Swimming Pool Construction and Ownership FAQS

How do I select the perfect pool builder?

Make sure to interview your prospective contractor very carefully. Here are a few factors to consider.

What is the company’s reputation in the neighborhood?
Do you know a friend or neighbor who has used the same company with good results? If not, can the firm provide you with plenty of reliable references or customer report cards?
How does the firm treat you as a potential customer?
How long has the firm been in business, and how long have they been building pools in your area?
How many swimming pools have they built?
Will the firm provide you with a clear written estimate so that you’re not puzzled about what work will be done?
Will they finish the project on time as promised?
Is the company in good standing with your local Building Department, the State Department of Consumer Affairs and/or Contractor’s Board?
Will the company add hidden fee’s after the construction process has begun?
Is the company financially stable so that there is no risk that you’ll be left with an unfinished pool if they go out of business?
Will the company be careful to remove or take care of landscaping and other outdoor structures?
Will they keep your property clean and safe throughout the construction process?

Aside from winning awards for beautiful and innovative custom pools, Universal Group Inc. is also well known within the industry for offering excellent customer service. From helping you understand all of the design options, to clearly communicating what you can expect during the construction process, we at Universal Pool and Spa make sure that you are well informed during each phase of the project.

Will a pool increase the value of my home?

Yes. Most studies show that a pool will increase the value of your home anywhere between 7% and 15%, depending on where your house is located. It will also continue to increase in value throughout the years, just like your home.

I’ve heard that having a swimming pool can be a lot of work. How much work is involved in owning and caring for a swimming pool?
In the past, pool maintenance was more of a chore. But with today’s modern advances and conveniences, owning a swimming pool is easier than owning a car! Pool chemical testing and maintenance, cleaning, and pre-programmed filtration and heating can all be automated. Automatic pool cleaners and various sanitizing devices also make your pool simple to maintain. Your only concern will be finding more time to enjoy your pool or spa!

I sometimes see advertisements promising pools at very low prices. Should I consider this option?

It is actually possible to build a pool at a low price. But you should be aware that to build a low cost pool, equipment, structural elements, craftsmanship, and design are all compromised. Besides ending up with a pool that does not fit your property because of improper design, using poor quality construction materials can also put you and your family at risk. The old adage is still true: You get what you pay for. At Universal Pools & Spa, we know that the cost difference between a great job and a poor job does not have to be significant. We will work with you to determine a budget that meets your needs. We can custom design your pool to fit your financial parameters. The end result is a beautiful and dependable custom pool that is affordable and within your budget.

Why do cost estimates vary so much when the pools seem to be the same?

The price of a pool is determined by much more than just the size and shape of that pool. Unfortunately, many contractors don’t include important factors that effect cost in the actual estimate they give you. This also means that you can get hit with hidden charges after construction has begun. Some important things to consider are:

-Quality of Materials
-Design Expertise
-Underground Strength and Durability
-Customer Service
-Time Required for Construction
-Workman’s Comp Insurance
-Liability Insurance
-License Requirements

What factors affect the cost of my swimming pool?

Surprisingly, construction costs for the pool structure itself do not vary greatly from pool to pool. Prices can be affected slightly by ease of access onto your property, demolition requirements prior to construction, and local permit costs. The size and design of the pool affect the cost too, but not as much as you might think.

Much of the variation in price is based on what is called “hardscape.” Hardscape is what is placed around your pool to enhance its design. The size and materials used in your deck, patios, waterfalls, gazebos, planter walls, and other features can be simple or sensational. As the customer, you have the greatest influence on your total budget as you control the design of your pool’s hardscape.

Should I consider building my own pool as a homeowner?

Never! And you can bet that equipment suppliers and other contractors will charge you more than the actual value of the materials and work. Even the experts encounter incredible challenges during pool construction. Years of experience, knowledge, and specific training lead to wise and innovative solutions that produce our superior quality finished products. We offer you enormous buying power, efficient construction, and we also coordinate all of the work so that your experience is hassle and headache free.

How should I decide on the design of my pool?

Each property has unique features that should be considered when your pool is being designed. Our design experts will meet with you at your home to discuss your pool needs and desires. He or she will ask you how you intend to use your pool. Is exercise important? How about family use? What about location? Where will the pool look best when viewed from your home? Our design expert may take photographs, video, or sketches of your yard. Then they will prepare a custom design that fits your needs!

I have a small and difficult yard to work with. Can I still have a pool?
Expert builders can construct quality pools in yards of all shapes and sizes. Our expert design and engineering team can work with the most challenging properties. You’ll be surprised by our innovative solutions that can turn your dreams into a beautiful backyard resort. Before you give up on your impossibly small yard or hillside location, call us for design advice.

Are there any additional options available to add to my pool?
Technology is changing at an unprecedented rate, and swimming pools are no exception. Innovative water treatment options, fiber-optic lighting, spa products, remote controls, automatic cleaning systems, and many other options are now available to make your pool easier to maintain and more enjoyable than ever. Tell us what you would like, and we can show you how to do it.

10 Myths of Pool Ownership
Here are the top ten myths – and some helpful tips – about owning and maintaining a swimming pool:

1. “I can’t afford a pool.”                                                                                                Owning a pool is probably a lot easier than you think. There are many reasonably priced options for putting a pool in your backyard. The type of pool, materials, accessories, and landscaping you choose will influence the cost of the project. You should also remember that your pool will help reduce other expenses, such as the cost of vacations away from home, membership dues to community pools and other recreational activities.

2. “My yard will be ruined for a year and workmen will be around all the time.”                       An accurate understanding of the building process will help you develop realistic expectations for the completion of your pool. Many pools are completed in just a few weeks. But obviously, unforeseen factors such as the weather or permit delays can affect the building process. We will communicate any changes in the project schedule to you as soon as possible.

3. “It takes too much time and effort to maintain a pool.”
You can always hire a professional to do the job, but with today’s cost-effective technology you can get the same great results in very little time. In fact, maintaining a pool is easier than maintaining your car or your lawn!

4. “My electric bill will significantly go up if I own a pool.”
Utility bills vary depending on where you live and who your provider is, but average estimates show that utility bills only increase between $30 and $50 each month. But that’s nothing when compared to the money you’d otherwise spend on entertainment, vacations and trips to the community pool, including the expense of gasoline, food and concessions.

5. “I’m afraid of the risk of accidents and drowning occurring at my pool.”
While attentive adult supervision is the best way to maintain a safe pool, fences, pool covers, gates and pool alarms offer additional layers of protection to enhance safety. Some experts believe that having a pool actually saves untold lives because children who learn to swim at a very early age are less likely to drown in an emergency situation later in life.

6. “I am worried about the increased insurance and liability that come with owning a pool.”
Homeowners should always check with their current insurance brokers and shop around for the best coverage available. You should also contract with a reputable builder, carefully read safety materials, closely follow safety equipment instructions, and ensure that there is adult supervision of the pool at all times.

7. “Pools require constant repair.”
You should research a builder’s work and ask questions about the longevity of the pool types they are considering. Proper cleaning and maintenance prevent the need for unscheduled refurbishing.

8. “I’m afraid of getting taken by a dishonest pool builder.”
Like with any building project, you should always check a builder’s professional credentials, ask for references and view samples of complete work. Try to look at jobs that are older as well.

9. “A pool is a big investment and I’m afraid that financing will be really difficult.”
Homeowners can finance a pool with a long term mortgage.

10. “I have heard that pools detract from the appeal of a home in the real estate market instead of adding to it.”
Not true. Banks and other financial lenders often look favorably upon swimming pool financing, considering it a “home improvement” that will increase both the current and resale value of the home.