What You Need to Consider Before Building a Pool

Serving Bastrop county and other surrounding areas in TX since 2015 and helping homeowners get closer to the perfect vision for their home.

A pool can be a place to cool off, swim laps, be a centerpiece for your parties, and a fixture of a childhood. It’s also a big investment that should be well thought out and planned before your contractor starts breaking ground. Here’s a nice checklist of things to consider when you’re building the pool of your dreams.

Zoning laws for swimming pools in your city

The last thing you want to do is build an in-ground pool only to find out that it doesn’t adhere to your local zoning laws. Some cities have specific regulations that determine how large your pool can be in relation to the size of your lot. To avoid any fines, make sure that you understand the zoning laws in your city. More than likely you will also have to pay for a permit as well. In Bastrop you have to buy a permit and pay for an inspection fee.

What kind of pool you want

The first and most obvious decision to make is whether you want an in-ground pool or an above ground pool. In-ground pools are usually built in with one of the following three materials – gunite (a concrete mixture), fiberglass, and vinyl-lined. Beyond that, there’s freeform pools, which come in many customizable shapes and sizes, and geometric pools that can be as simple as a rectangle or contain many rectangle shapes that create different sections of the pool. These sections can even have different depths and elevations.

Above ground pools have been gaining popularity lately and come in many different styles and sizes. Some are inflatable, some have a steel frame, some can use saltwater and some are even made out of stock tanks like you’d pick up at the feed store. These ones usually have an epoxy liner and a filtration system to treat the water making it perfect for having a relaxing soak. If you’re on a budget, above ground pools are worth considering as they are much more affordable.

Different filtrations and
maintenance options

There are many different options when it comes to pool filtration, cleaning and maintenance. Traditionally swimming pools are treated with chlorine, but there are now salt and bromine sanitizing agents that both have their pros and cons, such as cost, effect on skin and effect on pool liners.

The interior of the pool is the most costly maintenance item. Vinyl liners typically need to be replaced every 6-10 years, while a plaster finish can go for 10-15 years. Even painted concrete needs a new coat every 5 years, but there is new emerging technology like Pebble Tec that was developed to last forever.   

A pool circulation system is made up of many different components and pieces of equipment. Of course, these components also come with different options, such as filter types, pool skimmers, heaters and chemical feeders all of which might work differently depending on your climate. A pool builder should have a lot of information on filtration and circulation options with a list of pros and cons to help you narrow down which would best fit your needs. 

You may also consider hiring a pool company to clean your pool for you. There are many businesses that offer pool services in Bastrop County, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one.

What water and lighting
features you want

The extras are one of the funnest parts of having a pool built! There are so many water and lighting features available that whatever backyard oasis you have in your imagination is probably possible. There are rock faces, waterfalls, fountains, lights and even underwater speakers that can be added. Do you want to have a basketball hoop or a volleyball net? A pergola can go nicely with your new pool, which is something that Butler Contracting has built many of!

There are many options available and they can be costly, but you don’t have to implement them immediately. The important thing is that you know what you want now and build in a way that accommodates for the future construction of those stylish additions.

How to choose a pool contractor

One of the best ways to find a good pool contractor is word of mouth. If you have a friend with a pool that you like, ask who the contractor is. If you have a contractor in mind, see if you can find a way to verify their work in person. For a short list of pool contractors that service Bastrop County, you can check out our previous blog post here.

After you’ve figured out a good idea of what you want from the first few items written in this article, it should give you several talking points to discuss with your contractor and the ability to test their level of knowledge and what they can offer. You should contact at least 3 different pool builders to compare packages and pricing. Find out how long they’ve been in business under their current name and ownership. Ask if they hire subcontractors or if they do everything in-house.  Do they have design experience or offer design services? 

When you’ve found a contractor that you like, make sure that they’ve purchased a surety bond that guarantees the contractor’s legal and financial obligations. Draw up a contract that outlines the entire scope of work and payment schedule. Most contractors only require half of the cost upfront, if the entire payment is required upfront, this is cause for suspicion.

Is my yard suitable for a pool?

There are a lot of factors that can determine if your yard is suitable for the size of pool that you would like. Many contractors recommend a soil test to find out what type of ground they’re working with. A sandy, rocky or loose soil could present problems that require more extensive solutions that might drive up the cost of the pool. There also needs to be easy access to the pool area for heavy construction equipment. The standard recommendation is a clearing of about 8 feet wide. It’s always good to think about what needs to be done to clear a pathway to the pool area without causing any unnecessary damage or deconstruction.

Pool Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to owning a pool. We won’t get into the bleak statistics of pool deaths in Texas, just know that it’s a lot higher than it should be. These statistics are what lead to laws being implemented that require a fence to be built around your pool whether it’s above ground or in-ground. You can learn all about the specifics of the fencing required for your new pool in our blog post found here. Should you decide to build your dream pool, we at Butler Contractor have all your fencing needs covered!