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We Are Putting In A Pool At The Farm!! All The Details Of Our “Soake” Pool And Why It’s The Best Fit

As I’ve alluded to on social media we are putting in a “pool,” but it’s not what you think (it’s better). When we first closed on the farm, the innocent fantasies for the property began. With almost 3 acres we technically have the land for a big old pool. But living in the PNW it doesn’t make as much sense to spend that kind of money or space to stare at a pool cover 8 months of the year. At the same time, thanks to climate change, the summers are now crazy hot, and while there are rivers and public pools, the heat last summer reignited the pool question with the same “it just doesn’t make sense for us” conclusion. I even explored a bio-dynamic swimming pond for months, to just realize that the liability of an open body of water scared me too much and the likelihood that it would look “natural” was low. Besides, do you really want to swim in a pond that cleaned itself with its own plants? So we almost gave up on the idea of a swimmable body of water when I was Facebook marketed by something called a Soake pool. I immediately clicked, landed on their site, and screamed to Brian that I’ve indeed found our “pool” that checks our boxes and makes so much more YEAR-ROUND sense for our PNW farm.

What is a Soake Pool?

photo courtesy of soake pools

Here’s how I describe it to friends: It’s a pool the size of a living room rug (7×13) that can be a hot tub in the winter, and a cool pool in the summer. A year-round win/win that adds to your life without using as much real estate or spending as much money as a typical pool. It may not be perfect for everyone, but it was exactly what we wanted and needed.

photo courtesy of soake pools

The Pros of a Soake Pool – My Pitch To Brian:

1. It’s year-round enjoyment regardless of outside temperature – pure genius. As I said, it can be a hot tub in the winter (or a cold plunge should you turn it off and let the outside temp cool it) and a normal heated or cool pool in the summer. We don’t live in CA anymore, so it was hard for us to justify the expense and the maintenance when we’d use it so much less. This year-round enjoyment really made the difference to us.
2. It’s made on the East Coast out of high-quality beautiful materials – think pretty tile and concrete, not a fiberglass shell. It’s delivered to you ready to install, thus eliminating the need for a pool contractor (it’s not a total plug-and-play, it’s still a construction project but no, you don’t need to hire a pool contractor which can save you a lot of time and money).
3. It’s a much smaller lead time for a pool (2-3 months) versus getting on a waitlist and then having six to eight months of construction.
4. When not in use, the smaller footprint means that you aren’t staring at a huge pool cover or dealing with as much maintenance. Up here a house with a huge pool is almost a deterrent for a lot of people (it was for us and my brother’s family) because they can be just so huge, expensive, and used so infrequently. Yes, this property could handle the size, but we simply didn’t feel like it was how we wanted to use our outdoor space (I mean, we still have to get these alpacas in here).
5. Because of the size and less construction needed it obviously can cost less than a pool. To be clear, these are not “cheap” as they are very high quality, but depending on how you design it and what your needs are to hook it up, it can be way less of an investment than a pool.

But Isn’t It too Small To Swim In? Will You Really Use It?

photo courtesy of soake pools & murphy foto imagery

Obviously, that depends on your lifestyle and preferences. It’s our opinion (and hope) that this is perfect for our needs because while our kids love swimming and jumping/diving (and will continue to do so in rivers and public pools) they mostly gravitate towards the shallow area where they can float, stand, sit, splash, hang out, and cool off. We are huge homebodies and designed this house and land to not really need to leave and instead to entertain friends, families, and neighbors. We picture kids coming over after camps all summer, warming up playing basketball/pickleball, and cooling off in the pool when it’s 95 degrees until 8 pm (it gets strangely hotter here throughout the day). It’s a great way to be able to chill and hang out in your backyard in a body of water on super hot days, but no it’s not going to be where they learn how to dive. We won’t be having pool parties, we’ll be having backyard hang sessions by the sports court where people can cool off by a pool when they get hot.

How Does A Soake Pool Work? Is it Easy To Install?

photo courtesy of soake pools & jon caron art

It definitely can be. Similar to a hot tub, you need to have the equipment hooked up to electricity and either gas or propane to heat it. It’s more involved than a hot tub that sits on the earth – you will have to trench for those mechanical lines, make sure you have enough on your electrical panel and gas meter to accommodate it, etc. You’ll need to dig a huge hole for it to be craned in and backfilled properly. The Soake team has helped hundreds of families ensure they are all good to go and they are there to help streamline the process. Of course, I relied on our local expert landscape construction team, Northwest Native Landscapes who acted as our GC on this one (which is atypical for him and we are SO grateful). Thank you, Dan’l! The point is – it is a construction project and shouldn’t be ordered like a rug, but it’s typically far more manageable than a pool.

