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Designing Your Dream Custom Swimming Pool: A Step-by-Step Guide

Your dream pool should embody your design goals with not only form but function too. There's nothing worse than having a pool that looks great but isn't usable for how you entertain. Pool It Together prides itself on not only providing a truly custom building experience but also prioritizing form and function.

Because of our Fixed Rate pricing model, Pool It Together is not incentivized to upsell you on a bunch of features just to raise the overall price of the pool project. Our goal is to design and build your dream pool within your desired budget.

The Custom Pool Design:

Pool It Together 3D Rendering

Pool It Together Luxury Pool

First, we start with a custom 3D computer design rendering of your pool to represent what the design looks like in your yard.

Ultimately we turn that 3D rendering into reality after a lot of planning and hard work by our incredible team.

You have a lot of choices when it comes to your pool design. Unlike some of the other pool builders, we don't like to build the same pool over and over. Your pool should be unique to you and not "Design #3" from a catalog of premade pools.

The space you have to build your pool in will determine some of the limitations for what you can do. Geometric or linear type pools tend to work best in small yards but can be used in any size yard. Geometric pools have proven to be the more popular option over the last number of years. A Freeform design, or one with more curved sides (think kidney shape), takes up a little more real estate and requires larger yards to fit comfortably in.

Swimming Pool Features:

Here is where you can set your pool apart from the crowd. Pool features can include anything from a more simple raised waterfall wall to custom columns, grottos, splash pads, Baja shelves, in-ground spa, integrated fire pits or fire pots, deck jets, bubblers, LED lighting, water scuppers, lighted spillways, custom rock slides, diving boards, and the list goes on.

Baja Shelfs

Pool It Together Baja Shelf
"Wavy Style" Chaise Lounge

Baja shelfs, aka Sun Shelf aka Oversized Play Shelf, have almost become standard features on today's Arizona pools. The water depths of this feature can be customized to suit the desired usage/purpose of the shelf. If the general usage will be for kids to play or just general lounging, an 18" depth works well for this. 18" is the deepest we would suggest for this feature and it is also the same depth as a pool bench.

If you are looking to use one of the "wavy" style chaise lounges in the water, those furniture pieces will have water depth limitations ranging from 9"-15" depending on the model. Other types of chaise loungers will have a limit on how deep the water can be, so we suggest you determine what type of furniture you want to use and we can customize the water depth to match functionality properly.

Water Features

Water Features Spillway and lighted bubblers
Sheer Descent Spillways w/Lighted Bubblers

Choosing a water feature can be a daunting task as there are almost limitless possibilities as to what you can do. Waterfalls can be more hidden in a wall as pictured or have a more pronounced visual effect when choosing a metal spillway or scupper option. We can customize the spillway size to fit any design imaginable. Majestic Water Spouts is the local vendor we use to source our water features, you can browse their website to see all the available options.

What you build around the water feature can be customized as well. Commonly done is a single-level wall, generally about 2' high but you can add in different height tiers and columns to give more vertical dimension. Offsetting the walls or columns can add more visual depth as well. Tile, stone, or stucco can be used to face the water feature to blend in or stand out depending on what type of focal point you want the feature to be.

Tile and Stone

Your pool's tile and stone finishes are like the jewelry for the pool. The options can be as muted or flashy as you like with only your budget being the dictator for what you can and can't do. Our process doesn't limit your options and choices to just one vendor, or even worse, just a small selection of materials. Pool It Together has relationships with many vendors and retailers both local and online so you can get the product you desire for the best possible price.

Pool Accent or Nosing Tile
Accent Tile and Bullnose Coping

When it comes to your waterline tile, the only real limitation you have is the product you choose must be rated for 100% water submersion. Meaning, you can't use a product that is porous or metallic as it can have negative reactions in the water. Most porcelain and glass tile options are acceptable and commonly used. The shape can be a standard 6x6 or a multitude of different mosaic patterns. There are even glow-in-the-dark options if you want to be unique. The nosing tile which we call "Accent Tile" is used to line the steps, benches, and Baja shelf. This is an optional feature and can be the same tile as the waterline or a different/complimentary tile to match.

Pool accent/nosing tile and coping
Accent Tile and Square Cut Coping

Pool It Together primarily uses a natural stone product for pool coping. This is the material that sits on the top edge of the pool. Traditionally it is the 1' border that your decking butts up to. Materials can be travertine, limestone, marble, or any other available material. The most common size is 12x24 with raised Spa's requiring 16x24 *if possible. The inside edge can have a bullnose profile which leaves a rounded edge or it can retain the factory square cut. The bullnose edge is the more standard/traditional option while the square-cut edge can give a more modern and linear look.

Some other pool builders offer a poured concrete coping/decking option that we do not recommend. Years ago it used to be the cheaper option but with the price increases to concrete-based products, it is on par with the cost of a natural stone product. In our opinion, the poured concrete coping/decking gives an outdated look to your pool aesthetics and doesn't match the perceived value for what you have to pay.

Interior Pebble Finish:

The pebble finish on your pool is the last major design element to be installed. The standard pool finish is a Mini Pebble plaster. Different vendors have different names for what is ultimately a mini pebble plaster finish. It carries one of the highest finish warranties and requires very little maintenance.

Your color options will vary based on the overall look you want the water to be. Do you want the water to look very light blue? Do you like the water to be a very dark almost blackish blue? Are you more in the middle with a medium blue? There are pebble options to fit all of those looks. Pebble colors are broken into various pricing groups. In general, the darker the color, the more expensive the color will be.

Pebble options don't stop there, you can also add "mix-ins" or "broadcast" additional accents into the pebble finish. These items can include crushed abalone shell (gives a subtle iridescent sparkle), glow-in-the-dark pebbles (in shades of blue or green glow), mini glass beads, or tile mosaic features. All of these options will give another added unique pop to set your pool further apart from the rest.

In Closing:

With Pool It Together, you can choose almost limitless options when it comes to the design of your pool. Our team is not looking to build the pool that is convenient for us but instead, build "Your" pool. That means we prioritize your wants and needs, give you options based on your budget, and treat your project as if it was our own, personal pool. There is no shortage of pool builders in Arizona, let us show you why Pool It Together is the only choice for a truly custom-built swimming pool.

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