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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Downstairs & Above-ground: Planning a Basement Pool

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Professor of Jazz Studies and Endless Pool owner Bert in between swims with his two cats
Bert wanted to swim all year round, whenever the mood struck. That's why he installed his Endless Pool® in his previously unfinished basement.

The convenience, privacy, and 24/7 access suit him just fine: something of a Renaissance man, he's active in sports and the arts … and he finds that his Original Endless Pool helps him with both!

Why Not Outdoors?

With a warm climate like South Carolina's, why not install an outdoor pool? "Then I have to worry about debris falling in the pool," notes Bert. "I live in the woods.

"And I can swim 365 indoors," he adds. "It rarely gets cold, but it did snow this winter, and I went swimming!"

Summers aren't always ideal either: "It gets unbearably hot outside" where the mercury can hit 100° F or higher.

The unfinished basement that would soon house an Endless Pools swimming machine
This unfinished basement would soon have tile, rubberized flooring, a moisture-resistant ceiling, and an Endless Pools swimming machine (see below). All components of the modular Endless Pool fit easily through standard doorways and down stairs.

Why the Basement?
Like many unfinished basements, Bert's had "a slab already laid down." That's a smart cost-saving measure; as with garage pools, using a pre-existing concrete floor saves money on site preparation. "It made sense," he says plainly.

He used an approximately 16' x 20' space for his standard model, which has only a 9' x 15' footprint. With the Endless Pool, you only need to access one side of the cabinet, so Bert could save space with a corner installation. He had no need to access the backside.

Plus, "it seemed to make the most sense so there's less siding." Purchasing and installing skirting on just two of the four sides is another smart cost-saving measure!

Bert swimming in the Endless Pools swimming machine in his finished basement
Bert's walkout basement provided the ideal site to swim for health, fun, recovery from baseball pitching, and as a meditative break when composing music. His Endless Pool retreat is always comfortable and accessible, through South Carolina's heat waves to its rare snowfalls.

Finishing the Unfinished Basement
Starting with exposed studs and cement walls, Bert chose tile in clean, neutral tones and "rubber flooring like you find at a gym."

Moisture-resistant ceiling tiles serve multiple purposes. They protect the wood floor overhead from humidity, allowed him to drop the 11' ceiling to about 8.5' for easier climate control, and provide a uniform finish to the pool area.

The pool area also incorporates a nearby restroom for convenience and a small mechanical room for remote access to the pool's equipment.

2 Surprising Uses
"I don't swim every day, but I try to," Bert notes. When he's on vacation from his university post, he particularly enjoys the at-home flexibility. "During summer, I've swum early morning; I've swum midday; I've swum as late as 9:30 at night."

As an amateur baseball player, he also finds, "It's good for pitching! I've swum after a game to loosen up. I'm still pitching into the 7th inning, and I'm in my 60s. I think swimming helps."

Besides cross-training for baseball, he also finds that his Endless Pool can help when he's writing music. When writer's block strikes this Professor of Jazz Studies, he sets the pace of the Endless Pools swim current close to that of the music's tempo and goes for a swim.

"I can get the pace of the music in my mind. I can solve problems in my writing. It clears my mind. I can listen to music in my head without the distraction of an instrument or a pencil – just working out what's in my head.

"It's been great having it here."

A lily in the former outdoor pool of a proud indoor Endless Pool owner
Before he found satisfaction with his basement Endless Pool, Bert recalls, "I tried another pool outdoors" with a jetted swim current. "The jets were terrible," he says, dismissing his outdoor pool as "an utter failure."
"What I have now is a lovely lily pond in back. I turned the [outdoor] pool into that because I couldn’t swim in it." This spring, he shared this photo with the caption, "These beauties keep showing up."

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