Length /depth question

luma7

Gold Supporter
Jun 3, 2020
100
Baldwin County, AL
Good evening,
We're going to start a pool build in the next few weeks. Attached are some renderings of our planned pool and scale site drawing. The white shapes in the pool simulate a person standing (circle) and a float (rounded rectangle) so I could have sense of scale for the space.

Currently, the pool is 3.5' on the shallow end and 6.5 on the deep end. The 3.5' depth is consistent until you reach the 'pinch' between the two sections. As the pool starts to curve back to the house the elevation drops to 6.5'. This means we have a very large 3.5' area and a nice plunge-type area. The area in the middle is transitional. That leads to my hesitation with moving forward on this design.

I've been reading through all the threads I can find about pool size, depth and length. There seems to be a consensus that unless you enjoy a smaller pool, the biggest you can afford is the best way to go. Additionally, many people felt like a "deeper" end that wasn't true diving depth created an imbalance in pool use - most people congregated in the shallower spaces - as long as they weren't *too* shallow. 4' seemed to be a common rule of thumb.

We are a mixed use household. I want to 1) do very leisurely laps and 2) hang out on that ledge in the transitional area so I can watch my 6 year old play in the other sections; I have no other preferences. My husband likes to float and snorkel so he can use pretty much any area in the pool. My son's head will be above water in the 3.5' area so he will not have to tread water until he gets to the transitional area. This is kind of his 'play area' then he will use the deeper areas to practice diving for targets and diving down while snorkeling. He'll use any area deep enough to do cannonballs. So it seems like we will use all three spaces.

With that said, based on what I've read so far, I'm considering extending the pool by about 4' in the transitional area or reducing the size of the 3.5' area so there is more transitional area. I lean toward extending the pool by 4' feet because laps will be tight in the 32' I have rounded right corner to the ledge in the deeper end.

I'm hesitating because some of the threads I've read lead me to believe we might have too much 3.5' area. While my son, his friends and siblings are all young now, they will not be short much longer (he should be over 6' when he's grown). That whole circle shape on the right side of the pool is 3.5' and I'm concerned it is too much of the shallowest depth.

So I see the options as:
1) extend the pool to gain more 4' type depth
2) extend the 4' type depth back into the entry area of the pool
3) do a little of both

Any recommendations you can suggest would be greatly appreciated. We would love to finalize the design in the next day or so and get on the calendar for the dig.

Thank you in advance!
 

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sham

Silver Supporter
Mar 4, 2016
196
McKinney, TX
Do you have a picture that shows the dimensions of the pool areas? The dimensions shown now are the whole area with decking correct? As a mom of boys, teen and now college age, I would want less curvy/pinched in narrow area and more long open pool space (which might also be better for laps). Boys grow quick and their friends are rambunctious and need room to play lol. Either a true deep end 8-9 foot for diving/cannonball and basketball in the shallow end, or a 4-5.5-4 feet for both basketball and volleyball. I know some people like the 6 foot deep end, but I have three friends that regret theirs.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,483
NY
So you have clearly done your homework. Awesome job so far.

If you want laps to be a long term thing, the 4ft shallow end needs to happen. Depth in planning is never water depth, so 3.5 ft minus the top few inches of missing water equals knuckes hitting while doing laps. Your son will be a little short probably this year, but 'puddle jumper' / swimmies will help that little extra bit, along with just holding on the sides while playing. My little one would jump up to catch a breath like some kind of majestic dolphin and go back under for the next 10 seconds. She loved it and we couldnt get her out. By year 2 she could stand, and she was no longer human but 98% fish. 3.5 ft is too shallow to bob around, yet too deep to sit. There is a reason all above ground pools are 48 or 52 inches (top of the wall height). It is the sweet spot.

If you put kids in any pool of any kind, an above ground, inground with a slide, jumping rock, etc, they will have a blast. They will love volleyball/basketball in a sport pool just as much. That all being said i cannot get kids away from my diving board, not even with food. They all need one last turn, before simply taking a break. Then one last turn after that, and finally one last turn. Down the road when your 'teen' son has a handful of his fellow linebacker friends over, the extra space and depth will pay dividends.

