The Great Pool Debate

November 14, 2021

A pool in the backyard? Groundbreaking.

There’s something to be said about a backyard with a pool in it—it evokes a playful feeling, creates an outdoor space meant to be enjoyed, can transport you to your own paradise, and is simply delightful to have. And once you add a spa, the world is yours. 

Here’s the thing about pools: they can feel overwhelming to think through. Often, people don’t know if they will fit in their yard, if they’ll use it, or if the price is worth it. And if there’s a pool, there should usually be a spa...but what if your backyard doesn’t have enough room? Or you can’t afford a full pool? 

Enter the spool: my favorite solution to offer clients. The spool, an oversized spa, is ideal for small yards and can be used year-round. Since installing a full-sized pool in Southern California tends to cost a pretty penny—between 75-95k due to rising costs of materials—the spool is a slightly less costly and more viable option that gives you similar results. 

If you’re considering a pool, ask yourself the questions below. They’ll help you think through what options could work for you —

  • What are the reasons for getting a pool?
  • How often will you actually use a pool?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Who will be cleaning the pool?
  • Are you living in your ‘forever home’?
  • Is the pool for exercise or for pleasure?
  • How much of your backyard space do you want to allocate for the pool?


Below, a few images of a spool we designed in a very small backyard in San Clemente, CA. 


The term "spool," when used in the spa and swimming pool trade, is a portmanteau: a blend of two words to create a hybrid meaning. In this usage, the word "spool" is a blend of "spa" and "pool" and is usually used to describe an oversized in-ground spa.

Reach out if you have any questions!