Swimming Upstream -- 5 Ways To Build A Beautiful Pool On A Slope

Posted on: 9 February 2016

Do you want a swimming pool but don't think you can have one because of your sloped yard? There's good news! You can often have that dream pool with a little creative adjustment for your particular terrain situation. Here are 5 ways to do it.

  • Grading.  If your yard is uneven or has a gentle slope, it can often be graded to create a flat area. A landscaper or general contractor may be able to flatten the uneven parts and ensure that your pool space has proper drainage. 
  • Retaining Walls. Building a retaining wall on the lower side of your slope (or perhaps also on the slope above the pool) is the most common way to tame a more significant slope. Retaining walls can be built from natural stone or from builder's concrete (to look like stone) and create a flat area between the walls on which you place the pool. You will likely need additional fill dirt and room to create a flat space, especially if your original slope is 45 degrees or more. 
  • Building Up. Placing a pool at the lower edge of a slope may be accomplished by building the slope out to level it. This process of "building up" the slope to reduce its angle may also require retaining walls once complete. It is likely to call for layers of gravel or sand on top of the compacted fill dirt. 
  • Infinity Edge.  If you build out the flat space from the upper portion of a slope, an infinity edge pool is perfect to capture the view. Infinity edge pools have a slightly lower wall on the far side of the pool, and water flows over the lip and down into a catch basin below where it is recycled back into the pool. Infinity pools have additional engineering requirements and structural support beams underneath, so this option may be the most expensive -- but it's likely to be the most beautiful as well. 
  • Multi-Level Pools. You can take advantage of an uneven yard by designing a pool and/or spa that embraces the different heights. Place the pool, for example, on a lower section of the slope, then include planters above it that form a base for the spa. Waterfalls or rock grottoes can also camouflage a split-level pool and make them appear intentionally designed to make use of the surrounding hillside. 

Work with a contractor, like those at Southern Landscape Materials, to assess your particular sloped area and what materials you'll need to amend it for a pool. Whether it includes raising the lower portion, grading or building walls to support the pool, you can create a space for your dream pool in just about any location.