The weather is heating up in a hurry. If you spend every summer gazing longingly at your neighbor’s pool, maybe now is the time to take the plunge. The plunge into your own pool, that is.
An inground pool can be a fantastic addition to your home. However, don’t assume that it’s a less serious and impactful remodeling project just because it’s outside your home.
You need to take your pool planning seriously if you want to enjoy your pool and your budget to the fullest.
Essential Pool Planning Tips
The planning stage is one of the most important times in your pool installation process. Use these tips to make sure you get it right.
It’s Not About Resale Value
If you’re only installing a pool because you want to increase your home’s resale value, stop right there.
When it comes to your home’s value, a pool is a toss-up. Some future buyers will see it as a fantastic asset and it could be the factor that sells the home. Others will see it as a liability and an expense, so it will decrease your home’s value in their eyes.
As you plan your pool, don’t design it around resale value. Focus on the features and shapes you’ll enjoy because that should be your key focus. If buyers happen to want to pay more for your home because of the pool, that’s an added bonus.
Consider Everyone Who Will Use It
The last thing you want to do is go through the effort of installing a pool only to realize that half of your family can’t enjoy it.
Think about who will be using your pool most often. Will it be all adults? Adults and older kids? What about young children?
This will help you decide the depth of your inground pool. If you want a space for younger kids, include a wading area or shallow point. If adults will use the pool too, you’ll want a deep end as well.
For most people, a pool with varying depths will be the ideal solution.
Timing is Everything
Pool planning isn’t just about picking out or designing your pool. It’s also a matter of choosing when you want to install the pool.
For many homeowners, the fall or winter is the best time to install a pool. Contractors tend to charge less during this time because fewer people get their pools installed in these seasons.
If you live in a cold climate, be careful, though. Chances are that your contractor won’t be able to dig the pool if your ground freezes.
Spring can be a helpful option because you don’t have to worry about the ground freezing. However, some areas get excessive rain during the spring. A yard full of mud can put as much of a damper on your pool installation as frozen ground.
Weigh Your Material Options
Size and depth are important when you’re designing a pool, but they’re far from the only considerations. Another choice you’ll have to make during this process is what material you want for your pool.
The most common materials for inground pools include concrete, vinyl liners, and fiberglass.
From the cost, maintenance, customizability, and more, each option has its pros and cons. Your pool material needs to cater to your highest priorities and long-term intentions.
Know Where Your Water Is
You’ve probably seen a comedy or two in which someone is digging a hole and they hit pressurized water that shoots out of the ground. That might not be likely but if your contractor hits your water table while digging, it’s still an issue.
Before you proceed with your project, you need to know how deep your water table is. If you have a well, that’s an easy job.
If you don’t, local geophysical experts will have the technology to measure your water table. They’ll also be able to tell you how deep you can dig without getting too close to it.
Make Room for a Pool Surround
One of the most important parts of pool planning is mapping out where on your lawn to place your pool. If your yard is small, it can be tempting to use as much outdoor space as possible for the pool.
Contain yourself, though. You need to leave enough room for a pool surround, usually made of concrete. Not only does this give the pool a finished look but it prevents escaping water from making your yard a muddy mess.
It’s also a good idea to leave enough room in case you decide to add a fence later.
A pool fence is a safety feature that many families require when they have small children. If you don’t have space for one, it could chase away future home buyers with young kids.
Research Ongoing Costs
One of the most common mistakes pool owners make is thinking about the installation cost, not the maintenance cost. Between keeping your filters up and running, balancing pH levels, and regular cleaning, pools can be pricey.
As you’re budgeting for your pool, that those costs into consideration. You might have enough money now to install a large pool. However, that large pool will cost more to maintain than a smaller one. Is it in the budget?
It’s worth your time to find out some numbers to compare.
Look up pool filters for various sizes of pools and look at the cost difference. The same goes for pool heaters if you want one. Ask cleaning companies for the price differences between the sizes of pools you’re considering.
Getting Your Dream Pool
If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve saved up for your dream pool for a long time. It feels great to hit that magic number in your savings account. That’s just the beginning, though.
Before it’s time for a refreshing dip, you need to take your time with your pool planning. The tips above will help you get a pool you and your family can enjoy for decades to come.
If you’re looking for more great ideas for your home, check out our home decor archives.