How Much Space Do You Need For a Swimming Pool?

A well designed swimming pool is a complimentary addition to any outdoor living area. Whilst visually the pool is often the focus – the purpose of your pool design should be the seamless use of the whole outdoor space year round. By this I mean ensure you allocate space and position the pool according to how you will utilise the remaining outdoor space.

For instance:

  • Grassed areas if you have kids and animals for play areas and free roaming year round
  • Al fresco entertaining and outdoor rooms will protect you from the sun in summer and keep you warm during the winter
  • Paved areas form platforms for outdoor furniture and thoroughfares for foot traffic
  • Planting and garden beds soften finishes and offer privacy
  • Pools serve a practical purpose for the Summer period (effectively from October to April if you have solar heating); and otherwise offer a purely visual function year round.

Even though I build swimming pools, I don’t think they are the be all and end all of outdoor design.

A pool that uses space efficiently

Here is an example of what we’re talking about – the pool is not too large to take up the garden, leaving plenty of space for other activities.

I think the design of pools and pool surroundings should be undertaken with a strong emphasis on the practical use of space. As a general rule the pool and pool surround should occupy an area of approx. 25% of the total available area. So if you have a small or medium sized  backyard (~150 sqm), consider building a small pool from 20 – 28 sqm in size with a suitable small pool surround area.  This allows plenty of room for you to use the outdoor area for the many other functions and if you can’t think of anything, imagine what kids – and those that think like them – would do with the space:

  • Kick the footy
  • Backyard cricket
  • Build a vegie patch etc.
  • Thrust up a clothes line
  • Build a shed and park a trailer

Your backyard is so much more than a swimming pool  – it’s an outdoor entertaining area in which the design should be dictated by how you will use the space.

Key points:

  • Build your pool and pool surround to occupy approximately 25% of the total available area (especially if you have kids)
  • Ensure the pool surrounds occupy an area of approximately 50% of the pool surface area
  • A pool always looks good – so make sure you design it well so it looks great
  • Kids use pools -> Kids use backyards -> Adults pay for pools -> Pools pay for themselves when they compliment a property