If you are a homeowner with a backyard that feels a little tight for a pool, you are not alone. Many homeowners wonder “how much space do you need for a backyard pool” every year. Even if your backyard is large enough to fit a pool, adding one can compromise other plans you might have. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted a garden or a basketball court. Will adding a backyard pool eliminate these possibilities?
In this article we will answer how much space do you need in your backyard for a pool. We also provide a list of starter questions to ask yourself and share the smallest pool we’ve ever built.
How Much Space Do You Need For A Backyard Pool?
This question often gets answered with another question: How much space do you have? The answer will depend on the dimensional regulations for where you live. Some municipalities will dictate swimming pool setbacks specifically. Usually these setbacks are found in the dimensional regulations of the zoning board bylaws, but if you can’t seem to find them on your city or town’s website, give the building commissioner or building inspector a call and they can usually point you in the right direction.
How Close Can A Pool Be To A House?
Once you know the setbacks from the side property lines and the rear property lines (assuming you’re building in the backyard), you have a starting place. Then there’s how far you can be off the house. You typically want to stay a minimum of 5 feet from the house to the pool. After measuring out 5 feet, then ask yourself, how much space is left over? That’s when you know how big of a pool you can build.
Oftentimes your pool patio or deck space can be inside the setback when the pool itself cannot. It’s tempting to max out the size of the pool but consider the way you’ll use the space. Most people spend the majority of the time in the pool area on the patio, so making sure the patio is large enough for your needs is paramount.
Essential Questions For Planning Pool Size
The answer to these questions can help you decide just how big the pool needs to be in relation to the patio space.
- Do you want a table and chairs near the pool? If so, how many people would you like to seat at the table?
- Would you want space for chaise lounge chairs? If so, is there a location where you can place them where they face south or south-west?
- Do you plan on tanning around the pool?
- Do you want a sun shelf in the pool?
- Would you like to play volleyball in the pool?
- Do you want a basketball hoop built into the pool?
- Is an outdoor kitchen space in your plans?
- Do you want a water-feature built into your pool?
- Do you want a spa built into the pool?
The Solution To Small Backyards
A plunge pool is the answer for many people building a small pool and when built into the backyard in a thoughtful manner you’ll not even think of how small the pool is. When you have the entertaining space around the pool integrated into the landscape and the pool itself, the size of the pool becomes less important.
Just how small can a pool be? Well, the smallest we’ve ever designed is a square about 6’ in each direction. We suppose a pool could be smaller, but that’s the smallest I’ve been involved with. It was intended primarily as a fountain feature in the back patio. However, the homeowner wondered, why not also be able to swim in it on a hot day?
Bottom Line On How Much Space Do You Need For A Backyard Pool
As our last piece of parting advice when asking “how much space do you need for a backyard pool”, remember this, water is better than no water. It’s tempting to rule out a pool if you’re in an area that experiences harsh winters. As former pool builders that have seen hundreds of pools be built in northern New England, we’ve never seen someone regret adding a pool to their backyard, but we’ve seen a lot of homeowners wish they had a pool after deciding they didn’t want one. Finally, remember that pool construction takes time. You don’t want to be the only homeowner on the street not enjoying their summer.