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Everything You Need to Consider About Inground Swimming Pool Designs

Everything You Need to Consider About Inground Swimming Pool Designs

Swimming Pool Design

If you are looking to build an inground pool, you may be excited about the prospect of adding this new feature to your outdoor space.

A pool can provide you and your family with many benefits and hours of fun.

However, while playing in a pool can be fun, building one is another story.

There is a lot of research and work that needs to go into planning the pool. You need to ensure that you purchase the right pool and layout so you are happy with your decision for years to come.

Many factors come into play when designing and selecting a pool. This includes items like size, color, type, and design.

Here are a few of the things you need to consider when you are buying a pool. They will help you hone in on the pool size, shape, type, and design that best meet your needs.


Inground Pool Designs

inground fiberglass pool


What do I need to think about when choosing a pool design?

To choose the best pool design for your family, evaluate these aspects of your pool project:

  • What your goals are in buying the pool
  • What features you want to integrate into the pool
  • Wow your yard impacts the pool size and design you can get
  • What type of pool you want
  • What pool shape/style you want


Buying an inground pool? Our free guide has the answers to all of your questions about size, price, design, manufacturing, installation, and more.

Download the Ebook


Define Your Goal for Buying the Pool

When you are looking at inground pool designs for your backyard, one of the first elements that you should consider is what your goals are when buying a pool.

Most people buy a pool for one of three reasons:

  • Exercise
  • Entertainment
  • Curb appeal

Always carefully consider your goals in buying the pool.

This will help you determine what shape, size, and style of pool may best fit your needs.


Buying a Pool for Exercise

First, you may want to use the pool for exercise.

If you are looking to swim laps or do water aerobics, a square or rectangular shaped pool may best meet your needs.

This shape allows you to swim back and forth in a straight, even line.


Buying a Pool for Entertainment

Second, you may be looking to install a pool for entertainment.

You may want to allow your family and friends a place to relax and hang out.

If you are looking to play in a pool, the depth of the pool becomes more of a factor than the shape.


Buying a Pool for Curb Appeal

Last, you may be installing a pool for curb appeal.

A pool can take your backyard space and turn it into a tropical oasis, with the right shape of pool and landscaping design choices.



What Features You Want in the Pool

Another important factor to consider when selecting an inground swimming pool design is what features you want to incorporate into the pool.

You may want to incorporate many different features or elements into the pool. The ones you choose can affect the shape, size, and style of pool you can go with.

Here are a few of the common features people want in a pool and how they can affect the design of the pool you are looking at.


Wading Pool

If you have young children or grandchildren, you may want to install a wading pool or splash pad element in your pool.

This may be separate from the main pool or may be incorporated into your pool through a walk-in design.

Either way, the size of the wading pool and its location can affect the shape of the pool you go with and the depth of the pool you are considering.


Tanning Ledge

Tanning ledges are currently one of the hottest features in swimming pool designs.

These features are similar to bench seating, but are much wider.

They allow someone to soak in just a few inches of water, helping them to stay cool while tanning.

Tanning ledges can be installed in the curves of a pool or on a straight edge in the pool.

However, the size of the pool plays a huge role in whether you can install them.

You need to ensure you have enough space in your pool for the other activities you want first, then decide whether you have space for a tanning ledge.


Bench Seating

Bench seating allows people to sit and relax around the edges of your pool.

A bench can be installed on both straight and curved edges.

However, just like a tanning ledge, you have to ensure that the bench is placed in a position where it won't interfere with the other uses of your pool, such as lap swimming.


Open Swim Lane

If you want to have an open swim lane in your pool, you need to consider the length of your pool and ensure you have straight lines to create the swim lane.

It can be hard to swim in a straight, even line in curved or kidney-shaped pools.

The desire to have an open swim length greatly affects the shape of the pool you are considering installing.


Slide or Diving Board

The last element you may be considering is a pool slide or diving board.

If you want a slide or diving board, you need to have the space for the structure itself and the depth in a pool. The design of the pool plays a huge role in whether or not you can incorporate this element.

If you have elements that you want to incorporate into your design, always let a pool designer know ahead of time.

The elements can affect the design of the pool.

If you select a pool design and later want to incorporate these elements, you may be disappointed if they can't be incorporated due to the design you have already selected.


