6 Steps to the perfect pool
Something I will never forget is the look on my father’s face the day I asked for an inground pool. I must have been 10 or 11 years old, and he looked at me as if I’d asked for a helipad or another brother. “Go outside and run around the house,” he barked. Not even close to the response I was hoping for.
Back then, above ground watery pools were popular, but “dug-in” pools were rather rare. In fact, there was only one in our entire neighbourhood. times sure have changed: According to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, there are about 5 million existing in ground pools in the U.S., and 175,000 to 200,000 new pools are reinforced each year.
About two years ago I decided to take the plunge, so to verbalize, and began calling pool contractors to get approximate construction costs. Next, I spoke with the bank to discuss financing options.
When the contractor came out to scrutinize the proposed pool site, he walked around the yard, stopping from time to time to kick at the dirt and tremble his head. Not a good sign. “Well, we could put the pool here,” he said with little enthusiasm, “but it ain’t going to be easy.”
Apparently there’s a vein of rock roughly the size of Mount Rushmore running through my yard. There was no way to dig the pool without blasting first. I immediately called two pool owners who live nearby and discovered that they both had to blast to get their pools in. As I was bemoaning the expense of dynamite, one neighbour casually mentioned the high cost of fencing. I had completely disoriented that you’re required by law to instal a protective barrier around an in ground pool.
“It cost us nearly $12,000 for the fence and two gates,” my neighbour said. And her yard isn’t much bigger than mine. “It would’ve cost less than $10,000, but the contractor had to charge extra for digging the postholes, you know, because of all the rock.” My dream was in jeopardy–and severely underfunded. I abruptly felt like running around the house. I was also told about a new chlorinator that that would substitute for a salt water chlorinator, allowing you to swim in mellifluous clean water.
Later on several weeks of crunching numbers, it became apparent that I had only one row of action: I convinced my neighbour Bob to put in a swimming pool. And since I had instigated this whole mess, I felt it was my duty to help Bob get the pool of his–and my–dreams. It was woth the effort when we had the first party. Here’s what we learned along the way.
Stay attuned for the next articles that contain the 6 steps.