10 Pool Building Mistakes that Cost You a Fortune

Written by Published in Pool Construction

Starting off the pool building process on the wrong foot is a recipe for disaster. Shady builders create shoddy work, which leads to damaged yards, cost run-ups, and unhappy pool owners.

But these horror stories can all be avoided if you keep avoid the most common mistakes of building a pool—the errors we’ve seen throughout the industry, time and time again.

1. Scouring the bargain bin of pool contractors

I know you want to get the most bang for your buck. Everyone does. But there’s a limit to how low pool builders can charge before cutting corners.

In pool building, saving a few bucks means using uglier, cheaper, less sturdy materials. It means hidden maintenance and replacement costs when, not if your pool falls apart down the road.

Set a budget, and build the best pool you can within that budget.

2. Settling on the first contractor you find

There are a lot of pool builders out there. Some have been around for decades, some for days. Many won’t be around tomorrow.

Just about any pool horror story you can think of is avoidable with the right pool builder. Great design and quality construction are the not-so-hidden secret of happy, healthy pools and pool owners.

Do your due diligence and ask the right questions, and find the contractor that works for you.

3. Always deferring to the design and construction team

These guys are true experts, but this is YOUR project too. You don’t need to get your hands dirty and start shoveling dirt yourself, but you need to make your voice heard when necessary. Remember, you have to live with these results—better iron out small issues before they turn into big headaches.

4. Micromanaging the design and construction teams

Of course, the exact opposite holds true as well. There’s a line between “voicing your opinion” and “breathing down the pool guy’s neck.” We hire experts for a reason, and it’s critical to let them get to work. Splitting hairs over one of your patio stones being half a shade too light is just going to make your hair fall out.

5. Focusing too much on trends

Trends come and go. The hottest pool of today might be an ugly mess in ten years, and there’s no way to predict how visual tastes evolve.

What we can account for is your personal taste. Build a pool that fits your life and your needs first, and worry about looks second. Bear in mind that ease of maintenance and satisfaction outweigh trendiness over the long term.

6. Underestimating how much patio or deck space you need

This might surprise you, but the majority of time our clients spend with their new pools isn’t actually in the water.

Nope, most of their pool enjoyment comes from lounging, sunbathing, eating, playing and socializing AROUND the pool on—you guessed it—their patios and decks.

Building a sufficient patio or deck is so important when planning a pool. If you don’t make enough space now, you could be in store for a big (and costly) renovation very soon.

7. Constructing your pool too far from or close to the house

This is where an all-star design team pays dividends. Pools placed too close to your house feel incredibly cramped and uncomfortable, taking away half of the fun of swimming and relaxing poolside.

Meanwhile, pools built waaaayyyyy out next to the property line might look nice off in the distance, but they become much harder to keep track of—especially when you have youngsters eager to swim.

8. Ignoring the fine print

Pool builders will hide all sorts of wonderful surprises in the fine print. You don’t want surprises.

The big ones to look out for are the payment schedule (don’t start paying until work has actually been done) and warranties (get as much covered as possible).

9. Installing a diving board

Sounds like an awesome idea, but it really isn’t. Unless you’re a die-hard diver, we suggest saying no to diving boards at your home pool. Otherwise, be prepared for a huge pool with even less usable space than a small pool—space that could be spent on awesome features you can actually use.

10. Expecting the pool building process to be lightning fast

Meeting with builders. Consultations. Design. Construction. Building a pool is a lot of work, and expecting a ‘small’ pool project is unrealistic.

But work with an amazing pool builder, and you won’t have to worry about any of those horror stories you heard at the water cooler. The best pool builders make the whole process easy as pie.

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