5 Swimming Pool Shapes To Consider For Your Property

Now that summer is in full swing, you may be looking to spend long hours at the poolside for the rest of the season. If you are thinking of adding a pool to your yard or renovating an existing one, there are numerous sizes, shapes, and various options to fit all needs and circumstances. Which is best for you? According to Foley Pools, the answer depends on your budget, your outdoor space's size, and the shape of your yard.

Additional considerations like depth, use, and the surrounding terrain or landscape also inform the size and shape of the pool you choose. Are you looking to use your pool for swimming laps or mostly for leisurely recreation? For gatherings or solo use? What kind of pool design fits your outdoor aesthetic? Above ground or below? Professional installation or DIY? Choose wisely, and you will be able to enjoy a pool perfectly adapted to your needs for years to come.

1. The classic rectangle

There is a reason rectangular pools endure in popularity among homeowners and as an industry standard. A bird's eye view of most neighborhoods includes a wealth of rectangular-shaped pools of all sizes. They are not only stylish and classic but, according to Tredway Pools Plus, are often the most practical choice for many yards. Rectangular pools are not only easily accommodated in traditionally rectilinear property spaces but also maximize such areas to their best advantage.

Per Royal Swimming Pools, rectangular-shaped pools are also perfect if you use them primarily for fitness and laps, as they allow ample stride room from end to end. These are often the most economical choice since most pool professionals have substantial experience and ready-made plans for them, as well as the square variety. Alternative but similar designs include square and angled pools that easily adapt to smaller yards, as well as L-shaped options that fit in tighter spaces, via Houzz.

2. Round or oval pools

While rectangular pools were initially the industry standard at the beginning of the 20th century, circular and rounded pools began to rise in popularity during the 1930s, according to the Pool and Spa News. But particularly in Hollywood, where Philip Ilsley, who many consider "The Father of the Modern Swimming Pool," began making the first oval concrete pools for wealthy Hollywood stars. Circular pools are perfect if you plan to use your pool primarily for lounging and recreation, not for swimming laps. Their more intimate layout allows conversation and brings swimmers closer together. 

Rounded pools often have a more informal feel than rectilinear-shaped pools and, according to Blue Haven Pools, complement more organic landscape design schemes and styles, including mid-century modern homes. Variations of this shape include popular oval and kidney-shaped pool designs, which offer a little more space for distance swimming. Consider a semi-circular pool for tighter spaces or a figure eight-shaped pool with a clearly-defined shallow area perfect for keeping young swimmers safe.

3. Raised or above-ground pools

Raised or above-ground pools are a perfect solution if you cannot install a pool on ground level. Factors such as cost, HOA rules, or other elements like high water tables and gas or electric line placement often prohibit placing a pool directly in the ground. Above-ground pools can offer an excellent alternative, allowing stunning integration with other raised elements surrounding the pool like decks, patios, fire pits, and outdoor kitchen and bar areas. Raised pools, though resting above ground, can easily be made to look as if they are recessed by elevating the level of the surrounds to mimic an inground pool. 

According to the Rock Water Farm, a popular variety of raised pools, the infinity pool, offers spectacular views and integration with the surrounding landscape. Transparent "edgeless" walls, either all around the perimeter or in some regions of the pool, give swimmers a sensation of expansiveness. The excess water sluices to a lower collection basin and are regularly recycled to the main pool. Many options for affordable DIY above-ground pools exist, including traditional frame and vinyl lining pools, shipping container pools, and metal stock tank pools, via Discover Containers.

4. Organic or freeform pools

Organic or freeform pools are a popular choice if you want to adapt your pool to your exterior space and create a truly unique shape. While often a bit more expensive due to customization, freeform pools are an excellent choice for irregularly shaped yards, according to Challenger Pools. Since they often resemble the naturally curved lines of ponds and lagoons, they're also perfect if you are looking to make your pool look like an organic feature amid the landscape. 

Other elements, like surrounds, stones, color, and tile, can be adapted to fit any style or design scheme in your yard. Freeform pools are also an architectural statement, allowing endless creativity in their design and features. Curved lines and varied shapes also allow for mixed-use areas of a single pool, including smaller nooks for leisurely conversations, shallow areas for wading, and deeper, elongated areas for lap swimming.

5. Tiered and multi-level pools

Perhaps one of the most luxurious and unique options, tiered and multi-level pools are also the most space-friendly and adaptable. According to Latham, tiered pools are an excellent solution to sloped backyards, allowing pool levels to be easily built into the existing landscape. Larger and smaller spaces, including spas and wading pools, can be integrated with other surrounding features like benches, raised platforms, and patios to fill all your outdoor needs. While an upper area may include a shallow play area for children, another level may consist of a deeper site suitable for swimming laps.

Per AquaVisions, multi-level pools are perfect for incorporating other unique features into your design, including waterfalls, fountains, and slides that move water (and swimmers!) from one level to another. Multi-level and tiered pools are also great for smaller yards, allowing expansive water surface area in a more compact space. Whatever their size, tiered pools offer the immediate visual impact that recalls luxury spas and resorts right in your backyard.