Swimming Pool Blog

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How to Upgrade Your Backyard with a Custom Pool

When you look at your backyard, do you despair? Is it drab and boring and in dire need of a makeover? Does it have you wondering how to upgrade your backyard in ways that make it exceptional? Then, we have the scoop! Make your backyard a “destination location” and provide hours of enjoyment for you, your family, and your friends.

Why not make your backyard the place to be? After all, the average person spends 18 hours outside. All you need is a popular water element that entertains for hours and brings comfort to long days. Surrounding elements create a luxurious setting of calm and serenity for gatherings where friends and family can come together for fun and games.  

Here are our top tips on how to upgrade your backyard with a custom pool (and more!).

How to Upgrade Your Backyard

Imagine coming home after a long day and relaxing in your backyard: maybe a pool, deck, patio, fire, pergola, or stone path? Traditionally, these luxuries have been reserved for holidays and resorts, but this is no longer the case. Modern technologies have made resort-style backyards widely accessible. You no longer need fancy outings to show your guests a good time. You can do it right here at home!

Host and entertain right at home with these great ideas:

  • Modern lighting and color-changing LED
  • Fire features such as a fire pit, fire bowls, and fireplaces
  • Water features such as waterfall, fountain, and infinity edges
  • Pool lounge with tanning ledges and swim-out benches 
  • Integrated landscaping, walkways, and bridges
  • Outdoor Kitchen
  • Custom pools, from lap to elaborate, waterpark-like features 
  • Heated spas with high-action jets
  • Deck area 

The best part: there is no end to the “wow” factor you can create when installing a pool and some well-designed surroundings that elevate the setting. The key is to make your outdoor space as comfortable as possible so it’s more inviting. When done right — an outdoor living space that fosters relaxation with hang-out spots, outdoor furniture, plants for natural shade, and pools with water features — your friends and family will be racing to your backyard for all the best parties and events. For all the special moments in between, you’ll have the luxury of a custom pool and other great backyard elements to kick back and relax after a hard day. 

Why Upgrade with a Custom Pool?

A custom pool has become a standard if you decide how to upgrade your backyard. It will increase your home’s value by 5-8% and come in all shapes and sizes to fit your specific needs and desires. 

You can opt for a pool with a spa at one end if you like relaxing in the water to de-stress. Depending on the purpose, you can also choose from in-ground or above-ground pools, infinity pools, and lap pools. You may prefer a natural-looking pool or a reflection pool for meditation.

Either way, the CDC reports that swimming in a pool offers various health benefits, from improving arthritis and quality of life to supporting water-based exercise and boosting mental health in both women and men. Bringing those benefits to your backyard means quick and easy access to better days in the comfort of your own home.

However, the key to getting the most out of your custom pool is to remember that your backyard doesn’t end at the edge of your pool. You may also use this opportunity to upgrade your backyard to include a lounge area, an outdoor kitchen, a BBQ or bar, or an entertainment area with an outdoor TV and a new music system. You could also add some great landscaping designs.

So, why should you upgrade your backyard with a pool in particular?

Not only can you get creative and design the backyard of your dreams with all of the options available today, but adding a pool to your property will also increase its value and give you hours of enjoyment in your home and yard. You just need the right pool vision and a designer to bring it to life. 

Start with Your Pool Vision

It’s always good practice to start thinking about your ideas before reaching out to a designer. After all, you know your house better than anyone else — how you would like everything to go and the main purpose of your update.

Get your creative juices flowing by looking through pictures of pools and getting an idea of what is possible. Then grab a piece of paper and pen and begin sketching. You don’t need to be an artist to get this done correctly. It doesn’t need to be drawn to scale, and you can go to town and use a mood board to bring in all the different aspects of what you would like included.

To help inspire your creativity, ask yourself some of the following questions for motivation:

  • What shape should it be?
  • How long can it be?
  • How deep do you want it to be?
  • Where could the spa be located?
  • What will the access area to the pool look like?
  • What color do you want the pool to be?

Forbes also has a great selection of pool vision examples for nine types of pools: in-ground, above-ground, lap, architectural, infinity, natural, saltwater, plunge, and spool. Each offers many benefits to your backyard, depending on what you want from the upgrade and how you envision spending your days off relaxing outdoors. 

