The first thing to consider is space, size and depth. An experienced pool contractor will be able to advise you on what considerations you need to make before taking on this huge investment. You can choose to design and build a salt-water pool or a traditional chlorine pool. Both pools have chlorine in the water, but the difference is that the salt water pool actually gets the chlorine from the salt NaCl (Sodium Chloride). If you are worried about the environment you may want to consider, Ionization Plus Oxygen methods, which do not have any chemical additives to the water. The equipment is different and you need to take that into consideration also. There are several types of pools to consider, indoor/outdoor, above ground or in ground. The in ground type have either a concrete, fiberglass or vinyl liner. Obviously the concrete is going to be the most durable, however the fiberglass and vinyl have improved over the years. The concrete liner may require minor maintenance over the years, however the vinyl and or fiberglass could require entire removal and replacement if there are any problems. This can be a very costly venture. Your pool contractor can help advise you on the design, location, type of equipment needed, water falls, fountains, cascades and landscaping. Before you meet with your pool professional be sure to look at different styles of pools. Do you want a traditional dimension or are you looking for more of a free form style. Remember that in the design phase everything needs to be considered including, location, size, depth, type of liner, pool equipment location, deck, landscaping, etc. etc. There are so many add on features that can be designed in the initial phase, if they are added on later they may cost you a lot more. So, do look around and have an idea of what you want when you sit down with your pool professional.