Everyone dreams of having a backyard oasis they can retreat to on a beautiful day for relaxation and fun. For millions of Americans, this vision involves a peaceful swimming pool. If you’re thinking about building a pool, then you aren’t alone. However, you need to ask questions before you begin the design and construction process.
Do Your Due Diligence
A pool is a major investment. According to one source, the average cost of building a 12’x24’ in-ground swimming pool ranges from $16,700 to $31,400. The cost often depends on the professional installer, the shape, and the materials. Concrete and gunite pools are by far the highest quality – lasting decades and only needing to be resurfaced every 10 to 12 years – and have an average industry cost of $29,600. Fiberglass pools are quick to install and run an average of $31,400. Vinyl pools are the cheapest and carry an average price tag of $25,700.
On top of the cost of the pool, you also have to calculate things like water pumps, water heaters, filter systems, fences, covers, sidewalks, ladders, diving boards, lighting, and water features. There are also permits, ongoing maintenance, and future repairs to keep in mind.
All of these costs aren’t meant to overwhelm you. They are, however, designed to show you the seriousness of installing a pool. This isn’t a process you want to start blindly without doing your due diligence. With that being said, here are some of the questions you must ask prior to getting started:
1. Do I really want a pool?
This may seem like a silly question, but it’s one you have to carefully consider. And even if you’re totally certain that you want a pool, you have to make sure everyone is onboard. If you have a spouse – or somebody else on the mortgage – they obviously have to be in agreeance with your decision.
Really dig down deep when asking this question. Of course a pool sounds wonderful on the surface. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a relaxing soak on a hot summer day? But think about all of the maintenance and costs that go into building and maintaining a pool. If you still want the pool after considering all of these elements, then there’s no reason to second-guess your decision.
2. Which feature is most important to me?
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’re going to have to choose which features you really want. That’s why it’s imperative that you rank possible features according to three different categories: “must have,” “really want,” and “would be nice to have.”
“Must have features” are elements that you can’t go without. The “really want features” are those you would love to have, but their inability to be integrated into the design won’t derail the entire project. “Would be nice features” are features that you would enjoy, but it’s not a big deal either way.
An example of a “must have feature” could be underwater lights for nighttime swimming. A “really want feature” might be an automatic pool safety cover. A “would be nice to have” feature would be something like a waterfall display. See the difference?
3. What’s my bottom line budget?
It’s important to discuss budget very early in the process. A lot will depend on your budget and you want to ensure you’re able to stay within your means. Will you be paying cash, or are you securing third party financing? How much can you afford in each situation?
Your bottom line budget is the absolute maximum amount you’re willing to spend. Under no circumstances will you surpass this figure. Hopefully, you’ll come in well below this number – but it helps to have an upper parameter in place.
4. What building permits and approvals are needed?
Did you know that in-ground swimming pools are subject to building and zoning regulations? It’s best to research this information well in advance so that you can apply for and obtain approval in time.
“Building and zoning rules differ from town to town, but ordinarily you must satisfy certain setback distances from the pool to property lines, septic tanks, wells, sewer lines, wetlands and the like,” says Joseph Truini of Popular Mechanics. “There are also codes concerning pool barriers and gate hardware.”
The latter issue is something you’ll certainly want to consider when designing your pool. If fences, gates, and barriers are needed, these costs must be factored into the overall plan.
5. Am I hiring the right contractor?
The right contractor or installer is arguably the single most important decision you’ll make throughout the entire design and construction process. Hire the right one and the process will be a breeze. Hire the wrong one and you’ll have a lot of sleepless nights.
The definition of the “right contractor” depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want a turnkey operation? Are you searching for the lowest price? Is quality the most important aspect? Get multiple quotes and meet with different pool installers to get a feel for who you like the most. You’ll also learn a lot by getting referrals, so ask around!
Contact Gunite Pools of Tulsa Today
At Gunite Pools of Tulsa, we understand better than anyone just how important the pool design and construction process is to you. That’s why we put customer service first and work closely with each and every client to ensure they are totally satisfied each step of the way.
If you’re looking for a high quality concrete pool that can be customized to your preferences at a price you can live with, then you’ve come to the right place. In Tulsa, we’re widely recognized for our commitment to high standards of quality and excellence. From designing and building to landscaping and renovating, we’re here every step of the way.
Whether you’re just in the beginning stages of dreaming about your pool, or you already have a design concept that you’re ready to hand off to a builder, we’re prepared to partner with you. Contact us today to request a free quote!