If you are thinking about buying or building a swimming pool, you would have heard about the many terrorizing stories from other pool owners.
Let us start by saying that you don’t really have to panic.
Before you start browsing dozens of online portals or websites, reading different manuals, and scheduling appointments with contractors to discuss about the project and get estimates, read the following 10 points to know what mistakes to avoid.
1. Not Designing the Pool for the Planned Purpose
Before you even think about choosing a swimming pool type, you need to know the purpose behind your pool purchase.
In most cases, homeowners do have a clear reason behind their decision to build a pool.
For example, if you have kids at home and your main purpose is to entertain them, you need to think about including security features to your pool, like fences, gates, etc.
On the other hand, if you want your pool to be an exclusive place for entertaining adults, you may include special features like waterfalls, mood lighting, poolside bar, etc.
One common mistake that many first-time pool owners are known to make is having a large, deep pool, and some also include a diving board.
It is only later they realize that the deep end remains unused most of the time and the diving board is quite a safety hazard, especially for children.
By the time they realize it, it would be too late and they would have already spent a lot of money for the pool’s construction.
If you are a first time pool buyer, it is important that you avoid such mistakes and make sure that the pool is designed to serve its purpose.
2. Hiring the Wrong Contractor
Perhaps the worst mistake that you could do when buying your swimming pool is hiring the wrong pool construction contractor.
There are many pool manufacturing companies that employ temporary contractors, or those with insufficient experience in the industry.
In most cases, you will never be able to find those workers again.
There are even pool salesmen who focus just on selling a pool, without caring about or helping you with the installation process.
Therefore, to make sure that you hire the right contractor or developer, you need to ask several questions.
Not every contractor will be able to provide you with all necessary information.
Do your homework and try to learn as much information as you can about the pool construction process.
Use the many resources available online, read reviews and experiences, and learn from them.
When you know what is involved, you will be able to differentiate skilled and experienced contractors from the rest.
For instance, if a developer leaves the task of obtaining building permits to you, you should automatically switch to a different contractor.
3. Not Paying Attention to Contracts and Warranties
While most homeowners consider this not imperative, ignoring or not understanding your pool building contract and warranty is certainly a big mistake.
To make sure that you don’t face troubles because of deceptive contracts, you need to read everything carefully and ask questions until you thoroughly understand what you are getting into.
If you are looking for a contract that includes EVERYTHING, right from dirt hauling to getting permits and everything in between, you need to make sure that it is in writing.
Even if the contractor promises something to you verbally, make sure that they include the point in the contract.
The same applies to warranties as well.
In general, warranties include the structural parts, plumbing, and equipments of the pool.
Before buying a pool, you need to understand what is included in the warranty and who offers the warranty, the manufacturer or the dealer.
Ask questions wherever necessary and obtain a thorough understanding of the warranty before proceeding to the next step.
4. Shopping Over the Phone
A swimming pool is probably the second largest investment you will make in your life, after your house.
Therefore, make it a point that you NEVER shop for a pool over the phone.
Visit the business place of the swimming pool developer you choose, or have them come to your home, to get an estimate.
We recommend visiting the contractor’s place because it will help you know more about them and their business in general.
You could also be dealing with the contractor or company for years to come, with pool care and maintenance; therefore, visiting their place will be a good start.
Have you heard about analysis paralysis? In this case, it is when you obtain more than ten estimates for your swimming pool construction and finally end up getting confused and not being able to make a clear decision.
Do a little research and obtain estimates only from three to four reliable swimming pool contractors or companies in your locality, and choose one from this list.
6. Choosing the Wrong Container for the Pool
As most of you would be aware, the two basic swimming pool options you have are in-ground and above ground pools.
Because of the materials used and the methods of construction, above ground pools happen to be less expensive.
Above ground pools are available in different materials and sizes, and there are even models that you can build on your own.
However, these pools do not last long and therefore will suit best just for temporary use.
Most homeowners, depending on their budget, tend to go for in-ground pools, because they want their investment to be long lasting.
Regardless of the type of pool you choose to have, remember that there will be regular maintenance involved.
And each type of pool will have maintenance challenges of its own, which you have to understand before choosing a pool type for your property.
7. Not Asking for References
This is a point often emphasized by experts and pool owners alike.
Honestly, if you are dealing with a reliable pool construction company or contractor, they will voluntarily give you a list of references, using which you can call their previous customers and learn more about the company’s work.
But, if a pool builder doesn’t give you references, you should be really concerned.
Also, if a contractor tells you that they offer no references because their previous clients do not want to be bothered or on the reference list, know that they are simply lying.
8. Focusing Only on the Upfront Cost
In-ground pools usually cost between $20,000 and $30,000, and more depending on the design you choose.
When buying a swimming pool, most individuals usually tend to be concerned only about the upfront cost and sometimes totally ignore the cost of ownership.
You need to make sure that the pool model you choose requires less maintenance in order to lower the daily operational costs.
Go for pools that require less use of chemicals, replacement parts, cleaning, and resurfacing, so your costs over the life of the pool are less.
Also, it is important to not base your decision on price alone.
When a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that you get what you pay for. Therefore, do not give up on quality focusing solely on price.
9. Missing the Design Phase
Many homeowners dream of having a beautiful, uniquely designed pool in their backyard, surrounded by amazing landscape.
What they do is, they call a pool contractor or company, obtain a quote from them, and have the pool installed.
But, only later do they realize that it isn’t what they had in their dream.
This is because many homeowners don’t realize that even the most beautiful pools started out as a sketch.
All the major elements of the pool were listed down and included in the design, and changes were made until everything came out perfect on paper.
After this, the design was executed well, which then turned out to be exceedingly beautiful.
If you want your pool to reflect your likings and make sure that it turns out to be amazing, you need to start working with your pool contractor or company right from the design phase.
10. Ignoring Safety
Yes, your swimming pool will probably be the best place in your home to relax and unwind while enjoying the outdoors.
But, it can also be dangerous.
You need to make sure that your pool is safe for you and your family, especially if you have kids and pets at home.
Know about the fencing and barrier requirements for swimming pools in your city.
Even if your city doesn’t have it as a requirement for residential pools, it is just pure common sense to have a pool fence installed.
Buying a swimming pool can be a terrifying experience, especially if you are a first time buyer.
Just make sure that you avoid these 10 mistakes when buying your swimming pool and you will find the process less overwhelming.