Whether you are planning on building an in-ground swimming pool or an above-ground pool, you might be surprised to learn that a lot more goes into setting up a pool than simply setting up the pool. There are many other things to consider, including landscaping, and you will need to think about these things before building or setting up a pool. We will look at some great ideas for anyone considering getting a swimming pool this summer.
How Will You Be Using the Pool?
One of the first things to consider is how the swimming pool will be used. For instance, is it for lounging? Is it for exercise? Is it meant to be a place for family and friends to hang out? Is it for seniors? Once you have decided on the pool’s purpose, you can get together with your contractor to work on the best design.
You may want to consider compartmentalizing your swimming pool; you can set up various sections in the pool so everyone has what they need and want. For example, one side might have a water feature such as a fountain or waterfalls. Another section may have a water slide or a spa. The options are limitless.
Chlorine, Saltwater, or Bio Pool?
For many decades, the go-to pool water systems have been chlorine, which offers ease of maintenance. These days, other options are just as easy and better than chlorine.
One system that is becoming quite popular is a saltwater system. These systems use electrolysis instead of seawater, which will basically turn the salt into chlorine.
Only enough chlorine to clean the water is converted, so you don’t have to worry about your pool water having a heavy chlorine odor. This system’s biggest drawback is that it is more costly, and it takes a while before it becomes low maintenance.
Another option is a natural pool, which basically imitates freshwater bodies, such as a small lake. It is relatively easy to maintain, and it is better for the environment than chlorine.
The biggest drawback is that there aren’t many swimming pool contractors who have worked with this type of system, so it may be difficult to find someone to set it up for you. Also, like saltwater, the cost to set it up is higher, and it won’t be low-maintenance for some time.
There are several pool shapes to choose from, including oval, kidney, square, and rectangle. While having an odd-shaped pool may look attractive and add character to your yard, is it really going to be the best choice? It is advisable to lean towards a rectangular-shaped pool. There are several reasons, including:
- Will fit with just about any landscape
- Best for swimming laps
- Best for playing water games
- Easier to clean and maintain
On the other hand, there are some excellent reasons to have an irregularly shaped pool. For instance, an irregularly shaped pool is more unique. In addition, there are fun games that are even more fun in an irregularly shaped pool. Also, maybe your yard isn’t the right size or shape to accommodate a regular-sized swimming pool, and something with an irregular shape may work better.
What About Two Separate Pools?
Not everyone has space or can afford two swimming pools, but if this is an option for you, it is one to consider. You may be giving up your dream of having one huge swimming pool, but this could also be a way to make sure everyone gets what they want. For example, one pool might be used for swimming laps, while the other could be for fun and games.
Think About Your Pool Deck
Once upon a time, it was all the rage to use bare concrete for a pool deck. These days, people are learning that this isn’t always the best option and safest option. Long-term maintenance will be difficult for starters because unsealed concrete will stain easily, and chemicals will be absorbed. Concrete can also get slippery, and the last thing you want is for someone to injure themselves while enjoying the pool.
If you already have a concrete pool deck, consider refinishing it with a decorative overlay. There are many options, including overlays that look like brick or even natural stone. You will find many patterns to choose from. You also need to consider safety. Make sure you choose a surface that won’t become slick, even when water is splashed all over it.
Look for decking materials that will remain cool, no matter how hot the sun is. Sitting on a hot pool deck is not a lot of fun. Not only could you end up sunburned if you are not using sunblock, but you’ll also feel the heat on your feet if the deck gets too hot.
Patio and Pool Connections
If you want to make the backyard pool area more functional, and look more up-to-date, consider creating a connection between the pool deck and your patio. This will have a few benefits, including ensuring a solid footpath, a better flow, and fewer creepy crawly insects such as ants.
Once you have decided on the shape of the pool and your landscaping, it is time to look at installing a few fun features. For example, many people like having a built-in waterfall in their pool. Not only does this look awesome, but it is also a great way to get cooled off.
