The decision to install a pool in your backyard is an exciting one. Having a pool is not only a luxury, but it also provides some excellent opportunities for health and recreation as well. A pool is a great place to cool off during hot summer days and can provide a background to a relaxing day with family and friends.
Building a pool can truly transform your living space, adding a touch of upscale living to any yard or outdoor area. While the decision to plan and build a pool is thrilling, the process can be stressful. If you go into the process unprepared, some bumps in the road could derail the process, possibly causing you to spend more money or even be unsatisfied with the end result.
Working with a top pool builder is the best way to plan accordingly and avoid stress, but there are some other things that can help you to be successful in your journey to pool ownership. This helpful guide will outline everything you need to know to get started designing and planning your pool.
What to Know When Planning Your Pool
Before you shake hands with a pool building company or put down any money for supplies and materials, you will need to outline some basic planning for your pool. Having a solid plan in place will help to prevent unexpected developments and help to keep you (and your pool builder) on track from beginning to end. Keeping a working document of all your ideas, along with your detailed budget and any important dates, can also help to keep things on schedule.
Set a Budget
One of the first things that you should do when planning your pool is to decide how much you want to spend on one. You will need to be realistic about how much pool you can afford, and consider any materials or special features that you want to include. All of these features will wrap up into the total and affect the project’s overall budget.
You will also need to think about the space that you have to work with because your yard size and shape will affect your budget as well. Steep slopes or very small backyards can change the way that the pool builder approaches the project and possibly make construction and installation more or less expensive, depending on the specifics of the space.
In general, in-ground pools are more expensive than above-ground pools, according to Better Homes and Gardens. This is because above-ground pools are simply installed rather than built, while in-ground pools, which typically last much longer and are lower maintenance than above-ground options, carry additional design and construction costs.
It is also important to note that pools have ongoing costs in addition to the one-time costs of design and installation. Regular maintenance costs, required pool chemicals, and equipment for the pool carry costs that will all add up over time.
Consider the Space You Have
Whether you have a sprawling backyard space or a small, cozy patch of land in your neighborhood, the first thing to consider is your space. Can you build a very large, elaborate pool with multiple depths? Should you go for a “spool” instead?
While the size of your pool is a personal choice and your goals will contribute to your choice, being realistic about the space you have will help to ensure that you and your pool builder are on the same page. Fortunately, there is a myriad of options to choose from, whether you want a large pool or a small one.
How to Choose the Right Pool Builder
One of the most important parts of the pool designing and building process is choosing the right pool builder. If you have never built a pool before, you might have no idea where to start or how to find a builder that satisfies the criteria you have. Here are some things to keep in mind as you start your search for the right pool builder:
- Ask family and friends. If any of your family or friends have a pool, you can start there by asking for their recommendations. Make sure to ask your coworkers as well, especially if one of them has a particularly beautiful pool. Make sure to ask detailed questions, including why they recommend or don’t recommend the company they worked with.
- Do some research on the pool builder. Even if you get a glowing recommendation from a friend, coworker, or relative, you will need to do some research of your own to make sure the pool-building company will work for your unique needs. Check out the company’s social media pages, and investigate its website. Studying this information can give you great insight into the company and its history.
- Check credentials. Not every pool building company is created equally, and not every pool builder or contractor has the experience that you need when planning and designing your dream pool. When checking the credentials of a pool builder, you should ensure that the company has a swimming pool contractor license, along with liability insurance. Liability insurance helps to protect both you and the building company in the event of an accident on your property, while proper licensing is a requirement in most states. A good pool builder will not hesitate to discuss their credentials with you if you ask.
- Look at photographs of past work. It’s always a good idea to check out photographs of past projects when vetting a pool builder. This can give you a good idea of their style and experience as well as give you much-needed insight into other aspects of your project as well. You never know, looking at some new inspiration photos could spark a new idea for your brand-new pool!
- Get a feel for their customer service. Talking to a builder should give you a good idea of the company’s commitment and dedication to customer service, as well as their general knowledge of the industry. A great builder should be able to give you some ideas and options so that you can get started in the right direction.
There are a lot of things to consider when researching and hiring a pool builder. While these ideas are always good to keep in mind, you should also trust your instincts and look for any red flags when interviewing companies. For example, if a company has no references or if they seem hostile and exhibit pushy behavior, it might be a sign to look into a different pool builder.
