Dive Into Ideas for Backyard Swimming Pools

Mediterranean-inspired backyard swimming pool in Houston, Texas.

In the heat of a Texas summer, nothing beats cooling down in a crystal-clear swimming pool. Better yet, what if you brought that experience to your very own backyard?

If you’re curious about taking the plunge, we’ve got just the thing to get your wheels turning as you envision your dream pool. From expansive designs with luxe finishing touches to rustic designs featuring natural stone, there is a swimming pool design out there for everyone. Let’s dive into some of the most popular styles of swimming pools that can be added to your backyard.

In-Ground Pools

An umbrella category for all swimming pools that are, as their name suggests, designed into the landscape, in-ground pools offer truly versatile options. The design-build process for this type of swimming pool is typically more involved, as several factors need to be considered including permitting and construction, and professional installation is required. However, these pools can be customized to suit the needs of your background, considering the available space, landscape and terrain, and your personal architectural style preference.

An infinity pool designed and built by Prewett, Read & Associates overlooking a lake. 

Infinity Pools

Designed to look as though the water meets the horizon seamlessly, infinity pools — also called zero-edge pools — create a stunning optical illusion. These pools are designed in a way that allows water to flow over at least one edge, creating this visual effect.

Saltwater Pool

Saltwater pools are a popular alternative to chlorinated swimming pools. Unlike chlorine, which can be harsh and drying to swimmers’ eyes and skin — especially after a long swim or day in the water — saltwater is gentler on your body. While these swimming pools tend to be more complex and expensive to design and install, they can offer long-term benefits in terms of less required maintenance than their chlorinated counterparts.

Lap Pool

Lap pools are defined by their long and narrow rectangular shape. Unlike round or curved swimming pools, this shape makes them ideal for swimming laps. It also makes for an aesthetically pleasing geometric addition to a smaller backyard or deck.

Plunge Pool

Plunge pools are another option ideal for smaller spaces. They tend to feature deeper water than other smaller swimming pools, such as lap pools, and are ideal for water aerobics, rehabilitation or relaxation. They are typically designed to allow swimmers to be completely submerged under the surface of the water, though they are typically not safe for diving.

Detail on a hot tub with a spill-over edge designed and built by Prewett, Read & Associates.

Hot Tubs & Spas

From stand-alone tubs to fully integrated heated spas, there is a wealth of options when it comes to adding hot tubs and spas to your water features. On one end of the spectrum, you have fully integrated spas which are designed to sit within the swimming pool design without a visual distinction. They are typically designed around the shape of the swimming pool and can be placed in a corner, along one side or at one end. On the other side, you have detached spas which have clearly dedicated spaces for swimming and relaxing. Options and variables also include above or in-ground designs, attached or detached, waterfall or overflow — to name a few.

If you’re interested in adding a custom water feature to your backyard, our team of licensed landscape architects is here to help. Our comprehensive design-build process begins with an in-depth consultation and site visit to understand your goals. From there, the project scope is defined, designs are finalized and construction commences. We take pride in working with talented architects, designers and construction teams to bring your vision to life.