Your backyard will become an outdoor living space, so go beyond your vision for the pool. Consider the pool surroundings, seating, and theme. This year’s most popular backyard design themes include English Country Cottage, Mediterranean, European Formal, Japanese Zen, American Southwest, and Tropical/Semi-Tropical.

Keep in mind your vision planning doesn’t have to be perfect. Once you have a rough but good idea of what you want, your pool builder can help you adjust based on what’s possible in your situation until you come up with the perfect plan.

Related: Top Things to Know When Building a Pool

What You Can Expect from a Luxury Pool Designer

Now that you know how to upgrade your backyard with a custom pool and other features, there are many technical seo aspects to consider for design. For your custom pool, in particular, the designer will have to think about the type of ground you have, the water system, the filtering system, and how much of your initial design ideas they can make come true.

Your designer will take detailed measurements before a design can be finalized and agreed on. You will not need to check your local residential pool requirements to ensure your design complies with local regulations — your local pool builder will have you covered. 

Next, the designer will create a 3D mockup of your new pool. The mockup will include all the colors used in and around the pool, some ideas about the materials that will comprise your pool, and ideas about decoration and furniture.

The brilliance of working with a pool designer is the opportunity to discuss your favorite ideas and hopes for your backyard with your designer. Taking your vision and ideas into account, your pool designer will be able to ensure it is what you want, within your budget, and suitable for the area you are converting.

Note that there will be several meetings with the designer before you are both 100% comfortable with the final look of your pool and backyard design. You will have many opportunities to ask questions and clarify any aspect of the pool design you are unsure about.

Check List Before You Start

Some considerations before you begin:

  1. Make sure your designer is experienced with a good track record.
  2. Your design should include material that is going to last. The cheapest options are not always the way to go.
  3. Carefully consider warranties and payment schedules.
  4. Safety elements like non-slip surfaces and ease of pool access must be understood, especially if children or pets use the area.

Consider your Budget

It’s always a good idea to balance costs versus what you want, and there may even be some hard choices. However, your home is where you and your family will spend your time for many years. You don’t want to cut too many corners to save your budget and miss out on an opportunity to make your backyard everything you’ve ever wanted it to be. 

So while some may try to be frugal and save money just to keep the cost down, this pool will be with the home for years and years to come, and features put in now will be less expensive than when added later. 

You should balance features, cost, and budget for a satisfying result. The good news is that there are plenty of swimming pool financing options for those that need it. Make sure you consider all costs when creating and following your budget.

For instance, the initial budget is only for getting the pool designed and installed. There are also maintenance costs to consider in your budget. Fortunately, your pool designer will be very knowledgeable in this area. They will advise you on bringing your dreams to life without putting too much stress on your pockets.

Related: What Is a Good Size Swimming Pool?

The Building Process

Once the design has been completed and agreed upon, it’s time to start building. You need to keep several things in mind about the building process:

  • At times, it will be loud. A lot of heavy machinery is required to dig up and build a pool, so keep your neighbors in mind and give them notice about possible noise issues.
  • There will be grading and excavation activities. Installers will completely clear your backyard where the pool will go. This includes any plants and trees that are in the area. Be clear before the work starts about what is going on and what is staying or being saved.
  • Installation of filtration systems and pumps. These are essential components of a pool, and installation may require access to your house to connect to the new system. It’s a complex endeavor, and at times you may be left without a water supply while this is in process.
  • Expect to add chemicals to balance the pool water. Once the pool is complete, you will need chemicals like chlorine to ensure that the pool water stays disinfected at all times. If you have an issue with any chemicals, like if you or someone in your home is allergic to them, make this clear from the start. Your pool professional can advise you on this.
  • It takes between two weeks and a month. Depending on how big and complex your pool design is, it may take two weeks to a month to get the job done. Be clear about your and your builder’s expectations regarding timeframes before the work begins.

How to Upgrade Your Backyard: Choose the Right Designer and Builder

Choosing a company that understands your needs makes planning your new backyard and pool design process much easier. 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 experts have helped tens of thousands of clients explore all their options, incorporate their unique needs and preferences, and bring it all to life.

Create an outdoor space entirely your own with all the bells and whistles by finding a California Pools design center near you and booking an appointment to get started.