You might have seen on stories that we ran into problems because our driveway and turn radius was so narrow that our crane company couldn’t bring in a larger crane. They brought a smaller crane in hopes of bringing the pool closer to the hole via a flatbed truck. But the mud and rain had different plans for us that day and the flatbed truck got stuck. Our team troubleshoot and did an incredible job of making it happen the next day and it wasn’t a huge deal. But with all heavy machinery + rain + mud + a hill can get trucks stuck so consider your topography if you are doing it in the rainy season or if your location is hard to access. Typically they can crane over a house just like a hot tub and drop it into the hole in your backyard without much disruption. It’s incredible.

How Much Do Soake Pools Cost?

photo courtesy of soake pools & alden landscape design

Like all semi-custom things in life, it ranges from a smaller model with simple materials and a manual cover to a larger version with more high-end materials and electric covers. There is a lot to factor in and like any construction project, there could be some costs specific to your project. For our Soake Pool, we worked out a mutually beneficial partnership and we are obviously very grateful to be in this position, full stop. There is the cost of the pool itself and then the labor around it. To install it we had to put in a lot of gravel up the mud hill to get the truck carrying the pool (which included a lot of labor to spread out and compact the gravel and now to remove it). We also had to replace and upgrade our gas line and meter (we didn’t need to when we renovated because we have almost zero natural gas usage here), so that was an additional few thousand dollars. You will need a contractor or installer to dig the hole and put it all together. The product itself (fully tiled pool, including all equipment needed to run the pool) ranges from $31k-$45k depending on the cover and features chosen. That won’t include the excavation, trenching, hardscape, electrical, plumbing, or delivery. Like everything in our homes, it’s very specific to your project. It can be simple or add up so it’s good to know going into it so you can ensure it’s the right decision for your family. The final cost really depends on how far away your pool equipment is from the electrical or gas source (trenching is usually cost per linear foot) or how you want to finish the hardscape surrounding it (readymade cement tiles are a lot cheaper than flagstone, for instance). Like most things in life, the more you do yourself the less you spend on hiring out. It’s the old “time versus money” conundrum. If I could go back in time I would have rushed the installation for October, before months of rain made it harder to maneuver in the mud, which would have saved us some money.”

Are These Becoming More Of A Thing?

photo courtesy of soake pools & jon caron art

Yes. Soake has been around for almost 10 years and their business has exploded with happy customers that wanted exactly what we do. I know firsthand that if you live in SoCal or Arizona that a traditional pool can get a lot of use, but in so many other areas what you really want is just to float around and cool off in the hot months. It simply makes so much sense and therefore is indeed a growing trend. The size also cuts down on maintenance and electricity costs and since you can use it in the winter as a hot tub most users keep it open year-round, eliminating the need to shut it down and winterize

Is It Chlorine Or Salt Water?

It’s a salt water pool. It’s smooth and luxurious and clean.

So Where Is Our Soake Pool Going And What Is It Going To Look Like?

See it up there as that tiny little blue square!!! We are treating our Soake Pool almost like a large water feature or a fountain, then designing the spaces around it. Since our property is more of a farm vibe (yes with a pickleball court, I know) we don’t want it to be front and center or to be too obvious and turn it into what could look more like an estate. It is not THE feature of our property, it’s more of a secret surprise in its own little courtyard surrounded by a split rail fence, and lots of potted plants and greenery. The greenhouse/shed that we are designing is more of a feature behind it. So from the sunroom, where I’m writing right now, you really won’t see it – you’ll see the split rail fence and the greenhouse, which is our intent.

The View From The Back Porch

This is the view from our back porch that Cali from Studio Campo (our landscape designer) drew up. The landscaping is actually still up in the air (just as far as how many plants are over there, etc) but we wanted to get a sense of what it could look like. This drawing gives us SO MUCH HOPE.

how it looks in early february

This is how it looks now:) Right now we have the area around it designed with rectangular flagstone as the hardscape then the greenhouse and veggie garden area will be pea gravel, but that part is up in the air.

