Guide to Pool Fire and Water Features
To take your backyard pool to the next level, why not add a fire or water feature? Dramatic fire and water features can transform your pool from fun to fabulous, creating a centerpiece for your entire backyard. These features can enhance the ambiance of any pool style, from romantic resort to family entertainment zone.
There’s never been a better time to add a fire or water feature because choices abound! Pool designers are pushing the limits of elegance and drama each season, creating unforgettable decorative features. Of course, many fire and water features do more than add decorative interest—they can serve functional purpose too. Use water features to cool, heat, or aerate your pool, and bring in fire features for warmth and meal preparation.
If you’re overwhelmed by the wide array of fire and water features, this guide can help you focus in on what features best fit your lifestyle. Here, we’ll explore various fire and water features, discussing budget, climate, and lifestyle factors. We’ll address these topics, giving you a better grasp of fire and water feature potential for your pool:
- Types of pool water features
- Swimming pool water features ideas
- Types of pool fire features
- Pool fire features ideas
Keep reading (and dreaming) to get a vision of what fire and water features can do for your pool. When you’ve done your research and determined what features will best enhance your pool, call your local pool designer to put your plan into motion.
Types of Pool Water Features
Today, inground pools boast potential for nearly unlimited customization options. One of the best ways to customize your pool is to add water features. Water features appeal to multiple senses: mesmerizing the eyes with their motion, soothing the ears with rushing water, and even refreshing the touch with a gentle mist.
Choose one or more of these water features to transform your pool into something truly unique:
Swimming Pool Water Features Ideas
Before you decide to add a pool water feature, you should take a step back and evaluate the atmosphere you want to create. What is your pool’s vibe? Backyard pools fall into one of the following categories:
- Family fun,
- Romantic hideaway,
- Elegant escape,
- Natural retreat, and
- Tropical paradise.
Do you want a water feature that encourages splashing and laughter and fun? Consider installing bubblers and jets that randomly spout up to the delight of little swimmers. Perhaps you want a more elegant vibe, suitable for adult dinner parties. A water wall can provide a stunning backdrop to an outdoor dining area. For subtle elegance and increased water movement, consider installing scuppers that allow water to flow from various heights into your pool. How would you feel about swimming under arcing streams of water or diving beneath the roaring cascade of a waterfall? Sounds simply magical, doesn’t it?
Make Your Water Feature Shine
When planning your water feature budget, be sure to include lighting. After all, great lighting will enhance your water feature and make it a showstopper come nighttime. Underwater incandescent lighting or LED lights turn up the brilliance on water features. Spotlights highlight waterfalls from above. A lighting specialist can help with a design for your water features to shine by day and night.
Your pool can resemble scenes from a tropical paradise—the only limit is your imagination (well, your budget might have something to say too). Water features around swimming pools range from minimal extra expense to budget-busters, depending on how elaborate you want to get. A water feature typically takes 10-15% of a total pool budget.
Even a limited budget can accomplish dramatic pool enhancements by carefully choosing a cost-conscious fire or water feature. Beautiful scenery, the gorgeous white noise of rushing water, and dramatic night lighting can all be yours. Ask your pool designer for input on features that best fit your budget and your landscape wish list.
Types of Pool Fire Features
Fire features are the latest trend in pool design. They create dramatic interest, liven up your nighttime landscape, and even keep you warm when the weather cools. A fire feature can become the focal point of your outdoor landscape as well as a cozy social gathering space.
Fire features come in many varieties, including styles that combine fire and water for added interest. When thinking about what fire feature might best enhance your pool space, consider these options:
What style suits your backyard landscape? How do you plan to use your pool? Installing dramatic fire features in a pool designed for rambunctious children might not be the best fit. However, a poolside firepit perfect for s’mores roasting might fit a family better. On the other hand, elegant couples might prefer glamorous touches like a fire bowl spouting flames or a fire wall that transforms their pool into a feature that dazzles.
Enhance Your Remodel with Fire and Water
While it is always easier to incorporate fire and water features into new pool construction, you may want to enhance your existing pool. Turn up the drama by adding a lightweight waterfall, fountain, water bowls, bubblers, or fire features around the exterior of the pool. Features that don’t require modifying the pool’s existing structure should be more affordable to add on during a pool remodel.
Pool Fire Features Ideas
Before you budget for a pool fire feature, you want to think about how you plan to use it. Do you want something that is simply decorative, setting the stage for dramatic outdoor entertainment? Perhaps you prefer functional fire with a feature that provides warmth or the ability to cook. Another question to ask is who uses your space. This helps you consider childproofing aspects of your fire feature. Then consider your climate. Do you need a roaring blaze to keep you warm on cool nights or will a gentle flicker work just as well?
To help you think through potential fire feature uses that fit your lifestyle, here are a few popular ways to take advantage of a pool fire feature.
- Night swims. Pool lighting can create dramatic underwater scenes that fire features only enhance. Truly bring the magic of the night alive by swimming against the backdrop of flames licking the dark sky.
- Campfire cooking. Remember your scouting days when you learned how to cook over a campfire? Round up some sticks for a hot dog roast or stuff a meal into foil packets, and show your kids the more rustic side of cooking.
- Gourmet dinner parties. You want to show off the most stunning feature of your landscape, so host dinner parties poolside. An outdoor kitchen will ensure that you’re always close to the action, even if you’re cooking or instructing caterers.
- Gathering places. From ancient times, humans have gathered around fire, sharing stories and songs along with warmth and nourishment. You can continue the primitive fellowship alongside a modern fire feature by gathering family and friends for fireside conversation, laughter, and singing.
For more fire feature designs and ideas, check out our fire features blog!
Imagine yourself in your backyard space—what do you want to see, hear, feel? That vision likely includes a fire or water feature, and hopefully this guide helped you determine which features best fit your backyard. When you’re ready to install a fire or water feature to enhance your pool, meet with a landscape architect or pool builder who specializes in constructing these features. They can answer your questions and help you narrow choices based on your desires, outdoor space, and budget.
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