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As the weather warms up many homeowners start dreaming of a pool in their own backyard to cool off in. But if you’re short of space, a large lap pool isn’t necessarily going to be realistic so a plunge pool may be just the solution for a tight outdoor area.

Top considerations for a plunge pool

Before you rush to dig a hole and purchase a pool, there are a few things worth considering that could help you improve the design and functionality of your backyard, and perhaps help you save money in the long run.

1. Placement

Beyond assessing whether a crane or trunk can gain access to your site there are two main considerations when it comes to the placement of your plunge pool. One is privacy and the other is the pool fence.

Making sure your plunge pool isn’t in the direct line of sight of your neighbours is important to the overall success of your space. You can achieve this by placing your plunge pool directly against a boundary wall, making sure the level of the pool is suitable or screening out your neighbours with soft landscape such as with a hedge of bamboo.

You’ll want to ensure the position of your plunge pool also allows for fencing that meets regulations. Consider your pool fencing and how it relates to your house and the rest of the garden before you locate the plunge pool.

2. Shape

plunge pool design considerations
Plunge pool with Clancy Random Ashlar walling and sandstone paving

The form of your plunge pool is likely to be determined by the dimensions of your backyard and the relationship of your home. However, there are plenty of possibilities of a plunge pool shape other than a simple square or rectangle. This is where the creativity of a landscape designer or landscape architect can be incredibly helpful.

3. Depth

How you want to use your plunge pool will help you decide on the suitable depth. Are you wanting it to simply relax in after a hard day at work or is it for the children to play in? The average depth of a plunge pool is 1.2 metres but they can be deeper if desired.

You’ll also want to consider whether to install a raised or sunken pool. There are advantages to both designs. Sunken pools tend to blend more seamlessly with the surrounding garden and offer a visual connection. Raised plunge pools can be cheaper to install and can reduce the need for safety fencing around the entire pool.

4. Interior finishes

The interior finish and colour of your pool will impact the visual appearance of the water. You may choose a simple low-cost plaster finish, an aggregate, a pebble finish, glass tiles or stone tiles.

Your chosen finish will also impact the installation timeline and your overall budget.

5. Surrounding surfacing

plunge pool design considerations
Torino™ Bluestone natural stone flooring combined with pool tile and glass fence

During the design process, you’ll also need to think about the type of surface surrounding pool such as timber decking or stone paving.

Consider the plunge pool coping and how it relates to the surrounding surface area. Think about how well the material connects with those throughout your interior and the rest of the outdoor area. Look out for a material with a non-slip finish and one that’s durable so that it ages well over time, particularly when it will be exposed to the chemicals in the pool.

For more advice about pools, visit the Pool section of our Learning Library.

Feature image: Plunge pool with Bluestone surrounding created by Out From The Blue.