Water flows downhill, which is a bit of a challenge when you want a backyard swimming pool but live on a hill. Fortunately, with the right design and careful construction, it is possible to build a swimming pool anywhere!

Here are three award-winning examples of how to solve the problem of a swimming pool on a hill.

Excavate and Regrade

Use heavy equipment to carve away from your hill to create a wide open space to install your pool. It will be necessary to install a retaining wall to keep the remaining hill from backsliding into your new pool – but we can help with that too.

In this Multi-Level Backyard, the hill was carefully excavated to preserve an established oak tree. Now the swimming pool is surrounded by a natural oasis, enhanced by the dramatic boulder retaining wall.

Multi-Level Backyard Fun

Designers and crews had to carve out a portion of a hill to create a level space for a swimming pool and hot tub in this backyard.

Go Small

If extreme earthwork is beyond the scope of your project, installing a smaller pool can be a low-impact alternative.

In this No-Mow Forest Backyard, several patio areas were integrated into the hillside without totally regrading the yard. Nestled into one of these terraces is a plunge pool, a small shallow pool built for lounging, wading, and cooling off. Some homeowners prefer them because of their lower costs to build, smaller sizes, easier maintenance, and reduced water requirements.

No-Mow Forest Backyard

This backyard blends modern and natural elements together to create a low-maintenance outdoor living space with a plunge pool, terraced patios, a fire table, water feature, and a outdoor great room.

Install a retaining wall and back fill

With this project, there was an 8’ drop in elevation from the back door to the property line. To create a level area for the patio and pool deck, it was necessary to install a boulder retaining wall and back fill the space between the wall and the back door. This wall is 30-36” (which only partially took care of the slope in the backyard) so there are steps on the other side of the pool.

This full-sized swimming pool uses a salt-water filtration system – perfect for those with sensitive skin. The pool is the centerpiece of a backyard design intended to bring together friends and family.

Classic Backyard & Swimming Pool

With amenities like a dining patio, fire table, and swimming pool, this landscape is ready for summer pool parties and fall evenings around the fire – or enjoying the hot tub.

Designing and building poolscapes is serious business, requiring real project management and construction expertise. If you are interested in installing a swimming pool in your sloping backyard, contact us for a consultation.

Like What You're Seeing?

Meet with a Landscape Designer or Architect

Your perfect outdoor living space begins with a simple conversation. Let’s talk about your landscaping project!

Schedule a Meeting

Keep Browsing

Other Recent Blog Articles

Tired of Turf?

If you are ready to try something different, these alternatives to sod require less water, less fertilizer, and less effort to maintain.

Southview Saves The Day

A client with a serious and very frustrating water problem asks Southview for help!


Thunderstorms can happen in any season, but June is usually the most active month. They can form in less than 30 minutes and last for hours. Typically, though, a thunderstorm lasts approximately 30 minutes and, on average, is roughly 15 miles wide.