Rooftop Pools: Design Ideas, Inspiration & Considerations

Written by Michael Dean
July 11, 2023

rooftop swimming pool

Rooftop swimming pools are the epitome of modern luxury. Whether you’re overlooking a beautiful cityscape or your own backyard, the right design can make or break the ambiance. So, below, I cover the pros and cons of rooftop pools, my favorite rooftop pool design ideas, and some installation and cost considerations. Let’s get into it.

Main Benefits

Let’s start off with the primary advantages of building a rooftop pool.

Cool Environment

Captain Obvious here – rooftop swimming pools are cool. When built with intention, rooftop pools can be a big attraction for apartment complexes, hotels, or your home.


Rooftop pools also offer privacy from the street if you’re building a pool at a new hotel or living facility. The last thing you want is your guests or tenants trying to enjoy themselves at the pool with a lot of foot traffic that is within shouting distance.

Watch Outs

While the benefits are pretty apparent, there are a lot of potential pitfalls if you’re thinking about building a rooftop pool.

Difficult to Build

First off, rooftop pools are very difficult to build for a few reasons.

Hauling materials and equipment to and from a rooftop is time-consuming, expensive, and dangerous.

You need to reinforce the structure around the pool to ensure that the pool doesn’t add too much stress to the building. More on that in a minute.

The builder will need to construct a double vessel around the pool, so that in the event of a leak, there is a failsafe barrier that prevents significant water damage to the building.

More Expensive

Because of how much more difficult rooftop pools are to build, they are generally more expensive to install. I’ll cover more information on costs later, but most clients should expect to pay upwards of $100,000 for initial installation.

Permits and Insurance

Rooftop pools come with a lot of permit and insurance requirements. Some HOAs and local municipalities may not even let you build one. I also recommend checking with your home insurance company to estimate the impact on your insurance premiums and find out if they cover property damage from potential leaks or structural issues.

Stress on the Structure

Speaking of the structure, a rooftop pool adds considerable stress to the building, whether it’s your home or a new commercial complex. You’ll need to reinforce it, as I mentioned above, and perform the proper regular maintenance checks to ensure you aren’t causing any long-term damage.

Alright, now that I’ve covered the pros and cons, let’s get into some design inspiration.

Rooftop Pool Design Ideas

This is a very classic rooftop swimming pool for apartment complexes and other commercial spaces.

Here is an example of a much more minimalistic design.

I like the silo structure for the workout center next to this pool that has a cool view of the city.

You can also construct more privacy features around your rooftop pool, like this one with some raised beds and planters.

This rooftop concept has a wider deck area for activities and lounging.

A lot of rooftop pools love the glass feature so that patrons don’t have their view obstructed.

Here’s a good angle of the glass wall feature again.

I like rooftop pools that open up to more entertaining areas of the structure.

Here is an example of a rooftop pool with a lot of natural privacy.

While not at the tippy top of the structure, this pool hangs over the edge of the building, creating a cool infinity feel.

Installing a Rooftop Pool

I covered most of the installation considerations in the pros and cons section above. The other advice I will offer is to make sure you hire a builder that specializes in rooftop pools or has a long track record of successfully installing them. Ask for references too! You also want to make sure that it is physically possible for you to build a rooftop pool on your structure.

Rooftop Pool Cost

The average cost of a rooftop pool is typically above $100,000. Most clients who want one installed have a big budget and want a lot of luxury features, which adds to the cost. As I mentioned above, you also need to consider additional costs for permits, materials and equipment transportation, structural reinforcements, and more. Structural changes alone can cost upwards of $20,000 for homeowners, depending on the updates you need to make.

Need Help Building Your Pool?

I offer design consulting services to help you build your ideal pool. I'll work with your contractor, create build-ready designs and specs, and much more.

That’s it for rooftop pools! Have questions? Let me know; always happy to help. For more design inspiration, head to my main page for pool design ideas.

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