Installing a new inground pool requires more than breaking ground and filling the space with concrete. Even if you choose to take the quicker route of installing a vinyl pool or a fiberglass one, there remains a significant amount of preparation that must be undertaken if you want to be dipping your toes into the water when next summer rolls around.

Planning for a new pool should begin in the fall if you want your pool ready when the weather warms up. People who are swimming by Memorial Day generally hire their pool design and installation company sometime between September and October. Many homeowners take into account the time that it takes to dig and install a swimming pool, but they are unaware of the steps involved before the installation even begins. Every project is different, but we generally recommend allowing one to two months for the design to be prepared and finalized and then another one to two months for permitting to be completed. If you start in September or October, you can be digging in late fall or at the very least be first on the schedule for the following spring.

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From start to finish, installing a new pool can take up to six months, depending on whether it’s a concrete or vinyl pool. That time is taken in design, obtaining permits, excavation, setting the plumbing and electrical, installing the tile, coping, water features and decking, creating the outdoor living area, the final city inspection, the final cleanup, finishing the pool surface and, finally, filling the pool and balancing the water chemistry.

That’s a lot of steps. Clearly, procrastinating is not a good idea!

The first step when planning for a new pool is to begin the permitting process and to draw up engineering plans. All plans must comply with state, local and HOA requirements. We will provide detailed plans to submit to the HOA for approval, but in most cases it’s up to the homeowner to get approval. Many HOAs meet only once or twice a month, so it’s important to start the process early. If you decide to handle the permitting paperwork on your own, it’s important to file it well in advance, ideally as much as six months. Construction can’t begin until the proper building permits are in place.

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If you’re located in a historic district or near wetlands, the permitting process can be even more time consuming.

It’s wise to get a permit as early as possible so you can get approval as soon as possible. During fall and winter, permit offices usually don’t get a lot of requests. Taking advantage of this situation will expedite the process.

Now is also the time to begin designing your outdoor area and pool surround. Do you want a kitchen, spa, fire pit, stone walls, and built-in grille? How elaborate would you like the landscaping? Is an entertainment system in your plans? How about lighting features or a nearby water feature? Maybe a pergola?

The complexity of the project will determine the time required to complete it, but once again, if all plans and designs are in place, and the materials are selected well in advance, you’ll have a significant head start. A landscape architect will make sure that your new pool will seamlessly blend into your backyard. The design should include the patio, pathways, drainage, lighting, and the plantings.

Our phones start ringing right after the holidays, and business amps up in early spring, so if you want work to begin on your pool as soon as the ground thaws, now is the time to begin the process.