Our plan is to finish the hardscape around the pool and then reassess everything. Ideally, we’d live with it for a summer before making more permanent decisions but at the same time, we can’t deal with another winter of mud out here. I’m thinking we want to widen the stone path from the greenhouse area to the pool area to make it feel more open and connected (and add locking gates that aren’t on the plan). So this could all get tweaked and changed over time as well. What can’t move is the sports court and the pool and we know pretty closely where the greenhouse is going to land, but everything else is up in the air.

What Does The Inside Of The Pool Look Like?

Ours is still wrapped so I can’t show you but will as soon as we take it off. It’s so lovely and looks very high-end – like a custom site-specific pool.

The interior area is 7×13 (the exterior is larger) with a 55″ – 57″ water depth (just shy of 5′). We designed ours with a bench and two stairs – so people can easily perch and get in and out. Our kids can’t touch the bottom but they can easily bounce off of it and swim so easily to the side. I chose a darker tile that basically just recedes, but all your options are here.

Is There A Pool Cover? Does It Lock?

Yes. As someone who has unmatched anxiety around kids + bodies of water, I feel really darn comfortable with this pool in my backyard (I recognize there are safe large pool covers these days, too but between the size/height of this and how easy and safe it is to open and close I have zero anxiety). There are different options for pool covers – both manual and automatic. We chose the powered safety cover, which locks (they all do). It is more expensive, but we are hoping the ease is worth it. As far as pool gate requirements – check your local code, but in many areas, it’s not required. We will have them, though because I’m a big fan of safety and low-maintenance parenting.

Can A Soake Pool Be Above Ground Or Flush With The Earth?

photo courtesy of soake pools & murphy foto imagery

Both. And I really like the look of both, too! We chose to have it be flush just so it has less presence (and it saves on hardscape) but I love the idea of the partial above-ground option that acts more like a hot tub and of course provides seating even if you aren’t in the pool.

photo courtesy of soake pools & jon caron art
photo courtesy of soake pools & murphy foto imagery

This one (above) is our inspiration – we love how it integrates nicely with a more rustic design and greenery.

The Soake Pool Is In!! Now What?

The mechanicals are all trenched and the electrical and gas are going in this week and next. Then they can backfill the pool (put gravel all the way around it), install the pool cover, hook up all the goods, and then hardscape. We are all learning the process as we go (and Soake customer service has been super informative with a lot of calls and follow-ups). We are probably still a couple of months out from using it (or needing to), but we hope by late spring we’ll have sod, and hardscape and can start building out the greenhouse and finish planting.

Y’all, I can’t wait for this to be transformed. I know that the landscaping won’t be grown in for a while (read: years) but the mud will be reduced greatly in the next six months.

I didn’t want to leave you with visions of mud – instead one more picture of a Soake pool in the prettiest farm setting.

photo courtesy of soake pools & taylor ahearn

We feel extremely lucky to do this and bring you along in the process. I felt like this was a really great product to share with my audience because I figured I wasn’t alone in wanting a hot day body of water option, but not wanting a full pool. Soake will be in the comments answering questions should you think that a Soake pool is right for your family. I’ll also be continuing to document the process here and of course, give a full review (similar to the induction range post) after the first year.

Thanks, Soake Pools for partnering on this project – now let’s hope the sun lets the spring greenery explode so I can show it sooner rather than later 🙂

*Photos of Me and the Farmhouse by Kaitlin Green


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87 thoughts on “We Are Putting In A Pool At The Farm!! All The Details Of Our “Soake” Pool And Why It’s The Best Fit

  1. Cool; I was wondering how the “cold plunge” use case was gonna show up! I’ll be curious to see if you keep it cold or decide to heat it up to hot tub levels in the cooler months – especially since you’ve always got the IR blanket to go back to if you do a chilly dip. 🙂

    1. I have a tidal fit swim spa for this, it was much cheaper and has a current for swimming, plus
      Massage jets and seats! A good more cost effective option if that’s what you’re looking for.

  2. Those pools looks better when they are treated like a water feature and integrated in the landscape. The photos with a traditional pool setting, deck and lounge chairs all lined up around a tiny blue stamp of a pool look a little silly…Almost like when you play the Sims and all you can afford is a one square pool!

    1. I disagree – I think it looks lovely and has a relaxed European vibe. Sorry to see so many haters already – all the inspiration photos look gorgeous and I can’t wait to Emily’s all trimmed out!

