Summertime brings out client’s desires for a backyard update. Sometimes that includes installing or upgrading a pool. If you’re looking for inspiration to create unique and fun pools for your next backyard project, look no further. These are some of the most impressive pool installations we’ve covered that have won awards for the contractor and given the clients a fun place to beat the summer heat.

1. Retirement, Wedding Cause Prompt Backyard Renovation

Photo: Landscape Design Services, Inc.

For this project, a little backyard upgrade turned into the addition of a pool and outdoor kitchen. Landscape Design Services and the client worked closely with Blue Water Pools of Grand Rapids, Inc. on the details and construction of the pool. The waterfall is part of the pool itself and a grade change allowed for a “raised” pool at the basement walk-out level. Because of the pool’s free-form shape, it was possible to create spaces for a beach entry, in-water bar stools and a deep-end activity area.

2. European, American Elements Highlighted in Renovation

Photo: Mom’s Design Build

The pool in this backyard was originally installed in the 1980s. Mom’s Design Build renovated the entire backyard, keeping only the slightly upgraded pool. The pool got a new liner, an auto-cover, jets and new lights. Patio space was increased by adding retaining walls around the pool area to deal with a slight grade. This added the extra space around the pool for a fireplace. The retaining walls also were used to create a specific niche for the hot tub that puts it at the same level as the pool.

3. Complementary Home and Landscape Renovation Project

Photo: Dibble Landscaping

The property had an existing pool off the back of the house but was oriented in the opposite direction of where the new pool was put in. “The pool needed to be just big enough to splash around in; they weren’t interested in diving or swimming laps. It’s really more of a cooling-off pool,” says Jim Dibble, the owner of Dibble Landscaping.

4. Two-Year Project a Showcase for Design-Build Firm

Photo: Bahler Brothers Inc.

The pool drove much of what became the finished yard for this project. The retaining walls were started from the top of the property, which isn’t typical. Where the pool was located drove what became the final elevations for the rest of the job. The pool was built 3 feet out of the ground, and Bahler Brothers brought the grade up to meet it to help create the vanishing edge.

5. Minnesota Lakefront Resort

Disappearing pool edge

Photo: Mom’s Landscaping & Design

There’s about a 25-foot grade change between the lakefront and the pool terrace level for this Minnesota lakefront property. A unique feature of the pool terrace: a glass wall. It creates a vanishing edge along the swimming pool’s lakeside.