Texas is home to some of the country’s most vibrant cities and impressive landscapes — along with some of its most sweltering summers! Whether you live in the heart of Austin or the rural countryside, it’s tough to find relief when brutal heat and humidity strike.
A swimming pool provides a fun, refreshing way for your family to beat the heat — but also adds so much more to your lifestyle! From Game Day to graduation parties, a swimming pool provides an attractive, relaxing space where all of your loved ones can socialize — or where you can steal a quiet, relaxing moment to yourself.
With Texas’ hot climate, pools can be used almost year-round, ensuring you get the maximum return on your investment. Some of the most popular options include vinyl and fiberglass pools, which we’ll discuss throughout this guide.
Before you start building a pool in Texas, get a handle on the basics of pool ownership, including topics like how to maintain your pool properly, state and local pool regulations, popular pool designs in Texas, and so much more! We’ll also walk you through various seasonal considerations when planning a pool in Texas, like whether you should use a pool cover to save on energy costs, how long a vinyl liner will last in Texas’ climate and other need-to-know info for new pool owners.
Texas Pool Designs
From entertaining and exercising, to tanning and simply relaxing, pools have multiple uses that can enhance and upgrade your lifestyle. And thanks to Texas’ weather, you can enjoy a swim most months out of the year, ensuring you get top value for your dollar. The question is, what type of pool is right for your needs and preferences? Learn more about popular pool designs and discover which might be best for you.
Fiberglass Pool Designs for Your Texas Home
Depending on how you plan to use your pool, you may want to consider different designs. For example, will you want a large pool with lots of space for the kids to splash and play? Or would you prefer something compact and low-maintenance where you can simply rest and enjoy the sun? And what about add-on features, like tanning ledges or fountains?
You also have decisions to make when it comes to the look and style of your pool. Fortunately, both vinyl and fiberglass make it easy to create stunning custom designs, giving you a huge range of options to explore. Keep reading to learn about some popular pool styles in Texas, then talk to a Latham independent pool builder about how we can bring your vision to life!
- Rectangular – With bold, clean lines, the rectangular pool is a timeless design that balances classical looks with modern luxury. Check out some of our rectangle shaped inground pools to get inspired. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Astoria – The Astoria offers something for everybody: a built-in spa for relaxing, a wading area for the kids, and ample room to splash or float alongside swim-up seating.
- Barcelona – Its simple, timeless design and elegant curved stairs makes this model an excellent choice for swimming laps or entertaining.
- Corinthian 14 – An extra wide top step doubles as a tanning ledge, while swim-up seating offers plenty of space to relax, chat and enjoy a cold beverage.
- Freeform – Want something out of the ordinary? Freeform pools can make a unique and dramatic statement. Discover the advantages of a freeform pool in Texas, like how easy they make it to integrate features and add-ons. Explore some of your options, including:
- Cancun – An outstanding example of a modern freeform pool, the Cancun features slip-resistant steps and swim-up seating alongside plenty of space to swim and entertain!
- Key West – If your looking for a more classic style of freeform pool, the Key West may be your answer! Slip-resistant corner steps don’t take up a lot of pool real estate, giving you plenty of space to splash. The Key West’s classic design also makes it easy to outfit it with any number of add-on features to personalize your pool and make it the place to be!
- Cambridge – For those who want a rectangular-shaped pool, but with the flowing curves of a freeform pool, the Cambridge fits the bill! Swim-up seating, slip-resistant steps, and striking Crystite Color Technology make this an eye-catching pool you’ll enjoy for years to come.
- Kidney – Kidney pools are a fantastic option for small or irregularly-shaped spaces, but they make a charming addition to almost any type of yard. Explore your options for a kidney-shaped pool, including:
- St. Lucia – Spacious and striking, the St. Lucia features tiered wedding cake steps and swim-up seating. It can be equipped with any number of features from bubblers to even an automatic vacuum for easy cleaning.
- Valencia – Equally at home for exercising or entertaining, the Valencia features plenty of places to relax thanks to built-in swim-up seating and slip-resistant steps that are ideal for young swimmers and older adults with compromised mobility who may use the pool.
- Jamaica – A classic example of a kidney-shaped pool, the Jamaica offers swim-up seating, slip-resistant steps, and endless potential for add-ons to make your pool an even more inviting oasis in your backyard.
