Swimming Pool Planning: A Guide for Homeowners

Swimming pools are a great addition to any home, providing a place for relaxation, exercise, and entertainment. However, swimming pool planning is not a simple task, as it involves many factors and decisions that affect the cost, design, and maintenance of the pool.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most important aspects of swimming pool planning, such as the type, size, shape, location, and features of the pool, as well as the legal and safety requirements.

swimming pool planning

Swimming Pool Planning: Design Your Perfect Aquatic Haven

Embarking on a swimming pool project requires thoughtful planning to create your ultimate oasis. From choosing the right pool type and size to selecting the perfect location and incorporating desired features, our guide covers all aspects of swimming pool planning.

We’ll help you make informed decisions, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable process. Dive into the planning phase, and let your dream pool become a reality!

Type of Pool

One of the first decisions you need to make when planning a swimming pool is the type of pool you want. There are three main types of pools: in-ground, above-ground, and semi-in-ground. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your budget, space, and preference.

  • In-ground pools are the most common and popular type of pool, as they offer more design options, durability, and aesthetic appeal. However, they are also the most expensive and time-consuming to install, as they require excavation, plumbing, electrical wiring, and concrete work. In-ground pools can be made of different materials, such as vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete.
  • Above-ground pools are the cheapest and easiest to install the type of pools, as they do not require any digging or major construction. They are usually made of metal or plastic frames with vinyl liners that can be assembled on a flat surface. However, they are also less durable and attractive than in-ground pools and have limited size and shape options.
  • Semi-in-ground pools are a hybrid between in-ground and above-ground pools, as they are partially buried in the ground and partially exposed. They offer more stability and insulation than above-ground pools but are cheaper and faster to install than in-ground pools. They can also blend better with the landscape and have more design flexibility.

Size and Shape of Pool

Another important decision you need to make when planning a swimming pool is the size and shape of the pool. The size and shape of the pool depend on several factors, such as:

  • The available space in your backyard
  • The number of people who will use the pool
  • The purpose of the pool (e.g., leisure, exercise, entertainment)
  • The style of your home and landscape

The size of the pool is usually measured by its length, width, and depth. The average size of a residential pool is about 10 by 20 feet (3 by 6 meters), with a depth of 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 meters). However, you can customize the size of your pool according to your needs and preferences.

The shape of the pool is usually determined by the type of pool you choose. In-ground pools can have various shapes, such as rectangular, oval, kidney-shaped, L-shaped, or free-form. Above-ground pools are mostly circular or oval-shaped. Semi-in-ground pools can have either shape.

The shape of the pool can also affect the cost and maintenance of the pool. For example,

  • Rectangular pools are easier to clean and cover than irregular-shaped pools
  • Circular pools require less fencing than rectangular pools
  • Free-form pools can create more visual interest and fit better with natural surroundings than geometric-shaped pools

Location of Pool

The location of the pool is another crucial factor to consider when planning a swimming pool. The location of the pool affects the accessibility, safety, privacy, and aesthetics of the pool. Some of the aspects you need to consider when choosing the location of the pool are:

  • The distance from your house
  • The slope and soil condition of your backyard
  • Exposure to sunlight and shade
  • The view from your house and pool
  • The proximity to trees, plants, and other structures
  • The direction of prevailing winds
  • The noise level from traffic or neighbors


  • You should locate your pool close to your house for convenience and supervision
  • You should avoid placing your pool on a steep or uneven terrain that may cause erosion or drainage problems
  • You should choose a sunny spot for your pool to maximize heating and minimize algae growth
  • You should orient your pool to capture the best view from your house and pool
  • You should keep your pool away from trees or plants that may drop leaves or debris into your pool
  • You should shield your pool from strong winds that may lower the water temperature or increase evaporation
  • You should reduce the noise level around your pool by using fences or landscaping

Features of Pool

The features of the pool are the elements that enhance the functionality and appearance of the pool. There are many features that you can add to your pool,

such as:

  • Lights: Lights can illuminate your pool at night and create different moods and effects. You can choose from various types of lights, such as LED, fiber optic, or solar lights. You can also install underwater lights, floating lights, or landscape lights around your pool.
  • Jets: Jets can create water streams or bubbles in your pool, adding fun and relaxation. You can install jets in the walls or floor of your pool, or use portable jets that can be moved around. You can also combine jets with lights or music to create a spa-like atmosphere.
  • Waterfalls: Waterfalls can add beauty and sound to your pool, creating a natural and soothing ambiance. You can build waterfalls from rocks, tiles, or other materials, or use prefabricated waterfalls that can be attached to your pool. You can also adjust the flow and height of the waterfalls to suit your preference.
  • Slides: Slides can add excitement and adventure to your pool, especially for children. You can choose from various types of slides, such as straight, curved, spiral, or inflatable slides. You can also customize the size and color of your slides to match your pool design.
  • Diving boards: Diving boards can add fun and challenge to your pool, allowing you to jump or dive into the water. You can choose from different types of diving boards, such as springboards, platforms, or flexible boards. You can also adjust the height and angle of your diving boards to suit your skill level.
  • Heaters: Heaters can increase the temperature of your pool water, extending the swimming season and improving comfort. You can choose from different types of heaters, such as gas, electric, solar, or heat pump heaters. You can also install a thermostat or a timer to control the temperature and duration of heating.

Legal and Safety Requirements

The last but not least aspect of swimming pool planning is the legal and safety requirements. Swimming pools are subject to various laws and regulations that vary by state, county, or city. Some of the common legal and safety requirements for swimming pools are:

  • Permits: Permits are official documents that authorize you to build or install a swimming pool in your property. You need to apply for permits from your local building department before starting any construction work. You may also need to submit plans, drawings, specifications, and fees for approval.
  • Fences: Fences are barriers that surround your pool to prevent unauthorized access or accidental drowning. You need to install fences that meet the minimum height, width, and material standards set by your local codes. You may also need to install gates, locks, alarms, or signs on your fences for extra security.
  • Covers: Covers are devices that cover your pool when not in use to reduce evaporation, heat loss, debris accumulation, and algae growth. You need to use covers that fit snugly and securely over your pool. You may also need to use covers that are strong enough to support the weight of a person or an animal in case of an accidental fall.
  • Filters: Filters are systems that clean your pool water by removing dirt, debris, bacteria, and other contaminants. You need to install filters that match the size and type of your pool. You may also need to replace or clean your filters regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Chemicals: Chemicals are substances that balance and sanitize your pool water by adjusting the pH level and killing germs. You need to use chemicals that are suitable for your pool type and condition. You may also need to test and adjust your chemical levels frequently using a kit or a device.


Swimming pool planning is a complex and rewarding process that requires careful consideration and preparation. By following the steps and tips discussed in this article,

you can plan a swimming pool that suits your needs, preferences, budget, and lifestyle. Remember to consult with professionals and experts when in doubt, and enjoy the benefits of having a swimming pool in your home!