If you are considering a backyard pool, then there are two main things you need to consider: the materials used in the construction and the design. The design of the pool will be up to your aesthetic sensibilities. However, depending on where you live, you might be restricted with regards to materials.
Here's an overview of the three main types of materials used.
This is the cheapest option. These pools are sold as packages. They come with wall components, support beams, and the vinyl liner. You purchase the components and the contractor digs a hole that they will fit into.
The downside is that they are not very strong. Additionally, will have to make do with what the pre-designed factory selections. You cannot create a completely custom look.
Think of a fiberglass pool as a gigantic tub. They are one solid piece. Unlike vinyl, there is no "building" of a pool in your backyard. Instead, the fiberglass shell is purchased and a hole is dug. The fiberglass shell is then dropped into the hole.
The benefit to these pools is they are installed extremely quickly. Also, they are stronger then vinyl. They won't tear or rip like vinyl.
The downside, however, is that they are not suitable for areas where there are extreme temperatures. The fiberglass can expand and contract which can unsettle the stability. In some extreme cases it can cause the pool to crack.
These are pools are built using rebar and poured concrete.
The advantage is that they allow you to create any shape, depth, or design you like. They are the definition of custom. You can consult an architect to create the pool of your dreams. You can even add beautiful tiles to the bottom.
The downside is that these pools are not particularly suited for cold weather. The concrete can crack during a freeze. Additionally, a concrete installation will take longer than a vinyl or fiberglass installation.
What is the purpose of your pool? Do you want to exercise? Are you looking to throw pool parties?
If you have a small property, and your main reason for installing a swimming pool is to swim and get exercise, then consider a lap pool. These are rectangular in shape and are primarily designed for swimming.
Kidney Shape Pool
If you want to lounge around on a float, or throw big pool parties, then you should look at the kidney shape. This is a popular design, so you will find both a good selection of vinyl and fiberglass options. It can hold more people than a lap pool.
For more information, contact a pool builder in your area.