Every homeowner wishes they had an inground pool during the summer. With the scorching summer heat, individuals and their family and friends could spend hours in the pool swimming, playing or just floating on a raft. The thought alone seems heavenly, right?
However, although all this may sound amazing, investing in an inground pool is a significant move and a pricey purchase. There are several things you should know before you invest in an inground pool. First of all, you can expect to spend sometimes tens of thousands of dollars depending on your taste.
Next, having an inground pool can affect both the value of your home as well as the appearance of your outdoor area. In saying this, it is definitely not an investment you should take lightly. There is much research that you should do before investing in an inground swimming pool for many reasons.
Inground Pools can lead to a nightmare if you do not do your homework. You could make mistakes choosing what you want instead of what you need with the swimming pool and overpay. Doing this will cause you to have to do more maintenance than you can handle. The biggest nightmare is hiring the wrong company to do the job.
Doing your own research and not just going by what the contractor tells you is the best move. Researching will help you make informed and educated decisions on the type of swimming pool to buy and its features.
In the end, you should have the knowledge and the tools to ensure your inground pool looks impressive with your landscape. However, you also need to ensure that it has the functions and features that work for you and your family.
The Following are tips and ideas you should know about before you invest in an inground swimming pool.
Table of Contents
- 1 Should You Choose Fiberglass
- 2 Price is a Big Factor When You Invest in an Inground Pool
- 3 Then There is the Hidden Cost for a Pool Project
- 4 How Long will it Take to Complete a Pool?
- 5 What You Should Expect During the Construction Process
- 6 Size, Shape, and Design
- 7 How to Find a Reputable Contractor
Should You Choose Fiberglass
One of the first details you will need to decide on when you are looking to hire a pool contractor is what type of pool you would like. Those options include concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass. As you will find, most experts in this industry will recommend a fiberglass pool unless there are special needs to which that type does not offer.
A great example of this is a contractor can construct a concrete pool for a customer as big as they want. However, that is not so when it comes to fiberglass pools. Then, there are vinyl liner pools that are the least expensive making it the perfect choice for those who have a lower budget. However, for most homeowners, a fiberglass pool is the best choice.
If you are still unsure of what you want, the best advice is to research the reasons why this type is the most recommended. Fiberglass inground swimming pools have many benefits. The first is they are low maintenance.
Both concrete and liner pools are prone to algae and staining. However, with fiberglass, that is not the case. Moreover, you can ensure that you get more quality time relaxing and enjoying your pool. Nobody wants to have a pool that requires more cleaning and less relaxing.
One other factor that is a plus for fiberglass is that they are smooth. You do not have to fret over you or your family cutting or scratching themselves as you do with concrete edges and bottoms. Lastly, you can enjoy the benefit of simple installation that is not as difficult, and contractors can install them year round.
With concrete and liner pools, however, the weather has to be just right for a swimming pool installation.
Are you interested in investing in an inground pool? Be sure to read our “buyers guide” section for helpful ideas and useful tips
Price is a Big Factor When You Invest in an Inground Pool
When you choose to invest in an inground pool, the price is the leading factor for most homeowners. However, some individuals make the mistake of researching small factors of the cost. You have to consider both the initial price of the purchase as well as all the cost associated with the lifetime of the pool.
While you do your homework to determine which pool type is the right choice for you, you need to compare the cost of different pools. The following are the three leading types of swimming pools and their associated cost.
Vinyl liners are hands down the least expensive pool. If you hire a contractor to do the installation, you can expect to pay anywhere between $25,000.00 to $35,000.00. However, if you can handle the project yourself, look to spend roughly $20,000.00.
Although vinyl may be the lowest initial price; one can be somewhat costly for the upkeep and maintenance. You can prepare to spend around $11,500.00 over a ten year period.
As you can probably guess, a concrete pool is by far the most expensive against the others on the list. You can expect to pay anywhere between $50,000.00 and $100,000.00 depending on the shape and size you choose.
Along with that initial cost, the maintenance of the pool is quite costly. Over a ten year period be prepared to spend on average $27, 400.
