Plan to Install a Pool — For Next Summer
The heat is on, so people who have backyard pools are enjoying the opportunity to cool off without having to leave the comfort of their home. Wish you had an in-ground pool? It’s probably too late to make it happen for this summer — but it’s a great time to make plans so your pool will be ready for summer 2017.
Consider these six steps as noted in Popular Mechanics:
- Pick a Pool. The three main types of in-ground pools, in order of popularity, are concrete, vinyl-lined and fiberglass. Concrete pools, often called Gunite or Shotcrete pools, are truly custom-built and can be formed to virtually any size or shape. It typically takes longer to install a concrete pool — generally 3 and 12 weeks — but it’s considered the strongest, most durable type of pool. Vinyl pools are made from a preformed flexible liner that fits into the hole and attaches to a reinforced wall frame made of steel, aluminum or non-corrosive polymer, while fiberglass pools are factory-molded into one giant bowl-shaped piece that’s set into the excavated hole.
- Compare Pricing. It’s difficult to say how much you’ll pay for an in-ground pool. Cost varies widely depending on the region of the country, type of pool, soil condition, circulation system, accessories, and the pool’s size and shape. Generally speaking, concrete pools are the most expensive, followed closely by vinyl-lined pools, and then fiberglass.
- Check With Zoning. In-ground swimming pools are subject to building and zoning regulations just like other home improvement projects, so you must apply for a building permit and receive approval before any work can begin. Ordinarily, you must satisfy certain setback distances from the pool to property lines, septic tanks, wells, sewer lines, wetlands and the like. There are also codes concerning pool barriers and gate hardware. For a list of specific rules and restrictions, contact the local building department or zoning board.
- Site the Pool. Picking the proper spot for your in-ground pool is as important as the pool itself. Be sure to consider these pool-placement tips:
- Let the Sun Shine In: Take advantage of free solar energy by picking a pool location that’s open to the sun and well away from any trees. Such a location will warm up the water and reduce the number of leaves that drop into the pool.
- Block the Breeze: Building a pool in a windy location greatly increases water evaporation, which means you’ll constantly have to add water to maintain the proper level. Create a windbreak by erecting a solid-board fence, or planting a row of thick shrubs or trees.
- Stay High and Dry: Avoid building in a low-lying area, which could result in the pool flooding with mud and debris during periods of heavy rain. Also avoid areas with a high water table; rising groundwater will flood the deep end of the excavated hole.
- All Clear Above and Below: The pool shouldn’t be located beneath overhead telephone or electrical wires, or directly over buried sewer lines, septic systems or electrical cables.
- Keep Eye Contact: Whenever possible, build the pool within view of the house so you can keep an eye on swimmers even while you’re indoors.
- Accommodate Accessories: Be sure there’s enough room for installing accessories such as a whirlpool spa, slide, diving board, bench seats and utility shed.
- Choose a Circulation System. The pool’s circulation system is designed to keep the water clean and crystal clear using filtration and sanitization. The three types of filters commonly used — sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth (DE)— all work well when properly installed and well maintained.
- Beware of Budget Busters. The true price of an in-ground pool is often about twice the cost of the pool itself because there’s so much more to it than a hole filled with water. Items that aren’t typically included in the price of the pool include outdoor lighting, landscaping, pathways, decks, fencing, patios, privacy screens, whirlpool spas, outdoor sound system, water test kits, shade structure, patio furniture, equipment shed, storage cabinet, pool toys, and outdoor electrical outlets. You’re not likely to need all these items, but keep them in mind when formulating your budget.
At Authentic Designs & Remodeling, we don’t install pools, but we can introduce you to experienced pool contractors who can help you make some of these decisions. Let us know if you’d like to “jump in” and invest in this great home improvement.