Landscape Design Software by Idea Spectrum
Realtime Landscaping Pro Landscape Design Software

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Adding a Swimming Pool

Realtime Landscaping Pro includes powerful tools for designing in-ground and above-ground swimming pools and spas of any size and shape. You can seamlessly integrate other water features such as fountains and waterfalls to help the swimming pool blend in with the rest of your landscape. You can design swimming pools from scratch, or use the Swimming Pool Wizard to select from a number of pre-built designs that you can use as a starting point.

Swimming pools are designed to be placed over pool decking. Pool decking provides a flat foundation for the swimming pool and determines its elevation. For example, a raised swimming pool is created by first adding pool decking, setting the decking height and elevation, and then adding the swimming pool on top of the decking. See Adding Pool Decking for details.

To add a swimming pool:

1.   If you have not already done so, add pool decking using the Add Pool Decking tool.

2.   Click Add Swimming Pool.

3.   Draw the swimming pool's outline by clicking to add points. Press Backspace to remove the last point. Press Esc to cancel.

4.   When finished, click the starting point to close the outline. Or, right-click to automatically join the last point to the first.

The following is an example of how a swimming pool can be added to a backyard landscape design.

Editing Coping

Swimming pools come with built-in support for coping. Coping is added to the entire swimming pool by default, but can be turned off per-edge.

To turn the coping on or off per-edge:

1.   Click Edit coping to enter edit-coping mode.

2.   Click the edge(s) where you want to turn the coping on or off.

3.   When done, click Edit coping again to toggle it off and leave edit-coping mode.

Coping Styles

In addition to a variety of coping materials, you can also choose from four different coping styles:


      Use None to turn off coping. This will give you a sharp edge between the pool wall and the decking.

      Use Flat to use flat tile.

      Use Bullnose to use rounded tile.

      Use Seamless for a rounded tile that uses the same material as the pool decking. In real life, this is done by adding a special mold around the perimeter of the pool. The pool decking material is then poured, creating the decking surface and rounded edges all at once.

Creating Spas and Hot Tubs

You can create spas and hot tubs using the Swimming Pool, Pool Decking, and other pool-related objects.

To create a spa:

1.   Create pool decking to serve as a foundation for the spa. See Adding Pool Decking for details.

2.   Click Add Swimming Pool. (The spa is actually a small, above-ground swimming pool.)

3.   Draw the spa's outline by clicking to add points. Press Backspace to remove the last point. Press Esc to cancel.

4.   When finished, click the starting point to close the outline. Or, right-click to automatically join the last point to the first.

5.   Adjust the spa and related pool decking as needed to place the spa in the desired position relative to the swimming pool.

A popular spa design is to create a spillway so water from the spa flows into the swimming pool.

To add a spillway to your spa:

1.   Turn off the coping along the edge where you want the water to flow. (This step is optional but more realistic.)

2.   Click the Water Features tab, and click Add Waterfall. Select Flowing Water and click OK.

3.   Place the flowing water object along the edge of the spillway. Adjust the elevation, size, and rotation angle as needed for proper placement. During a realtime walkthrough, the arrow will be replaced with flowing water.

The following pool design uses a spa with a spillway that was created using the above steps.

Setting Depths

You can change the depth of your swimming pool, either for the entire pool or at different points.

To set the depth for the entire swimming pool:

1.   Select the swimming pool you want to change.

2.   Enter the depth in the Depth property.

You can also vary the depth along the length of the swimming pool. This is done by editing a special line known as the depth line. The line can consist of one or more points and can be straight or curved. You can set the depth at each point on the line. You can add as many points as needed.

To set the depth at different points:

1.   Select the swimming pool you want to change.

2.   Click Edit depths to enter depth editing mode.

3.   Select the point(s) you want to change.

4.   Enter the new depth.

5.   Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each point you want to change.

6.   When finished, click Edit depths again to leave depth editing mode.

Adding Water Features

All of the water features included in Realtime Landscaping Pro can be used with swimming pools. These include fountains, waterfalls, jumping jets, and more. The following pool design includes a waterfall that flows into the swimming pool.


      Important: Swimming pools can be hazardous to children and pets. Most local building codes require a fence or have other restrictions for safety purposes. Please check your local building codes before building a real swimming pool.

      Adding a swimming pool is easiest in the top-down view.

      See Adding a Fountain and Adding a Waterfall for details on how to add fountains and waterfalls to your swimming pool designs.

      See Swimming Pool Wizard for information on how to add a pre-built swimming pool using the wizard.

      You can easily edit the shape of your swimming pool, as well as add or delete points. See Editing Points for more information.

      If you want to add a swimming pool using exact dimensions, make sure grid snap is enabled and that the desired grid size is set. Otherwise, when adding a more organically shaped swimming pool, you'll probably want to disable grid snap. See Snap Settings for more information.

See also:

Swimming Pool Properties
Swimming Pool Wizard
Setting Object Properties
Selecting Objects
Selecting Points
Editing Objects
Adding Pool Decking
Adding Pool Stairs
Adding a Pool Seat
Adding a Pool Wall
Adding a Pool Light
Adding a Pool Accessory
Adding a Fountain
Adding a Waterfall
Realtime Walkthrough
Saving and Loading Shapes

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