There’s no doubt that swimming pools are a large investment. Many decisions that can make or break the project go into investing in a swimming pool. The basics are the cost, the specifics of the yard, and the type of pool and its size.
Before we discuss the three design tips to remember when planning your pool layout, consider your reasons for getting a pool. Do you want a pool for the fresh air, sunshine, and exercise? Do you want a pool around which guests can gather for a party or business meeting? Do you want a pool to raise your property value?
Whatever the reason you want a pool, think about these three pool design tips as you’re choosing a contractor, choosing the type pool you want, and considering how to landscape it once it’s done.
Design Tip One: How Much Pool Is In The Budget?
Homeowners have a choice of pools: in-ground or above-ground. In-ground pools are constructed from scratch, while above-ground pools are installed. Depending on your neck of the woods, above-ground pools can run anywhere between several hundred dollars to $1,000. More elaborate or larger pools can run from $1,000 to $8,000.
In-ground pools are more expensive. Just the basic patio and fencing around the pool begin at about $20,000. Add decking, landscaping, lights, spas, and fountains, and you’re looking at between $50,000 to $100,000. Also remember that opening and closing the pool each season, maintenance, cleaning equipment, chemicals, and the power bill figure into the budget for a pool.
Design Tip Two: Build Within The Character Of The Yard
It’s not totally impossible to build a pool in a yard with a small or severe slope. Certain building equipment and the latest technology can take care of that. The trick is to find the space to allow the construction equipment such as Bobcats and backhoes to get around the house and into the back yard to dig out your new pool. In super tight spaces, your neighbor might allow his fence to be removed just long enough for the pool construction.
Rocky yards figure into this tip, too. When the excavating machinery begins to dig, sometimes they hit rock. This can be either randomly placed stones or a bed of rock.
Either way, the machines take longer to remove the rock. Sometimes a jackhammer attachment is added to the excavators to break up the rock for removal. This adds to the cost and the time span for building the pool.
The soil in the backyard is one of two types: sandy or clay. Clay soils absorb water, so they expand and contract. This presents special considerations for the contractor. He will build into the pool extra support in the form of steel and concrete.
Sandy soil shifts. In this case, contractors shore up the hole with wooden 2x4s and plywood. This provides a frame while the contractors continue to remove soil.
Water and utility lines figure into this tip as well. Contractors will pump out the water as they work on other stages of building. Contractors take special care not to dig atop utility lines. However, in some older neighborhoods, they aren’t mapped. Some utility lines can be moved. It’s rare that the whole pool has to be moved, but it happens.
Design Tip Three: What Size Pool Is Right For You?
Size and style are matters of personal choice along with what the property will bear. Style is also influenced by local government restrictions on depth for the diving board, fencing, setbacks, and any utility lines nearby. Your contractor must be familiar with these as well as the permit and zoning process.