Planning your Penguin Pool

A brief guideline in the planning of your new swimming pool.


Taking you through the steps of planning your pool from the location of your pool to the finishing around the pool.

Locating the position of your pool

Pools are normally located in the backyard; some are placed to the side and even the front of the house. The main consideration is orientation. Points to consider, and you can use simple observation over a few weeks to find the answers, is sun position, shade, wind, vegetation and supervision. 

How deep?

You’ll need around 1,2m of water under you for lap swimming so that you don’t touch the bottom when making turns. In other pools, 1m - 1,1m is suitable for the shallow end of the pool. For the deep end, a depth of between 1,7m and 1,8m is quite satisfactory, though there is a growing trend for pools no deeper than 1,5m. Penguin Pools East Rand will provide you with guidance based on our experience. 

How big a pool?

In the early days of pool ownership, big was beautiful. Today, however, more and more pool owners are installing pools to suit their personal requirements, rather than following a fashion. Smaller stands, for example, will happily accommodate a smaller pool, giving just as much enjoyment as a larger pool. Shapes, too, can be designed to fit smaller or irregular spaces. 

As well as space, another consideration is the amount and type of activity you expect in you pool. If you have children and wish to encourage them to invite their friends to the pool, you’ll take their needs into account. How many friends and relatives will you be inviting to join you for a swim?

Will there be older family members coming over on weekends, or during the week while you’re at work?

Positioning the pool

Pool positioning is most important from a heat retention standpoint. As mentioned, avoid windy spots if possible. Plan to keep the pool away from nearby buildings and overhanging trees. Trees not only cause problems with leaves. Trees and nearby buildings block sunlight and prevent the pool warming up naturally during the day. A pool with little or no natural sun will be up to -4 degrees cooler.

Variable sites

Penguin Pools has approved techniques by the NSPI for installing a pool on just about any site you can imagine. On extreme slopes, for example, concrete piers or retaining walls can be installed to support the far walls of the pool. The end result can be spectacular, with the far wall seeming to float off into space. In other cases, such as sloping ground, which has been terraced, an above ground pool can be installed using the terracing as a natural feature.

If you have an unusual site, don’t be deterred. Talk to us at Penguin Pools. Ask to be shown pools in a similar situation to yours. You’ll find we’ve done it before and can offer a solution to solving any site queries that suit your needs. 

Soil types

In Gauteng, around 70% of pools are installed in relative soft pickable soil.  Between 15% and 20% involve the removal of gravel-stone (ou’klip) during excavation, with the balance being clay or rocky sites.

Disposal of excess soil is becoming more and more difficult. Soil removal contractors are always on the lookout for people wanting a “clean fill”, as it is far cheaper than going to a council tip. As luck would have it, removal contractors will be willing to collect your “clean fill” at a reasonable price. 


Designing the landscaping concept around your pool is very important. The types of plants used, amount of watering required and leaves that may drop need to be considered. A carefully planned garden will mean less time spent on pool maintenance and more time enjoying the pool.

South African native plants and trees tend to be messy around pools and are generally to be discouraged because of leaves and flowers that clog up skimmers, leaf baskets and even block pump impellers. Tropical and evergreen plants are more suitable around or nearby swimming pools.

Setting a pool under trees not only leads to a messy pool, but a shortage of sun, resulting in a colder pool not used as often as it could be. 

Pool Type

Consider the various Penguin Pool types to best suit your lifestyle.

Fibreglass Pool


Premoulded fibreglass pools are by far the quickest to install and most cost-effective option. A fibreglass pool is preformed in a factory to certified SABS standards and transported to the site for installation. Strong and durable with lower operational and maintenance costs.

Penguin Fibreglass Pools

Gunite Pool


Gunite pools are chosen by many homeowners because of their flexibility. They can be built in any shape and a wide variety of special options can easily be added to compliment these pools, such as waterfalls, custom steps and beach entries.

Penguin Gunite Pools

Spa Pool


A Spa Pool is a combination of a traditional pre-molded fiberglass swimming pool shell or gunite pool with the added benefit of therapeutic massage jets to give the ultimate spa experience. Strategically placed jets and an extra pump inject streams of high-pressured water into the pool.

Penguin Spa Pools


We own our pools for twelve months of the year, yet we only use them for seven – by slightly heating up the water one can almost swim all year round. 

Most pools are situated near to the house and are in the perfect position to utilise the sun to heat up the water. There are a number of different ways to warm pool water, with the solar version being the most cost effective in the long run.

Learn more →

Salt Chlorination Systems recommended to work with Solar System 

Chlorinators take electrolytic chlorine generation to a higher level of convenience, reliability and safety. 

Using only common table salt, the chlorinator creates pure chlorine in your pool and eliminates the need to buy, store and add harsh chlorine products manually. In effect, fewer resources are used in the production, packaging and transportation of these chemical compounds. That’s why the IntelliChlor generator is an Eco Select brand product. 

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South African statistics indicate that drowning is the second leading cause of death or injury for children under the age of 5, second only to car accidents. It is every pool owner's responsibility to ensure that the swimming pool is safely secured. 

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The sight and sound of falling water contributes to the beauty and tranquility of your poolscape. Providing ambience and character to the finished product of your swimming pool.

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A swimming pool is often the focal point for any outdoor entertainment area, and making use of pool lights in and around this area reduces limitations on entertaining or swimming after the sun has set. Having adequate pool lighting will add ambiance to any outdoor setting, as well as provide safety for guests, children and visiting family.

Learn more →


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