When you begin to plan an inground swimming pool, it’s only natural to dwell on the obvious design solutions such as form, location, and materials of the pool. However, the most significant part of the puzzle is the depth of the pool.
Although this issue may look pretty basic, it is a very difficult task. Actually, the majority of potential pool owners find this question one of the most difficult decisions in the entire design procedure. The reason is that the perfect pool depth is subject to many factors, but ultimately reduces to an individual choice of a pool owner.
Ideal pool depth for various activities
To begin with, consider how you’re going to use the pool. In addition, think about every person who will use the pool and what are their favorite activities. Keep this in mind to determine the perfect depth for different activities.
Children’s play area: 3′ or less
The perfect children’s pool permits kids to have fun and improve their swimming skills; in this, they must be able to touch bottom and stand head over water. However, if you’re going to build the pool for a long time, don’t forget that children grow up quickly. Your babies will soon be teens who won’t enjoy swimming in the shallows.
Swimming: at least 3.5′
To swim, the water must have sufficient depth for the free movement. If you’re fond of swimming, you should think about installing a private lap pool. For professional swimmers, the length of a common above ground pool is more important than its depth.
Recreational sports: 3.5′ – 4′
If you like playing basketball or volleyball in the pool in the water must, the pool depth must allow the players to stand up, swim and move easily. Ideally, the depth must be uniform over the whole perimeter so that all the players are under the same conditions.
Relaxing/Chilling: 3.5′ – 4′
To have fun in the swimming pool, the water must be at least waist-high. An overall guideline is about 4′, but the height of the pool users should be taken into account. Moreover, think of a shallow area where you can install the sun beds and chill.
Jumping in: at least 4′ or
To prevent traumas when jumping in feet first, the water must have sufficient depth to absorb the person’s impact. If there are no small kids in your family, the deeper the pool, the better.
Diving: no less than 9′
Keep in mind that diving is one of the most hazardous activities due to the risk of head traumas. You should know that if you’re arranging a springboard, local legislation may ruin your plans (as well as the insurance problems). Contact your pool contractor to be sure that the depth of your swimming pool complies with all applicable security laws.
If you like diving, you’ll require a deep end to prevent traumas.
If the only thing you want to do in your pool is to swim, a pool with a single depth along the whole perimeter can satisfy your requirements. Nevertheless, we recommend you to weigh up your priorities before deciding on the pool depth.
The common above ground pool has a shallow end on one side (approximately 3.5′ deep) and finally shifts to a deep end (at least 5′). However, another option is to install a pool that’s shallow on both ends and deeper in the middle. Eventually, although it may be impractical, L-shaped pools are excellent for separating the deep part of the pool in its own small corner.
Remember that you require a transition zone (slope) between every depth change. As a rule, the bigger the difference, the longer this transition zone must be. Simply put, you will have to extend the length of a pool to provide a significant change in depth.
However, every rule has an exception. A sun shelf is a very popular variant for residential pools. With the help of this object, the shallow area drops instantly to the deeper area without a slope.
Are you confused? No matter if you’re going to install a fiberglass or concrete pool, an excellent way to get an understanding of the pool depth is to take a look at the fiberglass pool shells provided by the largest manufacturers, for example, Blue Hawaiian. Fiberglass pool shells are available in a large but limited amount of forms, which permits you to see a variety of options.
Additionally, there are lots of practical issues that could impact your decision on the pool depth.
First of all, all else being equal, the deeper the pools, the higher the price. It takes more time, work, and materials to install such pool (as well as extra water and chemicals to maintain it).
Secondly, it’s essential to think about safety when choosing the pool depth. We’ve talked about it earlier while discussing springboards; however, it has wider repercussions. There are lots of various ways persons can be injured while using a pool.
Unluckily, there’s a universal recommendation in this case. Shallow water is usually more secure for kids and people who don’t swim well. Greater depth is excellent for diving and jumping, irrespective of age. That said, the best recommendation is to bear in mind who will spend the most time in the swimming pool.
Now you probably realize why it is so difficult to choose the pool depth. Regrettably, there’s no ideal solution in the majority of cases. However, with careful attention, as well as the expert advice of your pool contractor – you can create the perfect solution that will fit all your requirements.