Pool Patio and Coping Options

Pool Patio 101

 On this page we’re going to discuss patio coping options.  If you are unsure what coping is, it’s the area where the pool patio meets the pool edge.  In some of the pictures you’ll notice that certain pools have a separate border immediately around the pool, and some have the same material throughout the entire patio without a separate border.  These are different types of coping.  It’s important to understand this because as you look at inspiration photos throughout this page, and anywhere else for that matter, you will notice multiple combinations of copings and patio materials.  Understanding the distinction between coping and patio will help you better understand why you prefer one look to another.

How Much Patio Do I Need?

Typically speaking, most folks need between 600 and 900 square feet of patio around a pool…enough room for a table and chair set, some chase lounges, and enough to comfortably walk around the perimeter of the pool.  If you’re planning to install the pool next to an existing patio or deck, you can probably get by with less.  If you’re planning to accommodate large groups of people, or incorporate other elements such as an outdoor kitchen or fire pit you’ll likely need more.

“We just wanted to thank you for far exceeding our expectations with our new pool. The pool itself is absolutely gorgeous and everyone associated with River Pools has been professional.” Mr. and Mrs. Scott Hawley, Mechanicsville, VA More Client Testimonials

Pool Patio and Coping Options



When trying to adhere to a budget like everyone does, it’s important to follow the principle of consolidation.  We simply mean that you want to put as much patio as possible in your congregating areas, and only enough everywhere else to be functional and aethstetically pleasing.

For example, let’s say your budget allows for 800 square feet of patio around the pool.  The very worst use of that space would be to evenly distribute 8′ of patio around the entire pool.  Why? Because you would be without any single place to congregate and have more area than you need around much of the pool.

The best use of that space would be to consolidate as much of that 800′ into one or two areas as possible.  You may have 12′ of patio along one side of the pool and have 8′ on the shallow end, and three or four feet on the other two sides.  Or you could have 16′ on one end and 4′ or 5′ around the segmental_block_retaining_walls_2-resized-600rest of the pool….you get the idea.  This is a much better us of your money and space.

Make Sure You Get Enough Patio…or Plan to Add-On in the Future

With that being said, it’s important to note that the most common mistake new pool owners make is that they do not get enough patio when they initially get the pool.  So it’s important to make the best use of your patio through proper design, but it’s also important to make sure that you are getting enough patio to meet your needs.  Many clients find it

beneficial to implement their total backyard design in phases.  If this is planned right, it allows them to have the pool installed so it meets their needs for a season.  Then they implement the next phase later which adds more patio, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, etc.

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