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20 Tips to Discover Before You Invest in a Swimming Pool

  • 20 Tips to Discover Before You Invest in a Swimming Pool

    Are you ready to take a plunge in owning your very own swimming pool? If you’re planning to purchase your first backyard swimming pool, it’s a great idea to read a few tips before getting started on this big commitment. A few to begin…learn how to manage a budget, find a trusted pool builder, and remember to always have fun when undertaking a new investment.

    1

    Create Your Wish List

    A swimming pool is often in our dreams for years before it actually becomes a reality, and you may think you know what you already want…

    ...but reading up on the latest advancements in pool could be exactly what you need to gather up new ideas. Once you’ve done a little research, you’ll be ready to talk to your pool builder about what it is that you want out of your to be swimming pool. Your pool expert will be able to help you layout the pool by understanding how often you’ll be using it and what for. Your pool guy then can recommend styles; materials, designs and blueprints that can help make your dream a reality.

    2

    Create a Look Book or Inspiration Board

    Almost everyone struggles with putting ideas into words. Pool builders and designers greatly appreciate when a customer comes to them with pictures.

    Think magazines, or swimming pool photo galleries, or even scenic photos that you took on your family vacation. These images give your pool builder a good sense of what interests you and how to incorporate it into your style preferences into the design of the swimming pool. It also helps ensure that you and your pool builder are on the same page as far as design goes.

    3

    Research Types of In-ground Pools

    A swimming pool is a rather large investment and sum of money, similar to buying a new car or investing in a home.

    You wouldn’t buy any car on just any lot, would you? The same rules apply to purchasing a swimming pool. There are plenty of ways to build a swimming pool. Some pools are made of concrete, other are made out of fiberglass, and others are comprised of vinyl. Picking the type of your pool is only the first step. Next comes coping, cleaning systems, filtering systems, and artistic finishing touches. Getting up to speed on your pool idea and pool lingo will help you speak your pool builder’s and become a more pivotal part in the decision-making process.

    4

    Locate a Trustworthy Pool Builder

    The most successful way to ensure a smoother building and creation process is to pick a seasoned swimming pool construction professional…

    ...one who has great street credibility. Make sure to read their reviews, ask around, or check out your local and regional pool builders associations. Get a multiple candidates, and ask them what their building philosophies are. A confident pool builder will show you examples of past work, provide references, and be able to answer any relevant questions you may have. This pool builder will be around for at least a few weeks, and maybe even a couple of months so make sure to choose someone you like and feel comfortable having around your home.

    5

    Decide Your Ideal Pool Shape

    Your swimming pool design is critical to both your overall backyard aesthetic and actual functionality.

    Rectangular swimming pools are ideal for people wanting a timeless, classic look. They are also perfect for pool games and swimming laps for exercise. Kidney shaped pools and free-form designs can blend with surrounding vegetation and appear more natural. They also go great with waterfalls and grotto areas. Choosing the wrong shape of pool may mean that you have a swimming pool that doesn’t suit your lifestyle and you may not end up enjoying it as much as you should.

    6

    Consider the Weather Where you Live

    Depending on your location, the weather can dictate certain pool building decisions.

    People in colder climates should consider investing in an enclosure to prolong the pool season. If you live in a wet climate, an enclosure would also become very handy. In temperate climates, places where the weather stays moderate year round, pool heaters often become useful. Windy, very dense foliage areas, or very cold climates should look into swimming pool covers. They stem evaporation, keep leaves and dust away, and protect the swimming pool when not in use. Think about your weather and how it might affect you being a swimming pool owner.

    7

    Understand How you Want to Use your Pool

    It's time to ask yourself an important question...Why are you installing a swimming pool in the first place?

    Is it for you; is it for your kids? Or are you getting a pool for entertainment, investment, or possibly a dramatic architectural change for your backyard? Ask yourself a few of these questions. Hopefully these will help steer you in the right direction of what kind of swimming pool you should have built. If the pool is mainly for your kids’ use, a slide or wading area might be a good idea. But if you’re more interested in something that is visually appealing as it is enjoyable to use, consider a built-in water feature, more expensive coping, or a negative edge. Being a client with a clear sense of what you want and the purpose of the pool will make you the builder’s best friend.

    8

    Establish a Final Budget

    You’re probably already aware of what you’re willing to spend on this new adventure, but it’s important to talk with your pool builder and get all the facts.

    Discuss what the final project will cost you and where the money is going. If you picked a good pool builder, they should be able to listen to what you want and give you an estimate based off of that. Remember that you may need to adjust your plans later on, or you might come across other resources than you can now add to your initial concept. Know your budget from the start and everyone will be happier in the end.

    9

    Consider the Long-Term Cost

    Contrary to popular belief, owning a swimming pool is quite affordable.

    The upkeep of the pool can literally only cost you pennies, if you take a few energy-saving steps along the way. Factor in the cost of water and keeping your pool full, cleaning and water maintenance costs, and any accessories you may want to buy for it. These could be pool covers, filters, pool toys, etc. It may not seem like a lot, and it isn’t, but make sure you budget and plan for these costs.

    10

    Check your Local Building Codes

    Your pool builder should be able to help you with this part, but it’s a great idea to get to know the rules yourself.

