top of page

When Building an Infinity Pool is Bad Idea

Infinity pools are beautiful. Also known as a negative edge or vanishing edge pool, infinity pools give the illusion that an edge of your swimming pool drops off into nothing, or “goes on forever”. In many cases, homeowners can make an infinity pool work in their space. However, sometimes building an infinity pool is a bad idea.

Not every design element will work for every family. When it comes to swimming pools, the right pool for your space will depend on your yard, your family, and your budget. There are many situations where an infinity pool is a perfect choice for your backyard. But occasionally, you may need to reassess your options. Here are some reasons an infinity pool may be the wrong choice for your backyard space.

When You Don’t Have a View

Infinity pools look best when they are complimented by a great view. Looking out over a vanishing edge at a great natural view makes building an infinity pool a logical design choice. However, if your backyard is on a slope, but is surrounded on all sides by other homes, it might not be the best choice. While you can still appreciate the visual interest of the raw edge, it loses impact when you are looking out over grass and ultimately, a fence.

If your home is surrounded on all sides by privacy fences or other homes, then opting for a more traditional pool design may help draw attention away from your surroundings and toward the center of your space. Infinity pools exist to help draw attention up and away from the pool. Choosing a more traditional pool design and then incorporating elements such as water features, tanning shelves, or other pool design elements can add visual interest while keeping the focus in your space.

Infinity Pools Are Less Effective In a Flat Backyard

Infinity pools are designed to imitate the feeling of looking out over a cliff edge. For this reason, they are a natural choice for sloped backyards. Putting a traditional pool in a yard with a steep hill can be tricky. Ultimately, the finished effect may look strange. However, an infinity pool with a waterfall edge mimics what happens to water naturally when in a sloped environment.

If you have a flat backyard, then constructing an infinity pool will be more difficult. You will need to change the grading in your space, and when all is said and done, the finished effect may look strange.

In this scenario, a better option is to opt for a perimeter overflow pool. A perimeter overflow pool is a pool where all four edges have an “overflowing” effect. The water then streams into a catch basin, through a filter, and back into the pool. The final effect mimics that of a fountain, and is a more natural choice for homeowners with a flat yard who want a more unique finish to their swimming pool.

You Have Young Children

Another reason to reconsider installing an infinity pool is safety. To create the vanishing edge effect, one side of the pool must be elevated. This means that the vanishing edge becomes a raised platform without a safety fence. While this isn’t an issue for most adults, small children may be a safety concern.

Lifting yourself over the vanishing edge of the pool can result in falls and injuries. If you have a home with many small children or pets, a fully fenced, traditional pool is a safer option. For homeowners with their hearts set on an infinity pool, you may want to wait until children are older and have more responsibility for their safety.

Infinity Pools are Expensive

At the end of the day, one of the most practical reasons to reconsider an infinity pool is the cost. Infinity pools are expensive.On average, a homeowner can expect to pay around $80 per square foot. The average cost of an infinity pool in the US is around $80,000.

Of course, no quality pool design will be cheap. However, any custom design or unique feature will begin to drive up the cost of your swimming pool. Infinity pools require more planning, are more complicated to install, and are more mechanically complex than traditional pools. All of these factors work to raise the cost. If you are on a budget to complete your space, then keeping things simple will help keep costs down.

Your Pool Builder is Inexperienced

Design by Blue Haven

As we just said, building an infinity pool is more complicated than traditional pool design. Every contractor wants to make the most money that they can, but never trust an inexperienced pool builder with an infinity pool construction.

Infinity pools require very specific planning, design, and installation. If not completely level, water will flow only over the lowest edge of the pool. This results in less of a “waterfall” effect, and more of a trickling stream over the far side of your pool.

Before hiring a contractor, do your research. Look for pool builders who have a portfolio with many examples of infinity edge pools. Reach out to homeowners who have pool designs that you admire. The worst thing you can do is hire someone inexperienced, and end up with a flawed finished project.

When You Don’t Have The Rest of Your Space Designed

What came first, the infinity pool or the egg? In this case, you should be careful not to start your backyard renovation by planning an elaborate swimming pool. Approaching a space this way can lead to serious complications.

Not only can a design process be halted after a pool is installed due to budget, but you are also introducing design complications. A pool is one of the largest design elements you can add to a space. It quickly becomes the focal point. Because of this, it’s important for the surrounding area to have a design that is in conversation with the pool.

Failing to incorporate your infinity pool into a larger backyard design can mean that in a few years once your yard is finished, it looks disjointed. Instead, we recommend saving your money and budgeting to have your entire outdoor space designed at once. This will ensure that you have the funds to create a cohesive living space. It will also allow the entire outdoor area to feel like part of one vision, instead of something that has been pieced together over many years.

Is an Infinity Pool The Right Choice for my Space?

Infinity pools can be beautiful. They can be the star of a backyard, and a great solution for homeowners with sleep slopes on their property. However, they aren’t right for everyone. The best way to determine whether or not an infinity pool will work in your outdoor living space is to talk to a professional.

Design by Platinum Pools

A quick call with a landscape consultant can help shed light on big design questions such as pools. Landscape designers have the benefit of being a great source of information, without the pressuring hand of a pool contractor who may feel compelled to sell you on a project that isn’t quite right for your space.

At the end of the day, before deciding what type of pool you want in your yard, take a second to consider the factors at play. Is your yard flat or sloped? Are young kids or pets a concern? Do you have a view, or are you surrounded by neighbors? And most importantly, is an infinity pool an option given your budget.

Answering all of these questions will help to point you in the right direction. Thankfully, if an infinity pool isn’t an option, there are plenty of other beautiful swimming pool designs to choose from.

14 views0 comments


Browse Our Landscape Design & Outdoor Living Experts

Screen Shot 2024-06-03 at 10.16.33 PM.png
bottom of page