Not all of us were so fortunate growing up that we had swimming pools in our backyards. Some of us had to dig a hole in the lawn and wait for it to rain. And as we wallowed in our makeshift mud puddles, with grass clippings and drowned white grubs bobbing around our heads, we dreamed of a day when we might have our own swimming pools to fill with amazing features. Here are just a few of them!

Deck Jets – A Deck Jet is a clever little device that arcs a continuous stream of water into your pool. The stream can reach up to eight feet and point in any direction, yet still requires so little pressure that it won’t wear down your pump. This is how you turn your pool into something worthy of Tony Montana’s own backyard. You may as well add a statue with “The World Is Yours” spelled out in neon lights while you’re at it.

The beautiful poolside of a waterfall with rocks

Waterfall – You can design a waterfall into your new pool or even add one to it with a kit. A little cascade flowing into your pool is not just a fun thing to dunk your head under after a long day at work. It also creates a pleasant burbling sound that’s ideal for meditating or drinking Mai Tais next to. A waterfall can even conceal a private grotto, the perfect respite from a world where people want you to do things for them all the time.

Spillover Spa – This is the Cadillac of pool features. A spillover spa is a raised hot tub that constantly overflows into the rest of your pool. This provides a visually pleasing connection between your pool and hot tub, as well as the pleasant splishety-splash sound of a waterfall. It’s not even all that difficult to add a spillover spa to an existing pool, so having one is a good goal to work toward.

Swim Out Bench – Are you sick and tired of a garish pool ladder shattering the otherwise perfect geometry of your backyard? Who isn’t? A swim out bench does away with the need for a ladder by creating partially submerged steps that swimmers can enter and exit with. You can also perch yourself on this surface while you’re supervising the little kids in your pool and still enjoy a bit of a soak.

Tanning Ledge – Also known as a “Baja bench,” a tanning ledge creates a six inch deep area around the perimeter of your pool. It’s a perfect place to bask in a chaise lounge while you have the sun undo some of the damage the quarantine did to your complexion. A tanning ledge is also a great way to let your toddler enjoy some of your swimming pool – with constant supervision, of course. Toddlers swim like they’re made out of lead, so you have to watch them like a hawk around swimming pools.

Swim-Up Bar – The smartest man who ever lived once said this: “Hey, do you know what would make this pool even better? If there was a bar in it!” His name? Jonathan P. Swimupbar. His great invention endures to this day, so no one ever again has to suffer the heartache of getting out of the pool just because they need another Tom Collins. You usually see swim-up bars at resorts, but really cool people have them in their own personal pools as well.

Lighting – Electricity isn’t just useful for watching television. It is also able to power lighting, the best application for which is making your pool pretty. Install low-profile perimeter lighting around your pool to give it an otherworldly appearance in the nighttime, or underwater fiber optics that will turn the water any color you please – even blue! You can also install motion activated floodlights around your pool to discourage teenagers from throwing unsupervised make out parties in your backyard.

Heat Pump – The Midwest is so cold that it’s technically uninhabitable for 90 percent of the year, but Midwesterners don’t know this because no one told them. If you’d like to extend swimming pool season by invaluable weeks, you’ll be surprised by how cost-efficient a modern heat pump is. The technological marvel somehow extracts heat from the air around it and diverts that heat directly into your pool. And if you really want to confuse your neighbors, you can install a gas heater that will enable you to swim outdoors all year round!

Saltwater Chlorination – Everyone knows the gentle chemical sting they feel in their eyes and skin after dipping into a conventional swimming pool. But thanks to saltwater chlorination, that sensation is much less marked. A saltwater pool still contains some chlorine, albeit far less of it, and is only about one tenth as salty as seawater. A saltwater pool costs a little more to install upfront, but with one you’ll never need to buy or handle chlorine again!


by David Scheller