Looking for feedback on our pool design


New member
May 21, 2019
Central NC
Hello. I'm looking for some feedback on a rough design for a fiberglass pool on our new-construction home. I've attached two sketches based on our existing foundation/porch plans. We want to start the site work soon (before septic system goes in), and would certainly appreciate your thoughts, opinions and experience!

Background: I intend to do a lot of this myself. My wife and I are in the finishing phase of self-building a 2100 sqft farmhouse out in the county. I have done much of the work including plumbing, electrical, gas, exterior, tile, trim, flooring. I have excellent excavation, concrete and masonry contractors to help on the pool. Our excavation contractor is very precise and has experience with fiberglass pools.

Constraints: Although we've a lot of land, the area for the pool is quite small - it needs fit between the rear concrete patio and the area reserved for our septic drain field. The attached drawings show just about as big a pool I can fit without the retaining wall encroaching on the drain field. We also would like the pool deck to be just one step down from the existing concrete patio, which is a suspended slab, about 40" above grade, poured over engineered steel decking/beams.

So, my thinking so far is to build a partially in-ground pool with a retaining wall. I have run this by our design engineer and the county inspector and neither sees a need for extensive structural work so long as I keep less than 48" unbalanced fill on the retaining wall. I also would like to use pavers for the deck instead of poured concrete, for looks and to have access to plumbing in case of leaks.

My idea is to have the excavation contractor grade the site, place footing for retaining wall, cut the partial dig for the pool, and put the pool in place. I could then run the plumbing and bonding. Then have the retaining wall built, followed by backfill/compacting.

One specific thing on my mind is the concrete perimeter bond beam or "ring". I have read on this forum about leaving this out and would like to omit it, considering the limited area I have to work in. I do not have a major concern leaving it out given the relatively balanced forces between the retaining wall and the small shallow pool.

Any warnings/advice/experiences to share?

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Hello and welcome to the TFP forum! :wave: Your drawings look good. It might help other reviews through to see where you plan on placing the equipment pad. Often times that drives more questions about plumbing, electrical availability, and potential noise.

As for the pool being partially set in-ground, I suspect that would best be answered by your engineer and/or the manufacture of the pool itself. Two concerns that would be most common are buckling of the sides above soil level and potential lift from a high water table. As long as the engineer/manufacture agree that the retaning wall and above ground gravel can be set in such a way that it mimics the support normally obtained by placing the shell in-ground (without voiding your warranty), then I see that as a good thing for you.

Much of this is a bit out of my area of expertise, just speaking as someone with a FB pool myself. Hope all goes well for you, Thanks for using the forum.


New member
May 21, 2019
Central NC
Thanks Texas.

I updated the drawing to show where my electrical rough-in is, and where I am thinking about putting the equipment pad.

I had not thought about the noise aspect. The pad could be moved 12'-14' to the right with a trench and a slight mod to the rough-in.

One pool maker said he'd seen these before - one very similar for an indoor pool. The other has not got back to me yet.


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