Often when people want to put a swimming pool in the backyard, they will call the local pool contractor and sign up for an installation. Unfortunately, most of the time, this is similar to someone that wants a house calling the lumberyard and ordering some wood. Although the wood is a key component, it is only part of the puzzle. A good pool project starts with planning to make the most of the property and get the maximum benefit at the minimum cost. This involves planning, coordination of various trades, and the right timing.

How the pool is situated in the yard is a major consideration when designing. People commonly place the pool in the center of the yard, effectively killing the use of the property for any other activities. A good design, on the other hand, should consider the function of the pool area AND the rest of the yard. Sun angles, proximity to the house, and how the pool will appear in the off season should all be factored into the decision-making process. The location of other elements of the pool project such as fencing, lounge area, screen planting, pool filter and heater should also be thought out before digging.

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Another common error is not accounting for grading. Even a fairly level property will have some slope to it, while a pool needs to be perfectly level. When you place this large, perfectly level pool in a not so level yard, you end up needing to retain, or at the very least, re-grade the space. If this is planned in advance it can be an element that adds to the aesthetics of the poolscape. If not, it can become an expensive drainage and grading problem.

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Much like building a house, installing a pool involves coordination of many elements and the trades to install them. Permits often need to be filed for fencing, electric and gas lines, and for the pool itself. Making sure you have all the trades (electrician, plumber, fencing, masonry, and pool contractor, and of course, the landscaper) in the right order can avoid the costly mistake of having one contractor damage another contractor’s work or making access more difficult or downright impossible. This coordination can also be the difference between swimming this year or the next.

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Hicks Landscapes
Hicks Landscapes is experienced in taking a pool project from the initial concept through the installation of the last detail. We can coordinate all the trades involved (including the pool contractor) and help make the process as seamless as possible for you. Give Hicks Landscapes a call at 516-334-0068 or email design@hicksnurseries.com to find out how we can help you make your pool dreams a reality.

By Ken Muellers, Lifetime CNLP

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