Any homeowner with a swimming pool can attest to the endless hours of fun and socialization the pool can provide. However, the same homeowner can also tell you about the maintenance and periodic repairs the pool requires. If you’re considering having a pool installed, maintenance should be a serious consideration before you get started. What can you do yourself and what will you need to hire someone to do for you?
There’s no easy answer to the question of when to perform DIY maintenance and when to hire a pro. While some tasks are easily handled by the homeowner, others may require a more expert touch. Let’s take a look at the different types of pool maintenance and which you can easily handle yourself.
A lot of standard pool maintenance is easy enough to do and doesn’t require a lot of time or expertise. If you’re willing and able to do a little of the work yourself, you can probably take care of your pool with these simple methods:
Weekly testing your pool water’s pH levels and adding chemicals as needed
Scooping out small, floating debris with a pool net
Inspecting the pool filters and pumps
Hiring a Pool Maintenance Specialist
Some homeowners simply don’t have the time or knowledge required to maintain their pool by themselves. Maybe you don’t know how to use a water testing kit or you’re just away from home so much you can’t afford the time. In that case, it may be time to hire someone to perform these basic maintenance tasks for you. The small monetary investment is more than worth the saved money in expensive restoration if you neglect basic work.
Hiring a Professional Pool Contractor
Finally, there will be times when you simply can’t do the repairs or required maintenance yourself. Even a hired maintenance specialist might not be able to help you. If you notice a leak in your pool, chips or cracks in the pool shell, or a severe malfunction in the pump mechanism, it’s time to call an expert. Don’t make the damage worse or hurt yourself trying to fix something you don’t fully understand.
Pro Tip: Trying to fix a broken pool pump could lead to pretty severe consequences if done incorrectly. It’s best to leave this job to a professional.
Maintaining Your Pool for the Long Term
Swimming pool maintenance is a rather unpleasant but necessary part of owning your own private pool. However, don’t feel like you need to carry the entire burden of maintenance yourself. With a sufficient blend of DIY work and professional help, you can keep your pool clean and pleasant to use.
Adding a swimming pool to your backyard represents a massive investment of both money and time. Consequently, you’ll want your pool to be as perfect as possible. When drawing up your ideas and consulting a professional pool builder, make sure to avoid these common pool design mistakes that can just cost you more money and make the whole project more difficult later on.
Designing a swimming pool requires a significant amount of long-term planning. Future repairs or alterations to your backyard could mean even more costly and invasive work right after your main project is done. By avoiding these mistakes, you can keep your swimming pool project simple and streamlined:
Ignoring entertaining space
Not making a long-term plan
Hiring a too specialized company
1) Ignoring Entertaining Space
Too many homeowners forget to think about their long-term plans for entertaining guests in the backyard. A swimming pool may be a fantastic addition to your home, but without planning your entertaining space around it, you’ll end up with an awkward backyard arrangement or simply not enough room for everything you want to do. Talk to your pool contractors about how often you host parties and how many people usually come, then plan your entire backyard arrangement around that information.
Pro Tip: Even if you don’t usually entertain guests, what about your family? Consider how often your family will use a pool or backyard space on a regular basis.
2) Not Making a Long-Term Plan
In the same vein, make sure you know reasonably well what you’re planning to do in your backyard long-term. Avoiding a long-term plan could end up making things more inconvenient and expensive for you in the long run. For instance, if you know you eventually want to install an outdoor kitchen, the pool construction crew will make sure to leave room to put in the appropriate fixtures, pipes, and other necessary components of a kitchen. On the other hand, if you decide you want an outdoor kitchen six months after your pool is finished, you may find yourself waiting that much longer while your pool is renovated to accommodate the addition. Save yourself the trouble and draw up a detailed plan with the pool company ahead of time.
3) Hiring a Too Specialized Company
When building a swimming pool, you should always look for the most reputable builder you can find. However, steer clear of companies that only work on pools. Even though they can build you an excellent swimming pool, their specialized focus means they’re less likely to take the rest of your backyard into account. The completed pool might bump up against features you’ve already installed or simply get in the way of additional accessories. Find a reputable builder that specializes in general backyard and landscaping design, not just pool construction.
Keeping Your Pool Project Manageable
The sooner your swimming pool and upgraded backyard are complete, the sooner you can start hosting parties and enjoying summer nights in the pool. As you customize the backyard to your tastes, don’t forget to look to the future and make sure you know exactly what you want and when you want it. The more pool design mistakes you can prevent, the better.