Lessons Learned from new pool building


Well-known member
Sep 25, 2009
I've posted before about problems but I thought I would offer a few comments to anyone just starting out.

1. Know what you will get for your money.... more importantly... GET IT IN WRITING. Make NO assumptions
2. Unless the PB provides Turnkey projects, get your own subs. Their subs will be way more expensive and harder to deal with.
3. Use local folks.
4. Get everything in writing.
5.Ionizer, Chlorine, Salt water or BBB are the only good methods... everything else is expensive and no better.
6. See item 4
7. Ask questions frequently...make no assumptions.
8. Get a turnkey package.


Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2009
Sacramento, California USA
May I be so presumptuous as to add another item to your list? :shock:

9. BE THERE when the work is being done... even if it means burning up Vacation time and sick leave! (So you'll see mistakes being made and be able to correct them.)

GrantsPool, I feel your pain... as do many other pool owners here.

It would be interesting to get the viewpoint of pool builders/general contractors. I've come to think that coordinating the various skills and people required in pool construction must be a lot harder than it looks.


LifeTime Supporter
May 22, 2007
Toms River, NJ
Agree with polyvue on someone being there. Its not possible for everyone, but I think it helps. I took off when the installers were on site. Kept an outdoor fridge stocked with cold drinks and supplied lunch a couple of times. I believe they took a little extra time in making sure things were done right (maybe wishfull thinking). They did do some things for me during the install (no cost). Installed an Autofill and Autopilot that I had bought. After the pool was completed a couple of installers would stop by on their day off to see how everything was going. Four years later and I run into one of them once in awhile. Still ask about the pool and family.


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2008
Rural NE Texas
We were the spare hand labor and owned/operated one of the tractors used on the set-up. It did not make a difference in the price, but I hope that made a difference in the care they took. At least we know what it took to put it up, and exactly what was done. We can do our own liner replacement when the time comes (I realize above ground is different, but there are some similarities).
Things I would add to your list:
Research in advance. Look at other people's pool installations, both first timers, DIY'ers, and professionals. Look at their pictures and their processes, keeping in mind that some things may vary for your area (ground type, what is available, etc)
Then, watch and compare how yours is going. If they start to do something different than what you were expecting, ask them to stop and explain why and how it is better.
Take pictures every step of the way. Document it as if you were going to publish it as a "How to" manual. It is amazing how fast you will forget what went where. But you will have the perfect owners guide- the pictures you took.


LifeTime Supporter
May 17, 2009
Ask a lot of questions before you sign contract. I got quotes from four builders and selected the one who could answer all my questions about construction. Also make incremental payments (e.g. 50% down, x% at each phase). Make then put the completion date on contract (x weeks minus any rainy days). My fiberglass pool was completed in 4 weeks and ready to swim just as they promised. Be outside during construction and take lots and lots of photos. The pics come in handy when you are trying to remember where a plumbing line is at. I kept a cooler with drinks and a big water cooler outside for the guys. We also provided lunch a couple of times. End result was a happy crew that wanted to please.


Well-known member
Oct 3, 2011
Here is what I learned in my recent pool build:
-Don't be afraid to go bold with your pool coping and decking. We took the conservative approach at every turn and now it looks good - but also a bit bland.
-I semi wish I built the pool (via subs) myself. If there is a next one (since I saw how this one worked) I'll give it a go myself.


LifeTime Supporter
Dec 8, 2011
Houston, Texas
Hi, I am new to the site and doing initial research for a pool we will have built next year in a new home. I found this list of questions to ask any PB during the initial interview that I thought was useful. Thanks for the great site, this has already been a huge help.

1. Pool Builder’s Showroom Address
2. Pool Builder’s length of time in business under PRESENT name
3. Had the pool builder, partners, owners, or officers ever filed for bankruptcy? — Yes — No If so, when and under what name?
4. What bank does the pool builder do business with?
5. Will my checks be made out to a business account or a personal account?
6. Who is the pool builder’s insurance company? For general liability? For personal liability? What are the limits for both?
7. Are the pool builder’s subcontractors covered by general liability insurance? — Yes — No
8. Does the pool builder have a good rating with Dunn & Bradstreet? — Yes — No
9. Will the pool builder’s insurance company provide me with certificates of insurance? — Yes — No Please provide name and phone number
10. Does the pool builder belong to a trade association or business organization? — Yes — No Please provide
11. Please provide the names and phone numbers of three suppliers you have done business with for at least two (2) years:
12. Does the pool builder provide lien waivers from vendors and subcontractors? — Yes — No
13. Will the pool builder provide a list of everyone who has lien rights on the pool? — Yes — No
14. Does the pool builder agree to build the pool to meet or exceed the NSPI/ANSI Standards? — Yes — No

Then have the pool builder sign the form, along with your signature and the date.
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