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31 January 2019
10 Questions to ask when planning a pool

A swimming pool is the ultimate status symbol, adding both value and allure to your property. However, building a pool can be a significant undertaking. This means there are key questions to ask yourself before you break ground and begin construction.

It’s important to know the answers, otherwise, you may end up making a mistake. In this post, we cover the most important areas you need to research to help you plan for a new pool that will fulfil all your dreams and expectations.

1. Why do I want a pool?
There are excellent reasons to install a pool on your property, but it’s vital you know why you want to have one built. Is it for adding value to your property, or more of an aesthetic choice? Other important considerations are whether your pool is for adults, children of different ages, older people, anyone with mobility issues, and what about guests?  All these factors may affect the design you choose.  Also, the anticipated bather load is important when it comes to the pool water treatment requirements.

2. What do I want to use the pool for?
Arguably the most important question on this list, and one that too many people skip over. If you don’t know what you want to use the pool for, you may realise after construction is over that your pool is inappropriate for your intended usage. If you intend to use your pool for exercising, you’ll likely need to be able to swim a length, which means a more standard shape to your pool. Are there hydrotherapy needs?  If the pool is going to be used exclusively for lounging and relaxing, you may want to be more inventive with the design and accessories.

3. What style or type of pool do I want?
There are a variety of styles and types of pools to choose from, each with their own merits. Concrete was the standard for many years, but there are other options like stainless steel which are becoming increasingly popular. A vinyl liner might also be appropriate - particularly if you’re renovating an existing pool.

4. What is my budget?
There’s no doubt that a pool is a significant investment, one which will come to define your home. However, proper budgeting is key with a project of this nature. Choose your pool design team and hardware wisely (thorough research is essential).  A responsible pool designer/builder won’t pressure you into paying for more than you want or need.

5. Where will you build the pool?
Are you planning on an outdoor pool or an indoor one? It might be on a rooftop, or as the centrepiece of a magnificent basement. If it’s indoors, you will need to take into account ventilation and insulation alongside your pool construction, particularly if the pool hall is pre-existing rather than being purpose built. If you’re more interested in an outdoor pool, will you need to do some landscaping to make room for it?

6. How do I choose a pool designer?
When selecting your pool designer, there are three things that will help you hire the right firm for your needs.  The first is checking the portfolio of the companies you shortlist.  Look at examples of previous work, and if possible, as the bidders for your pool design to refer you to a couple of past clients you can talk to.  Second, SPATA recommends that you choose one of its members because they work to very high design and technical standards. Finally, once you have chosen the shortlist of pool designers/builders meet with them, and your architect if relevant, to discuss your needs and budget in detail. Only once you have done these things can you make an informed decision.

The best pool designers go the extra mile, for example, before Scott Cohen, owner of Green Scene Landscaping & Pools based in Chatsworth, California, begins a pool project, he has his customers complete a four-page questionnaire that asks about their interests, hobbies, favorite colors, children’s ages and more so he can better understand and know what they value! 

7. How much do I want to be involved in the process?
The answer to this question varies from client to client. Some people like to be totally involved in the design and building process from start to finish, perhaps leveraging some skills from their own professional careers to pitch in. Other clients will delegate this task to an estate manager, or to their architect.  It’s horses for courses, and a luxury pool builder will have experience with a wide range of clients and are used to working with architects and designers, sometimes without ever seeing the people who will swim in the pool!

8. Do I want any glamorous accessories?
It used to be that pool accessories meant inflatable toys. This is no longer the case. Advances in technology mean that you can install a variety of fantastic equipment including counter-current units, which turn a smaller pool into a kind of swimming ‘treadmill’. It’s a phenomenal space-saver, so needs to be an option from the very start. And there is also the choice of an amazing moving floor being built into the pool. This enables the pool to be covered with a hard floor when the pool is not being used, so you can transform your room or patio back to ‘normal’.

9. How quickly do I want my pool completed?
Writing for Forbes, contributor Lena Katz (@lenatic) describes a rough timeline: “Construction time for a pool, according to experts, should be three to four months. There are not many reasons why a homeowner would need to live with a giant unfilled hole in the backyard for any longer. Possible reasons for additional delay? Excessively rainy weather (record-breaking rains in South Florida wreaked havoc on pool contractors’ 2018 schedules), or perhaps bad soil, leading to unforeseen engineering work.”

10. How will I look after my pool?
Any responsible pool owner needs to keep on top of maintenance, which means observing a proper cleaning and monitoring schedule. Many owners find it much easier to schedule regular servicing with a professional pool engineer. They will do a thorough check of your pool and the plant room, ensuring that every part of your pool is functioning as it should. They will also be able to identify potential issues and fix anything untoward, preventing bigger problems arising.

If you are not starting from scratch, but looking at a significant pool refurbishment project, it is still a good idea to go through this checklist to ensure you know exactly what you want from the refurbishment, and that you find the right company to do the job. 

If you’ve answered all of these questions, it's time to get in touch with the experts! Take a look around our site to see our pool designs and our awards, and then speak with a member of our friendly team today. 

At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool design, construction and refurbishment, so if you need advice on a brand new pool, contact us for an initial discussion – there’s no substitute for expert advice.

Photo: Bill Jacobus

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