Put in a Pool Party  

by Pool Builders on 05-20-2008 in Articles

Spring has begun to show its fair weather; with summer just around the corner, visions of swimming pools are making their way into our collective consciousness. If you've ever considered building a pool, this could be the year.

As far as investments go, don't expect your pool to pay for itself when it comes time to sell. Although your pool will bring a modest return on its price, the biggest payoff of having one is in the happy memories you'll create and the money you'll save on travel. With your own pool, why would you want to go anywhere else? That said, a pool is a selling feature that can make your property more interesting.

How do you get started? The first thing to do is to find the right contractor. You'll want to get three to four estimates. Ask around: especially if you know people with beautiful pools. The Internet and the Yellow Pages are also good resources. It's not necessarily the cheapest bid that should get your vote. Take into account what's included, the timeframe, and how you feel about the contractor. Don't be fooled by deals that sound too good to be true.

Do your research before you sign anything: how long has the builder/installer been operating? Ask for references - a good builder should be able to offer several. Does your builder belong to a guild or an industry organization? These usually have high standards for admission.

Make sure the builder and crew are insured for liability, worker's compensation and property damage. Also check that the business is registered with the local BBB. Get everything in writing and be sure you understand your contract.

Once you've got a builder you can get started on design issues. What do you plan to use your pool for? If you expect to train for the Olympics in your backyard then you want a very different kind of pool then someone just looking for a wading pool or someone who wants to dive.

There are many shapes and styles of pools to choose from. Some of the more popular include spa/pool combos, disappearing edge pools, geometric shaped pools, and architectural pools.

Depending on the builder, a pool can take between six weeks and a few months to build. Some builders will include landscaping with the hardscaping, which is definitely a plus if you want the end result to be a beautifully finished oasis ready for enjoyment.

Although the chemical content of your pool may seem like a minor consideration, some people prefer a saltwater system. The water seems softer than straight chlorine systems and won't dry out your skin to the same extent as a traditional set up. This is particularly appealing if anyone in the family suffers from skin issues.

An automatic pool cover is probably a good investment. It will save you money on your electricity and chemical costs in addition to providing a safety barrier that could save lives. Also consider fencing the pool - this is essential if you have children. Keep the pool a place for happy memories by preventing unnecessary tragedies.

Another hazard to avoid is suction and entrapment risks, which can be caused by certain types of drains, water intakes and fittings. In some cases, people have drowned or suffered other injuries as a result of getting themselves, their clothing, hair or jewelry trapped in these things. Good pool design can avoid these hazards.

The pool will need ongoing maintenance, which you can either do yourself or you can hire a pool maintenance service. In any case, this is something that should be considered at the design stage as it may influence the scope of the project.

Once you've made your decisions the building can begin! And this summer you'll be sitting poolside, sipping your fruit punch and forgetting that you ever wanted to vacation anywhere but your own back yard.

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