How to Build a Swimming Pool for Your Home: The Complete Guide


There are so many benefits to having a swimming pool in your own backyard. Home pools are cool and refreshing and are a great place to relax. They're great for parties and they will help you to bring your friends and families together during the summer months. 

Today there are 10.4 million residential pools in the United States, and when you see other people enjoying theirs, you want one to enjoy, too. It's no wonder that you want to build a swimming pool of your own so you can join this large-yet-elite club.  

If you're thinking about having a pool added in your yard or home, there are a lot of things to know and learn before you begin the process. The pool installation process may seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn't have to be. 

Early Decisions to Make 

When you are planning to build a swimming pool on your property, you have some early decisions to make before you can begin to move forward. First, you need to decide if you want your pool to be indoors or outdoors. If you do choose an outdoor pool like most people, you will also need to decide if you want your pool to be above the ground or set into it. 

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Outdoor pools are ubiquitous in warmer parts of the United States and are common in cooler, northern states as well. These are the pools with which you are probably most familiar. Many people enjoy lounging in the sun next to the pool, and this is only possible if it is located outdoors.

However, indoor or enclosed pools are becoming more popular these days. Indoor pools can be used in any type of weather and can be enjoyed year-round. Further, indoor pool owners don't have to worry about fishing leaves and bugs out of the pool every day. More and more people are taking the time today to learn about indoor pools as an option for their home. 

There a numerous other benefits to both types of pool, but in the end, the decision really comes down to personal preference.

Above-Ground vs. In-Ground

Another decision you need to make early on in the process is whether you want an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool.  Both types have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, and as with indoor vs. outdoor pools, much of the decision-making process has to do with individual preferences.

There are almost an equal number of residential above-ground and in-ground pools in our country today.

Above-ground pools are temporary, portable, and moveable. If you have one for a few years and decide your family has outgrown it, it's easy to remove. They are easy to maintain and they are far more inexpensive overall than in-ground styles. Above-ground pools are also easy to install and don't take up as much space as the alternative.

In-ground pools, however, are more attractive by most people's standards. They last far longer than their above-ground counterparts and damage to them is rare. Pool owners can also incorporate things like slides, diving boards, waterfalls, and hot tubs into the design of an in-ground pool if they so desire.

Build a Swimming Pool

Once you've decided which type of swimming pool you want, you can begin to move forward with the actual planning and building process.


Before you do anything else, you need to determine whether your municipality requires permits for pool construction. Many do, and it can take a while to obtain them. You can't start building until you have secured the permits, so you should apply for permits as early as you can.

Choose a Site

You also need to choose a site for the pool on your property. You may find out that your pool will not work in the first location you choose due to uneven ground in the case of an above-ground pool or underground utility pipes and wires in the case of an in-ground one. 

Also, you should take into consideration the overall flow of your yard. If you might want to add a deck or a patio later on, these are important factors to keep in mind.

You'll also want to build your swimming pool in a sunny spot and away from trees. If you are planning your pool in the winter months, don't forget to think about the way that the trees fill out in the spring and summer months.

Pool Design

When you choose a pre-packaged above-ground pool, size is the main thing you will have to contemplate, but also think about where you want to put the filter and ladder as well.

In-ground pools have many more options to consider when it comes to pool design. You will need to consider the shape you want, the type of construction, the location of the underground filter, the sidewalk around the pool's edge, and so on. If you want to add water features or landscaping, you'll need to plan that out, too.

Above-Ground Pool Installation

Above-ground pool installation is fairly simple and many people even install their above-ground pools themselves. You will need to clear the ground and make sure it is flat and free of rocks that could puncture the liner. Beyond that, though, whether you hire someone or do it yourself, the rest of the installation is really simply following the instructions that came in the box.

In-Ground Pool Installation

There are many more steps to installing an in-ground pool and the process is far more complicated. You will need to hire a professional to excavate the hole in which the pool will be built. Steel supports will help to keep the sides in place in the future. The filter, plumbing fixtures, and electrical connectors will need to be buried underground.

Then, the concrete floor and walls will need to be poured. The contractors you hire will use a cement mixer and will grade and smooth the concrete while it's still wet to create the final shape of your in-ground pool.

In the case of fiberglass pools, the contractors will bring the one-piece fiberglass shape on a truck and will set it into the ground for you.

Happy Swimming

Once construction is complete, you can fill your pool with water. You will need to treat the water with the necessary chemicals on a regular basis to keep it clean and clear and free of algae and bacteria, but otherwise, you are ready to go.

Dive in and enjoy a swim, and why not invite over some jealous neighbors while you're at it? When you build a swimming pool on your property, your whole life will change. Have fun!

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