For many families, a swimming pool in your backyard is the ultimate mix of luxury and fun. The decision to get a pool is exciting, but you might quickly find yourself overwhelmed with all the decisions you have to make before you even start digging the new pool—what size, what shape, what materials, and many more questions that have to be answered. Here is a basic guide to help you choose the ideal pool for your home.

1: Decide on a Pool Size

Pool size is primarily determined by the space you have available—you don’t want to have your heart set on an Olympic-size swimming pool and find out that you only have room for a hot tub, after all. Start by measuring the area where you plan to put the pool, and also make sure you reserve some space around the pool for decking. Keep in mind that your pool doesn’t have to be a rectangle—you can get plenty of creative shapes to fit into odd-shaped areas that can extend the size of your pool.

2: Think About the Users

The next step is to think about how you will be using the pool. If you have young children, you won’t want a pool that has a lot of “deep end” area, whereas if you are planning to use it primarily for lap swimming you won’t want it to have a large shallow area or be an odd shape that is difficult or impossible to swim in a straight line. As you think about who’s using the pool, also think about how you can make sure it’s safe, by adding things like a cover or fence to keep kids and animals from falling in.

3: Choose Your Shape

You can get a custom pool in just about any shape you want, but trying to decide can be difficult. Start your design with one of the basic pool shapes:

  • Rectangle
  • Square
  • Oval
  • L-shaped
  • Round
  • Grecian or Roman
  • Kidney
  • Figure 8

If you don’t want one of these shapes specifically, you can just use it as a basis to design the shape that you really want in a custom pool.

4: Build Around Your Pool

The pool is usually the main attraction, but don’t forget to design the deck around your pool. Choose from a variety of building materials, such as poured or decorative concrete, natural stone, tile or pavers, or wood/composite deck. Discuss the size and shape of your pool deck with your pool contractor so they can help create one that will give you enough space to relax and have fun lounging, barbecuing, or playing around the pool. Beyond just having a pool, many people want to have an outdoor recreation area that includes things like a kitchen, fireplace, hot tub, and lounge area.

5: Add in the Extras

The final step in your pool design is to add enhancements. These might be technology-related, such as automated water testing and chemical balancing, energy efficiency, or a heater, or they might also be aesthetic in nature, such as adding a waterfall, a vanishing edge, jets or waterspouts, or lighting for nighttime use. This is also the time for fun additions like a waterslide, diving board, or basketball hoop.

When you are ready to realize your dream of having a pool, talk to a pool expert in Utah to discuss your vision for the perfect recreation or exercise escape.