Once you’ve decided to get a swimming pool, the fun decisions begin.
Infinity edge? A waterfall? Who should we invite to our first pool party? Do we have to invite the Hendersons?
First things first.
One of the first things to decide is what size pool you want for your home. How deep should the pool be? What about the size of the pool deck?
Let’s take a look at all the size considerations as you plan your new pool.
Let Your Lifestyle Decide Your Swimming Pool Size
The main factor to consider when choosing your pool size is your lifestyle. Don’t settle on a size just because it’s the most popular.
If you’re training your kids to be Olympic divers, you have different needs than if you have two tots who want to splash around in the shallow end.
Do you swim laps? Do you often entertain large groups? Are your kids older or younger? All these factors will help you and your pool designer plan the perfect pool size for your family.
How Deep Should My Pool Be For Diving?
If you plan to dive in your pool, it has to be at least 8 feet deep — that’s the law. It also has to be 24 feet from the back wall of the pool to where it begins to slope to the shallow end.
Prefer a pool slide? You can get away with a shallower deep end, at 6 feet.
The Most Common Regret About Pool Size
Pool designers say the biggest regret homeowners have about their inground pools is they wish they had a bigger shallow end.
Think about it. Most pool fun happens in the shallow end. It’s where you hang out, where small kids are most comfortable, where you goof around with friends and family.
The shallow end is a pool’s most valuable real estate.
Bump Up The Size For More Shallow End
The most common pool size and shape is a 16 by 32-foot rectangle. That’s the minimum size you need for an 8-foot deep end.
That gives you 8 feet of the shallow end.
Bump up to a 16 by 40-foot pool, and you double your shallow end to 16 feet.
Designers recommend allowing for as much shallow end as possible for maximum pool fun.
Think Square Feet — Not Dimensions
Decades ago, the pool industry built pools to specific sizes. That’s because the vinyl liner industry produced only certain sized liners —16 by 32, 18 by 36, 20 by 40.
That created a mindset that many homeowners still stick with today. When it comes to choosing a pool size, they think in terms of dimensions.
But these days, you can have any pool shape and size you want.
That means a more realistic way to think about pool size is square footage, not dimensions. That’s how we measure the size of our homes and apartments. And it’s how we should think about the size of our pools.
To give you an idea of how square footage translates into pool use, an 800 square foot pool comfortably fits 16 people.
How Big Should My Pool Deck Be?
Again, let your lifestyle help determine the size of your pool deck.
If you have big family dinners every Sunday with 30 people heading to the pool, you need more space to entertain than a couple who mostly enjoys their pool solo.
But a good rule of thumb is to match your decking size to the pool size.
If you have a 600 square foot pool, plan on a 600 square foot patio.
Cost Formula? It’s Complicated
If a pool company salesperson offers you some sort of formula to determine the cost of your pool, based on cost per square foot, be wary.
It’s more complicated than that. They’re not taking the unique qualities of your specific property into consideration.
Every yard is different, with different terrain, slopes, and contours.
If you live in the middle of Westchester County, with its often challenging geography, your pool builders may have to drive two hours to dispose of the dirt they excavated.
But if you live on farmland in upstate New York, that dirt likely can be disposed of much closer.
That’s just one example of how an inground swimming pool cost is determined by more than the amount of steel and concrete.
Swimming Pool Size Cost Considerations
The difference in cost to make a slightly larger pool or a slightly smaller pool is almost irrelevant. Bumping up your pool size by 100 square feet has a very little impact on price.
The inground pool cost isn’t just about the materials, but about the mobilization — getting crews there, staging the project.
Most special pool features have much more of an impact on the price of a pool than its size. Adding hot tubs, infinity walls, and water features impact inground pool price more than size.
The bottom line: it’s usually worth the extra cost to go for a bigger pool.
Almost Nobody Wishes They Had A Smaller Pool
Nobody ever says, “I wish I had a smaller pool.” Well, almost nobody. One exception might be the empty nester couple whose kids have all moved out. If they never entertain, they might wish for a small pool.
But for the most part, families are happier with the most swim space possible.
Leave Your Pool Design To Neave
When a Neave Pools designer sits down with you at your kitchen table for a pool consultation, he’ll ask a lot of questions.
Every question is designed to find out exactly how you’ll use your outdoor space. Do you have kids? How many people do you entertain? Do you plan to dive in your backyard pool, or is a slide more your speed?
All your answers go into his notes to help design not just the size of your pool, but your perfect, custom outdoor living space.
We know what we’re doing. But don’t just take our word for it.
Neave Pools ranked #1 in Pool & Spa News “Top 50 Builders 2016 in New York and Connecticut” and #13 in the U.S.
We also received “Best of Houzz” 2016, 2017 and 2018 for excellence in customer service. Neave Pools has taken home numerous awards for our design and construction work from the Northeast Spa & Pool Association.
We’d love to help you create your perfect swimming pool design.
If you’re in Hudson Valley, call (845) 463-0592. Westchester, call (914) 271-7996. Cold Spring, call (845) 463-0592, and in Connecticut, call (203) 212-4800. Or fill out the handy web form on this page, and we’ll get in touch with you to schedule a complimentary swimming pool consultation.