Its shape isn’t the only detail of your pool that can be customized. You can also add a wide range of unique features to give your pool more character and distinction.
- Water Features – Water features like fountains, bubblers, and waterfalls provide a soothing soundtrack to your outdoor activities while enhancing the appearance and beauty of your pool.
- Spas – Treat yourself to a resort experience in the comfort and privacy of your own backyard. Our spillover spas add an elegant “wow” factor and give you a luxurious way to relax and unwind.
Of course, these are just a few suggestions to help you start brainstorming ideas for the pool of your dreams. As long as it follows regulations and works with the layout of your property, our builders can design and install almost any pool shape, size, or features that you like!
Looking for even more Texas pool ideas? Browse fiberglass pool shapes and sizes, or check out some of these vinyl pool designs as an alternative option. Since different styles may work better or be more popular in your area, we recommend talking to our builders about the options that are available to you.
Vinyl Liner Pool Designs
One of the benefits of vinyl liner swimming pools is that they’re easy to customize. That means they can be constructed in similar shapes as fiberglass pools — often at a lower installation cost. For example, rectangular and freeform designs are both available in vinyl models, enabling you to score savings without sacrificing beauty.
Learn more about the vinyl liner pool shapes that are available in Texas, or contact a Latham dealer near you to explore the best-selling models and designs in your area.
Texas Pool Regulations
Whether you’re considering an above-ground or inground pool, Texas enforces several regulations that you’ll need to be aware of. For instance, state or local laws may require your swimming pool to be placed a certain distance from neighboring property lines.
You’ll also need to make sure you obey safety regulations to protect yourself against accidents and liability, like complying with Texas’ pool fencing requirements.
While we’ve included some of the most common questions around the regulations of pool ownership in Texas, it’s important to check state and local laws for yourself to be sure your pool is compliant. Pool safety and maintenance regulations can change over time, so doing your homework beforehand can help you to be sure you are adhering to the most current rules.
- What is the maximum pool depth in Texas?
State laws don’t place a specific limit on maximum residential pool depths in Texas. However, most pools are designed with a maximum depth of eight feet or less.
- How far does a pool have to be from a building or property line in Texas?
This distance, sometimes referred to as the “setback” distance, may vary depending on your geographical location. For example, the city of Murphy, TX in Collin County specifies that “pools, water features, slides, and pool equipment located in a single‐family residential district, whether underground or above ground… [must] have a minimum setback of five feet (5′) from the water’s edge, structure and/or equipment to the property line.” The same rule applies in the city of Denison, TX, but may be different where you live. Our builders will help you determine which regulations apply to you so that your pool meets state, local, and federal standards.
- Are fences required around a pool or backyard in Texas?
Yes. Chapter 757 of the Texas Health and Safety Code requires all pools to be enclosed by a gap-free fence measuring at least 48” high. These enclosures also need to comply with certain requirements that are laid out in state law. Our builders will help ensure that your pool and surrounding gates or fences align with Texas’ building codes while also helping you stay within budget and find an attractive design.
- Are pool covers required in Texas? If so, what kind?
Chapter 757 of the Texas Health and Safety Code does not specify any regulations regarding pool covers. However, there are numerous benefits to adding an automatic cover to your pool, which we’ll go over later in this guide. Additionally, there are situations where covers may be required, like the requirement in Murphy that “the pool shall be equipped with a powered safety cover in compliance with ASTM F1346” if the pool is not equipped with specific types of alarm systems.
- Are there any water regulations that Texas pool owners need to be aware of?
Yes. For example, state law prohibits pool owners from draining their pool water into residential streets.
It’s also important to note that regulations can differ by county or city in Texas — and in some cases, even by neighborhood. Special rules might also apply if, for instance, you’re part of a homeowners association or gated community. No matter where you’re located, our builders can help you navigate local construction rules so that your pool meets regulations and is ready for stress-free enjoyment.
Transforming or Replacing Your Current Pool
Gunite, which is similar to concrete, was a popular pool construction material that was widely used by builders throughout the second half of the twentieth century. While gunite is still available, today there are more economical and lower maintenance options for pool owners to choose from.
Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that only new gunite can be used to replace old or damaged gunite. In fact, it is possible to install a fiberglass replacement in the same hole as a gunite pool, minimizing both costs and construction. Whether you want to upgrade your gunite or concrete swimming pool because you want greater efficiency, a more modern look — or both — fiberglass is a fantastic option.
Vinyl is another material that can be used to replace aging or worn-out gunite, providing an alternative to fiberglass. Of course, vinyl can also be used to update older vinyl pools, which have been popular in Texas since the middle of the twentieth century. If you own a vinyl liner or gunite pool that needs to be updated or replaced due to age, damage, or simply to get a fresh look, vinyl is a cost-efficient option that can withstand Texas’ climate.
Another benefit of vinyl pools is that their liners can be easily replaced, or even completely removed. That means you can change your pool’s appearance, or even alter its original shape, with speed and ease — especially when you work with an experienced team of custom swimming pool builders. Learn more about Latham’s vinyl liner replacement options — then use our free pool visualizer to try out your favorite looks in your own backyard!
Replacing Vinyl Liners or Reshaping Your Pool
Starting with the historic Deep Eddy Pool built in 1915, Texas has a long tradition of swimming pools — which isn’t all that surprising for a state with such a hot climate! While the Deep Eddy Pool is constructed from concrete, many designs shifted toward vinyl from the 1950s onward. If your home is one of the many in Texas that has a vinyl liner pool, it may be time for an upgrade or replacement — especially if the pool has suffered any damage or deterioration, and/or if it’s more than 15 to 20 years old.
Fortunately, one of the benefits of vinyl liner swimming pools is that they’re easy to update and customize, providing you flexibility to design (and redesign) the pool of your dreams. For example, vinyl liners can be replaced to give your pool a completely new look, like changing to a lighter or darker color or even opting for a seamless design. Vinyl liners can also be removed, enabling builders to reshape — and completely transform — your pool.
Automatic Pool Covers
Refreshing green and blue colors are trendy for pool covers in Texas, but there are also plenty of neutral and earth-tone options you can explore! You may also want to look for specific technical details, such as sealed motors or keyed safety switches.
But why add an auto cover to your pool in the first place? That’s a great question, and the answer is that there are multiple benefits. Here are three reasons why you should consider getting an automatic cover for your pool in Texas:
- Automatic covers help with maintenance — for example, by blocking debris — which helps increase the lifespan of your pool. They can also help control water chemistry, which you can learn more about here.
- Automatic covers reduce the risk of accidents. This is especially important if you have pets or small children, or if you live in a neighborhood with children.
- Automatic covers help conserve water while slashing your heating costs — in some cases, by as much as 70%!
Want to learn more about automatic covers? Read about six benefits of pool safety covers, or check out some of Latham’s swimming pool cover options, including covers for custom and irregular pool shapes.
Vinyl Liner Pool Maintenance in Texas
There are slightly different maintenance requirements for vinyl liner pools versus fiberglass pools. Read on for some quick pointers about maintaining your vinyl pool successfully — or, check out our guide to seasonal pool maintenance for fiberglass pools instead.
- Brushing the pool — You should use a non-abrasive sponge or soft-bristled brush to gently buff soil and debris away from the floor and walls of your pool. Once per week is usually a good frequency to perform this task, depending on how heavily you use the pool.
- Combating wrinkles — Wrinkles are unattractive and undesirable in your vinyl liner swimming pool. You can remove them by applying gentle pressure with your feet, using a plunger to even them out, or, in severe cases, working with professional builders — who may determine that the liner needs to be replaced.
- Balancing water chemistry — If your pool water chemistry is out of balance, it can cause unsightly damage to the liner that affects not only its appearance but its functionality — and lifespan. Fortunately, you can avoid this issue by learning how to balance your pool water.
- Waterline maintenance — Oils, dirt, and debris love to stick and accumulate at the waterline, meaning this area of your liner needs special attention to keep it looking like new. Our experts can recommend a variety of vinyl liner cleaning products designed to combat and prevent stains.
To explore these and related topics in depth, including plenty of step-by-step guides and DIY tips, browse our comprehensive pool maintenance hub.
Texas Pool FAQs
Still have questions? We’ve got answers. Below, we’ll cover some FAQs about building a custom pool in Texas, including:
- How long will a fiberglass pool last in Texas?
