Part 1 of 2: Seeking ideas for your new swimming pool design or remodel? Before meeting with prospective pool designers, it’s smart to review a variety of pool photos to learn which features & design elements you find most appealing. One source for color pool & spa photos is pool-company brochures. Larger builders typically offer them for free, and the best ones provide plenty of attractive images. Another source is the internet, which boasts numerous pool-construction websites. Print out pages with photos with what you like, and keep a file of them ready to show to your designer. (Or bookmark pages so that later you can show them in person or email the links.) Some websites show not only pools, spas, and decking, but also options like fire pits, outdoor kitchens, fencing, and other backyard enhancements. Some builders even provide supplemental websites dedicated to photos of pools in the overall backyard setting. One Blue Haven Pools site with these kinds of photos also includes captions that provide a handy reference list of the design features and materials in each project. Prepare in advance A little research pays off. Photos illustrate a wide range of styles and special options. By studying images ahead of time, you can narrow down your favorite ones. Doing so will help with pool planning. One of the first questions that your designer will ask is your choice of shape. Having a pre-assembled collection of photos with your picks can save you time with this aspect of planning. Along with shape, there are other elements about which you will want to have some thoughts, such as the position of the pool in your yard, the color for the interior surface, and the amount of deck. Because you have reviewed pool photos, you will be better prepared to meet with pool designers and obtain estimates. For example, you will be ready to say you are considering a tanning ledge, dolphin mosaic, or cascade water feature. You will be ready to explain your preference for a spa that’s level with the pool—or one that’s elevated above it. And if waterfalls are on your agenda, you will be ready to share visual examples of the specific style you want. In addition to having a sense of what you like, you will have a better handle on what you do NOT like. That means you can spend more time with your designer focused on what should go on your pool plan—and quickly rule out options that don’t interest you.