The first thing you need to consider when designing your pool is its intended use. Do you want to swim laps, do physical therapy, exercise, entertain guests, let the kids have some fun, or impress your neighbors? After all, you want to get a pool for a reason or a multitude of reasons to enhance your life.
A pool’s intended use has arguably the greatest impact on the way it should be designed, and therefore, the needs and wants your swimming pool is intended to fulfill should be identified very early in the design process. It is also useful to recognize the pool’s primary functions to help you narrow down your design choices. In the following sections we’ll go over some of the most popular benefits people get from owning a pool, and how these impact the swimming pool’s design.
Fun and Leisure:
The most frequent motive for obtaining a swimming pool is for family fun and leisure. A backyard pool is a great place to cool off during the summer, have fun with the kids and throw some inflatable toys around. If this is your only reason for wanting a pool, then the simplest, least expensive swimming pool designs will suffice. If your budget is large, then you may want to invest in some luxury, but otherwise an above-ground pool or a shallow in-ground pool would be enough to meet your needs. A pool that’s at a constant depth of 4 feet is sufficiently deep to splash around and swim the occasional lap in, but also shallow enough to provide safety for the whole family.
If you want to use your pool for some serious exercise, then the dimensions of your pool require more critical consideration. For lap swimming, a pool at least 25 feet long and 3.5 feet deep is recommended, with typical lengths ranging form 25 to 40 feet. There are also dedicated lap pools that are relatively very narrow, and therefore fit in constrained spaces. Water aerobics require some more depth to avoid touching bottom. Typically a section of the pool that’s 5 to 6 feet deep is enough for this purpose.
Another option for swimmers is the swim spa, which is a small pool, usually no more than about 12 feet in length that can generate a strong current to swim against. One can then swim against the current while remaining in place. Their small size also makes the installation of indoor swim spas a very viable option in many cases.
Parties and Entertaining Guests:
If pool parties are in your future you may have a few other design issues to think about. These largely involve the landscaping and design of the area surrounding the pool. You may want to surround the pool with a patio or a deck, add a pool house, a gazebo, an outdoor bar, furniture, etc. In addition, you may want the pool itself to be designed for looks, with a stylish shape, rather than just for functionality. Carefully hiding pool equipment will also make the pool area more appealing.
Spending time at your pool can be very relaxing, and the proper amenities will make it even more enjoyable. An addition of a spa or a hot tub to the pool area is a great complement to the swimming pool itself. Like pools, these come in the in-ground, and portable, above-ground varieties. An in-ground spa is typically connected to the pool’s filtration and heating systems. And if that’s not the case, a portable spa is a much more economical option.
If you’re going to spend time pool-side sunbathing, be sure to leave the space for it. And if you opt for the above-ground pool variety, the addition of a sizable pool level deck makes great sense.