In ground pools – How to choose

in ground pool

When you begin thinking about getting an in ground swimming pool there are some things that you can do so when the time comes you are ready.  I have written about this subject in the past, however today I am going to approach it from a different angle.  The reason being that today’s world is technology driven.  That is something that I forgot the last time I discussed this subject.  For many of us, we have access to all of the information in the world.  In fact most of us have it right in our pockets.  We can access it at any time and without even thinking about the significance of what it means.  The majority of people use this technology to update their Facebook status, upload videos to Youtube, or just watch the Youtube videos that already exist.  Let’s face it the minute we stop going to school, that is the minute that we stop using the internet for what it really is.  The internet is our gateway into the world.  The possibilities are virtually endless.  That being said it stands to reason that we should utilize this technology for purposes other than recreation.  One of my favorite websites is Houzz.  With this site a person can view projects that others have done and create their own idea book.  This is where the process of getting a pool should start.  Granted their are other websites out their that can function similarly.  However with Houzz, a person doesn’t have to filter through a bunch of other stuff to get to what they are looking for.  Houzz is a jumping off point for a lot of people who want a swimming pool but just don’t know what components they want.

Step 1

The reality is that there are many things that a person can add to their pool to truly customize it.  Getting an idea of how what these things look like and how they work plays a huge role in the decision to purchase them.  Seriously, when was the last time you bought something without having at least some idea of how it works or what it looks like.  With Houzz people can see what others have done and get a feel for what would look good in their own backyard.  It allows us to see the many options that can compliment a swimming pool before actually buying anything.  The idea book aspect of the site allows viewers to take specific pictures and store them all together.  Now imagine having that when you sit down with a builder.  It will help to eliminate them trying to sell you the same pool that they put in down the street two years ago.  After all if you are spending your money on it and have to see it for years to come, don’t you want it to reflect your personality?  Having an idea book will help the builder understand what you like and and don’t like and help you decide what works and what doesn’t.  That is the first step to getting a pool.

Step 2

The fun part comes when you get to share your idea book with your significant other.  This is where you fine tune what you want in order to accommodate both of your tastes.  Use this to bounce ideas off of one another, eliminate the things you can live without, or identify the must haves.  Another major benefit to this site is that a lot of the projects that you can view are images of projects from start to finish.  This will allow you to see what’s to come during the build process.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many people have come up to me to tell me that they didn’t realize this or that.  With this site you can get an idea of what the project will look like at various stages.  This will allow you to eliminate that element of surprise later.  You can remain ahead of the game and know what is next.  Having that ability may be beneficial if you are still indecisive on some aspect of the process.  There are some things that can be changed before specific points during the build.  For instance if you are having concrete poured around the pool to form the deck, you may not be sure of how you want it to be formed.  If you can decide before your builder is ready to pour then you may be able to change it.  That is something that you obviously can’t change after the fact… Well unless you are willing to spend the money to have it busted out an re-poured.  However having these elements decided on before hand will definitely speed up the process.  That is another reason Houzz is ideal for people who are thinking about getting a pool.  All of these things can be decided on before you even meet with a builder.  If you and your significant other have two different idea books then you would likely have different pictures in them.  When you sit down and go over each others books you may be surprised to see something that you had not encountered during your search.  On the other hand you may see something that you saw and quickly passed on because its just not your taste.  When it comes down to it though, this is a big part of deciding what you want and having photos will definitely help.

Step 3

Finding a reputable builder is a very important part of this whole process.  You don’t necessarily want the guy in the pickup that will build the pool cheaper than anyone else.  A lot of time guys like that have very little experience and are just looking to get your money.  I have noticed that the most reliable builders are those with a store front.  However don’t just pick a builder based on that.  Use the internet and research their company.  Most builders are quick to identify how much experience they have.  You might see on their website that they were established in 1976 or something like that.  Also you can often find reviews that their past customers have written.  Be sure to look outside their website for these.  While they may have some testimonials posted on their website, you can be sure that what is there was hand picked to help make their company look perfect in the eyes of the consumer.  If you feel that you have identified a good builder take the time to go to their store and have a look around.  Obviously you want to make sure that they are what their website says they are.  If you drive up to an old barn with a paper open sign hanging in the window then you may want to do more research.  You may be wondering why it matters that they have a location and that it is one that is up to date and clean.  Well a lot can be said by what a company has.  A nice updated showroom in a clean building with an electronic sign out front shows that a company is responsible, at least to the extent that they pay their bills and maintain a nice showroom.  Granted the guy in the pickup truck may be a good builder and may be as responsible as the one in the nice building.  However keep in mind that you are about to spend a decent amount of money with them.  All politics aside you want the person building the pool to do a good job and you have to weigh the risks.  Once you feel comfortable with the builder you have chosen then you are ready for a consultation.

Step 4

Arrange a date and time to sit down with the builder and discuss the possibilities.  From your research you will likely have some questions for them and it is a good idea to have them written down ahead of time so you can make sure to get them answered before committing to buying a pool.  This is also the time in which you can show them you idea book.  In all my years as a pool builder I have found that talking about different components of a pool can be somewhat difficult.  It is difficult enough to do talk with someone else in the field so it is very tough to do so with someone who doesn’t know the terminology.  Photos of things you want to talk about will greatly help the builder understand the things you are wanting.  Likewise the builder should have plenty of material to go through with you as well.  The builder may have photos of pools that have been built in the past.  You can probably choose to get one like the one in the picture, or you can start from scratch.  You will have to decide why you want the pool to begin with.  Do you have children?  Do you just want a place to relax?  Do you want a deep enough pool to jump into?  These are all things to consider when choosing a pool.  However their may be some things that you have overlooked that the builder can help with.  Things like orientation of the pool in the backyard or size of the pool in general may be easier to decide while talking with the builder.  They may be able to give you some insight on what has worked in the past and steer you away from installing a pool that is much too large.  Your idea book will be very helpful to show the builder for things like concrete.  There are many ways a builder can do the concrete.  It can be standard white concrete, it can be colored, it can be brushed, it can be stamped.  You can have a boarder around the pool in a different color than the rest of the concrete.  If you have photos in your idea book of the style of concrete then your builder will walk away with a very good idea of what you want.  This can alleviate any confusion later.  Once you have determined the wants and needs associated with your pool you can move forward with the build process.

With the way that technology is moving it makes perfect sense to use it to our advantage.  Utilizing different websites and social media to benefit you in your search for your perfect pool or project in general is the next big thing.  It allows you to more easily identify the things you like and need and discard the things you don’t.  That way when the time comes to sit down and talk with a builder, you are fully prepared.  Being that Houzz in particular often shows you projects from start to finish you can go in with a greater knowledge of how the process will go.  In turn that will allow you to identify and write down any questions about the process so you can get them answered right off the bat.