For most, Labor Day is the final swim day of the year when all of the local pools close for the season. Perhaps you enjoyed visiting a neighbor’s pool or the local water parks and left dreaming about the relaxing days at the pool. You have decided to finally build a pool of your own due to the warmer Oklahoma weather. Maybe you aren’t sure which pool questions to ask. We have a list to get you started.
1. Why do I want a swimming pool?
This might seem like a needless question, but how you want to use your pool will determine what kind of pool you need to build. Are you going to be using your pool strictly for pool parties? Are you going to want to exercise and swim laps? Perhaps you want to do both?
2. Who is going to be swimming in the pool?
The needs of a family with small children are going to be different than those of a couple. If children are going to be using the pool, you might want a pool that has a shallow end and gradually gets deeper. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities might require handrails for stability.
3. Is my yard suitable for pool construction?
You should have your soil tested to ensure that your chosen site is suitable for building. The type of soil and other ground elements in your yard may require particular construction strategies. A high water table can significantly increase construction costs.
4. Where will I put the pool?
You’ll need to familiarize yourself with local zoning and building laws, as they will need to be taken into consideration. You may be mandated to put a fence around your pool, which can affect the pool’s location. To control water runoff, there may be restrictions on how much of your yard can be covered with decking and in which direction it must slope. The location of utility lines in the ground can also dictate the placement of your pool.
You’ll also want to be aware of how and where people will need to enter and exit the pool, and where they might gather to relax, chat, and dry off, as those answers will also affect where you decide to place your pool and how you orient it. You’ll want to maximize the pool’s exposure to the sun so that the water temperature is comfortable. At the same time, you’ll want to minimize the pool’s exposure to wind, as that affects heat loss and evaporation.
You’ll also want to check the view of the proposed site from different areas of your yard and your windows since you’ll spend more time out of the pool looking at it than in it. You may want to also think about additional landscaping in the area to create a backyard oasis. Creative landscaping will ensure that, regardless of the season, or whether you are using the pool, it still provides a great view.
Finally, sometimes a proposed site will not work because it will be inaccessible to the heavy machinery needed to dig the hole for the pool. Ideally, the pathway should be at least 8 feet wide.
5. What shape and style will the pool be?
You will probably want a pool whose shape and style complement the design of your home, yard, and landscaping. If you want a drastically different pool, consider creating a transition area between it and your home by using a path, plants, and different building materials to guide the transition from one space to the other.
6. What special features do I want in my pool?
Who will be using your pool and how may determine any special features that you might want in your pool: underwater lights, seating, and speakers, and a bar may appeal to you. If you plan to use the pool for exercise, you might consider installing underwater handrails and a variable-speed current system. This creates a flow of water that enables you to swim in place. An automatic safety cover will provide protection when the pool is unsupervised.
7. What other backyard amenities do I want?
Think outside your pool! Though you might not be able to purchase everything that you want at the outset, planning for future additions will ensure that you have the necessary space. Maybe you also want an outdoor kitchen or shower, a fire pit, a pool house, a gazebo, or a swingset for your children.
8. What materials do I want to use?
While in-ground pools used to be made from plaster, that is changing, as aggregate and tile surfaces are becoming popular. Many homeowners opt to include tile mosaics and glass in their pool designs. Again, look to the surrounding landscape for materials to help your pool blend in (or stand out).
9. How can I make my pool easy to maintain?
All pools require routine care and maintenance, but the choices you make when you build it can go a long way to making that maintenance easier on you. Make sure that your pool is energy-efficient, with the proper hydraulics and substantial filtration. Automatic sanitizers ensure that the proper amount of sanitizing chemicals are in the water at all times, making it hard for algae to make itself at home in your pool.
10. When do I want it?
Unfortunately, a pool is not built and ready to use in a day or two. Be sure to have realistic expectations about when you would like to be able to use your pool. Questions to ask potential contractors are about the best months to build and a timetable for completion. Don’t forget to check your calendar to make sure that you’re not scheduled a backyard barbeque right in the middle of construction.