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Buying a swimming pool for your backyard is an exciting and worthwhile experience. But it is important to plan carefully if you want this important investment to offer you maximum value for money.

Here are some of the main factors you need to consider, and some of our favourite pool design ideas, to make sure your project runs smoothly and your pool can be a beautiful central feature in your backyard.

What is the size and shape of your backyard?

The right pool design is likely to be dictated by the size and shape of your backyard. It is important that the pool should fit well into the space, with enough room around it to meet safety regulations in your state or territory. Remember, your pool will need to have fencing covering its entire perimeter, as it must not be directly accessible from your house. If you want to include a patio and dining area, this will require even more space, as regulations state that you must not position any large objects such as chairs or tables close enough to the pool fencing for a child to use them to climb over the barrier.

Some backyards lend themselves more naturally to pools than others, but this does not mean a pool is impossible if your backyard is an unusual shape. If your yard slopes, for example, you might need to have your pool partially or fully built above-ground. These days, this is not a problem. Modern technologies such as Compass Pools Australia’s super-strong Maxi Rib technology create a structure strong and durable enough for a fibreglass pool to be built above ground just as safely as if it was installed in-ground.

What will your pool be used for?

Different pools have different purposes, and how you will use your pool needs to be taken into account when choosing the shape, size and style of your pool. If you have children, you will want to use the pool for playing games and spending quality time as a family, and therefore you will need the space and safety features that a family pool can offer.

On the other hand, if you are a serious swimmer who will mainly be swimming laps, you might prefer a lap pool. These are long and narrow, specifically designed for swimming laps without any obstacles in the way. They can also look extremely attractive in a wide variety of backyards.

If you primarily want your pool as a means of relaxation, a spa pool might be more appropriate for you.

Reputable manufacturers will offer their pool designs in a number of different lengths, widths and depths, so you should easily be able to find a pool design you like in a size that suits your backyard and your usage needs.

How well do your pool design ideas suit your property?

Your pool design has to fit with the overall appearance of your property. It must blend seamlessly into the space of your backyard, so it looks like part of your home and becomes a beautiful design feature in your yard.

This means you need to look at the architectural style of your house when choosing your pool. Would a contemporary or traditional pool coordinate better with your house? Should the edges be straight and streamlined, or would a softer, more rounded look suit your property? Many pool manufacturers enable their pools to be styled in different ways, with either straight-edged or rounded-edged paving around them. This can completely transform the look of your pool and enable it to blend in better with the rest of your property.

Another element to consider here is the right pool colour to choose. If you are having a concrete pool built, you can choose from any number of different tiles. Fibreglass pools, on the other hand, come with gelcoat surfaces, which are easier to keep clean, but they are only available in as many colours as the manufacturer provides. Take a look at your home and yard, and consider which colour would coordinate best with the surroundings. Choosing the right colour can make all the difference when it comes to fitting your pool with the landscape and helping it to stand out as a feature.

What is the right placement for a pool?

You will be looking at your pool every day, and it will be the main focal point of your backyard. While it might be tempting to tuck the pool into an unused corner of your outdoor space, this will not show it off to best advantage. With the right placement, your poolside area can become the ideal spot in which to enjoy an alfresco breakfast, or the perfect setting for a pool party after the lights come on at night.

The right pool placement can also add value if you ever decide to sell your home. Prospective buyers will be more inclined to offer a higher price if they see a beautifully designed backyard with a magnificent swimming pool as its main feature. If the pool and the yard look as if their layout has not been designed carefully enough, this will make your property less attractive, and may result in a lower price being offered.

Some pool buyers ask if having their pool built in a particular position can cost less than positioning it elsewhere in the yard. This depends entirely on the size and shape of your backyard. While some positions are easier than others from a construction point of view, and could therefore be cheaper, the difference is not likely to be great. It is much more important that the placement of the pool works practically with the rest of your property and looks attractive.

Of course, the most important element when deciding where to place your pool is that you like it. You should enjoy looking at your pool almost as much as you enjoy swimming in it, so it is essential that you think the positioning looks right. Remember, too, that you will be viewing your pool from all angles, including from inside the house. Looking at your backyard out of a window in your house can give you ideas for the right placement of your pool, as well as inspiring the design.

How should your pool area be landscaped?

Some people’s pool design ideas include landscaping designs from the very beginning of the project. They have a clear vision of how they want the pool area to look, including fencing, paving, plants and water features, all worked out before the construction work has even started.

However, for many other pool owners, the landscaping design grows gradually once the pool itself is completed. Living with your pool can show you how different the colour of the water can look on different days, depending on the weather. This will also affect how your paving appears, so it is a good idea to keep several samples by the side of the pool so you can view them in different lights and weather conditions, before making your decision.

It is important that your pool area is landscaped in a way that suits you and your property. If you have clear ideas, you should communicate them at the beginning of the project, so they can be brought to life. If not, it is worth talking to a professional landscaping designer who can offer you plenty of advice.

Pool design ideas should start with the pool

Until you have chosen your pool, it is practically impossible to put anything else in place, as the design of the pool will be central to the entire appearance of your backyard. This is why the most sensible strategy is to choose your pool first, then plan all the other design elements around its shape and style.

Remember, your pool is a big investment and selecting it is a hugely important decision, as you have to be happy with your pool and the appearance of your yard for many years to come. Don’t rush the decisions here. Take your time choosing your pool and designing your landscaping, and do not be afraid to delay the project if there is any element of it you are unsure about.

By giving it plenty of careful thought, and making sure you are completely happy with every part of the design, you will have a pool you can enjoy looking at, as well as using, long into the future.

If you would like any advice about different pool designs and how they can be customised to work more effectively in your own backyard, please contact us. Our highly experienced pool consultants will be happy to discuss your requirements and give you all the help and support you need.

Get inspired: Selected pool design ideas for your backyard

or head to our pool inspirations gallery for more pictures