Lap Pools for Small Backyards: Maximizing Space for Swimming

Don’t let limited space stop you from enjoying a lap pool in your small backyard. Discover how to maximize your space with our guide to lap pools for small backyards.

Transforming a compact outdoor space into a personal oasis might seem like an ambitious endeavor, but with the right touch, it is entirely possible. One particularly inviting element that can elevate such spaces is a lap pool. Despite the limited square footage of small backyards, lap pools offer an elegant solution, promising both functionality and aesthetic appeal. 

This article aims to guide you on this aquatic journey, offering insights into the world of lap pools— from understanding their appeal, assessing your backyard’s potential, and exploring creative designs, to considering safety measures and installation options. 

Understanding Lap Pools

If you have a backyard but small enough and still want to enjoy the benefits of swimming, a lap pool might be the perfect solution. Lap pools are long, narrow, and rectangular pools designed for swimming laps. In this section, we’ll look at the different types of lap pools and the benefits of having one in your backyard.

Private Pool

Different Types of Lap Pools

There are two main types of lap pools: in-ground and above-ground. In-ground lap pools are built into the ground and can be made of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. They are typically more expensive than above-ground lap pools but offer a more permanent and customizable option. Above-ground lap pools are less costly and can be easily installed and removed. They are usually made of metal or resin and come in different sizes.

Benefits of Having a Lap Pool

A lap pool in your backyard offers many benefits, including fitness and health advantages, aesthetic appeal, and increased property value. Swimming is a fantastic way to stay in shape, and having a lap pool at home makes it easy to fit swimming into your daily routine. Swimming laps is a low-impact exercise that is soft on your joints and can help improve your cardiovascular health.

In addition to the fitness and health advantages, lap pools can add aesthetic appeal to your backyard. Lap pools have a sleek and modern look that can boost the overall appearance of your outdoor space. They can be customized with different materials, colors, and features to match your style and taste.

Finally, having a lap pool can increase the value of your property. A lap pool is a desirable feature for homebuyers and can make your property more inviting to buyers if you decide to sell your home in the future.

Assessing the Space for a Lap Pool

If you have a small backyard but still want to appreciate the benefits of a lap pool, it is essential to assess your space carefully. Installing a lap pool requires planning and consideration of several factors, including orientation, placement, sun exposure, proximity to the house and other structures, privacy concerns, and accessibility.

This section will discuss how to evaluate your backyard for a lap pool installation and the factors to consider when planning a lap pool in a small backyard.

Custom Pool

How to Evaluate Your Backyard for a Lap Pool Installation

Before planning your lap pool installation, evaluate your backyard’s available space. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Measure the distance in your backyard to determine the maximum size of the lap pool that can fit.
  2. Identify any obstacles, such as trees, rocks, or uneven terrain that may affect the installation process.
  3. Consider the slope of your backyard and how it may impact the installation process.
  4. Determine the amount of sun exposure your backyard receives and how it may affect the pool’s orientation and placement.

Factors to Consider When Planning a Lap Pool in a Small Backyard

Once you have evaluated your backyard space, it’s time to start planning your lap pool installation. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Orientation and Placement: The direction and placement of your lap pool will determine the amount of sun exposure it receives and how it fits into your backyard’s overall design. Consider the best location for the pool based on your backyard’s layout and lifestyle needs.
  2. Sun Exposure: Your lap pool should receive enough sun exposure to keep the water warm and inviting. Consider the amount of sun exposure your backyard receives throughout the day and how it may change throughout the year.
  3. Proximity to House and Other Structures: Your lap pool’s proximity to your house and other structures can affect its accessibility and privacy. Consider the best location for your lap pool based on your privacy needs and how easily you can access it from your house.
  4. Privacy Concerns: If privacy is a concern, consider installing a fence or landscaping around your lap pool to create a private oasis in your backyard.
  5. Accessibility: Your lap pool should be easily accessible from your house and other backyard areas. Consider the best location for your lap pool based on your lifestyle needs and how easily you can access it.

Assessing your backyard space is critical when planning a lap pool installation in a small backyard. Consider the above factors to ensure your lap pool fits your backyard’s overall design and meets your lifestyle needs.

