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Having a pool is an obvious advantage during the dog days of summer, but bigger isn’t always better when it comes to these outdoor additions. Even homeowners with sprawling lawns have been leaning into smaller options to keep cool. “We’re seeing people with larger properties choose the plunge-pool path to maximize the space in their yard, big or small,” says Chapman Bullock, co-founder of Proper Plunge Pools. “And, when done right, they almost look like a decorative fountain you can also swim in.” 

Not only has this scaled-down water feature been gaining more attention lately—Karen Larson, cofounder of Soake Pools, has already seen a 50 percent increase over last year’s record-breaking sales—but people want to go even tinier. “Our first few years in business, it was rare to sell anything smaller than a 7-by-13-foot unit,” Larson shares. “This year 15 percent of our sales have been smaller than that.” According to customer feedback, plunge pools fit well into the ever-popular outdoor living concept because they leave more room for other features such as firepits, lawn games, and alfresco kitchens. Read on for three more perks to paring back. 


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They Install in Days, Not Months

Bullock says half of their inquiries come from clients who want a pool within three months—a timeline that’s totally doable when the actual installation only takes a matter of days. “The traditional path is going to take [customers] 12 to 18 months,” he says. “People don’t want a construction site in their backyards for months at a time.”

They Come in Customizable Styles 

Prefab doesn’t mean cookie-cutter. Many brands produce tailored varieties that stem from a wide range of materials. While Bullock has seen a big uptick in resort-style looks made from glass-tile mosaics and Indonesian Sukabumi stone, Larson notes that earthy, old-world options featuring large-format porcelain are also popular.

They’re Not Just for Summer 

Not only does the size (and quick install time) make a plunge pool the naturally more economic choice over a diving-friendly in-ground option, but many styles have the ability to integrate temperature controls. That means you can enjoy them as a cool-down spot in the summer, a hot tub hangout in the winter, and simply a sleek-looking addition when you’re not suited up.