Close your eyes and try to picture what your dream pool would look like.
Does it have a waterfall? Is there a diving board? A poolside bar? Envisioning it is the easy part, designing it is when your dream comes in contact with reality and this can be a hard blow. You can dream big though and still design smart. In fact, it’s better to start with lofty ideas so that you have more to work with. You just have to ask yourself a few key questions so that your pool meets your expectations for both beauty and function.
Here are five questions to ask yourself that will take your dream pool from far-off fantasy to an attainable reality. So, get yourself a pen and paper and let’s start planning.
Make a wish list
Before we start asking questions, you get to have some fun. Make a wish list of all the features you want for your pool , the shape you prefer, where you want it, the type of deck you want, the landscaping you picture surrounding the pool, etc. Budget doesn’t matter — this is your wish list, after all! Let your imagination run wild and include everything you see when you envision your dream pool. Start a ‘dream pool’ folder on your desktop to keep track of all the great photos and information you find.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Our Pinterest page also has lots of inspirational photos that you can use to start your own dream pool ideas board.
OK, now onto the questions:
Why do you want a pool?
This seems like such an obvious question but have you really asked yourself ‘why’? The why determines how your pool will be used and what features you can’t live without. Make a list of the top reasons you want a pool and use this to guide both the aesthetic and functional decisions. Your list may look something like this:
I want a pool because:
- Swimming is good exercise
- I want to hold pool parties
- I love reading poolside
- I enjoy nature and would love a waterfall
Your list may be similar to this or very different.
For instance, you may want your pool for physical therapy or so the kids have something to do at home on the weekends.
Whatever your reasons, pinpoint them all now so you make sure your pool meets all your needs.
Who will use your pool?
This ties into the why but it’s good to establish who will be using your pool before making decisions about shape, depth, landscaping, etc. Here are a few things to consider:
- Young children & pets: If you have young children and pets you will have to take safety precautions such as fencing around the pool area and an area that’s shallow enough for kids to wade in. Pool Safety is important when designing your pool. As longtime member of APSP, Jim Chandler Pools follows all of the APSP Standards for maximum pool safety.
- The elderly or people with limited mobility: Make sure there is at least one easy entrance and exit in your pool.
- Lap swimmer: If you or someone else at home plans to use the pool frequently for exercise, make sure the pool is long enough to swim laps. You should also consider making pool maintenance as easy as possible so the water is always clean and ready for your daily workout. Check out the Paramount PV3 — an automatic In-Floor pool cleaning and circulation system that cleans the pool for you, or an IntelliChlor or IntelliChem by Pentair .
Where is the best place on your property for a pool?
This one seems obvious but depending on the size of your property you might have a few options. Look at the space you hope to build a pool then ask yourself these questions:
- How much space is there for a pool? Enough to swim laps or just enough to take a dip?
- How much room is there for a deck?
- How much sunlight does it get?
- Does your property have a view you could enjoy from the pool?
- Do you want a view of your pool from the house?
- Are there trees overhanging the area that will drop leaves into the pool or make the area too shady? Conversely, if it’s really hot where you live, you may prefer more trees around at least one side of the pool.
- Is it easy to get to and from the house or will you need to build a path and/or stairs to access it?
You may discover that the pool you envisioned won’t fit in the space available to you and some adjustments are required. Fortunately, there are many creative solutions to lack of space that an experienced pool builder can help you with.
Check out Big Ideas for Small Yards for limited space yards
What is the best shape for your pool?
The shape of your pool will determine how you can use it and will drastically affect the look of your landscape. Go back to your wish list and ‘dream pool’ folder to help you decide. Did you end up gathering photos of mostly rectangular pools? Or maybe the items on your wish list only really work with a pool with curved edges.
Look at multiple pools of the same shape so you can see how a rectangular pool versus one with curved edges works in different landscapes. Remember to be mindful of your location though — your original dream pool may not quite fit in the space you have available. The more photos you look at, the more ideas you’ll get for how to best work with your space.
Below are a few links to sites that show the many different shapes of swimming pools to help you get started:
What is your pool’s theme?
Deciding on a theme for your pool will help you narrow down what unique features to add to the basic shape you’ve chosen. By looking at your wish list you can probably see a theme emerge: Is it a island oasis? A formal garden pool? Is it an extension of the natural surroundings on your property? Recreational pool? Lap pool?
Here are few examples of how a theme will determine what features you add:
Formal garden pool: This type of pool is mostly for aesthetics. It’s purpose is to add beauty to the landscape and have a calming effect (as all bodies of water do). A garden pool benefits from curving steps, tile accents, colored lights at night, tile or stone decking, and garden beds that complement the pool’s shape.
Recreational pool: This pool will get a lot of use and is perfect for games of pool volleyball, basketball, marco polo, races, and any other game active kids can think of. Features to consider are a well-defined shallow and deep end, diving board and slide, a skid-proof deck, and outdoor shower with towel racks.
Having a hard time deciding on your pool’s theme? That’s ok. Adding to your wish list and your ‘dream pool’ photo folder will help you decide.
Schedule Your Pool Consultation
Now it’s time to get in touch with Jim Chandler and schedule your first consultation. In the Sacramento area? We’d love to hear your plans and help you design your dream pool. Get in touch today!