Ask the General: How Do I Choose the Perfect Pool Design for My Family?

Dear General-

pool designWell, we’re finally going to do it. We’ve decided that we’re going to have a new inground pool put in this year. (It’s our New Year’s resolution to have more fun as a family!) So now we’re past the dreaming stage and on to the choosing stage. We feel that fiberglass is the right kind of pool for us. But, I have to say, we’re a little overwhelmed. We started looking at all the available pool designs–the options for shapes, sizes and features for fiberglass pools–and we couldn’t believe how many choices there were! This is a big decision. How do we pick the perfect pool design for our family?

Signed-Overwhelmed in Oak Park

Dear Overwhelmed-

I hear you. Although I’m retired now, I was in the fiberglass pool business for many years, and it seemed like there was something new every time I turned around–new shapes, sizes, features and innovations to make your fiberglass pool easier to install. There is the Backfill Eliminator to make pool maintenance for fiberglass pools easier and the Lucky 7 Skimmer that ensures a perfect skimmer fit for fiberglass pools. There is the Fiberglass Pool Anchoring System to secure your fiberglass pool and protect it from pesky problems like groundwater pressure. In addition to new innovations, the design options just kept getting better and better.

I was a Design consultant for many years and involved in the pool planning process thousands of times. I found that the absolutely best way to start in designing the project was to glean from the client as much information as possible while making sure they were a big part of the process. It helps to have their input, after all, it is going to be theirs, and they are paying for it.

Deciding what is perfect for your location, lifestyle, purpose of use, and pocketbook can be an enjoyable experience, or a frustrating one. To help you pick the perfect pool for you, here is a list of things to consider when you’re choosing a fiberglass pool.

  1. What’s your budget? Pools aren’t like sweaters, where a small one costs the same as an extra large. The bigger pool you choose, the bigger your budget needs to be. So you might want to make yourself a chart (or a spreadsheet), and prioritize the add-on features that are must-haves for you. Decide how you plan to finance your pool. You also want to have a contingency budget for expenses you might not be considering, such as site preparation and dirt removal.
  2. How much pool do you want (and need?) The first step in determining your ideal pool size is to get a plot plan or survey for an accurate measurement of your yard and easements. Also keep in mind the need for a yard, landscaping, decking, furniture and equipment.
  3. How do you plan to use your pool? Are you planning to swim laps? Look for a wide-open swim lane. Soak up a lot of sun? Get a pool with a built-in tanning ledge. Play games? Look for a uniform depth, flat bottom. Do you have tiny tykes that need a shallow spot to learn to enjoy the water? Consider one of the fiberglass pool industry’s newest innovations–a beach entry pool (also called zero entry pools). These are available in freeform or rectangular shapes. If you’re thinking of a diving board, you’ll need a Type 1 diving pool, because building codes require a diving pool to be at least an 8’ depth to be safe for diving. Make yourself a chart, and prioritize the different ways you think you might use your pool because this will help you pick a pool design. There are also some cool tools online that can help you narrow things down.
  4. What shape fits your style? A good pool designer will look at the existing architectural elements in your home and landscaping and suggest a pool shape to complement them. For example, if you have a more formal home with arched windows, you may want a Roman shape–a rectangular pool with arched ends. If you have a very free-flowing landscape design and a less traditional home, you might consider a freeform pool to fit in with that laidback feel. Please note when picking the shape of a pool, automatic pool covers work fine on freeform shaped pools, but best on rectangular pools. After all, you can always get a rectangular pool and shape the concrete decking to be straight, curvy or roman. For more information about automatic pool covers, check out this article.

Thursday Pools has a great selection of pools that will make a welcome addition to your personal backyard vacation spot. The holidays are over, so it’s time to cheer-up, gear-up and get ready for spring.

Until next time- The General

If you’re ready to take the plunge with a new inground fiberglass pool, get an estimate today. Thursday Pools offers a wide array of handcrafted inground fiberglass pools manufactured in Fortville, Indiana, including the world’s first fiberglass beach entry pools.  They are available from a dealer near you.