Determining the Right Pool for You: Considerations and Planning
If you are thinking about purchasing a swimming pool, then you have come to the right place. Here at Pettis Pools & Patio, we are a premiere source of information and expertise. It is our goal to help families who are evaluating the merits of pool ownership with clear advice.
Purchasing and installing a swimming pool is one of the most rewarding home improvements imaginable. Every year, we help hundreds of people transition from the dream of owning a pool into the reality of creating their very own private paradise. A pool encourages backyard fun, promotes a healthy lifestyle, enhances family time, and will likely increase the value and appearance of your home.
While the pride and satisfaction of owning a pool is rewarding, we haven’t forgotten the fact that a pool is a substantial investment for most families. Many factors such as personal preference, budget, installation, landscape considerations, local codes, and even weather play a significant role in selecting the right pool.
Above Ground Pool
Here’s a checklist to help:
1. Plan early!
It may be hard to believe summer is coming when there’s snow on the ground; but think warm and visit our store early! Some of the best deals are available off-season and you’ll be able to schedule your installation early so you can get the most out of your pool for that first summer. Ultimately the weather is our boss for when your pool can be installed; but by committing early you will be swimming when others are melting in the summer heat.
2. Check the code first.
Before heading down the road to pool ownership, be sure to check with your local building code enforcement office to determine what can (and sometimes cannot) be added to your property. Each township, village or county will have restrictions on proximity to property lines, utilities, safety or zoning restrictions, even mandatory green ordinances that could limit the size or style of your swimming pool. Knowing what your locality allows will help you define limits for your new swimming pool.
3. Take out your paper tablet and pen.
Measure the area where you want your pool to go and record these measurements. Bring them with you to our store because they will help us determine the right pool for you. Also make note of any significant slopes in your yard or landscape challenges such as a large tree nearby.
4. What Will I Use It For?
Do you plan on swimming laps? Did your doctor recommend a pool for therapeutic reasons? Do you have visions of entertaining guests in and around your pool? Is it for your children and their friends?
5. What Type of Pool Do I Want?
There’s a sea of pool styles today, including all kinds of shapes, sizes and combinations. There are also solutions for sloping yards—pools that can be installed half in, half above the ground. Learn more about the semi-inground pools we carry by following this link. Going pool shopping is one of the fun aspects of the project. It’s the time when your imagination can really go to work.
Inground: If you are not planning a move soon and you have the budget, there is nothing like the beauty and flexibility of designing an inground pool (link to IG gallery). The choices are practically endless and you have the ability to put a personal stamp on the project.
Above-Ground: Above-ground pools are enjoying a resurgence as more people are watching their budgets. Above-ground pools are usually thousands less than inground pools. They also require a much shorter install period, which means you could be swimming within days of your purchase. More and more people today are embracing the idea of a “staycation” which is obviously enhanced with your own backyard pool.
6. What’s My Budget?
There are many factors that determine the price of a pool. Whether you build/install an Above ground, Inground or Ultimate pool is the biggest factor in determining price. The next is size and shape. For example, an oval above ground costs much more than a round pool. Pool size, extras and custom features also impact pricing.
Costs are also determined by:
- Quality of materials and craftsmanship.
- Soil conditions, levelness of site and the presence of water or rock.
- Warranties provided by the pool manufacturer.
While the average cost of building a pool varies by region, a base inground pool will typically range from the mid- to upper- $20,000s. Customized options, automated features, and the cost of finish materials contribute to the total price of your pool. A semi-inground pool ranges in price from $7,500 up to $15,000 while an above ground pool can range in price from $2,500 – $6,000. Keep in mind that—depending on the pool type chosen—electrical work, permits and dirt removal may be additional. Please feel free to discuss details with us.
7. Installations are customized.
Above ground, inground and semi-inground swimming pools are constructed right on your property. Because of this, the degree of expertise and experience of your swimming pool supplier and contractor is absolutely essential. At Pettis, we have been building pools since 1962 and welcome you to check references by calling or visiting our previous customers. You can also check our rating at the Better Business Bureau and the Pool and Spa Professionals website. We carry both workman’s compensation and liability insurance. No doubt about it, you want an installer who is experienced and trustworthy!
8. What about price versus quality?
There are a limited number of reputable pool dealers; and a far greater number of contractors or suppliers who claim to specialize in pools and pool installation. There’s no substitute for a quality product installed by an experienced professional—choosing the pool that’s priced right for you is only half the battle.
And don’t be misled by gimmicks! There’s no such thing as a true $99 installation, for example, on an above-ground pool. The rest of the installation cost is hidden in the pool price so you’re really buying a lesser quality pool. If your budget is tight, consider buying the better pool and installing it yourself.
9. What about maintenance?
A pool does require upkeep, but keeping your pool well maintained prolongs its life, prevents bacteria growth and delays needed repairs. Do you know what it takes to maintain a pool, and keep it clean and healthy for your family?
Maintenance of a pool is fairly simple, but the routine must be followed to get the most benefit out of your pool. The best advice is to take care of any problems before they happen, and not after the fact. Repairing a cracked or corroded pool is not low cost, plus you don’t want your pool to be closed during the summer months due to repair work.
Pool maintenance encompasses the following categories:
- Maintaining water balance and sanitizing the pool to prevent growth of bacteria and contaminants. Alkalinty, pH and calcium hardness levels are all very important to check and maintain. Improper levels can eventually damage liners, ladders and equipment.
- Changing/cleaning filters and allowing adequate run time for those filters to run. The optimum way to run a filter is to turn your filter system on in the spring and off in the fall; this allows it to do its job 24-hours a day. If you “run with the sun” you’ll always be covered when there’s the greatest chance of swimmers who stir up debris.
- Checking electrical and lubricating O rings with the proper lube
- Using a skimmer to remove surface debris such as leaves & cottonwood.
- Vacuuming as necessary to remove organic material to prevent staining of the liner.
- Proper opening & closing procedures, available at Pettis Pools & Patio.
10. Ask questions.
Then ask more questions. Here are some samples to keep in mind:
What comes standard with my pool purchase? What safety considerations should I make? How much does yearly maintenance cost? What’s the difference between an above ground and inground pool? How long will the project take the builder? Is financing available? What guarantees or warranties are offered?
Remember, the only bad question is the one that goes unspoken.
The time you invest now—as you prepare to purchase a pool—is returned over and over each time you dive into the perfect pool installed by a quality swimming pool dealer.