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Swimming Pools Project: Part Two

In the second part of our series on installing a swimming pool at your Bulgarian property, here is a look at the types of pools available including the pros and cons of each. Plus the breakdown of costs on a liner pool installation. Whilst a considerable investment, a pool is one of the main features which will increase the value of your Bulgarian property both for rental and resale.


Types of pools
Once you have drawn your plan of where you will site your pool and decided on your budget, it is time to select the type of pool structure you prefer. You have a choice between concrete, liner and fibreglass.

Concrete pools

The most lengthy of all pool construction types. You need to plan ahead with these pools. Don’t expect the pool company to start during July and have it ready for you to enjoy on your August summer holiday. Concrete pools take about two months from start to finish - and that’s weather permitting and not allowing for unexpected delays and problems.

The process in general : the hole is excavated and a steel grid is placed on the floor and walls for strength and reinforcement. Next the cabling for the electrics (heating, filtration, lighting, etc) and the plumbing is installed. At this point you should make sure that all the cabling and pipework is laid as per the plan drawing from the company. You will need this drawing if you sell your house. In the next stage the walls and floor are built from concrete sprayed over the steel grid. The concrete needs time to ‘set’ and ‘cure’ before the final finish effect is applied. The finish can be smooth plaster, which is then painted, or tiled.

Pros - Limitless design opportunities, high quality, strong, has staying power, wide range of tiles and paints for the walls and floor design, withstand most regional climatic conditions

Cons - Expensive, construction is time-consuming, tiles/paint may need repairing or replacing over time

Liner pools

These are much quicker to install and, in some cases, you can be enjoying your new pool in under a week. The hole is dug and the floor of the pool made from a weak sand/cement mix, so that there is a smooth flat surface for the liner to sit on. The pool frame is inserted into the hole and assembled, then the pool liner is attached. The pool is filled with water and then the gap between the frame and the soil is backfilled.

Pros - Quick to install, usually the least expensive pool option, range of liner patterns, can even be installed DIY

Cons - Trade-off for a cheaper price : liners can rip, tear and stain and will need to be replaced over time, less design choice, prone to structural leaks and damage

Fibreglass pools

If you’re going for this type of pool, the important thing to think about is access to your property, as the pool is delivered in one large piece.

A bed of sand is placed into the hole and the pool is placed on top and levelled. Trying to level a large piece of fibreglass can be tricky and it sometimes takes a few attempts. Once level, a small amount of water is piped into the pool to ‘anchor’ it in place. Then the pool is filled and the walls backfilled at the same rate to prevent the fibreglass shell from bulging.

Pros - Easy to maintain, durable, quick to install, does not alter the chemistry of the water and they are good for most climates as they are flexible.

Cons - Design and shape options are limited, requires good easy access to your property.


Real life experience - liner pool

"We had a budget of 25,000 leva, so we decided to look at a liner pool as it is a cheaper option. We found a supplier with good experience in liner pools with a large catalogue of sizes to choose from. There was also the option for the company to install or they would deliver in kit form and we could do it ourselves from their guide with all instructions in English.

The excavation took approximately one day using a JCB. Unfortunately, the driver dug to the wrong level so we had to place a layer of hardcore into the hole to bring it back up to the right level. We couldn't put the soil he had taken out back in again as it would not provide a solid enough base".


Costs of the liner pool : 8m x 4m
Swimming pool kit            9,600
Felt underlay                300
Underwater light            450
Cleaning attachment        90
All purpose pool cover        1200
Heat pump                2100
Delivery                575
Excavation                320
Stone chippings            490

TOTAL                15,125 leva


Part One - Where to position your Pool
Part Three - Finishes and Tips for finding Suppliers
Part Four - Extras
Part Five - Pool maintenance
Part Six - Cheap Pool Solutions