16 x 32 Big Enough?

DogtownTX

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2012
38
0
Houston, TX
#1
We are in the planning phase and had a PB come out for a bid. He drew up a 16x32 free form lagoon style, which we are good with. My wife and I staked out the rough shape in the yard and it seemed small. I'm sure it's not as small as it seems, like with home foundations, they make a house look smaller until the walls up.

We have plenty of yard, so that's not a problem, just wondering for a family of four who frequently hosts social gatherings, if 16x32 is 'big enough'. I realize this is extremely subjective but I wanted to hear some thoughts.

FWIW the pool builder wants to show me one of his other 16x32 builds in our neighborhood before giving me a new quote. He thinks 16x32 will work for us.
 

Kias

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 31, 2009
662
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50
NW Ohio
www.rjsoap.com
#2
You will never hear anyone say, "I wish I had a smaller pool!"

Ours is 15x30 oval. Not big enough for our slowly dwindling family of 3.

It is totally subjective.

Since you have the space, take a good look at your wallet. That is what I think should dictate the size you get.
 

9needawin

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2011
80
0
Huntsville, AL
#3
We installed a 16 x 32 last year for a family of 3 - for my wife and I and a 6 month old. It is plenty big for us and we love it but we were limited because of septic tank, fill lines...etc. One factor to consider is depth. Our pool is 8 feet in the deep in and that makes for a pretty steep slope on a pool 32ft in lenth.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,219
0
Tucson
#4
We have an 18 x 36 plus 8x7 sun shelf and 7x7 spa. It's a play pool 3 1/2 deep at one end 4 at the other and 5 feet in the center. I never see the need for 9 or 10 foot deep pools. The only thing a shallow pool limits is diving, and no diving should be allowed in any small residential pool. The only change I would make if doing it again is 4 feet depth at both ends. The size seems about right for the two of us plus our guest when entertaining.

But then, where we live the pool is in use 8 months a year.


One feature I didn't mention (that we love) is a bench built in along one side the entire length of the pool.
 

harleysilo

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
0
North Georgia
#5
Can your kids swim? Can the touch in the shallow end? If not (and even if so) I would strongly recommend an area of the pool that is 4-5" deep. Tanning ledge/swim ledge/large first step/sun shelf, until the kiddos can swim and touch in the shallow end they will only hang out in the area I'm trying to describe.

(our pool has steps that run the length of the shallow end, and the first step is 3' wide and it gets the most use and is comfortable for the adults to sit/relax on, if i could do over i would have that first step 5-6' wide and just make the pool 2-3' longer)

So if it turns out your happy with the current 16x32 when you see one in real life, you could always ask what the added expense would be to add a feature like i'm describing to the 16x32 pool.

One other thing i did was imagine the pool was in my house, and it just so happened that my living room + kitchen + entryway was within a few feet of my pool dimensions, then imagining it full of water really brought home how big it was going to be. Also make sure your wife and you get on opposite sides of the pool drawn in the lawn to get some perspective about how far you can be from each other in the water, toss a ball in that space too!

Here are the best current pics I have of what we did.





When we first considered building a pool 4 years ago we were going to have in the shallow end a true tanning ledge like 8X8 and the other area in the shallow end was going to be an 8x8 built in hottub. Ultimately we had a budget and couldn't do the built in hot tub AND the auto cover so we chose the cover.
 

DogtownTX

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2012
38
0
Houston, TX
#7
Thanks for all the feedback. The current design does include a tanning shelf area, a 7x9 spa and the typical sports pool depths of 3.5' - 5' - 4'. Unless the PB comes back with some ridiculous figure to increase, I think that's what we'll do. Our back yard is roughly 100' wide by 50' deep so I also don't want it to look too out of scale.

I think the most I would want to add to the current figure is $5k, which is kind of a psychological limit (don't want to go over $50k). Anyone have a feel for the kind of increase going to 18x36 or 20x40 might bring, approximately? All things being equal.