My vote is always for deeper all around, but its your yard and your dream so keep informing us of the thoughts and we'll keep offering ideas.
 

SpringPool

Silver Supporter
Jun 2, 2017
528
Spring TX
I would make the shallow end 4ft all around. 3.5 is too shallow and the if you want the builder can go deeper if needed In the deep end. Overall very nice design
 
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luma7

Gold Supporter
Jun 3, 2020
100
Baldwin County, AL
Do you have a picture that shows the dimensions of the pool areas? The dimensions shown now are the whole area with decking correct? As a mom of boys, teen and now college age, I would want less curvy/pinched in narrow area and more long open pool space (which might also be better for laps). Boys grow quick and their friends are rambunctious and need room to play lol. Either a true deep end 8-9 foot for diving/cannonball and basketball in the shallow end, or a 4-5.5-4 feet for both basketball and volleyball. I know some people like the 6 foot deep end, but I have three friends that regret theirs.
Hi Sham, You're correct about the measurements. I modified the art to show only pool measurements and approximate depth profile. I also wonder about rambunctious teen boys. My brothers were like that. My husband had a quieter youth due to some health concerns and has trouble imagining all the things healthy teen boys end up getting into. Appreciate the feedback!
 

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luma7

Gold Supporter
Jun 3, 2020
100
Baldwin County, AL
So you have clearly done your homework. Awesome job so far.

If you want laps to be a long term thing, the 4ft shallow end needs to happen. Depth in planning is never water depth, so 3.5 ft minus the top few inches of missing water equals knuckes hitting while doing laps. Your son will be a little short probably this year, but 'puddle jumper' / swimmies will help that little extra bit, along with just holding on the sides while playing. My little one would jump up to catch a breath like some kind of majestic dolphin and go back under for the next 10 seconds. She loved it and we couldnt get her out. By year 2 she could stand, and she was no longer human but 98% fish. 3.5 ft is too shallow to bob around, yet too deep to sit. There is a reason all above ground pools are 48 or 52 inches (top of the wall height). It is the sweet spot.

If you put kids in any pool of any kind, an above ground, inground with a slide, jumping rock, etc, they will have a blast. They will love volleyball/basketball in a sport pool just as much. That all being said i cannot get kids away from my diving board, not even with food. They all need one last turn, before simply taking a break. Then one last turn after that, and finally one last turn. Down the road when your 'teen' son has a handful of his fellow linebacker friends over, the extra space and depth will pay dividends.

My vote is always for deeper all around, but its your yard and your dream so keep informing us of the thoughts and we'll keep offering ideas.
Newdude, thank you for this detail. Lovely descriptions that really bring the experience to life. We initially considered an 8' depth but our PB said the pool would have to be substantially longer. He's using a 1' drop over every 3' of distance which seems pretty standard. However, that conversation was prior to us putting the "L" shape into the pool so it may not hurt to revisit the idea. With the shallower end at 4' and a few more feet in the middle, that may be possible. I just want to be careful not to have too much deep area. It seems to be a fine line between the two.
Really appreciate the input!
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,483
NY
Anytime. You can never have too much pool. It’s like a TV, no matter how big you went, in a few months it’s normal and you are eyeing up the 85 incher at Costco.

Now, granted it is few and far between, but at the last blowout neighborhood party we had around 30 people in my 20X40. We do however have several sets of friends who have 3 kids. If 2 of them come for burgers and swimming, we have 14+ people alot. Of course yard size and budgets come into play, but go as big as you can afford.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,664
Tallahassee, FL
extend the pool to gain more 4' type depth
AND extend the 4' type depth back into the entry area of the pool
4' is the best depth for long term thinking in the shallow end. That will also ease the transition to the deeper end. If you go longer that will also help with the transition.

Now look this up-Watermelon Ball! Your shallow end will be the purrfect place for this wonderful game!

