The process of turning that dream into reality can seem daunting, but with the right information, you can confidently embark on this exciting journey. Designing an in-ground pool is a significant investment that requires careful planning and collaboration with experienced professionals. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process that our firm follows when working with clients to design and build their ideal in-ground pool.
1. Initial Client Contact:
Your journey towards your dream in-ground pool begins with reaching out to us. It all begins with your initial contact. Whether you reach out to us via email or phone, we’re here to listen to your ideas, answer your questions, and understand your vision for your in-ground pool project.
2. Setting Up a Meeting:
After our initial contact, we’ll schedule a meeting to delve deeper into your aspirations for your in-ground pool. This is an opportunity for us to get to know you and your property, assess the space, and discuss your specific needs and desires. We want to understand how you envision using the pool and any particular features you have in mind.
Following the initial contact, we arrange an in-person meeting to delve deeper into the project. This meeting allows us to discuss the client’s desired features, aesthetic preferences, and any logistical considerations related to their property. We take the time to listen to the client’s ideas and provide insights based on our expertise, ensuring that we fully understand their vision. Once we’ve made the initial connection, we’ll schedule a meeting at your convenience. This face-to-face interaction is an essential opportunity for us to get to know you, your property, and your specific desires for the in-ground pool.
3. Discussing Costs and Design Options:
At the meeting, we engage in a comprehensive discussion about the costs and benefits of the project. We present design options tailored to the client’s vision and discuss how our firm can bring their ideas to life. This stage is crucial in establishing a clear understanding of the project scope and ensuring that the client’s expectations align with what we can deliver. We aim to provide transparency regarding costs and the value our services bring to the project. During our meeting, we’ll discuss the costs and benefits of working with our firm and explore a range of design options tailored to your preferences.
4. Importance of Topography:
An essential aspect of the design process is the incorporation of an updated survey with Rear Grade Topography. This survey provides valuable information, including contour lines and elevation changes, which serve as the foundation for determining the elevation of the pool, patio, potential retaining walls, step systems, drainage, and more. If the client’s current survey does not include topography, we strongly recommend obtaining one, as it is often a requirement in many towns and is essential for accurate design illustrations. We explain to clients that having this information upfront is crucial for creating a design that aligns with the natural features of their property. In many towns, an updated survey with Rear Grade Topography is a requirement for installing an in-ground pool. If your current survey does not include topography, we strongly recommend obtaining one. The topography provides valuable information, such as significant pitch changes, which can influence the need for retaining walls, steps, and other essential design elements.
5. Open Dialogue on Budget:
We understand that every project has its unique financial considerations. Engaging in open discussions about the range of costs, including your budget, is vital for a successful project. While you might feel hesitant to share your budget, doing so enables us to tailor our recommendations to meet your financial expectations. Having an open dialogue about the client’s budget is vital for a successful project. While some clients may initially be reluctant to discuss budget, we emphasize the importance of doing so to ensure that the project aligns with their financial expectations. By openly discussing budget considerations, we can work with the client to develop a plan that meets their needs while staying within their desired budget range. We aim to provide clarity regarding the costs involved and the value they can expect from their investment.
6. Design Process and Revisions:
Once the initial meeting and cost discussion are completed, our team begins the design process. We understand that every client’s vision is unique, and to accommodate this, we provide clients with four design options. This allows for flexibility and customization, catering to various preferences and property requirements. From the start of the design to the final revisions, this process generally takes about two weeks. We place great emphasis on this phase as we want to ensure that the design aligns perfectly with the client’s vision and that any necessary adjustments can be made promptly.
7. Importance of Design:
The design phase is a crucial part of the process, serving as a tool to illustrate our capabilities and build trust with our clients. By offering multiple design options, we provide clients with a range of choices that align with their vision and budget. Each design option carries with it different price points, which can help clients make informed decisions based on their budget. It’s important to note that having a well-executed design is not only a reflection of our expertise
but also a way to showcase the possibilities and potential of the project.
8. Formal Contract and Retainer Fee:
Upon finalizing the design, we enter into a formal contract with the client. This contract serves as a comprehensive agreement that outlines the scope of work, timeline, and payment terms. Additionally, a retainer fee is agreed upon, securing our services for the project. We recognize the importance of setting clear expectations and providing clients with a solid foundation for their project.
9. Pool Site Plan and Engineering:
Following the contract phase, the design is passed on to an engineer of record, who takes our design and creates what’s called a Pool Site Plan. This plan encompasses the technical details and specifications necessary for the construction, ensuring compliance with local regulations and engineering standards. This process typically takes about 2 weeks, during which our team maintains open communication with the engineer to ensure that the plan aligns with the client’s vision and property requirements.
10. Permit Submission:
Once the Pool Site Plan is finalized, we proceed with submitting the necessary permits to the local authorities. This step is crucial for obtaining the approvals required to move forward with the construction phase. We handle this process meticulously, ensuring that all necessary documentation is submitted accurately and efficiently.
11. Soil Conservation District Review (If Applicable):
In certain counties, a Soil Conservation District (SCD) review process may be required. This additional review can add more time to the planning stages, as it involves evaluating the impact of the project on soil and water resources. Our team is well-versed in navigating these additional requirements and ensures that all necessary steps are taken to comply with local regulations.
12. Planning and Permitting Timeline:
The above steps, including the design process, engineering, and permit submissions, can take approximately 2 to 3 months when expedited. It’s important for clients to understand that while this process may seem intricate, it is all part and parcel of the pool construction process, and most towns require these steps to ensure that the project meets regulatory and safety standards.
It’s clear that there are numerous considerations and potential obstacles involved in the construction of a new pool and patio. Property setbacks, impervious coverage calculations, and local regulations all play a role in determining the feasibility of the project. Encouraging prospective clients to enter a design contract is a wise decision, as it allows for a clear understanding of what is and isn’t possible within the constraints of the property and local regulations. In instances where properties do not conform, seeking a Variance with the planning board may be necessary.
Once these preliminary steps are completed and approved, the project can move forward to the construction phases. However, it’s crucial to call for utility market assessments to identify any potential conflicts with existing infrastructure, such as gas lines, electrical lines, and sewer systems. This attention to detail is important for ensuring a smooth construction process.
The entire process of designing an in-ground pool is a comprehensive journey that involves careful planning, collaboration with various professionals, and adherence to local regulations. By understanding the intricacies of the process, clients can gain a deeper appreciation for the dedication and expertise that goes into creating their dream pool. We prioritize transparency, open communication, and attention to detail to ensure a seamless and successful project experience for our clients.
Educating clients about the time required and managing their expectations regarding when they can expect to start using the pool and new improvements is essential. Many clients may not be familiar with the intricacies and preliminary steps involved in such projects, so providing this information can help them better understand the process and timeline.
Designing an in-ground pool is a collaborative process that requires effective communication, thorough planning, and attention to detail. We encourage anyone considering an in-ground pool project to reach out to us for a consultation to begin the exciting journey of designing their dream pool.
We hope this detailed summary provides you with a clear understanding of the process and the level of dedication we bring to every project. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your project further, we’re here to assist you every step of the way.