The Essential Elements to Planning and Designing a Pool

Outdoor pool with deck in front of house

Building or renovating a pool can be an exciting time for your family but it can also be very stressful.

Where to start? What to think about? Who to ask? It can be overwhelming however it doesn’t have to be.

Our guide on important things to consider when planning and designing your pool will help layout the essential topics and help ease you through your project.

We always start with defining the intended purpose of the swimming pool. Our in-house designers always start with these three questions.

  1. Who will be using your pool and for what reason? (I.e. is it a family pool for the kids to enjoy? A lap pool for you to shed those holiday kilos? A spa to enjoy a glass of wine with your significant other? Or maybe all 3!).
  2. What are you able to commit to financially? Not just for the design and build but for the ongoing maintenance costs of owning a swimming pool?
  3. What is the size and shape of your outdoor space? As this will determine the size and type of pool suitable for your property.

Once we have established the above the real fun begins… the design!

Check out our Completed Projects for some inspiration and ideas.


Our number 1 tip for design – get started early!!

Our clients always underestimate the time it takes for planning and designing your swimming pool. You may have been dreaming about your pool for a long time and in your head it’s ready to be built, however the truth is, it will likely take a lot longer than you envision. Allow for this, the planning and design stage is one of the most critical elements of the build.

We also recommend you consider the following at the start of the design stage;

  • Get familiar with council and legal requirements. When it comes to plumbing, pool footings, electrics and water and treatment systems, making assumptions can be an extremely costly exercise in terms of retrofitting. Visit Brisbane City Council or Department of Housing and Public Works
  • If you’re working with a blank canvas or building a new home get our designer to work with your architect. There’s nothing worse than a beautifully constructed pool that misses the mark when it comes to design or vice versa. Our designers are happy to provide explanations behind every design decision and work with our clients for the best result
  • Do not fall in to the trap of treating the pool and outdoor space as two separate areas. A well-designed pool and outdoor space complement each other and work together for the ultimate design

Our in-house designers use 3D rendering software to help you visualise your project before it comes to life.


When it comes to determining the size and depth of your swimming pool, we refer back to one of our original questions – who will be using the pool and why? It may seem pretty straight forward but you would be surprised at how many confused looks we get when we ask this question.

Do you want something to lounge and entertain in? Do you want something you can do laps in? Is it for the kids to run and jump? Do you want an area in which they can introduce their young children to water? Is it all the above? Or is it purely for aesthetic value? – All of which require different sizes, shapes and depths that need to be considered.

Cityscapes offer pre-designed packages with three set options for sizing and prices.


Choosing the tiling for your swimming pool is one of the more important choices you need to make. It can either make or break a pool and shows the difference between a good pool designer and not so good.

The desired result is a tiling choice that not only looks good but feels goods as well. A great choice to achieve this is a fully tiled pool, using glass mosaics in particular – the result is always spectacular. The depth of colour, energy and movement that the mosaics provide is quite outstanding and choosing glass mosaics is the premium choice for swimming pool tiles in addition to also being a more practical choice as the maintenance to clean is easier when compared to a cement-based surface.

To find out more about the various tiling options available visit Jewels 4 Pools or Blue Glass Pebble Company.


While it’s tempting to dive straight into your pool at the first sign of a hot day, it’s important to make sure you know what lies under the surface.

Preventative measures need to be taken to ensure pool remains clean and bacteria free for both hygiene reasons along with longevity of your equipment.

Depending on the size of your pool and budget there are a range of options. Currently the most common include Magna, Chlorine and Salt – all of which have their own benefits to one another.

It is important to pick the most suitable option for you, your pool and your situation as some methods may use chemicals that may affect your skin and eyes, require certain methods of maintaining and administering or have long term impacts on your equipment.


Maintaining the ideal 28-degree water temperature all year round requires a little outside help. If you’ve invested in a swimming pool you may as well maximise the benefits and have use of your pool all year round.

The most economical way to heat a pool is through solar heating. That being said the amount of heat available is dependent on the amount of sun, which should also be considered when deciding your swimming pool heating options.

Some of the benefits of using solar is the reduction in energy consumption, household bills and our ecological footprint as the efficiency of solar heating system for your pool is extremely high due to it not trying to convert some of the sun’s heat to some other form of energy but directly to your water.


It’s one thing to enjoy a view of the pool during the day, but it’s something else entirely to be able to experience it once the sun goes down.

Whether you’re enjoying a balmy summer’s night entertaining alfresco, or a cold winter evening rugged up poolside, the ambience of pool lighting is instantly relaxing and mesmerising and worth your while investing in.

With more lighting options than ever on the market come more decisions. From ever popular efficient LED, to classic halogens and fibre – optic to wall mounted, flush mounted and multi coloured options, it’s important to know what’s right for your individual pool design and what you want to be highlighted in your surrounding landscape.

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