What are some small investments to add to a pool build that make a large impact?

ivparker

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2016
56
Byron Center, MI
So my title is really my question. So Im a little bummed of how much this pool is going to cost and its not going to have that resort look. We aren't surprised of the cost as we went through doing bids several years ago with a different house but decided to buy a bigger house before putting in the pool. So the cost isn't surprising but I was on another house forum and people were talking about the costs of their pool and oh my, the majority of them spent way less then this will cost us and they actually have beautiful pools. Like rock waterfalls, sunshelf, travertine decking, swg, automatic covers etc They are saying that those pools cost them around 50K or less. We have had 5 bids. We want to get a 18 x 36 with added sunshelf to make an L. 2 led lights, bubbler, vinyl pool, swg, natural gas heater, and cantilever coping and a small amount of concrete decking. That is coming to around $60K. With fence and retaining wall probably more like $70K. Anyway....what are some small things to add to cost of pool that will give it a nicer look? So far I am thinking the coping helps vs the aluminum. Also the steps wrapped in vinyl vs white. We want to throw in a bubbler and maybe even a waterfall plumbing so we can build some sort of waterfall ourselves.
Any other ideas? I want my pool to not just be functional but a beautiful site in the backyard. Thanks!
 

Chickinvic

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2017
266
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Try Canada pricing if you want real sticker shock lol. Truthfully, I knew I would never want to pony up the money to install a pool. When we were house hunting I just made having a pre-existing pool one of my "musts". Houses with a pool don't cost any more than without around here (and lots of houses here have them) and I wanted someone else to take that hit.

Nice coping will definitely help a lot and look classier. As far as the steps, I personally prefer not to cover them in vinyl even though it looks nice. Just seems like the first place that will probably tear. Have you seen take the grey steps? They can look really great with the right liner.
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,653
Longview, Texas
In my opinion, humble as it may be, plan some landscaping. The plants and flowers dont have to be expensive. Make a bed on the long side of the pool opposite the deck. And put some inexpensive landscape lights in strategic places to enhance the plants. instead of having that rock waterfall you can add some attractive stonework landscape pieces. Put some plants in colorful pots around the deck.

As time goes by, you can add or subtract or change it a bit to keep it interesting. If you build a pool with all that stuff and learn that its more maintenance tha nwhat you really want to do, it will be too late and you'll be stuck with it.

Some of nicest back yards I have ever seen were not necessarily the pool, but the landscape that what really turned them into a paradise.

So my title is really my question. So Im a little bummed of how much this pool is going to cost and its not going to have that resort look. We aren't surprised of the cost as we went through doing bids several years ago with a different house but decided to buy a bigger house before putting in the pool. So the cost isn't surprising but I was on another house forum and people were talking about the costs of their pool and oh my, the majority of them spent way less then this will cost us and they actually have beautiful pools. Like rock waterfalls, sunshelf, travertine decking, swg, automatic covers etc They are saying that those pools cost them around 50K or less. We have had 5 bids. We want to get a 18 x 36 with added sunshelf to make an L. 2 led lights, bubbler, vinyl pool, swg, natural gas heater, and cantilever coping and a small amount of concrete decking. That is coming to around $60K. With fence and retaining wall probably more like $70K. Anyway....what are some small things to add to cost of pool that will give it a nicer look? So far I am thinking the coping helps vs the aluminum. Also the steps wrapped in vinyl vs white. We want to throw in a bubbler and maybe even a waterfall plumbing so we can build some sort of waterfall ourselves.
Any other ideas? I want my pool to not just be functional but a beautiful site in the backyard. Thanks!
 

ivparker

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2016
56
Byron Center, MI
Try Canada pricing if you want real sticker shock lol. Truthfully, I knew I would never want to pony up the money to install a pool. When we were house hunting I just made having a pre-existing pool one of my "musts". Houses with a pool don't cost any more than without around here (and lots of houses here have them) and I wanted someone else to take that hit.

Nice coping will definitely help a lot and look classier. As far as the steps, I personally prefer not to cover them in vinyl even though it looks nice. Just seems like the first place that will probably tear. Have you seen take the grey steps? They can look really great with the right liner.
Yeah, when we decided we needed a bigger house we also were trying to find a house with a pool already but we have a unique family (9 kids) so it was very hard for us to find a house that worked and had a pool. But on the bright side, the houses that we looked at that had pools were pretty basic pools. At least we can build a pool that has a sunshelf or little features like that. At least that is what we are telling ourselves to make us feel better about the decision. :) A pb mentioned the grey steps and even the grey coping. I will look into it but I think if the steps come off the sunshelf they have to be covered vinyl?
Thanks for your thoughts.
 
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ivparker

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2016
56
Byron Center, MI
In my opinion, humble as it may be, plan some landscaping. The plants and flowers dont have to be expensive. Make a bed on the long side of the pool opposite the deck. And put some inexpensive landscape lights in strategic places to enhance the plants. instead of having that rock waterfall you can add some attractive stonework landscape pieces. Put some plants in colorful pots around the deck.

As time goes by, you can add or subtract or change it a bit to keep it interesting. If you build a pool with all that stuff and learn that its more maintenance tha nwhat you really want to do, it will be too late and you'll be stuck with it.

Some of nicest back yards I have ever seen were not necessarily the pool, but the landscape that what really turned them into a paradise.
Yes, thanks. I really want a modern look so I was thinking of using big white or concrete squared planters with grasses in it to give it that modern feel. Yes, we are talking about landscape lights but not sure. Do people just use the small to the ground landscape lights or is there another one that I may not have thought of? Like on a post?
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,917
Central MD
For a really nice looking pool deck that doesn’t cost a lot, see @PoolGate ’s build thread. He has brushed concrete with non-linear brush strokes for faux grout lines in it. Basically a no-cost upgrade for brushed concrete.

Use Pour-A-Lid drain covers.

Plan your deck space for numerous chaise lounge pairs with umbrellas/tables in between. That’s the classic resort look.
 
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