So let me see what your thinking is on something........See that big bump out by the patio at the 10' pinch part? Why such a big bump out? I would smooth it so it does not push into the pool as much. I would also round out the other side of it some as well.
 

luma7

Gold Supporter
Jun 3, 2020
100
Baldwin County, AL
Hi kimkats! The big bump by the patio was so adults could sit on the edge of the pool or in chairs under an umbrella while the kids are in the pool. My mom loves to just sit and watch my son so it is a granny space :). Will talk to the PB to see how we can smooth that out and still keep it useful for that purpose. Never head of watermelon ball before but it looks fun, thank you! Definitely going to switch to 4' in the shallow area. I was already leaning that way and Newdude's descriptions of his children's experience really sealed it for me. We have a zoom with the PB in 2 hours so we'll see how much extra length I can afford....
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,483
NY
The big bump by the patio was so adults could sit on the edge of the pool or in chairs under an umbrella while the kids are in the pool. My mom loves to just sit and watch my son so it is a granny space
My boring rectangle is all edge. Matter of fact, all pools are all edge. Get Mom a taller lifeguard chair if she wants a commanding view. :)
Especially for the smaller kids in the foreseeable future, that 10Ft spot is going to beg them to try and dive across to touch it. Very soon he/they will be banging off it the other side with force. Plus pretty much every kids game in the pool involves some sort of tag. Slash and run or dunk and swim or just plain tag. Some people will get a hard face full when they turn to get away more concerned about the chase then the bump out in front of them.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,664
Tallahassee, FL
that 10Ft spot is going to beg them to try and dive across to touch it
OH NewDude I did not even think of YOU or my hubby and his brother trying and y'all SURE would!!! Such DUDES! LOL

Got to have a Granny spot though. I am sure the PB will be able to address both things if he is any good.
 
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scout123

Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
386
Northwest GA
I hope you can go with a diving pool! I have an above ground pool, and my cousin, who lives right across from me, has an inground 3.5 to 9 feet. My 7 year old likes our pool for about 30 minutes and then she's asking to go to my cousin's. Why? The deep end, the diving board and "mommy it's just a lot more fun when it's over your head"! LOL She's learning to dive now. I remember growing up with a diving pool and we lived in the deep end. When we got tired, we didn't go to the shallow to play, we just held onto the side until we were ready to go again (same thing my daughter does now). Just throwing my 2cents for a deeper pool. In the end, whatever you get, you'll enjoy. It is, after all, a pool!!
 

Yev

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2014
544
Independence, KY
As others have said, I worry about the bottom side pinch point being too far in. Among other issues said, I worry that pool circulation will be weird along that point.

As for 4 more feet, to me this is a no brainer if you can afford this. Your yard clearly has the room to accommodate this without being overwhelming. If your yard were tight, I would be more hesitant.
 

luma7

Gold Supporter
Jun 3, 2020
100
Baldwin County, AL
Really great feedback, thank you, all, very much. Just got off a Zoom with the PB. We did not get a deeper deep area because it would have required more length than my husband thought we'd use to get the depth. He thinks 6.5' is the most we'd use. To get to 7'11" I think the PB said we'd have to add almost 10' in length which was pretty expensive.

We did change the shallow depth to 4' and ensure the bench in the transitional area is almost completely in 4' deep water so I can walk across with a beverage in hand :) to sit and watch my kid.

We softened and made smaller the granny spot. We also added the smallest water feature we could so our son could play in it.

Updated diagram and snaps attached. We'll let it marinate a day or so but I think this is likely what we'll end up with. When this tropical storm moves on, I'll spray paint the outline in our yard and walk around it to be sure - so I have a couple of days for suggestions.

Thanks again!
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,664
Tallahassee, FL
OH I think you almost have it!!!

Now lets look at the bench by the Granny seat. My worry is that is right where some one can/will run to jump into the deep end and the bench is right there. I would shift the bench over to the right when looking at the house so it is out of the "jump in zone".

You do that and you have a GREAT design!!

Now tell use about your equipment. We can/will look it over to make sure you are getting the best stuff for your pool! Make sure to share model numbers.

Kim:kim:
 

luma7

Gold Supporter
Jun 3, 2020
100
Baldwin County, AL
I would shift the bench over to the right when looking at the house so it is out of the "jump in zone".

...

Now tell use about your equipment. We can/will look it over to make sure you are getting the best stuff for your pool! Make sure to share model numbers.
Great point about the shelf. This is a code required exit so I will have to ask the PB what our options are for location.

Would love to share equipment for feedback. Should I start a new thread?