    Some areas of the city require perimeter fences of a certain height to be built around the pool, and some require the fence to be able to lock. There’s plenty more restrictions, so make sure that you’re aware of what’s out there. It might also be a good idea to inquire about building permits, building restrictions, noise policies, and property tax concerns.

    11

    Don’t Forget Insurance

    When you establish your budget, don’t forget to think about your long-term plan.

    Contact your insurance group and find out if owning a swimming pool will affect your homeowner’s policy. That kind of surprise is not one you want to get.

    12

    Don’t Skip on Features you Want

    Sticking to your budget is the safest bet, but don’t settle if you can afford going above and beyond.

    Retrofitting a swimming pool that has already been built is never easy. So if you really want that magnificent water fall, or slide, do it now before the swimming pool is built. If it happens to bust your budget, ask your trusted pool builder where you can possibly save money elsewhere. Never settle for a swimming pool that is less than perfect.

    13

    Choose Energy Efficiency

    It’s becoming easier than ever to save on a swimming pool’s energy costs.

    Choosing energy efficient items like enclosures, pool covers, and pump and lighting timers can all pay for themselves over a period of time. Do your research, and see how you can save money with energy efficiency. It’s also never a bad idea to ask your pool builder if there are any particular items that he recommends.

    14

    Go Green and Embrace Eco-Friendly

    Some people choose to shy away from swimming pools because of their fear of the environmental impact...

    ...but you’d be surprised on how hard the pool industry has worked to make pool owners a part of the “Green” club. Pool heaters today can be heated almost entirely using solar energy can you believe it? And swimming pools exist that have totally natural methods of filtering—an attached pond does all the work for you—and most chemical water treatments can be replaced with less harsh alternatives. Swimming pool covers may not be a bad idea in the long run if you want to go green, because they reduce the amount of water that is lost due to evaporation.

    15

    Water Features

    Bubbling fountains, luxurious waterfalls, and spouting sconces—everyone loves water features almost as much as the swimming pools themselves.

    If you’re considering adding a few water features to your swimming pool, do it when you’re first doing construction. That cost will be much cheaper, rather than going back into the swimming pool and trying to remodel the whole thing for a few fancy jets.

    16

    Plant with a Specific Purpose

    This is extremely important when deciding on a budget.

    Nobody wants a swimming pool sitting in your backyard by itself, so consider what you’d like to plant in your backyard by your pool and where it will best suite your needs. Avoid messy trees, or trees that tend to have far-reaching shallow roots. These are only bad news for a swimming pool. An alternative would be to go with a bushy perennial that doesn’t grow as tall and can be moved to a new location if necessary.

    17

    Keep Safety Top of Mind

    Beyond any required fencing, consider what other safety measures you may want to have in place for the present or future.

    Technology has come a long way, and believe it or not, but swimming pools can new be equipped with an alarm that will go off when something or someone enters the water. Childproofing should also be considered when getting a new swimming pool.

    18

    Perfect with Finishing Touches

    Your choice of borders, decking or coping can help make any swimming pool stand out and appeal to friends and family.

    Be cost efficient by considering your options, these types of things can range in appearance and cost. It’s also important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each material. Discuss with a pool designer or your pool builder.

    19

    Throw Some Fun in There

    When the pool construction is nearing its completion, it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.

    Take a trip to the nearest shopping center and stock up on some good pool toys for you, friends or family. There are toys, games, floaties, swimsuits, and patio furniture to enjoy your new addition.

    20

    Plan a Pool Party!

    Now is the time to show off! So, go on, throw a big party to celebrate your new swimming pool!

    Fire up the grill, invite as many people as you know, and break-in your swimming pool in style. Enjoying a swimming pool with other people is the best part of this whole process!

    Comments (6)

    • Great tip about getting the necessary pool ties, floaties, and furniture to fully enjoy your new swimming pool. As a kid, we always stayed at the pool longest when we had games to play with floaties and diving sticks. Great suggestion.

      Reply
      • I like number eight a lot here in the article. We have been considering getting a pool in our backyard for quite some time now and we may be getting more serious about it. I’ll have to be better about creating the budget and then getting the professional advice I need to go forward. Thanks for the easy to read article and great tips here.

        Reply
    • Thanks for sharing these tips for before we start installation on a swimming pool. I definitely already have a wish list and inspiration photos, like you mentioned. I’ll be sure to “locate a trustworthy pool builder,” like you mentioned so we can get started. Great post!

      Reply
    • Thanks for so many great tips. I’m glad that you mentioned that safety should be a priority; I think that we sometimes get too caught up in all of the cool things that we can add to it the pool and forget about alarms and fences. No pool is worth it, no matter the features, if someone gets severely hurt while using it. A safe pool means that you can trust letting your kids use it, in any case.

      Reply
    • I love these tips, especially about how you should personalize the pool! So many pools in AZ become nothing but cookie cutter, and it’s almost boring to see the same waterfall, cove, or tile around the sides. Give it some pizzazz! Also, talking with your pool builder for ideas and tips can use their experience to make a very special pool.

      Reply
    • My husband and I have been wanting to get a pool for a long time now. I really love your idea about making a book with all of the things that you love! There are so many different ideas that I have so it would be really nice to have them all in one place that I could see. We are thinking about looking into spray pad surfacing for the area surrounding it because we have little kids. These tips will definitely help us with the process, thanks for sharing!

      Reply

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