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Have you been thinking about that dream inground swimming pool design but either you are afraid of all the horror stories about builders or maybe you have consulted with a few builders but none of them were able to design the pool you truly wanted.
If either of these scenarios describe your situation, then you are in in the right place. We have a few designs here that should either inspire you to think out of the box and create that
dream design, or hopefully you will find one here that fits your situation and idea of your dream swimming pool.
We also have a survey where readers can recommend or warn others
about construction contractors. This will become an important resource
for you when you contract out the construction of your pools. As more
people participate, this will be a place where you can help and be
If you can find an inground swimming pool design you like, you can either download it and find your own plants to fill the spaces in the planters, or you can order our 5 page Pool Plan Package and we will send a set of plans to you for you to present to a few contractors to bid on.
If you want the landscaping included, we also have a Garden Plan Package available that has a list of plants that will do well in your area.
There are a few important things to consider when deciding to build an inground swimming pool. Here are just a few:
Let's look at these choices one by one.
Location: Where you locate your pool is probably one of the most important decisions you will make. Generally you will want to locate it where it will receive the most sun.
Also you will want it to be where there is enough room for the activities that will revolve around the pool.
Size: The size of your pool depends on a few factors. One, obviously the size of your lot is a controlling factor, also your local codes determine how close to the house and property lines you can build your pool.
If you have a large lot, then the size of your pool should fit how you will be using it. Do you like to play sports in the pool? Are you the type that likes to dive? Or do you want to use it for exercise and swim laps? Or maybe you just want a place to relax and cool off from the summer sun.
These questions will help to determine the depth of your pool. You generally don't want a pool built deeper than it needs to be, since it will take more water and take more energy to heat that water. Most of the time, builders don't charge more for a deeper pool so it is more of a question of maintenance.
If you like to play sports in the pool, you will probably want the depth to be 3' upon entry, drop down in the middle to 5', then back up to 4' on the end. You will want a pool that is either rectangular or a free-form design that is generally long and wide enough for play.
If you want to dive, you will want the depth to fall to appx. 9' for safety. If you will be swimming laps, the pool should be around 4' deep and the length of 1/4 or 1/2 of an Olympic size pool (50 meters or 164') so you will have a standard for your laps.
The way you use your pool should determine not only the size but the shape as well. Why heat, clean and fill a pool that is larger than you need it to be? Let form follow function.
Spa or no Spa?: Most folks use the spa more than the pool. But, if you really don't want one, then the extra cost may not be worth it. But also keep in mind that MOST people do, so you may want to include one for resale reasons.
A pool with a spa can be a great bonus for folks looking to buy your home. Of course that is if you plan on selling it at some point.
A spa is also nice to have in the
winter where in some areas you can heat the spa and take a dip when you
would not consider heating the whole pool.
Solar Heating: If you live in the sunnier areas of the continent, you may want to consider solar. You will have to install a heater anyway for the spa, but you will have two main benefits from having solar.
One, you will extend your swim months by an average of one month prior to the normal swimming season and one month past.
you will normally not need to use your heater to heat the pool during
the summer which will save you money. Consult with your builder for
statistics of how long it will take typically for the system to pay for
Wrap-Around Deck: A lot of people have definite opinions about this. Some like the deck wrapping all around the pool giving them access to all sides and some don't mind having it wrap around the front and sides leaving the back of the pool for some landscaping.
Maybe it can back up to a retaining wall or slope so you can add a water feature somewhere on the back of the pool.
Free-Form or Angular Pool: I always like to ask my clients this question, do they like straight lines or curvy-swervy? Sometimes I get one spouse that like straight lines and one likes curvy.
In that case I try to please both and
the results are always great. This is something to consider in your
design since most folks have definite likes and dislikes in this dept.
These are things to consider when developing your inground swimming pool design. How much decking to include is determined by your answers to these questions.
Do you want an area for an outdoor kitchen? Or do you just need enough room for a simple BBQ? The materials you use for your decking are also many: Concrete, Stone, Wood, Composite Decking, Tile or Pavers are all to be considered.
Depending on where you live, you may want to enclose your pool to make it more comfortable to enjoy the outdoors without the company of bugs.
Most areas have codes requiring fencing around the pool for safety, codes determine height and type of fence requirements.Be sure to check with your local authorities for the code in your area.
If you have small children and don't want to worry about them around the pool, you can install a fence that can be in place around the pool when it is not being used and removed during times the pool is used.
When entertaining, this is a very nice feature and keeps the parents nerves calm while having the flexibility to remove it to allow you to view the pool area and see its unobstructed beauty when entertaining.
Check out our Mediterranean Pool Design for a good example of a pool with a wrap around deck, a raised bond beam creating a step up deck along the back of the pool. This is a wonderful design with a covered cabana area behind the pool with a sitting area, bar, ceiling fans and television.
