Back to Blog
workers from Poolarama build stairs for an inground swimming pool

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Pool Prep Before Diving In

Once you’ve decided to build an inground or semi-inground pool in your yard, it’s easy to let the excitement take over and feel the need to dive right in and get started. However, there are many factors to consider before investing in a pool, and steps to take before the construction process can begin.

This article will explain how to best prepare for installing a new inground pool along with the various decisions that come with it.

How to Prepare for Building A New Pool:

Decide What Size and Shape Pool You Want

The size, shape and placement of your new inground pool should be your very first consideration, as these factors will inform many of the decisions and processes going forward. Ultimately it depends on the size of your yard, as well as the size of your budget.

Before making this decision, determine the type of ground you’ll be working with. Is it sandy? Rocky? Does it get muddy in the springtime? Are there any trees, plants, power lines, septic systems or other obstacles too close to the area you’re considering? Space is also a factor – many municipalities require a perimeter fence surrounding inground pools for safety, and the size of your pool must be able to accommodate this. Slope and drainage elements also play a role.

Although oval-shaped pools (or other curved shapes) are ideal for saving space, they can sometimes be a little pricier and take longer to build than a standard rectangular inground pool. If your pool will have irregular dimensions, expect to spend a little more money and time. However, in most cases, the unique personality this will bring to your yard is more than worth the indulgence!

Set a Budget

Once you’ve decided on the physical logistics of your future inground pool, it’s time to focus on the budget. You should speak with a variety of credible pool installation companies to establish what will give you the best bang for your buck, and stick to your budget once it has been set.

You should also set aside a little bit of money outside of your budget. Depending on the condition of your yard going in, you could experience some unexpected ‘surprises’ during the construction process which will result in unexpected expenses. It can also be tempting to add extra features on impulse throughout the process, but these things can quickly add up.

Landscape and Clean Up Your Yard

Many prospective pool owners tend to forget about landscaping when making their pool plans, but it can be a bit of an eyesore to have a pool sitting by itself in the middle of your yard. Some pool companies offer a certain level of complementary landscaping with their services, and this is absolutely something that should be kept in mind when deciding on a provider.

Consider adding some foliage in the area surrounding your pool, or some gently curving paths from your pool to the main patio area to bring an element of feng shui to your outdoor space. A fire pit or fireplace can be a great finishing touch so you and your guests can warm up and dry off by the fire after a full day of swimming.

Check Zoning & Permit Rules

It’s always smart to check your area’s zoning and permit laws before proceeding with the construction of your inground pool, or you may find yourself having to start back at square one with a gigantic, useless hole in the middle of your yard.

You should also look into how adding a pool will affect your property tax, as well as any building restrictions you’ll need to get a permit for. Your area may also have noise policies that you should keep in mind, or the bylaw officer may be a guest at your next pool party!

Do You Want any Lighting or Water Features?

There’s nothing better than an impromptu midnight swim on a hot summer night, but no nighttime swim is complete without some ambiance. Add some colour-changing pool lights to the interior of your pool, or alternatively you could install solar lights in the surrounding area.

You may consider installing one or two additional water features like a waterfall (which can help filter your pool water on top of looking great) or a fountain. If you’re looking to get extra fancy, you can even add a poolside bar to bring your pool parties to the next level!

Consider Construction Times

Installing a new inground pool can be quite time consuming depending on the specifications of your build, so it’s important to consider this before beginning construction. It can take up to two and a half months to build an inground pool. Concrete pools take the longest to build, as they need to cure and set before the water can be added.

Keep this in mind before giving the go-ahead, especially if you’re nearing the end of the season. If the cold sets in too early, you may have to hit pause until next spring. The best time to begin building an inground pool is in the spring. However, prices tend to go down in the fall so if September hits and the climate is still temperate, then you could score a great deal with time to spare!

Insurance Coverage

It’s important to think of the long-term expenses associating with an inground pool while establishing your budget. Your home insurance rate may increase with the addition of an inground pool, and in case of an emergency or unintended property damage, we recommend contacting your insurance carrier to let them know you’ll be adding an inground pool.

Consider Safety

As we mentioned above, many municipalities have bylaws that require inground pool owners to build a perimeter fence. Even if pool fences are not mandatory in your area, it’s never a bad idea to take that extra step in the name of safety – especially if you have children or pets. A fence can also help deter wild animals from falling into your pool.

There are a few other safety elements that you might want to consider, as well. Some well-placed signage to discourage running or diving may discourage reckless behaviour from your children or guests. You can also build the walkway around the edge of your pool out of non-slip, texturized materials to keep the risk of falling at a minimum.

The Takeaway

An inground pool is the most luxurious kind of pool, although you must be willing to put in the work before reaping the benefits. It can be a daunting undertaking, but by taking these factors into consideration, you can be sure that you’ve covered all your bases. It’s important to understand what goes into building and maintaining an inground pool from the very beginning.

The more research you do during the planning process, the more confident you’ll be that you’ve made all the right decisions. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying your brand-new pool!