Think you might be ready to take the plunge? 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.
1. Create a lookbook.
It’s often difficult to put your ideas into words. Pool builders and designers appreciate when customers come to them with pictures from magazines, online swimming pool photo galleries, or even scenic photos taken on vacation. They give your pool builder a good sense of what you’re interested in and how to incorporate your style preferences into the swimming pool design. It also ensures that you and your builder are on the same page.
2. Find a credible pool builder.
Once you’ve made the decision to dive into swimming pool ownership, the best way to ensure a smooth building process is to choose a seasoned swimming pool construction professional. Check with friends, your local and regional pool builders associations, even the Better Business Bureau. Interview several candidates, and ask about their building philosophies. A good pool builder will offer examples of his work, provide references (be sure to check them), and be able to answer relevant questions. You’ll be working with this person for many months, so choose someone you feel comfortable with.
3. Decide what kind of pool shape you want.
Swimming pool design is critical to both the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve and what you can actually do in the swimming pool. Rectangular designs are perfect for people wanting a classic, timeless look. They’re also great for games and swimming laps. Kidney and free-form swimming pools can blend with the surrounding vegetation and appear more natural. They also lend themselves to waterfalls and grottos. Choosing the wrong shape may mean you have a swimming pool that doesn’t really suit your lifestyle as well as it could.
4. Establish a budget.
You probably already know what you’re willing to spend on a new swimming pool, but it’s important to speak with your pool builder to gather more information and get a sense of what your project will cost. Your pool builder will be able to listen to what you want and give you an estimate on what it will cost to make it happen. You may have to adjust your plans, or you may find you have the resources to add to your initial concept. Either way, it’s important that both you and your builder know what your budget is from the start.
5. Consider long-term costs.
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 best to have an idea of what those costs are. 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.