Question about PB's and pricing in San Antonio


New member
Dec 30, 2014
San Antonio/Tx
I'm looking for a 32x16 pool, 3.5x6x3.5, with a pretty standard 12" coping and 2' edging. I want a 5x10" Baja deck, lounge deck. 2 step entrances and that's about it. right now I'm getting prices in the $75 per square foot. That is 1.5 times the national avg.. which seems seriously high for me.... I live South of SA and I have sand/clay, so no rock to blast through, very flat elevation.

Anyone have any suggestions for PB's that offer a fair price? I'm not asking for anything fancy.. no Hot tub, no jets, no heater, but I do want a salt system.

Any help would be appreciative.



LifeTime Supporter
That's the first I've heard of being given a price per square foot for an entire pool build. Also keep in mind rectangle pools are generally more expensive than freeform. Generally speaking you will get a wide variety of pricing from different companies depending on their size and quality of work.

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
Longview, Texas
I guess I have to ask, how did you approach them for pricing?

If you just made a general inquiry on the phone or email, then most if not all of them won't think you are serious and will give you some crazy sq ft price. No PB can price a pool properly by the square foot. The list of options and equipment is just too long to quote that way.

I would recommend to consider all of the following things....
Decide what you want as far as equipment goes.
Do you want some sort of automated control?
Maybe a Programmable Variable Speed Pump?
A 2 speed pump? (highly recommended)
Freeze Protection?

Timers for pump, lights and SWG?
A LED light or incandescent one? How many? (1 light should be fine for that size of pool)
How many returns do you want and where are they to be located in the pool?
Are the returns to be individually plumped from pool to pad? Or set up on a loop?
Do the return and suction lines have valves on them at the pad? (the answer is a preferred yes. You will be glad you did).
Do you want main drains in the pool (they are not a requirement to have and eliminating them can free up some money for other stuff you really want or need).

What type of filter? Sand, DE, Cartridge?

Where on the property to you want the pool equipment located?
How far from the pool will the pad be?
Will it be easy to get electric power to the equipment pad location?
Do you have enough spaces in your Electrical Breaker Panel to support a pool? Or will you have to have your panel changed out?
How many electric outlets around the Pool Deck / Patio do you want? Where?
Tell the PB how many empty breaker spaces you have so he can determine how to best supply power to the equipment pad and stay within the building code.

What type of plaster finish? Standard white plaster? Something else?
Do you want a ladder? (you really dont need one, but if you do, get a non metallic one).

How much deck do you want? What type of finish on the deck? Broom Finish? Exposed Aggragate? Do you want it sealed? (easy to seal it yourself and save lots of $)

What type of coping? Brick? Cast Concrete? Something else? Cast concrete coping will probably be the least expensive but also its usually the least attractive. The PB can help you with this. There is a lot to be said about upgrading your coping a notch or 2.
Remember this, the attractiveness and ease of maintenance of your pool will have an effect should you decide to sell the house some day.

What about the waterline tiles? There are 100's of choices and prices vary greatly.

What about any landscaping or sprinkler repair? Those need to be firmly identified and noted on the PB quote as to where the PB responsibility for landscape ends and yours begins.

What kind of pool cleaner might you consider? Pressure Side? Suction Side? or Electric robot? (how about in the future too)
Pressure side cleaner requires a seperate pump, electric circuit and plumbing in the pool.
Suction side works off the skimmer. So, no extra plumbing or electric circuits required.
Robot is obviously electric and works off an outlet.

Do some reasearch on all of this stuff and make a list to propose to the PB, so the PB will be aware that you have somewhat of an idea of what's involved and will be a sign that you're serious and he will be more responsive to you.

Maybe print some pics of pools that resemble what you like to take with you when you meet with a PB. Decide where on the property you want the pool to be. Get a copy of your property survey and sketch out the pool location and access points for the heavy equipment to come in. Then set up appointments to meet with them face to face. If they dont show up for the appointment without calling with a good reason for the no show, then ditch them immediately.

Its very helpful to the PB to understand what it is you want so he can work to meet your expectations.
Its also very helpful to you, so that during the project, you will know when something isn't right or what you expected.
Dont leave all of this up to the PB, because he will do the least he can for the most amount of money. Thats just the way it is.

Also, any pricing presented by the PB should have details of the equipment to be supplied itemized, as well as the specs of the pool and all of the finishes of it. It should also include all permits, electric specifics, payment schedule, etc... a complete package.

Its not a bad idea also to go ahead and call the dig hotline now, (its free) and have all of the underground utilities marked in advance, and you can note those on your survey too when you show it to the PB. This will help in not getting surprised with huge unexpected expenses and giant headaches of relocating underground utilities. There are some nightmare stores about exactly this sort of thing here on TFP. It can literally make or break the project.

Do you have any trees to cut down, dug up and relocated? Tell the PB that. If there are trees, note their location on your survey.

I would also make the comment to consider the specs on the shape of your pool. A rectangle with 90 degree corners is fine, but actually more difficult to get everything square to the world so it looks like its supposed to. A rectangle with radius corners (maybe 6 or 8 ft) is easier to build and will also be easier to maintain and keep algae and dirt from gathering in the corners and be a pain to keep clean.

hope this helps,