A New Swimming Pool for our Gîtes

Once we were settled in here we began to look at plans to install a swimming pool. Three hot summers without one had brought home the need and so having settled on a supplier and timetable the deal was signed and work began in the first week on January.

Project Summary

Pool supplier: Desjoyaux Piscines

Main Contractor and construction team: Sarl Top Rénov

Pool Dimensions: 9m x 4.5m. Depth 1.2m (shallow end) to 1.4m (deep end)

Filtration type: saltwater

Heating: via heat pump

Terrace: 85m² smooth patio slabs, colour Champagne

Location: La Ferme de L’Eglise, 11 rue de l’église, 79120 VANZAY

If you would like to stay at La Ferme de l’Eglise or have a question then please contact us.

Swimming Pool Gite holiday accommodation in France

Digging the hole, January 2011

If you think that you can do the excavation, think again! The geology of this area means that we have 18″ of topsoil and then straight into sandstone rock the size of billiard tables.

Gites in France with Swimming Pool

February 2011: The Swimming Pool full of the wrong water

Vanzay has a very high water table, meaning that the hole immediately filled with ground water from the bottom up. Here there is almost 1m of water and progress was delayed for 8 weeks waiting for the water table to drop. There’s little point in pumping it out, since the pumped water merely returns to the water table!

Gites with swimming pool in south west France

March 2011: Finally, work resumes, structure assembled and pouring the concrete

After the concrete had been poured the structure on which the liner hangs is now very strong. Reinforcing is used throughout, including down through the hollow panels that snap together to create the sides which are then also filled with concrete.

Heated swimming pool at gites in Poitou-Charentes

March 2011: It now looks like a swimming pool – after a fashion

Now it was a question of waiting for the concrete to go off – about 2-3 weeks. It was also time to suffer the consequences of the local geology, since in the absence of soil from the hole, 60 tonnes of calcaire was needed to backfill. You can just see the first 30 tonne delivery in the access way behind, dropped where the articulated lorry got stuck!

Gites with swimming pool in Poitou-Charentes

The reinforced concrete base to the terrace

We had a notional deadline of 1st April for the pool opening and so whilst the concrete of the pool itself was going off the base of the terrace was laid. A good deal of concrete for an 85m² terrace.

swimming pool with liner at gite in France

The pool liner is now in

Following the application of a screed to facilitate a very smooth finish (so as not to snag and tear the liner) the liner was fitted. This can only be done when the air temperature exceeds 16°C to ensure that the liner is pliable enough to be fitted.

Gites with swimming pool in south west France

Filling the pool

If you look very carefully you can see a single hosepipe running over the steps into the pool. We began by just using tap water, since we had read varying opinions about pumping well water to fill swimming pools. After two days of pitifully slow progress, as well as disruption to the water pressure into the house and gîtes, we employed a second hosepipe connected to the (powerful) well pump. After a further day we had a full pool, made up of about 60% mains water and 40% well water.

Gites in Charente swimming pool

April 2011: The swimming pool is almost finished

The technician arrived in the second week of April to commission the pool. This involved enabling the saltwater filtration system, the pompe à chaleur (heat pump) and demonstrating the regular maintenance and water testing/treatment steps. This photograph was taken from water level to omit the unfinished terrace and the rough surround pre-landscaping.

Large swimming pool terrace at gites in France

May 2011: The terrace is completed with 340 patio slabs

To lay 85m² of patio slabs in 27°C and direct sunshine – since forecast temperatures are taken in shade it was probably more like 35°C – is extremely hard work. Two very skilled and hard working friends helped for a total of 9 days to complete this job. Thanks to Brett, Donna and Drew. We wanted a large terrace to provide plenty of space for those who like to just sit or lie by a swimming pool in the sun.

Swimming Pool with saltwater filtration and gites in France

The way to the swimming pool

Yet more calcaire was used to create the pathway……..

Landscaping around swimming pool and gites in France

June 2011: The newly seeded grass borders and finished shower point

……. to keep folk off the grass. The grass took some time to thicken due to very hot days and no rainfall. Even if there had been a hosepipe ban at this point it is permitted to freely use well water.

Gites with swimming pool in France

June 2011: Project completed…. the swimming pool is now open

That was a big undertaking and we’re glad to now just lounge on the terrace in the sunshine and take a dip when it all gets too hot!

Nigh time swimming pool at gites in France

After dark, with the church of St. Jacques lit up in the background and pool lights on

Project Summary

Pool supplier: Desjoyaux Piscines

Main Contractor and construction team: Sarl Top Rénov

Pool Dimensions: 9m x 4.5m. Depth 1.2m (shallow end) to 1.4m (deep end)

Filtration type: saltwater

Heating: via heat pump

Terrace: 85m² smooth patio slabs, colour Champagne

Location: La Ferme de L’Eglise, 11 rue de l’église, 79120 VANZAY

If you would like to stay at La Ferme de l’Eglise or have a question then please contact us.

9 Comments on “A New Swimming Pool for our Gîtes

  1. Brilliant. Will have to visit again to see for ourselves!

    • Thanks Chris, we got there! And we would love to see you all out here again!!

    • Thank you Richard, we are really pleased with how it’s turned out!

  2. That looks fantastic. You’ve worked so hard, the transformation is amazing and v interesting to see. Hope you get lots of new punters to appreciate it!

  3. Thanks Faith! It’s certainly been a labour of love – perhaps we’ll see the Green family out here some time?? x

  4. On the balcony having a beer and admiring your new pool. Very impressive! Have a drink on us!
    All the best.
    R, F and S

    • Thank you guys, I’m sure John would prefer to be having a beer on the balcony with you! Have a great break – Abi

  5. hello guys, LOVELY to see this, we were in vanzay for about an hour in aug and had lunch with Jacqeline Brunet we wanted to see you but ran out of time, heard about the pool and are thrilled you did it and it looks lovely, it was always our plan to do this, well done, glad all is happening in vanzay for you both Richard, Fiona and Ollie Lambert