Whether you’re building a new home or upgrading an existing residence, the addition of a well-designed in-ground swimming pool will greatly enhance your quality of life and almost certainly enhance your property’s value. You likely also have at least a general idea of what it will look like and where it will go.
Still, as with every significant construction, the delight is in the details. And so are the opportunities for creative input and the confidence going forward that you, your family and your friends will enjoy years of recreation and relaxation. To that end, we’ve provided some guidelines that go beyond pool shape and price to get you started.
Users, Features and Function
- Keep the kids in mind. While your pool time will wax and wane with the weather, your schedule and your mood, the kids will use it all the time. Design it accordingly and with an unfettered view from the house so it and they are easily monitored.
- Pay particular attention to step, beach and bench areas where adults can lie down or sit below water, because these will be the most common adult activities.
- Locate steps and spas within the pool. It’s neither fashionable nor space-efficient to site them separately.
The Lay of the Land and the Look of Your Home
- Your pool, like your home, is an extension of yourself and architectural taste. So be sure the two meld well. If, for example, yours is a contemporary or mid-century modern home with rectilinear features, give your pool similar straight lines and right-angle corners. On the other hand, a neoclassical or period home should highlight Roman ends and sweeping radius corners.
- You may need, (or perhaps decide) to build your pool on sloping terrain. Naturally, this complicates the design. But it also provides aesthetic opportunity. Retaining walls, for example, can create space for multilevel patio areas connected with steps and coordinated landscaping. Or, and especially if the property slopes dramatically, you may incorporate an infinity edge and create the illusion of water disappearing into the background.
Aesthetics and Materials
- Beware of light colored paving and stone work, as they stain and fade easily. If you do go with light colored products, choose those with a variegated look or color mottling. They will show less fading and staining than uniformly light pavers.
- Use contrast for visual and practical effect. If you have lots of natural light over your pool, a relatively darker pool interior with relatively lighter or variegated paving works well. If not, opt for a can’t-miss light pool interior and dark paving.
- Although it sounds cliché, when it comes to pool and pool area design, less is best. You needn’t be a minimalist per se to see the aesthetic and practical benefits of choosing larger format products and a carefully chosen few, well-coordinated products.
- Utilize an area that won’t cordon off a large area of your backyard, restricting other use and recreational opportunities. Indeed, a location adjacent to or bordering the house provides a logical continuity for entering and exiting the pool.
- Zoning regulations now generally make it easier to maximize space on smaller plots by permitting pool construction along property boundaries. Thus, existing boundary fencing may be used as part of your pool fence detail.
- Similarly, you don’t need all-side access to your pool. Single or double side access — as well as single or double side paving — is quite sufficient as well as space-saving and cost-efficient.
Admittedly, we’ve only skimmed the surface here. Of course, you’ll need a budget. You’ll also have to select a saltwater, chlorine or natural cleaning system. And your choice of pool interior colors and materials (as with paving materials) will be critical to your pool’s aesthetics. All the more reason to start now and consult with an Alan Jackson Pools design professional today. Together, we’ll turn your lifelong dream of the perfect pool into a beautiful, real-life reality.