7 Things You Should Avoid When Building a Pool

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    When you want to put in a backyard swimming pool in Kansas City, MO, your whole family can become pretty excited envisioning afternoons splashing in the cool water, the sunshine glistening off the ripples in the waves, and that next pool party with lights and good times for all.

    When you’re adding a pool, you want it to be everything that you dreamed of and more. That means covering all the bases and avoiding common pool building mistakes that you might end up regretting later.

    To help you better prepare, we’ve put together a list of things to know when building a pool. These dos and don’ts can take this overwhelming undertaking and help you better pre-plan so you can have all of the enjoyment and none of the stress, regret, or worry.

    7 Things to Consider When Building a Pool

    There is almost nothing that feels worse than when you look at a finished project and wish there was something you had known beforehand.

    At High Prairie Outdoors, we always want to educate our clients to the best of our ability to ensure they are set up for success on all projects, as especially as they begin building a pool in their backyard.

    Here’s what to know before building a pool so you can ask all the right questions and make more informed decisions about this long-term landscape investment.

    1. Determine Your Why

    In Kansas City, pools are in high demand. They are popular additions here because families enjoy quality time in them during our hot summers.

    Determining why you’re considering building a pool in the backyard is an important first step in your planning. This will ensure you get the most out of your swimming pool design and investment.

    Consider these important questions:

    • Do you want to swim laps (exercise) or lounge the majority of the time?

    • Do you want to be able to dine outdoors by the pool?

    • Is a spa a pool feature you are considering?

    • What kind of seating will you need around your pool?

    • Are water features an addition you would like to see with your pool?

    When you are thinking about the type of pool you and your family will enjoy most, answering these questions can help you determine a design direction.

    You also want to think about the future. If you’re moving out of your current home in a short time, you may not want to invest in a pool, for instance, because you won’t be able to enjoy it much before you move on.

    2. Consider Local Codes and Permit Requirements

    Of course, there are always some important logistics to consider when you’re thinking about building a pool. And one of the big pool mistakes to avoid is not looking at whether your local codes will allow you to put a pool in your desired location.

    Part of obtaining the right permits will also require some protection, including a 48-inch fence with special latches installed around your pool in most Kansas City municipalities.

    These are important safety features that are part of the pool lifestyle, and they ensure you can have all of the fun without any of the security risks.

    You also want to ensure your pool has the necessary safety features around it for toddlers or pets. These can include sun decks and beach entries.

    3. Consider Slopes When Determining Pool Location

    When you work with a professional pool designer, they will absolutely take slope and elevation into consideration when determining pool location.

    Ignoring this step is a huge pool mistake to avoid. Why? Slopes can be an attractive way to add infinity edges and water features, but they can also cause drainage issues, pool over-fill issues after storms, and budget increases for additional retaining strategies.

    The best way to address this is to work with a trained professional who has experience with mitigating sloped lots with pools. It is possible, it just requires proactive planning to prevent disasters later.

    4. Think About Pool Visibility By Neighbors and Passers-by

    You want to have a life-enhancing and visually appealing pool design in your backyard. You want to enjoy it at different times of the day, and while some of those time might mean your children and their friends are playing a rousing game of Marco Polo, other times maybe you’d prefer to be out there alone in the quiet, enjoying a nice slow swim all to yourself.

    In that case, you want to think about visibility when building a pool in your backyard. You likely don’t want to be on display by your neighbors who are taking a walk around the block.

    Think about the areas around your pool as well and how they might help or hinder your privacy. Things like trees and shrubs, a pavilion, an outdoor kitchen, fire feature, lounging areas, and patios can make a big difference in elevating the use of your backyard pool while creating a secluded space for you to enjoy simultaneously. After all, if you can cook and serve meals, escape from the sun for a bit, and watch a game all while your kids are still swimming, you might spend the entire day out by the pool, maximizing your time and investment.

    Working with a company that can cover all these bases is important in the overall enjoyment of your new space.

    5. Consider Your Budget

    Shopping for any service provider takes doing some research. And there are usually cost differences from one provider to another.

    Shopping on price alone with building a pool in your backyard might be a big mistake. This could put you at risk of being dissatisfied with the final result if the cost cutting is also skimping on important features that you want or that make a difference in the life of the pool.

    Achieving a complete space versus just a quick pool thrown into your yard is a very important thing to consider when building a pool. You want to see a neat, tidy, cohesive, ready-to-enjoy space when your pool is complete and not mounds of dirt or more work to be done when the pool is finished. This, ultimately, could cost you more in the long run when planning ahead for the entire space could save you money and give you a better result.

    Consider your budget carefully so you can discuss various ideas and cost levels and know what your primary needs are and how you can stay within that budget and still get what you want. Since a pool is a multi-month project, you want to get the most out of this time and energy in planning and investing in your new space.

    pool landscape Kansas City

    6. Remember to Research Pool Companies when Planning a Pool Design and Installation

    You have options when it comes to who you work with to build a pool in your backyard in Kansas City. You can work with someone who just works on pools or work with a landscape business that installs pools and also designs and installs entire landscapes and hardscapes that can accompany your pool.

    If you work with someone who only installs pools, you might be missing out on other plans that could improve your space – even if you’re installing it in phases. Some examples include beautiful plantings, a highly functional patio, a pavilion for some sun protection, a water feature that gives your pool a wow factor, an outdoor kitchen, a nearby fire feature, or all of the above.

    Since your pool is only one important feature in your entire landscape, it’s important to consider all of these other elements and how they will all work together to ensure you end up with a space that you truly use and love.

    7. Don’t Forget to Budget for Pool Maintenance

    When it comes to what to know before building a pool, a big consideration has to do with care after the pool is finished.

    A pool is certainly not a one-and-done feature. It requires regular maintenance to operate properly and continue bringing joy to your and your family members.

    Remember to budget for regular pool maintenance once you have your new backyard feature to ensure its long life and protect your investment.

    Ready to Add a Pool To Your Kansas City Backyard?

    Now that you know some things to consider when building a pool, we hope you feel more prepared to plan for your new space and talk with landscape professionals about this special new entertainment feature and aesthetically pleasing addition to your home landscape.

    Regrets can certainly be expensive, and in order to get the full benefit of enjoying a pool, you want the peace of mind in knowing you have optimally placed your pool to prevent flooding and safety issues, as well as elevate privacy, beauty and enjoyment.

    Of course, questions may still come up as you progress through this process. It’s a big investment, and you want to be sure you’re making the right decisions and getting all the information  you need to proceed properly.

    As you find yourself adding more questions to your list or scratching your head considering your slope or location or design possibilities, give High Prairie Outdoors’s experts a call. We have worked with a variety of pool projects in Kansas City and can help you address your specific concerns and navigate your yard’s unique challenges to get the end result you’re envisioning.

    The end result will be a pool and spa with a surrounding landscape that you may have felt like you’ve only seen in magazines or at resorts … and you don’t have to wait for a lounge chari to open up or worry about crowded pool times. It’s all yours.

    Ready to see how High Prairie Outdoors can transform your Kansas City home landscape with our unique and proven pool design and installation capabilities? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a design that you will love and your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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