How to make sure your pool turns out the way you want and you get what you paid for

building a residential pool

According to research done by NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), one of the greatest fears homeowners have about starting any home project is that it will not turn out the way they want, they won’t get the end result they expect, and they won’t get what they paid for.

In other words, they worry that when it comes time for the big reveal, instead of the luxurious pool and lush backyard oasis they had envisioned, something akin to a kiddie pool will be in its place.

Of course, that’s an exaggeration, but the fear is real.

So, how can you make sure that the outdoor space that has been brewing in your brain, will look just as good in real life?   First, you should choose an outdoor construction firm and pool builder that values the design process and insists on collaboration and communication.

At Outdoor Elements, every project that we create starts with a set of landscape plans that is drawn by our professional landscape designer who has a degree in landscape architecture.  These plans become the detailed blueprints from which your project is constructed.

Before any designer can produce a set of plans, he or she will need to understand your vision and check out your current space.  It’s important that whatever you are adding to your outdoor space flow and function with your existing architecture.  If you are working with Outdoor Elements, our sales representative would survey your space at the first meeting, then sit down with you to find out your wishes.  It would be helpful if you provide plenty of photos that depict what you have in mind for your space.  These give us an idea of your overall conceptual and stylistic likes and dislikes and narrow down your vision of the end product.  For example, do you want lush and tropical, contemporary and clean, or a structured English garden feel?  By showing us images of projects that you like, we will get a good idea of our direction and your vision.

Also, it’s a great idea to envision yourself in your future space and explain how you plan to use it. What would you like the space to do for you?  Do you want to sit by a fire pit, listen to the water running and relax on a tanning ledge while your children play in the shallow water next to you?  Or, would you prefer to entertain under a shade structure with an outdoor kitchen while listening to music blast through the sound system while a college football game plays on a big screen t.v.?   Really think about how you and your family will utilize the space and what components will be necessary to make it happen.

Once you have a direction and an idea of how you plan to use your space and you are sure the builder understands your vision, the landscape designer will take your ideas and offer suggestions that will work with the form and function of your existing space.   Armed with a clear vision, she will get to work on your custom plans and renderings.

Some pool builders use 3-D software to produce simple plans at this stage.  At Outdoor Elements, our landscape designer produces detailed, scaled drawings that include landscape, irrigation, lighting, hardscape and all components of your new and existing space depending on the scope of your project.  Simply drawing a pool and expecting it to flow and function with your existing architecture doesn’t work well in the end.  Our approach of complete design factors in all components of your new space and shows how they will mesh with your current environment.  Upon completion of the renderings, we are able to present our customers with an accurate project bid and a detailed landscape plan of your project.

At this point, you should have a good idea and a great visual of the final concept on paper.  Does your space look and function as you envisioned?  If not, the plans are an evolving document and revisions are always made if necessary, so it’s important that you communicate any changes as soon as you have an idea.  This will ensure that the final design is a success and is completed in a timely manner.

Of course, this is only the beginning of getting the end result of which you dreamed!  You still have to make selections such as tile, stone, plaster, appliances and many other finishes.  Oh, and the pool and outdoor space have to be built to the specifications that the landscape designer so carefully planned.  🙂

However, that’s all about working with a trustworthy pool builder and outdoor living construction firm like Outdoor Elements and is a topic saved for another post.   But, if you follow our advice, you’re off to a great start to alleviating your fear of expecting a mountain and being delivered a molehill.