As you look at pictures of nice blue pools, and wonder what will be best for you, the decking or patio requirements are often overlooked. Our fiberglass pools come with four feet of concrete around the swimming pool, as standard, but we know from experience that standard is never enough for most folks.
When you begin to consider the things you would like to add on to your swimming pool, one of the first things you will probably start researching is patio furniture. The whole idea of fun by the pool, involves hanging out by the pool, relaxing and sharing summer lunches and BBQs, and once you begin to add things up, you realize very quickly the standard pool patio space probably won’t fit your requirements.
In a lot of cases it can be very stressful to try and figure things out, and one way we have advised people to imagine their needs, is to use a garden hose, or some kind of rope, to outline how much extra space to see what they will need. But first you will need to know how much space is required, for each of the things you want to include. So, here is a guideline to help you decide.
The most common things pool owners want for their patios, are loungers, chairs, tables and chairs, and sometimes a BBQ or a hot tub. Hot tubs are easy – often when a customer purchases one of our Jacuzzi brand hot tubs, we are asked to construct a concrete pad. The most requested size is 10′ by 10′ and that size will work for most hot tubs.
A pool lounge is almost a requirement for your new pool, and usually two. They generally will be 7′ long and about 2 and ½ feet wide. Now put two together and leave a space in between for a small table and you will need 7′ long and about 7′ wide. Than add an area around the loungers, of about three feet for clearance, and you should allot about 12′ by 12′ for your loungers. A chair and a table about 5′, and add another chair to make the space 6′ by 6′. For a dining table and chairs count on 10′ by 10′, and if you would like it larger, make it 12′ by 12′. Confused yet?
ARRANGE YOUR INCLUDED CONCRETE
The best way to decide what you will need, is to ask your builder. Discuss the things you would like to have on your patio, and configure your deck to accommodate more than you think you will need. Even though our pools are installed with a 4′ concrete perimeter, we often encourage our customers to use some of that concrete to add to their patio. If you don’t need four feet on the far side of the pool, let’s use it on the busy side, and save some money.
The busiest area of the pool is usually the area closest to your home, and at the entrance. Most of our customers are happy with another 300 or so square feet extra, but you are better off to have too much than not enough. It is easy to find something to fill up unused deck, but much harder to find extra deck if you want to add a new lounge or perhaps an outdoor loveseat.
If you are planning on having a landscaper work on your yard, it is a great idea to get the landscaper involved in deck and garden design. Often if your patio can be incorporated into the master plan for the yard, it will be much easier to anticipate patio needs, and even better, to design areas on your patio for lounging, resting, eating or just a place in the shade to read.
Finally, speaking of shade, be careful not to underestimate the need for shade. Everyone knows too much sun is not good, and if you do not have natural shade areas, you will very quickly be looking for a solution to that problem. Pools in Wilmington NC, or anywhere in the coastal area, are going to get a lot of summer sun.
INEXPENSIVE POOL SHADE
One solution we offer our customers is to place PVC piping in the patio concrete at strategic locations. When things get too sunny, these pipes are the perfect place to drop in a beach umbrella, and get shade. We don’t charge for this service, and we know our customers love this idea, and are very thankful when the afternoon sun gets to be too much. A nice beach umbrella by the pool – relaxing in the shade – that’s about perfect!