Every swimming pool needs its requisite pumps, filters and certain other equipment to maintain a safe and sanitary environment. Beyond these important basics there are a world of accessories that add comfort, relaxation and just plain fun to the pool-using experience.


Here are a few to choose from:


Fountains. Fountains are a fun pool and spa accessory that offer great ambiance to the poolscape and can be added to the pool package at the time the pool is built or later to an existing pool.


Grottos. Rock formations around the pool enhance the beauty and versatility of the pool and\ spa. One fun feature is the grotto or small cave you can swim into. Some grottos feature a full sound system.


Waterfalls. Waterfalls are another accessory that is limited only by the imagination. They are best installed at the time that the pool is built. In fact, many waterfalls, as in a vanishing edge pool, are integral to the project. Best yet, a variety of waterfalls can be installed at very little cost as the pool is being built because the accessory works off of the existing pipes and plumbing. Be sure to visit the Portfolio of Pools & Spas to get ideas from the large number of waterfalls that are featured there.


Slides. The slide is a many splendored thing, rising above the pool often with a stream of water adding speed to every laughing body that careens down it and splashes into the water.  Today’s slides can range from an 8-foot to a 13-foot fiberglass beauty or it can be a custom slide of 36 feet or longer. Straight slides take up a lot of space. For a smaller pool and yard, consider a curved slide. Caution: slides are not for kids only and a lot of former kids will be laughing all the way down the slippery slope as well


Pool entrances & exits. Pool entrances and exits might not seem at first like delightful accessories, but many of them are. There are a number of ways to get in and out of the pool or simply relax and wile away the hours with a tall, frosty drink in a comfortable chair with your feet occasionally dipping into refreshing cool, clear water.


Beach entries. In most cases, you do not need a ladder on the shallow end with many pool owners preferring a “beach entry,” which is a gentle slope that leads the pool user into and out of the pool. It is a great place to play with the children who are not yet old enough to venture into the deeper part of the pool.


Sun shelf. Sun shelves are another fun option for getting in and out of a pool. The sun shelf is literally a shelf in the pool or underwater deck that is only about 6 to 9 inches below the surface of the water.


Swim-outs. Another option is to install “swim outs” in the pool. These are typically wide shelves usually located in the deep end of the pool that a swimmer can swim over to and either rest for a few minutes or exit from the pool.