Choosing your perfect site for your new inground pool kit is probably the most important decision of your new backyard inground pool project. Take into consideration things in the process such as:
- Grade changes - if your yard slopes
- Distance from the house and property lines
- Distance to run electrical and gas lines
- Where you will get the most sunshine
If your backyard area is fairly level, this is not a big concern - but if you have 2 ft of grade change over the pool area from one end to the other, this creates some extra grading work. What you may want to do is dig down on the high end 1 foot and building up on the low end 1 foot, so you won’t have to dig down a full 2 feet. If you build up 2 feet you will need a lot of material to fill in behind it and all that material will have to be compacted and possibly trucked in at considerable expense.
Distance from the House and Property Lines:
Next let’s think about how far the pool will be from the house. Imagine that you decide to have a cookout by the pool, do you really want to bring everything from inside your house - 50 feet to your pool area? Back and forth, and then you forget this or that and after 10 trips to and from, you wonder why your pool wasn’t built closer to the house.
If there are kids in the equation, you want to be able to look out your window to keep tabs on them. From a pool safety perspective, the pool should be as visible as possible from many angles. Proper supervision, of course, would not be from inside the house, but poolside. Then they can yell, "Mom, look at me!" a thousand times.
The biggest factor are building codes that come into play in most areas. How far the pool can be from your house and from your property lines, is what's called a "setback". The distance of a setback varies from area to area, your local governmental building permits division will be able to tell you. See Chris Low's recent blog post about pool permitting procedures for homeowner installed inground pools.
Distance of Electrical and Gas Lines:
Next, let’s think about your equipment area for your pump and filter or heater. The electrical supply must be run on a dedicated circuit - directly from your electrical panel to a sub-panel near the equipment pad. Running electrical lines 50 ft or running electrical lines 150 ft, will be a big difference in cost. Similarly, if you will be using a natural gas heater, you will have to run a gas line from your meter to the heater - and again, running a gas line 50 ft or 150 ft is a huge cost difference.
Also, there will be a noise from the equipment, so you probably don’t want your pool pump or pool heater right under your bedroom window, or right next to the pool area where you may be trying to enjoy a quiet afternoon.
You will also need to add water to the pool from time to time, or want to use a hose for clean-up around the pool. Having a water spigot within 50 feet is more convenient than pulling out a longer run of garden hose.
On the Sunny Side:
Finally, go out in your backyard 3 or 4 times during the day to see what areas get the best sun light. Would you prefer more late day sun, or early morning sun? Are there trees or structures that would block the sun? It's normal to have some part of the day where the sun is obscured, but you probably want to have sunshine for at least 4-6hrs per day, if possible.
Rather than looking in your backyard and saying this will be a great place for my pool, spend some time and take these things into consideration, you’ll enjoy your pool, and all the money you saved - even more.
SPP Pool Expert