Pools on downward slope, pics and considerations


Active member
Jul 17, 2018
Little Rock, AR
Hello TFP.
Planning (hoping) to put in a pool starting 1.5-2 years from now. I'm a planner:D
We live in central Arkansas on a small mountain, practically solid rock, backyard off existing concrete patio slopes downward. So some sort of retaining system, wall system will be required. I would like it to be freeform, to have some natural rock, small rock waterfall grotto, sun ledge. I haven't decided on depth, but probably 6'6" to 7". I would love close to 40'x20', but dolla bills yo.

I would love to see pics of TFP member's in ground (i guess semi-in ground) pools on a slope. Also any advice on building (gunite vs other), cost considerations, and maintenance issues (colder water in winter etc).

There aren't a ton of images on google. I did come across this one. I don't believe our slope isn't this steep.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

Before you do to much planning, I'd get some basic ideas on cost first.. My guesstimate is that the pool in your pic costs between $150 and $200K... Maybe more for the parts we can't see...


Jim R.


TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
You should consider doing an infinity edge since you have the slope.

You're going to need a good geotechnical engineer to come up with an engineering plan to make sure that everything is done correctly.

What type of budget are you thinking?


Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
Central MD
We have a decent slope. I think it was like 6’ rise over 30’ run. You can see the link to our build on my signature with lots of pics.

Note that our poured retaining wall actually goes around the entire structure where the deck meets the grass/landscaping, to support the deck on the lower side. It was a great solution for us.

Round numbers ours was $100K including $15K cover. Infinity edge is probably a ~$25K adder for a large pool.

Great timeframe to do your research.


Platinum Supporter
Sep 8, 2013
You can also search "new build in south Texas" for our build. Lots of pictures. If you have any questions after looking at the build, let me know
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Active member
Jul 17, 2018
Little Rock, AR
Err, my budget is no where near 150-200k :oops:. Not many in Arkansas would pay that kind of money for a pool.
Although a infinity edge would be pretty with my view etc., I don't want to spend the extra $$, have to fight the pH, and have the kids fall over it:p


TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
Morris Cnty NJ
your gonna wanna go with a concrete pool if you want to avoid doing a steel wall vinyl and building a retaining wall. you will have more flexibility with a concrete pool as far as freeforming it and the rear wall can be structural and just made to look good with a veneer. depends on how bad the slope is and what your budget is.


Bronze Supporter
May 6, 2016
Atlanta, GA
I was in your shoes 2 years ago, looking for pics of backyard pools installed on a slope. You're right, there aren't many photos out there! We went with a vinyl pool with 2 retaining walls and it ended up awesome-- though nothing at all like the pic you have shared!

Our yard slopes from the front left corner to the back right. From the front yard, we step down 3 steps into the pool decking. Left side has a wall that is at most 2 ft high. On the other side of the pool, there is a retaining wall before our grass space. That retaining wall is up to 6ft high. From the grassy area, we have a half dozen steps up to the patio under our deck, which is level with the pool deck.

It is a vinyl pool, 18x36 .... actual measurements are a bit bigger. Perfect size for us with 3 young kids! All in, including the pool, decking, fence and retaining walls & pool furniture-- was just under $50k. Suburb of Atlanta.



Oct 13, 2017
Baltimore, MD
My build has about 6' fall over 40 feet. We will be bringing in some fill for the sides and have an over hanging deck on the back side. Infinity edge was also suggested for our build, but I opted to have the autocover (and no fences or gates) instead.