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Building an Oasis: Ottawa Custom Pools

When it comes to creating a backyard retreat that truly stands out, the addition of custom pools and stunning water features can make all the difference in your Ottawa outdoor living spaces. These elements not only add a touch of elegance and relaxation to the surroundings but also increase the overall value of the property. With the right design and careful planning, a pool can become the centerpiece of a luxurious backyard oasis. 

Your Ottawa Custom Pool Project Checklist 

We want to highlight the steps needed in your backyard renovation, from planning your custom pool to choosing landscaping, additional water features, ambient lighting and hardscape construction, as well as what to look for in a reputable, local company to take on the project. 

Let’s get started: 

The Role of Custom Pools and Water Features

Whether you’re looking for a custom pool to entertain neighbours and friends or a water feature, like a pond or waterfall that allows you to rest and relax in your tranquil outdoor living space, pools and their added features work as a focal point of a beautiful yard. These features allow for elegance and activity. Having a custom pool project completed can completely change how you use your space. 

Types of Pools and Water Features 

Before you choose which company you’re going to work with, is impotant to know different pool types and water features. How they work in outdoor spaces and which ones may work with your backyard layout. 

Pool Types

  • Infinity Pools: Characterized by their disappearing edge design, infinity pools create a visual effect of water extending to the horizon. Perfect for properties with scenic views.
  • Natural Pools: Designed to mimic ponds and natural bodies of water, natural pools use plants and natural filtration systems to keep the water clean, blending seamlessly into the landscape.
  • Lap Pools: Ideal for narrow spaces, lap pools are for exercise with a straight, long design that facilitates swimming laps at home.
  • Plunge Pools: Small, deep pools designed for cooling off rather than swimming, perfect for smaller backyards.
  • Architectural Pools: Pools with a specific structure that matches the architecture of the house, focusing on geometric shapes and often incorporating sophisticated design elements.

Water Features

Fountains are available in various styles from classic to modern and can be a stand-alone feauture or built into a pool design. They add sound and movement to your outdoor spaces, adding tranquility. 

Waterfalls may be used to add a natural feel to a pool area. They can be unique in design ranging from natural rock designs to a sleek, modern addition. 

Ponds and streams can also bring in more natural landscape to your backyard, adding visually interest and sound as water moves through the property. 

Considerations Before Designing

Space Requirements

When planning a pool or water feature, taking into account the space available is crucial. Ensure that the dimensions of the pool or water feature are well-suited to the area you have to use. Positioning your custom pool in a way that allows the easy incorporation of heaters, audio, and lighting using existing utility connections. The custom pool setup should also allow for easy filling post-construction. 


Another consideration is the budget that you may have for your custom pool project. Most people focus on the initial cost of installing the pool and the total cost of an outdoor living space renovation, but it’s also important to consider the maintenace costs that come with a custom pool. 

Upfront costs may range drastically based on the type of pool, landscaping, hardscaping, patios and gazebos being added and the general scope creep that can occur in these large renovations. Choosing a company that does all aspects of the project, rather than having to hire multiple contractors allows you to have one cost for the project with less variances. 

Additional utility costs, chemicals, maintenance and upkeep should be considered as well. 


Maintaining a pool or water feature not only ensures it remains visually appealing but also extends the lifespan and functionality of your custom pool or water feature. Regular and seasonal maintenance tasks are crucial for achieving this. 

Regular Upkeep

  • Cleaning: Skim debris from the water’s surface daily and vacuum the pool floor weekly to prevent sediment accumulation. For water features, remove leaves and debris to prevent clogging.
  • Water Quality Management: Test and balance the water pH, chlorine levels, and other chemicals regularly to maintain a safe and comfortable swimming environment. For natural pools and water features, monitor the health of the aquatic plants and the clarity of the water.
  • Filter and Pump Maintenance: Clean filters and check pumps regularly to ensure efficient operation. Replace or repair any worn parts to prevent malfunctions.
  • Checking for Leaks: Inspect the pool and water features for signs of leaks. Early detection and repair of leaks are essential to prevent water loss and structural damage.

Seasonal Adjustments

  • Winterizing: In colder climates, it’s important to winterize the pool by lowering the water level, draining the plumbing, and covering the pool to protect it from the elements. For water features, remove or protect sensitive components.
  • Spring Opening: Reverse the winterizing process by refilling the pool, reinstalling the pump and filter, and rebalancing the water chemistry. For water features, clean thoroughly before restarting the system.
  • Algae Prevention: During warmer months, algae growth can become a problem. Regular cleaning, water treatment, and maintaining proper circulation can prevent algae buildup.

Landscaping and Beyond

Landscaping around your pool and water features not only enhances aesthetic appeal but also integrates these water elements seamlessly into the outdoor space. 

Incorporating natural stones, pebbles, and rocks to craft pathways, borders, and decorative accents around the pool and water features can enhance the outdoor space’s visual appeal. 

