How big of a pool can I install in my small backyard?

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fitting a swimming pool into backyard

How much pool can fit into my small backyard?

This is a very common question that we are asked when a new client approaches us to build a custom gunite swimming pool. Usually, this question is asked by homeowners who have a small yard or think there might not be much room to install a swimming pool.

So do not fear or worry if you have limited space available for a new pool installation because gunite pools come in all shapes and sizes! There re pools for even the smallest backyards, so let’s dive into it.

inground pool builders conroe, tx small backyard pools

Walk off the available space

Before even calling a pool builder out to evaluate your property dimensions to ensure that a pool will fit you will want to at least measure off a template of the space, and subtract the known easements and setback lines. Here are a few tools you will need to help figure this out:

  • Your property survey, from it’s original scale
  • A scaled drafting ruler with 1/30th scale measurements
  • Yard tape, tape measure, or walk-behind measuring wheel
  • Yard paint, or sprinkler flags, or wooden stakes (to mark set measurements)

swimming pool layout before construction begins

How to determine if your backyard will fit a pool

So, let’s help you start by getting a rough measurement of the total area the pool can be installed. Here is how you can turn your property survey into a rough guide to figure out the space you have available:

  • Step 1 – Find your property survey and make a copy for taking notes
  • Step 2 – Using a highlighter, highlight the left and right side easements as indicated on your survey
  • Step 3 – Using a highlighter, highlight the rear setback / easement line as indicated on your survey
  • Step 4 – Mark your setback / easement line as it is shown from the back fence, usually 8′ in most cases from the back fence towards the house, mark this line with paint, flags or a stake.
  • Step 5 – Measure from the edge of your home foundation 4ft out towards the back fence and place another stake, flag, or yard paint at the 4ft mark

scale property survey for swimming pool installation Now you can really get an idea of the space available from the very edge of your home foundation to the back fence / easement line. Next you will need to measure this distance between the 2 points you have set. Once you have this measurement you will need to subtract 2ft (the thickness of the gunite wall on either side of the pool).

Note: Pools should never be installed less than 4ft away from the home foundation. This could cause, depending on the depth of the pool, the pool structure to interfere with the 45 degree bearing slope of the foundation of your home. Not to mention if the pool were any closer there would be little room to safely walk between the house and the pool.

Note: Most projects will also need to take into consideration the surrounding decking as this can also take up some of the room available if the decking is not allowed to cross over the easement lines.

The total amount of swimming pool that can fit into your backyard will depend greatly on the restrictions set forth by your neighborhood deed restrictions and the utility easement lines. In many cases there is always enough room to build an average size pool your family can enjoy.

If you are one who lives on a property that does not have such restrictions you may take advantage of the open plan, however you may not want to use up more than 2/3 of the available green space to install a pool and surrounding hardscape, leaving room for other aesthetically pleasing elements such as landscaping, dog runs, or playground equipment.



To help you in all of this, determining if a swimming pool will fit into your small backyard and in reference to the diagram above here is the link to a PDF swimming pool design layout worksheet that will help you get things sorted out and ready for the next step, swimming pool construction prices.


Examples of small backyard inground pools

Ourselves and other pool companies have squeezed custom pools into otherwise seemingly small backyard spaces with great success, just take a look at thesse great pools that are small yet packed full of features.

really nice swimming pool installed into small backyard

This was just a simple and effective way to roughly determine the available space you have. There is much more that goes into the calculation of size and the strategic planning involved in the layout of your specific pool design.

If you need help figuring out what your exact property measurements are then we can help! To find out even more details about swimming pool construction and to better help plan your next pool project, be sure to check out our pool construction process page >

FAQs about small backyard pools:

  • Will adding a pool damage the fence?
    • In most cases, yes. Usually the fence needs to be taken down to allow access for equipment.


Can excavators access my property to dig a new pool?

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