Like any other home renovation, you cannot appreciate all the complexities and things that will drive you crazy during a new pool construction unless you have gone through one yourself!
A new pool construction is no different than living through a home renovation. So, let’s look at five strategies to help you come through it with your sanity intact:
You should have an idea of what you want. Otherwise, as the pool is being constructed, you may come up with other ideas you would like added. This adds unplanned expenditures and missed deadlines than if the changes had been built into the original design. Some ideas also may not be possible, because they do not fit into the pool design you agreed upon. So take a little time and do some research on the Internet.
Specifically, look at the following:
- What is the purpose of the pool and its surrounding area? How will it be used? Do children still need a playground area? Do you wish to entertain or have an outdoor kitchen and dining area?
- Do you have a specific pool design in mind? Round, rectangle, connecting spa, sitting area inside the pool?
- Where and how will the pool be located? Will it take up the entire yard or only part of it? Will it be indoor or outdoor?
- Are there special features you desire? Do you want steps into the pool or use a ladder? A permanent slide or diving board for the children? Waterfalls and fountains? Look like an oasis to relax, or mainly a place for children to play – or both? Tile design or color preferences? Preferences in decking materials?
These are all questions you should ask yourself before you even begin looking for a builder. You are not looking for a set design at this point, just ideas. The pool designer will look at the area for construction and advise you on what will work best, using your ideas.
Hire the Right Builder
Of all these five strategies, this is the most important one. If you do not hire the right pool construction company, you could regret ever having the pool built in the first place. Here are some important steps to take before you hire:
- Find and make a list of local companies – they know the local laws, area geology, and are available to you in the future.
- Check for references and online reviews – consumeraffairs.com and bbb.org are good web sites to check.
- Meet with potential builders – ask to see their license. Check the expiration date. Make sure it is a Florida contractors’ license (see photos[i] below). What type and how much experience have they had with your type of project? Ask questions and do not settle for vague, sales-y answers.
The Actual Design
After meeting with you and getting your ideas of what you desire in a new pool design, the pool designer will look at your property to determine what can and cannot be done. The person should then sit down with you again to firm up the best design for you between your desires and what is possible with your property and budget.
The pool designer will resolve any foreseen engineering issues that may arise and then create the best design for you. When the design is presented to you, ask any question that comes to mind. Ask to take a copy home to study before committing. Try to view it at your property. Study it several different times over at least a week’s time to discover if you have any new questions to ask. Write them down to ask at your next meeting with the designer. Do not commit until you are 100 percent sure your answers have all been answered and you are happy with the design.
Discuss the Process
Discuss every aspect of the construction process with the builder. Who will manage the project and will they be onsite each day? What are the exact steps that will be taken and how long does each take? How will missed deadlines be handled? What is the procedure if you encounter a problem with any of the workers or the project manager? What can go wrong on a project like this and how were they handled on past projects, especially permitting issues?
Ask as many questions as needed, until you understand the complete process. The more you know, the less frustrations you will experience during construction. Though you still will encounter issues, they should not irritate as much when prepared.
Discuss the Impact of Construction on You and Your Family
This step is crucial and one most people forget to discuss. Take step four and look at each step of the process with the builder. Your questions should include:
- What type of equipment is involved, and how will they get into the construction location? What impact does that create for the other areas of the property not under construction? Will the builder fix any damage to those areas caused by the heavy equipment? At your cost or their cost?
- What will be the noise levels? And during what hours? You may need to forewarn neighbors.
- How will construction impede you and your family’s life? Plumbing and electrical work will be involved. Would you be better off renting another place temporarily until construction is complete or even during a phase of construction?
If you follow these five strategies, you should end up with a pool and surrounding area that you and your family will love and enjoy for years to come.
Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches is Florida licensed, local and skilled in new pool construction with almost 30 years of experience.
Call the Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches today
to discuss your new pool construction needs!
[i] Graphics from the Florida Swimming Pool Association at http://www.floridapoolpro.com/find-a-florida-pool-pro/choosing-a-contractor.