Having a pool in the confines of your own backyard can certainly be a statement element for your outdoor oasis. And considering the fact that the climate in California typically allows for year-round enjoyment of swimming outdoors, adding a pool can offer you and your family plenty of recreational time. Plus, buyers in the Golden State often look for homes with a pool, and may even expect it.
That said, there are still certain things you should consider before making the decision to install a pool on your property, including the following.
1. How Will You Use it?
Sounds like a silly question, but you might want to ponder it for a moment because the answer will help determine the type of pool you install. Are you installing the pool for entertainment purposes? For the kids? To exercise or relax? Or simply for investment purposes?
Pools for one purpose will look significantly different than pools for another. For instance, a pool meant for the kids to frolic in might look completely different than one used for tranquil spa-like afternoons. Answering these types questions can help you determine the right type of pool design that will suit you best.
2. What is Your Budget?
Obviously, the amount of money you have available to spend on a pool installation will be a key factor. Is your budget even capable of covering the installation of a pool? If it is, what type of pool and features will it be able to accommodate?
You will definitely want to have a chat with your pool builder to get a detailed idea of how much it will cost you. Knowing these numbers in advance will help you determine if the project is possible and what type of pool and amenities you’ll be able to afford so you can adjust your budget accordingly.
3. What Security Options Will You Include?
You will need to obtain a building permit before you have a pool installed, and part of this permit involves the types of safety codes that will need to be met. But in addition to what the bylaws stipulate, what other means of safety and security will you implement into your pool design?
You might want to take measures to keep children or pets safe if there are any in the home, and there are plenty of safety gadgets and features available to make your pool very safe. These may include water entry alarms, locks on gates, and child-proof pool covers.
4. What Materials Will You Use?
Pools can be constructed using a number of different material types, some of which are more durable and expensive than others. The best material is typically concrete, as it is the most durable and long-lasting. It also allows for more flexibility in shape and size. But, it’s also more expensive than other options and is more invasive to install. Other options include vinyl and fiberglass, both of which are quick and easy to install.
As far as pool surfaces are concerned, you also have a number of options to choose from, including vinyl covers and even tile surfaces, the latter of which is becoming more and more popular, especially among luxury pool owners.
5. What Shape Do you Prefer?
Pool builders typically recommend that homeowners select a pool shape and style that goes well with the surrounding landscaping, the size and shape of the property, and the architecture of the home. If you have a specific pool shape that you are hard-pressed to have installed but doesn’t complement your home’s architecture or landscape, you can always add an area that transitions from the surroundings to the pool, such as walkways, different hardscape materials, or plants.
Of course, you will also want to consider how the pool will be used when determining the shape of the pool. For instance, a lap pool meant for fitness should probably be long and rectangular in shape, while leisurely pools can take virtually any type of shape you want.
6. Is Your Lot Suitable For a Pool?
You will need to consider whether or not your lot is easily capable of accommodating a pool. For example, significant changes in elevation might make pool installation much more of a chore. In addition, the soil itself will need to be tested before pool installation to see if it is suitable for any construction. Rocky or sandy soil, for instance, might make things more difficult.
There may also be accessibility issues, making pool installation very difficult, if not impossible. Lots of heavy machinery will be required to install a pool, and if that equipment can’t reach the pool site easily, there could be a problem.
7. Where Will You Put the Pool?
If your backyard is very small, you might not have many choices about where to have your pool installed. But if you’re dealing with a larger property, you’ll need to determine a few things first before deciding on the exact location of the pool on your property.
Start with finding out what the exact zoning and building laws are in your area. There may be restrictions in terms of how your pool needs to be fenced in, the direction of the slope for water runoff, and where the gas, electrical, and cable lines are located. You will also want to think about how people will get in and out of the pool, where bathers will be hanging out, and exposure to the sun’s rays.
8. How Much Maintenance is Involved?
Pools require a great deal of maintenance, and unless you hire a pool maintenance service to tackle this job for you, it will be your responsibility. Find out how much maintenance is required to keep up with the pool equipment, keeping water chemicals balanced, and cleaning the water and pool surfaces.
9. What Types of Amenities and Features Do You Want?
If your budget permits, you might want to think about adding some features or amenities that will make your pool much more enjoyable. These days, the options are seemingly endless, with features such as lighting, waterfalls, infinity edges, underwater sundecks, swim-up bars, and sporting equipment all available to make the most of your pool.
Think about the amenities you want outside of the pool as well, such as a cabana, bathroom with shower, dinette area, gazebo, fire pit, and outdoor kitchen. If you plan to add any of these amenities, make sure that your pool plan accommodates such features in terms of space and utility lines.
The Bottom Line
There are definitely a number of things to consider when it comes to installing a pool in your backyard. Once you’ve decided to add a pool on your property, a lot of planning will be involved. But after you’ve covered all your bases and communicated with your pool builder about everything you’d like to have, your home can become a resort that you never have to take a plane ride to visit and enjoy.