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What Is a Pool House?


First seen back in upscale Hollywood Hills mansions in the 1930s, a pool house is a building dedicated to the swimming pool lifestyle.

Somewhere between a shed and a guest house, the term pool house is used to describe a variety of poolside structure, some nice than many homes, and other simple but basic shed-like buildings.

I. Pool House 101

Defined in terms of real estate, a pool house is “any outbuilding intended to enhance the overall poolside experience.”

By installing a pool house, you’ll minimize the need for swimmers to go in and out of your home, ideal if you host lots of pool parties for all your kiddies’ friends.

In the simplest form, a pool house provides somewhere private and sheltered for guests to change into swimwear.

The inbuilt benefit of a pool house is the way it doubles up as a storage area for all your swimming pool accessories and pool toys.

Pool houses are typically free-standing buildings set apart from the garage or main house.

All the best pool houses are more elaborate and comfortable than a shed, and many features bathrooms complete with shower facilities.

II. What Are The Different Types of Pool House?


Pool houses come in all shapes and sizes, so imagination really is your only limitation.

Here are the main types of cabana you’ll encounter:

  • Storage space
  • Playroom
  • Guest house

Storage space

If you’re new to the world of home swimming pools, you’ll rapidly discover you need a wide range of accessories and pool paraphernalia. Lots of this kit is pretty bulky, too.

For anyone running out of space in the shed, garage, or deck box, a pool house lets you keep everything you need in one place and close at hand. From your pool pump and filter through to toys, pool covers, and other extras, a pool house keeps your gear protected and safe year-round.


If you like the idea of a bathroom and shower poolside, why not consider adding a dedicated play area for the kids?

This is a great choice if you have a busy pool and you don’t want people tracking water in and out of you house.

If you opt for one of these playroom-style pool houses, consider adding a small washer and dryer. This will help you keep wet clothes and soaking towels out of your house, too.

Guest house

If you want your pool to function as self-contained guest accommodation, you’ll need to consider providing essential home amenities.

Building in an outdoor lounge area or kitchen can help you get even more out of your swimming pool as the sun goes down and you keep the poolside party going. You could even add a fireplace to further enhance the atmosphere.

Ultimately, every pool house is unique as every pool owner has different needs and a different budget. While it’s fine to draw inspiration from other pool houses, you should strive to create the poolside environment that makes most sense for you and your family. This may take the shape of a simple yet effective shed, or you might have designs on a far more ambitious and self-contained apartment ideal for guests, while also boosting the value of your home.

III. What Are The Pros and Cons of Pool Houses?

Whether you’re looking to install a pool house at home, or you are viewing properties featuring cabanas, it’s worth taking a balanced look at the chief benefits and drawbacks of installing a pool house at home.

Pool House Pros

  • Convenience when changing into swimwear: With a pool house, family and guests can all get changed for swimming without needing to descend on the main house. If you frequently have lots of people in the pool, this alone is enough of a benefit to justify installing a pool house
  • Adds value to your home: A pool house can do more than just improve your overall pool experience. According to experts, a pool house can add anywhere from 5% to 8% to the value of your home. You should factor in the cost of construction when assessing this increase in value, and you could also confirm with a real estate expert before launching in
  • Keep the pool party going: A pool house serves as an extra entertaining area where you can continue hanging out with friends and family long after the sun goes down
  • Storage space: Regardless of the type of pool house that makes the best fit for you, any kind of structure poolside will provide you with the storage space you need for all your pool equipment.

Pool House Cons

  • Costs: You need to double down on costing before getting carried away with the idea of a pool house. Depending on what style of outbuilding you require, you could find constructing it costs more than you might have imagined. On the plus side, you should explore how much value a pool house will add to your property, and there’s no substitute for a great local real estate agent to guide you in this area
  • Upkeep and maintenance: While installing a pool house comes with many benefits, you’ll need to think about the cleaning and upkeep of another area
  • Safety issues: Whether you have kids at home or you have guests over to use your pool, you need to make sure any pool house is constructed in line with safety regulations.

IV. Are There Any Barriers to Building a Pool House?

In most states, you will need a building permit if you want to construct a pool house. You can easily obtain this permit at your county government office, or at your local city government office. You will typically deal with the planning department, possibly even the planning commissioner.

You must ensure that any new structure complies with local zoning codes and ordinances.

In some regions, small structures of less than 120 square feet don’t require a permit, as long as you don’t need to install any utility hookups.

Any outbuilding with plumbing and electricity is deemed a habitable structure. As such, it will typically demand many of the same requirements as other residential buildings. Do your due diligence here.

When it comes to zoning laws, you may find there are restrictions on how close the pool house can be to the edge of your swimming pool.

Do plenty of research before blindly starting to build a pool house. Take your time and there’s no reason not to build something compliants with all regulations.

V. Conclusion

Whether you have a swimming pool at home and you need some extra storage space for your supplies, or you want some additional guest accommodation, a pool house or cabana is the perfect solution.

As long as you take account of any building permits and zoning requirements, you could have a new pool house installed for much less than you might imagine.

Before you head off, we suggest you bookmark Wild River Country. There is plenty of swimming season left this year and we have lots more great content coming your way as usual. Come back soon and don’t miss out!

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