Raised Bond Beam / Wall Height

jetski559

Member
Aug 20, 2020
19
Central Coast California
Working on defining our new pool and thinking about the back raised wall height / raised bond beam height.

One builder pointed out you want something 'proportionate' to the size of your pool.

Our pool plans to be around 15x32, MAYBE 15x35.

I was initially wanting a 32in tall raised bond beam just so the kids have something taller to jump off of, and there is more of a nice focal point with a nice tiled face / / stone for people to look at with some sheer descents.

One builder was saying something like 18in might be more appropriate.

I've seen some pools with some pretty low walls that don't fit my taste.

Is there a magic proportion? Is there a max height I shouldn't surpass that would make the whole thing look wonky?

Just looking for your .02 cents.

The below sample image is a wall that is too low for my liking:
Screen Shot 2020-11-14 at Nov 14 8.02.52 PM.jpg
 

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
422
Gilbert, AZ
I don’t know about what any magic number would be and I’m sure there is from a design stand point, but this is your pool. Do what you want. Listen to the arguments and take them into consideration, then do what you want. If you want more of a wall then that is your choice.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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I think there probably is a magic number/proportion that is generally pleasing to many people (how’s that for hedging my bets). I’m just not sure what it is. Just like a roughly 2:1 proportion on L:W is visually appealing for a rectangle pool.

What I don’t like about that picture is that the columns are not raised higher than the wall itself. Yeah, the wall is probably too low, but the accents of the raised columns make big difference as well. It’s really just about finding something you like visually and being able to find out the dimensions. I’d look at pictures of active users’ pools and ask them either in a thread or by private message for their details.
 
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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Look at using the "Golden Ratio" of 1.618 between wall length and height, a geometric sequence of proportion between height and length, or the fibonacci sequence. You can find a lot of reading on the net about architectural scale and proportion and the math sequences behind the science. See that all the lengths and heights in the wall have consistent ratios.
 
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joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
254
Allen, TX
I think 32 inches would be a bit too high. We have 18 inches and it is great for jumping off... a 32 inch wall would be about 40 inches or so from the water's surface which is a pretty big drop... I would only do that with a 8 foot deep well at least probably even more near that if you had ideas of people jumping off it.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
254
Allen, TX
Here is that 18 inch wall - it is 12 inches on the sides and 18 in the center. We have a sloped lot and I didn't want the wall too high as I wanted to be able to see planting behind it (about 4 feet of beds behind the wall). Wish we would have done wider descents - these are only 12 inches wide... should have done 18 or 24...

20200806_175304398_iOS.jpg
 

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jetski559

Member
Aug 20, 2020
19
Central Coast California
Here is that 18 inch wall - it is 12 inches on the sides and 18 in the center. We have a sloped lot and I didn't want the wall too high as I wanted to be able to see planting behind it (about 4 feet of beds behind the wall). Wish we would have done wider descents - these are only 12 inches wide... should have done 18 or 24...
Awesome, exactly the advice / feedback I was looking for! So is it 18 above the deck, or 18 above the surface of the water?

I think 32 inches would be a bit too high. We have 18 inches and it is great for jumping off... a 32 inch wall would be about 40 inches or so from the water's surface which is a pretty big drop... I would only do that with a 8 foot deep well at least probably even more near that if you had ideas of people jumping off it.
Maybe I was thinking 32inches from the surface of the water. So I don't know what that would be on top of the deck.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
254
Allen, TX
Awesome, exactly the advice / feedback I was looking for! So is it 18 above the deck, or 18 above the surface of the water?



Maybe I was thinking 32inches from the surface of the water. So I don't know what that would be on top of the deck.
For me the 18 inches is the actual wall height above the deck. I haven't measured the distance between deck and water's surface but it is probably ~6-8 inches in my case but really depends on the coping thickness. Even a 32 inch drop is pretty high to jump off outside of a deep diving well area. Just something to think about if you have the idea of people jumping off it.

I do like the idea of having a higher wall with tile to be a visual focal point for the pool though. I floated that idea to my wife and she didn't want it. Designing a pool takes a lot of mental effort if you think it all through and coming to this site will show you lot's of things your never thought about which is both good and bad depending on your budget :) !
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
564
Houston, TX
A big part of the equation will be what you plan to do behind the wall also. We went with a 12" wall only because we had to have the space behind the pool for our easements and yard space for the dogs. With having the grass that close I wanted the wall to help keep the pool clean. We will not be building up beds or anything behind the wall, but will have some landscaping along the back fence and want to be able to see it better.

Also, just a note. The one sample pic that you posted is not complete and may look better once the water features are in place. You can see the plumbing stubbed out, but not sure what the completed look will be.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,066
Morris Cnty NJ
If you want a stepped look 12" for the low and 24" for the high is a nice look. I try to make it either 1-2-1 for a smaller waterfall with single sheer, or 1-1-1 for longer stretched out walls. A nice look for longer walls is smaller sheers like 12" coming out of columns on the ends or geometrically spaced in the wall
 

Robtown

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2020
93
The Woodlands, TX
Here’s my pool (in progress) with 12” raised spa and wall along with a taller 18” raised wall along the back and 3 x 18” tall columns. The columns will have 12” tall bowls on top (hopefully placed this weekend with plaster tomorrow)

0D946E54-E052-4C41-BA04-E8D5511A83FE.jpeg
 

pjt

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Jan 7, 2012
224
The Woodlands, TX
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18" is the perfect sitting height for the parts of the wall adjacent to your deck.