Hardscaping elements not only define different areas and add texture but also beautifully complement the water elements’ natural beauty. When designing the landscape, creating distinct zones for lounging, dining, and swimming is important to define the space. 

Consider the flow of movement throughout the space, ensuring easy access and a connection between the various sections of the space. A seamless blend of the pool and water features with the surrounding landscape fosters a more natural and cohesive appearance. By aligning with the land’s natural contours and utilizing indigenous plants and materials, the design gives the impression that it has always been a part of the landscape, enhancing the overall harmony of the space.

Furniture and Accessories

The right furniture and accessories can transform your pool area and surrounding landscape into a functional and stylish retreat.

Weather-resistant outdoor furniture that harmonizes with the style of your pool and landscape creates a comfortable and inviting outdoor space. Durable materials like teak, wicker, metal, and UV-resistant fabrics to ensure your furniture withstands the seasons while maintaining its beauty over time. Lounge chairs for sunbathing, outdoor sofas for unwinding, and dining sets for enjoying al fresco meals can transform your backyard into a versatile retreat. 

To further enhance the comfort and beauty of your oasis, consider adding accessories such as outdoor rugs, cushions, and umbrellas, which introduce color, texture, and personality. Additionally, incorporating functional accessories like poolside showers, towel racks, and storage solutions will keep the area organized and convenient, ensuring everything you need is within reach for an enjoyable outdoor experience.

Lighting Your Oasis

Proper lighting is essential for both aesthetics and safety, creating an inviting atmosphere that extends the usability of your outdoor space into the evening.

Soft, ambient lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood and highlighting the landscape’s key features, with solar-powered lights, lanterns, and LED strip lighting creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere along pathways and around the pool. For functionality and safety, especially after dark, brighter task lighting is essential in areas designated for cooking and dining. Accent lighting, including spotlights, underwater pool lights, and feature lights, adds a dramatic flair to architectural elements, plants, and water features, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of your backyard oasis even at night. Additionally, safety lighting is imperative to illuminate steps, edges, and other potential hazards, ensuring all lighting is waterproof and safely installed to prevent accidents, particularly in areas near water.

Combining these elements thoughtfully can dramatically enhance the enjoyment and value of your backyard, creating a cohesive and inviting oasis that appeals to all the senses.

Choosing the Right Landscape Construction Company 

Choosing the right company to bring your backyard oasis to life is a critical decision that can influence the outcome and satisfaction with your pool or water feature project. Here are detailed considerations to guide you through the process:

Reputation and Experience

Research Online Reviews: Start by looking at online reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and specialized home improvement sites. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to gauge overall satisfaction.

Ask for References: A reputable company should be able to provide references from previous clients. Reach out to these references to ask about their experience, particularly focusing on the company’s communication, timeliness, and problem-solving abilities.

Experience in Similar Projects: Look for a company with a proven track record in projects similar to yours. Experience with your desired pool type, materials, and design aesthetics is crucial for achieving the best outcome.


Review Their Portfolio: A strong portfolio of completed projects is a good indicator of a company’s capabilities and style. Assess the quality of work and see if it aligns with what you envision for your backyard.

Licenses, Certifications, and Insurance

Verify Licenses: Ensure the company holds all necessary local and state licenses to perform construction work. This is a basic indicator of their legitimacy and expertise.

Check for Certifications: Certifications from industry organizations can indicate a higher level of professionalism and knowledge.

Insurance Coverage The company should have liability insurance and workers’ compensation to protect you from any potential liabilities in case of accidents during the construction process.

Understanding Your Vision

Initial Consultation: The company should be willing to listen to your ideas and provide feedback based on their expertise. A good partner will help refine your vision, not overwrite it.

Design Process: Understand how the company approaches the design process. Do they provide detailed plans and realistic 3D renderings? A clear design process helps ensure your vision is accurately translated into reality.

Estimates and Timelines

Clear, Detailed Estimates: Request a detailed estimate that breaks down the costs of materials, labor, and any other expenses. Transparency in pricing helps avoid surprises later on.

Realistic Timelines: Discuss timelines upfront. A reliable company will provide a realistic timeline for completing your project, including contingencies for unforeseen delays.

Aftercare Services

Warranty & Support: Inquire about the warranty on workmanship and materials. Knowing you have support after the project is completed provides peace of mind.

Maintenance Services: Some companies offer ongoing maintenance services for pools and water features. This can be a valuable addition to ensure your new oasis continues to look and function beautifully.

Taking the time to carefully select a landscape construction company based on these criteria will help ensure a successful project that meets your expectations and enhances your outdoor living space for years to come.

In conclusion, creating your backyard oasis with custom pools, water features, and the perfect blend of landscaping, furniture, and lighting can transform your outdoor space into a personal retreat. At Top Grade Enterprises, we understand the importance of every detail in making your dream backyard a reality.

When you’re ready to take the next step in creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space, Top Grade Enterprises offers a wealth of resources and services tailored to your unique needs. Contact us directly to explore how we can assist in making your backyard dreams come true.