What is a Pool House?


In the 1930s, movie stars began to have private pools at their Hollywood homes. Typically, this small structure was called a cabana. Many pool houses were designed to match the main residence’s architecture. A pool house’s primary purpose was to provide a private area near the pool for guests or friends to use to change into swimsuits, take a shower, have a drink, and enjoy the company of others.

Different types of pool houses

A pool house is a great way to make pool ownership more fun. It puts everything within easy reach or just a few steps of the pool. You can have everything from a small shed to a large guest house. The size of your pool house will depend on how much space you have, what amenities you want, and how much money you have. However, the average size is between 100 square feet and 800 square feet.

A guest house

A pool house that serves as a guesthouse will usually have the standard amenities of a home that guests can use, including a kitchen, bathroom and living area. A guest pool house can be transformed by homeowners into an entertainment space with an open patio in front. This could have a pergola, solid roof or shade cover. This type of guesthouse can be made even more appealing by adding an outdoor kitchen or a living area around a fireplace.


Your pool paraphernalia may have outgrown its space in a shed, garage, or deck box. Although pool houses are attractive options for storing your spa and pool equipment, they can also be unsightly and difficult to see. Larger pools houses have enclosed storage areas for various pool toys and other maintenance supplies. It can also be used to store pumps, filters and other important pool equipment if it is large enough. For smaller structures, it might be useful to have a small storage area at the back or side of the pool house.


A pool house can be used as a multi-purpose space, with a bathroom and changing area. If you don’t want water to get into your main house, a separate playroom-style poolhouse is ideal. To keep your pool house’s wet towels and clothes dry, you can add a washer and dryer to the playroom.

How to Choose a Type of Pool House

Although a pool house is considered a luxury, it can often be used as a functional space. How do you determine if you have the right type of pool house? These are some questions to consider:

  • Are you interested in running utilities in a poolhouse?
  • Are you interested in insulating your pool house?
  • How big a pool house can you put on your property?
  • Who will use the pool house?
  • What type of pool house style do you want?
  • Are you able to afford a prefab or custom pool house?

Construction Plans

A building permit is required for any pool house project in most areas. This can usually be obtained from your local county or city government office. The new outdoor structure must comply with local zoning ordinances. Some areas allow small structures of 120 square feet or less. However, they must not require utilities hookups. A “habitable” structure is one that has electricity and plumbing. It is subject to the same regulations as other residential buildings.

Zoning Laws

Permanent structures are subject to zoning laws. Local zoning laws may limit the distance that a house can be from the edge of the pool. This is important for safety and ease of use. Imagine stepping out from the pool house’s door and looking around the yard before accidentally landing in the pool. There are many good reasons for ordinances and building commissioners being in place.

Other names for pool houses

A pool house may be called many different names depending on where it is located or how the building sounds.

  • Cabana
  • Casita
  • Detached guesthouse
  • Guest cottage
  • Pavilion
  • Villa

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