Installing a new pool? Here are five things you need to know.
Set a Budget
Determining how much you can afford to spend on a pool is the smartest first move you can make. You will need to factor in the increased electricity and water usage costs, as well as the cost of pool maintenance. Even if you don’t plan on outsourcing the care of your pool to a reputable pool service company, you will need to budget for the cost of supplies and potential repairs should something break.
Decide What You Want
Deciding what size and shape you would like for your pool is just the beginning. There are many other factors that should be considered in addition that will influence your enjoyment of the pool and affect your bottom line. Do you want a hot tub included? A waterfall or other water feature? What kind of finish would you like? What kind of lighting will you choose? A retaining wall may be needed or landscaping may be a desirable addition. Don’t skip items you really want. You will have to look at the pool every day. You don’t want to have any “I wish we would have spent an additional $2k” regrets. There are many aspects to a pool installation that simply can’t be changed or added later without incurring the significant expense, so figuring out what you want at the start will help you with the next step. However, make note of features that could be added at a later time if really necessary.
Get Quotes from Multiple Pool Builders
It’s important to get quotes from several pool installation companies before signing a contract or putting any money down. Pass on any company that expects you to simply take the first bid and move forward. Companies that value your business are willing to work with you on price (within reason!) Make note of which companies are lacking in customer service skills. Check references if they are provided and reviews online. This endeavor will be a time-consuming experience and you’ll want to choose a company that knows how to take care of their clients. Which really seems to catch your vision for your pool? Price, communication, and trustworthiness are the main ingredients for getting the results you want.
Keep a file for all of your receipts, installation contract, service contract, and product manuals. Saving product documentation can prove invaluable down the line. It’s also smart to take photos. Over time, equipment labels can fade as a result of sun and water exposure, making them difficult to read. Photos of these labels and of the data plates on your pump housing, pump motor, valves, filter, heater, salt system, auto-fill water leveler, automated robotic cleaner, etc. If it has a label, take a photo of it! When repairs or replacements are needed later, you will be able to quickly identify and order the parts you need for many years. This information is also useful in the event you should ever need to file a warranty claim with a manufacturer.
Get Advice from Other Pool Owners
Talk to others in your neighborhood who have installed pools in the past. Most pool owners are happy to share their experiences and are often happy to help save others from their mistakes. Also, posting on your community’s social media page can yield a wealth of helpful information and recommendations!
Helpful hints from a few pool owners we spoke with…
- The depth of your pool can influence its temperature. We went deep, which stays cooler in the summer but takes a lot longer to heat up!
- Pool lights cost $700–$2000. LED lights will last longer. If you have steps added anywhere, be sure to wire for step lighting.
- Retaining walls can get very expensive. Depending on the size, they can obviously vary a huge degree. Most walls cost $5,000–$15,000.
- The price of pool water features can vary drastically, especially when it comes to custom waterfalls.
- If possible, get an auto-fill installed. We get a lot of evaporation in the summer and we have to top the pool off every two or three days. I wish we had gone with an auto-fill.
- Put aside extra money and allow for additional time in case they hit a rock when excavating the ground for the pool.
- We got Pebble Tec on our pool and love it. Easier on the feet than traditional plaster.
- Consider the landscaping before you build. There may be a spot near the pool where you might want some greenery, and once they pour the concrete for the deck surround or patio, that option is gone.
- Know to go in that the pool will likely cost more than you expected, so allow for that and stay calm when issues arise.