Check out these three Irish properties complete with their own swimming pools
AS we melted at 28°C in the recent mini heatwave, how many of us longed for a cool swimming pool to jump into?
Ann and Martin Butcher can take the plunge every day, thanks to the outdoor pool at their Wexford home in the Sunny Southeast. It's located in a quiet and private area at the back of their house, and they love sitting around it, particularly when the water glistens in the sun. Ann says that if you stand at the top of the garden on a hot summer's day, it's hard to believe you are in Wexford.
"The pool is in such a warm spot in the garden. It's also totally private, with the forest there," laughs Ann. "Unfortunately, we don't get to use it as much as we used to, but when the grandkids come to visit, they love it."
When the Butchers moved into Forest Lodge at Barntown in Co Wexford 23 years ago, the spot where their beloved pool now sits was just a pit in the garden.
"There was a hole in the ground when we bought the house and the ground was derelict and in a bad way. We couldn't decide whether to turn it into a sunken garden or build a pool, so we're glad we went with the pool option in the end," says Ann.
The pool came in very handy over the years, and not just for the grandchildren. "We had greyhounds at one stage and my husband used to put on a pair of swimming trunks, put the lead on the dogs and swim them up and down a few times, which is the equivalent of walking them miles," recalls Ann. "It was great because when the weather was really hot, the dogs couldn't walk on the ground, as their paws were too delicate, so it was ideal for exercising them in the summer."
Now you can have their pool because the Butchers are planning a move to Spain to catch the rays all year round.
Forest Lodge in Barntown, Co Wexford, has been placed on the market through Keane Auctioneers (053 912 3072) with a guide price of €495,000.
Paul Hillis of Poolcourt Engineering Ltd in Wellingtonbridge has noticed the demand for pools increase in the last year as the economy picks up. He admits that many people had pools installed during the Celtic Tiger years but things went quiet for a while and pools went to the bottom of homeowners' wish lists.
Obviously, indoor pools are more popular than outdoor ones, with a number of clients having pools installed in their basements. The few people who ask for outdoor pools will always request to have them heated.
When it comes to construction, Paul says that access to the property is usually the biggest problem, as they have to use a lot of machinery.
Once the hole is dug out, it gets easier. Installation of a one-piece fibreglass pool it takes about two weeks. For a more conventional, concrete build with mosaic tiling, construction takes about 8-10 weeks.
It is a bit of an investment, with the average price for a 5m x 2.5m concrete pool starting at around €35,000, or €40,000 for a fibreglass model. After that, the sky's the limit.
For anyone in the market for a home with a pool, you may be surprised to hear that there are currently a few on sale around the country. The best of these include Hollyglen on Kellystown Road in Ticknock, Dublin 18.
The family home has five bedrooms, four reception rooms and a secluded 1.38-acre garden. The pool is housed in the 'leisure complex' to the side of the house. In this substantial space there is a shower room, a four-person sauna, an upstairs snooker room/gym and an 11.38m x 4.77m heated swimming pool. If you're happy to have a house always full of your children's friends, Hollyglen is on the market through Vincent Finnegan (01 284 4312), with a guide price of €1.2m.
Also in Dublin is Casa Tina, just off Albany Avenue in Monkstown.
The house has an upside-down layout to make the most of the sea views. For €1.15m, new owners will get a home with a floor area of over 2,100 sq ft that is full of character but in need of modernisation. The house is entered via a large atrium. To the side of this is a pool room with a deep exercise pool. At only 2.1m x 3m, it's not ideal for a gaggle of kids but could be of interest to anyone in need of some hydrotherapy, as the pool has jets that can be turned on, so you can swim against the current. For more information, contact Sherry FitzGerald, Blackrock (01 288 0088).
For those looking for a real investment, 20 Churchfields at The K Club in Straffan, Co Kildare, is a swish pad that overlooks the eighth fairway of the prestigious golf course. The four-bed, four-bath house was designed by OMS Architects and has a floor area of 4,600 sq ft. The pool room has a sauna, changing room and a 3.6m x 6m heated swimming pool. The €1.75m guide price also includes two golf-club memberships. Agents McNally Handy (01 661 2003) are handling the sale.
Poolcourt Engineering Ltd (051 561 143), poolcourt.ie