Adding the soothing sound of moving water can transform your backyard oasis, and since you already have a pool you've got a built-in water source. Popular swimming pool water features include fountains, water walls, cascades, sheetfalls, waterfalls and spillways. The right water feature for your pool will depend on the design and construction of your pool, the look (and sound) you want to achieve and your budget.
Summer's too short to spend our nights inside. Many older pools and yards lack proper lighting to set the mood and ensure safety. Add lights in the pool to enhance your swim and give your pool a gorgeous glow. Use lights around the pool to highlight architectural features as well as illuminate pathways and potential tripping hazards. If you're in the market for a new pool liner, it's a good idea to factor the colour of the liner at night into your decision.
Coping is the technical term for the protective lip or cap that covers your pool's edge. Redoing your pool's coping can give your pool a completely new and polished look. Coping can be natural stone, concreted paver, concrete or composite material. Even something as simple replacing single track coping with double-track coping can allow you to add a lock-in vinyl cover in the future, something we did as part of a pool renovation explored in another article.
Pool liners have a limited lifespan—even with the most diligent chemical balancing and care you're still looking at replacing a pool liner after about 15 years. If yours has seen better days, the good news is that a new pool liner can completely renew your pool's appearance. Colour choice is increasing, with sandstone and grey liners becoming popular ways to bring a completely different mood, such as tropical lagoon or natural pond, to a backyard.
If you want to be known for your graceful exits and entrances, stairs are a must-have on your pool makeover ideas list. Stairs increase accessibility and in-pool seating and play areas. They also create visual interest, enhancing the style of an otherwise boring older pool. Options for adding pool stairs include drop-in stairs, vinyl-over stairs and in-wall stairs. The best choice will depend on the shape of your pool, the space around the pool, the look you're trying to achieve and your budget.
A tanning ledge (also known as a tanning shelf, baja shelf and sun shelf) takes stairs to the next level. Not only do they allow easy accessibility to the pool, but they give a larger space for relaxing and playing, particularly for younger children and those who are fans of the water but not swimming. A tanning ledge gives you the feeling of being at the beach and means your pool will appeal to people of all ages and swimming skills.
A connecting spa or spillover spa is another way to up your backyard water game. If you're hosting a party, suddenly your pool appeals to a wider variety of people with different activity preferences. When it's just your family at home, you can meet everyone's changing needs, all in the same yard. A hot tub that connects to your pool extends your enjoyment of your backyard into cooler months. A spillover spa also adds that all-important sound of water to your at-home escape.