Designing a Pool That Works for You
Once you have decided on a pool builder, they can start helping you dream up the possibilities for your pool, given your specific budget, yard size, and circumstances. You and your builder can review options for sizes, shapes, and special features, all while keeping these important considerations in mind.
There are a lot of options for pool designs, from modern to traditional. What you will have to determine is how your pool will fit the available space and what sort of additional amenities and features you would like it to have. Here are a few important points that you should keep in mind as you proceed in your pool-building journey.
Design a Pool That Complements the Landscape
Consider the overall space that you have to work with when designing your pool. This includes not only yard size but also existing landscape elements. Some pool owners like a large pool that stretches from one end of their yard to another, while others might like a small lap pool that is perfect for a quick dip on a hot day. Still others choose pools in unique shapes with cascading waterfalls and colorful lights.
In-ground pools come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, so when selecting a final size for your pool, you will want to consider how much of your yard space you’d like to dedicate to the pool, what kind of activities you need space for around the pool’s perimeter, and how many people you expect to enjoy it on a regular basis. In general, you want your pool to complement the space rather than overwhelm it.
For this reason, you shouldn’t rush the process of selecting a final design. After all, you will ideally enjoy your pool for years to come, so you want to be sure that it is something that is aesthetically pleasing to look at. Don’t hesitate to map out the size and shape of your dream pool on a piece of paper, just so you have a visual representation.
Keep Safety in Mind
While pools are relaxing and beautiful, they can also be safety hazards, especially if you have young children. When planning and designing a pool for your home, keep safety in mind by incorporating additional features into the finished design.
This includes adding a fence around the pool itself and possibly features like a pool alarm or safety drain covers. Of course, the best prevention for accidents is diligence, and while nothing can replace closely watching over your pool whenever your yard is in use, safety features can be a helpful and reassuring addition to your pool area.
Select a Pool Shape That Fits Your Style
Traditionally, rectangular pools were the primary option for homeowners who wanted a backyard oasis. Today, there are many different styles and designs to choose from. Here are a few of the most popular pool designs:
- Rectangle. This pool shape is ideal for lap swimmers or small, narrow yards.
- Oval. Excellent for recreational use.
- Round. A classic shape that is ideal for those who regularly welcome guests.
- Infinity. Modern and stylish, this design is often selected by those who wish to show off a spectacular view.
- Freeform. Freeform pools are designed to suit the size and shape of your backyard, making them one of the most popular and expensive custom pool designs.
There are additional pool styles that you can choose from, such as Grecian or L-shaped, the latter a very popular choice for pool owners who have children and want to feature several different depths in the pool. While it helps to have an idea of what general design you would like for your pool, when you consult with your builder, you can get some additional ideas and insights as to what suits your yard and your vision.
Consult With Your Pool Building Company Along the Way
Transparency is key when you make a deal with a pool builder or contractor. Keeping your building company informed of changes or updates that you would like to make will keep everyone on the same page and ensure that you are happy when the project is finished.
At the very beginning of the process, make sure to clarify the project timeline with the pool builder. Designing and installing an in-ground pool is a process that comes with many variables and can take anywhere time, depending on how complex the design is and any additional features that you would like the pool to have.
There is also other paperwork you might want to look into while your pool is being built. This could include pool insurance coverage and any other permits that you might need to have a pool built or installed on your property. While this won’t apply to every state or situation, looking into these things beforehand will prevent any sudden surprises along the way.
Choose a Nationally-Recognized Pool Builder You Can Trust
Working with the right pool builder is imperative when designing and planning your dream pool. With the right team on your side, you can sit back and let the process happen without having to stress about whether the project is proceeding on schedule.
California Pools is a leading national pool builder with franchises all around the country. From small lap pools to elaborate pools with all the latest features, California Pools does it all. We work directly with you to customize a design that you love and stay in touch with you every step of the way so that you can feel comfortable and confident in the pool that you choose. Our local team will imbue you with confidence, so whether you are installing a brand-new pool or remodeling an existing one, you are guaranteed to love the end result. Contact us today to learn more about the pool-building services that we offer and to get started on designing and building your dream pool.