16 tips to consider before buying an inground swimming pool

1. Create a wish list.

You may have been thinking of a swimming pool for years, and you may think you know exactly what you want. But it pays to read up on the latest technology and gather ideas. Once you’ve done some research and have an idea of costs and budgets the next steps become easier.

2. Find a look and pool style you like.

Pool builders and designers appreciate when customers come to them with pictures from magazines or swimming pool photo galleries, or images you have seen on the web while researching. This will give a pool builder a good sense of what you’re interested in and provides context of whats possible.

3. Researching the three types of in-ground pools.

A swimming pool is an Expense and an ongoing concern, just like a car or a home. You wouldn’t just buy any car on just any lot, would you? The same rules apply. There are many ways to build a swimming pool. Some are made of concrete, others are made of fiberglass, and still others are vinyl (see our blog about swimming pool types) And that’s just the first step. Coping, cleaning systems, filtering systems, artistic finishing touches. The list of variations goes on and on. Getting up to speed will allow you to speak a pool builder’s language and be more confident in the decision-making process.

4. Find a credible pool builder.

Once you’ve made the decision to dive into swimming pool ownership, the best way to ensure a smooth building process is to choose a seasoned swimming pool construction company . Interview several candidates, and ask about their building philosophies. A good pool builder will offer examples of his work, provide references (be sure to check them), and be able to answer relevant questions.

5. Decide on the swimming pool shape you want.

Swimming pool design is critical to both the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve and what you can actually do in the swimming pool. Rectangular designs are perfect for people wanting a classic, timeless look. They’re also great for games and swimming laps. Kidney and free-form swimming pools can blend with the surrounding vegetation and appear more natural.

6. Know how you want to use your pool.

Stop and think about why you’re installing a swimming pool. Is it for your kids? For entertaining? Is it an investment? Do you want it to make a dramatic architectural statement? Or is a relaxing retreat for you and your spouse? Answering these questions will help tell you what kind of swimming pool you want. A swimming pool for kids might include a slide and a wading area. It probably doesn’t need high-end glass tile finishing or a vanishing edge. But if you want something that is as visually appealing as it is enjoyable to use, you might consider a built-in water feature, more expensive coping, and a negative edge. A client with a clear sense of purpose is a builder’s best friend.

7. Establish a budget.

You probably already know what you’re willing to spend on a new swimming pool, but it’s important to speak with pool builders to get a sense of what your project will cost. Your pool builder will be able to listen to what you want and give you an estimate on what it will cost to make it happen. You may have to adjust your plans or your budget.

8. Consider long-term costs.

Owning a swimming pool does have costs and are dependent on area you live in and type of equipment you have. .Upkeep, especially if you take a few energy-saving steps (more on that below), can reduce your costs. But it’s best to have an idea of what those costs are. Factor in how much water it will take to keep your swimming pool full, cleaning and water maintenance costs, any accessories (pool covers, filters, toys, etc.) and warranty costs when it expires.

9. Check your local building codes.

Yes, , it’s a good idea to know the rules yourself. Some areas require perimeter fences of a certain height. Some require the fences to lock. Others require a fence around only the swimming pool itself and conservation authorities restrictions if applicable . You’ll also want to inquire about building permits, building restrictions, noise policies, and property tax concerns.

10. Home insurance.

When establishing a budget, don’t forget to think long term. Contact your insurance carrier and find out if the costs remain the same or will increase. Regardless of costs it is highly advisable you let them know you will be installing a in-ground swimming pool.

11. Know what you want up front.

Adding an option to a swimming pool is never as easy as the initial install. So, if you really want that waterfall or extra light, go for it. Better to do it upfront not in the middle of the install , it could cost you considerable more.

12. Eco-friendly.

Some shy away from swimming pools for fear of their environmental impact, but the industry has worked hard in the last few years to make pool owners a steward of the environment . Today’s pools can be heated almost entirely using solar energy. There are even swimming pools filtered using totally natural methods—an attached pond does all the work—and many chemical water treatments can now be replaced by less harsh natural alternatives. Swimming pool covers also reduce the amount of water lost (and then replaced) due to evaporation. Fiberglass swimming pools are considered eco friendly by its construction and never needing to drain the water.

13. Don’t forget water features.

Elegant waterfalls, spouting sconces, bubbling fountains—people love water features almost as much as the swimming pools themselves. If you’re interested in adding a few jets to your swimming pool, though, it’s best to do it during the initial construction. Retrofitting can be tricky (and sometimes impossible, depending on your swimming pool and what you want done) without a major remodel. It also costs more than twice as much, typically, to install water features after the fact.

14. Plantings

This is especially important when thinking about your budget. You won’t want that swimming pool sitting in the yard by itself, so consider what you’d like to plant and where. Avoid planting messy trees (pecans, gums, sycamores) or trees with far-reaching, shallow root systems (some oaks, birches, cypress) near your swimming pool, for instance. Instead go with bushy perennials that don’t grow as tall and can be moved if necessary.

15. Safety

Beyond any required fencing your local codes require, consider what other safety measures you’ll want to have in place. Swimming pools can be equipped with alarms to alert you when someone or something enters the water. Child-proof locks on gates, and security alarms on windows to the backyard are also considerations.

16. Think about finishing touches.

Things like coping, decking, and borders can make a swimming pool stand out. The materials used for each vary—stone, concrete, ceramic and glass tile—and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Discuss with you designer which options are right for you.

The more research you do the more you empower yourself in making the right decision whether its which pool type or how to find the right pool builder or just defining your budget. Its important that you put the effort in understanding the process and the time it takes from to start to swimming.