How to Plan for a Luxury Pool
By Anna Brennan
Beginning a new project can be exciting: plans, research and dreams come together to create an electrifying anticipation. Developing a luxury pool elicits that kind of emotion. Thinking about the pool and knowing that the goal is attainable generates an excitement that is second to none. It is like taking a thrill ride that ends in a magical wonderland.
Pool Planning Basics
All inground pools require common considerations, regardless of what each pool will look like or where each will be located. Identifying and understanding these considerations will help ensure a successful outcome.
The first step is to think about the basics: why, what kind, and where. Contemplating these three issues before hiring a pool builder is a smart way to start the project. When the time comes to interview and hire a professional contractor, many of the answers will already be apparent or will come into view easily.
1. Why do you want a pool? How will it be used?
Is it mainly for family entertainment or is it destined to be the centerpiece of a magnificent landscaping project? How the pool will be used is a crucial point to ponder. A pool for play and exercise needs to be designed differently than one that will become an elegant enhancement of a home's exterior.
2. What kind of pool do you want?
A modern rectangular-shaped pool that is both elegant and relaxing? A tropical freeform pool with a water slide and a rock waterfall? An infinity pool that seems to disappear into the horizon? Although available shapes and sizes are limited only by the imagination, they play an important role in the decision-making process. A pool created for swimming laps requires one style, while one incorporating the peaceful sounds of water cascading over natural rock demands another.
3. Where do you want your pool installed?
The pool's location takes foresight and planning. Look at the trees that dot the property and imagine how the ideal design will fit into the overall theme of the property. Think about privacy issues and the proximity of the pool to the main house. Watch the sun and shadows as they move over the area during the day. Keep in mind, however, that your builder will play a key role in determining the exact location of the pool.
Hiring the Right Pool Builder
Choosing the right pool builder is the most important part of the process. Using resources, like Luxury Pools to find a pool builder in your area and references from family and friends, are among the obvious avenues to help you find a good match.
Prepping Your Backyard and Obtaining Permits
After the builder is selected, the company's team of experts will become the best source for all of the pertinent legal and logistical questions that arise. You'll want to know what to expect during pool planning and contruction. Every county and township has special zoning laws, legal and safety restrictions and inspection procedures that pool builders must follow. A qualified pool builder knows the laws and restrictions and can readily identify them.
The pool builder will also want to discuss the placement of the mechanical equipment and the electrical and plumbing requirements, as all of these items must be easily accessible should maintenance become necessary.
Viewing the Pool Design
Now comes the fun part. Once all of the engineering issues have been studied and resolved, the accessories that transform the pool into a distinctive refuge for relaxation and refreshment will be chosen.
The knowledge, talent and skill of a professional builder come to the forefront in the pool design phase. Using the customer's ideas as a springboard, the builder or designer will create a layout that shows how the finished project will appear.
Many of these craftsmen utilize special computer software, like CAD (computer-aided or assisted design), to create a three-dimensional diagram of the entire poolscape before building plans are completed. This way, shapes, materials, landscaping and other components can be shifted, changed or eliminated before the construction phase begins. Never be afraid to alter the pool's design should reality conflict with idealism.
Adding Special Features
There are many ways to take a poolscape from ordinary levels to higher artistic heights, but selecting the right embellishments and types of water features takes a critical eye. Think of these enhancements as the frame that surrounds a fabulous piece of art. They should never steal the show. Instead, they should complement one another and accentuate the star of the scene: the pool. Since they all work together to form a single entity, items such as decking, coping, tile and the type of entry and exit for the pool must be carefully selected.
The builder may recommend imaginatively-placed water features, like cascading waterfalls, shimmering fiber-optic lights or graceful fountains to complete the scene. For splashes of color, ornate plants, flowers and trees, along with distinctive garden art and charming outdoor furnishings, can be added. Depend on the experts to make the right choices, as they base their decisions on many facets: the overall desired effect, the architecture of the main house, the selected location and the homeowner's personal tastes. Together, these extras combine to change a blank slate into a spectacular poolscape, detail by detail.
Taking the time to organize thoughts and ideas before the project begins provides a solid covenant between the homeowner and the pool builder, and it brings a unique excitement to the fabulous luxury pool that comes to life.
Photo courtesy of LifeScapes, Inc.