Whether it’s a custom home with a luxury backyard and pool or a spec home with a simple pool where owners can beat the heat, installation can be a little easier for everyone when pool construction takes place simultaneously with home construction.
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Tim Murphy, founder and CEO of Presidential Pools and Spa in Gilbert, Arizona, listed four things that builders can do to make sure construction goes smoothly.
Leave room for pool equipment. Typically, the area for heaters, filters and pumps will be about 10 feet by eight feet, Murphy said. Builders need to leave room for that equipment, but they also need to consider where it can go on the lot. Pool equipment can get noisy, so putting it near the master bedroom isn’t ideal, he pointed out.
Furthermore, pools and homes might have different permitting restrictions. “A lot of times, the home builders don’t realize that there are certain setbacks and requirements [regarding] where we can put the pool equipment,” Murphy explained, and pool contractors have to settle for a less than ideal location.
Plan for how equipment will be powered. “Typically, we’re going to use gas for the pool heater, and a lot of times [builders] don’t think about that,” Murphy said. “It’s so much less expensive to [install] the gas step-out by the pool equipment during home construction versus afterwards.”
This is another instance when planning for where pool equipment will go can help prevent headaches. “Let’s say pool equipment is on the opposite corner of the house and we have to run a 2-inch gas line all the way around the house outside; it gets really expensive,” Murphy said.
Similarly, he encouraged builders to leave enough room for electric panels to be installed.
Prepare for smart pool tech. Smart home technology doesn’t stop at the walls. Builders who are installing smart home tech in new homes should consider the likelihood that buyers will want to turn on their pool lights with the same controller they use to turn on the living room lights.
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In today’s new homes, Murphy said, “the automation on the home is really interactive with the pool.” Homeowners can even test water chemistry from their smartphones, he added.
Be proactive on hillside lots. Pool construction on sloped lots presents a particular challenge, Murphy said. Although getting pool contractors involved early will benefit any new construction, it’s especially important for homes with significant grading.
For example, modern, geometric pools with negative edges are the most popular designs these days, according to Murphy, but “a lot of home builders don’t understand the retaining wall and how the pool builder really interacts with that.”