Pool Design and Construction 101: Tips From Luxury Pool Contractors

The swimming pools of today have changed drastically from when we first began building custom swimming pools back in 1952. Gone are the days when pool installation meant a cookie-cutter rectangular pool surrounded by empty space, and a kidney-shaped pool was the image of luxury.

Modern pool design techniques completed by experienced pool contractors allow homeowners to choose practically any type of pool imaginable and accessorize it with features that could rival a posh resort. From your pool’s size, shape, and special features to unique materials, colors, and surrounding amenities, you can make choices to create a unique custom outdoor oasis right in your backyard.

backyard swimming pool and small spa

How Custom Designs Can Transform Your Outdoor Space

Modern luxury pools are professionally designed to fit seamlessly into your natural surroundings and complement your home’s architectural style. Many homeowners also choose to make changes to the whole area to create a coordinated outdoor space for relaxation and play. 

Professional pool builders begin with a thorough assessment of your yard space and surroundings. They combine that information with details about your home aesthetic and how you expect your pool to enhance your lifestyle to help you create an ideal outdoor space sure to exceed your expectations. 

Using Materials Designed to Last a Lifetime

The majority of modern pools are made of vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete (gunite or shotcrete). Most homeowners opt for gunite or shotcrete pools that are designed to last a lifetime. These pools are built with a high-tech blend of concrete and steel to form an incredibly strong shell that can be enhanced with colors, shapes, and materials that craft a dazzling finish. 

Shotcrete and gunite are the only options suitable for most custom-shaped pools. The material is pliable before it cures, and is sprayed onto a frame to create pools in nearly any conceivable shape. Once the material is cured, it’s topped with plaster to give the finished product the beautiful appearance you have imagined.

glass spa

Preparing to Build a Swimming Pool

A high-quality inground pool is an investment that will provide your family with years of enjoyment and increase the value of your property. Before construction begins, you’ll need to make many choices about your pool’s installation. Swimming pool pre construction includes many steps to help you choose exciting features and make the most of your budget.

  • Consultation. Your ideal luxury pool begins with an in-home consultation with an experienced pool contractor. You’ll share details about your outdoor wishlist and the designer will gather information about your property layout.
  • Budgeting. During the consultation, you’ll assess your budget and the financing team will help you find suitable payment options to deliver your custom pool with all the amenities you’ve been dreaming of.
  • Imaging. Professional pool designers combine innovative design techniques and technology to bring your custom design to life in the form of blueprints and 3D images that reveal exactly how your space will look.
  • Contracting. Once all the details are finalized, you’ll sign a contract that shares exactly what you’re getting for your money and a projected timeline for your project.
  • Permits. Experienced pool contractors will be prepared to help you take care of any permits required for your installation before construction begins. 

Choosing the Right Design

Today’s pool-building options allow you to choose a pool perfect for your needs and environment. You’ll want to consider many practicalities as well as entertainment and aesthetic elements when choosing the right pool design. 

Related: A Quick Guide to Pool Designs and Planning for Your Space

Small, long rectangular pool with spa

The size of your yard will help you determine the size and shape of your pool as well as decking options and surrounding features. It’s also a good idea to consider the lines of sight from inside your home. Many homeowners choose to have a pool installed adjacent to the home’s living room or kitchen. 

Once the logistics are determined, you can get into the exciting part of imagining how your pool will be used. If you have a large family, you may choose a bigger size and seek added options to enhance the entertainment value. There are also amazing options for properties with limited space or options for incorporating water features with your natural landscape. The possibilities provided by modern pool design are practically endless. 

The Basics of Building Pools and Spas

You can expect your inground luxury pool to be custom-designed, engineered, and built to fit into your landscape and surrounding features. This is achieved by excavating the earth in the general shape of the pool design before building a strong and supportive frame. 

