For many homeowners, having their own pool is the dream. The issue is, building a pool can be incredibly expensive, causing many households to hesitate about taking on the project. Luckily, it is possible to shrink the related expenses, allowing you to get your perfect pool for less. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are ten ways to save when building a pool.
1. Go with a Standard Shape and Features
Custom shapes will always cost more than standard ones. Similarly, adding features like slides, diving boards, or attached hot tubs push up the price.
If your goal is to keep the cost down, stick with a typical shape and limit your features. That simplifies the installation, leading to a smaller price tag.
2. Keep the Size Under Control
The larger the pool, the more it’ll cost. Labor and material-related expenses are both higher when the pool is bigger, impacting you on both sides of the equation.
While you want to make sure your pool is large enough to feel usable, don’t go overboard. Consider what you actually need, and set that as the size limit if you want to keep costs down.
3. Choose an Accessible Location
When you’re building a pool, heavy machinery is usually involved. If getting excavating equipment to your pool site is incredibly difficult or essentially impossible, the contractor may have to use a less-than-ideal approach. If that’s the case, expect the cost to rise.
Ideally, you want to choose a spot that’s highly accessible to heavy equipment. That way, you won’t get charged a premium for having to navigate an inconvenience or needing to use smaller machinery.
4. Schedule the Pool Installation for Off-Season
People usually think about adding a pool once the weather warms up, leading to a quick uptick in demand. As demand rises, so do prices. Busy contractors usually charge more because they don’t necessarily need the project to make a living, or adding another pool into the mix dramatically increases their burden.
If you want to save some money, don’t schedule your pool installation until the off-season. Usually, this means aiming for fall if you live in an area where the ground freezes or temperatures fall low enough to make pouring concrete impractical or impossible for a time. If the ground doesn’t freeze in your region and temperatures are milder, then fall or winter could both be solid bets.
5. Factor in Fencing
In many areas, pools legally have to be fenced to meet safety standards. However, not all homeowners are aware of the requirement, causing them to overlook a potentially large line item.
If you factor in fencing in advance, you can potentially save. You may be able to include it into your pool installation, essentially building the cost, or you could shop this part of the project around separately, which might result in overall savings.
In some cases, you might even be able to tackle the fencing yourself. While it can require a lot of time and effort, as well as some tools you may not have on hand, that might help you keep your budget under control.
6. Get Multiple Bids
Once you settle on your pool design and location, get several bids. Ideally, you want to request a minimum of three to five, depending on how many contractors serve your area.
It can also be wise to get referrals. If you know someone with a pool you like, as who installed it. Not only will it make you more comfortable with the company, as you’re familiar with their quality standards, but it may also help your budget. Sometimes, being referred will actually snag you a discount, so make sure to mention if someone told you to reach out to the company.
7. Skip the Heater (at First)
While installing a pool heater when you do the initial build may seem convenient, it’s possible it’s a feature you don’t actually need. Often, it’s smart to skip the heater for at least the first year. That way, you can figure out if you genuinely need one before you pay for the equipment.
8. Plumb for Water Features Now
While you don’t necessarily want to add water features like slides or fountains immediately if you’re hoping to save some money, you do want to get the plumbing for them installed during the build. If you don’t, the amount of work required to get the plumbing in place will be much higher, causing you to spend more overall.
9. Consider Vinyl
When it comes to inground pools, vinyl is usually your least expensive option. Prices are typically far below fiberglass and concrete, sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars. Plus, many of the liners last around a decade, so you’ll get years of use before you need to worry about replacing it.
10. Don’t Sacrifice Quality
While going with the lowest bidder might seem like a smart move, it isn’t always. If the lowest bid is far below what the other contractors quoted, that should actually be a red flag. It may mean they skimp on materials or labor, something that could result in an expensive mistake you’ll have to pay to fix.
If the lowest bid is close to what everyone else quoted, then going with them may be okay. However, it’s always best to do your research before choosing any company, ensuring they have a strong reputation for quality work that will stand the test of time.
Can you think of any other tips that will help someone save when building a pool? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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