10 Tips for Planning Your Pool

By Patti Plummer

Like any new endeavor, planning and building a pool can be exciting—but for many, it is full of unknowns. If you are ready to build your backyard retreat and are wondering where to begin, start here. These 10 pool planning tips will help you put everything into perspective and give you the tools you need to guarantee years of enjoyment.

1. Create a photo book of ideas. Collect photos from a variety of sources to determine the types and styles of pools you love. You can find tons of great photography on these sections of our websites and social networks:

-Pinterest boards for swimming pool ideas
-Award-winning pool photo galleries
-Luxury Pools photo galleries

Then share your collection with your prospective pool builder so he or she will have an idea of the direction you’re leaning toward.

2. Establish a swimming pool budget. Early in the process, you should determine how much you are willing to spend on your new swimming pool. Your costs may increase as the planning and building progresses, but know your limit—and be sure to communicate this with your pool builder.

3. Utilize trusted resources. Check out prospective designers and swimming pool builders with organizations like the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org, or see our list of trusted pool builders and luxury pool designers. Also talk to family and friends: referrals are a wonderful resource. Don’t leave this important task to luck.

4. Choose your setting wisely.
Remember, natural surroundings, optimum views, soil quality, and privacy issues factor into how and where your pool will be built. Suggest a location, but be willing to change your mind should the contractor recommend a different site.

5. Think about how you will use the pool and how often. Will you swim laps? Will it be for children? Do you wish to entertain during the evening? How you plan to use your pool may mean you’ll want additional options like a heater, pool/landscape lighting, waterslide, etc.

6. Look up local building codes. Your pool builder will help you pull the proper permits, but it is a good idea to know the regulations yourself before you start looking for a pool builder. There may be laws restricting where your pool can be installed in your backyard and how far away it must be from another property or road. Many cities and towns also require a safety fence.

7. Think green. Using eco-friendly equipment will help save on energy and save you money. Also, look into rebates. Depending on where you live, your local government may offer green incentives.

8. Consider maintenance. Think about who will clean the pool and balance the water’s pH. Are you willing to do the labor or will you hire a professional? Your contractor may be able to connect you with a reputable company, or the company may have its own service department. Ask your contractor about control systems to operate pumps and heaters, disperse chemicals, clean debris, and manage the lighting.

9. Don’t overlook insurance. Talk to your agent before you begin to make sure that your pool will be covered by your policy.

10. Keep safe. Create layers of protection to protect children, animals, and other guests around the pool. Look into swimming pool barriers such as safety covers, fencing, and alarms.

Photo courtesy of Aquatic Consultants, Inc./Brian Van Bower; Photography by M. Bouwmeester; Architect: Jasmit Rangr, Rangr Studio, Inc.

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