Planning to Build an In-ground Swimming Pool? Start here!
Building a swimming pool is one of the most significant investments you will make in your home and property. Before you begin reaching out to swimming pool builders or landscape architects, there are a few important steps to take that will help you feel more prepared to start the process.
Know Your Property
No two properties are alike, so it is important to do some research before meeting with any swimming pool or landscape professionals. The property will ultimately inform the cost, design and construction plan for your pool, so the more you know upfront, the more prepared you will be to make decisions along the way. Here are the property information resources that you will need to begin planning for your swimming pool:
- An updated land survey. A land survey will give information about zoning, coverage, setbacks and town protected land (wetlands).
- Marked utilities. Many properties have underground septic, oil, propane or natural gas tanks. When you schedule your land survey, request that all utilities be clearly marked.
Visualize Swimming in Your Pool
Before you talk to a Landscape Architect or swimming pool builder, think about how you want to use your new swimming pool. A landscape architect or pool designer will use questions like these to inform the design, location, mechanicals, finishes and special features for your swimming pool and the surrounding landscape.
- Who will be using the pool?
- How often will the pool be used?
- Will the pool be for entertainment, exercise and/or relaxation?
- What time of day will you be swimming?
- Will you be entertaining friends and family? Hosting parties?
- How much privacy does your yard have or need?
- Are you interested in including hardscape outdoor living features such as a kitchen, fire pit or fire place?
- What do you want it to look like? Clippings, Pinterest pins, and Houzz inspiration boards are all very helpful!
Identify Potential Contractors
Once you have collected the essential property information, it’s time to make a list of potential contractors who can design and build your swimming pool. Whether you anticipate their price to be very affordable or very expensive, interviewing is an educational process, and the more information you collect, the more confident you will be in the decisions you make, so we recommend meeting with several swimming pool builders and landscape architects before making a decision. Here are a few great resources for finding landscape and swimming pool contractors in your area:
- Friends and Neighbors – It’s always good to have input from people who have built a swimming pool and can give insight on what to expect or share the name of providers they trust.
- Real Estate Agents – Check in with your realtor to see if they have any recommendations. They may have worked directly with a few pool builders or they may have clients who have experiences to share.
- Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) – The APSP (or the Northeast affiliate, NESPA) has a directory of local swimming pool builders as well as many important safety and technology resources for pool owners.
- Architects, Builders and other Building Professionals – If you know or have worked with an architect or builder in your area, they would be a great resource and can likely give you several recommendations.
- Home & Service-oriented Social Networking Platforms (Houzz.com, etc.) – Houzz is an easy online resource for finding reputable home improvement & design contractors in your area. Business profiles allow users to view project pictures, read reviews and ask questions.
- Online Research – Before you start interviewing, don’t forget to review company websites and social media pages to learn about their business, company values and what they offer. Give them a call to schedule a sales meeting and see how their customer service performs.
A little upfront planning and preparation will go a long way in helping you navigate the process of building an in-ground swimming pool. And the end result will be well worth the work!