Whether you have just begun thinking about a pool installation or you are nearly ready to sign on the dotted line, make sure you check out the following secrets about pool construction before you go any further in the process. These tips will help you make a more informed buying decision and could save you time and money in the long run.
1. Not All Swimming Pools Are Built the Same
And some are better than others.
Bottom line, when it comes to in-ground pools, concrete construction is strongest and lasts longest. There are some pool companies out there doing quality construction on vinyl-lined and fiberglass pools, but those materials still cannot compare to the durability of concrete especially in the Arizona heat.
Concrete pools start with a cage-like structure made from steel rebar (thick reinforcing steel) over which pneumatically pumped concrete (called “shotcrete”) is sprayed, which then hardens into the pool shell. This is typically covered in plaster or some other durable surface layer like a pebble aggregate or tiling. It’s a decades-old process, and the product installed correctly can last a lifetime.
That’s not to say that all concrete pools are equal. Even pools of this type can be constructed from low-quality materials by pool builders trying to cut corners. Some might use low-quality concrete or rebar. Other might rush excavation.
The lesson here is that settling for a budget pool build by the lowest bidder is not likely to result in a long-lasting, high-quality pool. You could save some time and money, but ultimately it’s a recipe for problems down the road.
2. The Deck Is Just As Important as the Pool
Any pool company worth its salt knows this, but consumers may not.
When planning your pool build, be sure to consider the deck — the usually paved area immediately adjacent to and surrounding the pool — as high of a priority as the pool itself and budget accordingly. It is counter-productive to build a quality swimming pool but a subpar deck. The deck meets the coping of the pool and should be carefully constructed by a pool company that is invested in a comprehensive pool and deck build.
Aesthetically, the deck is what’s going to make your pool “pop.” We’re not saying you have to install a complicated, budget-busting deck; just take care considering how you want to properly complement your pool. It’s actually easier and cheaper in the long run to install a quality deck at the same time as the pool than waiting and trying to change it or upgrade later on.
Just like with a pool, you tend to get what you pay for. It’s worth it to invest in quality design and construction on your deck.
3. You Don’t Have to Compromise on Style
Some pool builders will try to steer you toward certain designs or packages they say are the most popular and lead you away from other types of designs for which you might have expressed a preference. What they are actually revealing is their limitations as designers and builders.
An experienced, creative designer can make almost any style of pool look good. They can make traditional designs look fresh as well as incorporate custom or modern designs with existing structures for a seamless appearance. If you have a preference for a certain type of pool, you’ll want to hire a pool company that has experience building a range of styles. Look for a builder who emphasizes the custom aspect of their designs. Not only is it an indication of extensive work experience, but it is also evidence of a company that is involved in the whole process from design to prep to construction. Custom pools are not necessarily more expensive than package pools, they just take more talent and knowhow!
One other advantage of concrete construction besides its strength and durability is its versatility and therefore customizability. If you can dream it, you can pour and mold it with concrete.
4. Plan for Complications
Not every pool company wants to potentially discourage customers by revealing what sort of problems can arise when installing a swimming pool. But let’s be honest: Building a pool is a big job and there is always a chance complications can crop up. Excavation can uncover large hidden rocks or objects that require special equipment — at greater expense — to remove. Harsh weather can delay construction or make extra work and cleanup necessary. The permitting process can eat up more time. The size and orientation of the space where your pool will go can present surprise difficulties depending on the layout and surroundings.
Those are just a few challenges that can arise during a pool build. Don’t let these things discourage you though. An experienced pool builder will have the know-how to work through issues and deliver the pool of your dreams.