If winter has you dreaming of warmer weather, you may be considering the benefits of a backyard swimming pool. If you want to have your pool installed by summer, the time for planning is now! Before installing a pool, it’s always best to plan ahead for its size, shape, and surrounding landscaping.

Your backyard and budget may dictate the size of your swimming pool, but what about the shape? The shape you use will depend partly upon how you choose to use the pool. Here are some of the most common swimming pool shapes.

Rectangle. This is obviously the simplest pool shape, and is ideal for swimming laps. It does leave a little to be desired in aesthetic qualities, though. Some designers round out the corners for a more pleasing look.

Kidney shape. This shape is popular for several reasons. A kidney-shaped pool fits into almost any size backyard, and allows for natural placement of shallow and deep ends. From a design perspective, the indented area also provides a very natural placement for a hot tub.

Figure 8. The figure 8 shape is ideal for families who want to provide children a shallow space for play, while also accommodating lap swims. Keep in mind that the two ends of the “8” don’t necessarily have to be the same size.

L-shaped. The L-shape is another ideal pool for families, because you can provide both a shallow area for young swimmers as well as room for lap swimming. L shapes may also work best with your particular backyard shape and size. The “inside” of the L is the ideal spot for lounge chairs, a barbecue area, or landscaping elements such as shrubbery.

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