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Image Credit: Striking Pools

With the housing market on the rise, many families are now opting to purchase smaller properties and incorporate savvy space-saving designs to get the most out of their compact block. Here, Emma Phillips chats to Simon Buchanan, the director of Striking Pools, about the current pool-design trends that are emerging to suit small backyards.

It’s every Australian’s dream to have their own family home with a backyard pool. While blocks of land are shrinking in response to increased urbanisation, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your dream of having an outdoor pool. Pool designs have evolved considerably in recent years to accommodate for smaller property sizes and changing trends. Families now want the freedom to create an outdoor space that includes both a pool and the luxury of an outdoor entertaining area. While this may have previously been considered a pipe dream, it is now a reality for homeowners who are willing to get creative with their design approach.

Choosing a compact pool design is a great way to utilise every inch of your outdoor area. With blocks of land becoming smaller, plunge pools, narrow lap pools and innovative spool designs are gaining popularity.

Image Credit: Striking Pools
Image Credit: Striking Pools

With the help of an experienced professional, you can achieve a backyard design that will not only look beautiful, but also complement your lifestyle.

A Word From The Wise

Building a pool with limited land space can be a complicated process. Many pool designs that specifically cater to smaller blocks of land are now available, which means homeowners have an abundance of options when designing their backyard space. Not all designs will be suited to your unique space though, so you need to consult a professional pool builder before settling on anything.

“It’s very important to do your homework and engage a professional pool company that openly airs any restrictions or limitations on the location or construction of your pool,” says Simon Buchanan.

“Be cautious not to just select the cheapest quote, only to get blindsided with unexpected complications come building-permit time.”

An experienced pool builder will be able to guide you in the right direction and advise you of the best design options for your backyard, while sticking to your original budget.

Including your landscaping plans in your overall backyard design will ensure your pool area and garden flow seamlessly on from each other. This will achieve a visually pleasing result and make the best use of space.

“A pool should always be viewed as a great investment,” Buchanan says. “If you have a small and tired backyard, a custom-designed swimming pool is a great way to update your once-unusable space. It will give you and your family years of enjoyment,

The Shape Of Water

With endless options for plunge pools, narrow lap pools and spas taking the pool industry by storm, it can be hard to know which style is right for you and your family.

Image Credit: Striking Pools

Narrow lap pools are one of the most popular styles available on the market. With the ability to be perfectly tailored to suit a small section of your backyard, lap pools can be added down the side of a home to utilise an otherwise unused section of land.

Plunge pools are quickly becoming a backyard favourite for their versatile and flexible designs. With the ability to fit into almost any area of your backyard, it’s easy to see why they have become a coveted addition to many inner-city homes across Australia. Plunge pools can also be

designed with an integrated water feature, so your backyard can truly have it all!

Rooftop Reality

Alongside homeowners opting for smaller blocks of land, we’ve also seen an increase in families living in apartment complexes. Going hand in hand with shared outdoor areas, rooftop pools are becoming the epitome of luxurious city living.

A rooftop pool is a unique way to add a special element to your building complex, especially where space is an issue. “Concrete is always

recommended for a rooftop pool,” Buchanan says. “With concrete you can adapt the required shape, form and depth of the pool to suit the available space.”

Adding a rooftop pool to your complex is a sure-fire way to increase the value of your apartment. However, it’s important to note that the expenses of adding a rooftop pool to an established building are far greater than the cost of incorporating one into a new design. That said, the cost will be drastically reduced when divided between a group of residents.

Image Credit: Striking Pools


When considering what materials to use to build your pool, it’s important to consult a professional and do your research. There are benefits to using either fibreglass or concrete as the main material in your new pool’s design. While fibreglass is the cheaper option, concrete is more durable and can easily be tailored to suit your unique backyard space.

“The beauty of a concrete swimming pool is the ability to choose almost any shape or size you desire,” Buchanan says. “Pool companies are continuously stretching the boundaries of pool design.”

Image Credit: Striking Pools
Image Credit: Striking Pools


Those with limited backyard space are no longer restricted with pool design options. “We’re seeing pool designs created to complement the shape and form of the surrounding residence and landscape,” Buchanan says. “There’s now an emphasis on maximising limited and otherwise unusable space.”

With more possibilities comes more creative challenges. The type of pool you should choose will depend on the amount of land you have available and the lifestyle you lead. For example, a plunge pool with swim jets is a great option for those wanting to enjoy the benefits of a large pool. Alternatively, a narrow lap pool is ideal for serious swimmers who want to utilise the small area between their home and fence line.

“It’s important to engage the services of a swimming pool company that has an in-house landscaping and pool design firm,” Buchanan says. “They will be able to create a design that utilises your limited space, while still meeting your unique requirements.”

First and foremost, you need to select a reputable pool company that you can trust. If you’re unsure about a company’s previous work, it’s always a good idea to ask for testimonies from past clients. Constructing your pool in conjunction with your home is essential for a cohesive overall design. If you’re in the planning stages of your home, then this is an ideal time to consider adding a pool. You can utilise tight spaces by designing a pool along walls of your home.

“This method will not only save huge amounts of space, but will also give you the ability to include additional features such as pool windows,” Buchanan says. “The pool will become the focal point of the backyard, while also remaining fully functional.”

Building a pool on a small block of land doesn’t mean you have to abandon other important elements in your backyard. With a wide range of stylish compact pool designs available, you can create the backyard you’ve always dreamed of, without compromising on space. It’s important that your pool builder has the experience and knowledge to create a long-lasting pool that accommodates your budget and
space requirements. After working together with your builder from the design stages through to the completion of your project, you’ll be able to relax pool-side in your backyard oasis and feel content that you’ve utilised every inch of space around you.

After all, they say good things come in small packages!

Images courtesy of Striking Pools