top of page
  • Writer's pictureJessica Doberneck

5 Things I LOVE About Our Pool Build

Updated: Jun 21

I experimented with at least 50 different pool layouts over the last couple years before finally landing on our current design.

Too much consideration went into this pool design; it would keep me up at night trying to figure out a way to check all our boxes. After watching my children play and our family using the pool just about every day, I want to share 5 elements of our pool design that I can now confirm were the best decisions!

Safety/Play Spots

This is my #1 absolute favorite thing about our pool! Our pool is 30 ft long by 16 ft wide. If that was a big empty rectangle, I would be so concerned for my children's safety knowing if they wanted to go anywhere in the pool, they would have to swim the entire length/width or scale the edges. And frankly, they would probably consider it a boring pool to play in.

Knowing I have young children, I wanted to make sure we had many short swim distances. If a child ever got tired, they only had to swim a small distance to safety. Now that the pool is built, I am watching them do exactly that! They ping-pong from one corner to the next, push off one wall to get to the other, they use the steps in the deep, shallow, and middle areas as play spots and safety spots when they get tired or can't swim a whole distance.

This setup also fosters more conversation for adults. The shelf, spa's edges, and benches sprinkled throughout the pool add natural conversation spots and I LOVE it!

No steps on the side of the shelf

I originally had steps wrapping around the whole shelf, mostly out of obligation of "that's just what you do."

But then I got thinking of how many times kids want to jump off the shelf, but it freaks parents out because they are afraid the child will jump onto the next step and hurt themselves! Or how great it is to sit and have your feet dangle. So, I X-ed the steps and now we have an awesome jumping/sitting ledge.

I love this because the play area is only 4-4.5 ft deep - perfect for little ones jumping in and confidently swimming right back or diving in for sink toys. It's also a great spot to swim up to, stand, and rest your elbows to join a conversation with the shelf dwellers.

Large Shelf

When is a shelf too small or too big? I asked myself this many times during this process! I didn't want to waste precious pool sqft, but I knew it was a fun place to play and for mamas to relax and visit. Our shelf is 8'x10' and I think it's the perfect size for our pool; I'm SO glad we have one! My 3-year-old and I spend 90% of our time in this 8x10 space. We love it!

I also wanted to note that our shelf is only about 9" of water, which doesn't sound like much, and as we were building I was panicked that it would be too shallow, but it's actually perfect. I, personally, don't want to be fully submerged in water while being on a shelf - I want to be half in and half out. Nothing more. 9" of water does exactly that.

We also recently learned that the shelf makes the game of Marco Polo so much more fun for the "Polo-ers" as you can move quickly and jump in any direction to get away from "Marco." So fun!

Jumping Waterfall Wall

I grew up being able to jump off of my parent's waterfall into the pool. This was the epitome of fun as a child! And a staple even as an adult. Jumping off high things into a pool makes you feel like a child again. When building our pool, that was an absolute non-negotiable. Adults and children jump off that thing! It's the best!

The water feature also helps drown out the traffic noise on the other side of our property. We love turning on the waterfall when we're just hanging out in the backyard, the tranquil noise elevates the experience.

Waterfall Edge Spa

Most spas are lifted or even separated from the pool. I chose to have a waterfall edge which is where the edge of the spa is below the coating yet above the pool's waterline.

The spa water will spill over into the pool while still feeling integrated as part of the pool space. There are pros and cons to this, but the biggest pro and reason I went this route was that it made the spa feel like it was part of the pool and didn't block the view of our pool. It makes the pool feel bigger, and when the spa water is pouring over into the pool - it looks so cool!


There are so many things I love about our pool and there's a handful of things I would change, but my favorite thing overall is the layout - it checks ALL our boxes. We can dive, swim laps, run and jump in, jump off the waterfall, jump off the shelf, sunbathe, play on the steps, play on the shelf, easily climb into the spa, and swim to far away steps, we have a shallow end, a deep end, and a standing play area in the middle. I love it - and it's perfect for how we play as a family!

It's exactly how I imagined it to be. And it's being used exactly how I planned it to be used. Watching my children play on the things I designed for them to play on is so magical. I feel like I spent a year figuring out how to facilitate these activities and now I am experiencing them firsthand. It's magical.

My 4-year-old just told me yesterday, "Mom, I love our house and I love our pool and I love our grass."

"I do too baby girl. Do you know what I love even more? YOU!"

This was the best investment we could have made in our family. The things we do for our kids ;) haha.


Jessica Doberneck of

97 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Jun 22

I must still be a kid......I love it too!

Jessica Doberneck
Jessica Doberneck
Jun 22
Replying to

It’s built to bring out the inner kid in us all ♥️😊

bottom of page