Building a Pool on a Hill

San Francisco is known as the “City of Hills.” It makes for a beautiful urban landscape but can be a problem when you are building a pool on a hill. Artisan Home Resorts has extensive experience with inground pools including pools on a slope.

Bay Area home owners generally have small, hilly or sloped lots. Unless you live in Atherton where the minimum lot size is one acre, it’s likely that your property is lacking in much of a flat area to build a pool or outdoor living space. This makes it likely that you are facing the challenge of not only maximizing your limited space, but building a pool on a hill which is a specialized skill.

An infinity pool or vanishing edge pool actually requires a sloped yard. The steeper the better for these elegant water features. But while it makes for spectacular, dramatic outdoor living spaces with incredible views from the water, building a hillside pool on a slope requires experience and expertise.

Artisan Home Resorts has been designing and building pools in the Bay Area for 35 years and we know the particular challenges in designing a beautiful, but safe and long-lasting pool on a sloped yard. If you’ve been told that your property is too steep to build a pool, or if you’ve been told to scale down your dreams, talk to us about some of the incredible and impossible-looking projects we’ve created.

For Bay Area homeowners looking to have a pool built into a hill, there are a number of very technical considerations. This is a more complex project than a standard in-ground pool designed for a flat space. The system requires additional pumps and pool equipment as well as additional safety considerations.

The key is hillside stabilization. Once the hill is stabilized with retaining walls, then footings, piers and grade beams are part of supporting the pool foundation.

Footings provide an even surface upon which to build a foundation. The footing, which is in direct contact with the soil, distributes the weight and provides strength to the foundation, thereby preventing settling (which can mean costly repairs or even complete reconstruction).

Settling is often due to changes in soil moisture and type, and is something that must be taken into consideration when designing your project and during construction.

Piers and grade beams refers to a style of foundational footing made up of columns and beams. These allow the structure’s load to be distributed among multiple bearing points. These structures are less prone to settling and the movement of soil.

Not all structures require piers and grade beams. When we design for a pool on a hill, we consult with an engineering firm during design, planning and throughout construction to ensure that your pool and landscape design makes the most out of your space and creates a dramatic and durable outdoor space.

Want to see what kind of infinity pool your hillside or sloping lot will support? Contact us for a free consultation.


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