Pool In Font Yard?? Sketch & Pix, Please Advise

KJohn

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Hello,

Everyone and their in-laws seem to have their pool in the back yard, but we don't have room. We do have a spot in front that might work. What do y'all think about this setup? My wife and I plan to stay here for a long while, but we don't want to do a big investment that will end up looking silly.

We're leaning toward a 20x40 rectangular vinyl or 16x40 fiberglass, for laps and horseplay. The proposed site will get good sun.

We would do some clearing into woods in front of and downhill from our house. There would be a wooded buffer to screen most of the pool area from the driveway (see sketch). The big pine in the middle of the picture would be the right side of the clearing. View from house:



View from driveway - upper/house:



View from driveway - lower/proposed area to clear for pool:



And sketch:




Hopefully the lay of the land is decipherable. Any ideas/insights/guidance are most welcome, and many thanks in advance!

John
 

KJohn

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Agreed Keith, and in my rural setting privacy wouldn't be much of an issue. I guess I'm also thinking about the idea of "curb appeal", and would a pool in front look out-of-whack. I actually designed and developed my little neighborhood, and am the head of the HOA, so I want set a good example :)

Interestingly, a search for "pool in front yard" on TFP yields nothing, and there's precious little on big Google and YouTube.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,215
Central California
Jed, you kin put yer cee-ment pond anywhere ya like! ;)

But first, I would pose the resale question to a half dozen local realtors. They'll be able to answer that better than us. Some might even come out and look onsite, if they think it might turn you into a client someday.

Don't forget about a fence when you're imagining what it will all look like and how it will impact the property. That may not be required in your woods, but that doesn't mean you don't have to have one.

I can't make out your drawing. It won't enlarge and it's got a big photobucket banner across it.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,601
NY
In my town, the pool had to be located entirely behind the rear of the house. I wanted to use the side yard instead but was not allowed. Some other towns 30 minutes away do not have this rule, but check with your town first because it could save you alot of wasted planning.
 
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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
199
NY
I think with this lot if you put it as far to the side as you could and lined it with a wall of shrubs or trees you could kind of make it it’s own defined space and it could work.
 
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KJohn

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Dirk, great idea to check with realtors. I can open the sketch with right-click, then "open image in new tab" - does something like that work for you?

Maine requires a fence, and I can picture a fence on the sides and back, but I'm having a hard time picturing a fence between the house and pool. Not sure how it wouldn't look awkward.

Newdude, really good point, does the town even allow a pool in front. I'll check the ordinance.

Jamjam, that was my first thought, putting the pool on the side. And it's not impossible, but it means taking a lot more trees to get sun, and cutting into the buffer of trees between me and my neighbor. But I agree, it can be sectioned off nicely.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,353
Hernando, Ms
I have a friend who’s parents live next door to them & their parents also have a pool in their side/front yard. It’s really between but slightly infront of both houses. It’s A shared family pool. neither property is fenced just an iron fence around the pool. They both have large properties as well.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,215
Central California
OK, that worked with the drawing. Hard to tell from it, though, what is actually the front or the side. From the position of the driveway and roadway, the pool looks more like it's going to be on the side or your house. Which looks fine. It doesn't look like it's right out your front door, or in a spot where the whole neighborhood is driving by your pool while you're sitting out there. Your lot looks big enough, and secluded enough, to support this, though, again, it's hard to tell from the pics.

With all those trees, will falling leaves/needles/sap be an issue?
 

KJohn

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Dirk, I can't get a wide enough angle picture to show everything, but as proposed, you go out my front door, jog down the hill, jump the fence, and you're in the pool. It's roughly 100 feet from porch to pool.

But you're right, the driveway curves in, or said differently, as you drive away from the house, there's a curve that takes you further from the pool area; and there is a wooded buffer, and there's little traffic - so from that standpoint it's not a problem.

So I guess it's not really curb appeal, it's more the oddity of looking out your front door or front windows and having the pool front and center! There's no law against it (actually I have to check on that tomorrow!), but it's a little odd.

I should prolly re-visit the side location.

Yeah, there are some big trees in these woods, easily 50-60 feet tall. I would clear significant space, 50 ft separation or so, but I can't clear enough to stop wind-driven leaves and "helicopters".
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,215
Central California
Well, everybody's pool gets stuff "flown in." Just pointing out you want to keep an eye on what's dropping what where, and how prevailing wind can be a factor in how much stuff gets in your pool.

You could pound in a few stakes, that outline your pool's location (both locations?). Then maybe tie something to them, like PVC poles or longer stakes. Just something you can see from the house, as simple or as elaborate as you care to. That could simulate the corners of the fencing. Lay down a big blue tarp? Throw some of your yard furniture around it? Then live with that for a few days/weeks. Check it out as you drive by. Look at it out your window(s). Maybe from your neighbor's yard? Just a way to help you visualize what it'll be like.

I always run my larger outdoor projects by my neighbors (a hillside stairway I put in, yard lights, solar panels, etc). Just to get their feedback. Not sure their opinion would sway me, but it's a great way to let your neighbors know that you're a good neighbor.
 
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KJohn

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Morning Dirk, thanks for helping me think this through. There are grade stakes now marking the side of the pool closest to the house, for both locations. I like the blue tarp idea but will have to do some more clearing first. I'll also try to mock up a fence as that will be a prominent feature, maybe ropes tied to stakes. Also living with the concept for a while is a good suggestion.

And really good idea to involve the neighbors. Will do that once I get a layout we're happy with.

I have a landscape designer friend coming over this morning and am looking forward to getting his take on things.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,215
Central California
I have made similar suggestions to folks in their planning stage. I point out that what you think is a lot of pool or decking may or may not be. So that's where the stakes and tarp and furniture staging came from. For example, you'd be surprised how many square feet a table takes up. It's the table, plus the chairs, pulled out, plus room to comfortably walk around all that, that is the real required dimensions for a table, not the 4' x 6' table itself. Chaise loungers are big, too. You get the idea. Now's the time to play around with dimensions and locations for everything. Because unlike landscaping or a lot of other outdoor improvements, once a pool is in, it is literally in stone.

Be sure to post pic's of your efforts!
 

KJohn

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Is there a rule of thumb or range for how wide the decking should be with a diving board or slide? Tables/chairs/loungers? Nothing in particular?

Thanks again for your time with this.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,215
Central California
Rule of thumb: Yes, whatever you think is going to be perfect, double it! Most of us wish we had more deck, nobody thinks they have too much. I don't know about the actual numbers, if there are rules of thumb on that (and/or code requirements). I've seen no deck, just coping then lawn, or half the pool is rock wall, so only half decking, or vast expanses of deck, and everywhere in between.

I wouldn't want less than 5' all the way around. That's clear of everything else. Add beyond that for the sitting area(s). 5' min behind board/slide, etc. Kids and people walk and run around a pool. They shouldn't have to squeeze around others or things.

When I was adding an island in my kitchen, I looked for rules of thumb and guides, about size and height and overhang, etc. I ended up building it out of cardboard boxes and lived with it for at least a month. Ate off it! I was especially concerned about the clearance between the island and the refrigerator (with door shut and open). I couldn't get it figured out with a tape measure, there had to be something there to feel what it was going to be like. I don't think the mockups I'm suggesting are mainstream, by any stretch, but I've made 'em work for me and can't think of a better way to make sure I get these kinds of decisions right.
 
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