If you’re having a custom swimming pool installed this year and want it to work well with your overall home, you can try designing it yourself! Be warned, though: Trying to create a pool design from scratch takes some creativity and a lot of work. You’ll need an artistic eye, a good sense of space, a thorough understanding of pool plumbing, and some computer skills.
If you’re still interested in taking a crack at pool design, or if you’re simply interested in how it’s done, here are the bare-bones instructions on how it’s done:
- Decide on an Overall Concept
This is the first key decision in designing your own pool. Is your pool for lounging or for exercise? Do you want a deep end? Is it part of a garden? Will any parts of it be above ground? Do you want it large enough that you can host parties? All of these questions will be important to shaping your pool as you go on.
- Find Inspiration
Search for pool design photos online. Seeing how other yards of a similar size to yours can help you picture what will likely be too small, too large, inconvenient or unnecessary. This is a skill that professional pool designers develop over many years, and although many people have an idea of what they want, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to successfully put those ideas into action without thorough research and lots of inspiration.
- Draw it on Paper
A freehand drawing might not be too useful to your contractor, but it will help you keep on track while modeling your pool.
- Find 3D Architectural Design Software
This sounds intimidating and professional, but many free and easy-to-use options are available. Download one that works for you and create a rendering of your new pool.
- Model the Underground Layer
Modeling the underground layer first helps give you a good sense of the shape of the pool, and makes it easier to model the walls and top. You will eventually want to add an incline, if the pool gets deeper, but you can add that as a single plan on top of a flat underground layer.
- Model the Walls and Top
Home design software has many material options. Choose appropriate stones, tiles, and colours to craft the pool of your dreams.
- Diagram the Plumbing System
Your plumbing system will need a 2-foot wide trench all around your pool. Draw or model this approximate shape. You should also have a diagram showing how you will attach:
- 2 main drains, at the bottom of the pool
- Filter cabinet
- Heater, if needed
- 1 or 2 returns
- Talk to a Contractor
Show a contractor your diagram and 3D model and discuss the details. Odds are, your contractor will have useful suggestions that will make your design work better in real life. Talk it over, come up with a plan and a budget, and then start digging!
While on paper this looks like a mere eight steps, this process actually takes dozens of hours of hard work and years of skill to back it up. It’s best to consult a professional and share your design ideas so they can move forward with making your vision become a reality!