When you’re gazing out the patio doors at your backyard, what do you see? Maybe you’re already picturing a pool there; it can be a great addition to nearly any space. If you don’t already have a pool on your property, there are several important things to consider before installing a pool.
Site and Zoning
The first thing to find out is if a pool will work on your property at all. Find out if local zoning laws permit pools, and if so, what the zoning requires. Regulations may range from how much space is required around a pool (whether it can consume the entire square footage of the lot or not, or whether there is a required boundary around it), fencing, depth, how much water you can use, and the required safety features. They may even specify required maintenance. Expect to apply and pay for a building permit.
The next thing to assess, is your site. Soil conditions, grade, drainage, water table and the presence or risk of sinkholes could all come into play, and may make the decision for you about whether you could install a pool. Consult a reputable pool builder to conduct a site assessment to find out whether building a pool on your property will be more trouble than it’s worth, especially if a municipal pool is available in your community.
Determine how much you can spend on installing a pool. You’ll have to decide what kind of pool you want—fiberglass, vinyl-lined or concrete. This is another area where outside factors, in this case zoning, may decide for you. Consider longevity and suitability for your site. Your budget has to anticipate costs both before and after construction. Add budget lines for site assessment, design, ongoing maintenance, a pool service to keep it clean, landscaping, and insurance—which could add a substantial amount to the cost.
In Florida, you should also consider a pool enclosure with adequate and long-lasting screening to help keep your pool clean, protect pool-goers from insects and UV rays, and to keep animals out. Think about the type of decking, deck chairs, and whether you’ll add a separate shed for changing, showering or storing pool supplies. You may even go as far as adding a fire pit or bar, if allowed.
Adding a pool to your property can bring years of enjoyment and enhance your property’s value if you prepare thoroughly, anticipate future and continuing costs, and attend to all required safety regulations. Thinking about these things before installing a pool can save you time, money, and headaches before you break ground.
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