If you've decided that it's time your family had a pool of its own, you might be excited to get the installation process underway. Before you get a contractor in to start the job, you should do your research to make sure you're getting the best pool for your needs. Here are three things you should ask your swimming pool contractor before installing a pool.
What types of pool do you offer?
Assuming you've chosen an in-ground pool, you may have several different pool types to choose from. The different types vary with the materials used in their construction, and include gunite, vinyl-lined and fiberglass. You may also find poured concrete pools, though these are more difficult to install and offered less frequently than the other types. Gunite pools are popular because they can be made in almost any shape, and they're installed by applying a special concrete mixture directly onto a rebar frame that has been set in a hole that has been dug into the ground to house the pool.
Vinyl lined pools are similar to above ground vinyl pools. A hole is dug in the ground to accommodate the frame, then the vinyl liner is installed and typically lasts ten years before it must be replaced. Fiberglass pools are preformed pools that are placed in the ground on top of a sand base. All of the inground pools have some sort of plumbing and filtration system installed to keep the water suitable for swimming.
Where is the best location for a pool on my property?
Before you even ask for a quote for a pool, check to see if you are allowed to have an inground pool on your property. Some zoning laws and homeowners associations prohibit this, so check to be sure. If you are allowed, you need to find the best spot for the pool, and that spot may not be where you want it to be.
Your contractor will have to take into consideration things like the location of any underground plumbing or wiring on your property, and they'll have to make sure it's not located directly beneath power or telephone lines. They'll also pick a spot that's on slightly higher ground, if possible, to prevent rain from washing mud and debris into the pool. For safety's sake, your swimming pool contractor may also recommend that you place it within easy sight from the house, so you can keep an eye on swimmers from inside.
What type of maintenance will my pool require?
You'll need to take steps to maintain both the water in the pool and the pool itself if you want it to last you a long time. Regular maintenance is fairly simple and easy to do, but it can be time consuming. Vacuuming debris from the pool, testing the pH levels of the water and maintaining chemical levels are the primary maintenance activities you'll have to do most often, but occasionally you'll also have to clean the walls of the pool to prevent any buildup of algae.
Be sure to ask about off-season maintenance as well. During the cold weather months, you may need to drain the pool, prepare the pump and filtration equipment for winter and cover the pool to keep leaves, animals and children from getting into the empty pool. Most pools don't need to be drained completely, but should be drained below any tiles or the lowest pool water return.
Inground swimming pools can be a lot of fun, but only if they're installed properly and maintained regularly. Before the swimming pool construction begins, be sure to find out what you'll need to do to keep it looking great and functioning properly in the years to come.