Designing your own above-ground swimming pool is a great way to bring style, beauty and practicality to your backyard landscape. A pool can transform your ordinary yard into a favorite vacation spot for your friends and family. Plus, you can install and landscape a new fiberglass or metal framed pool for about the same price you would spend on a fancy vacation..

But before you can start swimming in your own back yard, you need to take a few steps first. Taking the time to work out the details first will allow you to relax and unwind once your beautiful new swimming pool is in place.

Check Your Local Zoning Laws

The zoning and safety laws governing swimming pools vary from municipality to municipality. Some townships require a high fence around even the smallest wading pool, while others have laws that are much less restrictive.

Start by contacting the township where you live to asking about fencing and other special requirements in your area. Many parts of the country require anyone who installs a pool, even a small above-ground one, to install a secure fence and gate system around the pool. Even if your township does not require a fence, it is a good idea to install one, both for the safety of your own family and for the sake of neighborhood children who might see the pool and not understand the dangers associated with unsupervised swimming.

Consider Your Existing Landscape

One of the great things about adding a pool to your back yard is that the pool can work well with the existing elements in your back yard landscape. Evaluate the existing landscape in your back yard and think about how the new swimming pool can fit into that overall landscape.

If you have a deck on the back of your home, consider attaching the decking for the fiberglass or metal pool to that existing decking. This design allows you to enter your pool directly from your home, providing several access points and making using your pool more convenient.

Level the Ground

No matter what type of pool you plan to erect, it is essential that you provide a level spot for that pool to sit. Create a level spot in your backyard landscape where you intend to put the new swimming pool. It is critical that you have a level spot to put in the pool. Otherwise the pool could lean and eventually leak.

Design Your Landscape

Landscaping is an essential part of designing the perfect back yard pool. The right landscaping can transform even an inexpensive pool into a back yard oasis where all your friends and family members will want to spend their time. You do not have to spend a lot of money to landscape your new pool, but it does help to have an eye for design and an idea of the impression you want to create.

Landscape your fiberglass swimming pool with tropical plants, either potted plants or in-ground ones. Consider the climate where you live when choosing plants. If you live in a cold weather climate, tropical palms might look great around your pool in the summer, but they are unlikely to survive the winter. Potted tropical plants may be a better option so you can bring them indoors in winter.

Add decorative accents like tiki torches, lounge chairs and other furniture to your outdoor pool landscape. Choose accents that help you enjoy your pool. Simple but elegant accents like Tiki torches and outdoor lamps can bring additional charm to your pool and your entire back yard.