Swim Up Swimming Pool Bar

Swim Up Bars and Sunken Structures

Swim Up Bars and Sunken Structures

If your family is craving a reprieve from the relentless Arizona sun, consider a shade structure over a swim-up bar

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that was certainly the case when California Pools & Landscape came up with the idea of designing sunken shade structures over swim up bars.

“Our development of these features began when a client’s Homeowner’s Association requirements placed a limit on how high a Ramada, or shade structure, could be in their backyard,” says Mike Smith, Founder of California Pools & Landscape. “Well, what do you do if you want a shade structure that covers an outdoor kitchen and TV or man cave area, but you aren’t allowed to have the structure higher than your fence? You lower the floor!”

The Sky’s (Almost) the Limit

When it comes to designing your ultimate backyard, there’s plenty of options to consider: a pool and spa, an outdoor kitchen for hosting cookouts and parties, a grassy area for games and sports, a baja shelf for shallow-water lounging, a swim-up bar for grabbing a drink and chilling out, a sitting area with a TV and fireplace, and more. After all, why travel to a crowded resort when you can have a private oasis right in your own backyard?

There is, however, one non-negotiable backyard feature every Arizonan can agree on: Shade. So California Pools started building sunken shade structures, where homeowners simply step down into their outdoor living area.

“It was natural to slide the lowered structure up next to the pool,” says Smith. “A tiled or stone-covered wall between the outdoor living area and the pool provides the perfect place for a sport or movie enthusiast to sit in the water and enjoy the entertainment while sipping a cold beverage.”

Full-Service, Licensed Builders

As you might expect, the more special features you include in your backyard design, the more complicated the project. After all, making it look seamless means a lot of specialized work behind the scenes and underground.

“We have 30 years of experience handling the engineering, special permits, unique construction processes, and designs required for these larger projects,” says Smith. “In fact, we are likely a client’s only choice if they want a fully licensed engineering firm, general contractor, pool builder, and landscape architect for their job. And we offer all of those services at no extra cost.”

Smith explains that the pool-related pieces of this project are typically very affordable, such as underwater tiled stools and a tiled bar top. “But the primary cost is in the structure, which can vary considerably,” he says. “Do you want a full kitchen? Electronics? Lights? Tile roof? Stone and tile finishes? Our designers are construction and budget experts and can guide and assist any client through this process.”

Filter Categories
What's Hot
  • 6 Steps to Virtually Design Your Backyard
    6 Steps to Designing Your Ultimate Backyard Online
    Yes, you can design your next backyard project 100% virtually. All you need to know are these six easy steps to virtually design your pool, landscape, or backyard transformation...
  • Modern pool
    Modern Desert Beauty
    This incredible backyard was designed to accentuate the home’s dramatic lines and blend seamlessly into the surrounding desert landscape, all while paying homage to the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright...
  • Cal Pool Dream Book App
    Dream On: The Next Generation Dream Book App is Here!
    Our Dreambook App is your gateway to the backyard of your dreams! Good news: we have recently upgraded the app to make your experience even better. Make sure to...
  • scottsdale swimming pool video cover
    Video Gallery
      You know California Pools as your premier destination for Arizona’s ultimate backyards. But did you know we are about more than just backyards? Here at California Pools & Landscapes,...


Make this summer one to remember – with a backyard oasis perfect for your summer escape. We’re offering March specials on travertine, decking, cleaning systems, landscaping, and more! Plus, deals on complete pool remodels –everything you need to transform your backyard into the ultimate getaway.

As Arizona’s premier outdoor builder, we bring the good times home. Build now to swim all summer long, and make it one for the books!

Meet with our world-class designers and create the outdoor space of your dreams. Our specialty is bringing your family’s backyard vision to life. Request an estimate and set your summer dreams in motion!