Need help finalizing a design

mptran

New member
Aug 19, 2020
3
Texas
We're new pool builders and keep second-guessing ourselves on the design. We have 4 children (ages 4 to 16) and have large extended families, so entertain often with 20+ people. Critiques and suggestions welcome.
Pool size: 37 x 26 (tanning ledge takes up 8 ft of the 26)
Pool depth: 3.5-6
We are adding more decking on both ends of the pool

Questions:
1. Is having 2 tanning ledges not practical? We felt it allows more space for people to lounge. Some PBs told us it's wasted pool space. Would you ask for more than a 6 inch depth on the ledge?
2. Is the position of the spa close to the house ok? We didn't want to walk far to sit in the spa, especially during colder months when the spa will be the only thing we use. Would you position it somewhere else?

Thanks!
 

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Tegguy

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2019
213
Winter Garden FL
So here is my opinion please note I'm not a professional and we are currently building our first pool but just stuff I have learned hanging out in neighbors pools.

Most people will tend to hang out in the shallow end and also the sunshelfs and those will become the "social" areas. With the deep area being the "play" area especially for older kids. I like the nice open swim area you have and it'll allow a lot of people to congregate. One thing you might want to think about is keeping the stairs inside the sunshelf area this will prevent people from running into them while they are swimming or playing. Most of the stair width won't be used especially if you plan an umbrella and a couple loungers because these will block the stairs. Maybe make shallow end sunshelf a little wider and put the stairs in that area?

Consider having the spa at +12" or +18" this will allow this area to act as seating for guests. I like the use of the spa in front of the spa for a bench it's a good use of this space. Regarding the distance from the house try to think through your seating area in the pictures you have there is a lounge chair on the house near the spa and this will cause a bit of a "pinch" point for people trying to "lounge" but also walk through the area.

On the sunshelf depth we debated this as well and we ended up requesting 9" water depth (part of me wanted to go to 12") but we felt this was a good depth to sit in a chair and have a little water over you but not so deep kids/dogs couldn't play on it.

Sorry if this is a little more feedback than you were looking for.
 

S S

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2020
100
Los Angeles
I can only tell you what we decided and what works for us--we have a large family and three kids as well:
9" on the sunshelf--we have one large one 15' * 6'3" (you will see both opinions here, it is strictly a personal preference)
with all of that space, we opted per advice here to start shallow end at 4'
 
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mptran

New member
Aug 19, 2020
3
Texas
So here is my opinion please note I'm not a professional and we are currently building our first pool but just stuff I have learned hanging out in neighbors pools.

Most people will tend to hang out in the shallow end and also the sunshelfs and those will become the "social" areas. With the deep area being the "play" area especially for older kids. I like the nice open swim area you have and it'll allow a lot of people to congregate. One thing you might want to think about is keeping the stairs inside the sunshelf area this will prevent people from running into them while they are swimming or playing. Most of the stair width won't be used especially if you plan an umbrella and a couple loungers because these will block the stairs. Maybe make shallow end sunshelf a little wider and put the stairs in that area?

Consider having the spa at +12" or +18" this will allow this area to act as seating for guests. I like the use of the spa in front of the spa for a bench it's a good use of this space. Regarding the distance from the house try to think through your seating area in the pictures you have there is a lounge chair on the house near the spa and this will cause a bit of a "pinch" point for people trying to "lounge" but also walk through the area.

On the sunshelf depth we debated this as well and we ended up requesting 9" water depth (part of me wanted to go to 12") but we felt this was a good depth to sit in a chair and have a little water over you but not so deep kids/dogs couldn't play on it.

Sorry if this is a little more feedback than you were looking for.
So here is my opinion please note I'm not a professional and we are currently building our first pool but just stuff I have learned hanging out in neighbors pools.

Most people will tend to hang out in the shallow end and also the sunshelfs and those will become the "social" areas. With the deep area being the "play" area especially for older kids. I like the nice open swim area you have and it'll allow a lot of people to congregate. One thing you might want to think about is keeping the stairs inside the sunshelf area this will prevent people from running into them while they are swimming or playing. Most of the stair width won't be used especially if you plan an umbrella and a couple loungers because these will block the stairs. Maybe make shallow end sunshelf a little wider and put the stairs in that area?

