A Guide to Everything You Should Consider Before Building a Pool

A Guide to Everything You Should Consider Before Building a Pool

Swimming Pools
By Alex Mikayelyan December 13, 2021

There are countless reasons to build your own pool for your private use. From increased home value to hosting pool parties, and splashing around in the summer during the heat waves, pools are without a doubt a favorite addition among many homeowners. But as much as you dream of having a pool in your backyard, there is a lot to think about before you start making any building or design decisions.

Be it an inground pool for pool parties, a lap pool for your daily exercise, or even a Jacuzzi spa for a little relaxation, a lot of design and planning is required, preferably with a professional pool contractor. This guide should give you a good place to start in terms of planning each detail of your pool, as well as the budget, what professionals you need to hire, and what maintenance to expect. 

What Pool Type and Size You’re Looking for

What Kind of Pools You Can Choose From

What Kind of Pools You Can Choose From

As with any other popular home addition, be it a deck, auxiliary dwelling unit, or hardscaping feature, there are a lot of pool types to pick from. These are not only meant to provide specific functionalities but are also made to fit within a diverse set of landscapes and into various kinds of budgets. 

For example, some of the more affordable pool options are the above-ground variants. In-ground pools tend to be more expensive as they require more professionals to come in and dig up your landscape, install the foundation, and other technicalities that may get costly. Above-ground pools bypass many of these expenses. Depending on the manufacturer, above-ground pools may look a little kitsch and not as unique as their in-ground counterparts. But there are also more personalized variants, such as the above-ground concrete pool which is built to suit your design and functionality specifications. There are also Jacuzzi hot tubs that don’t function exactly like a traditional outdoor pool but offer more options for relaxation. 

Think about how you’re going to be using your pool. If you’re thinking of hosting a lot of pool parties then your traditional above-ground pool should fit the bill. On the other hand, if you’re looking to relax after work, a Jacuzzi is most likely a better option. 

Aside from the type, you should also consider the pool shape and size as this will play into your budget as well as how much space you have available in your landscape. Swimming pool size is a key factor in this project since you don’t want to design a pool that is too large for your backyard. It is crucial to know the dimensions of your backyard as this will help you design a pool that fits your landscape. You can measure it yourself using a tape measure or if your property is registered on a database, that information may even be available online. 

So, regardless of whether you’re planning to build a small swimming pool for the kids or a large swimming pool to host crazy pool parties, you need to know the size of your landscape and how the pool will fit into it. 

What Contractors Are Needed for a Pool

Who You Should Hire to Build Your Pool

Who You Should Hire to Build Your Pool

Considering that you already have your pool designed and planned out, your next step is thinking about what professionals you’ll need to hire to get the job done. A pool contractor is your first pick when it comes to building your pool. This is the person in charge of overseeing that everything is running smoothly and the building process is going according to plan. Alongside the pool contractor, there is also the landscape architect who is tasked with determining how the pool will fit into the area around your home.

You will also need a plumber to set up the piping that goes into the pool, be it the filters, return pipes, or any other part of the pool’s utility system. Pool electricians are also crucial in building the pool, as they are responsible for grounding the pool to prevent minor electrocutions, setting up pool lights, and other electrical gadgets. In case you also want to make some smart pool installations, you’d also need a home automation specialist to connect the various pool gadgets to the smart network. 

Calculate Your Pool Budget

What You Should Consider for Your Swimming Pool Budget

What You Should Consider for Your Swimming Pool Budget

Once you have your landscape measurements, know what type of pool you’re going to install, and what professions will be involved in the building of your pool, you can now calculate the budget of your project. The first major determinant of your budget is going to be the size of your pool. The national average pool size in the United States is between 10 by 20 feet and 20 by 40 feet. For an above-ground pool in this size range, you can expect to pay $5,000 or more, depending on what material the pool is made of. Steel and aluminum are generally more affordable options over a custom-made concrete above-ground pool. An inground variant of the same size range is much steeper, with the average swimming pool prices starting at $18,000 and going up to $25,000. As for a 20 by 40 inground installation, which is considered to be a large installation, the swimming pool construction cost can go up to $100,000. 

Another important element to consider when calculating the budget is labor costs. Even though these national averages do include labor costs, you should still know how much each professional charges for their work. You can find many pool contractors and other related professionals online each of whom has its own labor costs and payment systems. But in most cases, pool contractors will charge depending on the project. For example, for a large inground concrete pool, they will charge $29,000 to $60,000 for labor costs alone. This includes all the other trades, from pool electricians to plumbers, and excavator specialists who are involved in the construction process. 

Types of Pool Filters and Maintenance

The Intricacies and Hidden Mechanisms That Make Pools Work

The Intricacies and Hidden Mechanisms That Make Pools Work

Lastly, there’s the question of maintenance, as pools require a ton of care. This doesn’t solely refer to the structure itself but also all the bits and pieces that make it work such as the pumps, chlorinators, heaters, pool cartridge filters, lighting fixtures, steps, and everything else that is built into the pool. Do keep in mind that pool maintenance can be a ton of extra work, so know what you’re getting into.

Chlorinators need to be changed every five to seven years unless they get damaged. There’s also the question of vacuuming a pool to pick up all the dirt and debris that’s floating in the water. This also means you’d have to invest in a pool vacuum which costs anywhere from $200 up to $1,000.

Filters also need to be regularly cleaned every six months and may need to be replaced on an annual basis. They typically cost around $300, which is not a large price to pay in the long run, but cleaning them regularly is something that you should always do to keep the water clean. 

There’s also the question of pool chemistry which you need to monitor closely to keep nasty bacteria and diseases out of the water. If all this seems like too much work for you, then you don’t have to do it yourself. You can hire a pool cleaning professional who would come in every week and do the pool maintenance for you, be it vacuum, skimming the water, changing the inground pool filter, and everything else in between. Their services cost anywhere from $80 up to $130 a month, so this is also an important factor to keep in mind when calculating your maintenance budget.


Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan