The most important thing to do before buying a pool is to conduct some preliminary research on pool styles, special features and any specific needs you have. Being informed before visiting or meeting with a pool builder ensures you are well-versed and can ask meaningful questions.

Create an inspiration book. Often times it’s difficult to put your ideas into words, so pull pictures of pool styles you like, including shape, water color and special features. This gives your pool designer a good sense of what you’re interested in and how to incorporate your style into the swimming pool design.

What shape of pool best fits your needs? Swimming pool design is critical to the overall aesthetic and functionality you’re trying to achieve.

  • Geometric shapes are great for people wanting a classic or contemporary look. They also work great for playing games or swimming laps.
  • Free-form styles offer a more casual and natural look. They work well with waterfalls and boulders.

How will your pool be used? Consider what you want the main use of your pool to be. Relaxation, play area for the kids, exercise, entertainment or aesthetics? Also think about depth requirements; will it be a diving pool, play pool or a lap pool? This should be well thought through before talking with a pool builder.

What water color do you want? This is probably the most important question of all. The color of the pool is dependent on many factors; finish color, water depth, sun exposure and placement and type of vegetation. Water color is generally grouped into 6 color categories; Deep Dark Blue, Dark Blue, Medium Blue, Green, Teal and Light Blue. Click here to use our virtual Water Color Selection Tool.

What type of interior finish would you like? There are typically 3 finish types to choose from; plaster, quartz and pebble. It’s important to research these options and understand the performance characteristics of each. Generally speaking, plaster or quartz will be a standard finish offered by pool builders with pebble being offered as an upgrade. Aggregate pebble finishes offer a wider variety of texture options for you to choose from. However, for the most durable and long-lasting finish, insist on one of the four Pebble Technology brands – PebbleTec, PebbleSheen, PebbleFina or BeadCrete. A “pebble finish” doesn’t mean it’s from PTI.

Consider what special features you would like to include. Waterfalls, diving board, sun shelf, slide, fire & water features, a grotto, lighting, sound system, safety equipment, cabana or enclosures for weather protection etc… If you’re interested in adding a feature to your swimming pool, it’s best to do so during the initial construction. Retrofitting can sometimes be tricky and costly afterwards.

Where would you like to place the pool in your yard? Pool placement is an important consideration. Things to keep in mind are sun exposure patterns, where you’d like the pool entrance to be, privacy needs and whether or not you need to work around any existing landscaping and/or other structures.

Set a budget. Have a good idea in mind about the maximum amount you would like to dedicate for your pool project. Make a list of must-haves before meeting with a builder so you are less likely to go over budget.

Take your time. Visit pool builder websites to evaluate whether or not they meet your specific needs. Determine if they offer the services you need to complete your project. Read customer reviews, testimonials, about the company, and review their project gallery.

Click here for a preferred builder or authorized applicator in your area.

Once you are ready, fill out the Contact Me form and provide as many details about your project as you can. Once submitted, this information will be provided to the pool builders of your choice and a PTI sales representative will contact you and help you through the process.

If you select pool builders who have a showroom, we encourage you to visit them. Often times these showrooms display model pools, finish samples, tile options and decking solutions. Otherwise, make an appointment to meet with a salesperson. We recommend interviewing multiple builders before diving into the details.

Once you choose your preferred builder, you will have the opportunity to discuss your project in more detail. This would be a good time to share your inspirational photo book so they can get a clear understanding of the environment you wish to create. In most cases, the pool builder will arrange for an on-site visit to your home to evaluate the space and take measurements.

After the site inspection, the pool builder will then create a drawing or rendering of the pool design for your review. Once the design is finalized, you’ll need to choose the materials and equipment you want to use. Based on your selections, they will put together an estimate for your project. This estimate should include all labor and material costs including electrical, plumbing, excavating, equipment, tile, finish, etc… Many pool builders offer financing programs if needed.

Before signing on the dotted line, carefully review the following items for accuracy.

Pool design. Your drawing should include exact dimensions, depth elevations, step and special feature placements, along with the pool’s specific position in your yard.

Pool Specifications. Make sure the details document exactly what you want. The specifications should include interior finish – brand type and color, equipment – brands and model numbers, plumbing details, special features – size and quantity of each, electrical and any other special options (landscaping, decking, etc.…).

Prior to construction, your pool builder will have to submit a building permit for approval before the actual project can begin. Once approved, you should be given an installation schedule outlining excavation, plumbing and electrical, gunite, coping, decking, interior finish and start up.

Once the pool is filled and the water chemistry is balanced, it will be time to celebrate the new addition! Throw a party and have fun. Don’t forget the toys, games, floats, patio furniture, etc. Accessorizing is half the fun!