Is a 9.5' x 30' pool too small?

chris401September 12, 2012

We are planning a new house on a 1/3 acre lot with an odd shape and some slope from front to back. We have one small child (1+ yr) at this point, and we live in Texas. To leave enough room in the back to also have a flat yard for play, if we are going to build a pool it will be relatively small. Our current design is a simple rectangle at 9.5x30 feet. At one end there will be 3' tanning shelf bump out to add some area for the kiddo to play, and for adults to lounge. The shelf is actually pretty long (wraps about half of the length of the pool, 15 ft, plus wraps around the corner by another 3ft).

So, my question: Too small? I understand it all varies depending on how we plan to use it. I originally was hoping to do some laps, but 30ft is not long enough for that. So most likely intended use is just a place to cool off with the kid(s) during the hot summer months. We also have a neighborhood pool with diving board full competitive lap lanes, so we can go to that when we need something bigger. Perhaps we can use it for volleyball matches?

If we needed more, I think we add a 1-2 ft in width and around 3 ft in length. Or we could scrap the design and try again. Very interested in your thoughts.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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I would say 30 is fine but 9.5 is pretty small. Ours will be 15 x 33 and when he laid it out, 15' looked small! But we have a small yard. But the bottom line is, any size that you can jump in will be a great place to cool down so if that's the size that fits, go with it!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:29PM
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I am partial to small pools. Our pool is 10 x 20 and plenty big for us. We entertain every weekend and IMHO we wish we had more space around the pool for a bigger summer kitcken etc. Our pool is a Spool aka social pool as the deep end is 4.5 ft. It is plenty big for some volleyball and we have had 25 plus people in it. Small pools have many advantages. I would build a pool based on your preference and how you and your family plan to use it 90% of the time. Remember the bottom line is that you will have to pay to maintain it, not your friends. Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our pool build in Jacksonville, Fl

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:19AM
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We are having a pool built also, ours is exactly 13.8 x 31.1 URL below. I think this is a bit narrow but we have a 10 ft easement on one side and sewer on the other so we have no other option. If I had the space I would go wider. However, I did swim in a small pool at a hotel once that was about the size of the one you are thinking about getting, it's actually the reason we decided we could fit a small pool in our yard.

Remember, your children will grow up and in about a year of having a pool they will be swimmig like fish. Think about the future. For us, our children are 14 and 17 and we are thinking about retirement and grandkids. Probably not too many pool parties.

Needless to say, IMHO I would definately go wider if you have the space. I have never heard anyone complain about their pool being too big (I have seen many posts about wishing they had gone larger) and a few more feet wouldn't be much of a building cost difference. How much longer will your kids be "playing" in the yard. Mine stopped at age 6. A pool is an outdoor activity all ages wil enjoy.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Pool Build In Oklahoma

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:07AM
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I completely agree with SpeisFamily. Your child will grow, and faster than you think. Get the pool as big as you can. I'm not sure I understand how the tanning shelf will go. Is it included in the (current) 9.5 X 30, or in addition to it? Can you use some of that space for the main part of the pool? I think the 9.5 feet is definitely too narrow. Thirty feet is not bad, but if you can make it longer, that would be better. Why not have a place in your own back yard that the kiddo can start to practice laps in?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:27PM
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I had one requirement for me when our pool was built years ago, and that was 40' long for swimming laps. We then went as wide as we could for the space we had. Ours is about 20' by 40', sort of kidney shaped to fit against a curved retaining wall.

My kids are now in college. But I'm still home, and I'm still swimming laps. If I didn't have a pool that worked for my desired use, I'd probably be one of the unhappy pool owners that you read about now and then.

I put target tiles on the opposing walls and "T" tiles on the floor at each end for gauging flip turns.

Can you squeeze in extra length for a "lollipop" type of pool? Sort of a 15' by 15' square pool as the "head" of the lollipop with a 6' by 25' lollipop "stick" off one side of the square? The 15' square area would give you a bit of an open play area, and the 6' by 25' lane off the side of the 15' square would give you a 40' lane for laps.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:53PM
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Thats half a lap pool:)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 5:39PM
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I say go with whatever fits your space, use and budget. Brentr, apparently the party monster :>), is proof that any pool adapts to your lifestyle!

Child of the 70's here, one of the first to have an above ground pool. Tacky now I know, but it was the neighborhood hot spot (too my mother's chagrin)and we loved it no matter how many kids were in there.

Fast forward to now on the opposite coast we have an inground pool not too far off your dimensions. A modified rectangle (trapezoid?)about 40' long and it's about 10' wide on one end and wider on the other to incoporate the built in spa and stairs inside it on the end which makes the pool wider in the middle, maybe 15-18', not sure. So instead of a bump out we bumped in, by widened the one end to keep a clean line on the perimeter. Kind of hard to explain and I don't have a picture now, but by keeping it parallel with the back fence it looks retangular except bird's eye view from above. It's "play pool" depth: 3 1/2' on the spa end sloping to 5' in the middle and 4' on the other end.

We have a small yard and our goal was to make it as long as possible and as close to the back fence as possible so we could perserve our green space and have a good size patio.

Never wanted anything wider, but initially wanted to go 5-6' longer for laps, but our designer suggested scaling back so there could also be a small patio on the non spa end and we never regretted the decision. Husband knows how many "laps" it takes for a mile and he swims that often. Because it's linear it looks really long from the ends.

Funny thing is every kid that comes here loves to hang out in the narrow side next to the spa, sit on the 3-4' stairs (my sun shelf) next to the spa, or go in the spa even if the bubbles aren't on. They like the little places. Like all those kids that hog the hotel spa thinking it's their own private pool.

IMO your design is enough room for your kids to play and learn to swim and when they get bigger they'll probably want to go to the public pool with the diving boards and the billion kids anyway. Many people do not want pools so for resale and upkeep bigger is not always better.

BTW I don't know how they price pools there or now, but back when we put ours in, linear foot was a big part of the $. Which is partially why designers loved kidneys and irregular shapes more than lap and rectangles. We didn't realize it at the time, but our bumping out for stairs and spa would have been more expensive than our widened the end to bump in.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:53PM
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