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Swimming Pool Design and Construction

Build your own backyard oasis

There are dozens of alternatives in pool design including above ground pools with cedar decking, inground concrete or tiled pools, and natural swimming pools that require no chemicals.

You may crave a pool long enough to do laps, a heated whirlpool, or an attached hot tub. Maybe a waterfall appeals to you; with an abundance of shade trees (strategically planted to avoid litter) you could have your own little paradise. Or maybe you want your pool shaded with a structure at one end or completely enclosed.

On the other hand, maybe you have enough real estate to build a completely natural backyard pool that needs no chemicals and self-cleans using plants for regeneration. Natural pools are common in Europe and are becoming more attractive to pool owners in the U.S.

Swimming pool
A good pool design is fun, easy to maintain,
and beautiful.

Regardless of the type of pool you choose, the key is defining your purpose. Do you want a pool for exercise or a focal point for entertaining? Your primary goals will drive the design.

Other questions to answer include:

  • Who will be using the pool?
  • What are the constraints in the planned location?
  • What is the soil condition?
  • Are there landscape issues with large plants that could create a maintenance problem?
  • What types of safety features are necessary?
  • What about wind and sun? Will shelter or windbreaks be needed?

A deeper pool is nice in Phoenix because it stays cooler longer than a shallow pool, but it might be too cold in Michigan. In cooler climates, additional heat might be required to warm it adequately even for summer use. A lap pool on the north side of your house, though shallow, also might not be warm enough. You could solve that with a black finish or, in a natural pool by using black sand or gravel.

If you want a diving board, depth is a given. Shallow areas and steps are important for children and seniors who may just want to exercise in the water but keep their feet on the ground.

Bear in mind that a pool may or may not enhance your homeīs value. Check with local real estate pros to gauge the possible return on investment if thatīs a concern.

If a pool is your passion, pick a pool builder carefully. Get references and find out how long they have been building the type of pool you want. Make sure they are willing to work with you. Check licensing, insurance, and call the Better Business Bureau to check for any unresolved complaints. Get your agreement in writing and donīt sign anything until all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

In the immortal words of one pool owner, a pool is a good thing if it is deep enough to dive into, easy to clean, and pleasant to look at.

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