Elegant backyard pool with slide and diving board. Outdoor kitchen behind.

What Are the Best Inground Pool Features?

Deciding to get an inground pool is an exciting thing! With so many ways to customize your pool, it can be helpful to understand all your options in advance of the design phase. Many of these options are either inherent to the design, such as shape and style, or much easier, and often safer to include during construction, like a heating system, automatic cover, etc. In this article, we will look at all the pool design elements, so you know what are the best inground pool features for you and your family, your unique space, and your lifestyle.

5 Ways to Customize Your Inground Pool Design

Design elements can make your spa or pool uniquely your own. The beauty of a custom, inground pool is all of the amazing ways you can tailor it to your preferences. Here are five popular design options to consider.

Unique Shape

backyard pools with curved shape and steps

One of the best things about going with an inground pool is that, so long as you’re not trying to defy physics, there’s no limit to the shapes that your pool can take. This is important, because it can help your pool to better complement maximize and complement your available space. In addition, you get the look that fits your personal style and home. It’s like the difference between a tract home and a house designed with a unique character, shape and accents. Unless you mainly need the pool for doing laps, a custom shape could be a great accent to your home and backyard.

Beach Entry

Beach entry or zero entry pools have become very popular. These types of pools have a sloped entry as opposed to steps or a ladder. There’s something inexplicably luxurious about being able to walk rather than step into your pool, and it also adds elegance to your design. In addition, it provides a safer way to enter the pool, and is easier for young children and those with mobility or balance issues.

Vanishing Edge

infinity pool with adjacent spa on hillside with oak tree at sunset

With a vanishing edge pool, also known as an infinity edge pool, the water will appear to flow on into the horizon. This illusion is the ultimate in luxury. The water spills off the edge into a catchment area. The water is automatically pumped back into the pool. It can give you that sense of wonder and expansion that’s felt when looking at the horizon over an ocean.

Baja Shelf

Woman in swim suit reclining on lounge on pool's Baja shelf

The Baja shelf is a shallow area built as a shelf inside the pool, about eight inches below the surface – usually in the deep end of the pool. The shelf can be used to sit in shallow water, or for lounge chairs so you can sit at water level in the pool for sunbathing and lounging in shallow water – so cool (pun intended!). With waterproof loungers, you can simply dangle a toe or even splash yourself while catching rays on a sizzling summer day. The Baja shelf also comes in handy when you have children. The little ones can use the area as a wading pool. Take one lounger away and you can lounge and watch your little one splash beside you.

Built-in or Adjacent Spa

Backyard pool with adjacent round spa and potted plants, market umbrellas

Spas have been shown to have many therapeutic benefits, especially for those dealing with injuries, muscle tension, or some conditions that cause joint pain. The heat, buoyancy, and massaging jets all work together to relieve stress and ease muscle tension. Hot tubbing is a great way to end a workout and a welcome way to relax anytime. Adding a spa to your pool design will give you the benefits of a hot tub while adding value and versatility to your pool. Hot tubs can be built into a corner of the pool, or jets and benches can be added anywhere along the pool–you choose.

6 Must-have Add-ons for Your Inground Pool

Once you’ve settled on the shape and layout of your new pool, it’s time to consider materials and colors, and get to the optional features. This list includes features that will increase the safety, fun, and beauty of your new pool.

Water Feature

Slate colored wall with pipes pouring water into pool for water feature

Who doesn’t love the sound and sight of a stream? A water feature can bring those sights and sounds to your backyard with water cascading into your pool from a poolside wall. Water features are in high demand for landscaping, pools, spas, courtyards, and lobbies. It delights the senses with its quiet burbling and its mesmerizing flow. The calm and joy they bring is well worth including it in the pool design.

LED Lights

Adding lights to your pool will help keep you and your family safe when swimming after dark. They also add elegance to your after-dark poolside entertaining. LEDs use very little electricity and last for years. You can even have LEDs that change colors to suit your style or mood or alternate for a festive light show.

Automatic Cover

You’ll no doubt want to cover your pool when not in use. This will keep it free of debris and hold the heat in. If you have a heater, a pool cover will reduce its energy consumption, which is great for the planet and your electric bill. In addition, depending on the type of cover you get, it can help prevent accidents from falls, especially when you have small children or folks with balance issues. Deploying the cover can be a hassle, however, which is why installing a hydraulic pool cover makes the most sense. You just can’t beat the convenience of covering and uncovering your pool with the touch of a button.

Water Heater

2 smiling kids swimming underwater in pool with goggles on

With a heater, you can enjoy your swimming pool year-round, with warm inviting water to help you keep that New Year’s resolution to exercise more or keep your family active outdoors even when it’s chilly. In northern California, installing a heater for your pool can more than double the number of days in which you use it.

Saltwater System

Installing a saltwater generator can reduce the amount of chlorine you need to add to your pool water. The generator, through electrolysis, converts the salt you add directly to the water to chlorine. Chlorine can be damaging to your skin and hair, swimsuits, and the odor can be overpowering at times. With a saltwater system, the chlorine is reduced, and the salt makes the water feel softer, more luxuriant. In addition, you’ll spend less time on maintenance, less money on chemicals, and not have to store as much chlorine for pool care.

Slide or Diving Board

Elegant backyard pool with slide and diving board. Outdoor kitchen behind.

Adding a slide or diving board can enhance the fun your family will have with your new pool. Having these installed by a professional pool builder as part of the construction process is best, due to safety concerns. You don’t want to put a diving board on a pool that’s too shallow or have it installed in such a way that it could fail or damage your pool’s coping. A slide can be added to a shallower pool, and they still have the same safety requirements to avoid injury or damage to the pool deck, but they are generally safe, and the kids love sliding into the pool for endless hours.

Now is the Time to Begin Your Pool Design

There’s nothing like the luxury and convenience of walking out your back door for a swim in your own inground pool. With all the ways to customize it, it can be uniquely your own with all your favorite features like a custom shape or a vanishing edge, the added safety of LED lights and an automatic cover, or features that extend its usefulness, such as a spa and heater. At Lux Pools, we can guide you through the process and make sure you can enjoy all the benefits of an inground pool of your dreams. We can even help with the landscaping, or the addition of an outdoor kitchen. If you’re in the San Francisco north bay counties of Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Lake, or Solano, give us a call at (707) 777-6657 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today, so we can get started on your project in time for summer.

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