      1. I m not hating Hillary, I am just stating a preference for the above ground style. It looks more intentional, as supposed to a pool that appears strangely too small if you are not aware of the soak pool concept. Also I’m not sure about the european vibe you are talking about, but I’m french and the stone setting reminds me of the many ‘lavoirs’ and fountains we have in my area, and I love them dearly.

      2. I agree with this sentiment. I think using this as a Pond like setting is much more intentional due to the size/scale. Similar concept to lighting. I am still very excited to see what Emily does!

    2. Lounge chairs can be placed everywhere, even in the lawn or garden area where there is no pool. They also work near a court I like the feel of a water feature too, but I prefer the more modern vibe of the pool being at the ground level. So maybe adding long grasses nearby or some mid height landscaping could fix the proportions when looking at it from afar (as in hiding some portions to make it appear that there’s more pool behind plants. Anyway, everyone will be attracted to something different. I like where the project is going. It looks like a dream.

  3. Sounds like a good solution for your climate . But 6-8 months for regular size pool construction?? We built a large pool here in Texas in less these 2 months. Doesn’t take long at all.

    1. I know in our area, upstate NY, the last few years have had a lead time of 18+ months for pool installations. It varies across the country.

  4. Always does my head in to see pools of any size without a safety child-proof, secure fence.
    I think our Aussie pool safety regulations are about the best in the world.

    As far as looks go, it looks great! It’s also less impact than a big ol’ standard sized pool.
    The landscaping will be lovely.
    Still …

    I’ve lived in two places with a pool and never want one again. Even in hottt Australia.
    Upkeep, cleaning, chemicals (salt pools convert the salt effectively into chlorine, which is absorbed into the body as synthetic estrogen – peri-menopause anyone?).

    I’d rather go to the beach!😊 🏖

    1. Rusty where do you get your information? Salt converting to chlorine which is a synthetic estrogen?

  5. This is so beautiful! I wish I had the budget for something like this, we are planning on building in more of a hillbilly hottub/cold tub metal feed trough sort of situation for similar purposes on our property. When we lived in Portland one of our favorite places to go was the salt water soaking pool out at McMenamins Edgefield, or the grand lodge in Forest Grove, go for a massage and stay for a soak and some cocktails. Prime PNW living.

  6. I like “owning it” Emily. You have worked hard, had some good fortune, and now you’re enjoying it with the people you love most. What’s not to love?

    1. I also would like to add: it’s incredibly urgent to find/rediscover ways to enjoy life without harming the Earth and/or spending money. it has gotten lost along the way

    2. The environmental movement loves to eat its young. If Emily or her team ever promoted this site as a source of news for environmental best practices, I’m sure they regret it sufficiently. Do these stories often feel a little ill-conceived (cruise, I’m looking at you), internally inconsistent, and motivated by want or sponsorship? Sure. Be annoyed at that (but recognize that this is, at its core, a shopping site). Getting angry that one good choice was made (induction range) but not all choices have lived up to the standard? I’m afraid you drank a big, tall glass of the Kool-Aid that corporations (100 of which produce >70% of global emissions) have spent huge marketing budgets creating. As long as the people fight each other about not being vegan/austere/reduced/reused/recycled enough, we’re not paying attention to the larger issue. If posts on a blog about house stuff (last time I checked, not staffed by a team of global change scientists) popularize induction ranges, flooring obtained from a seriously revolutionary and “walk the walk” forest products company like Zena, or, I don’t know… Swedish dish cloths helps to normalize these “better” alternatives (items that, weirdly, don’t come with a note saying “nice try but I hear you ate farmed salmon for dinner last night”), I give an appropriately low-key thumbs up to that. Individuals can make a difference. Why work so hard to alienate people with this absolutism?

      1. “Why works so hard to alienate people with this absolutism?”
        Good question. The holier-than-thou nonsense in these comments is incredibly tiresome. And what purpose does it serve other than feeding the poster’s ego and empty self-righteousness?

        1. A few responses come immediately to mind:
          Awareness; information; personal opinion; reality check-in; to name a few.
          Debate is healthy, discussion is fair and there wouldn’t be a Comments section if it didn’t equate to profit.
          Fear of difference feeds the growing dischord in society.

          1. Thank you Rusty! I don’t know if you this was in reaction to my post but it’s nice to know that some readers get what I mean and are not all team “you’re just jealous” or “stop reading if you don’t like it” or “she has the money she deserves it”. I so do wish Emily would use her influence to do a little good for the planet, which can totally go hand in hand with loving design and beautiful houses.

