Residential Pools: To Build or not to build

Podcast Transcript

This podcast is about building residential pools.

Welcome to the Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches online podcast with your hosts Holly Colasurdo and Elizabeth Varian.

Elizabeth Varian:  Hey everybody, welcome back to Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches pool podcast. We’ve got Holly on the phone. Hey, Holly. How are you doing over there, Pool Doctor?

Holly Colasurdo: Good morning, we’re good. We’re busy.

Elizabeth Varian: Yes, it is the season. Everybody’s jumping in the pools. The kids are starting to get out of school, it’s just going to be one big old splash of a summer, huh?

Holly Colasurdo:  Yep. People are waiting for their pools to be finished, so they can jump right in.

Elizabeth Varian: You’ve got quite a few pool builds going on lately. It’s been nice to see. Actually that’s a great way to start, because that’s exactly what our topic is about today: To build or not to build. I don’t know if Shakespeare said it or not, but we are.

Holly Colasurdo: Well. Yep, he might have actually.

Elizabeth Varian:  You know, pool build, it’s not a fast fix. It is actual construction in the home. Give me some of your initial thoughts to share with our audience about having a pool build.

Holly Colasurdo: Well there are actually lots of things that go into that. Deciding to build a pool is definitely not a knee jerk decision. You don’t just wake up and say, “Oh I’m going to build a pool today, let me call and this is going to be quick.”

Elizabeth Varian:  Yes, let’s just dig a hole.

Holly Colasurdo: Yep, yep. It’s a little easier just to dig a hole and jump in the mud, but there’s so many factors that go in, why are you building? When you plan to build? Cost, budget, what type, what size, what kind? Your pools definitely need maintenance for their life.

Elizabeth Varian:  Let’s kind of break it down, because it’s like remodeling your house or any room in your house. There’s a lot of details involved. The number one thing that people ask is, “How much is this going to cost me? What should I budget for?”

Holly Colasurdo: Right, planning and building, it is not like I said, a quick knee jerk reaction. It is a major addition to the home that dramatically alters the landscape of your outdoor living space and can be a definite lifestyle change. It just depends. Most people do want a concrete and plaster pool. They also have fiberglass now that’s come a long way that’s just as great. Budget, it just depends on-

Elizabeth Varian: Which takes a lot less time, so that makes the-

Holly Colasurdo: Right, it takes a little less time. Wear and tear’s about the same. It does take a little less time and you can’t tell the difference once you’ve landscaped around it and put tile and decking. It’s just amazing. Cost anywhere, I would say from a broad perspective, I would say a pool could cost anywhere, at the very, very least, 20,000 up to $120,000. It just depends on what you want to do.

Elizabeth Varian: Yeah if you get fancy with all the outdoor features, I can imagine that budget really gets high, but it’s nice to know there are inexpensive items.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah and a lot of people think it- Right. They think it’s just the shell. It’s not. You have to do decking. You have to do the trim around the pool. You have to do tile. That’s your basic, which again can be expensive.

Elizabeth Varian: We start out with cheap budgets, but once we see all the fancier item choices.

Holly Colasurdo: Right.

Elizabeth Varian: Oh well that’s prettier.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah, that’s why they offer loans and financing for swimming pool projects or home equity accounts, lines of credit, inheritances, savings. You have to have that before you even think about calling a contractor or a swimming pool company to come and build your pool.

Elizabeth Varian:  Let’s talk about the shapes and sizes. Not all backyards are made alike. What do I need to consider when I’m looking at, do I want a modern sleek line rectangle or a more traditional kidney. What kinds of things do I need to consider.

Holly Colasurdo: If you have a sprawling estate, lucky you. Then you can do whatever you want. You can place it anywhere, you could have a spa. You can place it along your horse barn. Whatever, but for those of us with smaller lots, it does take some creativity, special design and compromise to make a swimming pool or spa work for your outdoor space. That all can be done with a designer before you go move forward with digging that hole.

