Most pool builders are asked two questions more than they hear other questions—and those questions are:
- “What is the best time of year to build a swimming pool?”
- “How do I begin the planning process for a swimming pool?”
Following are the answers to these very common questions:
What is the best time of year to build a swimming pool?
The answer will probably not surprise you—it is now, during the off season, before the skilled contractors get too busy. This is true of not just swimming pools—but other home improvement projects as well. There are several reasons that now is the best time to begin backyard projects:
- Landscaping—The best time to install landscaping is during the time of year from fall to early spring. Summer is actually not a good time of the year to install landscaping as it is too hot for the actively growing plants—making them more susceptible to damage. If you install a pool and landscaping before the growing season, by the time summer arrives you can have a wonderful looking backyard—not something that looks like a construction site.
- Well-rested work crews—Like anyone else, excessive work can lead to tired and stressed out workers and sometimes attention-to-detail is not what it needs to be. Therefore, it can be advantageous to build a pool or make other backyard improvements before the busy season and heat arrives to ensure that the workers are well-rested and less stressed.
- It takes time—Due to the length of time that it takes to obtain financing for backyard projects, it often takes longer than you would expect to begin a backyard projects. In addition, with line locations and building permits—the planning for projects can often take from several weeks to several months. Add to this the actual time that it takes to build the project, including weather delays—and all of the sudden swim season is here. There is nothing more frustrating than having a project under construction and wishing you were already using it.
In a few short months we will be approaching the end of this window, so now is the time to get started on that backyard improvement that you desire.
“How do I begin the planning process for a swimming pool?”
Like any large investment, it is critical that you take your time in making decisions. Following are some tips to help get you started on the proper path when purchasing a swimming pool:
- Look at as many pools as you can—It is a good idea to visit your friends’ swimming pools and get their opinion on things that they would do different, but the best way to do this is on the internet. Houzz and Pinterest are both excellent sources for pool ideas. As you see things that you like, make a list of them.
- Discuss the project with your family—It is important that the pool meets your particular needs. Such items as the following should be considered.
Pool placement in the yard
Game pool or diving pool
Pool only or pool with spa
Traditional look or tropical look
Decorative water features
Patio area for table and lounge chairs
- Get a copy of your plot plan (also called survey plan) – This is a legal drawing of your property and is usually with your mortgage papers. It typically shows where the house is located on your property which will help determine how much backyard space that you have available. Often times, easements and building setbacks will limit the backyard space that is available.
- Make some rough sketches of your ideas—This is optional, but many people find it helpful to make some of their own drawings before hiring a designer. It is best to draw a scaled drawing, which makes the features relative size to each other. A scale ruler and graph paper can be purchased at most office supply or art stores. You can take the space that is shown on the plot plan and transfer it to your graph paper using either ¼” or 1/8” scale. On the drawing, include the fence, the back of the house, existing patios, trees, and anything that you want to keep. After you have some ideas of what you want and where you want it, it is time to call on pool construction companies to continue the planning process.
There are clearly many factors to consider when selecting the proper swimming pool for your situation—but proper planning and preparation will assure you that you get what fits your needs, yard, and budget.