One of the biggest decisions you'll make about your new swimming pool is deciding how big the pool needs to be. It's an important question, because the size of the pool helps determine your initial investment, and also contributes to how much money and effort you'll need to put into maintenance over the years. It's pretty hard to change the size of a pool once it's in place, so you'll want to make sure you choose a big enough pool the first time. On the other hand, you don't want to pay for more pool than you really need. Take a look at some questions you should ask yourself before choosing a swimming pool size.
How Many People Will be Using the Pool Regularly?
Obviously, your family size is going to matter when it comes to choosing your pool size. A family of eight probably needs a bigger pool than a family of four. However, if you're buying a pool primarily to give your kids a place to swim for fun, keep in mind it's really not the size of the pool that matters. If your children are the type that can have fun with an inflatable pool or running through a sprinkler, they're unlikely to complain if the pool doesn't happen to be the biggest one in the neighborhood.
Considering a pool is a permanent addition to the home, you should look into the future a bit before deciding on a pool size. If several of your children are teenagers who will be living on their own in a few years, you may want to opt for a smaller pool because it will make more sense in the long run. On the other hand, if you're an empty nester but you have – or expect to have – multiple grandchildren visiting regularly, you may want a pool big enough to accommodate a few pool parties.
What Will the Pool Be Used For?
This question really boils down to whether your pool will be used primarily for fun and relaxation, or whether it will be used primarily for exercising and training. Almost any size pool will do if all you want is to float around on an inflatable raft with a tropical drink in your hand. If you're looking for a lap pool for competitive swim training or general exercise, however, there are some specific dimensions you should consider.
In order to get a good workout, a lap pool should be at least 30 to 40 feet in length. That doesn't come close to the 82 feet commonly used for swim competitions, but it will allow you to do your training at home in the space you have. Swim lanes are usually a little over eight feet, and lap pools are usually about ten feet wide, so consider whether you want a lap pool or a pool big enough for multiple swim lanes. If you plan to dive into the pool, it should be at least six feet deep at one end for safety purposes; if no one is diving, then four feet is deep enough.
Will You Be Entertaining Often?
Many people opt for a very large pool with visions of frequent pool parties in their heads. It's important to be realistic about how often you'll actually use your pool for this purpose, though. If you have a few small children with summer birthdays, then yes, it's likely there are multiple pool parties in your future. And if you entertain on a large scale on a regular basis already, then it's more likely you'll be throwing poolside soirees in the future.
If, on the other hand, most of the birthdays in the house are in the winter time, or if you currently only entertain once a year on Superbowl Sunday, be realistic about how often you'll really be having pool parties. It's not worth buying more pool than you want to maintain regularly for parties that may only happen once or twice a year at most. Also, keep in mind that at any given pool party, a number of people are going to be on the patio instead of in the pool, so you'll want to leave enough room to accommodate guests outside of the pool as well.
The answers to these questions can help you decide whether to go big or limit yourself to something more modest. A good pool contractor, like one from Dolphin Pools & Spas, will talk over these factors with you and help you pick out a pool that fits your family size, swimming needs, and lifestyle.