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How Plunge Pools Maximize Luxury in Small Backyards

October 16th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Phil Parsons

You’ve got a small backyard, but a lot of outdoor ideas. That’s par for the course in Maryland, the state with the smallest yards on average in the U.S. But? A small backyard doesn’t have to be a liability. Small backyards offer huge possibilities if you make the right choices.

At KP Contracting, we find the possibilities in backyards of any size. Extending your indoor life to your outdoor space is our passion, and we’ve got years of experience making that happen. A plunge pool is your secret weapon in maximizing your outdoor space.

Plunge pools provide the experience of having a pool, but don’t take up an entire backyard. If you want a lot of possibilities in a small amount of space, plunge pools provide both.

In this article, we’ll explain what plunge pools are. We’ll also show how a small backyard plunge pool provides big luxury opportunities.

What is a small backyard plunge pool?

A plunge pool is a small pool from 5x8 to 10x20 feet, and usually 5-7 feet deep. It's ideal for relaxation, small get-togethers, or low-impact water exercise. With a heater, it can even do swim spa duty.

Plunge pools are also called cocktail pools, tuxedo pools, spa pools, and spools (s[mall] pools), but we’ll stick with “plunge pool” for this post. Plunge pools are prefab affairs, and come in concrete, fiberglass, vinyl, and even steel. 

Small backyard plunge pool cost 

Plunge pools usually cost from $40,000-80,000, with labor and installation. Because plunge pools are prefab, and lowered into the ground, they can be installed quicker than traditional pools. Where a traditional pool takes weeks to set the concrete, a plunge pool just needs a crane to lower it into an excavated hole.

The lower cost of plunge pools helps them become part of a bigger scheme for a small backyard. A plunge pool serves many purposes on its own, and far more when incorporated into a broader design scheme.

In-ground small backyard plunge pools fit into other design schemes

An in-ground small backyard plunge pool provides a focal point without dominating your backyard. You’ll have room for a broader design scheme with adjacent seating areas, allowing for other visual opportunities. 


In this case, the plunge pool complements two areas, one with a fire pit. The added glass fencing shields nearby guests from splashing, in case the kids want to relax in the pool while the adults talk. It also adds a layer of safety, preventing anyone from an accidental tumble.

A small patio plunge pool leaves you with space to spare

One of the best things about plunge pools is that it leaves room for things that aren’t plunge pools. A plunge pool leaves a large portion of backyard still available for other purposes. Where a full-size pool would dominate a backyard like the one pictured, a plunge pool leaves space available for a lawn, a patio, and a pergola. 


A plunge pool makes other activities possible. A small backyard monopolized by a swimming pool is useless from Labor Day to Memorial Day. Worse yet, any kids will be frustrated when they can’t play catch during football season. Contrarily, a plunge pool is easy to open and heat, even as the weather turns chilly. 

Poolscape ideas for all seasons, and all purposes

Plunge pools are like improv classes: they teach you to say “yes, and…”. A plunge pool is small enough that it allows room for sitting areas. Plunge pools themselves can even provide you with extra seating area, if you’re creative. 

If extra seating area is one benefit, structural integrity is another. This plunge pool demonstrates how they can do double duty as retaining walls. A plunge pool like this would do as well in a sloped setting as a level one, thanks to its thick concrete structure.

This plunge pool also makes the backyard seem bigger when combined with light-colored pavers. Lighter shades soak up natural light, creating the impression that you’ve got a bigger, brighter space. Add to that sleek glass panels with LED lighting, and you’ve got a feature that frames your smaller space, without taking up too much space themselves. Moreover, the blue tint of the LED edge lighting will pick up on the color of the pool when it’s open. 

Can a small backyard plunge pool transform my backyard?

Everyone who’s short on backyard space has dreamed big at some point. The nice thing about a plunge pool is that a small body of water can be the basis of those big dreams. Now that you know the sort of big plunge possibilities we’re interested in at KP Contracting, we’d love to hear from you if you like what you see. Reach out to us here, or give us a call at 240-266-5900.

Phil Parsons

Phil Parsons is an owner at KP Contracting with 20-years’ experience in custom remodeling and the development of outdoor living spaces that bring friends and family together. He is a degreed engineer, and his work has been featured on HGTV.