Planning a Swimming Pool Project

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Curious about what it takes to build a swimming pool or spa in your backyard? Ask yourself several important questions and consider some key points before making a big commitment. Use this guide to explore in-depth the questions and issues that will arise during the pool planning process.

  • 01 of 06

    Before Taking the Plunge

    Woman diving into pool

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    This much you know: It's hot enough where you live to drive you out of your house and into your yard, where you'd like to have the option of diving into a nice, refreshing swimming pool. Or maybe a spa.

    Decisions to Consider

    • A swimming pool?
    • A spa or hot tub?
    • Both?
    • A spool?
    • Where will it go?
    • How will I pay for it?

    Building or installing a new swimming pool or spa is a major addition to your property and your lifestyle. Are you up for it?

  • 02 of 06

    Reasons to Get a Pool or Spa

    Boy on pool slide

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    It may seem like a no-brainer—who wouldn't want a private swimming pool or spa? To get started, write down a list of the reasons you might want one or the other. Include all family members or household members in the process and consider each person's desires and opinions. Most likely, the reasons will include one or more of the following:

    • Recreation/relaxation
    • Exercise/therapy
    • Entertaining
  • 03 of 06

    Pool Types and Styles

    Hedge garden and pool

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     Not all pools are built alike. There's a pool design, type, shape, and style for every budget, personal taste, and lot size. Another consideration: local availability of materials, who will be building or installing the pool, and regional codes and regulations.

    Just a few types available:

    • Infinity or vanishing edge
    • Indoor
    • Lap
  • 04 of 06

    Where's It Going to Go?

    Vanishing edge pool
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    If the word acre(s) is included in describing your lot size, it's only a matter of choosing one of many potential places to build a swimming pool or spa. For the rest of us with smaller or oddly sized plots of outdoor living space, it might be a challenge to accommodate a pool. Important points to ponder:

    • Lot size and shape
    • Logistics and accessibility
    • Climate, weather, and indoors or outdoors
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Cleaning and Maintaining

    Cleaning a pool
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    Unless you have a hired staff and pool guy, there's no way around the fact that the pool or spa is going to need to be maintained and cleaned regularly. And if that responsibility rests on your shoulders, you'll need to know what you're doing; no fumbling or faking. 

  • 06 of 06

    If You're Not Convinced

    Are you on that fence about building or installing a swimming pool or hot tub? With building costs, maintenance, and environmental reasons, it might not be such a great idea to go forward with a pool project. If you love swimming but realize that you can't afford one, there's probably a community pool nearby.