By JAMI MAKAN
Not Bad: Custom Add-ons
With inground pool sales down nearly 75 percent last year from their 2004 peak, the industry is pushing pool owners to add fancy extras like cascading fountains (around $1,500 each) and decorative water jets that cost $8,000 or so. For audiophile swimmers, there are underwater speakers that sync with an outdoor stereo so the music doesn't stop when you dive under.
Getting Fancy Now: Swim Spas
Wish you could fit an Olympic-size pool in the garage? So-called swim spas offer the benefits of a large lap pool in a small space, letting owners swim against a current that circulates through a fiberglass shell, which can be installed either above or below ground. Prices start around $20,000, but higher-end models have features like built-in hot tubs, dual currents and underwater treadmills.
Life-Changing: Hidden Pools
These James Bond-worthy pools can be concealed under tile, terraces or even dance floors. Press a button, and the floor lowers to the desired depth and automatically fills with an underground cache of pool water. So far, residential hidden pools are most common in Europe, but a spokesperson for Indianapolis-based company Natare Corp. says it's open to installing the secret swimming holes for U.S. homeowners -- provided they're ready to invest "upwards of $100,000."