Pool Sizes: Why Size Actually Matters



So you’ve decided that what your backyard needs is a new pool. With a gorgeous pool of your very own you can actually enjoy the summer sun and have a great place for your family and friends to hang out.

But before you even start planning your next pool party, the first question you need to answer is: What size pool do you want? This is a multifaceted question that requires a bit of thought. Today we’re going to talk about your options and how to make that all-important decision.

Standard Pool Sizes

Pools can be any size or shape you choose. There is a ton of space here for creativity and imagination… limited only by your budget and the size of your outdoor space. There are, however, some standard pool sizes to think about that are a great jumping-off point (pun intended).

Rectangular Pools

The most common pool shape overall is the rectangular pool. The long side is typically twice as long as the short side with an average depth of 5.5 ft. The top 3 dimensions are:

  • 10 ft x 20 ft
  • 15 ft x 30 ft
  • 20 ft x 40 ft

The best way to figure out if any of these will work for you is to grab the measuring tape and some string to measure and mark off the space in your yard. This way, you don’t have to imagine what it will look like, you can actually see the space and how it will fit into your yard.

This shape is great for a large group of people, whether a big family or pool party and they double as a lap pool for exercise when you feel like getting up early for a morning swim.

Small Pools (or Mini Pools)

The average size home swimming pool is roughly 600 square feet, which is pretty darn big if you think about it. If you’re working with limited space but desperately want a refreshing summer escape, a small pool (or mini pool) might be just what the doctor ordered.

Small pools can be anywhere from 100 to 215 square feet in size. They are super cute and can be a great little retreat from the heat with one or two lounge chairs alongside. The major selling point of these beauties is that they might not even require planning permission or a declaration of works (depending on where you live).

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pool Size

Before you hire contractors and the backhoe starts digging a hole, it’s a good idea to start your brainstorming session by thinking about what space you’re working with and what you hope to get out of your new pool. 

How much space do you have in your backyard?

Space and location are the two biggest considerations to keep in mind when you’re planning for your new pool. Pools come in all shapes and sizes and can be customized to fit beautifully in whatever space you have.  

That being said, if you have a courtyard or small backyard, trying to squeeze a large resort-style lagoon into a tight space might not be the best idea. Working within your limitations to create a beautiful and liveable area without feeling crowded is the ultimate goal.

How big is your family?

Just because you have a big family doesn’t mean you need to have the biggest pool in the world. Kids will be excited by a pool in their backyard, no matter the size. If you’re looking for a big space for pool volleyball or activities, a larger pool might be your best option. 

However, if your family just wants a nice place to take a cool dip on hot summer days, no one is going to complain about a small or moderate-sized pool. I mean, even a kiddie pool looks refreshing if the temperature is warm enough.

Do you like to swim laps?

If your main goal in getting a new pool is exercise, a lap pool might be the perfect choice for you. Lap pools are also great for smaller backyards because they can be built longer and skinnier than a traditional, rectangular pool.

If you need your new pool to pull double-duty, a medium-sized rectangular pool that could accommodate a handful of family and friends as well as give you a charming exercise place could be the perfect solution. 

Do you like to dive?

If you plan to install a diving board in your new pool, you need to plan for something wider and much deeper than the average pool. There’s nothing worse than divers smacking into the sides or bottom of your pool when they’re trying to show off their triple backflip.

Diving in residential pools can actually pose other problems that are unrelated to your space or pool depth. Some locales restrict the use of diving boards in private pools for safety or liability reasons. It’s a good idea to check on your local regulations related to diving (and pool ownership, in general) before embarking on your new project.

How much entertaining do you like to do?

Pool parties are awesome. Especially if you really kit out your backyard with the works: barbeque grill, cabanas, and maybe even a slide. Your acreage and budget will dictate the limitations of your imagination here.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that even if you do like to have big blowout parties, usually no more than 50% of your guests will ever be in the pool at a given time. Even if you have tons of parties, you don’t need to build a monster pool to accommodate your buddies. Even being near a pool lends a relaxing ambiance that really classes up any outdoor gathering all by itself.

What’s your patio setup like?

Give a think to your outdoor furniture or what you plan to buy. Do you have a deck or patio space already built? Or do you have a blank canvas to work with? Any pool design you can adapt to your current layout will save you time and money, not to mention look more natural when it’s completed.

(Pool) Size Matters…. For Your Lifestyle

No matter what size pool you choose, as long as you take into account your needs, your outdoor space, and the main reason you’re looking to get a pool in the first place — you can’t go wrong.

Having a pool of any size is a great addition to your home, a cool escape on a steamy day, and a relaxing place to spend time with your family and friends. 

Happy Swimming!

Categories: Pool Care, Pool Construction