Swimming Pool Designs – How Does A Homeowner Decide?
Guest Blogger: Andre’ Savoie
I’ll admit it – I’m not especially gifted when it comes to design.
That may sound funny coming from someone who runs a digital marketing agency, but that’s why we hire creative designer types and let them do their thing while I handle my tasks related to strategy, content and advertising.
When it came time to pick a design for a custom pool, I had no idea where to start or what I “liked”.
In the end, here is what we chose, but it was an interesting process to get there:
Backyard view of our free-form pool drawing:
Aerial View of our Freeform Pool Drawing:
Here was my thought process as I went through the process of finalizing a pool design:
Tip #1 – Think about pools that you ENJOY using
This was probably the #1 thing which influenced my selection.
I thought long and hard about the pools I had been in that belong to friends and family, and began making notes of what I did and didn’t like about them.
I thought about how everyone used those pools and what I wish was different about each one.
I also took note of the types of features each had that I liked or didn’t like – benches, shallow areas, water features, etc.
After making a list based on these experiences, I was able to narrow down what I wanted to a freeform pool with a tanning ledge and a fountain!
Tip #2 – Take a good look at your property layout
The next factor was the layout of my property. I have a pie shaped cul-de-sac lot, so when I looked at where the pool could go, there weren’t a lot of options.
The main thing I didn’t want to do was have the pool take up the whole yard. With kids and dogs to think about, we wanted to have yard left over to play in.
After taking this into account, I decided on a more narrow shaped pool rather than a pond or oval pool.
My pool laid out on my property survey (adjusted to fit along the fence line):
Tip #3 – Checkout pool galleries
This felt like progress! I knew that I wanted a free form pool with a narrow design.
Square was out. Round was out, and rectangles were out!
With a narrower search criteria, I was able to start looking at swimming pool galleries at the type of freeform pools with ledges and narrow design that appealed to me.
Frankly I tried doing this step first but was pretty overwhelmed.
But starting with the targets narrowed down, we were able to settle on a general shape pretty quickly.
Tip #4 – Go through the design consultation process
Again a lot of pool websites suggest you start with a design consultation, but I felt like I really wasn’t ready to answer the “what do you like” question without going through the first 3 steps.
Having done it this way, we were ready to meet with Aimee Elfert (our pool designer), and between our feedback and her creative ideas we were able to get a design done quickly and approved on the 1st pass!
We wound up making a few minor modifications to the shape, size and location, but the final pool was pretty close to that first drawing.
Tip #5 – Be realistic about your budget.
This was where things got “real”. In my life, I always seem to have what I want in one corner and what I can afford in another corner. Maybe you can relate?
In any event, there are so many factors when it comes to building a pool that getting a design that you like and a final pool that you can afford with are 2 different issues.
The bottom line is that you have to be prepared to make some concessions in order to stay within whatever your budget range is. That’s why the crazy pool TV shows spend $200k on pools…they get everything they want.
In my case, the budget factor affected the size of the pool and the distance we placed it from the house to try and save a few bucks on decking.
In the end I’m happy with the design and features we got for the price, but it’s important to share that there was a bit of “give and take” during the process. I also feel like we designed the pool in a way that leaves us open to expanding the outdoor living space later as budget permits.
Also I think it’s critical here to talk about who you choose as a pool builder. In my case, Aimee was extremely transparent with me about the costs involved with building a pool and this candid feedback helped me make decisions.
Make sure your pool builder gives you an itemized list of what you’re getting and what your options are so you don’t find out after the fact. This is a major issue from the homeowner’s standpoint so don’t overlook it!
Stay tuned for our next segment on prepping your yard!