Do you dream of having an in-ground swimming pool of your very own? Great, read this post! Owning a pool is more affordable and, therefore, more attainable than ever! There’s a ton of options to fit every budget. Some in-ground pools require such low maintenance that you can spend less money on your dream pool and spend more time enjoying it!
First things first, as the preparation phase is the most important part. Take a look at the questions below you need to answer for yourself before starting your journey toward owning a pool. Don’t stress though, because your professional pool contractor will be able to assist you through the design process and provide the expertise you need along the way.
A Pool’s Purpose
Why do I want a swimming pool in the first place and who will be using it?
There are some obvious reasons as to why you might want an in-ground swimming pool. Cooling off on a hot summer’s day or providing entertainment and exercise for your family are the most common. But this question should get a lot of attention.
Is your family young and growing? Will the pool be exclusively used by adults? Do you want to take advantage of all the healing properties water has to offer?
In short, is the pool for recreation, exercise, therapy or all three? Pools come in every shape and size. Whatever use you have in mind for it is important and its design can be fashioned to meet all of your needs.
Expert Tip: Regardless of the main goal, it may be best to plan for swimmers of all ages and allow for multiple activities. Consider including a shallow end for the young swimmers and a tanning ledge for the adults.
How big is my property and what is the topography like?
The answers to these questions are important. The available space and shape of your property will affect the size and location of your pool. Take a look at your property and get a sense of the space.
Don’t put a lot of stress on yourself to make the final decision immediately. An experienced pool contractor will be able to share ideas with you. Your pool contractor will take account of the architecture of your home and existing landscapes. They will find where gas, electrical, telephone, cable, sewer systems and water lines are located. With all of this information, your installer can help you make the best decision on the most suitable spot and shape for your pool.
As with any good design, form follows function. Think about how you will maximize sun exposure in the warmer months and how you will enjoy the pool year-round. You’ll be able to entertain in and enjoy the pool area, even if it’s too cold to swim. Also, it is best to aim to have the location of the pool based on visibility from within the house. With that kind of view, maybe cooking and cleaning up dinner isn’t such a chore after all!
Expert Tip: Also, note that the spot you choose will need enough room to be accessible by heavy machinery.
Types of Pools
What kind of pool material am I interested in?
There are three main types of pool material: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your budget, vision, and available space. For instance, fiberglass pools can require less maintenance effort and expense. But their size is limited to what can be transported by truck. Vinyl liner pools on the other hand are available in much larger sizes and a wider variety of shapes. We’ve noticed a trend recently of more families choosing to go with a smaller fiberglass pool.
A more in-depth post about the advantages and disadvantages of these options is our next blog subject, so stay tuned!
Expert Tip: There are endless options for adding custom details to these core materials. Nowadays, you can design a pool as unique as you are. Glass tiles, mosaics, and so many other customizable features are extremely versatile. Don’t forget about the details!
Are you planning to add any custom features to your pool and your backyard retreat?
You can create a one of a kind poolscape and outdoor living space. There are tons of options for adding extra features and other amenities to enhance to your backyard paradise. Just to name a few:
• pool heaters
• tanning ledges
• vanishing ledges
• a variable-speed current system (which creates a current of water that enables you to swim in place)
• streams, waterfalls, or bubblers
• diving boards or slides
You may even want to build a pool house, outdoor shower, firepit, outdoor kitchen, cabana and/or gazebo. Additionally, you can complement your outdoor space with a variety of landscaping and hardscaping features. Landscaping and hardscaping not only provide elements for embellishment to the overall space, but also can be used to create extra privacy.
The design possibilities are really endless. Just remember that adding potential amenities is probably going to be the least expensive during the pool installation. It is much cheaper to accommodate future plans in your original design than to significantly modify it later.
Your expert pool installer can advise you further on any specific features you wish to add. For instance, if you’re on the fence about a pool heater, but may add one in the future, your pool contractor may recommend you to plumb for the heater just in case. In short, installing gas lines and/or plumbing for future projects will forego the need to demolish decking and landscaping and will ultimately be more cost effective. Be sure to think about getting the infrastructure you’d like to have in place for the future.
Expert Tip: If you find that your wish list is overextending your budget, prioritize them and then narrow the list down to minimize further costs. Although these extras cost more money, go ahead and plan ahead for your ideal poolscape.
THINGS YOUR POOL CONTRACTOR WILL KNOW
Permits and Other Laws
Will I need permits?
A legitimate, expert pool contractor will handle all of these formalities because an in-ground pool is a permanent addition to your home. However, if you know where your sewer or field lines and power lines are located, that information is helpful to share with your pool installer at the very beginning of your project.
Expert Tip: When installing an in-ground pool, making sure you comply with all of the local rules and regulations may feel overwhelming. Don’t worry because your qualified pool contractor will ensure you meet all of your county’s requirements.
Do I need a fence?
Again, a skilled pool contractor will know the answer to this question. The city and/or county ordinances where you live will dictate whether you must have a fence in place.
You may also call your home owner’s insurance company to check its policies. Regardless, you want to take all necessary and appropriate measures for the safety of your family, friends, and neighbors.
Expert Tip: An automatic pool safety cover is a convenient form of protection whenever the pool is unsupervised. A pool cover can also help you save on heat, water, electricity, and chemical expenses.
Maintenance and Cost after Installation
How much work is required and what does it cost to maintain an in-ground swimming pool after it is installed?
The truth is that the cost of maintaining a pool depends on a variety of factors and there’s no such thing as a maintenance-free pool – or maintenance-free anything for that matter! Most people find it is a lot easier than you might think. However, some of your options will be more cost-effective to maintain and be less work in general. Therefore, planning well now can significantly decrease long-term maintenance in terms of money and time.
Make sure your pool is built with energy-efficient and top-of-the-line equipment. This should include a cartridge filter, a variable speed pump, and a salt chlorine generator. It should also be built with adequate hydraulics and plumbing. You can even purchase a robotic cleaner to help you out.
Expert Tip: The decisions you make now can greatly reduce maintenance on your swimming pool. Installing a durable and easy to maintain fiberglass pool, with a lifetime warranty, is a win-win for your wallet and your time!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT POOL CONTRACTOR FOR YOU
Experience and Quality Craftsmanship
Who will build my swimming pool?
Most likely the best way to find a pool contractor is to ask your family, friends, and colleagues, who own pools you like, for local referrals. But, don’t hesitate to get quotes from several pool installers to see what the best fit is for you, your family, and your overall vision.
It is important to find a professional pool contractor who is committed to quality construction and good design. Having an ideal working relationship with your pool installer is possible, so for more tips on selecting a pool installer, read this blog post.
The process of designing and building an in-ground swimming pool doesn’t have to be extremely stressful. Sure, there are decisions to make and other things to sort out, so take some time to consider the questions above. Then, answer them based on your family’s needs and wants and find an expert pool contractor who can guide you through the entire process.
Brooks Malone has been dedicated to “building the dream” for over 25 years and during that time, our team has gained the skills and expertise necessary to become a premier pool installer in northeast Tennessee. Call us today at 423-638-9164 for your free estimate and we will be happy to share our expertise and knowledge with you during your swimming pool preparation phase and beyond!