A pool house can be anything from a small pool storage cupboard for chemicals and equipment to a fully-equipped guest cottage. Personal desires and budget considerations will guide your choices.
Most kinds of poolside buildings combine both entertainment and storage capabilities. With the ease and convenience of erecting prefabricated pool houses, many people have a pool house whether they have a pool or not.
Pool cabanas are traditionally simple changing rooms. From such basic functionality, however, other amenities can be added. The most obvious is plumbing, which would offer pool users shower and toilet facilities outside the main house. Once plumbing is added, it is a simple step to add a small kitchen, which can double as an outdoor bar for entertaining.
With only a bit more space there is room for a Murphy bed, daybed or sofa-sleeper, making the structure into a small, practical guest house. Such a building could also make a great children's play area to get them out of the house, but still under a roof, on a rainy day. Simpler pool houses may also be used to enclose hot tubs and spas. Many people enjoy these amenities and prefer to have them in an enclosed area rather than on an open deck.
Whether you want a one-room cabana or a multi-room pool house, there are many prefabricated models available, and there are also numerous pool house plans online for do-it-yourselfers. A number of pool house designs include stylistic elements such as a porch, a cupola, gables or trim, so your pool house can indeed resemble a little house. Of course, there is also the option of custom-designing your pool house — perhaps to make it a smaller replica of your own home?
Pool equipment storage is an ongoing problem for pool owners. A small pool shed can protect and organize everything from toys to chemicals to outdoor furniture. Of course, since most of the storage requirements occur during the off-season, you could have a pool shed that doubles as an outdoor bar or bathroom in the summer and a storage unit during the colder months. Just make sure the chemicals, at least, are stored away from areas commonly used by people, especially for eating or drinking.