Top 5 Considerations Before You Build A Swimming Pool

By David Vogel

1. Why Do You Want A Swimming Pool?

Boy, this sounds like a silly question! Your response provides answers to many of the design considerations. Not only that, but it also indicates what type of swimming pool you should be purchasing. If you want a place to cool off and don’t want to spend $20,000 or more, an above ground pool might be your answer. But, if you want a truly unique one of a kind swimming pool that you can call your own, then an inground pool is the answer. And that’s not all. If you are interested in swimming for exercise, lap pools are a wonderful option. Yet, on the other hand, if you want your pool to be a statement of luxury and art vanishing edge pools have the bling, bling. Not really a silly question, but the answer forms the very foundation of your swimming pool design process.

2. How often do you entertain?

Do you regularly have large gatherings for family and friends, or small intimate groups prevail? The importance of the question relates not only to your perfect sized pool, but also addresses the space needed for walks and patios.

3.Are you moving?

It just wouldn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on the aesthetic qualities of an upper end swimming pool, if you are going to be moving in a couple of years. And you certainly wouldn’t want to cut corners if you are building your dream home. So, there is a balance, this is determined by the neighborhood, your financial resources, and the space available for your swimming pool.

4. What is your budget?

A rule of thumb that I often use is 10 to 25% Total Value of Home(TVH). Let me explain. Sure you can have a pool built for less, but one of the most costly additions to any pool is concrete decking and the low end pool builders always advertise for price, typically this does not include concrete. For some, building a swimming pool occurs right after the purchase of a new home and for others it’s an addition to an existing home. The range of the percentage might seem extreme, and that is derived from the quality of the neighborhood. In sunny Southern California, most homes don’t have a lot of land and backyards are small. You wouldn’t spend on the low end if you’re living in Hollywood, and you certainly wouldn’t spend on the high end in East LA. You can build the same size and shape pool and have dramatically different prices, because of the various aesthetic additions such as waterfalls, spas, tile, Pebbletec and the like.

5. Have you remembered the landscape?

If you started with an empty backyard, no problem…except, how is your pool company accessing the pool site? If it’s through the front yard, most likely you will have to budget for some lawn replacement and/or irrigation and drainage repair. And if you have an existing landscape, your repair bills will be significantly higher. Remember, when a pool contractor starts digging your pool, everything from where the dump trucks are parked to the pool site will be destroyed! It’s not too hard to understand, try driving your car back and forth 100 times and not expect the sprinklers and lawn/landscape to be demolished.

A swimming pool is the number one addition to any home that affords the owners with a lifetime of enjoyment and family memories. While there are many more questions that will be needed to be answered, these are a starting point.

About the Author: David Vogel, is the founder of DoItYourself Swimming Pools & Spas where you can learn the latest about swimming pools, design, construction and what it takes to build your own and save thousands of dollars. Visit


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