Install a Pool Now for Summer Fun

Pool retailers generally can install a pool any time of the year. However, the early spring season just may be the ideal time if you've decided to enhance a yard with an above-ground or inground pool.

The spring season means the ground is likely thawed and it will be reasonably comfortable for workers (or yourself) to set up the pool. A spring starting point also means that your pool and surrounding patios/landscaping will be completed before the peak swimming season. Also, you will have the entire season to enjoy your new pool.

If you've decided on an inground pool, something that adds appeal and beauty to a yard, there are a few steps that will take place in the pool-installation process.

1. You will sit down with a pool professional and decide on the shapes, styles and materials of choice that meet your budget and the size of your yard. Keep in mind maximizing the sun by placing the pool where you'll get the most rays.

2. Prior to excavation, workers will come and map out the pool in your yard. They'll plan for filters/equipment, the shape of the pool and any surrounding structures, such as a patio or deck.

3. The excavation will then take place after the pool design is approved. Construction equipment and hand-shoveling to work on the finer details is likely part of the process. It may take a day or two to dig the pool, provided the soil is amenable.

4. Wired steel rods are installed in the pool area that has been cleared away. This will provide support for the frame and protect against ground forces.

5. The electrical and plumbing groundwork will be laid, including wiring for the pump and filter and pipes to filter the water.

6. A special concrete mixture is sprayed over the steel frame to lock it in place and provide extra strength. Depending on the pool interior surface used, this will also provide the groundwork for other materials to be installed.

7. Tile, masonry, rock, and/or a vinyl liner will be installed. The pool will start to have a finished look.

8. Surrounding materials, such as landscaping, decking, concrete, or patio pavers can be installed at this point.

9. Personal touches will complete the look of your pool. Afterward, you simply fill the water level and start enjoying the swimming pool once the weather is right. You may be able to pay municipal water services to come and fill your pool via a water tank truck. Some towns allow usage of fire hydrant water if approved by the fire department. Otherwise, you may need to go the slow and steady route of using your backyard hose.

There are some things to consider when deciding on a pool.

* If price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some companies advertise below-market rates on pools and then up-sell a lot of extras. Compare prices and go with the company that seems the most reputable.

* Definitely ask for testimonials on the work done before hiring a pool company. Or, ask friends and neighbors about their pool experiences and what companies they recommend.

* The price of the pool may vary based on the quality of materials used, the soil conditions and amount of rock content, and any warranties included with the pool installation.

* Companies have become expert at working within the restraints of smaller backyards. Don't rule out a pool simply because your yard is on the small side.

* To make your pool unique, consider adding extra features such as waterfalls, jump rocks, tanning ledges, fountains, and more.

* The average cost of an inground pool varies among regions. However, it's safe to estimate that a basic inground pool will be around $20,000. You may be able to use the equity in your home and take advantage of low interest rates to finance a pool.

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