Every piece of architecture is made of parts, and pools are no different. Knowing how to choose and maintain your parts and materials is critical in making your pool everything you need. Here are two examples:
Coping refers to the edging of the pool. It caps the pool walls, which protects it from weathering and wear. It keeps water in the pool and debris out of the pool. Aesthetically, it completes the look of it. Coping can be brick, concrete, natural stone, or composite materials. All these materials will need occasional scrubbing to keep algae and calcium deposits off of them. They will need a coat of sealant to protect them from the water too, though some types of natural stone are more porous than others. Those will need more sealant than the other materials. If the material starts to chip or crack, you will want to replace the piece quickly. Cracked coping can fall on swimmers or scratch them.
One of the easiest ways to completely overhaul the look of your pool without changing the basic structure is to change out the coping. Switching concrete for brick, for instance, turns a modern pool into a rustic one.
Removing debris from the water is critical to maintaining it, and that is what a filter does. They can be made of sand beds, cloth cartridges, or cloth cartridges full of diatomaceous earth. The cartridges will need to be rinsed out and checked for rips regularly. The recommended schedule is once every 4 to 6 months. Doing it more often makes the filter less efficient because the debris helps catch more debris. The pressure gauge on your filter should register 10 to 20 psi. Backwashing, or running through the filter in the opposite direction than normal, will break loose the debris so that it can start operating efficiently again. It is time for a new filter when the caps and core are cracked. Cartridges can be replaced; but the surrounding frame cannot.
Whether or not you should change the type of filter you are using is a more complicated question. A cartridge filter with diatomaceous earth may be the same size and shape as a cartridge filter without, and so only leaves you with deciding if you want the cleaning boost the diatomaceous earth will give. Sand filters are a whole other animal, and may be easier to stick with until you completely redesign your pool. One way to make sure that both of these components are taken care of is to have a professional pool maintenance company scheduled to regularly inspect your pool. They have the experience to recognize what is needed.