Common problems associated with negative edge pools
Negative edge pools present a couple of challenges.
A negative edge pool is a pool with a “missing edge.” Basically the negative edge pool has a portion of its “rim” missing. The pool has a complete foundation and a continuous “side” all around, but there is some edge designed out of the perimeter. That’s so the water, when at the proper level, is right up to the very brim of the “missing edge” and a visual effect is staged. When standing “opposite” the negative edge, the eye sweeps out over the surface and “off” the negative edge to what lies beyond without “bumping into” a rim higher than the water level. The effect can be startling! And that’s part of the first problem.
Negative edge pools need a “background” or “backdrop” to be effective. Without something which the visual field can “blend into” beyond the surface of the pool to create the effect, the negative edge pool is a waste of money and effort. The problem being location. Where is the pool being built? On a (small) lot in a flat backyard? It is almost impossible to get a “good effect” from that location. A “regular” pool would work well here, but not the negative edge pool. At least not for the visual effect. The effect sought would be out of reach owing to the “terrain” of the lot. If you haven’t seen any pictures of a negative edge pool, look now. And imagine trying to build something like that on flat ground in a tract. No terrain advantage, no effect.
The other problem with the negative edge pool is shared by other pools, but is an “effect killer” for our negative edge pool. Pools need security, they need to be secured or fenced in. A fence is critical. The negative edge pool is beautiful, but it may be a poor choice for families with young children. For the pool’s visual effects to work properly, fencing should not interrupt sight access to the pool. However, properly fencing any pool in a house with young children is strongly recommended so that children cannot get into the pool without the help of an adult. If the kids are not grown up yet, consider constructing a pool that can later be modified to include a negative edge.
The negative edge pool can be a stunningly dramatic construct, particularly if there is a body of water “behind” the negative edge itself so the visual field can stretch out in almost uninterrupted fashion. But without terrain, without geographic cooperation, it is somewhere between difficult and impossible to get the effect. And fencing it is also difficult to impossible without breaking the illusion being sought. The negative edge pool is really cool, even stunning under the right circumstances. But broad consideration must be given to the selection of one of these architectural beauties.