Step by Step Guide to Planning an In-Ground Pool
Does planning your pool seem incredibly daunting? Do you wish someone would take the time to write down exactly what you need to do, step by step, for creating your perfect pool? Look no further, Albany.com has created a guide so you know exactly what to do when planning your pool.
Albany.com's Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Meet with Pool Companies and Landscape Companies
You will learn so much from each pool company and landscaper, they'll give you lots of ideas, so I recommend meeting as many as you can.Don't forget to request references and jobs completed in the 60 days or currently under construction. This will give you the opportunity to see what their reputation really is.Everyone can find three great references, but if asked for clients in the last 60 days who are happy… that is another story altogether.
We quoted three pool companies.I knew I wanted salt water pool, and two of the three pool companies only offered steel base pools so they were out due to corrosion.In retrospect, I should have sought out two new quotes from reputable companies that offered salt water pools in concrete base or polymer walled. I chose the company we chose as my parents had that type of pool and although I've heard they were more expensive, I believed their quality to be better. Find Local Pool Companies
We also quoted three landscaping companies. We learned from each one, but in the end, only one was able to meet our budget.
Step 2: Where to Place Your Pool
First, look for the areas that have the most sun all summer long.Watch how the sun tracks from 8 am - 7pm.Then find out where your septic really is. For us this meant a surprise. Crushed d-box, only two non-functioning lines and we are set in clay so we need an engineered septic system which added $11k to our project costs. If the area where you want to place your pool is hilly, expect extra costs with fill and topsoil and or retaining walls.
Step 3: Choose Your "Hardscape"
Will you be putting in concrete, stained concrete, brushed stained concrete, stamped concrete, pavers or stone?It becomes incrementally more expensive as you go down this list.How much do you need, since they charge by the square foot, the more hardscape you want, the more costly it will be.
Step 4: Make a Wish List, Set a Budget and Compromise
If you're like most, you might not be able to afford everything you want, so set a budget (give yourself a buffer as things do go wrong).Every pool owner I talked to suggested that you get more hardscape than you think you need, the first time as it's hard to get motivated to go back and fix it.What else do you want?cantilever edges to your pool, how much deck, pool shed, Fire pit, outdoor kitchen, pool lighting inside, outside, toys: slides, diving boards, jumping rocks, waterfalls,do you need trees for privacy?, don't forget the fencing.What kind of coping do you want… What is coping?Is the cap on the edging around a pool. Most swimming pools come with an aluminum bullnose coping.However, for a little (lot) extra money, you can make your pool appear more seamless with your decking with cantilever coping made of stone, decorative pavers or decorative colored concrete coping that caps the pool shell.
Step 5: Get Your Permits
Once your design is set and you have drawings and are ready to go, you need to get permits from the local municipalities.
Who needs to get paid: Pool company, hardscape company, excavators (the basic excavation is included but expect extras here), electricians and landscapers.
The extras: It's most cost efficient to order your "extras" online from heaters to slides and diving boards.You can get a lot of the accessories much more affordably online through Ebay.However, check out the companies and their reputations and return policies online; make sure you have a phone number and a person to contact.