Is the look of your swimming pool outdated? Did you purchase a house with a pool but always wanted to make changes? Are you spending less time entertaining by the pool because it’s just not a comfortable space?

Pools are like houses; when styles changed, it could be time to remodel. And also like houses, there is a wide range in costs and nearly limitless options available. It’s possible to make dramatic changes to your pool and surround without overspending, and there are actually some updates that will save you money in the long run.

Cape Cod Swimming Pool Renovation

Before and after photos of one of our swimming pool renovation projects.

Instead of renovation, you could elect to resurface your pool, which will improve the look of the pool while serving the practical purpose of replacing something that will eventually wear out. The pool industry refers to this as resurfacing or replastering. Because the project focuses on the interior walls and floor of the pool, the price varies depending on the size of the pool and the type of finish.

If your pool has a simple plaster finish, an update could make it appear more modern. You might also select an aggregate finish that comes in different colors, while also incorporating stones, shells or tile. You might replaster only the pool surface while saving tile, or change out the tile and coping (manufactured or natural stone, or concrete used to cap the pool shell wall) and save the pool surface.

Plaster lasts, on average, eight to 10 years, while aggregate finishes, which are more expensive, are generally good for 25 years. The estimated life of tile and coping depends on many factors such as water chemistry and weather.

Of course, there are many other ways to update your pool and pool area. If you have basic pool lighting, consider LED lights, which are more energy efficient and can be installed below the water and come in a variety of colors to set different moods. This is probably the least expensive way to transform your pool area into a backyard oasis.

Updating waterline tile can give your pool a more contemporary look, while water features such as waterfalls, rock rivers and sprayers can breathe life into a lackluster pool by creating motion and sound. Water features may be built into a small retaining wall on one side of the pool, or into a mound of boulders. However, be aware that these water features will consume extra electricity and increase water evaporation, which causes cooling.

While you’re adding water features, how about a little fire? Fire pits, tiki torches and fire bowls provide warmth and add ambiance to evening swims. For true warmth, install a spa that sits next to the pool.

New fencing and a landscaping overhaul, with colorful planters and shrubs, can make a big difference in the overall aesthetic. For something more dramatic, you could replace your pool deck using pavered designs at a cost similar to concrete. Natural stone decks, such as flagstone, are also popular.

Finally, if you’re really looking to enhance your pool experience, you could add an outdoor kitchen or living room, maybe even a swim-up bar. You might never go indoors again.