Cost of Living: Basement pools

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The Independent Online

Space is it a premium in any property, particularly if you live in a city. Most homeowners have already branched into the roof space, homing restless offspring, aging ancestors, or even a gym. But there is another way: down.

Basement conversions have for some time been popular with city-dwellers seeking space or attempting to add value to their homes. But if you're feeling completely impractical and seeking the ultimate home accessory, then why not go all James Bond and build an underground pool? Bizarre, maybe; expensive, definitely. But just think how cool it'll be.

Building a pool into your basement is very en vogue, admittedly only among the rich and famous. One company, Heritage Pools, seems to have cornered the market. Heritage will build any pool of any size, with features such as underwater volcanoes, bespoke mosaics or even platinum tiles. Don't have a basement? No problem – they can excavate under your property to create one. You will, however, need to add an attachment to your mains water supply, which will, of course, require planning permission.

Heritage's minimum size requirement is four by two metres. A pool of this size with a swim jet (a simulator not unlike a wave machine) will take around three months to complete and cost £28,000, which includes digging and building the pool from scratch.

The swim jet allows you to swim against a current, simulating doing lengths in a much larger pool, thus allowing you to explain away the exorbitant cost of this accessory by telling yourself that it's for your health, rather than for improving your capacity to throw subterranean pool parties.

What it costs:

A four by two metre pool (including labour and materials) will run you £28,000 from Heritage Pools, 01483 235858, www.heritagepools.co.uk

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