Sorry if you don't like a lot of decisions, when it comes to Inground
Swimming Pool Designs, the possibilities are virtually endless. Design
feature options include but
are not limited to;
2. In-Pool fountains
3. Deck fountains
4. Infinity Edge
5. Water slide
6. LED lighting
7. Underwater sound systems
9. Fire features: bowls, in-water
10. Saltwater pool
11. In-floor cleaning systems
12. Underwater "Volcanos"
13. Colored plaster
14. Pebble in plaster
15. Type and color of coping
16. Tile choices at the waterline
17. Tile mosaics in the plaster
The number of options are limited by mostly your budget and wants list. Just remember, you cannot possibly put every option into your pool design and have a great looking pool.
You need to prioritize the options you want and either the design or your pocketbook will determine how many you can have.
One of our inground swimming pool designs is our Swimming Pool Ideas-Infinity Edge Pool Design. It is one of our more dramatic pools. A larger pool, it is a formal design with a spillover and catchbasin that will knock your socks off!
Of course with this being a landscape design website, one of my first considerations when designing a pool is what kind of landscaping do I want? The answer to this question lies in what style of pool you want.
Some styles include;
The choice of plants will play a major role in your pool style and the feeling it portrays. I grew up near Disneyland and was always fascinated by how the landscaping played such a major role in projecting the theme and feeling of each land. Your choice of plants will play a huge role in how your pool area looks and feels.
Our Tropical Swimming Pool Plan is one of our most popular, it's one of my favorites because of the compact size of the lot and how much is packed into the space. A lot of entertainment space and a pool design that looks like something out of Hawaii. See for yourself.
Check our out Contemporary Swimming Pool Design, I think you will like its clean lines and the level of detail for such a small lot. This is a good example of how the design of the pool and surrounding hardscape can express a certain design style.
Another pool to consider is our Swimming Pool Landscape Ideas - Mediterranean Pool Design. You'll like the use of different levels and the hardscape and landscaping to create a Mediterranean feel. A large pavillion behind the pool complete with a bar, flat screen TV and ceiling fans make this the prime location for entertaining before or after your swim.
When creating an inground swimming pool design, my number one rule when landscaping pools is to use only plants that are "clean" meaning they do not shed more than a small amount of leaves and flowers since they always end up
in the pool.
All plants and trees that flower will eventually drop those flowers, if those flowers are large, they are easier to pick up. A profusion of small flowers will always end up making it into the pool making it a source of work instead of pleasure.
Trees used near a pool should also be clean, evergreen if possible, and without an invasive root system that may one day interfere with the extensive plumbing that is part of every inground swimming pool.
Landscape lighting is another consideration for your inground swimming pool design. If you plan on having pool parties at night, lighting is a must!
Nothing quite adds more drama and atmosphere to the yard than lighting well done. there are some ground rules for lighting and if they are adhered to, you can create a space that will not only be inviting for a party, it will be a wonderful view to look at from inside the house at night.
Some major components to think about for your inground swimming pool design are whether you want to include an outdoor kitchen?
This can be a huge structure that includes a large grill, side burner, refrigerator, Kegarator, ice chest, sink, icemaker, pizza oven, warming drawers, storage drawers, trash receptacle, smoker, these days the options are many.
Do you want to include an overhead structure for shade? Do you need it to be solid or can it be an open construction? If you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, you will probably
want a solid roof.
Does the idea of a water slide with waterfall and grotto get your juices flowing? Then you will probably want a more natural style, maybe incorporate a firepit with a rock seating
wall around it.
How about a sunken bar with swim-up bar stools in the pool to sit and enjoy a tropical drink without getting out of the pool?
Even in a small property, many features like this can be included if they are arranged so they all fit in a way that does not looked crowded or packed in.
One of the most important decisions you will make is who will build your dream pool. The contractor you choose will make the difference between a good experience and one that has much potential to become a nightmare.
I have a link here that will give you several factors to consider, please take a moment to check it out, it will be time well spent.
I hope I've given you enough to think about whether you are in the early consideration stages of swimming pool installation or maybe you are already talking to a contractor.
If you are considering installing a pool, I hope this has given you some options and a little information you didn't think of before. The best way to insure that you are satisfied long term with your pool is to be prepared and educated about all the possibilities before the tractor ever enters your property.
Go ahead and look at the different designs I have presented here. Check back often since I will be adding more designs as time goes on.
Remember, you can download one of the designs here or order one from us with all of the design details so you can hand them out to 3-4 different contractors for bidding.
You can also order the landscape plan with it that shows the local plant materials identified on the plan with a complete planting plan.
As always, enjoy the journey and the photos of the inground swimming pool designs. I hope you find one you will fall in love with. Your lifestyle will change forever! In a good way!