Create a Splash

Three sleek designs for your backyard pool.

SUN SHELF The solution for home-owners set on having a zero-entry pool despite the lack of a big backyard is the sun shelf. “Most people now want what we call a wet deck or sun shelf. It’s a large flat area with six inches of water. In fact 75 percent of my customers want the wet deck, where they can lounge and play with their children,” says Zach Malagian, general manager of Signature Pools. The sun shelf is a shallow, wide first step followed by steps descending to a depth of 3 feet. The appeal is the idea of being in your pool without being totally submerged. Signature Pools even installs an umbrella pipe or holder into the wet deck so you can park your chaise and tap away on a laptop in the shade. And if your pool was built in the 1970s or ’80s and is ready for a facelift, adding a sun shelf is an affordable way to bring it into the 21st century.

INFINITY-EDGE Found in swanky resorts and homes perched on a hill or overlooking an ocean, the infinity pool creates the visual effect of shimmering water extending to the horizon or better yet, to infinity—thus the name. In flat, landlocked Central Florida you might think it impossible to build this type of residential pool. Given such a scenario, Dan Theune, owner of Premier Pools of Central Florida, may very well be Mr. Magic. “Generally you need a 10-foot drop, maybe 30 feet of expanse, over the back of your pool so the water can spill off into a tank or mini pool,” he says. Think of it as a glass filled to the brim with a perfect edge. When people enter the pool, the water is going to spill over. The closer your property is to a lake or retention pond, the easier it is to build, but rarely is there enough drop in Central Florida. Despite that, Theune has successfully built several infinity-edge pools; among them is one in Lake Highland overlooking a sinkhole lake and others in neighboring Lake County where the hills and lakes work well for the design. Although Central Florida doesn’t offer the perfect setting, Theune says, “People still build them because they’re very cool!”

ZERO-ENTRY Imagine the beach, sloping gently as you ease your way into the water. Zero-entry pools imitate nature’s shoreline, eliminating the need for ladders or stairs since the water becomes gradually deeper with each step. But what homeowners love about this design is that it provides the ideal social setting: you can stand in ankle- and knee-deep water with a beer in hand, chatting with friends as you cool off.  However, a true zero-entry requires a lot of length before it reaches a 3-foot depth; it’s not visually attractive on a narrow 6-foot-wide pool. “If you want more space to swim—volume and depth—the zero-entry may not be for you, as it takes up a lot of space,” says Theune.

The size and features determine the cost of building a pool, but a realistic starting point is $20,000. Add LED lights, landscaping and a fire pit, and the price goes up. Infinity-edge pools require extensive structural, mechanical (hydraulics) and architectural work, making them slightly more costly.,

Categories: Backyard & Patio