Pool Planning: Plan And Design An Inground Pool Yourself

Instead of hiring a contractor, save money buy learning how to make your own pool with these ideas and tips on designing and planning.

When I think of a swimming pool, I automatically think of the big Olympic size pool I used to swim in, at the local park when I was a kid. Or maybe it just seemed big because I was a kid. In today's world there are a lot of choices to make. There are two types of inground pools. One is made from gunite and the other is a pre-formed shape made from fiberglass. You need to consider the amount of money in your budget when choosing between the two. Although the fiberglass is being made in a lot of different shapes, choosing a gunite pool makes the possibilities endless. You can choose basically any shape - either a freestyle shape or one more traditional. The shape of your pool will depend on the shape and size of your yard. Most cities have required setbacks which you can't build on. Areas usually consist of 5 ft. from the property lines. Contact your local building department for the requirements.

Another thing to think about is how you will use this pool. Very small and shallow pools are called cooling pools. They are used to get in to cool off. Not a lot of room for swimming. Some pools are very narrow and long. These are called lap pools. They are used for swimming laps. Normally they would be about 4 feet deep. Another shape would be more shallow on the ends and deep in the middle. These are called play pools. Most of the area on either end of the pool is about 3 1/2 feet, with 5 feet in the middle. These are used mostly by families with children. The shallow areas make it easier for the children to have their heads above the water. You can also heat this size in a fairly short period of time. Often in the summer months most rays coming from the sun will be enough to take the chill off the water. Therefore reducing the amount of gas your heater will use. People who choose to have a deeper pool will find out that it can be costly to heat them. If you have a diving board, you will want to dig down at least 8 feet.

Another aspect to consider is the entry of the pool. The area closest to your back door or the area you will access the pool from. Some entries are beach entries. This is done with a gradual slope so you can just walk into the water. You can have a texture applied called pebble tech. There are several different colors. Most people choose a tan color so it will look like sand.

Reef entry is another choice. This is normally an area roughly 4' x 6'. You may have a different size depending on the shape you choose for your pool. The area is accessed by stepping down one step and the water level is often is up to the ankle.

You would be able to take a couple of steps outward before stepping down into the pool. Some choose to have a small hole put into the reef or beach entry. This hole can be used for an umbrella to shade the area.

Next is the shade of plaster you will choose for your pool. They have several different colors. Most people choose white plaster. But if you are looking for a different style, you can choose any shade including black. They have gray for lagoon style, tan for reef or beach. It's really up to the customer. Anything goes nowadays. One thing to think about is the crazing. This often happens with colored plaster. Crazing is fine hairline scratches that develop in the plaster. This happens to white plaster also but you tend not to notice it as much as when you have a colored plaster. Darker plasters create a much more dramatic effect on the water. Black plaster can create an almost bottomless effect.

Whatever you decide - small, big or in-between, planning and designing your own pool can be a very rewarding experience. All it takes is a certain amount of planning and researching all the options today's market has to offer.

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