One of the first things you need to figure out when you are designing and building a new pool for your backyard is the overall shape of your pool. When it comes to the shape of your pool, there are two general shapes: geometric and freeform.
What are these shapes? Is there a big difference between the two? Which one is right for your pool design?
These were some of the main questions we had when we started the design process for our pool. And if these are some of your questions, read on below as we provide some key differences for these two different shapes based on our first-hand experience of building our pool!
|Style||None||The best style is ultimately your choice|
|Usage||Geometric||Better for sports and straight-line swimming|
|Size||Geometric||Easier to fit straight lines to most spaces|
|Additional Features||Very slight edge to Geometric||In some cases, it is easier to fit additional features to geometric pools|
|Maintenance||Slight edge to Freeform||Fewer corners make cleaning easier|
|Price||None||Any price difference is usually negligible|
What is a Geometric Pool?
A geometric pool is a pool that has straight edges, and it can look very symmetrical. These pools typically look very rectangular or ‘boxy’ given the straight edges and true corners.
What is a Freeform Pool?
A freeform pool has rounded and curved edges, and these types of pools are also called Lagoon Style pools. These pools can take on many different rounded and freeform designs and, in some cases, may have a straight edge or two.
Our Pool Shape Choice
We chose to go with a geometric-shaped pool mainly for two reasons: it fit the look and feel of a pool that we wanted, and it gave us more useable pool space than what we would have had with a freeform pool in our backyard. We don’t have the biggest backyard, so we want to maximize our space as best as possible. Overall, we have loved the design of our pool and have never second-guessed our choice to go with a geometric pool.
Geometric vs. Freeform Comparison
To help you make the best decision for your new pool, we compare some key aspects of these pool types to help you understand the difference between a geometric and freeform pool. These aspects are:
- Additional Pool Features Options
Reason: There is no clear winner when it comes to style because the best style is ultimately up to you and what you like. Some people may choose to go with a style that best fits their house design or backyard space, or some may opt for a shape that appeals to how they envision the perfect layout of their pool, regardless of constraints.
- Geometric: With straight edges and clean lines, a geometric pool can take on a variety of styles from traditional to modern looks. Additionally, the overall shape of a geometric pool can be as straightforward as a simple rectangular or square, or it can have a more complex shape with many angles and sides.
- Freeform: A freeform pool is typically designed with a relaxed and natural style to carry the look and feel to fit the alternative name for this pool shape: Lagoon Style. The rounded edges and curved edges are meant to resemble a more naturally occurring body of water like a lake or oasis meant to inspire complete relaxation.
Reason: When picking a shape, you may want one that best fits all the activities you want to do with your pool: sports, tanning, relaxing, straight-line swimming, etc. Typically, geometric pools are better suited for some activities like sports and straight-line swimming.
- Geometric: With straighter edges, geometric pools typically have better straight-line swimming lanes, if that is an important aspect of what you want from your pool. Similarly, geometric pools have more uniform and even play areas for games like volleyball and basketball.
- Freeform: While it is possible to do nearly any activity you want in a freeform pool, it may take additional designing to ensure that you have the right space for activities like sports and straight-line swimming.
Reason: If you have a large backyard, this may not be so important as you can fit nearly any shape or size pool you want. However, if you have more limited space, picking the right shape may be more important. Overall, it is easier to fit the straight lines and true corners of a geometric pool to fit the dimensions of your backyard.
- Geometric: A geometric pool is generally easier to design to fit a yard, especially if the yard is smaller or the useable pool area is close to easement lines. As a result, you tend to get more pool area with a geometric pool because you can more easily fit the straight edges of the pool to the space of your backyard. As a result, you can get more useable pool space out of a geometric pool.
- Freeform: In some cases, it may be harder to fit a freeform pool in a backyard because extra space is needed to make the curved edges of a pool. Designing the curved edges around your backyard space may reduce the amount of usable space for the pool area.
Additional Pool Features Options
Winner: Very slight edge to Geometric Pools
Reason: If you are looking to have additional features to your pool like a spa, water features, raised walls, fire bowls, etc., then you have to factor in how these features will work with the shape of your pool. Generally, geometric pools are a bit easier to fit some features because it is easier to plan and design around the straight edges of this pool shape.
- Geometric: Overall, geometric pools can be a bit easier to fit some features or at least be more flexible on how you can fit additional features. The straight edges of the pool make it easier to work around planning and fitting different options to your pool.
- Freeform: The curved edges of a freeform pool may limit the size or placement of some features. For example, if you want to place a slide on the side of a freeform pool, you may be limited on placement locations with how the pool may curve. But not all freeform pools (or geometric pools) are the same, so this may not be an issue for your freeform design. In our opinion, though, we think that rock waterfalls appear more “natural” looking in a freeform pool rather than a geometric pool.
Winner: Slight edge to Freeform Pools
Reason: Geometric pools will likely have more corners than a freeform pool. Corners can be hard areas to clean and brush. Thus, the curved edges and walls of a freeform pool should be easier to clean.
- Geometric: Geometric pools have straight edges connecting at corners. If you haven’t had the pleasure of scrubbing a pool (you soon will with your new pool!), you will find that the edges of a pool can be some of the trickier places to clean and scrub. Additionally, depending on the size of the corner, it may be harder for your pool vacuum to clean in these areas, or the vacuum may get stuck in the corner (we have seen ours get stuck in a corner many times!).
- Freeform: The curved edges and walls of a freeform pool should make it easier to clean for your pool vacuum and when you have to brush because there should be fewer corners to deal with in this pool shape.
Pro Tip: To help brush the corners of your pool, we recommend a 360-degree brush. The brush bristles all around the brush, especially on the edges, make cleaning corners so much easier than what you can do with a traditional brush. This brush has made brushing our pool so much easier and efficient.
Reason: Any price difference between a geometric or freeform pool (with the same features and pool area) is usually negligible.
- Geometric: In some cases, a geometric pool may cost slightly more than a similarly sized freeform pool depending on how the pool builder prices the pool because there is more usable pool area in a geometric pool.
- Freeform: In some cases, you may have a higher coping cost with a freeform because it can be more costly to make the rounded edges of a freeform pool versus the straight edges of a geometric pool.
In our book, there isn’t a clear winner because the decision will likely come down to the style of pool you want and everyone’s preference can be different. Our recommendation is to fully think through all the activities that you want to do with your pool and make sure that you have the shape and space to make those activities happen.