Home owners with small backyards tend to believe they cannot have a swimming pool, but they are mistaken. If you have a backyard, there is room for a pool.
A petite pool can transform your backyard into an area that not only delivers space for family relaxation, but also provides a wonderful al fresco entertaining zone. Incorporating a pool into your backyard need not be a challenging task; all you need is a touch of ingenuity and clever planning.
If you are a fan of The Block, the most recent series featured a number of the contestants adding a pool to their build, providing a wealth of ideas and inspiration for building a pool in a small space.
In a small backyard a pool can take up a considerable amount of the available space, so positioning and careful design are key. A pool shouldn’t come at the expense of the overall functionality of the home and outdoor space. “Make sure the swimming pool has a second value”, says NSW manager of Archicentre, Angus Kell. “That is an integral part of the design of the house, so you get an aesthetic as well as practical benefit.”
Before deciding on a pool, consideration should also be given to the ongoing maintenance they require. However, Australians love their pools and outdoor entertaining areas, and are a fun addition for the kids.
A pool can also add value to your home, although the extent of the added value may depend on the real estate market in which you live. Nevertheless, a carefully position pool with seamless indoor/outdoor flow, where the pool plays a role in the livability of your home, will always be an investment.
The type of pool installed will obviously be an individual choice. To guide you in your decision some good questions to ask yourself are:
- who are the main users?
- how often will be the pool be used?
- do users want to swim laps?
- how often will we use the pool for entertaining?
- how much outdoor living area do we want?
- will the size of our family change over the years?
The decision as to type of pool will also be guided by the slope and dimensions of your backyard — does the space suit an above-ground, partial in-ground or in-ground pool?
The most common pool types for small backyards are plunge pools, lap pools and free-form pools.
A plunge pool is a small, deep pool for soaking and relaxing. This type of pool can easily fit into a small space. Plunge pools are also cost-efficient. Thanks to their volume and small diameter, they require less labour and materials to install. Also, ongoing expenses such as heating and maintaining the water are relatively cheap due to their small size.
A lap pool is ideal if you have a narrow block, where you can install the pool on the side of the house along the boundary.
Concrete free-form pools are a good space-saving option as they can build following the contours of the yard, tidily fitting into corners of the backyard which are less practical for other features like decking or barbeques.
So, to pool or not to pool?
Even if you have a small outdoor living space and backyard, there are clever ways in which a pool can be incorporated into it. By making careful choices as to style and fit, your pool will be an asset that enhances your home and lifestyle.