Your dream backyard pool is within your reach! You’ve hired a landscape architect and asked the three essential pool planning questions needed to get started. Now, the fun begins. It’s time to design a backyard pool environment that fulfills everything that you can imagine.
Just be patient. Designing and executing your backyard pool project is a complicated process that requires a significant investment of time, money, and expertise. For quality results, you have to view your new pool as just one element in your overall outdoor environment. That means you have to consider everything from its location to how it will look, function, and all of its features.
In particular, there are four key design elements that you’ll need to consider and discuss with your landscape architect: location, style, equipment, and outdoor environment.
1 The Perfect Pool Location
What’s the best location for your backyard pool? You have an entire yard to work with, and even if you want your pool to be the focal point, you need to decide what that means. The location of your pool affects every aspect of your backyard environment.
The pool’s relationship to the house will determine ease of access as well as what you see from your windows. In the summer, that could mean gorgeous and inviting crystal clear waters, but in the winter that could mean an ugly and deserted leaf-strewn tarp.
The placement of your pool is also significant when considering all the other features of your backyard retreat. If you have an outdoor kitchen, dining area, or other landscaping elements, you don’t want the pool to overwhelm everything. Instead, your landscape architect should help you position your pool so that it fits into the whole. Usually, you’ll want the pool off to the side, but that’s up to you and your architect.
2 Functional and Beautiful Style
Just as essential as the location is the shape and style of your pool. There are pros and cons to every look—some are immensely functional whereas others focus more on creativity and fun. It’s up to you to decide how practical you want to be, but you need to know what you’re giving up and gaining with each style.
For example, if you want a motorized pool cover that keeps out debris in the winter and helps you retain heat between swims, a free-form naturalistic style won’t work for you. Instead, you’ll have to stick with a more functional, rectangular pool that easily adapts to safety and security features. At the same time, a more creative and stylistic design might be more complementary to the final environment you’re trying to create.
In either case, you’ll need to work closely with your landscape architect to choose the style early on in the process. This will ultimately shape your entire backyard experience, so think carefully about the balance of practicality and design that’s important to you.
3 Appropriate Equipment Placement
A pool is more than just the surface area of the water; there’s also equipment that you have to worry about. Equipment is essential to maintaining your pool, and its placement is crucial to your enjoyment of the pool environment.
Pool equipment is noisy and unattractive. It needs to be hidden from view and hearing while still being easily accessible. You don’t want the equipment placed incorrectly—too close to the house, pool, or patio—or you’re going to end up with a less than ideal situation.
Work with your landscape architect to place your pool equipment in an out of the way location that doesn’t interrupt any future plans for your backyard. For example, don’t hide the equipment in the exact place you’ll want to build a fireplace or sitting area in the future. It requires some advanced planning, but determining the appropriate placement of your equipment is well worth the effort.
4 Not Just a Swimming Pool
Adding a swimming pool to your backyard might seem like the ultimate enhancement, but most people find themselves requesting additional features that allow them to comfortably spend more time outdoors. For that reason, the swimming pool idea often leads to other amenities such an outdoor kitchen, a dining area, a shade structure such as a pergola or pool house, that all together complete the pool environment.
Whether you plan to do it all at once or in phases, a landscape architect or landscape designer will be thinking big picture in a way that a pool builder generally will not. They won’t waste space in your yard that could be useful for future additions to the landscape.
So dream big, even if your budget can’t include every element you want right now. The key is to have an in-depth conversation about the future of your backyard at the beginning of your pool project, so you can be certain that no matter how far down the road it happens, there will be room enough to install everything you want.
Designing Your Dream Pool
A backyard pool is a significant investment in your quality of life. When you hire a landscape architect for your swimming pool design, it will become a convenient, pleasurable, and comfortable addition to your home that encourages you to stay outside longer and enjoy your home life more. Just make sure you plan well and work with a landscape design company that’s capable of handling the entire project from beginning to end.
If you’ve been thinking about investing in a landscape design project, our eBook: Expert Guide to Planning the Landscape Design of Your Dreams, is full of valuable information to help you get started.