Pool ledge with white in-pool chaise loungers
· Backyard Rennovation · In-Pool · Pool Design · Pool Ledge

How to Improve Your Poolside Experience by Adding a Baja Shelf to Your Existing Pool

Also known as a sun shelf, tanning ledge, or pool ledge, the baja shelf is a shallow section of a pool. It’s often placed either at the entry or as a rest spot in the deep end.


This popular feature is being included more and more often in pool designs, turning it into a must-have for any in-the-know pool owner. If your pool, however, doesn’t have a sun shelf, how can you enjoy this relaxation? Well, there may still be one option.


Can You Add a Tanning Ledge to an Existing Pool?


a woman lounging on a pool tanning ledge


Adding a Baja Shelf into the design of an existing pool can enhance your poolside experience, but is it actually possible?


Yes, it is. Many pool builders specialize in pool renovations and are well-equipped to add this feature to your existing structure.


However, the ease of this project can vary depending on the sort of pool that you have. If you have a vinyl pool, adding a tanning ledge will typically require you to replace the liner. For fiberglass pools, you may need completely new construction to add a ledge, which can be a more extensive undertaking. For pools made of gunite or concrete, the addition is generally more straightforward.


Whatever your situation, it’s worth discussing the possibilities with a pool builder. Their expertise can help guide you towards a solution for adding a baja shelf to your pool that aligns with your preferences and budget.


How Much Does It Cost to Add a Baja Shelf to an Existing Pool?


a man tiling the floor of a pool with mosaic


While the project may be possible for your pool, it’s essential to consider the costs as well. This will depend on several factors, including the type of pool you have and the type of ledge you’d like to install.


In general, these sorts of projects can range from as low as $2,000 to upwards of $20,000 or more. After consulting with a pool builder, you’ll have an estimate tailored to your specific situation. 


Adding a baja shelf to your existing pool can involve a considerable investment. But the memories made while relaxing on the sun shelf, watching your family play in the pool, make it all worthwhile.


Step-by-Step of Adding a Baja Shelf to an Existing Pool


Once you’ve made the decision to add a sun shelf to your pool, it’s time to get to work. With careful planning and skilled execution, you can soon have a new favorite place to soak up the sun. Follow along with these steps and see your poolside dream come to life.


collage of pool inspiration pictures from social media


1. Plan Your Design


This phase is all about crafting your vision and aligning it with your pool’s current design. Since you already have a pool, your design options are a bit more limited. Still, adding a pool ledge can be your chance to do something new.


Instead of using the same interior finish as the rest of the pool, you could make the new addition stand out with more distinctive materials like tile. You could even install new water features like bubblers or waterfalls. 


Gather inspiration from pool design magazines, social media, or even your friends’ pools. Having a clear vision and some ideas in mind will help you communicate your preferences to the pool builder.


a woman picking samples of material for her pool she is building


2. Consult With Pool Professionals


Before you meet with a pool builder, do your research. It’s important that you’ve got the right person for the job, for a smooth and successful project.


Seek out pool contractors with a strong background in pool renovations and a specific focus on constructing sun shelves. Check their portfolios and reviews for a strong track record in pool ledge projects.


Then, take some time to schedule consultations with prospective pool professionals. During these meetings, you can communicate your design ideas, preferences, and expectations. The pool builder will evaluate your pool’s existing structure, advise you on the most suitable materials, and present creative solutions. With your vision and their expertise, you can get some great results together.


empty swimming pool being renovated


3. Begin the Pool Renovation


With the design finalized and a trusted pool professional by your side, it’s time to see your pool renovation through to completion.


The pool builder will start by emptying out the pool. They will then install a steel frame, fill it in with gunite or shotcrete, and then apply your interior finish. The result will be a beautiful baja shelf that complements your existing pool and enhances your poolside experience to a whole new level.


Take Full Advantage of Your New Pool Ledge


A new baja shelf can easily transform any pool into an outdoor oasis. With its shallow, inviting waters, this addition invites you to unwind and create lasting memories with family and friends. Now, it’s time to take full advantage of your new pool ledge and make it your personal haven of relaxation.


When you’re ready to start your #LEDGELIFE, take a look at our collection of in-pool furniture and create your ideal scene.


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