As you begin to add up the costs for your new inground pool, it can be quite a shock sometimes, when the additional optional items are included. But there are ways to defer some of these options until the time is right for you. Generally, anything that will be under the concrete decking should be done at the time the pool is constructed, but often it is possible to plan for future expansion by doing only the things that are required when the concrete is poured, and waiting to finish. So in no particular order, here are some things you might choose to save for a later date.
1. Heaters – Heaters are one of those things that can be added at any time. We have often returned to a project years after construction and added a heater. In order to make things easier and less costly, make sure your builder allows for a future heater by expanding the equipment pad to allow your heater to be added onto the same pad as the other equipment. We suggest an additional 4′ x 4′ area be reserved for your heater.
Also consider that if you think you might choose a heat pump instead of a gas heater, make sure the electrical service is sufficient to cover the additional electrical needs. Doing these two things while the pool is being built will make things a lot easier when the time comes to install a heater.
If your builder knows a heater is in the future he can configure your pump and filter to allow a heater to be plumbed in with a minimum of effort.
2. Water Features – Water features that are to be in the decking, must be installed when the concrete is poured. If they are to be incorporated into the coping or wall of the pool, the same thing applies. However, if you are planning to include a slide, or a fountain, or waterfall or natural stone water feature, you can plan ahead and have the plumbing done and the valves in place, so the water can be diverted to your water feature when you are ready. This can often be done after the fact, but will involve digging trenches from the pump, usually around the concrete decking, and if the plumbing is added beforehand you will save a lot of time and money.
Once the plumbing is in place, the lines are capped and the valves are turned off and you can wait as long as you want, to plan and design and construct your new waterfalls. When you are ready, just connect everything and water will start to flow.
You should be certain where you want the new feature to be placed, just to have the pipes ready, but even then, if the plumbing does not come up through the concrete, you can move it by trenching to the new position. Planning is important in these cases, just to save future work.
3. Waterline Tile – Unlike concrete pools where the waterline tile must be installed while the pool is being constructed, fiberglass pools can wait until you are ready for your tile. In fact, we have had many of our customers choose to do the waterline tiling themselves, and we are happy to help.
Tile choices number into the thousands of colors and styles, but they are almost all added the same way using special adhesives especially made for that purpose. If you are not up to doing it yourself, your builder can easily do so at any time. There are no special preparations needed, and time is on your side.
Once you are ready for the tile, the water level must be dropped to permit the installation, but usually things can be done in a day, and the results are always very pleasing. It is like getting a whole new pool – at least from the waterline up.
4. Decking Treatments – When we quote a swimming pool to you, our price includes four feet of concrete perimeter decking, and usually folks want more added. If your plan is to add a texture to your deck, you can easily do so many years later.
Unlike concrete stamping, and the product called “Kool Deck”, an acrylic overlay can be done at any time, even years later. Acrylic overlaid concrete can be designed to look like flagstone, or brick coping, it can be stained or acid treated, or it can just be sprayed on the deck and flattened with a trowel to give you traction and keep the deck cool.
I don’t believe there is any product as versatile as acrylic decking covers and you can do so at anytime. When you get tired of looking at your concrete decking, just call your builder and ask him to plan of changing the look of your decking with an acrylic overlay product. With many beautiful colors and unlimited design possibilities, I believe you are better to wait anyway, until you begin to see how your pool is going to look once the landscaping is done and the pool furniture has been chosen. Then you might choose to match colors of the furniture, or something to compliment your landscaping.
By taking the time to plan for future changes, you can ease the initial cost of your new fiberglass inground pool until you are ready to make the investment. These deferred items are able to be completed any time, even years after the pool project is finished, and often you will have your enjoyment of your pool enhanced again with the new look.