There’s no doubt that winter is upon us. For many pool owners, this means that swimming season is over. The pool cover is on and the inground pool liner is temporarily out of view. Why not take this time to make some improvements to the pool and the surrounding area? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

A somewhat inexpensive improvement you can make to the pool is to add some LED lighting. LED lights can be installed below the water level, or surrounding the pool itself. Since they are available in a variety of colors, it’s easy to find some to complement your pool liner, patio, and patio furniture. Plus, they are more energy efficient than traditional lighting options.

Perhaps you want to add some extras to the pool itself. Installing amenities such as suntan ledges, bar stools, waterfalls, fountains, and sprayers can be incorporated into your existing pool design relatively easily and are sure to add some excitement for swimmers and sunbathers alike. Add an attached hot tub or a slide to really kick off swimming pool season! It’s also possible to extend your current pool on one end or add curves to one or more sides if your pool is rectangular. Consult a pool dealer to explore your options.

Modernizing the pool’s equipment is a great pool improvement. Make your life easier by purchasing a robotic cleaner or an all-in-one pool automation system. These gadgets can be controlled with your smart phone! Solar-powered heaters and lights and a variable speed pool pump are additional options to ponder.

Currently, a major trend in the pool industry is a move toward salt water systems. Salt water systems use salt to create chlorine in the water, so you won’t need to add chlorine yourself. Pool owners typically report salt water is easier on swimmers’ eyes and skin. A bonus is that there is no need to purchase, handle, and store chlorine—and salt water pools are cheaper to maintain!

When considering methods to improve your pool, don’t forget about the patio. It’s not difficult to spruce it up with pavers or stamped concrete. Buy some new furniture, cushions, and outdoor pillows. Install a modern removable pool fence to upgrade your pool’s look. You can also lay down some white or beige gravel between the fence and the pool to add that perfect finishing touch that will also save you time on yardwork.

It’s also important to pay attention to your backyard landscaping to improve your pool. Come spring, plant some beautiful, flowers, bushes, and shrubs that will complement your pool liner and surrounding area. Line the walkways around the pool with planters filled with your favorite blooms—it will make quite an impact!