Design Ideas for Lap Pools in Small Backyards

If you have a small backyard but still want to enjoy the benefits of a lap pool, don’t worry! Many creative design solutions can help you maximize your space and create an oasis for relaxation and exercise.

Beautiful Swimming Pool 1

Creative Design Solutions for Different Small Backyard Sizes and Shapes

No matter the size or shape of your backyard, there is always a way to fit a lap pool. Consider a long and narrow lap pool for narrow yards, which can be both a style choice and the ideal immersive for a size-challenged backyard. For small square backyards, consider a corner lap pool, which can be tucked away in a corner and still provide enough space for swimming laps. For irregularly shaped backyards, consider a custom-designed lap pool that fits the unique contours of your space.

Innovative Use of Vertical and Horizontal Space

In small backyards, it’s essential to use both vertical and horizontal space. Consider incorporating a raised lap pool, which can establish the illusion of more space and add visual interest to your backyard. You can also include a water feature like a fountain or waterfall to make your lap pool feel like a luxurious retreat.

Incorporating a Lap Pool With Other Backyard Elements (e.g., Patio, Deck, Garden)

A lap pool doesn’t have to be the only feature in your backyard. Consider incorporating it with other backyard elements, such as a patio, deck, or garden. You can seamlessly transition between your lap pool and outdoor living space using the same materials and color scheme. You can also add landscaping to create a natural oasis around your lap pool. From tropical palms to colorful blooms, find out which pool landscaping plants will thrive in your backyard.

Showcase of Inspiring Lap Pool Designs for Small Backyards

To inspire your lap pool design, here are a few examples of creative lap pool designs for small backyards:

  • A lap pool that doubles as a water feature, with a built-in fountain and waterfall.
  • A lap pool partially sunken into the ground, with a raised wooden deck for lounging.
  • A lap pool integrated with a patio, built-in seating area, and fire pit for nighttime relaxation.

With these design ideas, you can create a lap pool that fits your small backyard and provides a peaceful oasis for relaxation and exercise.

Construction and Maintenance of Lap Pools

You’re in luck if you have a small backyard but still want to enjoy the benefits of a lap pool. Lap pools can be custom-built to fit any size of space, making them an excellent option for homeowners with limited outdoor space. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the construction and maintenance of lap pools.

A swimming pool lifestyle

Overview of the Construction Process

The construction process for a lap pool typically involves several steps. First, you’ll need to work with a pool contractor to design the pool and determine the best location in your backyard. Once you’ve settled on a design and location, the contractor will begin excavation and construction.

During excavation, the contractor will dig a hole in your backyard that is the appropriate size and shape for your lap pool. The pool will then be constructed using various materials, including concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. Once the pool is built, the contractor will install the filtration and circulation systems and additional features like lighting or heating.

Cost Considerations for Building a Lap Pool in a Small Backyard

The cost of building a lap pool in a small backyard can vary depending on multiple factors, such as the size and complexity of the pool, the materials utilized, and the location of the pool. On average, you can expect to pay off between $30,000 and $50,000 for a custom-built lap pool in a small backyard.

It’s essential to remember that the cost of building a lap pool doesn’t just include the initial construction expenses. You’ll also need to factor in ongoing maintenance and repair costs and additional fees like heating or lighting.

Discussion on the Maintenance Requirements of a Lap Pool

Like any pool, lap pools require regular maintenance to keep them clean and functioning correctly. This includes testing the water chemistry, cleaning the pool walls and floor, and maintaining the filtration and circulation systems.

Following a regular maintenance schedule is essential to keep your lap pool in top condition. This might include weekly or bi-weekly cleaning, chemical balancing, and regular inspections and repairs.

Tips for Sustainable and Cost-Effective Pool Maintenance

Maintaining a lap pool is relatively inexpensive. You can use multiple tips and tricks to make pool maintenance more sustainable and cost-effective.

For example, consider using a pool cover to cut down water evaporation and heat loss, which can lower your energy bills. You can also employ natural cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar to keep your pool clean and free of harsh chemicals.

Following a regular maintenance schedule and implementing sustainable practices allows you to enjoy your lap pool for years without breaking the bank.

