The Essential Plans
Downloadable Construction Plans for Our Essential Natural Swimming Pool/Pond
The Essential Plans
These construction plans are your essential guide to our most basic, most economical style of Natural Swimming Pool/Pond (NSP)! Along with the companion eBook, Natural Swimming Pools & Ponds: THE TOTAL GUIDE, 3rd Edition, these customizable plans contain all you need to begin planning your own swimming pond! This 12 page plan is packed with scaled drawings, material and dimension callouts, and special construction details. Within the plans, you will find drawings detailing all of the major components and installation steps needed to create the Essential NSP (including plumbing the system as well as building a basic pier and underwater wooden wall), plus some optional upgrades like a waterfall or zero-entry pebble beach.
Note: This is a digital download. A link to download the plans will be sent to the email address you enter at checkout. This digital download contains:
- (12) Construction Plan pages (8.5" x 11" size) for 8 different pond sizes/shapes
- Resource Packet with Materials Lists for each of the 8 designs
- How-To eBook - Natural Swimming Pools & Ponds: THE TOTAL GUIDE, 3rd Edition
What's Included: Essential NSP Plans
- 8 Different Sizes in Round or Oval Shape to Choose From:
- Designs range in size from 28FT to 52FT+ overall with swimming areas as small as 13FT x 13FT or as large as 34FT x 39FT
- Plan View & Section View Drawings
- Excavation Plan
- 6-12FT x 8-12FT Basic Wooden Pier
- Simple Wooden Lake-Style Ladder
- Underwater Wooden Walls (Retain Biological Filter Media & Create Swimming Area in Center)
- Plumbing Schematic & Details
- Instructions for Creating the Built-in Biological Filter
- Instructions for Adding an Optional 18ft Zero-Entry Pebble Beach
- Plumbing & Section View Drawings for an Optional Waterfall
- A Copy of our How-To eBook: Natural Swimming Pools & Ponds: THE TOTAL GUIDE, 3rd Edition (a $99 value!)
- Resource Packet Including Materials Lists For All 8 Designs!
FAQ's : Essential NSP Plans
I plan to print the plans after I download them, what size are they? The Essential NSP Plans are 8-1/2" x 11" letter format (12 pages). We recommend printing them in color, since some of the pages feature important color-coded details. The Resource Packet (which is included with the plans) is letter sized as well with 11 pages.
What's the minimum space required for the Essential NSP? Our Essential NSP plans includes options for eight different sizes and shapes, ranging from 28FT Round (with a 13FT swim area) to 47FT x 52FT Oval (with a 34FT x 39FT swim area). To allow for equipment access during construction, the smallest option included in the plans (28FT Round) needs a space of at least 38FT x 38FT.
Do the Essential NSP Plans include instructions for building the pier? Yes, the Essential NSP Plans include construction drawings (including a plan view, side view, and install details) for a basic rectangular pier and wooden ladder.
Why do you use underwater wooden walls in the Essential NSP Plans? The underwater wall serves multiple functions in the swimming pond: It retains the material along the outer edge of the pond (bio-filter plumbing, filter media gravel, river rock and water plants) and creates a separate swimming space in the center. Our underwater wooden walls are always wet, so they are not subject to rot like wood that is kept alternatively wet and dry. We have 15+ year old NSP's with these same wooden walls that are still strong and beautiful! Some of our other NSP styles feature stacked rock walls instead of these more economical wooden walls, but are much more labor & material intensive (contact us for a Custom NSP Project).
What if I want a rectangular shaped pool? The strength of the underwater wall comes from its polygonal shape, which is designed to withstand the inward pressure of the gravel on all sides. That's why the Essential Plans include instructions for a round and oval shaped pond. Long, straight wall sections, as would be needed to create a rectangular swimming area, require a different, more complex and labor-intensive construction method (contact us for a Custom NSP Project).
What skills are required to build an Essential NSP? Though we consider the Essential style NSP the easiest to DIY of the various construction methods we employ, it still requires considerable construction experience and involves skills like:
- Excavation and Earth Shaping
- Heavy Machinery Operation
- Site Drainage Management
- Water-Tight Liner Installation
- Carpentry (Underwater Wooden Walls, Piers, Ladders)
- Plumbing and Trenching
- Rock Movement and Careful Installation
- Artistic and Functional Waterfall Construction
- Waterplant Selection and Installation
Never undertake a Natural Swimming Pool/Pond construction project unless you are confident you can see it through properly and safely. We want your NSP project to be a success, so we offer a variety of construction options.
What if I plan to DIY using these plans, but need help getting started? We can help you if you have any questions at all while looking over the plans. If you need some help deciding where to put the pond in your yard and what size/optional extras are best for you, we offer a Essential Site Visit service for $2,500 to anywhere in the contiguous United States: This service includes the Essential Plans themselves PLUS an onsite design consultation with one of our experienced designers (even includes travel costs). At the Site Visit we will work with you in-person to decide where to put your NSP, what size, shape and features are best for you and answer any site-specific or project-specific questions. We will use that time together to basically customize the Essential Plans to your unique space! Alternatively, we can help you remotely with our Hourly Design service; via phone, email or video chat.