If you are staring out the window three weeks from Memorial Day, into an empty back yard, something probably went wrong. The question we get asked almost immediately at the beginning of the season is, “how long to build the pool?” The closer we get to Memorial Day, the question becomes, “when can you start?”
The honest answer is that a fiberglass swimming pool should take about four to six weeks to complete. Just as honestly I can say that we have regularly built our fiberglass pools in three weeks, from the day we put the excavator on the property until we hand you the final inspection papers, but we always prefer to under promise and over deliver. If we say six weeks and finish in three we are heroes – if we promise three weeks and are still there at six weeks, you will be very upset.
If you expect to have your swimming pool ready for when the kids get out of school, you should have your decisions made in January, and an agreement in place to start by April 1. The longer you wait to decide the more quickly your question turns to, “ when can you start.”
There are a number of swimming pools companies who can install a fiberglass swimming pool in one day – one day! These guys are really good. They have a team of lots of guys, big equipment and a lot of experience. Because they build a lot of fiberglass pools, and they have a limited season in the North, they have perfected this system and it works well for them.
For most builders, the process is limited by the number of people they have working for them. It is not enough to have a warm body, you must have skilled people to direct the project. At ABLE Pools and Spas, we build each pool one at a time, unless we bring on a second crew. It is very common for builders to take every job that is presented, promising to start right away, and they usually do, but starting and staying until the job is complete are different matters, and a great source of anguish for many homeowners.
In the past 20 years as we have built swimming pools for people, we have seen many occasions when we were honest about when we could start, and have lost the job to another builder who promised to start right away – and finished the job two months later. Yes, they did start the job right away, but no, their customer was not happy.
When you have a big gaping hole in your back yard, and the sun is pouring down on your dream space, the promises to start right away will begin to sound very misleading. Be certain they will stay. Expect completion times of three to six weeks, give yourself, and your builder, plenty of time to have your pool ready, and be certain your builder will stay until the job is finished – as in – you are swimming. Accept nothing less, and be cautious of unrealistic promises.