        2. Wow, that’s mean LouAnn!
          Laureline’s comment was pretty mild. Robin took her to task fairly comprehensively and reminded us all that this is in fact a shopping site, but you went too far and got personal and nasty.
          Empty self-righteousness! Holier than thou nonsense! It’s just a different perspective to yours and a valid one.

  7. This is a really fascinating choice. I do wonder over time how the kids will react to it. As my kids have grown more and more confident in water/pools, they do enjoy really having room to swim, use float toys, etc. I wonder if it will feel frustrating to them? My suspicion is that it’s much more for adults, except when you have family hot tub time. (Which my kids love when we’re at a hotel.) Curious to see how it all unfolds, as well as the landscaping. Love seeing these wide shots of your whole exterior!

    1. My 5 and 3yos are competent swimmers and would have no use for this size pool. It would actually just be a big hazard imo because it’s not really big enough for them to jump/play in.

    2. I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like a hot tub or any body of water. I didn’t turn my nose up at a kiddie pool when I was kiddie for the same reason. My friends and I would invent games in order to use a pool like this. Kids don’t need luxury, thankfully, they are experts at making do.
      To me this is a super pimp hot tub with more versatility everyone can enjoy.

    3. I had the good fortune of growing up with a pool my whole childhood (in a climate where we used it about 2 months a year, in the northeast). I’d say the main years of large pool use were 6-12 years old, but only with friends in the summer (I didn’t have siblings). Then I’m sad to admit I stopped using our pool much in my teenage years, but I always loved the hot tub. I think this choice makes so much sense – the kids can get social, large pool fun at a communal pool with friends, but then still have a fun body of water as an option at home, and will likely love the hot tub into their teenage years! And wonderful for parents as well 🙂

    4. Our boy/girl twins are almost 7. We’ve had a 10″ wide, 2″ deep stock tank pool for the last three years (it started as a pandemic DIY when we couldn’t go anywhere). The kids are very creative about how they use it. They invent all sorts of pretend play, and the neighbors (ages 11 and 9) even come over to play with them in it. Favorite games include pretend swim lessons, being the orcas at Sea World, hiding “treasures” at the bottom like Ariel in The Little Mermaid… You obviously can’t practice swimming or diving, but it kills hours and hours of time in the summer.

      It gets super hot here in Texas in the summer, and having a place to splash and dip is way better than nothing. My husband and I will sometimes get in there and sip drinks while we hang out with them. He built it to also be a hot tub, and they love that aspect in the winter. The maintenance is very easy.

      Our kids understand that having big pool is nice — many of our friends have regular sized pools — but we all agree that having the small pool is much better than no place to cool off at all. We couldn’t afford the big pool so this was the right option for us (we spent around $2k to build it, including the pool filter, heater, a small deck and stone patio to integrate it). I think Emily’s kids will definitely have fun with it.

  8. Rebecca, this was my thought, too. Making a big deal about switching to induction and then putting in a gas line for a heated soaking pool seems the same as turning off the water while brushing your teeth but still taking 30min showers. If you’re going to go this route, putting in a smaller hot tub is the more environmental friendly option! You can leave it cold in the summer and cool off in it, exactly as mentioned. Then when you turn it on in the winter you’re not using nearly as much gas to heat it as a soaking pool.

    1. We have a hot tub..the regular 4 person small size. It uses a lot of energy-I wondered what those honking big ones -8 person use after seeing our usage.
      We felt badly when we saw our bills. We have since installed solar panels to address this.
      It’s my opinion that if you have the means to install alternative energy you you’re certainly using more energy than folks of lower income who use mass transit, have smaller living spaces, purchase less. I don’t know how it’s feasible to argue otherwise that those with the means need to do their part.

  9. Can they add a tanning ledge/Baja shelf to their pools? I love this idea and the look! Can’t wait to see it uncovered!

  10. We had this style of pool on our patio at our AirBnb on our recent vacation and it was GREAT.. totally sold on this idea!
    However, I do take issue with this statement: “Besides, do you really want to swim in a pond that cleaned itself with its own plants?” I absolutely do.. much better than salt, chlorine, or other chemicals!
    Last, look forward to hearing more about your plans to incorporate native plants into your landscaping.. you mentioned long ago that you plan to do it, and I’m holding you to it- native plants MATTER!

