off over the patio? Overlap by a couple of feet in every direction. Lock it in place in either position.

This would give a usable step-up deck in the middle of the pool patio for large gatherings, and can be pushed aside when wanting to use the pool. I was thinking that this shouldn't cost much more than building a deck and accomplish the same goal. It would also secure the pool from entry for safety's sake when not in use.

Thought of this today; Googled the idea and found nothing, but did find this thread on my old favorite website! <grin>.

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By Sylvain on 1/21/2016


Hi everybody,

I am reading with interest this thread because I am currently looking for something like that too.

I am going to start building very soon my house in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, and since price of land is quite outrageous, we cannot buy big lots.
Even though, the "tropical design" since we can leave windows open all year inspired me in the design, and with kids and small space, hard cover load-bearing is a must. You can see ground floor design to get my point.

Unfortunately no system like this available yet in Vietnam, and anyway, being an engineer I hope to come out with a good solution together with a local contractor who can build tailor made what I design.

I have thought of several solutions:

- Sliding cover: http://www.abris-eccreation.fr/stilys/ - problem: I don't have enough space to retract it on any side, except if my kitchen area is on an elevated ground.
- Mobile floor to elevate at the level we want http://www.fond-mobile-aqualift.fr/ - problem: expensive, and system a bit too sensitive to make it from scratch.
-    Some lids in several part (like a palette) to pivot from vertical to horizontal, not too large to be manually operated. Problem: need to be stored vertically (but OK because my wall with neighbour just there).
-    Retractable “accordion” folding from one side – problem: maybe hard to move manually.

I will design some systems with Sketchup 3D.

I hope to come up with a nice prototype, won’t be against the idea of developing it here since the needs will be high, but the problem is that in Vietnam, they understand “copyright” as having the right to copy.

I will keep you informed.

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By Roger in Beverly Hills, CA on 5/25/2019


I have found that most of what is out there is geared towards commercial indoor pools and priced accordingly.
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