Pool Party

Make a Splash with Different Pool Designs and Features


By Annette Brooks

Have you dreamed of transforming your backyard with a pool, creating a safe place to have fun, relax, cool off, entertain, and create lifelong memories? If you’re like most homeowners in Texas, the question isn’t if you should build a pool but what kind to build. Your available backyard space and budget play a role, but you also want a pool that fits your lifestyle and how you envision using it. Here are a few different options to consider. But if there’s one thing that isn’t an option, it’s choosing an experienced, highly reputable custom pool builder.


Backyard Oasis/Resort-style Pool

Make your backyard a resort-worthy destination featuring a pool with options like waterfalls and water curtains, caves to swim through, lazy rivers, tanning ledges, dramatic fire features, a swim-up bar, and custom lighting effects. You may want to include a cabana and even a pool house with a bathroom. Or how about incorporating an outdoor kitchen and entertainment area into the design? With the right custom pool and outdoor living builder, the sky’s the limit if you have the space and budget. 

Infinity Pool

Custom-made to highlight a view or a landscape focal point, infinity pools are designed with one or more walls just below the pool’s water level. The water flows over the wall, creating the illusion of a vanishing edge. A sloping lot or one with a few feet of drop-off is usually needed for an infinity edge to work well.


Cocktail Pool

Do you envision relaxing in a pool bigger than a hot tub but smaller and not as deep as a regular pool? A cocktail pool may be just the ticket, especially if you have a smaller backyard. The design and size can be customized to fit your space and style and integrated into a patio or backyard living area.

Plunge Pool 

Smaller than a traditional pool, a plunge pool is just deep enough for lounging, cooling off, and low-impact water exercise. The size can vary from around 6.5 to 10 feet wide and 10 to 22 feet long, and 5.5 to 7 feet deep, and the bottom is usually flat.


Lap Pool

These long, narrow, rectangular pools are designed primarily for swimming laps in the privacy of your backyard. A good length for a lap pool is at least 40 feet, and it can serve as a focal point for a narrow lot. Consider including features like a swim current generator.


A best-of-both-worlds option for homeowners, a spool is just what you think it might be — a pool and a spa. Often referred to by pool builders as a portmanteau (a blend of two words), spools are typically half the size of a typical in-ground outdoor pool and twice the length of a spa. 

More Hot Features for a Cool Pool

Baja Shelf – If you enjoy soaking up the sun but not the summer heat, a Baja shelf is a great solution. Think of it as a wide top step into your pool where you can lounge and play in shallow water.

Lighting Effects – Make your pool come alive at night with programmable colored LED lighting. Whether you’re in the mood for a dramatic, illuminated nightscape or dynamic light show, let your pool builder show you all the lighting options to choose from.

Laminars – Like a deck jet but better, laminars emanate from the pool deck or coping and reach greater heights. They produce a larger, sleeker, arced water stream that holds its shape until it hits the pool’s surface, creating a serene scene that embodies beauty and relaxing elegance.

Reverse Infinity Pool – With most vanishing-edge pools, the water overflows a pool edge to seemingly blend into the horizon. As implied, the opposite occurs with this pool design. Instead, the water spills into an eye-catching, stylized catchment pool viewed from a spa, outdoor living area, or your patio. 

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