  11. I don’t want to sound mean but I would emphatically prefer a freshwater pool cleaned by plants that was a natural resource in the winter months for wildlife than a glorified hot tub with a lid. Wild swimming is so popular here because it’s natural and has health benefits that I don’t think you get from a small salty outdoor bath. If you plan for the kids to swim in lakes and rivers I don’t know why you wouldn’t want that natural environment in your home. I sincerely hope it works out and you use it a lot but I wonder if this will appear on a ‘things I’d do differently’ post in 2 or 3 years. Will you really want to trek across landscaped tile or pea gravel to use the heated pool in cold or rainy weather? It’s a long way from the house. (I have a garden office that I rarely use in bad weather and it’s twenty feet from the back door plus I tend to be fully clothed…) Maybe you’ll need a pool house and I’d love to see your version of that though.

    1. Since Covid, I am noticing more flipped properties putting in pools and soaking pools for a climate that truly only allows 4 months max of use. There are two types of pool owners- those who have not had a pool and romanticize it and those who have owned prior and realize: Never Again. And, they are underused! Yes, I have owned pool.
      As a side note, I am over the Emily preface of : I know I am privileged so I am going to throw it out there to make people feel better, but we needed/ sort of wanted this item. Or, we need to save money in one post , but then post a short time later a post of a superfluous soaking pool. I am beginning to feel the posts are becoming disingenuous and this blog is becoming something else than its founding principle, but trying to disguise itself as a humble. I get blogs evolve, but OWN your wants and just post! You can afford high $$ items now, good for you. Your employees can not, so I look forward to their inspirational/creative posts since you have moved on. Thus, getting the best of both worlds. Yes, it is direct and those of you who think it is not nice can check minus. However, being led on is not nice either.

  12. This is fun! I’ll be interested to watch this unfold.
    Here in Ottawa, Canada we have hot muggy summer days when the only way I want to be outside is in water. So we’re thinking of putting in an unfancy above ground pool someday. But the rest of the year a hot tub would be dreamy!

    1. I am also in Ottawa and always wanted a pool growing up but my parents resisted because summer is so short here! I think a pool is a turn-off for a lot of homebuyers.

      1. Aww yay hi Lucy!
        Yes, agreed, a pool here is a turn-off for most buyers, including me. I’d feel reluctant to take on all the responsibility immediately + weary about whether there are unseen issues.
        But putting one in ourselves if/when ready, and knowing it was done right (hopefully, ha!) feels different. And we hope to be here a long time so resale is less key.

  13. I think the partial above ground options are lovely and would make it easier to access the pool from different sides.

  14. This is a really interesting choice and I’ll be watching to see how the kids react – I suspect they will find it constraining to have the pool so small. I really love the look and the prefab nature of this – pool construction is wasteful and irreversibly changes your property. That said, we have a large pool (put in by previous owners) in a hot climate and even with a big shade tree by the end of August the water is too warm to swim comfortably, so unless this has a pool cooler it wouldn’t work here. We also have a mountain house and have resisted the hot tub because of water use, propane use and the ick factor, so this doesn’t make sense there either. Very edge case for use on this, but perfect for some people.

  15. How fun! I’ve never been a huge fan of soaking hot or cold except in my own bathtub, but this is something my husband would love! (With a a rubber horse trough next to it for cold plunging 😅 — our set up has a hot tub instead of a soake pool. And he does trek a little bit to get to it — but when the snow comes down, that’s his favorite place to be — even in subzero temps!

    You have a much more beautiful version 😊! But I understand the ♥️ of a hot pool.

  16. Thank you for posting this great info and the delivery photos, Emily! We are so looking forward to working with you all throughout your project. We know it will be a stunner!

  17. This is so fun! I’ve seen some pretty yards in LA that have these soak pools and they’re so beautiful. It’s the best of both worlds – you get a pretty water feature AND and hot tub AND pool.

  18. Wow! I haven’t looked at comments to your posts lately and am always fascinated at how “excited” (my passive aggressive way of saying nasty) folks get about other people’s lives when they are the ones looking/interested in the first place. Anyway – you do you and what works for you, but keep sharing so the rest of us that are interested in ideas can get inspiration.

  19. So beautiful!!! I think you’ll love it. I would adore it and I live vicariously through you. Plus, even though folks have said it’s a distance in the winter, you’re in the PNW and not New England – I think you’ll be out there a lot. I would appreciate any effort to make it more environmentally friendly, but as someone who loves water I certainly get the pull. On a different note, it seems like the pool/pickleball will be pretty close to your bedroom if I read the house layout right – I hope that’s OK with you. Also, I’m assuming that the pool is “clean” from a bacteria standpoint with the process but how does one clean it from sweaty people jumping in? That’s the one part that sounds unpleasant to me.