Your pool’s frame will be constructed out of steel, and all electrical and plumbing systems will be set up during the framing process. Once the technical seo details are in place, the framing area is sprayed with multiple layers of shotcrete or gunite to produce your desired pool shape. Pool materials will take a week or two to dry before your selected finishing materials are applied. 

After spraying and before finishing is the stage when your customized pool design details will start to come to life. Your pool builder will apply masonry work to add accessories like fire features, waterfalls, and barbecues that will really enhance your pool environment. The area surrounding the pool will be landscaped as needed, and your chosen decking materials installed. 

When everything is in place, and the materials are fully cured, plaster is applied to provide an attractive and functional surface. Your choices of tiles, stonework, decorative concretes, or other finishes will be applied during this step. 

At this point, you’ll get the exhilarating experience of exploring your custom outdoor space to ensure you’re 100% satisfied with the results before the pool is filled with water and you can start enjoying it.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Pool?

As you can see, building a custom pool isn’t a quick-set process. You can expect a simple pool project to take around six to eight weeks to complete. However, many homeowners choose to invest in multiple features to enhance the appearance and function of the pool and surrounding space, which will of course lead to a slightly longer process.

You may choose to have the landscape surrounding your pool changed to support your family’s use of the pool. Options such as water features, fire features, tanning ledges, and lights can transform your pool environment and extend its usage. While these desirable features extend the time requirement for your pool build, they’re often the most anticipated portion of the process. 

With all of the desired features, a large pool project can take 3 to 4 months. This time enables pool contractors to create structurally sound elements and allow the pool’s gunite or shotcrete layer to fully cure. Homeowners should beware of builders claiming they can expedite the process since proper curing takes time and weather can affect the process.

contemporary pool with elevated spa

What Options Can Enhance My Pool?

There are a multitude of features that can be used to enhance modern inground pools. Elements can be added inside the pool and around it to provide creature comforts, add ambiance for day and night use, and make the surrounding area more enjoyable. A luxury pool is designed to be the focal point of a stunning outdoor living space. Consider how these additions will elevate your custom pool design.

Innovative Design Styles

You can step way beyond the cookie-cutter styles of the past to choose a modern pool style to elevate your outdoor space. An infinity pool creates the image of water flowing over the pool’s lowest edge to simulate the appearance of an endless body of water. 

Related: Custom Swimming Pool Builders: The Benefits of Going Custom

Plunge pools are gaining popularity as a way to take advantage of smaller yards, while still incorporating all of those coveted features you’ve been eyeing. The addition of a connected or nearby spa has long been a way to elevate the pool experience.

Water and Fire Features

Water and fire features are some of the most highly desired features that can be applied to any custom pool design. Imagine your pool’s perimeter dotted with mesmerizing fire bowls that emit flames from the vessel’s top while water flows from beneath. If a single focal point is more your style, you might prefer a fountain in the center of your pool. Natural waterfalls are another alternative that creates a natural look to blend your pool into your landscape. 

External and Internal Comforts

Custom decks are a great way to add another dimension to your outdoor space. Including features like built-in seating fire pits, barbeques, or outdoor kitchens can significantly enhance your pool’s style. A sunken fire pit is a stunning feature that can be incorporated into the area surrounding a pool or even placed right in the center of your pool. Color LED lighting options, seating ledges and creative entryways can also substantially augment the pool’s appearance and functionality. 

Regardless of the options you choose, the pool design phase is the best time to dream up ideas and integrate your vision for a luxury pool you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Invest in Luxury Custom Pool Design to Create a Unique Outdoor Oasis

Modern custom pool designs are far more exciting and creative than the predictable rectangular pools of the past. You can incorporate practically any element you can imagine to create a complete outdoor oasis that fits your unique property and lifestyle. 

If you’re ready to take the leap, California Pools has the experience, knowledge and transparency you need to feel confident creating that custom outdoor oasis you’ve always wanted. Find a location near you to schedule a consultation and bring your pool dreams one step closer to reality. 

Good times guaranteed.
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