Paradise may be challenging to imagine. Especially when you’re building a career, running a household, raising kids, taking care of your aging parents, and everything else that commands your time.
But…perhaps you’ve seen your calendar clear to transform your backyard into a space that can be both a Zen and a workout/play zone. You may at first feel overwhelmed. Having a big hole dug in your backyard that gets forged with concrete and filled with water is a commitment. It’s not like you’re repainting the living room! So just take it step by step and explore your options.
Here are some old school and more cutting-edge ways to approach how to create the perfect pool.
Which Pool Features and Functions to Choose?
At the risk of visual overload you can look for inspiration on a site like Pinterest. The Internet will dazzle you with its depth of information, but at least you will discover that anything’s possible in pool design!
Even if you see a stunning changing cabana and outdoor shower that are financially out of reach, there are always modifications that can be made on a concept. (Consider stowing your garden tools in the garage and renovating your shed into that cabana!)
Here are a few things across category to contemplate:
- Salt chlorine generators
- Automated controls and apps
- Rakes, skimmers, and automatic vacuums
- Ladders, stairs, and railings
- Wading pools
- Slides and diving boards
- Baja ledges (aka tanning ledges/shelves)
- Bench seating
- Swim lane
- Spas or hot tubs
- Swim-up bar
- Pool lighting
- Waterline tile
- Fire bowls and fire pits
- Stereo system
You can take just about any amenity you enjoy inside your home and enjoy it outside. PLUS, in your great outdoors, you’ll have a deck and some lovely pavers surrounding your Aquatic Eden.
Talk to Friends and Neighbors
Most people are happy to give their opinions. You would be wise to poll friends and family who own pools. They will likely provide a list of the things they added to theirs that they love, those they added that weren’t worth the money, and even the features they wished they hadn’t skimped on. Sometimes you don’t know what you really want until you know!
Take advantage of other people’s experiences to help you flesh out your “wants” list.
This cool, upstate New York-based pool company offers a pool visualizer application. “The AR (Augmented Reality) Pool Visualizer Application allows you to actually see a pool in your backyard through augmented reality technology. The Latham Liner Visualizer Tool allows you to select a pool style and shape, and then choose from over thirty different liners to actually visual which choice is best for your backyard.”
Real World Pool Practices
Again, this is a modification to your home, so it is governed by rules and restrictions. Your pool contractor will work with you to make certain you have the building permits you need to proceed.
Here are some key things to take into account when considering your pool’s placement:
Ensure there are no overhead wires running over the space. If you have them, they need to be moved.
You don’t want any surprises when the backhoe gets to work so confirm that there are no utility lines (water, sewer, gas) running underneath the space and of course that you don’t have a septic tank. Reach out to your local records office or confer with your Realtor.
Know the associated restrictions if you live in a historical neighborhood or a wildlife protection zone. You don’t want to be in violation nor waste any money beginning a project you can’t finish.
While you can address adjacent sloping hills with hardscaping techniques (like stone steps) the ground needs to be pretty level or at least held in place by retaining walls of some sort.
You can’t mess with or build on these. There are a few different types:
- Right of Way. The privilege your neighbor has to pass through your property to access their driveway, the main road, or even a neighborhood playground.
- Utility Maintenance. This easement is typically granted to utility companies to run power and cable lines on a property. You can’t install a permanent structure on this designated space.
- Condos and Homeowner Associations. These types of easements may constitute shared property for the residents.
In easement-related news, you need to be spot-on sure about how big your pool can be in relation to your property and your home as there are legal specifications. This spacing is critical to your construction so it’s up there on the list of “must do firsts.”
Proximity to Water
According to River Pools and Spas: “If you live near a lake, ocean, river, or any other large body of water, you should know that you probably can’t build or install a swimming pool within 100 feet of it. The water table could be way too high for an inground swimming pool, so you’ll need to pick another spot.”
When it comes to outdoor design, you can take your time creating your vision. The more hours you spend in your yard and backyard pool, the more you’ll want to. What’s great is there’s always more you can do if you choose. Like:
- Installing an outdoor kitchen
- Erecting a pergola on a new patio to create an interesting and functional niche
- Hardscaping to adorn and help navigate your yard’s terrain
- Building a multi-purpose gazebo that can function as everything from your yoga studio to your guest house
Yes, there are many, many decisions to make, but they are the means to a refreshing end! A backyard pool and entertainment center will become the new favorite features of your home. You will wonder how you loved your home without them! Besides increasing your property’s value, a backyard pool is the gift that keeps giving.
Providing pool and home improvement loans since 1979, Lyon Financial loves backyard pools… and the infinite design variety. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about exploring a backyard pool for this summer or next!