If you are considering a fiberglass pool, a good rule of thumb is to take the length of the pool you want and multiply it by one thousand. Then, expect to spend two to six thousand additional dollars. For example, take a 25-foot pool that cost roughly $30,000.00, and expect to pay another $5,000.00 to $15,000.00 on the following factors:
- Electrical Work
- Landscaping and Patio Work
- Fencing Surrounding the Pool
- Pool Accessories.
Also, add to that the cost associated with owning the pool. You can expect to pay around $3,750.00 for an estimated ten years to maintain a fiberglass swimming pool.
Then There is the Hidden Cost for a Pool Project
The hidden cost can often be the ones that a contractor fails to reveal while you are crunching numbers for your budget. There is hidden cost you need to know when you build or install a pool. In this category is the mandated fence around the pool, electrical work, landscaping, dirt hauling, and extra concrete.
While getting a quote from various contractors, be sure to have them include these factors up front. Going in with no research can increase the cost by thousands of dollars.
How Long will it Take to Complete a Pool?
Every homeowner wants their pool built super fast. However, that is not always the case. When you are considering an inground swimming pool, getting an understanding of the timeframe to build and install the pool is vital.
Gaining a thorough understanding of how long it will take to build and install the pool you want will help you make sense of it all. Several factors will determine how long it will be before you are floating around in paradise. One of those is the size of the pool.
Others include the number of contractors involved and how experienced they are as well as the weather elements at the time of installation. The following are a few rough estimates of the length it will take to install each type of pool.
The vinyl liner pool is in the middle of the length of time it takes to complete an installation. This version typically takes anywhere from four to eight weeks to complete. That timeframe relies heavily on whether you hire a professional, do it yourself, the size of the pool and the weather elements.
Having a fiberglass pool installed is the fastest. However, that rest solely on the contractor you hire but, typically you can expect it to be two to four weeks. When you are getting estimates from contractors for a fiberglass installation, make sure they offer durable as well as simple installation.
The pool that takes the longest to complete is a concrete pool. The reason for this is due to the construction facing delays until the concrete cures completely. On average, you can expect it to take at least 28 days for the cure to fully take place and that is under perfect conditions.
In less than ideal weather, you can expect that number to change. To be on the safe side, you can expect your inground pool project to take three to six months to see the final project.
What You Should Expect During the Construction Process
When homeowners decide to have an inground pool installed, the leading concern is what are the steps it takes and what all happens during the construction phase?
The following steps are the details surrounding a pool installation on your property
- Obtaining Permits
Before the first piece of dirt moves, you must have the proper permits on site. The necessary permits vary based on the city, county, and state you reside in as well as the type of pool installation you are having.
However, if you are dealing with an experienced professional, they will guide you on which permit you need and how to obtain them.
- Preparing the Land
Once the permits are in place, the dirt work begins. That includes excavation and performing the rough grading for the patio, pool and planting areas. After this step, you will know exactly where your new pool will go. You will always know what areas that will need clearing to make the installation.
Once the land preparations are over, the fun part, the installation begins. Generally, the plumbing and framework take place first. Next, if there is any concrete needed for the project, such as the floor for a liner or concrete shell, that takes place.
After the pour is complete, the contractor performs the masonry, tile and coping. Once it all dries and cures, the pumps and filtration equipment installation happens. There are several contractors involved in the installation of your pool.
The next step is for all the contractors involved to install your lighting, fencing, planting, and your pool option before they plaster the pool. However, steps involved in the process may need to be switched around depending on the weather and the contractor.
Now, the pools thousands of gallons of water fill it up after the plaster installation takes place. At that point, someone who specializes in the health of your pool will tweak the chemical balance until it is perfect and a final inspection takes place. When there is a fiberglass installation, there are sometimes issues with settling or shifting.
That can cause separation between the patio and pool, leaks in the plumbing lines, and bulges in the walls of the pool.
Size, Shape, and Design
When you invest your time and money in an inground pool, you have to choose the proper size, shape, and design that works best for you. You also have to take into account how you can best use the space in your yard. The following are the factors you will need to evaluate to assist you with your decision.
The size of the pool for your outdoor space is vital. It determines what activities you and your family will have space to do as well as affect the aesthetics of the area and what other elements and decor you can add.