How Your Yard Impacts the Pool

Your yard also plays a direct role in the size, style, and shape of swimming pool that can be placed in your space.

Here are a few ways that your yard can impact the style and design of the pool you select.


The Amount of Space in Your Yard

The amount of space in your yard has a major impact on the size and shape of pool you can get.

You may dream of having an Olympic-sized lap pool, but if you have a tiny yard, it may not be an option.

Likewise, you may want a curved pool, but your yard may have only enough space for a square pool.

Always consider the amount of space in your yard when determining the design of the pool.


The Slope of Your Yard

The slope of your yard also impacts the design of a pool.

If you have major slopes, you will have to grade your yard, use a retaining wall, or go with a shape that stays away from these slopes.


How You Want the Pool Landscaped

Lastly, consider how you want to landscape around the pool when the pool is finished.

If you envision a lush area with green grass, shrubs, and palm trees, you need to leave enough space in your yard after the pool is constructed to make this a reality.

Picking a big pool that takes up most of your outdoor space can leave you with little room to construct a deck, patio, or landscape around your pool.



What Type of Pool You Want

When you are designing an inground swimming pool, the type of pool you want also has an impact on the design.

There are three primary types of inground pools. This includes a fiberglass pool, a concrete pool, and a vinyl liner pool.

Each style of pool has different pros and cons. The amount of maintenance each pool needs, the price, and how long it takes to build the pool all vary based on the style.

Fiberglass is a great option for most people. It beats both concrete and vinyl liners in many areas:

  • the least amount of maintenance
  • the fastest installation
  • the amount of chemicals it uses
  • the smoothness of the finish
  • its durability
  • its energy efficiency
  • the availability of features
  • the beauty of the interior features

Do your research on the different types of pools available to determine which one is ideal for you as you go about designing your inground pool.



Different Fiberglass Pool Designs

The last factor to consider about inground swimming pool designs is the style of fiberglass pools that are currently available.

Many fiberglass pools are already constructed, meaning you can select the style and design that you want.

Here are a few of the most popular fiberglass pool designs and the elements they feature.


The C Series

This curvy edged pool features a tanning ledge and generous lounge seating.

C40 and C35 full diagram - fiberglass pool with tanning ledge and bench

There is space to play in the middle, but this is primarily a pool built for those who want to relax and soak up the rays in their pool.


The D Series

This rectangular pool has a tanning ledge on one end.

The rest of the pool is open, making it great for those who want to give their kids space to play or for those who want to swim laps.

D Series fiberglass pool diagram


The L36

This pool is another pool that is built for those who want to relax and soak up rays in the sun.

L36 fiberglass pool with spacious tanning ledge and bench

This Roman-end pool features bench seating, a large tanning ledge, and optimal middle space for play. Find out more about the L36 here


The I Series

This pool features a small amount of bench seating, a tanning ledge, plenty of swim space, and an optional built-in spa. This series is perfect for those who want to entertain and relax in the pool.



The R Series

This rectangular pool has a small amount of bench seating and is mostly wide open, allowing for play and exercise. Get a closer look here

R Series rectangular fiberglass swimming pools



The T40

This 40-ft. pool has an 8'6" deep end and qualifies as a Type III diving pool.

Inground pool designs - T40 fiberglass pool with 8'6" deep end and bench seating

The T40 has deep-end bench seats that provide a place to enter the pool, exit it, or take a rest.

Its shallow end is also 30% larger than the industry standard. This provides more space for hanging out and playing games.



Want to learn more about pools?

When you are looking to buy an inground pool, there are many factors and elements that you need to consider.

Some of these factors include:

  • what your goals are in buying the pool
  • what features you want to integrate into the pool
  • how your yard impacts the pool size and design you can get
  • what type of pool you want
  • the various inground pool designs


Why not take a look at our gallery, browse our catalog, or try out our pool pricing calculator? You can also contact us, and we will put you in touch with an independent installer for a custom quote to get a more accurate price for your pool project. 


Not sure which type of inground pool is right for your home? Download our free ebook below explaining the key differences between fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl liner pools. 




Up Next:

What Are the Best Fiberglass Pool Shapes?

6 Things You Must Know Before You Buy an Inground Pool

Swimming Pool Accessories: The Ultimate Cost and Comparison Guide


Editor's note: This article was edited on January 25, 2024.