There are a lot of decisions in designing a pool. 

We simplify this for you by making you aware of your options for key features along with our recommendations. We will make you aware of options to the level of detail you wish. The following is a brief overview of some of these considerations.

Pool shape & key features

Determining a pool shape is the next decision after deciding on the type of pool … concrete or vinyl-lined. There are hundreds of pools shown in the Photo Gallery to help you determine what you like and what will work with your backyard and home setting.

For Gib-San to custom design a pool for you we need to understand your likes, lifestyle, and yard limitations. Will it be a formal or natural pool, a rectangular or free-form shape? What type of entry steps? Will it have a waterfalls or fountains? All these features impact the shape and sense of formality of the pool.

Water & pool features

Every Gib-San pool is unique. Choose from a wide array of options for your pool, from easy-access steps to special water features such as waterfalls, fountains, and vanishing edges that not only please the eye but create music with the soothing sound of water.

Jumping rocks add enjoyment – Large stone slabs have virtually replaced diving boards and slides because of better aesthetics and safety.


Pool steps are more than just a point of entry – Even vinyl lined pools can have steps that provide more lounging area with massage jets and a play area for small children. A Gib-San consultant will help choose these options.

Coping options – A wide variety of materials come into play for custom concrete pools. Coping for vinyl-lined pools has changed also with a multi-track option for attaching a winter cover and also colour options of grey or white.

Vinyl liner patternIf you are getting a vinyl-lined pool you have a wide variety of liner patterns to choose from. Refer to the “Pool Types – Vinyl Lined Patterns” section.

Pool equipment & accessories

Equipment selection by Gib-San – Pool equipment technology has advanced significantly to automate many pool operations and provide greater energy efficiency, while optimizing healthy sparkling water.

Primary operating system- The pump and filter specifications are matched to your pool’s requirements. This may vary depending on specific pool requirements.

  • We favour cartridge filtration because it has much finer filtering than sand filtration, and does not require backwashing.
  • A variable-speed pump is our preference for both energy efficiency and quietness.
  • An energy efficient heater is always recommended as part of the equipment package for maximizing the season and your comfort.

Water management systems – The latest technology for sanitizing pools often combines a UV or Ozone system with a chlorine or bromine dispensing system. We will advise you of the pros and cons for your specific pool. We do not recommend salt pool chlorine generating systems on new pools now, but we will service existing systems.

Operations Control Systems automate and simplify operations and can make most functions remote-controllable from inside the house. In fact, we can install a system that allows you to control your pool operation from outside the country or for us to monitor for you.

Pool cleaning options simplify maintenance as well – from suction and powered systems to complete in-floor cleaning systems where water jets pop up from the floor to direct the dirt to the drain.

Automatic covers provide year-round function with push button convenience. In the summer it stops evaporation to reduce both water and heat loss, while providing more safety. In the winter it is a winter cover, keeping debris out of the pool while providing more safety for children and pets.

Seasonal winter covers – A Gib-San consultant can advise you on the merits of the two cover options that are available.


  • Winter safety cover stretches across the pool like a custom trampoline virtually eliminating the need to remove water-soaked leaves. It looks better and provides more safety, even for pets, all winter long.
  • The traditional winter cover sits on the pool water and is held in place by the coping track or by water bags. This is an economical option.

Fitness accessories – Volleyball and basketball net systems add hours of family fun and can be set into the decking with easy setup and removal options.


Entry-assist support railings – Customized pool-entry areas and railings can be added for seniors and rehabilitation exercising.

In-pool lighting co-ordinated with garden lighting – Lighting enhances both the beauty and safety of your backyard setting. Choose from bold white to mood-shifting colour-sequencing LED lighting to enhance any entertaining mood.


Select fencing for safety, privacy, and aesthetics – Fencing must meet certain safety standards to restrict access from outside the backyard, and in Toronto from the house to the pool as well. Gib-San design and build consultants will advise you on the specifics for your backyard situation.


  • To see a variety of fencing options refer to the “Photo Gallery – Yard Accessories – Fencing” section. It shows you a wide variety of materials and appearances available that will greatly enhance the beauty of your backyard environment while providing privacy at the same time.
  • Removable pool-barrier fencing that restricts young children and pets from accessing the pool from the general backyard area is also available. This can easily be removed for social events, however it should be noted that a fence is no substitution for adult supervision of children when they are around a pool.



Most regulations are community specific. We will advise you of regulations for your specific community. The following are two regulations specific to Toronto.

Toronto fencing by-law – The by-laws regulating fencing of the pool area were significantly revised in 2008. For details, click here [PDF]

Toronto water disposal by-law – The by-laws regulating the discharge of pool and spa water into storm sewers places significant restrictions and potential fines for doing so. This impacts those with salt water pools. For details, click here.