Ever since we opened our doors—some 33 years ago—California Pools in Phoenix has been asked two big questions: “How much does a pool cost?” and “How long does it take to build a pool?”
Both questions are difficult to answer in detail without first gathering some detailed information from you. That is not possible here, so we will have to be a bit general for our purpose in this article. If you decide to meet with us, we will discuss timelines much more specific to your actual scope of work.
Before the pandemic and the post-pandemic demand surge for pools, we had a formula. We would estimate about a week for every $10,000 worth of work. Formulas do not work anymore, but it is worth noting that even in those simpler times our formula was just a guess.
Today there is a worldwide shortage of materials that impact every product. There is also a global challenge with freight and shipping. Locally, the demand for construction labor far exceeds the available qualified labor.
Even pre-construction processes are stressed. Today, you will have to wait for an appointment with a designer. Professionals who issue permits and perform the engineering or architectural work are in great demand. Every single function takes longer than it did prior to Covid.
But, enough of the reasons. Most of us are already aware of the current circumstances; they impact every industry and everything we buy as consumers. You came here, we assume, for some current guidance, and we want to provide that to you!
Clients today should anticipate a four-month planning process. This would include design, pricing, financing, securing a permit, producing CAD construction drawings, layout of the pool, and construction set up. All this gets the pool ready to excavate.
CPL has pools that go faster and some that go slower. There are many variables as to the type of project, location, financing issues, and how many changes a client might make.
Once a pool excavates, some products and features will impact the timeline, but a family should expect a 6-month process.
Again, we have projects move faster and slower. Your project manager/designer can direct you towards products and choices that could lead to shorter build times. Fewer changes mean a speedier result. This is particularly true now, where we pre-order so many of our products prior to excavation.
We hope this helps as you plan your project. Our entire CPL team is dedicated to bringing your vision alive as quickly as it is possible to do so without sacrificing quality or putting our clients in a compromising position.
Every single person who will do work in your yard will be insured, properly licensed, professionally trained, and fully vetted. Every CPL employee will seek to understand and serve you, including moving your project along as fast as possible.
Here are some additional information and tips for streamlining the pool building process that could both save you money and have you swimming sooner!
Phase 1: Create a design, analyze the proposal, and decide on your pool company (hopefully us!).
- Tip: Do your research! Follow your gut on who to work with. It’s worth taking your time with this first major decision. If you do not feel right about a contractor, it will only cost you time and money to re-start the whole process with another designer.
Phase 2: Determine how you are going to pay for the project. Options include cash payments, financing, and including in your first mortgage, among others.
- Tip: there is no need to wait until you have a design and price. Get your financial arrangements started early and you can have the financing in place by the time the design is complete and you have agreed on the final costs.
Phase 3: Convert the design and paperwork into a construction plan, secure permits from the city, layout the pool on the ground and establish correct elevations.
- Tip: If you have worked with one designer and spent the amount of time necessary to create a plan, you will have little need for changes. Again, trust your gut. If you have the right designer he or she has listened, is experienced, and “gets” you. They will also react quickly to your requests.
- Tip: if you have unpermitted work in your backyard or your yard is situated on a hillside or has other unique drainage characteristics, it is good to start working on these issues early. These surprises can really delay the process.
Phase 4: Excavation of the pool through shotcrete.
- Tip: Close the drapes and windows and keep a close eye on the dogs and kids. This is a relatively noisy and dusty process and the big machinery in the yard can be unsafe.
Phase 5: Shotcrete through interior finish (water in the pool).
- Tip: poured deck and shotcrete features are much faster than paver deck and masonry features. However, if you want pavers and masonry, make sure that the company you choose has internal labor and capability. This is the highest-pressure area on current labor and crews.
- Tip: select your products and colors early and minimize changes. In manufactured and imported products, we live in a supply-as-needed environment. Changes and supply issues can frequently cause delays.
Here at California Pools & Landscape, we strive to give our clients an honest answer when they ask how long it takes to build a pool. But the simple fact is, “it depends” is a great answer. It’s best to plan well, expect the unexpected, and work with the right company. You might not be an expert on pools or landscapes, but you’re probably an expert on people. Your gut and heart will tell you if the person or company you are working with have your best interests at heart.
Good luck with your project! The pool building process can be daunting, but the end result is always worth it!