pool house design

Do You Need A Pool House In Your Backyard?

If you’re adding a new inground pool for your backyard, you might also want to consider a pool house. These structures are the magical solution to so many problems. Pool houses can help store pool equipment and accessories out of sight and mind. They can also prevent guests from dripping all over your kitchen, dining and living rooms in an attempt to use the bathroom or grab a snack.

What is a Pool House?

A pool house is a structure, ranging from a shed to a full house in appearance, that lives in your backyard beside a pool and patio. These structures can be simple or elaborate, but they’re commonly used for storage among many other uses. Essentially, they can be anything you want them to become. Some pool houses have heating, plumbing and lots of fancy features. Other pool houses are just a large shed that people throw pool stuff inside. No matter what your use idea, they’re a handy structure to add into your backyard.

How Much Does It Cost To Build a Pool House?

Asking how much a pool house costs can be confusing. It’s sort of like asking how much a regular home costs, or better yet, the price of a pool itself. These items vary a lot based on their contents. For example, if you’re buying a basic plunge pool, the price is far lower than an infinity pool with a sun shelf and auto cover. We’ve designed pool houses anywhere from $50,000 – 1,000,000. As a general rule, pool houses cost $250 per square foot and up. We see pool houses typically being 500 – 1,000 square feet.

Pool house example in backyard
Courtesy of Gambrick.com

Helpful Questions To Ask Yourself

You should ask yourself some questions to narrow down how expensive a pool house could be. For starters, is your pool house just a storage unit or do you want to entertain? If entertaining, do you want a bathroom and shower? Will you be looking to cook/feed guests inside your pool house? These are very important questions to ask yourself. Nothing is out of the question when designing a pool house, but prices will vary a lot based on what you want. Anytime that you bring plumbing (shower, toilet, sink) into the mix, the cost goes up dramatically.

Less Expensive Solutions

If spending over $100,000 on your pool house sounds less than optimal, you have other options available. Less expensive, prefabricated pool houses are becoming more common. For example, Walpole Outdoors, a New England-based company makes these 10′ x 16′ custom pool houses.

What Comes First: Pool or Pool House?

If you know that you want an inground pool and a pool house built in your backyard, you may have another interesting question. Which structure is built first, the pool itself or the pool house? Well, the answer is that it depends on the location of pool and access to each on property.

If the pool goes in before a pool house and you’re going to have pool equipment, you need to root your plumbing in such a way that it’s not affected by construction of pool house.

This question matters more in certain parts of the country. For example, in Austin Texas, it’s common to build the pool before a pool house. In this part of the country, new homes are built close to property lines. Therefore, once a house is built, there’s no way to access the pool area with the machines necessary to build a pool.

Other regions in the United States are not as rigid. In New England, this practice is not as common to build pools prior to building a new home because houses aren’t built close to property lines. Similarly, in Arizona, pool builders are masters of tight access. They use tiny machines that don’t require much room so there’s no concern at all on what comes first.

Pool House Ideas On a Budget

In northern states, people should consider heat and other plans on how they can still use pool house in winter. Previous clients of ours would use the pool house as a man cave for hosting poker games or watching sports. For that, you need to install heat and consider proximity to the main house.

Will a Pool House Improve The Value Your Home?

If you’re torn between building a small shed-like structure or going all out, you may wonder if a pool house will improve the value of your property. The answer is yes, the more you invest, the better the value increases. Generally speaking, anytime that you add livable square footage to your property, the home value will increase. Guests of yours can use a pool house as a guest house. Future buyers of your property even could use it as an airbnb or long-term rental.


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