- What does a pool cost in Texas?
- What sort of pool is best to have in Texas?
How much does a pool cost in Texas?
The answer to this question is that it can vary widely, because there are numerous factors that impact the cost of each project. For example, details like its size, design, materials, and add-on features will all directly affect the budget for your swimming pool — not only with regard to the construction phase, but also when factoring in lifetime maintenance and upkeep. For instance, a vinyl pool is typically less costly to install than a fiberglass pool, but can amount to higher costs over its lifetime due to fiberglass’ superior durability. The best way to get an accurate cost estimate for your project is to speak to a builder or check out Latham’s pool estimator!
What type of pool is best for Texas?
The answer to this question is different for everyone and depends on many factors, including your budget, the size, and shape of your yard, the amount of maintenance you’re willing to perform, what details are a priority for you (such as the ability to swim laps) and, of course, your personal style preferences! However here is some advice from one of Latham’s independent pool builders in Texas, Phillip Sheppard.
“In Texas, we are very fortunate to have an abundance of sunshine and favorable weather for enjoying pool and spa activities through much of the year. At DreamScapes Oasis & Outdoors, we are very proud to be a Grand Dealer of Latham fiberglass products for the DFW, North, and East Texas regions. With Latham fiberglass pool and spa products, you get a structurally sound, functionally inclusive, and aesthetically beautiful product to showcase in your backyard.
First, unlike traditional gunite pools and spas, fiberglass pools provide better structural endurance to our shifting clay soil and fluctuations in moisture content experienced throughout Texas. With fiberglass providing 17 times stronger structural engineering than gunite pools and the flexibility to endure minor shifting and even potential settling, you can rest assured that your fiberglass pool and spa product will be there for the years and decades to come.
Additionally, with a Latham Limited Lifetime Warranty on your pool shell and surface, you will know that you have the backing of the most reputable and longstanding manufacturer in the pool and spa industry! When you compare pool and spa options to invest in your lifestyle experiences, fiberglass products clearly provide the upper hand compared to traditional gunite pools and spas with better structural performance to mitigate potential issues and damage.
At DreamScapes, we are a turn-key provider for all of your Pool, Spa & Outdoor Living desires. Please feel free to contact us for a no-obligation, free estimate(s) for your entire project, including all desired upgrades and enhancements. From pools to landscaping and from patio covers to pergolas, DreamScapes Oasis & Outdoors is your one-stop shop for professional and turnkey project results.”
-President & CEO of DreamScapes Oasis & Outdoors in Dallas, TX
How long do fiberglass pools last in Texas?
The lifespan of your pool depends on factors like how well you maintain it, what sort of weather your area receives, whether you take advantage of a pool cover and how often you use the pool, which impacts the amount of wear-and-tear it sustains. With that in mind, a fiberglass pool generally lasts anywhere from 25 to 30 years on average, with potential for even longer use. Their exceptional durability makes fiberglass pools one of the most popular options for homeowners throughout Texas.
Are fiberglass pools good in texas?
Absolutely! Fiberglass pools make an excellent option for the climate in Texas, offering nearly year-round enjoyment — not only for swimming, but as a beautiful addition to your home that serves as the perfect centerpiece for parties, barbecues and family get-togethers. Not only are fiberglass pools built to withstand decades of use — in the long term, they’re also one of the most affordable options due to their minimal maintenance requirements.
Of course, as we’ve covered throughout this guide, vinyl liner pools provide a fantastic alternative with their own set of benefits. To discover which option is best for you, talk to our builders today!
Start Your Pool Project in Texas Today
Whether you envision yourself hosting parties, working on your tan, sipping a cocktail in your spa, splashing around with the kids, or getting a little low-impact exercise, a pool can do it all, providing a total outdoor entertainment centerpiece for your home in Texas. And with warm to hot weather for most of the year, you’re sure to get plenty of mileage out of your investment.
Learn more about adding a vinyl or fiberglass pool to your home, or upgrading your existing pool. Contact a Latham Independent Builder near you for an estimate today!
Areas Latham builders are serving:
- Corpus Christi
- El Paso
- Fort Worth
- San Antonio
- Texas City
- And more!