Last summer, after living in our house for four years and dreaming of putting a pool in our backyard, we decided to pull the trigger. We were excited to begin the process, and I of course, immediately started looking at Pinterest for all kinds of inspiration of what we were going to do. Surprisingly, I was drawn to all the modern pools I found on Pinterest. Pools that had symmetry to their design, clean lines, and white and gray color schemes really appealed to me.
The Bidding Process
We decided to get three bids from three different pool companies. We, or I should say my husband, did all the research on what pool companies had the best reviews in our area, and we started asking our neighbors and friends for recommendations.
Pool Company A’s design process was unique. They wanted us to come in and have a design meeting, where we literally sat in a room for about an hour and a half, answered questions about what kind of design and features we wanted. They drew up our entire pool design as we sat there. The positive to this, we got an estimate on what we exactly wanted. The negative, we didn’t get any ideas or suggestions on design.
Pool Company B came out to our house for the design meeting. We shared our generic thoughts and wish list of items we wanted. The sales rep emailed me with a computer generated rendering of our wants from the initial meeting, and from there, him and I emailed each other back and forth with any revisions before we went in for our first official design meeting. The sales rep did have some suggestions along the way, but for the most part, he designed what we asked for. He did however have an opinion when we would ask him questions on what he would do or recommend, and that, I always appreciate! I love it when “the expert” actually is “an expert” when you need input. He also seemed to really know the equipment piece of building a pool.
Pool Company C came out to our house as well and meet with us. Again, we shared our vision of the pool, and he offered some really great ideas that we loved! The sales rep emailed me just like Company B had, and his design blew everyone else out of the water! He had taken our wants and really elevated it. However, as the design process moved along, communication from him was not as responsive, and he had been pretty honest in letting us know, they were pretty busy.
So we had a decision to make. We decided early on that Pool Company A was out. It just wasn’t a fit. Pool Company B was a fit due to our sales rep being extremely responsive, receptive to changes we wanted to make, and knew his stuff when it came to the pool equipment piece. Pool Company C knocked it out of the ballpark with his design, but there was no sense of urgency in responding to our emails. So we went with Company B.
We broke ground on our pool the first weekend of December and it was completed the first weekend of June. We had delays during the course of the build due to weather (it just so happened the spring we built our pool, also happened to be one of the wettest springs in Texas) and some delays with subcontractors.
Overall, we are very happy with the end result! Scroll down to see progress pictures!
Things We Learned Along The Way
If you are wanting your pool done by summer, start the process the summer before! And know it is going to take longer that what they tell you. The pool company we went with told us their ideal turnaround is 4 months once they break ground. We signed our paperwork end of August and they didn’t break ground until early December. Ours took six months to complete.
Even though you will be assigned a project manager, plan on being very involved in monitoring the process to ensure your pool design that is on paper, is properly coming to life as they go. There are going to be items that are not executed correctly due to misinterpretation.
Do as much research as you can before you go into the design process. Some items to think about/research:
- Do you want a saltwater pool or chlorine (we did saltwater)
- Research brands of pool equipment
- Research pool cleaners (we’ve owned two different ones already)
- Find out what the maintenance of glass vs.ceramic tile at the waterline is like
- What type of stone/tile is best so it is not slippery when wet when deciding options for your coping and decking?
Get as many quotes as you can manage. Because we did this, we were able to get other ideas on design that we would have never come up with on our own had we not gotten ideas from others. It is free to have them come out and give you a quote, so take advantage of that!
If building an outdoor living space, think about the functionality of the design for accommodating people, and what features you want it to have (storage, space for refrigerator, space to collect trash, ceiling fan, gas heaters, lighting, placement of outlets, etc)
I hope sharing what we have learned helps you!
Scroll down to see pictures of our pool in the different stages!