Pool Remodeling [Part-1] When & Why
Topic / Pool type: Gunite (concrete) in-ground
Summer is almost over and most of us are taking our last vacations before fall & winter – if you own a (old) swimming pool – you know it’s about to sit all winter long, ugly & unused. Maybe renovating the pool is something you have been thinking about for a few years and now is the time – but when?
The answer might be obvious because you cannot swim in a pool that is drained with work being done but we wanted to give you more insight into the process of renovating a swimming pool, how long it might take, and the right time of year to make it happen.
Scenarios that might cause you to consider undertaking a pool remodel project:
- Old & dated design or materials.
- Bought a new home but don’t like the pool.
- Failures or defects requiring major attention or repair.
There is a difference between a swimming pool repair and a remodel. Although you might make some repairs during a pool remodel, generally, making repairs is not an option but keeps everything the same. In other cases so many repairs might be needed at one time that makes for justifying an entire pool renovation.
Another consideration that is related to this topic is “pool restoration” which involves some specialized work to keep the same materials originally installed but to make everything look new & fresh again.
Common Pool Remodeling Jobs
As with anything swimming pools wear over time. Much like a house, some general repairs and updates will need to be made. A good majority of pool renovations are optional.
There are a few items that are most common in remodeling a pool. You may actually see more wear happen during the winter months, especially if it tends to freeze in your area. Certain aspects of the pool are prone to damages during hard freezes.
- Stone & mortar / grout cracks, failures
- Deteriorated mastic sealant, missing & crushed expansion joints
- Water leaks on fittings, pumps and equipment
- Jammed / clogged, cracked pool plumbing pipes
- Coping stone or tiles that are loose or missing
- Crack on the inside of the pool
- Loosing water for no apparent reason
- Broken & non-working parts of equipment
These are just a few jobs one might need done to the pool before the next summer season. Because these problems can create other issues and get worse over time paying attention to the details and taking care of repairs proactively is the best way to protect your investment.
Take an afternoon and inspect your pool in detail. Look for any signs of settling or stress. Cracks may not be evident right away but do get worse over time. The main checkpoints are:
- Coping & cap stones
- Worn pool interior (rough, pitted, cracked, or falling apart)
- Mastic Sealant (on all of the expansion joints)
- Waterline tiles missing, cracked or broken
- Safety rails loose or missing
- Standing water at the pool equipment area
- Concrete surfaces faded, cracking, chipping
Overall you are looking for anything outside of general wear.
A good remodel can benefit you in many ways. Don’t regret having a swimming pool, you just need a trusted source to give you the right information so you can take action on the items that apply to you. Remember, the best way to stay fit – exercise in a swimming pool!
Key benefits & features when you are planning the pool renovation project:
- Save on electrical cost (Update the pool pumps & lighting system)
- Automate your system (Upgrade to full wireless & automatic controls)
- Get an automatic freeze protection (built in to all automation systems)
- Easier maintenance & service (new filters, pumps & cleaners are more user-friendly and efficient)
- Get a Salt Water Pool (enjoy relaxing benefits + ease of maintenance with a salt pool system)
As you can see – there’s a lot to think about before a search for local pool companies to get some bids. You don’t want to miss out on something that you wish you would have known or else you would have done it – know what I mean?
Recap: We know that pool repairs are required, but in most cases pool remodeling is optional. Pool renovations can have more features & options than we can list here and limitations are based on your particular backyard / pool configuration.
We know that having multiple repairs to make that one might as well remodel the whole darn thing, and we also see how people can find the value in simply updating the appearance & functionality.
When to Remodel the Pool
You will not be able to use the pool during the process, so the obvious solution to when is probably going to be the fall / winter season. Although you can renovate a swimming pool at anytime during the year it just makes sense to do it out of season.
If you have done the financial planning – saved up the cash, or financing a loan for the pool renovation just hold off until fall or winter for the least impact on your summer swim season.
Be Prepared for Cost Increases
The part that nobody wants to hear – discovering new problems that will cost more money than originally quoted. It sucks, but it happens. Especially with old pools past 15 years of age.
For example: You may have bought a home that had a pool at the time looked nice, but you may not have known the pool was resurfaced twice before you owned it. If this is the case it can cost additional money for the removal of the original surfaces prior to applying a new one. Something you would not have known until starting the work.
Budget Advice: Set aside an additional $2,000 for any unforeseen extras, repairs that might pop up during the work.
Pool Renovation Myths
There are some rumors going around about how you might be able to strike a nice deal with a swimming pool contractor in the fall / winter seasons. Truth is, although the season does slow down as people tend to focus on new things for winter time, you need to beware of price cutting, super low prices, and swimming pool winter specials.
Home improvement contractors (including pool companies) are not just all of a sudden charged lower rates because it is winter time. Vendors & subcontractors will always charge the same amount for their products & services, so there is no savings for pool companies.
This means that if you are getting the “winter deals” be careful because the only thing they can cut is their own profit margins – a means of just keeping doors open, which typically results in lack of enthusiasm and care / attention to your pool renovation project.
In conclusion, you should be aware of all the options when it comes to remodeling your pool, including new features, accessories and upgrades. It is also prudent to know what your exact budget is and research swimming pool remodeling costs to get an idea.
Prioritize your wish list and compare it to what you can reasonably afford. Then you can start qualifying your pool contractor to get it done. Remember, it is no easier to work outside in the cold weather than it is to bake in the summer time.
Thanks for reading Part 1 of our Swimming Pool Remodeling Breakdown Series. Be sure to check out some related posts like: