Need some help deciding the depth of the deep end!


Jan 5, 2021
Hello everyone, I need some help to make the best decision.

We are building our vinyl pool this Summer (probably July/August, weather pending). I attached the project for better visualization.

Basically is a 16x36 rectangular pool with a tanning shelf. We have 2 boys, ages 5 and 8. They are very active.
We DO NOT want a very deep end. 8 feet is 100% out of question, we don't want a slider or a diving board. My kids don't dive other than occasional cannonball. When they grow up, I don't want them diving either, LOL. Plus extra water, extra heating costs, etc... Not something my family is looking for.

The initial project was for a deep end of 5'6''. however, what If I want that deep end to be usable for adults (like standing comfortably)?? Isn't that too deep for that purpose? I know some people have used 5 feet deep.

Should I go 5 feet deep? My PB says that 5 feet deep end is more than enough for kids to do cannonballs. My friend has a pool and my kids were doing cannonballs on his shallow end (which was 3.5 feet) without any issues. Anyone with similar set up care to chime in??

I attached the pool drawing.

thank you for your input!


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Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Tell you kids to keep the cannon balls to the deep ends for safety.
If you want a pool that is 5' water depth- tell your PB that. The pool will be like 5'4" wall height. The water is lower than the top of the pool.

Maddie :flower: <--who misses having a deep end deeply. I want to DIVE so bad!!!
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Jan 5, 2021
Tell you kids to keep the cannon balls to the deep ends for safety.
If you want a pool that is 5' water depth- tell your PB that. The pool will be like 5'4" wall height. The water is lower than the top of the pool.

Maddie :flower: <--who misses having a deep end deeply. I want to DIVE so bad!!!
I know we can do the 5 feet for the deep end, I was just looking for advice from people that have had that.

thanks for the tip!


Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
Winter Garden , FL
I would just caution you that "very active" boys will do what boys do. They will dive, their friends will dive even if they don't. I understand you not wanting that, but, I think you should plan for the possibility as they age and become more independent. I wouldn't go less than 6' personally. That isn't great for diving, but at least has some margin of error, and keeps your pool from being too deep. I had 8' on my first pool, I prefer 6'. My kids are too small for me to test the theory that 6' will allow for some horseplay, but 5' or even 5'6" feels a little shallow for my comfort.


Bronze Supporter
May 6, 2016
Atlanta, GA
I guess you don't want to hear this, but I wouldn't build a pool for kids that wasn't deep enough for horseplay. We have an 18x36 pool. The shallow end is plenty big for anyone who wants to just stand (with or without a drink in hand) and the deep end is 8 feet -- which allows my 3 kids (ages 4 to 11) and their friends to jump, cannonball, race, etc. We often have many kids playing at once (20+ sometimes!) and I can't imagine keeping them all from jumping into the pool, and I wouldn't be comfortable with them doing so if the water was too shallow.
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Well-known member
Jul 3, 2018
Fleetwood, PA
It's already been said, but i'll try to drive it home - if you have kids, you want a DEEP end. Think about it...when you were a kid, did all your friends get excited about swimming in the 4ft deep above ground? Or the 8ft deep inground? Most families in my neighborhood had 24ft AGPs...but all the kids always went to the house with the 18x36 inground. My dad tore down our AGP after only 3 seasons because the house across the street put in a deep inground (the second deep pool in the neighborhood) and then we never used our pool.

If you are still staunchly against a true deep end, then it really doesn't matter what you do. Your pool either has a DEEP end, or it doesn't.


Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
i have girls in the same age range - we went with 7 ft in the deep end - i wanted to make sure it was deep enough to swim under water, jump in, tread water, etc without having it too deep where i was heating extra water. I agree with what Raven said about the functional importance of a deep end.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
Pacific NW
I have that setup. 7ft deep. Had a 9 foot deep diving well previously. I miss it. But the smaller current pool is definitely easier to maintain.


Bronze Supporter
Jun 21, 2020
Las Vegas, NV
If you want a pool an average size adult can stand in with head above water, then by all means get that!

With kids involved though, for me personally, I wouldn't go shallower than a 7' deep end. Kids are going to want to be kids & especially when friends get in the mix & using the pool too. We had ours built last year with 7' deep end & given my position on it now that it's built I prolly would've liked it better at 8'. We have a # of adult kids that are 6'-something tall & between them & the grandkids people are jumping into the pool with authority on the regular. Can't imagine most of them jumping into a 5' deep end but again, your pool, your wants.

This is wife & my 2nd pool each having had built. We both agree that the larger & deeper (within reason) the sun deck/wet deck/tanning deck (or whatever you want to call it) the better, & at least 7' of water in the deep end.
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