Whether you are planning an outdoor swimming pool for your garden or have moved into a house with an existing pool, you will be ready to embrace the luxury of poolside living. Being able to step outside your door and enjoy an invigorating dip is a dream that you will relive day after day.
Perhaps you see yourself relaxing by the pool when it’s warm in summer, taking the plunge to cool down when the temperature gets too much. Or maybe you can’t wait to host friends and family for a pool party and barbecue with music and feasting.
However you envisage enjoying your own stretch of water, it is worth considering the benefit of additional outdoor facilities that will enhance your experience still further. A dedicated pool house building brings:
- Shelter from the elements
- Somewhere to dry off and change
- A place to relax and lounge in comfort
- Additional space for hospitality and entertainment
- Storage space for swimming kit and equipment
- An aesthetic landmark to improve your garden design.
A summerhouse or garden building can easily be adapted for specific use as a pool house so read on to discover our tips for what you will need to consider and the steps to take. If you are inspired by our pool house ideas, Scotts can advise you on the best models of garden buildings from its range to meet your needs. We can also help you to design and install a bespoke summer house pool house based on your own specifications at any size or shape you require.
Contact our expert design team to discuss your swimming pool summerhouse project.
Creating a swimming pool house in your garden
A summerhouse beside your pool is a fantastic addition to your outdoor space, providing a convenient and comfortable place to relax, change your clothes, and store toys and equipment. Here’s our step-by-step guide to help you get started with your plans.
Position your garden building
Think about the best position for your pool house garden building first. This will depend on the location of your swimming pool in relation to the house. Ideally, you will want to be able to access the summerhouse easily from either end or one side of the pool without needing to walk too far. You will especially appreciate this in winter if you’re keeping up with the lengths all year round.
Figure out at what time of day and when in the year your pool will benefit most from the warmth of the sun. If one end or the other gets the most sunlight, that might be the best spot to locate your summerhouse. This way, you will be able to warm up after your bathe behind the shelter of windows or shutters that keep out the breeze. To accommodate the changing position of the sun throughout the day, choose to add a rotating base to your summerhouse and you can chase the warmth by simply turning strategically placed handles.
Scotts’ rotating base is fitted with nylon wheels, so it turns effortlessly. All the workings are hidden by artful timber skirting, so you won’t even know it’s there. If you are embracing the growing trend for a curved pool, think about positioning your summerhouse snugly within the curve so it becomes surrounded by water. Add a sophisticated water feature and you can enjoy the sound of babbling brook as you relax in your garden building pool house.
Plan your plot
While you don’t usually need planning permission for either a pool or a summerhouse, we recommend checking out the specific restrictions for your property and the local area. A great source of advice on this topic for those living in England and Wales is available at The Planning Portal. Similar resources are available for residents of Northern Ireland and Scotland. Pay close attention to the distance between your summerhouse and the boundary of your garden. As a rough guide, you won’t need planning permission for your garden building it is less than 15 sq. m in size, no more than 4m in height, and located more than 2m from any boundary. Scotts offers reduced roof height options if required.
Choose a patch of garden that is level and flat or hire in some help to flatten the land. A stable base is a key prerequisite of any garden building to improve its longevity. Avoid areas of your garden with overhanging bushes or tree roots. This will help to keep your swimming pool and the roof of your garden building free of debris. Prepare the ground with a firm foundation using a concrete base, slabs or piers, or a wooden frame. Scotts offers a ground screw base as an optional extra which delivers highly flexible, environmentally friendly, and minimally invasive solution. Steel piles are driven into the soil, at different heights, if necessary, on sloping ground so it’s no problem if your pool is positioned at the foot of a hill or you want to build up a landscaped area close to the water to act as a privacy screen.
Design your dream pool house
The size, shape and style of your poolside summerhouse will depend on your priorities and the size of your family. Consider factors such as the available floor space, layout, and the amount of storage you will need. Almost any summerhouse can be adapted for a simple changing room and Scotts’ garden buildings start at 2m in size for our Balmoral and Baltimore models. For greater legroom, upgrade to an octagonal summerhouse like our Burghley model which is available at 2.4m, 3m or 3.6m. If your pool area lends itself to a corner summerhouse tucked into a wall or close to a hedge, our Newhaven models are 2.2m or 3m in size. For a more expansive footprint with space to relax and host guests, you might prefer one of Scotts’ Sun Ray Garden Rooms at up to 4.4m in size.
Think about the equipment you will need to store inside your pool house. Scotts’ summerhouses can be fitted with sectional free-standing seating that is lidded to provide integral storage. You might choose to install additional cupboards to accommodate:
- Water test kits, chemicals, and sanitisers
- Pool thermometer
- Pool brush or vacuum
- Pool cover
- Floats and armbands.