  20. I feel like this is the perfect solution for my small/close to town lot. Is there a checklist to use when trying to recruit the various contractors needed? I wouldn’t know where to begin/what to ask for.

    1. Hi Kaylee! We have an amazing customer success team who can help you with these questions and more. Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your potential project with us!

  21. I’m just here to say that the exterior of the house looks so, so pretty! The window, the color, the porch and the steps. All pretty!

  22. I love the landscaping content, and I can’t wait to see your backyard come together – it’s going to be beautiful!

  23. Add in that the pool weighs something around 20,000lbs and was trucked from the East coast, there is nothing environmentally friendly about this pool. Seems something similar could have been done by a local pool company who would know how to suit the pool for the PNW including local regulations.

  24. Not true. Most areas require either a non climbable perimeter fence OR a safety cover. If you have the lockable safety cover you don’t have to have the fence. If you don’t have a safety cover you’d have to have a fence/surround or pool cage. Some people do both.

  25. I love this! I think the size is perfect. I’ll look great with the natural landscape around it.

  26. Emily, I am curious did you look into other plunge pool companies? There are a few. Curious your thoughts on the others if you did, and what made you choose soake over the others. I have been looking at Plungie who started in Australia.

  27. Just here to say your home looks beautiful. I think this is the first time I’m seeing it zoomed out from this angle, and it’s just so gorgeous! The windows! The little porch! Can’t wait to see it with all the landscaping, too!!

  28. I’m pretty sure her heat pump has a gas fired back up, so the infrastructure was already there.

    Focusing on the big sources of energy use, like HVAC, is going to have the greatest amount of environmental impact in Emily’s home. While we all need to do as much as we can, very few of us have zero carbon footprints, and I think worrying about small household decisions takes our attention away from the biggest problems, which is industrial scale polluters.

  29. Having lived in two properties with a pool, I wouldn’t choose to have a pool again, in fact it would be a deal-breaker in a property purchase. Cleaning, chemicals, upkeep, etc. But I live 15 mins from the beach, so there’s that.
    I’d have loved to see alternative heating choices, like solar panels, even heat pump, planned for part of the roof of the nearby greenhouse or cabana as forward-planning, big picture scheme.
    Those nature-pools are amazing, with a self-cleaning, nature-based, closed system, driven by plants!
    Important to know that salt water pools effectively turn salt into chlorine which mimics estrogen and is chaos for the peri- and menopausal.
    As an Australian, it’s scary to think of any pool without child-safe fencing. The codes here are really strict.
    It’s sure to be a stylish, beautiful feature, complete with stunning landscaping.

    1. I would like to know your source for the claim that salt water pools turn salt into chlorine, and that chlorine mimics estrogen.

      1. Google away … …

        “Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt (1000–36,000 ppm or 1–36 g/L) for the chlorination of swimming pools and hot tubs. The chlorine generator (also known as salt cell, salt generator, salt chlorinator, or SWG) uses electrolysis in the presence of dissolved salt to produce chlorine gas or its dissolved forms, hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite, which are already commonly used as sanitizing agents in pools. Hydrogen is produced as byproduct too.”

      2. In addition, through learnings via my best friend’s breast cancer journey and her oncologist’s advice to avoid swimming pools, including salt pools; her breast cancer ‘grows’ on estrogen.
        The list of xenoestrogens is vast: bleach, makeup products, PBAs……

        1. OK, thanks. I see on the Soake site that the pool uses a salt chlorine generator. Since all pools like this require chlorine, I’ll leave that decision up to Emily. I think “natural medicine” is open to interpretation and criticism depending on who you ask. I am not prepared to agree that being in a pool with chlorine will alter a woman’s hormones unless I see it on a site such as the Mayo Clinic. None of my oncologists ever mentioned avoiding pools.

  30. I will tell you from experience that a pool as small as that will not be very cool in the hot summer. The water will be pretty darn warm. Our pool is 16 x 32 but the deepest is 5 feet and when it is 90+ degrees outside regularly the water is usually in the mid-to upper 80s. I’m not trying to dissuade you, just wanted you to go in with your eyes open.

    1. I wonder if their area just doesn’t get that warm, or if the pool will be shaded and that will help?

    2. Hi Jen! We’re so glad you asked. Because these pools are small and deep, and because they are insulated, they stay very cool and, in fact, most of our clients actually need to heat them a smidge in the summer to take the chill off. The cover also keeps the heat out when the pool is not in use.

