Swimming Pool Contractor FAQs

  • Introduction

    If you're looking to add a swimming pool to your property, you'll probably need to start by meeting with a pool contractor. These are licensed professionals, trained in the specific skills involved in pool installation that help people understand the steps in the process, the regulatory factors at play, and the options they have to install a pool at their home.

    When it's time to design your pool, a pool contractor can help you choose your pool, decide what features will work best, whether it be in-ground or above ground, the size, shape, and material, and calculate the cost of the job.
  • How much do pool contractors make?

    The median annual income for a pool contractor is around $65,000 per year, with an average range (based on experience and geographic location) from a high of just over $83,000 per year and a low of slightly above $58,000 per year.

  • Can a professional with a general contractors license build a pool?

    The license needed to build a pool varies from state to state, but in most areas, a general contractor's license is not enough to be allowed to build a pool in a residential or commercial area. In some states, constructing a pool without a proper license is a crime.

  • Does a professional need a specialty license in order to build a pool?

    Many states require contractors to have a specialized commercial or residential pool contractor's license in order to build or repair pools. There may even be separate licenses for contractors who provide service on pools.

  • Can anyone put a pool in their yard?

    Most areas in the United States allow residents to build a pool in their yard as long as the property owner has the proper permits to build, and the pool is up to local safety codes. Some local neighborhoods and municipalities may have more restrictive policies around residential pools.

  • What are the biggest challenges pool contractors face when building a new pool?

    Some of the biggest challenges contractors face when building a new pool are the underground obstacles they may encounter during excavation. This includes root systems from nearby trees and underground pipes, wires, and cables from surrounding utility networks.

  • What is the most expensive part of building a pool?

    Installation of the actual pool structure is the most expensive part of building a pool. The price varies based on the type of pool being built, but the installation of a standard-sized pool can range between $18,000 and $65,000 on average.

  • Do you need a permit to build a pool?

    In most areas, especially closer to cities and urban areas, you will need a permit to build a pool on your property. In many rural areas, you may not. If you're using a pool contractor, they can help you apply for a permit if one is needed.

  • Is it more affordable to build a house with a pool than having the pool installed later?

    If you install a pool while building your new home, you'll save money by having all the excavation done at once for both the home and the pool. Installation costs about the same, but you will avoid having to destroy potentially costly landscaping.

  • What types of pools are there? 

    There are in-ground pools, which are actually dug and installed in the ground, and above ground pools, which sit on top of the surface of the property. Some above ground pools have decks built around them to simulate the feel of an in-ground pool.

    Above ground pools are typically constructed on the property, while in-ground pools are installed using one of several materials. Some of the most common in-ground pool materials are vinyl, plaster, concrete, and a range of different finishes, such as glass tile, ceramic tile, or stone.
  • What design shapes are available for pools?

    The size, shape, and design of your pool should be based on your personal preferences and the size of the area it's being installed. While custom pools can be designed and installed in any shape, most standard pools are in one of four shapes.

    Kidney-shaped pools are the shape of an oblong bean. Many people prefer this shape because the concave side is a great complement to the surrounding space. Rectangle pools, oval pools, and round pools are common selections made when designing and setting up installation for a new pool on a property.
  • How to choose what kind of cleaning system should be used in your pool?

    Different cleaning systems range from fully manual to completely automated. The decision on the system that works best for you should be based on the size of the pool, your activity level, and what you're looking to spend on a cleaning system for your pool.

  • What are the benefits of having a salt water pool vs. a chlorine-treated pool?

    Many people choose salt water pools because they don't have the side effects of swimming in chlorine, so the water is gentler on your eyes, hair, and skin. There isn’t a heavy scent of chemicals. Plus, while salt water treatment has a higher initial investment, it will save you money in the long run.

  • How long does it take to build a pool?

    Depending on the size, materials, and complexity of excavation and installation, it typically takes eight to 12 weeks to build an in-ground pool from start to finish. An above ground pool takes a lot less time because all that's needed for installation is assembly.

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