Elizabeth Varian:  Make sure that you have space around the pool so that you have that decking where you can go around it. You don’t want it to consume your entire yard obviously. So really knowing your measurements is probably wise. Now when is a good time, because here in south Florida, we can be almost in our pool year round. There are like a handful of days in January and February where it might be a little chilly and we like the pool heaters, but year round we can be in our pool. So when should we be considering to build a pool? What is a good time?

Holly Colasurdo:  Right, especially here in Florida, you can really build anytime. The question is, then we ask the client, who are you building for? Is this a project? Is your daughter getting married? Do you want to have the ceremony by your brand new pool? If it’s six months out, you better hit us early, because that’s a little hard to do, that timing with when to build, planning to build. Whether you’re having something going on or a big party. You have to be realistic about the time it will take to build your pool. We need to discuss with us, which months will be optimal for construction.

Like I said, in Florida, it’s optimal all the time. If you get some rainy months it might make it just that much longer, because nobody can work in the rain. Things have to dry, but other than that in Florida you can pretty much build whenever you want to.

Elizabeth Varian: It’s good to keep in mind the kind of construction. About approximately how many months is that construction time? I know you said there’s build outs and then you’ve got the fiberglass, which is a drop in. Those timeframes are going to be different, obviously. But by rule of thumb, what can we think about?

Holly Colasurdo:   Well, when you build a fiberglass pool, it can generally take, conservatively, maybe two weeks. It is faster, which is lots of fun. There’s less inspections, the process, there’s less steps to take. But when you do an in-ground pool, like a gunnite pool, those can take anywhere from, we say 60 days conservatively.

Elizabeth Varian:  So we definitely want to make sure everything is in order. We don’t want to come to you and want it done within a week. We know it’s going to take time before the construction to decide on all of our features, all of our tiles, the decking and really the time of planning takes a bit of time. There’s so many options out there to choose from. You don’t really want to rush it.

Holly Colasurdo:   There’s so many options. No. You just have to do a lot of thinking. And weigh your options. Again if you want that quickly, I think that fiberglass is a good decision to make. What you’re weighting on is your pool to be delivered, the guys to come out and dig the hole. There’s some piping going on. They can get it done really quickly. Then if you order a special tile for around it, of course that has to be delivered as well. If you’re waiting on that, well that’s just your deck. That’s not really your pool. You can swim in your fiberglass pool without your deck down there around it. Won’t look as pretty, but you can get in .

Elizabeth Varian:  You want it to look pretty for the party. Now you were mentioning parties and weddings and things. What are some other reasons for building a pool?

Holly Colasurdo:  If you have kids, and you live in Florida, you definitely want a pool. First of all, you make sure they know how to swim. That’s most important. It’s just fun. It’s fun for the kids or if you’re childless or not and you really love to entertain. That’s an amazing reason, because as Floridians, we’re outside all the time. That’s where we eat especially when it’s not really deep, hot summer. We’re out on the deck all the time.

Elizabeth Varian:  You know you’ve added before in other conversations about using lighting on the pool for the ambience and the environment for the setting. It just makes for a gorgeous idea for a party outside. I love that idea.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah, you don’t even really have to do any decorating when you have a pool and you have great lighting. You put the food out and that’s it. It’s so simple.

Elizabeth Varian: Easy.

Holly Colasurdo: It’s easy. Some people also build pools for therapy reasons. To stay healthy or if they’ve had an injury, especially when the spas come into play. The nice warm heat on your bones always feels so good. So there’s so many reasons people want to build a pool.

Elizabeth Varian: I love the fitness aspect. Having the water dumbbells and working out in it. You don’t have to have kids just as the reason for having a pool. I see it as a lot of value to it, but I know it’s not the major resale value, but it does here in Florida. A lot of people look for that pool. Then whether they actually use it or not consistently, that’s up to each individual. If they are going to use it consistently, and even if they’re going to use it only sporadically it’s going to need some sort of maintenance. Let’s talk about that.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. Yeah, maintenance. Ah maintenance.

Elizabeth Varian: Call Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches.

