"Spools" Let You Think Small, Enjoy Big

Do you think that your small or unconventionally shaped lot is standing in the way of your backyard pool dreams? Not anymore. Pool builders are creating a new generation of smaller, but feature-rich pools that synch up wonderfully with a growing trend toward compactness and simplicity. Owners are finding this new breed of small pools (or large spas), sometimes called “spools,” offers everything their larger cousins do, but with many surprising advantages and a lower price tag.

Full Pool Enjoyment on a Smaller Footprint 
A spool might be 15 by 20 feet at the most, though most are considerably smaller. While petite, this still leaves plenty of room to move around, enough to watch the clouds from a floating recliner without cramping toe and head space.

A spool is constructed just like a conventional inground pool, and owners can select from concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl-lined construction. Pumps, filters, heaters, water features, automated control, and a full range of accessories are readily available to give spools all the comfort and convenience of larger pools. Well-designed lighting and water effects can make the space seem considerably larger and even more inviting.

Construction costs, including excavation, can be considerably lower. And, that smaller size translates into maintenance time savings and considerably lower costs for pumping, heating, and chemicals. In fact, many spool owners enjoy being able to keep water closer to spa temperature. Or, they keep their small pools on a cooler standby mode but take advantage of quick warm-up times.

Planning Considerations for Spools
When considering a spool, prospective owners need to think “intimate” and plan the space and its prospective uses accordingly. They might not be the right choice for families that entertain larger groups. And while maintenance is faster and easier, it’s still going to be a regular requirement. You’ll also need to provide appropriate safety fencing.

On the plus side, a smaller pool means more space for other things in the backyard environment. Also, a smaller structure that doesn’t overwhelm the senses is easier to integrate into an overall backyard environment design. Lower construction costs may leave extra money in the budget for premium deck and coping work, a gazebo or pergola, or even more elaborate landscaping to create the feel of a wilderness retreat.

Review These Design Ideas
​The possibilities for spool design are almost unlimited. These photos and videos showcase just a few of the ways pool builders have turned modest backyard spaces into complete worlds or relaxation and enjoyment.