WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HOUSE SHOPPING AND A NEW POOL IS IN YOUR FUTURE TOO
Every day our office gets calls from new home owners or potential new home buyers that also want to build a new pool. It really gets frustrating for both the home owner and the pool guy when upon a site review the following occurs.
1. There is not enough access available for the excavation equipment. Yes, this does happen. Providing a survey or plot plan in advance of a site review can only tell your potential pool guy so much. Many surveys do not show the type of fence you have. When a fence is concrete blocks like Las Vegas, it can be a major undertaking to remove and replace it. Surveys often do not show the location of A/C units. Just imagine trying to convince someone in Houston, TX during an August 102° day with 140% humidity that it’s ‘ok’ to remove and reset their A/C units for 3 or 4 days while the pool is excavated. Yep, you know what I’m talking about… Surveys rarely include the location of trees and landscaping. You might be surprised how many folks are hesitant to remove their trees and landscaping.
2. There may be utility easements that take up too much of the yard. These easements tend to vary literally from subdivision to subdivision much less from state to state. These easements often can confirm the electrical lines, the gas lines, the sewer mains, the telephone, and cable for your house and the entire city block around you. These easements are readily shown on your survey. No construction including the pool deck should be allowed to be built on a utility easement. If you do this, you may ‘cloud’ the title of your home when you decide to sell it and also if any of the afore mentioned utility companies decide they need access into your yard, they can tear up everything on the easement and are not responsible for putting it back. Beware of pool companies or pool sales people that tell you it will be OK to build your new pool or pool deck on a utility easement.
3. Having an unlevel backyard… In most of the Houston area, we have flat level areas to build pools. This is an ideal condition for pool construction. In some parts of the country, especially in the southeast like Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia, there is often a need for expensive retaining walls to compensate for the severe elevation issues in a lot of places. When a retaining wall is necessary, get ready to spend $10K – $35K depending on the elevation challenges your property presents.
OK, so what’s the best way to avoid this situation? It all starts when you are looking at different properties. Request a survey from the seller and you can easily locate utility easements and property lines. Take a look at if you had to drive a car into your backyard, how would you do it? This is a good rule of thumb for accessibility. Look for the A/C locations, the location of trees, etc. My best suggestion is to have a pool company you have been in conversation with, furnished a survey of the property to, make a site visit to review things for you. This is not too much to ask of a pool company that is interested in long term relationships. If your pool guy won’t do this, you need to keep looking for another one. So there it is! A few FYI’s to make your pool purchasing decision a little easier.
Quote of the day: “Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty”. John Adams