Taking the Plunge: Read This Before You Decide to Put in a Pool
Putting in a pool is a massive investment. If it’s well constructed and designed to complement both your home and your property, the water feature can provide you and your guests years of enjoyment, as well as add value to your home when you get ready to sell.
Unfortunately, for every beautiful backyard pool out there, it seems like there are three nightmare stories of pool installations gone bad. Frankly, there are so many ways a pool installation can go wrong that listing them all would be outside the scope of an article of this nature. Instead, here is a list of things to look into as you prepare to break ground in the backyard.
Check With Your HOA and Your Local Government First
This is a simple one, but it still needs to be addressed. If you are subject to the rules of a Home Owners Association, then you will want to make sure that they allow pools and that they don’t have to approve your plans before you begin construction. Nothing would be worse than to break ground on a giant hole in your backyard, only to have construction grounded to a halt because you’re not allowed to do any digging. And of course, this has happened plenty of times in the past.
You should also take the time to familiarize yourself with the local building codes that may affect your plans. Making revisions to plans after construction has begun is a great way to drive up the costs associated with your project.
Vet Your Prospective Pool Builders, Check References, & Get Their Insurance Info
Not all pool builders are created equal. Make sure to thoroughly check out your prospective builders by visiting their offices, checking their status with the Better Business Bureau and other consumer groups, and talking with their suppliers and former customers.
Some pool construction companies have tarnished the industry’s reputation by abandoning projects before they are finished, not paying their suppliers or subcontractors, and even absconding with clients deposits. Many of these contractors weren’t well versed in pool installation projects and jumped ship when the going got tough.
Most pool builders work with subcontractors for the excavation, plumbing, electrical, and even the concrete work. These subcontractors could put a lien against your property if the pool builder does not pay them.
Get a Few Bids Before Breaking Ground
Lastly, make sure that you are soliciting bids for your pool project from at least three vetted contractors. Going with the first estimate or the lowest bid is a good way to get less than stellar results. Generally speaking, the mid-range bids are the safest bet for insuring good timely completion of the project without cost overruns, other unfortunate issues with subcontractors, and scheduling delays.
Not Getting in Over Your Head
The excitement that often comes with the decision to take the plunge and put in a pool can make rational thought challenging. When considering more mundane items like a new roof or a new driveway, this may not be the case. Be sure to follow the steps outlined above so that the construction of your new pool, when you do finally begin to break ground, goes as smoothly as possible. Good luck!
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