Whether you want to keep things simple and choose a Scotts’ summerhouse from our range, would like to add optional extras, or even design your own garden building from scratch, get in touch and talk to us about your plans and we will make the process as easy as we can.
Premium pool house materials
A swimming pool at home is a premium addition to your property and an investment that should add value when it’s time to move on. The addition of a garden building pool house can also boost saleability and increase the appeal of your home. Whether you have an eye on the future or are simply striving to create a high-spec, impressive feature in your outdoor space, the type of garden building you choose will significantly contribute to the overall impact. A premium feature such as a pool deserves a high-quality companion so choose a summerhouse made from superior materials that will deliver the appropriate aesthetic and retain their appearance and function for many years.
Scotts’ summerhouses are all crafted from sustainable hardwood, Red Grandis, and are supplied with a paint finish in a wide choice of sumptuous colours. Our range enables you to select a traditional classic or more modern style, depending on the design of your swimming pool and how this complements your property.
A garden room with a led or slate effect roof, plain glass windows and doors with chrome fittings complements contemporary composite decking, clean lines, glass balconies and polished metal railings. Choose from cool, sleek colours such as Wood Ash, Duck Egg, or Putty. Make an impact with a deeper exterior paint colour and transform your poolside summerhouse with a Teal, Aegean Blue, or Aubergine finish.
If your swimming pool is designed to blend in with the environment, nestled amidst a rockery or surrounded by a stone patio, your summerhouse options could include features like a cedar shingle roof, Georgian-style leaded windows with brass fittings, enhanced by a traditional Slate or Sage paint finish.
Swimming pool house interiors
The layout and footprint of your garden building should be carefully planned to complement your use of the pool. Scotts can help you to incorporate the following amenities as part of a bespoke design:
- Outdoor kitchen: get the most from your swimming pool summerhouse by installing a barbecue nearby or create an outdoor kitchen or pizza oven for relaxed al-fresco entertaining. Add a fire pit for toasted marshmallows all year round.
- Sauna: with electric power alone, you can establish any type of sauna in a separate compartment. Choose from a traditional Finnish sauna based on a wood-burning stove that works by adding water to heat rocks, or an electric or infrared model that requires no water and delivers a therapeutic dry heat.
- Changing room: add a practical premium floor covering such as Scotts’ woven option and you will enjoy the texture of seagrass and sisal. Our durable flooring is waterproof and easy to clean. Install a handy shelf unit or cupboard to store fluffy towels and you favourite toiletries.
- Bar and beverage area: all you need is a mini fridge, some stylish glassware, an ice maker, soft drinks store, and even some optics to open your very own pool bar. Or go the whole hog and create an outdoor bar.
- Home gym or fitness centre: we have got the inside track on how to set up your own home gym inside your garden building pool house or benefit from the wellbeing of a dedicated space for yoga and meditation.
- Entertainment options: add a TV, smart speaker, projector and screen, record player and space for your vinyl collection and you’ll be ready to host a pool party anytime. Thinking big? Why not incorporate a games room too!
- Seating and relaxation: incorporate comfortable seating, relaxing chairs, or Scotts’ padded lounger insert that will enable you to lie down fully and stretch out. Our loose backrest cushions and upholstery in a range of bright and cheerful colourways offer the perfect spot to take a breather between lengths.
Electricity and plumbing
You may access heat for your swimming pool using air or ground source heat pumps which run on electricity. Minimise the sound of the fan by locating it behind your pool house garden building, leaving sufficient clearance to allow air to recirculate. It is recommended to run a dedicated cable from your household consumer unit to power the pool pump and this is the time to ask your electrical installer to also run a cable to your garden building.
Alternatively, if you plan to use photovoltaic panels to heat your pool, you might want stick with the eco theme and opt for Scotts’ solar lighting package with its own solar panel and lithium battery hub.
Plumbing is an essential element of swimming pool installation and should always be completed by a professional. As part of this process, why not extend the plumbing to your summerhouse and incorporate an additional section containing a shower, toilet, and hand basin? Always double check restrictions that apply to your area to see whether your plans meet permitted development requirements. It is worth making the extra administrative effort to secure the right facilities to support your ideal lifestyle.
In the swim
Inspire by our poolside summerhouse ideas? Let us make your dream a reality. Share your plans with us and we can advise on the best type of garden building to meet your needs and walk you through all the optional extra features. Talk to our expert team and we will guide you through the process from concept to completion.