Pool and Spa with water feature

7 steps for pool project success

Running a pool construction project is new to most people who attempt it, in fact most people will do it only once. Below we have listed some of the key points to running a successful pool project.

1. Design- We generally find that well designed projects run smoothest. Having proper documentation helps all parties understand what is required, helps generate a quote template and flushes out any design issues upfront. Even if you do not intend to carry out the whole project at once, a staged project plan can minimise future costs.

2. Budget- Most of us have a budget to work to. Before you start the pool have a good understanding of all of the associated costs that are not included in your pool contract. These typically include landscaping, fencing, service provisions, etc. We will dedicate more time to these in a future post. It is a good idea to get these quoted up front. Your pool contractor should be able to give you a list of what is required or even recommend someone to do them. Once you have formulated a budget make sure you allow a 20% buffer.

3. Project Management- Make someone responsible for the whole project. A pool construction project requires co ordination between the pool contractor, designer, landscaper, fencing contractor, electrician and plumber as well as others. If you do not want to be responsible for all of this appoint one of the main contractors. The pool contractor or landscaper can be a good place to start. Expect to pay around 10-20% on top of costs for this type of service. It will save you headaches.

4. Used experienced contractors- Don’t cut costs by using inexperienced or cheap contractors. Although the price may look better it is very difficult for the untrained to assess quality, particularly when it involves structural integrity which cannot be seen. You need to know that the project will stand up in ten years time. Reliability is also a key issue. One contractor can delay the project by months. Get recommendations or ask for referrals where you can.

5. Use contractors with a good reputation and back up- Although most pools come with some type of warranty, many of them are not worth the paper they are written on, including some of the statutory policies. Most of these will only pay out if the builder is dead, missing or insolvent, leaving you to chase the builder. A good longstanding company will value their reputation and make sure you are happy. This is much better protection than a flimsy policy.

6. Order materials early- Try to select pool tiles, paving, coping, Quartzon colours and stone finishes at the start of the project where possible. This will allow them to be ordered early and not cause any delays. Knowing the sizes of these finishes can also help your pool builder size the pool structure correctly to minimise tile cuts.

7. Communicate- Regular communication is the key to a successful project. We recommend site meetings before commencement, on completion of the concrete pool structure, on completion of the interior finishes and on completion of the project. Have all of the relevant parties at these meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. Follow up with an email confirming key points. Don’t be afraid to point out any areas you are not satisfied with. It is much easier to fix while the pool has no water in it.

8. Allow extra time. Although a typical project should take 3 months, allowing an extra two months will help you avoid any stress caused by material or weather delays.

There are many more factors involved with running a successful concrete swimming pool construction project. However if you plan well, appoint the right people and communicate clearly you will be well on the way.

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