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" SUN  STROKES "


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How to build your own solar powered swimming pool for only £4000
When Stuart and Cherie
decided to put a swimming pool in the back
garden of their home near Andover,
Hampshire, they chose the DIY route with a
pool and heating package designed for lim-
The first step for Stuart and
ited budgets. What they got for their money
This was delivered as a complete kit - plastic-
(and a few weeks' work) may surprise those
coated steel wall sections, supporting frames,
Cherie was choosing the best location for
who think a full-size pool could cost as much
liner, sand filter, sand, pump, skimmer, ladder
the pool. This needed a flat, level area not too
as 20,000.
and plumbing fittings. With a solar cover,
close to hedges or trees, which was con-
They set themselves a tight spend-
chemicals, vacuum hose, long-handled brush
venient to both the house and a power sup-
ing limit, opting for an above-ground pool to
ply (for the pump) and - most important -
and leaf net, underfelt, extra pipe and fittings,
minimise site preparation and help keep initial
cement, sand and ballast and other items
would get plenty of sun. Their
costs to a minimum, and solar panels to
needed to finish off the installation, the total
cost was around 3000. The five A G Budget
garden is terraced on three levels, with just
provide the long-term benefit of free heating.
over 3ft height difference between the two
For their efforts, they now have a pool 30ft
SunStar solar panels with the fittings
top levels. This turned out to be a stroke of
(9m) long by 15ft (4.5m) wide, attractively
needed to join them together, fix them to the
luck as, with the pool sunk a few inches into
landscaped into the garden, with an array of
roof and connect them to the filtration
the ground at the lower level, its top would
solar panels on the nearby south-facing roof
system, cost another 1000.
then be just above the ground at the top
level.
of their chalet bungalow - all for a total
Finished in late April, the pool was already
outlay of around 4,000. Because of the
at a comfortable 28C (82F) by mid-May
After much research into prices, specifica-
natural slope of the land, the top of the pool
despite indifferent weather at the beginning
tions, running costs and heating costs, Stuart
is only slightly above ground level on one
of the month and the fact that there are
and Cherie ordered the pool in December,
side, giving it almost the appearance of an in-
fewer solar panels than recommended for a
with delivery planned for the end of February,
ground pool.
pool this size. They may add another
to allow a couple of months to prepare the
The pool they chose is the oval-shaped AG
panel later. This can easily be done, as the
ground.
1. Work began with the excavation of a large flat
area in the garden. Since only part of the
Budget Swimming Pools' top-selling above-
panels are modular in design and held
ground model - the American-made Regatta.
together by simple clamps and gaskets.