Is a Pool Right for Your Yard?

pool in backyard

Lots of us have been making improvements to our homes and yards the last couple of years. So, you may be asking yourself if your yard is right for a pool. The experts at Cottonwood Landscapes can help you with your yard design to determine if a pool is right for your yard.

Things to Know Before You Dive In

Even if you have the square footage for a pool, there may be some obvious or hidden hindrances that prevent you from breaking ground. Things like wiring, both above ground and below, the grade of your yard, and setback requirements can prohibit pool installation. When it comes to these landscaping questions, we have the answers.

Pool Checklist

Before you get your heart set on a backyard pool, be sure you have looked over the following checklist to see if it’s right for your yard.


First and foremost, you need to define how your pool will be used. Is it going to primarily be used for swimming laps? Will the kids be diving, jumping, and engaging in other merriment? Will it include a spa for hot soaks, or feature a fountain or a waterfall? Since pools are often the centerpiece of the backyard, it’s tempting to simply go for a pretty aesthetic. It’s important, however, to ensure that you’re not compromising function for looks. How you intend to use the pool can help you choose its placement, size, shape, and building materials.


Did you know some areas don’t allow for residential pools? It may be due to HOA regulations, or historic registry guidelines. Whatever the case, be sure you check with your municipality to ensure you’re zoned for a private, backyard pool. 


A general rule of pool placement is that it must be situated at least five (5) feet from all property lines. If you live near other open bodies of water (lake, pond, river, etc…), your pool has to be more than 100 feet away to accommodate the water table. Additionally, an outdoor pool cannot be under any hanging wires, nor can it be installed over water, sewer, or gas underground lines. 

Sometimes these elements (wires and lines, not natural bodies of water) can be rerouted to accommodate a backyard pool, but it’s often at the homeowner’s expense. To find out what’s underground in your yard, contact Underground Safety Alliance (811NOW).


This is a big consideration- how accessible is your yard for all the equipment and materials needed to install your pool? Dump trucks, cement mixers, and crew members will need access to your yard; do you have existing fencing or landscaping that is in the way? Determine what you’re willing to sacrifice when it comes to expense, and potentially change in your current yard design to make room for a pool.

What type of security does your existing fencing provide when it comes to keeping animals and people out of your pool once it’s installed? At a minimum, the enclosure around a pool requires the following:

  • A wall or fence at least six (6) feet tall
  • A gate with self-closing hinges
  • A self-closing latch installed four and a half (4.5) feet high
  • Gates must be lockable
  • Gates must open outward, away from the pool
  • Gaps in fencing/wall material should be no greater than four (4) inches wide

Pool enclosure requirements may vary slightly from city to city, so proper due diligence will ensure you’re up to code with your pool’s safety features.

Yard Grade

No, we’re not talking about whether or not your yard is an A+ vs an F. Yard grade is referring to the slope of your property. If it’s not an even grade, your pool project may require additional excavation or backfilling to provide the perfect spot for a pool with a surface as smooth as glass.

Even if you have an existing flat spot, it’s important to note the grading at the perimeter of your yard. You may need to install retaining walls to provide the best protection against any shifting.

Types of Pool Features Cottonwood Landscapes Offers

Once you’ve determined that a pool is right for your yard, we can help you decide what additional features, if any, you’d like to include in your design. Our team is here to work with you on a custom pool design that could incorporate the following:

  • Unique Shape 
  • Pool Waterfall(s) 
  • Slide(s)
  • Pool Covering(s)
  • Slip-Resistant Pavement (around the pool perimeter)
  • Privacy and Security Fencing
  • Complementary Vegetation
  • Shade Features

If you have additional questions about whether or not a pool is the right choice for your yard, give us a call today. We can talk specifics regarding the space, budget, and more.

Cottonwood Landscapes is your source for premier landscaping in Utah.

Check out our full list of services and get started on the project of your dreams today.

Give Us a Call