Swimming Pool Contractors

Rob Reed | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011

A new swimming pool is a great way to beat the heat on hot summer days. If you're thinking about installing a pool on your property, finding a good swimming pool contractor is key, especially if you're interested in an in-ground pool. Here are some tips to help you find a reputable pool contractor, so that your pool installation goes swimmingly.

  1. Determine your budget. The amount of money available affects the design and features of your pool. Establish a preliminary budget before you talk to swimming pool contractors.
  2. Decide how you will use your pool. Do you want a shallow play pool for the kids, a lap pool for serious swim training, or something else? Knowing how you plan to use your pool makes it easier to pick the best pool for you.
  3. Check zoning and permits. Find out if there are any regulations on the size or location of swimming pools in your community. You also need to see if building permits are required for pool or deck installation.
  4. Make a site plan. Decide where you want your pool and how much space you need. Remember to include extra space for a patio or deck. Try to locate the pool in full sun and away from trees with leaves, seed pods or fruit that drops.
  5. Include a safety fence. You can be liable for any injuries if you don't include a fence to restrict access to your pool. Determine if you want to fence off your whole property or just around the pool. A privacy fence can also increase your enjoyment of your pool.
  6. Research swimming pool contractors. Picking the right pool contractor can be the most important decision of the job. You want a contractor who is licensed in your state, has a good track record with previous customers, and can clearly explain the advantages and disadvantages of the various pool choices to you. Give extra consideration to contractors certified by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, the industry trade group.

Swimming pool styles and features

There are many choices for swimming pools. Your swimming pool contractor can help you pick the best pool style, size, and features for your needs from among the following:

  • Above ground pools. An above ground pool is usually smaller and less expensive than an in ground pool. This makes it a good choice for small yards or limited budgets. Prices for above ground pools range from $1,500 to over $10,000 depending on style, materials, and size.
  • Vinyl liner pools. These in ground pools use a vinyl liner dug into the ground and supported by walls. These are generally the least expensive in ground pool option and can run from $8,000 to over $30,000.
  • Fiberglass pools. These pools use a pre-formed fiberglass shell for the pool basin. Once the shell is installed in the hole the pool patio or decking are added to complete the job. A fiberglass pool can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000
  • Gunite pools. This type of pool uses poured concrete that can be made in any size or shape desired. The downside is that the extra labor required adds to the cost. Expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 for a custom gunite pool.

Now that you know the basics of swimming pool installation you can use the form on this page to reach local pool contractors for estimates.