While you work to determine the size right for your property, the first step is to decide what you and your family’s plans are for your pool. For example, is it strictly for recreation or is there a lap swimmer in the family?
That information is vital because a lap pool is longer in length than one meant merely for recreation. After you have reached this decision, you need to determine what else you want in our pool area. There are those individuals that add a spa and an outdoor patio to their plan.
With all of this, you will first need to determine how much space is available to construct these. Keep in mind; you cannot place a pool directly on a property line. Therefore you must take into account the setback where the property line comes in to play and your design.
Last, you have to determine an estimate of how many people will use the pool now and in the future. At the time of building the pool, you may have small children, but they could have many friends over way into their teen years.
Then after that, you have to consider them having families of their own. Your pool could very well stay packed now, but, after your family size expands, that number could double. Once the pool construction is complete, there is no altering it for more people.
With this in mind, be sure to build on what your expectations are in the present and the future.
Shape and Design
Your pools shape and design is the next factor you have to consider. Some individuals prefer pools with odd shapes while others prefer a more narrow appeal. When determining the shape, you have to think of the shape and size of your yard.
Some scenarios will work for one landscape but not for yours. Therefore, you have to consider what will fit perfectly. Next, you have to decide what features you would like. Are you interested in a straight pool, having an open swim lane, or perhaps a tanning ledge?
A curved pool may be your best option if you are looking to have an aesthetically satisfying pool or bench seating. Each of these details makes your pool design and shape important decisions.
The landscaping around your property will transform into an exotic outdoor oasis. However, many individuals are more concerned about the pool being swimmable that they tend to neglect thinking about the landscaping.
It is essential that you consider the landscaping while choosing the pool structure and building. That ensures that there is plenty of space in your yard for everything you have decided to incorporate. When you get to the landscaping phase, the following information will help along the way.
First, determine how much patio area you genuinely need. Many homeowners have a patio area that they never use or not use it as others do. If you want a space that fits a grill and a place for a few people to sit, you probably only need to a six-foot by six-foot patio area.
If you feel you want a seating area with an outdoor kitchen, then you should consider perhaps a 12 foot by 12 foot. A “patio area” is no longer the traditional patio space homeowners once had. A patio space when you have an inground pool is also the concrete that surrounds the pool area.
However, if necessary you may require a concrete pad for a diving board or pool slide. Be sure to consider all this when you design the pool and the landscape you want for around the pool area. Along with patio space, you will need to choose grass and plants to add the final touches.
When you want to bring color to your yard, incorporating planters and potted plants to the area is an excellent choice. They help break up the concrete that will surround your pool and add character, texture, and color. Tall hedges and towering palm trees are also an excellent touch for adding privacy and beauty to an outdoor swimming area.
If you have small children or pets who enjoy running around, you should consider planting grass. Grass needs to be placed away from the pool due to bugs, grass blades, and dirt end up in the pool causing it to appear dirty.
Unless you have an ample outdoor space, grass should never be inside the pool fencing. Last but not least, when you are drafting your landscaping, do consider outdoor lights. The lights around a pool area add appeals and extra touch while adding safety to the ones enjoying your little piece of paradise.
How to Find a Reputable Contractor
Now the most important thing you should know is how important it is to find a reputable, professional pool contractor. The contractor you select to install your pool and choreograph your entire project has a massive effect on how your project will turn out.
A professional contractor that knows his job well will ensure your project finishes promptly. He or she will also meet your needs with limited issues. An unprofessional contractor puts minimal effort into fulfilling their customer’s needs.
Here are a few tips to help you choose a reputable pool contractor by asking these questions:
- Do you offer a workmanship warranty?
- Do you have customer reviews?
- Can I read over a sample contract?
- What is your experience with building pools
Hiring the right contractor is the most significant decision you will make if you want an inground swimming pool. Knowing what you want is the second most crucial factor, and the two work off of one another.
Wrapping Things Up
There are ways you can find the right contractor such as customer reviews, Yelp, asking for references, or asking your friends for recommendations. If you see new construction of a pool, stop and ask questions and look around if the homeowner does not mind.
One additional suggestion is to go to the company website and read their blog. That may sound odd and bit confusing, but, a reputable company will have fresh content on their site. You can read the information on their site as well as the comments and reviews from readers.
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