Holly Colasurdo: Right, that’ll solve all your issues right away. You won’t lose any sleep. The list of pools to keep a pool maintained is endless. If you’re up for the time commitment then go ahead and do that. Monthly cost of maintaining your pool, I think again, the benefits outweigh the cost. If you can afford to hire a monthly pool maintenance service to do the dirty work for you, that’s always the best. We still have clients to this day thinking they know more than we do about pools. I laugh because we see their pools more than they do. Our guys are out there once every week, or twice a week.

Elizabeth Varian: They may not be in it that often.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. Right. Just make sure you do the research and get smart about what’s entailed in maintaining a swimming pool, a spa or hot tub. You have heaters. You have chlorine. You have bromine. You have pumps. You have pool vacuums. You have test kits. There is so much that goes into a pool other than just standing there and looking at this beautiful body of water. It takes a lot to maintain it.

Elizabeth Varian:  And you do want to maintain it. It is a value and an asset to the house for resale. You want your kids in it. You want them to be healthy. You want guests in it. You want to be in it. You really want to make sure the chemical levels are balanced. When we have storms, which I know we’ve got probably another month before, actually a couple more months before hurricane season comes around. Which we’ll be talking about then. But any rainstorms like we’ve been having, you get the brush in there and the leaves. You definitely want to keep it maintained, especially if you’re going to spend $20-100,000 on value to your home. You want to keep it maintained.

I was laughing, but definitely give Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches a call, because it does, like you said, you see their pools more than they do many times. Especially if they’re snowbirds, you’re still cleaning the pool while they’re gone, so when they come back. They can just jump right in once they hit the house. So hopefully change into their swim trunks first, but you know. To each his own.

Holly Colasurdo: Oh yeah, our service techs definitely are our eyes and ears for our clients pools. Even if a motor sounds funny, then they let us know that as well. Then we go and diagnose it. You have to have more than just eyes out there on the pool. You have to know what you’re doing. Always before you build, make sure you have someone certified. You have to have a general contractor with a license. You can’t just hire anybody off the street. You’re just going to run into so many problems. It’s such a problem for the industry. That could be another show.

Elizabeth Varian: Yeah, a whole new topic. What I was going to say also is with the maintenance, they’re seeing it on a regular basis. They’ll also know if there’s any leaks, because they’ll be able to see if water is down too much. They know exactly how much it should be versus normal water evaporation. Absolutely make sure they’re a licensed contractor. Hiring anyone who knocks on your door and you don’t verify their license. You’re just opening up a whole ball of problems, so yeah, definitely make sure it’s a reputable company. You’re thinking you’re saving, but you’re going to end up spending more in the long run.

This was a great topic. I learned quite a bit from you, especially with that fiberglass and weeks versus months.

Holly Colasurdo:  Yeah, that’s exciting.

Elizabeth Varian:  It’s wonderful, because I know we sent out a press release a while ago that you guys are now offering those. That’s fantastic as well.

Holly Colasurdo: Oh yeah. We have a really neat one we’re doing-

Elizabeth Varian: So as always-

Holly Colasurdo: Oh yeah. Sorry. I was going to say we have a really neat fiberglass pool we’re doing. We’ll give it to you to go ahead and put it on the website. It’s so neat.

Elizabeth Varian: Yeah, get those photos so we can show the world.

Holly Colasurdo: You won’t believe what it looks like now.

Elizabeth Varian: We want people to know that they don’t have to be delayed from start to dip time. They can get in. We’re going to talk about fiberglass pools actually in the coming weeks, so I can’t wait, or coming months. I can’t wait to discuss that. Interesting options with them. On that note though, I will say thank you, Holly, so much for this time.

Holly Colasurdo: Yes, you’re welcome.

Elizabeth Varian: And I’m glad we were able to get together and chat and have our podcast. To our audience, consider building a pool as to whether it’s something that you’re going to use. You want to stop sharing the pool with all the other neighbor kids in the community pool. If you want to have your own little oasis in the back, give Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches a call. We will talk to you next month.

Holly Colasurdo: Thank you.

Elizabeth Varian: Bye.

Holly Colasurdo:  See you in the water. Bye.

Thank you for listening to our monthly podcast. Be sure to contact Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches for your south Florida pool needs. Call 561-203-0270 or visit us online at


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