What Size Pool is Right for Me? Choosing the Ideal Pool Size

Installing a pool is an exciting backyard addition for any Australian homeowner. But with so many options for shapes, sizes, and purposes, a common question arises: ‘What size pool is right for me?’ How do you choose the ideal dimensions for your family and your space? With this comprehensive guide, you will be able to find the perfect pool for your family.

Space Available

Start by double-checking your council’s rules on pool sizes allowed for your property zone. Requirements vary across local government areas.

Then, assess your actual yard space. Smaller blocks suit slim lap pools. Larger lots allow for lagoon-style designs. Avoid cramping the rest of your backyard – leave room for other activities and entertainment areas.

Watch out for constraints like trees, slopes and utility lines that could limit placement options. An unusual block shape might suit a custom freeform pool over a standard rectangle.


How do you envision using your pool? For serious laps? For family fun and games? For entertaining mates? Your intentions will define the ideal dimensions.

Lap pools need length for an uninterrupted swim. Allow 2m wide and 2m between the wall and edge. Backyard Olympics call for maximum surface area. Beach entry, sun shelves and gradual slopes add leisure options.

Measure out-shape possibilities with stakes and string to visualise proportions that achieve your goals.

Number of Users

Carefully consider who will use your pool and how often. Immediate family members get the most use. But also think about visits from extended family, kids’ friends and parties.

Parents of toddlers will want a generous shallow zone. School-aged kids need room to play and swim together. Down the track, your family size and needs may change, too.

For users as a guide:

  • 6-8 people – 18m x 36m
  • Up to 5 people – 16m x 32m
  • Up to 3 people – 14m x 25m

Age of Users

Factor in the ages of people using the pool. Young kids need shallow areas for safety. Older family members will appreciate grab rails, steps and benches.

For young children, include a sloping beach entry, ledges and a maximum depth of 1.2m. School kids want space to play games like volleyball up to 1.5m depth.

Teens enjoy room to swim laps and socialise in the deeper end. Retirees appreciate benches, heating and rails.


Considering any family members with mobility constraints is important when planning your pool design.

Install sturdy grab rails along steps and benches. Contrasting tile on seating helps those with vision impairment. Provide a lift or wall opening if needed.

Discuss particular accessibility requirements with your pool designer and builder.

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Rectangle, circle, oval, kidney, freeform – get creative with the shape! Curved pools tend to cost more, but make a statement. Choose a geometric form to match a modern home style. Keep it simple with a square or rectangle for traditional looks.

Personal Preference

Your individual choice is key as long as it suits your backyard constraints. Just be sure you can afford ongoing maintenance for the long term. Keep resale value in mind, too. An oversized pool could limit your buyer pool later.

Type of Pool

Different pool types have conventional shapes and depths to suit their primary purpose:

Lap Pool

Rectangular shape, up to 18m long. Lane width of 2.5m. Depth of 1.2m to 1.8m.

Diving Pool

Minimum length 11m. Minimum width 6m. Depth increases from 1m to 3.5m at the dive end.

Family Play Pool

Range of rectangles and freeform shapes. Include shallow and deep areas. Add benches and beach entry.

Entertainment Pool

Freeform shapes with sun shelves. Integrated spas or raised edges. Plenty of space for lounging.


Budget realistically sets the upper limit for what’s possible. Construction costs rise exponentially with a larger surface area and extra features. Ongoing bills multiply for chemicals, cleaning and heating.

Get quotes on designs with varying dimensions. Weigh up this trade-off: Is more size worth the heftier long-term costs? Consider starting smaller, then expanding later if needed.

Focus spending on must-have features, not just maximum size. Pare back and simplify rather than over-stretch your budget.


Australia has many climates, from sunny Queensland to chilly Tasmania – this affects the potential use of your pool through the seasons.

In northern regions, an outdoor pool can be enjoyed year-round. In cooler southern states, the swimming season is limited to December through March. Carefully weigh up heating costs to extend use if needed.

Where winters are cold, an indoor pool may be the best option. Make sure the room size accommodates ample pool dimensions.


Bigger pools equal bigger maintenance. Chemical costs, cleaning time and equipment needs increase.

For DIY care, limit size to what you can realistically handle. Using a pool service streamlines the upkeep of larger designs.

Automatic cleaners like robotic vacuums are a sound investment for big pools. Efficient pumps and covers also help control expenses.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in finding your ideal pool dimensions. Here’s a quick recap of the key factors:

  • Council regulations on allowed sizes
  • Available yard space
  • Your budget range
  • Planned pool purpose and activities
  • Number and type of users
  • Accessibility needs
  • Local climate and conditions
  • Ongoing maintenance


Choosing the perfect pool size requires balancing many practical factors. Start by dreaming big about how you’ll use the pool. Then, scale back to what’s achievable within your home’s constraints. The right dimensions come down to tailoring the pool to match your family’s needs and lifestyle.

Talk to our experts at Wagtail Built for a custom-designed pool that best uses your backyard. With over 20 years of experience, we bring your vision to life with the ideal size, shape and features.

Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your dream pool project.

Picture of Brooke Morgan

Brooke Morgan

Brooke Morgan founded Wagtail Built to bring his 23 years of construction industry experience to families on the Central Coast. His local custom home improvement company prides itself on quality, reliability, and personal service. As a family-owned and operated business, Brooke and his team are deeply invested in the homes and relationships they build, staying true to their core values of trust, integrity, quality, and communication.

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