Establishing a Budget for a Backyard Swimming Pool
So, you have decided to add a swimming pool to your backyard. The next step is to create a budget for your backyard paradise, but you’re not sure where to start. Well, let’s start at the beginning.
What do you want in a pool? What size will fit best into the design of your backyard? What shape will complement your outdoor decor? What other amenities would you like to include with your pool design? What other activities might your family enjoy along with their swimming experience? Perhaps you would like to barbecue poolside or take a break from swimming in a shady gazebo. Make a wish list for your pool. Include everything you think you might desire for your pool, even if you don’t know if it will fit into your budget. Items can be added or removed later if necessary.
Next, you must think about what type of pool you want and which kind will fit into your budget. Various options exist — from above-ground pools to custom concrete in-ground swimming pools. Above-ground pools and vinyl-lined in-ground pools are relatively cheap, but pool kits and vinyl liners degrade rather quickly and need to be repaired or replaced. Also, pumps and other mechanical parts are often sub-par in these types of pools, and maintenance can become a nightmare.
Custom concrete in-ground pools are built to your specifications and can include landscaping, decking, custom slides and jacuzzis, etc. However, having a custom concrete pool built for you from scratch can be quite expensive and take a long time to complete. A good option for many homeowners is a fiberglass swimming pool. These pools feature a durable, pre-fabricated fiberglass shell, which eliminates the need for all the sub-contractors that building a concrete pool can require. Fiberglass pool shells come in many sizes and shapes for customization and can often be installed within a few days.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what you want in your little piece of paradise, it’s time to have a professional pool sales person come to your home to do a site audit, talk to you about your wish list and provide a price based on your backyard’s topography (elevation and size). Make sure to have a copy of your property survey available.
In most cases a professional pool sales person will be able to listen to what you want and give you an estimate on what will be involved to make your pool dream come true. It may require you changing gears a bit on what you want. Perhaps a smaller pool will bring the cost of the pool back into your budget, or maybe just a few items less on the amenity package will allow you to accomplish your budget without sacrificing the pool size.
In any event, NEVER purchase a pool from a pool company that refuses to sit down with you in your home to provide that estimate. The contractor should listen to what you want your pool to be and then provide you an exact price written on a contract that lists all specifics. Don’t purchase an inground pool over the phone or just by visiting a company’s office or showroom.
Now for the last and most important step: when the construction is over, plan a big pool party to celebrate the completion of the pool. Get those hot dogs and burgers on the grill, invite friends and family over and break in your new swimming pool!