And what's with the 1x2 ratio that seems to be common, is that an aesthetic thing? Because I almost think the 32' dimension is fine, that I should just up the 16' to 20' and do a 20' x 32'. So many decisions! :)

Thanks again!
 

harleysilo

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
0
North Georgia
#8
DogtownTX said:
The current design does include a tanning shelf area, a 7x9 spa and the typical sports pool depths of 3.5' - 5' - 4'.
We did a sports pool too. Our's is 3'-3.5'-4' with the intention of playing mucho volleyball. I'm 6'1" as you can imagine i'm always on my knees if i want to be neck deep in the water. HOWEVER, my wife LOVES it, and the kids love it! Plus it's great for playing volleyball in.

So my net is over 3.5' of water, which is waist deep for me, and I can barely spike the ball with current net positioning. Plus the area on either side of the net is flat vs. sloped. I'm not sure what it would be like to be at the net in 5' of water, that's pretty deep, i can imagine it a 4' and i think it would be okay.

You must be doing gunite? I've found my vinyl liner to be pretty slippery for running around in/jumping in, gunite shouldn't be a problem.
 

DogtownTX

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2012
38
0
Houston, TX
#9
harleysilo said:
DogtownTX said:
The current design does include a tanning shelf area, a 7x9 spa and the typical sports pool depths of 3.5' - 5' - 4'.
We did a sports pool too. Our's is 3'-3.5'-4' with the intention of playing mucho volleyball. I'm 6'1" as you can imagine i'm always on my knees if i want to be neck deep in the water. HOWEVER, my wife LOVES it, and the kids love it! Plus it's great for playing volleyball in.

I'm not sure what it would be like to be at the net in 5' of water, that's pretty deep, i can imagine it a 4' and i think it would be okay.

You must be doing gunite? I've found my vinyl liner to be pretty slippery for running around in/jumping in, gunite shouldn't be a problem.
Well I'm the tallest in a relatively short family (I'm 5'10", my wife is 5'1"), but I like to be able to swim around submerged. Even as a kid I spent most of my time at the public pool in the deep end, diving to the bottom. And our kids (5 & 7) are pretty adept swimmers, they swim around my in-laws pool which has a beach entry that drops sheer to 3.5'.

But we've had pool parties at their place, and when there are 7-9 kids/parents in the pool it feels crowded. But I'm not sure what the dimensions of their pool are but it seems like 16x32 isn't far off. If I ask that would tip them off that we are thinking about a pool, and that's not a conversation we're ready to have yet. :-D

And yes, we're doing gunite with a fairly standard plaster surface.
 

Isaac-1

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 10, 2010
6,711
1
49
SW Louisiana
#10
Pool size will partly depend on what you want to do in the pool, lounging around is very different than swimming laps. For lap swimming I wish my pool were 10 ft longer even if it needed to be 5 ft narrower, and more importantly 6 inches deeper in the shallow end. I have long arms (34-35 inch sleeve length on long sleeve shirts) and when swimming laps tend to hit my knuckles on the bottom at the shallow end.
 

mx702

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2010
173
0
MA
#11
A couple of things....To me, it's not so much about gallonage as it surface area/square footage and in IMO a rectangular 16 'x 32' is already a smallish pool. Your builder staked out a free-form, which means its most likely 16' at its widest and 32' at its longest, which is even smaller. Plus, your adding a tanning ledge which will shrink the swimable area even further. I would seriously consider building a larger pool.

We starting the pricing with a 16' x 32'. Then considered the 18' x 36', but finally ended up with an 18' x 38'. It's been my experience that just viewing a calm pool with no bathers is deceiving and gives the illusion that it's larger than it it. Ours is a decent size and is adequate, but with just 3 or 4 swimmers in there anda couple people sitting by the stairs it gets smaller quick. In hindsight, I wish I had upgraded to the 20' x 40'. Go as large as your space and wallet will allow.
 
#12
in a 4' shallow end wall you only end up with 3 1/2' of water - keep that in mind (water level is about 6" below the deck....

in our new pool we have 4 1/2' of shallow end wall giving us 4' water depth - for us it's much better than our last pool.

we also have a tanning/swim out ledge in the deep end which is 6'

pool is kidney shaped 16x32 for 2 of us and the dog - and friends that come over, seems big enough.

changes in size for vinyl pools don't add that much to cost - maybe $1,000 - if you are using concrete or fiberglass I have no idea.

good luck!
 

bobby1017

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 2, 2011
665
0
54
Petaluma, Ca
#13
This sounds familiar. Started planning a 16 x 32, looked to small, changed the layout to 18 x 36 but decided on a 20 x 40. I think the cost diff was about $6000 from the small to the large. I already forgot the cost but am glad the pool is bigger.
 

