How to Choose the Best Swimming Pool for Your Backyard

Beautifully landscaped backyard with a swimming pool

When you’re planning a backyard pool, understanding the types of swimming pools available helps you make a better decision. There are options available for every size of yard, made from a range of materials, and offering different installation types to meet almost every budget, pool need, and commitment-to-being-a-pool-owner comfort level. Just as important, you have plenty of options for protecting your pool from unsupervised access that could lead to tragedy. With a little consideration and research, you can ensure your summer oasis is perfect for your family’s needs.

Pool Choice Factors

  • Budget – Budget plays a big role in choosing the types of swimming pools open to you, as that will affect the size of your pool, its composition, and possibly even its positioning. When planning your budget, remember that you’ll also need to protect your pool in accordance with local pool codes, insurance clauses, or your homeowners’ association’s rules. 
  • Space – Not every property has the space to support an Olympic-sized backyard pool. The space you have to work with may determine which type of swimming pool designs or materials make the most sense. 
  • Durability – Different construction methods offer different expected service lives when it comes to installing a pool. While some are meant to last for decades with proper upkeep, others may need repair or renovation after eight to twelve years. 
  • Permanence – Some pool owners, however, may want to opt for a pool that is less a permanent fixture than it is a long-term but temporary amenity. As an example, parents who want to give their kids a safe summer swimming hole but don’t want the burden of caring for their pool long after the nest has emptied.
  • Lifestyle – Another big consideration is what you want to do with your pool. Someone who wants to host big parties has different needs than a pool owner who wants to swim for exercise or parents who just need a pool for the kids to splash around in.

Swimming Pool Types

Inground backyard swimming pool
  • Inground Pools – Inground pools take longer to install and cost more than other options, but they also are more durable and give you a greater range of size and shape options. A hole is excavated in your backyard, and the pool is either constructed by a professional in that excavation, or a pre-fabricated pool is inserted into the excavation. This kind of pool is often surrounded by a deck and is what most people think of when they think of a permanent backyard swimming pool.
Above ground pool in a lush backyard
  • Above-Ground Frame Pools – These pools are assembled on a flat area of your yard that’s been graded or evened out by a sand wedge. They use a heavy-duty nylon pool material suspended from and supported by a metal frame. These can be set up for the season or left up year-round if you’re in a more temperate area. They are less durable than in-ground pools and are generally round or oblong-shaped and limited in size, but they also cost less than in-ground options.

  • Quick Set-Up Pools – The most temporary option, these pools may give you a couple of seasons of use before needing replacement. They include floating-ring pools, smaller frame pools, inflatable pools, and other popular “kiddie” pools. They may be cheaper, but they’re also smaller and not sticking around long.

Inground Pool Materials

  • Concrete – This is the most durable option when considering different types of swimming pools. That longevity comes with increased cost and installation time, taking months, in some cases, to create your swimming pool. While it will likely need resurfacing every decade or so and tiles may need to be redone, the concrete pool itself will be good to go for the long term.
  • Vinyl Liner – The cheapest inground pool installation option, this pool uses a frame and structural supports lined with a layer of vinyl. Installation can take a month or less, but the low price and relatively quick installation come at the price of longevity, with many of these backyard pools requiring replacement or major renovation in as little as 10-15 years.
  • Fiberglass – If you’re ready to get your pool in the ground, a fiberglass model can have you happily floating in just a few weeks. These pools are relatively low-maintenance, with the slick surface helping to prevent algae and only needing a potential recoating from UV damage and wear after 10-15 years. The downside is that the pre-made shells are available in limited sizes and shapes, removing your ability to customize the pool to fit your needs.

Protecting Your Swimming Pool

Young boy leaning against a removable mesh pool fence

An additional cost to consider when evaluating pool types is the cost of keeping your new pool safe. Pool safety barriers help save lives by helping to prevent unsupervised access to the pool by kids, pets, and at-risk adults of any age. The National Drowning Prevention Alliance cites a lack of barriers in the majority of accidental drowning incidents that lead to thousands of deaths annually. Depending on the swimming pool type you choose, you have multiple protection options.

  • Removable Mesh Pool Fencing – Compatible with any pool and almost any pool area, this modern pool fencing uses strong poles anchored in the ground around the pool area to create a strong perimeter that deters climbing and has no large gaps to push through or go under. Secured with an alarm-ready self-closing and self-latching gate, it’s a great choice for keeping your loved ones safer.
  • Swimming Pool Safety Nets – Safety nets work best on inground pools or above-ground pools with a solid deck built up around them. A rip-resistant twine net is anchored to the deck around your pool and tensioned with strong steel springs to create a barrier against water entry. Potential drowning victims are held up and out of the water until helped to safety.
  • Pool Covers – Not to be confused with simple leaf covers, which can be entanglement hazards, safety covers are anchored similarly to safety nets but provide a more solid surface capable of holding the weight of a full-grown adult. 

Choosing Your Backyard Pool

To find the right choice for your property, consider the benefits each of the types of swimming pools offer. Balance the cost you can afford versus the longevity you want from your pool, and don’t forget to plan for the safety barriers that will keep it safe. It won’t take long to narrow your list down to one or two options, giving you a better game plan when you reach out to a pool installation contractor.
When you’re ready to protect that pool, your local installer is just down the road. Call for your no-cost, no-obligation estimate, and they’ll talk to you about your pool safety needs, take measurements, and give you a written estimate on cost-effective protection that fits your budget. Take the next step toward keeping your pool safer. Request your free quote from Lifeguard on Duty today.

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