Legal and Safety Considerations

With installing a lap pool in your small backyard, there are several legal and safety considerations that you need to keep in mind. This section will discuss these considerations in detail.

Long Lap Pool

Review of Zoning and Building Codes That Might Impact Lap Pool Installation

Before installing a lap pool in your backyard, you should review your area’s zoning and building codes. These codes can vary from location to location and affect your pool installation ability. For example, some sites may require you to get a permit before you can install a pool, while others may have strict requirements for the size and location of the pool.

Safety Measures to Consider When Installing a Lap Pool

Safety should never be an afterthought, especially when installing a lap pool in your compact backyard. Here are some key safety strategies you should mull over for your pool setup:

  1. Erect a Barrier: Craft a secure boundary around your pool by installing a fence. This will act as a deterrent for children and pets, ensuring they cannot gain access without supervision.
  2. The Fence Factor: The fence should not only be tall, standing at least four feet high, but also devoid of any handholds or footholds. This will discourage and hinder any adventurous attempts to climb over it by the little ones.
  3. Cover Up: A pool cover serves a dual purpose. It not only keeps the pool sparkling clean by preventing debris accumulation but also acts as a safety net, mitigating the risk of accidental falls into the pool.
  4. Alert and Aware: Consider augmenting your pool area with an alarm system. This will send you a timely alert if someone manages to infiltrate the pool area unbeknownst to you. This heightened level of security will provide peace of mind, seeing that your pool area is under constant surveillance.

Insurance Considerations Related to Having a Pool

It’s important to review your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your lap pool. Some insurance policies may require you to take certain safety precautions, such as installing a fence or pool cover, to be covered. Additionally, having a pool can increase your liability risk, so it’s essential to ensure sufficient liability coverage in case of an accident.

Hiring Professionals vs. DIY

When installing a lap pool in your small backyard, you may wonder whether to hire a professional or take a DIY approach. Both options have pros and cons, and it’s essential to consider all factors before deciding.

pool closeup with blue water

Pros and Cons of Hiring Professionals for Pool Installation

Hiring a professional for lap pool installation can be a great option to ensure a high-quality, long-lasting pool. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Expertise and experience: Pool contractors have the knowledge and experience to handle complex installation projects.
  • Efficiency and time savings: By hiring a contractor, you can save time and minimize the effort required for the installation.
  • Access to specialized tools and equipment: Pool contractors have robust experience with specialized tools and equipment required for installation.


  • Higher cost: Hiring a professional can be more expensive than a DIY approach.
  • Less control over the process: When you hire a professional, you may have less control over the installation process and the outcome.
  • Dependence on the contractor’s schedule: You may need to work around the contractor’s plan, which can be inconvenient.

Pros and Cons of a DIY Approach

A DIY approach to lap pool installation can be a great choice if you have the necessary skills and experience. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Lower cost: A DIY approach can be significantly less expensive than hiring a professional.
  • More control over the process: When you take a DIY approach, you have complete control over the installation process and the outcome.
  • Flexibility: You can work on the installation at your own pace and schedule.


  • Lack of expertise and experience: If you don’t have experience with pool installation, you may make mistakes that could compromise the quality and safety of the pool.
  • Time-consuming: DIY installation can be time-consuming and require a lot of effort.
  • Need for specialized tools and equipment: You may need to purchase or rent specialized tools and equipment necessary for installation.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Professional Installation and DIY

When deciding between professional installation and a DIY approach, there are several factors to consider:

  • Your budget: Hiring a professional can be more expensive, but a high-quality, long-lasting pool may be worth the investment.
  • Your experience and skills: If you have experience with pool installation, a DIY approach may be a good option. However, if you lack experience, it may be safer to hire a professional.
  • Your schedule: Hiring a professional may be more convenient if you are busy. However, a DIY approach may be a good option if you have more time and flexibility.
  • The size and complexity of the project: In instances where the pool installation process is intricate, necessitating the use of specialized machinery or techniques, it might be prudent to enlist the expertise of a professional. Their experience and knowledge could be invaluable, ensuring the job is executed flawlessly.

Overall, the decision to hire a professional or take a DIY approach to lap pool installation depends on your budget, experience, schedule, and the size and complexity of the project. Consider all factors carefully before deciding.

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