Kias

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 31, 2009
662
0
50
NW Ohio
www.rjsoap.com
#14
Kias said:
You will never hear anyone say, "I wish I had a smaller pool!"
Well, I now stand corrected. I just heard this in another thread... Maybe it's just the baquagoo frustration talking.

Any decisions on the size yet?

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
369
0
#15
DogtownTX said:
We are in the planning phase and had a PB come out for a bid. He drew up a 16x32 free form lagoon style, which we are good with. My wife and I staked out the rough shape in the yard and it seemed small. I'm sure it's not as small as it seems, like with home foundations, they make a house look smaller until the walls up.

We have plenty of yard, so that's not a problem, just wondering for a family of four who frequently hosts social gatherings, if 16x32 is 'big enough'. I realize this is extremely subjective but I wanted to hear some thoughts.

FWIW the pool builder wants to show me one of his other 16x32 builds in our neighborhood before giving me a new quote. He thinks 16x32 will work for us.
ours is a 17x34 rectangle with a shelf and the spa inside the pool. The area is fine, but if we could have made it bigger we would have (it already takes up the whole yard). because of the size we made it a sports pool, but I would have loved to make it bigger so we could have a deep end.
 

head gamez

Well-known member
Feb 17, 2012
161
0
Winston Salem NC
#16
One thing to keep in mind is that the "pool kit" (if this is a vinyl pool) will not add too much cost, but the pool deck will also increase.

Our 18x36 has been great so far (have had about 6 people in it max as the deck is not yet poured), but 20x40 would be even better!
 

zea3

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 10, 2009
10,860
0
Houston, Texas
#17
Use a few representative items to mimic the size of people and floats in the pool. Lay out a couple of sleeping bags if you have them and use flour to mark a 3 foot circle to represent each person in the family. Then think about the typical number of guests you plan to invite and add a few more circles for them. If the pool looks crowded with just family and a few floaties then you should really consider bumping up the size.

You can also use graph paper to make a simple mock up of your yard. Assign a value to the squares, such as each square = 6 inches and take a rough measurement of the yard and rough out the outline on paper. Next rough in the items in your yard, especially stuff that can't move, and rough in the pool. Use different map colors on the pool to play with the size. Remember to take utility locations into account. Having to re-rout a sewer line will dig into your cash flow.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,219
0
Tucson
#18
It's hard to have a pool that's too big of too much deck. With the exception of planting beds on the perimeter my whole back yard is pool, pool deck and my outdoor kitchen and bar. My neighbors all wish they had either larger pools, more deck or both.

Remember any free form is measured at the widest and longest points. If you did that with my pool it could be called a 24 x 43 instead of 16 x 36. In fact it might be more because they could measure the rectangle corner to corner. It's pretty deceptive.
 

Brentr

LifeTime Supporter
Gold Supporter
Oct 18, 2009
2,514
0
57
Jacksonville, FL
#19
IMHO 16 x 32 is way too big. Our pool is 10 x 20 and is the perfect size. It is easy to keep clean and cost less to upkeep. This is a pic of some of our closest friends, ages from 3years old to 70+ years old. I lost count at 25 people and as you can see there is a lot more room for more people. It is also big enough to swim laps and play volleyball. :cheers: :cheers:
BTW put in as much deck as possible, we have about 1800sq ft and can easily use double this. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:



 

BadOleRoss

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 30, 2011
393
0
56
Lynchburg VA
#20
Our pool is 18x36 with an 8' deep end and if I had to do it allover again I would put in a smaller pool (16x32 or 14x28) and get rid of the deep end. I would rather have a pool that was 6' deep in the center of the pool going out to 3.5' deep on the ends. Even with our 2 teen age boys and their friends the pool was bigger then we needed it to be.