Pool Design

Determining the Pool’s Size and Shape

Cost and available space will help you determine the size and shape of your pool. But personal preferences and the ways in which you will use your pool are the most important considerations.


The cost of a swimming pool is determined by the area in which you live, the type of construction and condition of the site, access, and the size and shape of the pool. In general, irregular shapes require more wall surface than straight lines. However, a simple kidney or teardrop design can cost less, since the rounded corners and inside curves result in less actual perimeter feet. All cost estimates you obtain should specify the actual perimeter of the pool, in addition to its maximum dimensions and square footage. Many pool builders have established a variety of basic shapes as “standards” in their available models. It is possible to modify a standard design shape slightly without too much additional cost, but a complete departure into a freeform design will raise the price considerably.

Available space

The most reliable way to find out what size pool will fit on your property is to measure the available space yourself with a tape measure. Using high quality aerial imagery our designers will verify the dimensions of your proposed pool fit within your space.

 Personal Preferences

Your pool should be designed as an integrated part of your landscape design, house, and land contours. If you don’t know where to start our designers will guide you on what pool shape, size, and location is best for your property.

Before you can decide on a shape and position for your pool, you must decide what uses your pool is likely to have, now and in the future. It may be a recreation spot for casual relaxation for adults, a playground for children, or perhaps a training ground for competitive swimmers and divers. If the pool will be used mostly by small children the shallow should be the broadest. With children, however, future needs must be considered. As children learn to swim, they will quickly outgrow a pool designed for shallow-end activity or one with a special wading area.

Of all dimensions, the depth of your pool deserves the most attention. Three feet is recommended as the minimum depth, but even non-swimmers prefer 3.5 – 5 feet. Racing and turning requires 3.5 foot depth; divers must have 8.5 but preferably 9+ feet unobstructed depth.

 Resale Value

The possibility that you may sell your property after a pool has been installed may affect pool design. An odd-shaped pool may not attract potential buyers.

The standard rectangles, kidneys, teardrops, wedges, and L-shapes are the most popular pool designs. If you do decide a freeform or custom shape, be sure it fits the house and landscape design as well as being suitable for your family. Good landscape designs are good selling points, but peculiarities are not. A pool smaller than 450 square feet or one larger than 800 may hamper sale. Too small a pool is not adequate for a growing family, and the maintenance costs of a large pool may discourage other buyers.

 Popular pool shapes

Among the most popular swimming pool shapes are circles, rectangles, teardrops, kidneys, L-shapes, and freeform. Each has its advantages, and your personal style, preferences, and space will determine which shape is best for you.

Pool Design Shape Options.jpg
  • The circle is easily adapted to small yards. Often this shape is used for shallow wading pools, but circle pools can be designed deep enough for diving.

  • The rectangle is best for competitive swimming and can be designed in many different styles and with a variety of materials.

  • The teardrop fits into most gardens. A similar shape is the oval, with each end the same size.

  • The kidney is perhaps the most popular shape. Its curves can be modified to fit your particular site, and works with most styles.

  • The L-shape fits easily into a corner or around a house projection. Diving and swimming areas can be defined by pool shape.

  • Freeform pools are best for crowded yards, around existing trees, or irregular areas, since the shape can be customized to fit any space.