You can make it to look completely natural to fit in nicely with your landscaping. If you are considering a waterfall, think about size and structure to ensure that it will work with your pool. Here are a few more fun features you may want to consider adding.
There are lots of good reasons to install an island in the middle of a swimming pool. It can be used as a cabana, a slide, a fun area for kids to play, or just a place to lay out and soak up the sun.
Having a fire pit is a great way to have your hotdogs and eat them, too, at least while in the pool. You can have one or more fire pits or even surround the pool with fire pits. They also make great night lights for those who love nighttime swimming sessions and pool parties.
A waterfall is just one feature you can incorporate into your pool area. Another is a fountain, which would take up much less space while still adding beauty. In addition to looking lovely, water features also help to keep the water circulated, so you don’t have to clean it as often.
Small Water Park
If you have kids (or if you are simply a big kid at heart), the idea of setting up a small water park in and around your swimming pool may appeal to you. Items to add include water slides, diving boards, and ropes to swing from.
The latest thing in pool lighting is LED lighting. It is much less expensive to set up than regular pool lighting, and it is more energy-efficient. In addition, LED lighting is attractive, and there are many styles. You can even get lighting that changes colors to really perk up the pool area.
Another lighting option is to have lanterns all around the pool. Again, look for LED lighting or even solar lighting that uses only the energy taken in from the sun. The right lantern lighting will give your pool a relaxing atmosphere, and it looks beautiful at night.
You can update the look of an existing swimming pool by changing the waterline tiles. There are many fun styles and patterns. If you want your pool to sparkle, glass is a great choice. If you prefer something that looks more natural, some tiles look like natural stone. You are pretty much limited only by your own imagination.
Why spend hundreds of dollars to visit a spa when you can create one in your own backyard? You can easily set up a spa beside your swimming pool, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get that spa feeling. Some ideas to make it even more spa-like would include scented candles, a source of calming music, books to read, and anything else that helps you to unwind and relax.
Some people tend to go overboard when it comes to their poolside furniture. You only need furniture that is sturdy but inexpensive at the same time. Remember, you are simply setting up a pool area that needs to be as comfortable as it is functional and attractive.
Look for furniture that will hold up to many seasons of use, which isn’t going to break the bank. Department and big box stores are ideal places to shop for pool furniture and where you are likely to get the best deals.
However, make sure you also check local want ads because often you will find people selling their barely used pool furniture, and you can save money that can be used for other things for your pool and yard.
Plants or no plants – that is the question. Some people think there should be no plants in a swimming pool area, while others go crazy and put in so many plants that you can’t even see the swimming pool.
When choosing poolside greenery, make sure you think about the pool itself and how much effort it will be to clean leaves and other plant debris from the pool.
Ornamental grasses are popular, as they look attractive but don’t add a lot of debris to a pool area.
Spiky plants, flowers, and plants with big leaves are not advised because the leaves and petals end up in the pool, and you will be stuck with a lot more maintenance than necessary. Here are a few more good ideas for poolside greenery.
Look for plants that keep their leaves year-round to avoid a big mess. Evergreens are always great, so look for plants such as lomandra and liriope. Avoid plants that drop needles or fruit.
Plants for Privacy
If you are looking for extreme privacy, look for a variety of plants in different sizes and heights. Begin at the fence line and work your way in towards the pool to create a lot of depth, beauty, and of course, privacy.
Avoid plants that will attract bees to avoid stings. Don’t use plants with spikes or thorns that can hurt people. Also, consider how safe some plants are for the pool and your property. For example, many plants have long and complicated root systems that could end up wrapping around your water pipes. Other plants may cause cracks in the landscape. Finally, make sure walkways aren’t overcrowded with plants.
One of the most important considerations when installing a swimming pool is fencing. Not only do you need to have proper fencing for safety purposes, but it may also be required by your municipality and/or your home insurer.
So, first, look into all of the rules and regulations regarding swimming pools in your city. After you know what is required, you can start looking for fencing that will meet all requirements and fit nicely with your pool design and landscaping.