We ALL want to get the most value for our money, don’t we? I know I do.
In that search for value, part of the equation is price.
With simple decisions, such as choosing between two bags of ice, you’re going to choose the least expensive bag because ice is ice, right? As the complexity of your decision increases, though, so do the number of factors you want to consider - build quality, style, longevity, guarantees, size + shape, texture + feel, noise, etc.
So, how do you wind up with a swimming pool that gives you the most value?
We recommend you start with a best-case-scenario wish list. What is it you’d love to have as part of your finished pool project?
Give yourself permission to dream a little. Think about how you’d most want to enjoy your pool and how you want others to enjoy it. Are you looking for a wow factor, or something low-key? Will you be actively swimming most of the time or will it be a place to relax and unwind? Are you just looking for a pool or would you like to create more of an outdoor enjoyment space? Are there safety issues to consider? Are there noise considerations? Do you like the idea of hands-on operation and maintenance, or would you like automation and simplicity?
A pool is a big investment and there are new innovations coming available all the time to elevate pool owners’ enjoyment. That’s why we encourage our customers to begin by imagining and sharing your ideal ownership experience with us.
You can always take things off the list, as budget dictates, but you might be surprised at how close we can get you to your wish list, with the right design. We like to remind people it’s better to start with all the things you want, and then scale back, if needed, than to find out after your project is finished (when it’s too late) that something you thought wasn’t possible was actually within reach.
The “ice” part of any pool is the foundation (aka “shell’) of the pool, which is a concrete-like material called gunite. That component tends to be similarly priced no matter who builds your pool…because it’s a commodity material. Gunite is gunite, and the amount of gunite any given pool requires shouldn’t vary from one builder to the next. That said, we do occasionally run into pools for which the shell wan’t poured correctly or the thickness is wrong for the soil conditions - and those both lead to expensive problems - but that’s an unusual circumstance. However, if you’re shopping your pool among a variety of builders, and in the line items you see the gunite is significantly less expensive with one builder versus the others…that should be a warning signal. But, I'll repeat, that’s unusual.
Variability in pricing comes largely from how you choose to personalize your project - tile, coping (the pool “border), edge style, decking, etc. Based on your budget and your “wish list,” we’ll help you choose the options that will get you closest (maybe even all the way) to the ideal vision of your project. And, if your budget dictates you need to scale back, we’ll show you where you can save with as little sacrifice as possible to your vision.
Before I wrap this up, I will say there are some expenses that are worth stretching for - most notably, pool surfacing and control equipment (e.g., pumps, filters, etc.). These are areas you can “save” on, but it’s generally a small percentage of your overall investment and skimping in these areas can cause you headaches (and money) 3-7 years down the road. Going with a budget pool surface can leave your pool vulnerable to discoloration and wear, and cutting back on the quality of your equipment can lead to performance issues and a shorter trouble-free performance life span. Both of those scenarios will very likely cost you more money to correct than the extra money involved in building more quality into your pool to begin with.
At RPD, we default to higher quality - choosing PebbleTec surfacing and Jandy control equipment. Yes, it means our bids tend to come in a little higher than our competitors; and, that may cost us some business from time to time, but we believe it’s the right way to go. It’s what Darryl has done for the two pools he’s built for himself, so why wouldn’t we recommend that for you, as a customer?!
(NOTE: If you really need to trim the price, we do have less-expensive alternatives, and will explain the pros + cons of those options to you, based on your specific circumstances.)
The final element of any construction project is labor. We’ll usually come in a little higher here, as well, because of the experience and skill level of our team. There are plenty of workers we could hire at a lower wage, but our team gets projects done in shorter time frames, with higher quality results, and that means fewer headaches for everyone…and we’re all about fewer headaches!
We know it can be a little unnerving when you start down the road to buying a new pool or remodeling the pool you own…but it doesn’t have to be. Start with a list of what you really, really want, and make sure your builder is committed to working with you to give you as much of that vision as makes sense, and fits within your budget.
Simple, right? ;-)