In this case, we have two possible locations off the same home. Both will accommodate an inground pool nicely. The one on the right was the homeowner’s first choice. He thought the existing deck could become a part of the poolscape. It also would provide easy access from the drive.

Plan A

Here, we see Plan A, developed to accommodate the homeowner’s wish list. In this case, a retaining wall would be required due to the upslope of the yard. You can see that we suggested modifying the existing deck. We also provided a shed (or poolhouse) at the home owner’s request, along with a much-anticipated fire pit. The drawing also shows the decking, fence layout, lounge chairs, and table areas. Most importantly, the elevations are set to accommodate the pool. This cannot be overstated. It is impossible to estimate cost of the project before we know where the pool is going and how we are going to alter the area around it. The height of retaining walls (if necessary) can only be determined after the elevation of the pool is set. The amount of decking around the pool, the location of the fencing, and the number of gates also should be addressed before committing to a project.

The homeowner explained that he always thought the pool should go there (their first location choice). We happened to be standing on the deck when we looked over the railing and asked if he ever thought about “there” (the second possible location). He looked at us and said, “That’s where my wife wants the pool.”

That’s a good reason to have two plans!

Plan B

Here is what we call Plan B, a location which offers more seclusion. The walkout from the basement could provide visibility into the bathroom and kitchenette, along with the amenities of having a finished rec room. The picture on the right shows the view from the upper deck. If you look closely, you can see where the poolscape plan has been transposed on the grass with orange spray paint, so the customer can get the actual scope of the project. It also is sprayed out on our first choice location in the Plan A photos.

Looking at the plan, we see retaining walls also will be required in this location. Design allows us to reduce the height of the walls (also saving on costs) while adding a unique look to the project. You will notice that the elevation of the pool has been set two steps up from the basement elevation. This plan shows a softer look with curved walls, a round fire pit, and an interesting circular planter that separates the elevations. Notice there has been a stamped concrete design added to this proposal. A slate bull nose coping (a cover to the edge of the swimming pool) has been used to enhance the decking and incorporate the round lines of the project.

Plan A or Plan B: which would you chose?

The homeowners picked Plan B.

In the end, our customer felt the seclusion of this poolscape best satisfied what they were looking to create. This is another example of why detailed plans are necessary for the great outcome like we see above. When you are shown options for your backyard, you can make intelligent, informed decisions. Detailed plans not only help visualize what you want, but many times show you what you don’t want.