You’ve read our article on how to select the right swimming pool builder; now it’s time to make sure your pool design will meet and hopefully exceed your objectives.
When planning for your new pool, there are many aspects to consider before finalizing your design plan. It’s important to think well beyond the actual body of water. Express how you want to use your pool to your builder – for relaxing, swimming laps, playing games, and equally important, the look and vibe you want your new pool to have.
Some of our clients sought a sanctuary. They wanted their pool to take center stage in their overall backyard design. In these cases, we delivered serenity both in the finishes and the impact on their senses. These clients most often requested spas, more natural, higher-end materials and finishes that soothe vs. stand out, and very often water features for beauty and sound. While other clients wanted their pools to be more of a sports epicenter, and others show-stoppers with more modern finishes and features that wow.
Your pool design should be uniquely you. At the onset, make sure your design plan includes not just the pool, but all of the other features and amenities that will be included in your project. Dream big, your oasis awaits you.
When embarking on a custom design with your pool builder, discuss your entire backyard space and how you want to transform it. Explore how you live and entertain, talk about the needs of your family members and guest that you will entertain. Make sure your pool builder has a good sense of you, your design style, and how you aspire to use your new pool and outdoor spaces.
Selecting finishes and features can be a bit overwhelming at first. Your builder will be able to help you navigate the many options available to suit your design style as well as your budget. Ask them to keep your focus on what fits within your budget, otherwise, you may feel overwhelmed or disappointed.
Basic elements to discuss during the design phase:
- Size and shape of the pool
- Pool finish i.e. Plaster, tile or other amenities like swim-up bar or beach entry
- Features such as spa, water, and fire features
- Coping and decking style, finish, size and shape
- Outdoor living spaces for dining, cooking and relaxing
- Sun and shade patterns
- Access to the pool area from the house and side yard
- Privacy concerns
- Landscaping and hardscapes
- Pool, spa and landscape lighting equipment: standard, automated, energy-efficient
Be sure also to discuss what you can expect after your pool is built. Will your pool builder address landscaping and hardscapes in their design. If you’re looking for a turnkey backyard transformation, make sure all of the areas around your pool are addressed in your design. A single, cohesive design will help you better achieve your goals. One design will ensure all of your lifestyle needs are met, your pool and surrounding areas fit your design style, all while beautifully fitting into your lush new landscape.
The key to a successful design is to truly incorporate how all the spaces are to be used. During the design consultation, express all of your desires; how you want to use each and every space surrounding your new pool. Don’t just discuss the pool, talk about the destination spots for dining and lounging. Are you looking to incorporate an outdoor living room or kitchen? Are you looking to add shade or privacy screening with natural materials or a wood structure?
Another key element of lifestyle is – how much time do you want to dedicate to maintaining your new pool. Pool and spa maintenance isn’t difficult or time-consuming if you stay on top of it. If your time is limited, or you have little or no desire to maintain your pool, talk with your pool builder about options. Today’s top pool equipment manufacturers have many advanced options available to automate basic pool functions. You can now automate cleaning, filtration, chlorinating the water, heating, as well as lighting. Your builder can also provide additional services like opening and closing pools, and ongoing weekly or bi-weekly cleaning and maintenance services.
Features and Amenities
Once you’ve decided on your overall design, it’s time to think about the features and amenities you’d like to incorporate into your overall design. This is the point in the design process where you can bring in the wow factor.
Would you like a swim-up bar, beach entry, spa, water or fire feature? Anyone of these elements will add drama and value to your home. Also, think about incorporating shade sails or a pergola to give you some relief from the sun and rain. These overhead structures will help you define spaces so they feel like cozy outdoor rooms that can be used in any weather.
Another high-impact feature is lighting. LED pool, spa, and landscape lighting will allow you to change the mood of your entire backyard. You can add color to suit your mood, or coordinate with a themed event. Light intensity also plays a factor. Intense light and color will give you a decidedly different vibe than soft, tranquil lighting and all of your lighting can be automated. Ask your pool builder to show you how.
Make sure your pool builder will support you for the life of your pool, not just during your new pool construction. Ask for a single point of contact that will be available on-site should you have a question or concern. Questions will arise, and they should be there for you through every step of construction, to give you peace of mind.
Also, talk with your pool builder about the additional services they offer. If you’re new to pool ownership, ask for guidance on how to run and maintain your equipment properly. They can also offer tips on pool water chemistry management and how to overcome issues like algae growth. Lastly, make sure your pool builder will be able to repair, replace or upgrade your equipment, or add a much-desired feature, later on, that was out of budget during your build.
The toughest element of your pool design is dreaming big while keeping within your budget. During the design process, be upfront about your budget and timeline. Remember to talk about all of the elements you want to be incorporated beyond the pool itself. Your pool builder will help you understand what your budget will allow, reigning you in when necessary, never upselling you and pushing for more budget.