You can’t build a custom swimming pool without the features that make it unique. From the soothing sounds of bubblers to lighting, the extras will make your inground pool stand apart as the best spot for lounging and entertaining. Check out the top ten features you’d be foolish to ignore when building your custom swimming pool.
1. Tanning Ledge – The ultimate in sophistication, tanning ledges let you lounge in style by providing a separate shallow area. It’s a perfect place for an umbrella and some lounge chairs and can even serve as the kiddie pool for easier supervision.
2. Fire Pit – Turn a raised platform into a zen-like nook where you can warm up after a night swim. Fire pits can be as elaborate as a built-in stone feature or as simple as a no-frills DIY pit. It’s the perfect mood-setter for your backyard.
3. Planters – Plant flower beds for a pop of color, or mix desert rock with unique succulents for added beauty. As long as you choose the right plants, this pool feature can shield the water from unwanted debris and provide shade for hot summer days.
4. Deck Jets – Fun with a nice mix of classic style and modernity, deck jets come in a variety of styles. Whether cast into concrete decks or mounted on the pool walls, they provide a soothing visual and audible addition to your backyard theme.
5. Custom Spa – A hot tub is one of the main factors many homeowners consider when building a custom swimming pool, and for good reason. Spas aren’t just ideal for R&R, they ease muscle tension and promote harmony between the mind and body. Perfect for active, busy parents.
6. Sheer Descent – Part waterfall, part deck jet, a sheer descent water feature provides a sheet-like cascade of water into your pool. It can serve as a dramatic focal point while being nearly silent (or loud depending on its height). Swimmers will find themselves relaxing under it regularly.
7. LED Lights – Every inground pool needs the appropriate lighting features to match its style. Not only will they illuminate the water after dark, they add a design element that is unrivaled by other features. A single color can dictate the entire vibe of your outdoor oasis, so don’t overlook this important feature in your planning process.
8. Grotto – These elaborate water features date back to the Roman era and are typically built as a cave-like structure that surrounds a spa. Add it to your pool as a gorgeous getaway that will have you feeling like you’re in another world. Grottos can be natural or man-made—the choice is yours.
9. Princess Deck – A byproduct of a raised bar beam, a princess deck is a perfect way to add dimension and depth to your custom swimming pool. Include several levels to dramatize the lounge area—a great feature for those who love to play host or unwind on the weekends.
10. Automatic Cover – This safety feature is a given for any pool owner with small children or pets, but don’t forget its visual and functional appeal. Covers will keep an unkempt pool out of guests’ line of sight—say, after a storm. They also help to conserve water and energy—two things your pool is notorious for wasting.
The great thing about these top ten custom swimming pool features is that they can be modified to fit your style. When it comes to building a luxury inground pool, let your imagination take the driver’s seat.
Editor’s note: Originally posted 3/4/2016. Recently updated for relevance and clarity.