If you are thinking about installing a swimming pool on your property there are some obvious and some “not so obvious” factors to consider.
Budget is a huge factor, but not the only consideration. First, evaluate your reason for installing a pool. Is it purely for recreation? Do you have a family member who has a health condition that might benefit from daily swimming? What kind of space do you have for your pool? Do you plan on using the pool year round? What kind of building codes might apply in your city? Will your pool be for exercise only? Do you plan to include a hot tub or spa?
As with any project, we often end up spending much more than originally intended. Proper planning can help to minimize those “extra” expenditures. Give some consideration to how you would like the area around the pool landscaped and plan on that expense. Have you given any thought to maintenance cost? Pumps, filters and chemicals are regular expenses that need to be budgeted. Filling your pool initially will cause your water bill to rise significantly the first month. You will also want to consider the expense of water loss through normal usage of the pool.
The choice of swimming pools will be largely dependent on your answers to the previous questions. In a nutshell you have two choices, either in-ground or above-ground. Each has their own pluses and minuses.
An above-ground pool can be dismantled if you move to a new residence. They are also less expensive. Esthetically speaking, above-ground pools can be set up with decking and landscaping that rival more expensive in-ground pools. Often, the dealer you purchased from will offer setup and in some cases even decking and landscaping services.
In-ground pools are definitely more expensive than the portable, above-ground alternative. However, they usually increase the value of the property. If you have decided that an in-ground pool is best suited for your purposes, here are some steps you need to take:
- Shop around for a contractor.
- Obtain at least three written bids.
- Make certain that ALL labor and materials are included as well as building permits.
- Ask for a list of previous customers.
- Don’t make a hasty decision. Take your time and don’t be pressured into signing a contract.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to determine if the contractor has any outstanding complaints.
- Confirm that the contractor has the proper license.
- Never pay the contractor in cash. Always use a check, cashier’s check, money order or credit card so you have proof of purchase.
Purchasing a swimming pool is a major expenditure. The old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure” applies. Plan your project properly and you will enjoy years of pleasure.