    3. We love when our pool is around 90F and our weather gets in the 100’s in the peak of the summer. We installed solar heating as it extends our pool season by 1 month on each end. Plus it is amazing to swim at 11pm under the stars with very warm water.

  31. This really isn’t a comment on Emily’s pool (which looks like it will be lovely and easier to care for than a big pool), but on pools in general. I live in Long Island, where its only pool weather about 3 months of the year, and most yards are pretty small. When we moved here 10 years ago I was surprised by the number of backyard pools – some of which take up the entire yard. But recently, pool installation has exploded! I’m sure quarantine has a lot to do with it, but I’m amazed that so many people find the expense and space usage worth it (and as far as I can tell they really do find it worth it).

  32. I’m so excited to see this unfold. I’m in the Grosse Pointes and we have a community pool, which we adore. But this small soake version that fits your vision for the landscaping and family use is lovely. Can’t wait to see it all come together!

  33. I’m so excited about this option! I didn’t know it existed before you mentioned it awhile back and I think it could really work for our family! So if we were remodeling a house and yard pretty extensively- or even doing a new build- what would be the best time to bring them in on planning etc?

    Thanks for all this info! It’s really helpful!

  34. My parents have 2 acres in the city. And summers are humid & hot. I bought them an inflatable 8’ pool which got a lot of use. My kids were in & out of it all day long. We put it up every summer. All to say that small is still good for kids who like to play in the water! And your Soake pool will look a heck of a lot more beautiful (& can’t get punctured). I hope you have many happy summers playing in it.

  35. When covid started we decided to get an above ground pool for our tiny backyard. What we soon found is only on the hottest days (made a weeks worth) the pool was actually warm enough for the kids to want to use. That lead us to heating it and the kids love it and use it all the time. They play in it for hours. It is slightly larger as it is 14ft. around but we have had 6-8 kids in it numerous times and I’m sure we could add a couple more. The children are also older than Emily’s 10-12. Of course they play in it and don’t swim but they seem to like it just as much. It also gets used in the winter and they seem to love it even more. I would argue because of our mild climate and the small size of the Soake pool Emily could easily offset the environmental impact. In the rainy season it could reduce the shuttling too and from places to keep the kids entertained. In the summer to cool off instead of using air conditioning. We use our AGP just as Emily intends to use hers and the kids love it

  36. Not really about the pool in the post, but one of our city pools here in Minneapolis is a natural swimming pool that RULES! It’s gorgeous and alive and we love visiting in the summer, though we also have multiple city lakes to swim in. If you’re in Minneapolis or visit in the summer, check it out! I looked it up to add the link and it might be the only public natural pool in the u.s.? It’s a gem, for sure.

  37. I’d be curious to know how much it costs to heat the pool in the winter so that it’s a hot tub?

    We inherited a hot tub when we bought our house and never in a million years would have bought one. It’s the most enormous pain in the butt to own – sorta like an old boat – but I don’t know that we can live without one now. In the winter it is SO flipping great, especially since we’re nestled at the foothills of the Rockies in Colorado. All of that said…we pay about $60-$80 a month to heat ours. It’s not backbreaking, but I’m wondering how much something like a Soake pool costs to heat.

  38. I grew up with a pool (in MN where we could only use it 12 weeks per year) and now I’m in California and put in a small pool+hot tub (I.e., no diving) when our kids were 1 and 3. Our kids are now 9 and 11 and we still use the pool or hot tub most weeks and LOVE our small pool. We have an electric safety cover too. Your family will LOVE this! Enjoy!!!

  39. We had a similarly sized smaller pool in a previous house and it was wonderful. Now have a substantially larger pool and it’s also wonderful. My children have been happy to get wet & play in all sizes of pool; they have no minimum size requirement. ALL pools (even natural filtration) are annoying to own and require maintenance. You either want it or you don’t!

  40. Emily, this is PERFECT for the PNW. Such a cool idea, especially when you only use it for 4 months a year. We live in NorCal and sit outside on the deck only between May and October, and even then we need a fire pit for most afternoons/nights.

  41. Soake Pools are here in NH! My husband had one of the owners’ daughters as a student years ago (he’s a high school teacher) and they are the nicest family. We’ve been dreaming about getting one of these pools ourselves — enjoy!

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