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How to Create the Perfect Pool House

Pool weather is finally here – time to take a dip and relax in your outdoor oasis.

The only thing that could make it any better is having a convenient place to dry off, enjoy some shade or clean up before heading back inside. A pool house can do all that and more when you incorporate these design features we’ve created for some of our clients.

Made in the Shade

Create some shade under a poolhouse covered porch by James River Construction

A pool house is a great way to hide all the unsightly plumbing, pumps and chemicals a pool requires, but by adding a covered porch, it can also become a perfect spot to relax and take a break from the sun. A small overhang is all you need to create a cool spot for lounging or dining. In this one, an outdoor fireplace was built in the middle of the structure so the family can enjoy their outdoor space year-round. The stone of the fireplace also creates a beautiful focal point, symmetrically aligned with the classic rectangular pool.

Convenience is key

Add a convenient bathroom to your pool house by James River Construction

When possible, including a bathroom in your pool house is ideal. This keeps the pool day going without constant trips inside for potty breaks. It also keeps your house much cleaner and drier without kids (and adults) dragging wet bathing suits, towels and bodies to the closest indoor bathroom. Stock your pool house bathroom with extra towels and use low maintenance materials like tile flooring and shiplap.

Rinse and repeat

An outdoor shower is an easy and affordable pool house feature by James River Construction

A pool house can easily provide the exterior wall space needed for an outdoor shower. Plumbing an outdoor shower when building or renovating your pool house is a low-cost but extremely beneficial feature. Rinsing off before jumping into the pool means more balanced water with fewer chemicals needed. Rinsing off after a dip helps extend the life of bathing suits and also keeps salt or chlorinated water from drying out your skin.

Create a changing room beside your poolhouse with hooks and a water resistant bench by James River Construction

If you have the space, make your outdoor shower wide enough to include a changing area, perhaps sectioned off with a partitioning wall. All you need is a water-resistant bench, such as teak, and a few hooks to hang your towels and keep your clothes dry.

Paver Placement

Create a paved path from your pool to the house to cut down on mess by James River Construction

In this client’s backyard, an exterior pool house wasn’t built so a pathway was created to a back door where a bathroom was easily accessible. The paver pathway ensured that dirty feet didn’t make it into the house. Even in the case of exterior pool houses, a paved pathway is a good idea if there is any grass or dirt between the two.

Double Duty

A garage pulls double duty as a pool house by James River Construction

In this client’s backyard, a detached two-car garage sat next to their pool, which made it an easy and logical place to create a pool house. The structure still houses all the pool’s utility and plumbing as well as pool toys and chemicals, as well as the family car and all the other stuff that finds its way into garages.

cedar shake siding give this garage an outdoor oasis feel as it pulls double duty as a pool house by James River Construction

The cedar shake siding lends itself to an oasis, pool house feel. Perfectly positioned in their backyard, this building serves several purposes with style.

Design Details

The architecture and design details of this pool house mimic the main house for a cohesive look by James River Construction

When building or renovating a pool house, work with your designer or builder to find ways to tie it in architecturally to your main home. This will make the space look consistent and intentional. In this home, the siding, rooflines, trim work and shingles on the main home were replicated on the pool house. The stone foundation and fireplace give it its own style, while still working beautifully with the rest of the exterior architecture.

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