Consider having the spa at +12" or +18" this will allow this area to act as seating for guests. I like the use of the spa in front of the spa for a bench it's a good use of this space. Regarding the distance from the house try to think through your seating area in the pictures you have there is a lounge chair on the house near the spa and this will cause a bit of a "pinch" point for people trying to "lounge" but also walk through the area.

On the sunshelf depth we debated this as well and we ended up requesting 9" water depth (part of me wanted to go to 12") but we felt this was a good depth to sit in a chair and have a little water over you but not so deep kids/dogs couldn't play on it.

Sorry if this is a little more feedback than you were looking for.
Thank you for the advice! It was all very helpful. Putting the steps next to the ledge would also allow people to enter the pool without going pass someone lounging.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
407
Central Texas
Wow, what a fun design project! I can see how you would be constantly second guessing yourself, plannign for so many people, of varying ages.

If it were me, I wouldn't want the two tanning shelves separated like that. I would think during family parties, kiddos will probably play on it, and having one large one instead of two separate ones may work better for that. During adult parties, when you have friends/family lounging on them, I think they'll be shouting over the spa trying to talk to each other maybe?

I'd look into moving the spa out, and make it stand alone, kind of where the fire pit is in your picture. This would allow adults to lounge even when kids were splashing and playing. Then combine the two tanning shelves right in the middle of the pool, and have two staircases going down on either side of the large tanning shelf. So nothing is protruding into the swim lane of the pool, and the whole side would be tanning ledge and stairs.

Just a thought ... have fun with it!
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
632
Katy TX
We're new pool builders and keep second-guessing ourselves on the design. We have 4 children (ages 4 to 16) and have large extended families, so entertain often with 20+ people. Critiques and suggestions welcome.
Pool size: 37 x 26 (tanning ledge takes up 8 ft of the 26)
Pool depth: 3.5-6
We are adding more decking on both ends of the pool

Questions:
1. Is having 2 tanning ledges not practical? We felt it allows more space for people to lounge. Some PBs told us it's wasted pool space. Would you ask for more than a 6 inch depth on the ledge?
2. Is the position of the spa close to the house ok? We didn't want to walk far to sit in the spa, especially during colder months when the spa will be the only thing we use. Would you position it somewhere else?

Thanks!
Welcome fellow Texan. Enjoy all the feedback you get from members at TFP.
I think the design you have is awesome. I have a couple of tweaks that some others have noted as well.
Most like tanning ledge are at 9 inches water depth. There is a whole thread on that if you search in the forum.
Think about a pool without a tanning ledge. The first step is around 6 inch deep (counting from water level - excludes the distance above the water line to the deck) and the second step is about 18 inches of depth. so a 9 inch ledge gives you a little deeper than a first step which is what you want but not as deep as that second step.

I would second the plan to move the steps out of the pool area and reduce the tanning ledge. The way I envision it, the shallow end tanning ledge will be for those under 5 y.o. and over 60 y.o. Then the steps into the shallow end - would have depth of pool next to step min. 3 ft. 6 inch or go to total 4ft (48 inches). All perfect for relaxing, watching the kids (or grandkids), etc.

The deep end tanning ledge will be the teenage social area with a straight jump off into deep end. See the boys impressing the girls (or visa-versa). Having it also at 9 inches water depth allows one to relax and get a tan at same time.

Most definitely it is best to have spa close to house. Being in the middle of the 2 tanning ledges makes it a unique design.
There are pros and cons to raised spas - consider elderly people that may have to step over the ledge to enter it vs. just a step down from the deck. However a raised spa keeps people (sometimes) from accidently falling into the spa. Consider who and how you plan to use it.

Construction points
Have at least 2 skimmers in the pool and have them plumbed independently back to the equipment pad.
Have a 400k BTU heater to warm your spa quickly and if you desire it can warm your pool but may take quite a bit longer.

Good Luck.
 

mptran

New member
Aug 19, 2020
3
Texas
We have 400k BTU in the proposal and will ask for another skimmer and the plumbing. I’m reading that a lot in the posts. Thank you!