What Is a Good Size Swimming Pool?

Hot summer days or winding down after a long day aren’t the same without one key feature: a pool. Pools are versatile: they are great for social events, exercise, or kicking back to relax. But what is a good size swimming pool? Choosing the right size requires more than a dream and a yard, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision.

When deciding what a good size swimming pool is, the first considerations you’ll want to make are financial. What’s your budget for the project and ongoing maintenance? What are the upfront costs and how will a pool affect the long-term value of your home? Although swimming pools can add value to your home, you need to be aware of maintenance charges as well. Will you be able to afford them every month?

Next, consider the practical questions. How many people will use your pool on average or at most? Families grow with time, and pools attract more guests. You’ll want to consider these changes, so your pool serves you well for years to come. Will your deck space be functional, or will you need room for non-swimming activities? Pool proportions will fluctuate based on answers to these types of questions.

So, what is a good size swimming pool?

Actually, size is just the starting point: There are countless types and shapes of pools. Some pool features you need to consider are not only size, but surface finish and tile, steps, diving boards, and depth requirements, just to name a few. Before wading into those options, you’ll need to contemplate several basic key considerations.

What Is a Good Size Swimming Pool? Key Considerations

When we have an idea, we tend to dream big. While we’re all for enthusiastic creativity, we want to build out your vision. Two of the most common questions we get are, “What is a good size swimming pool and how much will it cost?” Let’s dive into the common factors that determine the best size pool for your needs.

Related: A Guide to the Different Types of Inground Pools

To determine your possibilities, first check your local residential pool requirements and regulations. These fluctuate from city to city and even neighborhood to neighborhood.

After that, the biggest limitation on pool size is the availability of space in your yard. Smaller pools are suited to urban areas, and larger pools are great when there are acres to spare. Some people prefer no grass and want the pool to fill as much space as possible.

You’ll want to consider what else can go in the space, even if it’s not grass. Extra features could be entertainment spaces, firepits, lounge furniture, and outdoor kitchens. The possibilities increase if you divide space between aquatic and land recreation.

Existing constraints within your yard can either limit your pool size or add to the total cost. Property lines, landscaping, and underground infrastructure are all possible limitations.

If you already have a patio, consider if you want to build off that design or start from scratch. Your pool and deck should elevate and complement your outdoor space. Your swimming pool should also be consistent with the look of your home. The design should be seamless as if the pool and its surroundings were there from the start.

After brainstorming general pool size and surrounding options, ground yourself by crunching the numbers. Pool size dramatically impacts the cost, but extras like a deck, spas, safety measures, and water features also add up.

Maintenance costs also vary by what size your swimming pool is. Sweeping for leaves is the easy part. Pools of all sizes must be regularly cleaned, but the larger the pool, the longer that process takes. This involves chemical balancing, treatment, filters, vacuums, and covers. Finding a balance between function, aesthetics, and upkeep is your best strategy.

Related: Backyard Renovation with Pool Reinvention

What is a good size swimming pool? It may help to determine exactly why you want the pool to begin with. For leisure? For fun? For entertaining? For exercise? For aesthetics? Maybe a combination of all?

The activities the pool will accommodate are important details when deciding the right pool size. Recreational pools tend to be smaller and shallower, with enough room for wading and games (unless your recreations involve more participants or space, then they’ll vary).

Perhaps you want a pool for exercise. These pools can be long rectangles with enough depth to swim laps, or smaller with jets to provide resistance for swimming in place.

Some homeowners simply want a beautiful backyard, with an elegant pool and waterfall. Others want to create a destination for their children and grandchildren, packing in slides, grottos, sprays and beach entries.

Determine how you want to use the pool, then you can decide on what a good size swimming pool would be to accommodate your wants. Work with an experienced pool builder to help you assess your space and design the ideal pool.

When you are wondering, “what is a good size swimming pool?” ask yourself, who will use your pool? Those living with you will likely use the swimming pool the most. As each resident shares news of a pool coming to your yard, the number of potential guests increases.

Let’s think about age groups. Hosting adult-only guests, you have more flexibility in size. Offering a pool with a shallow wading area or beach-entry is recommended if you plan to host younger guests. Shallow-to-deep pools will have size requirements to accommodate all guests safely. Remember to accommodate guests with mobility and accessibility concerns. Precautionary features like ladders and fencing are helpful additions.

Now think about how many guests you may host. What is the minimum and maximum you may need to accommodate?. These are the standard sizes based on the number of guests:

  • Six to eight people will comfortably share an 18-foot by 36-foot pool. This pool size is spacious for larger groups with enough room for games.
  • Five or fewer people would fit a 16-foot by 32-foot pool. This pool size allows for swimming and casual use.
  • Three or fewer people can enjoy a smaller, 14-foot by 25-foot pool. Still enough room to toss water-safe toys, float, or sit and relax.

Related: A Guide to Summertime Outdoor Pool Maintenance

Your local climate will determine how frequently you can use your pool, regardless of size. The availability of swim-friendly days may factor into how much you wish to invest in your pool’s size. Warmer regions may allow for year-round use of the pool. Colder regions or seasonal temperature changes limit pool use to a fraction of the year. Maintaining a proper, comfortable water temperature in different seasons directly affects cost. The effect will vary based on how big or small the pool.

Type or Shape
Type or shape can affect the size of a swimming pool. While the two most popular are rectangular and L-shaped, custom pools come in unconventional shapes and dimensions.

L-shaped swimming pools create interesting shapes in the yard, opening up the design to creativity. Geometric pools have straight, sharp edges, frequently seen with modern homes. Circular pools are typically cost-effective, above or in-ground. Free-form pools are intriguing because they don’t follow particular rules when it comes to shape. They could mimic a cloud or symbol, or be entirely abstract.

Grecian pools are rectangles with rounded corners, often surrounded by decorative decks and landscape. Similarly, Roman pools are rectangular but have rounded ends. While fun, each shape will dramatically impact the cost. Always reflect on your budget and other features you’d like included in your design.

The sizes mentioned earlier are standard or recommended. In the end, your personal preference (within the existing constraints) determines what is a good size swimming pool for you. Always circle back to the purpose of your pool and how committed you’ll be to its upkeep. Once you’re confident in the size and purpose, you can move forward with a custom pool designer.

Opt For a National Leader in Custom Pool Designs

Choosing a builder who understands your needs makes choosing the right pool size easier. Finding a builder with the right experience is essential to achieving a beautiful outdoor living space.

Since 1952, California Pools has designed and installed pools, from standard lap pools to aesthetic resort-style pools, with 100% transparency at every step. Our comprehensive service includes water, decking, landscaping, lighting and fire features, and automation. With franchises across the country, we proudly offer local teams who partner directly with you to create custom solutions that fit you. We’d love to help you discover the best size swimming pool for your situation. Find a location near you today to discuss your custom design.

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