Of the many phases of pool construction, the purchasing phase - when you buy your inground pool kit, has certain pitfalls to avoid. Here's a quick list of the 5 mistakes to avoid when buying and building your own inground pool.
5 Ways to Buy the Wrong Inground Pool Kit
- Permit or Inspection problems.
- Wrong coping choice for pool deck.
- Ordering your Pool Kit too soon, or too late.
- Not having a well thought out plan before purchasing.
- Buying from a low-service company, when you need lots of help.
1. Pool Permit or Inspection Problems
Before you actually purchase your inground pool kit, you should visit your Town Hall or City or County building and zoning division about getting a permit for an inground pool. Every town or county has their own regulations for installing a pool. You want to check on the property line setbacks – most pools have to be inside your property line by at least 10 feet.
Ask what sort of Plans & specs they require for the permit - most will have a Pool Permit packet or at least a brochure. You may also find the information available on their website.
Towns also have regulations about pool fencing, window and door alarms, and may even require a pool alarm. Be aware of all the permit and inspection requirements before the pool kit purchase, it will make it much easier to move ahead. There is nothing worse than purchasing a pool and then finding out that you cannot install it for some reason. It's like installing a 4 foot pool fence, and the inspector tells you it must be 5 feet - Fail!
For more permit information, see this blog post that Chris wrote on Inground Pool Permits.
2. Wrong Pool Coping Choice
Pool coping is what sits on top of the pool wall, on the inside of the pool. There are 3 different pool coping types, a "Top-Mount" plastic C-channel, which you pour a concrete pool deck right up against, or the "Cantilevered" pool deck forms, which are used to create a floating, cantilevered style deck, with a bullnose concrete edge that overhangs the pool. We also have a "Flat-Mount" coping that is used when stone, brick or pavers are the planned type of pool coping.
To avoid this pitfall - have a complete plan in mind for your new pool area, including the pool deck and patio areas. Or more specifically, which type of pool deck (and thus coping) do you want to install - concrete, stampcrete, stone, brick, pavers, wood...?
Decide ahead of time what type of pool deck you want to put around the pool. When you order the pool kit, you will need to know what type of coping you will need. If you change your mind about what type of patio you want, you can always order the correct type, but it will save time and money by ordering the one you want to begin with.
3. Ordering a Pool Kit Too Soon - or Too Late
Ordering too soon simply means that you rushed into a pool shape or size without checking into property setbacks, or considering drainage. It also means that you may not have time to research all of the pool equipment options or pool deck options for the pool, before purchasing a pool kit. Avoid this pitfall by having a complete plan, from layout to landscaping, before ordering a pool kit.
Ordering too late, now that's another problem. If you have hired a pool installer or you are doing the pool yourself, make sure you order the pool early enough so that everything is delivered before you start on your pool. Ask how long it takes for pool kit delivery, where the pool is shipping from and with what freight carrier.
If you plan to take time off from work to do this project, you want to make sure everything is there before you start. Once you start getting your pool parts, start checking off the items you have received against the list of what you should receive. If you are missing something, let them know quickly.
Contractors that you may hire to help with excavation and electrical tend to become busier the later in spring and summer it becomes. Having a well-organized calendar and plan for the different phases of inground pool construction is important, to keep things moving and prevent delays.
4. Not Having a Well Thought-Out Plan Before Purchasing
This idea has been mentioned a few times already, so I won't dwell on it - but you should have a complete plan, before ordering a pool kit and equipment. From soup to nuts - start to finish; and it should all be down on paper. Here's a blog post by Bob on keeping yourself organized during a DIY inground pool construction project.
5. Buying From a Low-Service Company, When You Need Lots of Help
There are varying degrees of service available among online pool kit dealers. SPP is a high-touch, high-service pool kit dealer, and our customers enjoy full access to our SPP Pool Experts (like me and the rest of the bloggers), on any issue of your DIY inground pool construction. We all have a deep knowledge of pool kit construction, with over 100 combined years of actual pool installation experience. That's our added value.
Other dealers do not specialize in service after the sale. They may have a cheaper price up front for the pool kit, because they do not need to hire experience, they can hire order takers. Consider how much assistance you are going to need - you may need more than you think.
In addition to service, you also want to make sure that you are buying a good quality pool. I had a customer recently who purchased a pool kit package from some online shop. After one week the filter system shut down. It ended up being a filter system manufactured in China. They could not get any parts for 3 months. We ended up recommending a Hayward system. Needless to say, she was very upset after spending thousands of dollars on a pool and getting a very cheap filter system. Ask questions of your inground pool kit dealer!
Bonus Tip: Study the Pool Kit installation instructions, if you have any questions, make a list and be sure to contact your pool representative to go over any questions about any phase of pool construction - before you buy your pool kit and pool equipment.
I hope that these tips will help to keep your inground pool project running smoothly. If we can be of any service, please contact the SPP Pool Experts at 800-983-7665
SPP Pool Expert