1. Where do I begin, now that I have decided to build a pool?
A very good question. however, first we need a little more information.
1. Inground pool?
2. Custom Concrete pool?
3. Vinyl liner pool?
4. How many people do you anticipate using the pool?
5. Will it be for exercise or entertaining (or both)?
6. Does it have to be a diving pool?
7. Do you want a spa with the project?
8. Are there any special circumstances/requirements, i.e. handicap accessible, child safety, dog friendly, medical conditions, additional safety devices, etc.
As you can see, we can continue to ask questions until we determine the scope of the pool you want to create. For our purposes, we’ll make some assumptions in our examples.
2. I would like a custom concrete pool with a spa and waterfalls. I also want sufficient patio for entertaining. How much do you think it will cost and how long will it take to complete?
Although all custom pool projects are different in scope, all well-executed projects share some common aspects. The most important aspect is planning. A project that includes many features becomes more and more complex. The best initial course of action is to employ the services of a professional Landscape Designer (LD). MPS has a several Landscape Designer who we work with on a regular basis that we can refer or work with any LD you choose. The additional, nominal expense will save the average pool buyer thousands of dollars. In addition, the plan created by the LD will provide an accurate tool for providing a professional proposal. Once the plan is complete it will become the blueprint for the creation of your pool. From this blueprint you will be able to determine the overall look of the your project, the estimated cost and the amount of time required to complete the project. We at MPS cannot emphasize enough the importance of planning. This process in many cases is the most arduous portion of the entire project. The cost of your project will depend on many variables, which include the size of pool, size of the spa, number of jets, type of plumbing, size of the waterfalls, topography of the property, access, type and size of pool patio, soil conditions, and a myriad of other variables. For these reasons, there are no proper answers to this question without a fully-executed, well thought-out plan. The above being said, here are a few rules of thumb:
1. The cost of the pool itself will probably reflect about 50% of the total cost of the project.
2. The permit process in many areas can take as much time as the actual construction, so planning far enough ahead of time is critical for on-time completion.
3. The pool patio will probably be at least as large as the surface area of the proposed pool. In addition, the same size patio could cost $5,000.00 dollars or $30,000.00 dollars – the difference is in material selections.
4. The completion schedule is affected by many variables, which include: local government approvals, building inspections, weather conditions, material selections, scope of the project etc.. etc.. Our average concrete pool, complete project from time of excavation to completion is 12 to 16 weeks.
3. What is the difference between a custom concrete pool and a vinyl lined pool?
Both types of swimming pools, if properly installed and equipped, will provide many years of enjoyment. The difference really comes down to budget concerns and design complexity. Concrete pools offer unlimited design possibilities such as beach entry areas, extended underwater benches, tile & stone trim and other masonry finishes. These options would be very difficult, if not impossible, to install in a vinyl liner pool. Inground vinyl pools can be very attractive if finished properly. The type of coping and decking will greatly impact the completed look of the pool. We at MPS do not use the standard rim lock type coping. We prefer that the patio is cantilevered over the pool edge.
4. Can I add a pool heater later?
You can add a heater to most pools at any time in the future. If you think you may want to add a heater there are some things to consider:
1. Make sure that there is room in the equipment area to accommodate the heater in the future. Install the concrete slab with the pool so it is ready in the future to house the added equipment.
2. Remember that the heater will require a gas line or propane tank. Adding these utilities in the future may cause damage to restored landscaping. Consider installing the utilities with the pool project if you strongly suspect you will be adding a heater in the future.
5. Should I have a bottom or main drain?
Masterson Pools & Spas, Inc. believes all inground pools should be equipped with at least 2 main drains. This plumbing fixture will aid in the proper circulation of the pool water. In addition, it will help keep the pool clean and uniform in temperature. New Jersey State Law requires main drains have the latest Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act approved covers and should never be the only suction line active during filter operation.
6. How much work does maintaining my pool really require?
Fifteen minutes per week. A properly constructed pool with a good circulation system that includes an automatic chlorinator and a Polaris pool cleaner should require minimum maintenance. Weekly maintenance should include:
1. Cleaning the skimmer baskets
2. Cleaning the pump basket
3. Testing the pool water for chlorine and water balance levels
4. Re-filling the automatic chlorinator
5. Emptying the Polaris debris bag
Periodically we request that you have your pool water professionally tested. Once the water is properly balanced, the water should be checked once a month or after abnormally heavy use or other extreme conditions. On site water testing is available to all MPS customers at a nominal fee.
7. I’m not a chemist. How hard is all that water chemistry stuff?
With today’s computer water analysis systems it is almost impossible to make an error when testing your pool’s water chemistry. The computer system prints a step by step prescription which specifies the product necessary, the quantity and the proper application method.
8. How much will it cost to operate my pool?
The cost of operating each and every different pool will vary based on several factors:
1. The total length of the operation season. Some pools are opened in April while othersare not opened until June. Some pools are closed on Labor Day while others remain open well into the fall.
2. The temperature of the pool water. Ideal pool water temperature is between 78 and 82 degrees. If you operate a pool heater, the cost of pool operation will be directly effected by the temperature you find comfortable.
In general, most of our inground pool customers will spend approximately $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 per season. This includes the cost of opening and closing the pool, pool chemicals and utility costs.