Location, location, location. When it comes to real estate, this has been the refrain since the very beginning. Another place where location matters? When designing your custom outdoor space, and especially when deciding where on your property to place a swimming pool.
Location of your swimming pool is one of the first things you and your designer will decide on. This is for good reason. The location of your pool impacts the location of all other features in your backyard. The footprint of your pool will determine much of the flow and functionality. It also affects the overall look of the space. So how do you determine where to put your pool?
Consider the following factors before deciding where your inground swimming pool should be installed.
The Farther Away, The Harder To Use
As human beings, we love convenience. And part of convenience is having the things you want within arms reach. This is why placing your pool too far away from your home can be a big mistake.
Have a large property? Not automatically sold on the idea of seeing your pool all the time? Then you may think tucking your pool away in a corner of your yard could be a good idea. But unless you desperately want privacy, or can’t stand the idea of looking at a pool you paid good money for, it’s probably a smarter move to keep it near the home.
Why is that? Well, out of sight can also mean out of mind. The best pool is one that you use. And if it’s a trek to simply get into your swimming pool, you’re probably not going to put in the effort as often as you may like. This means you have paid a significant amount of money for a great pool that you never think to use—not an ideal situation.
Consider The Size of The Pool
Location of your pool is directly intertwined with its size and shape. Think about it. If you are looking to install a long, linear pool in your backyard, then you need to have a similar property footprint to match. While you may like the idea of a pool that is set off to the size, a large, long pool is unlikely to fit in that area. In fact, you may need to move the pool to a more central location to account for its size and shape.
Alternatively, say you are considering installing a smaller scale, freeform pool with an organic shape. If you have a simple, rectangular shaped property, it’s likely you have some more room to play. It may be that this size and shape of the pool look good in multiple locations.
Ultimately, when deciding the placement of your pool, make sure you aren’t trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. A pool that is too big or too small for its surroundings will look awkward, and throw off the rest of your backyard’s design.
Proximity To Other Design Features
A good outdoor design flows seamlessly from one space to the next. This means that the placement of each of your design features should be in conversation with those around them. That means your pool placement needs to be informed by what is around it. Let’s explore a few scenarios:
Outdoor Seating / Lounge Area
One option is to place your pool close to outdoor seating. Most outdoor designers will take into account that a main function of your yard is to provide space to sit and relax with friends and family. If you love to have people over, or have a larger family, having this seating space close to your pool might make sense.
Placing the pool and patio close together means people move from swimming to seating with ease. As we discussed, proximity goes a long way to inform frequency of use. The closer together two features are, the more likely they are to be used in tandem.
This setup can also be appealing for those with young kids who want to be able to sit and relax while keeping an eye on their children.
The landscape of your yard can have a big impact on where you decide to place your pool. Let’s say your backyard features uneven elevation, or you’re building your pool on a slope. You may want to talk to your designer about using that to your advantage.
Placing one end of your pool into this higher elevation can create a design opportunity for a raised deck, or set of diving or jumping rocks. Working with your natural landscape instead of against is important to create a space that feels effortless.
Outdoor Kitchen Proximity
If your backyard is sporting a shiny new outdoor kitchen, then placing your pool near this feature could make a lot of sense, particularly if your pool includes a spa. While you may not sit around and relax in your pool, that’s kind of the entire point of an inground spa or hot tub.
And you know what goes great with a long, luxurious soak? A drink, or a snack. As an additional hangout spot, placing your spa close to your outdoor kitchen means that you are creating another close conversation point. This configuration makes even more sense for those homeowners who are planning to incorporate a feature such as a swim up bar.
Of course, some people may feel strongly about creating a separation between food and pool. In that case, your kitchen will still inform placement, albeit in an opposite direction.
Fun in the sun is great until you need a break. For that reason, it can be awesome to position your pool in an area where a portion of it will be granted some much needed reprieve from the sun. If your outdoor design incorporates a covered living space, pushing your pool into a position where it benefits from this additional cover is a great idea.
Not only are you likely close to a conversation point, but you get multiple uses from one structure. The pergola will link two areas together in a way that makes sense in both function and design.
A word of warning—covered space is great, but fishing leaves out of your pool is not. If you have a large tree, you may think this is a great opportunity for natural shade. You’ll think this same thing all the way up until you are fishing stuck leaves and organic matter out of your pool filter. Landscape and plants are part of your property, and will help guide your pool placement naturally.
Pool Placement is Not One-Spot Fits All
Like any other aspect of well-thought out design, the proper placement of your swimming pool is going to be unique. While you can draw inspiration from placement of other pools, your yard, your needs, and your unique overall design should guide your decisions.
The best pool placement makes functional sense, without feeling out of place or too big or small for the area. Ultimately, this is a topic where a great pool contractor can help guide you to make the best decision for your outdoor living space.