With hot summer days in full swing, few things sound better than refreshing water to cool down. Whether you’ve been interested in lounging poolside, relaxing in a spa or finding peace with ornate water features, there are important factors to consider before diving in.
The main purpose of water features—both large and small scale—is to enhance the entertainment value in your home, right in your backyard. “Pools, spas and water features fall into the category of investing in yourself,” says Senior Designer Todd Diesburg. Troy Shimp and Diesburg, two of Lifescape’s tenured designers, outline five factors they ask clients to consider before taking the plunge.
Know Your Zoning Laws
The first step is to make sure your property is following the zoning ordinances for pools. Largescale additions such as pools typically have strict liability and maintenance laws unique to each neighborhood. “There’s a permitting process for pools, which COVID has impacted the time it takes to obtain a permit,” says Senior Designer Troy Shimp.
If your property is not zoned to add a pool, incorporating a spa or scenic water feature—whether naturalistic with streams, waterfalls and ponds, or contemporary—is a great alternative.
Evaluate the Function
It’s important to ask yourself, what is the purpose of the water feature? Shimp says, “Clients need to consider how they will incorporate water based on how they will use it. For example, when people talk about pools, make sure it’s something you will use for years to come.”
A great example is a pool’s deep end. Don’t incorporate a deep end without a diving board and a diving enthusiast. Alternatively, pools designed with the same level throughout are more functional for in-pool lounging and water sports.
Think About Maintenance
The trends prove that people are considering maintenance before incorporating water features, especially as opposed to fifteen years ago.
Diesburg says, “There was a time years ago when people wanted naturalistic water features (pools, streams, falls), but they realized how much maintenance is required. Cleaner, contemporary styles are trending because they are much easier to maintain.”
Determine the Design
The good news is, there are countless options for yards, both large and small.
“Pools, spas and water features become the crown jewel of the landscape. We start by talking about the functionality and also make suggestions based on where you live. For example, in Evergreen, we can take advantage of the grade versus Cherry Creek; we like to complement the contemporary or transitional architecture with more modern styles,” says Diesburg.
Don’t Forget Landscaping
After determining the location of your new water feature or features (“spools”—a spa/plunge pool combo—is all the rage in the industry at the moment), it’s time to conceptualize the surrounding landscape.
According to both Shimp and Diesburg, the concepts are endless and customizable for each client. Shade trees are a great way to block the afternoon heat, or pergolas are another great option if you’re avoiding a naturalistic look. Lighting, additional water features, hardscaping and landscaping should all be considered before the build-out. Well-thought-out landscape design further enhances the pleasure water features offer.