Buying a Pool? Read This List First
Think you might be ready to take the plunge a ready to buy a pool? If you’re planning to buy your first backyard swimming pool, you probably need a few tips to get started. Learn how to establish a budget, find a pool builder, and always remember to put fun on the list. Here is a list of the most 10 important things to consider when buying a pool.
10 Things You Need To Know When Buying a Pool
1. Create a dream list of features you’d like in your inground pool.
You may have been dreaming of a swimming pool for years, and you may think you know exactly what you want. But it’s beneficial to research the latest trends in backyard design and gather ideas. Once you’ve done a little homework, you’ll be ready to speak to your pool contractor who can then suggest styles, materials, and pool designs with you. Researching financing before you talk to a contractor will ensure that after the conversation you’re able to make your dream a reality.
2. Research the various types of inground pools.
Some pools are made of shotcrete or gunite, others are made of fiberglass, and others are made of vinyl. There are a multitude of various coping options, cleaning systems, filtering systems and artistic finishing touches. Knowing what you may want will kick start the process with your pool builder.
3. Find a credible pool contractor.
Take your time with this process. Check with friends, your local and regional pool contractor review websites, even the Better Business Bureau. Interview several candidates, and ask for examples of their work and references. You’ll be working with this person for many months, so choose someone you feel comfortable with.
4. Decide what kind of pool shape you want.
From infinity pools and overflow swimming pools to rectangular, kidney shaped swimming pools to custom designed pools, the options are almost endless, which is why it’s important to choose the best design that suits your style and needs. The shape of your swimming pool should be chosen for its aesthetic appeal and a lifestyle fit. For example, rectangular pool designs are perfect for almost any type of style and ideal for people wanting a classic, timeless pool look. They’re also great for games and swimming laps. On the other hand, Kidney and free-form swimming pools are more easily able to blend in with the surrounding vegetation and appear more natural. They also lend themselves to waterfalls and grottos.
5. Consider the weather in your area.
Depending on where you live, the weather can dictate certain pool building decisions. People in cold or wet climates should consider enclosures to prolong the pool season. Does your climate warrant the inclusion of a heater? Windy areas, heavily treed areas, or winter climates will definitely want a pool cover to stem evaporation, keep debris out, and protect the swimming pool when not in use.
6. Know how you want to use your pool.
Picture you and your family in and around the pool. Is it mostly for your kids? For entertaining? Is it an investment? Do you want it to make a dramatic architectural statement? Or is it a relaxing retreat for you and your spouse? Answering these questions will help determine the need for a slide or wading area for kids, high-end glass tile finishing, a vanishing edge or a built-in water feature.
7. Consider long-term costs.
Along with establishing a budget, consider the long-term costs involved with owning a swimming pool. Owning a swimming pool is actually quite affordable. Upkeep, especially if you take a few energy-saving steps (more on that below), can literally cost pennies a day. But it’s important to have an idea of what those costs are. For example, factor in how much water it will take to keep your swimming pool full, cleaning and water maintenance costs, and any accessories (pool covers, filters, toys, etc.) you’ll need to purchase.
8. Check your local building codes.
Yes, your pool builder can help you with this part immensely, but it’s a good idea to know the rules yourself. Some areas require perimeter fences of a certain height. Some require the fences to lock. Others require a fence around only the swimming pool itself. You’ll also want to inquire about building permits, building restrictions, noise policies, and property tax concerns.
9. Don’t forget about insurance.
When establishing a budget, don’t forget to think long term. Contact your insurance carrier and find out if owning a swimming pool affects your homeowner’s policy—no one likes to be surprised.
10. Be energy efficient.
It’s easier than ever to save on a swimming pool’s energy costs. Enclosures, pool covers, variable speed pumps and lighting timers can all pay for themselves in energy savings in a short amount of time. In cool climates, it can sometimes pay to shut your swimming pool down for the winter, rather than heat it.