Swimming Pool Blog

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Swimming Pool Basics: What to Look for in Inground Pool Quotes

With over 10 million residential pools in the U.S., more people than ever are enjoying the benefits of having a private, backyard oasis. If you’re thinking of jumping in on the trend, it’s important to know what to look for when reviewing inground pool quotes.

Whether you’re building the infinity pool of your dreams or planning a remodel, working with a professional builder can cut unnecessary stress out of the process. Not only will pool experts know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to construction, but they’ll bring the necessary experience to tailor your new pool to your specific wants and needs.

So, where to start on this splashy home improvement project?

8 Costs to Keep in Mind with Inground Pool Quotes

Requesting a quote is a good way to gauge if a custom, backyard pool is right for you. While knowing the total figure at the bottom of the invoice is essential, having a clear understanding of the cost breakdown is just as important.

Here are eight line items that every inground pool quote should include.

1. Building Permits

Although the exact requirements can vary from state to state, you need a permit to build an inground pool in the U.S. There are a few reasons behind this.

First, a permit protects you, the homeowner, from certain liabilities during the building process. If your municipality wants to send an inspector to the construction site for any reason, a permit is one of the first documents they’ll ask for. Certain districts do this so they can independently make sure that everything is within regulations.

Second, a permit provides recorded proof that your contractor is licensed. Plus, the contractor will need the permit for insurance purposes.

Typically, your contractor is responsible for obtaining the construction permit and any extra permissions needed. The cost should be factored into your quote, so make it one of the first things you look for.

2. Excavation and Dirt Removal

Building an inground pool means digging a big hole, so a comprehensive quote should include the cost of the excavation process.

Typical costs associated with excavation include:

  • Labor
  • Cost of machinery and equipment
  • Fees for disposal of dirt

If you’re requesting an online quote, you’re likely to receive a reasonable rough estimate; however, it’s best to find a contractor that will do a thorough on-site assessment of your yard and its surroundings. This way, you’ll receive a more specific figure that accounts for potential challenges. For instance, blasting rock is an extra consideration you want to know about well before the digging starts.

3. Electrical Work

Even an inground pool with a basic geometric shape requires quite a bit of electrical work. Between setting up generators, water pumps, heating elements, and lighting, installing a pool means wiring together a network of connections.

The best contractors employ licensed electricians for technical work. However, even professionals can run into unexpected issues, so don’t be surprised if your quote mentions that additional fees could be invoiced upon completion. This is a common occurrence with electrical work, specifically.

While every project is different, there are basic electrical work fees that all quotes should detail. Specific costs that can factor into electrical work include:

  • Labor
  • Obtaining an electrical permit
  • Purchasing necessary materials
  • Connecting wiring and components
  • Quality control and safety checks

4. Cost of Building Materials

The nature of your project determines the cost of building your pool. The more unique, luxurious, and custom your design is, the higher the cost will be.

Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all pricing model when it comes to the raw materials involved. This isn’t just a matter of quantity, either. The type, style, and quality of materials you want will affect the final quote. While basic building materials like concrete tend to have a stable pricing structure, items like tiles and lighting can vary in cost depending on how ornate they are. The same can be said for pool deck materials, which range from concrete to wood to expensive non-slip materials.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the materials needed for a brand-new concrete pool will differ from what’s needed to resurface an existing space during a pool remodel.

Whatever materials you end up choosing, remember that adding a pool to your backyard can increase your home’s value by up to 8%, so it’s possible to recoup some of the cost down the line should you decide to sell.

5. Filtration and Cleaning Systems

There’s nothing worse than getting ready for a relaxing day by the pool with family and friends only to find the water is full of debris and slimy green algae. To combat this concern, no pool installation is complete without a quality filtration system to keep the water clean and clear all year round.

Filtration and cleaning systems help with more than just real-time aesthetics, too. They can save you money in the long run, as a well-maintained pool is less likely to need expensive repair work in the future.

Additionally, there are health benefits to a good filtration system, since it helps maintain a balanced pH level, cleans out dirt, and keeps the water swimmable. So this is not the place to skimp on spending.

Of course, there are different cleaning systems available, which will impact the total cost that’s estimated on your inground pool quote. Options are typically specific to the type of filter needed for your local environment, climate, and general surroundings. Your contractor will provide recommendations, so there’s no need to be an expert on local pollen counts.

6. Pool Extras

One of the best ways to make your pool your own is to include fun extras. For example, when discussing designs, you might want to consider adding a waterfall feature, a slide, or fire accents. If you’re big into barbeque, go for an outdoor grill setup that’s integrated into the pool deck.

Really, you’re only limited by your own imagination, as top builders offer everything from specialized tiling to LED lights, spa features, and more.

Remember to discuss all extras when talking to a potential builder, because it’s always easier to include special elements during the design phase rather than trying to implement them after the fact.

Just keep in mind that each additional feature will result in an extra expense listed on your quote.

7. Fencing and Landscaping

Whether it’s your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or friends that plan to use your pool, a fence is a must, both for their safety and for your peace of mind. And even if you don’t have to factor in little ones running around, a fence is still useful for pets and general control around the pool area.

Rather than subcontract a fence after the fact, ask your builder what options they offer. Fencing costs will vary depending on materials used and height, but when it comes to safety, price should never be the determining factor.

A new inground pool project also provides an excellent opportunity to simultaneously upgrade other features around the yard like landscaping, which includes everything from planting shrubs and trees to installing outdoor lighting.

Whether taking a minimalist, low-maintenance approach or going big with a koi pond, landscaping is worth considering because it ultimately adds value to your home while removing stressful, unsightly elements like invasive roots, loose rocks, and prickly plants.

8. Warranties

After spending all that time and money on the installation of your custom, luxury inground pool, you want to know that you’re protected in case anything fails or breaks. For instance, if the pool pump breaks two months after you start using it, is it covered under warranty?

The best time to inquire about warranties is before a build even starts, so discuss any available packages with your builder at the onset and ask for the those fees to be reflected in your inground pool quote.

Pick an Award-Winning Pool Contractor for Your Dream Project

Now that you know what to look for in an inground pool quote, it’s time to select a contractor for the big job. But how do you find one?California Pools is an award-winning national pool builder with franchises across the country. We’ve been building pools for 70 years, installing everything from lap pools to elaborate, waterpark-like designs. Every one of our backyard transformations is led beginning to end by experts, who make sticking to your budget the number one priority. Contact us to get started on a quote today.