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It’s pool season, and we’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries and questions about pool projects. Let’s go over some of the most common ones.

What goes into initial prep for a pool project?

Before any type of construction starts, a pool project begins with a good design. The landscape expert will work with the homeowner to know their needs, budget, and any site challenges. The design should be comprehensive and outline all detail items. It’s important to know if the project includes additions such as a retaining wall for the permit step. After the design is approved, a general building permit will be necessary for the pool, along with any other permits such as stormwater management. The permit process can take months, so you need to ensure you have a comprehensive plan to keep the project on schedule.

Why are paver pool decks ideal?

In the Midwest, the freeze-thaw cycle is always a challenge with hardscape projects. A paver pool deck offers more durability when going up against contrasting temperatures, and it will not bend and break as easily as a large concrete slab. Additionally, if there’s damage in the pool, the pavers can be removed to get down to the mechanics of it for the repair. The pavers can then be put back for a seamless finish.

How are budgets put together?

The budget depends on the specific applications and landscape plan. The final cost breakdown should focus on what you want on the site, any unique site challenges, and other parts of the project. It’s essential that all items are finalized before the job officially starts.

What challenges could arise when building a pool?

Winter is the biggest challenge in the Midwest. The frost can go down as far as four or five feet, which then moves the soil come spring. The ground can heave up 6 to 12 inches. A rigid concrete pool deck will heave and crack under that kind of pressure, which is why we recommend using pavers. It’s a longer lasting finish, so you get a lot more longevity out of it.

What’s the typical timeline for new pool construction?

The initial design phase can last from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on how long it takes to get to an approved design after revisions. Next is the permitting phase, which typically takes 1 to 3 months, but could last even longer depending on your location. The final phase, construction, can last 1 to 6 months depending on how in-depth your project is and the time of the year.

Outdoor Innovations has a pool construction division, so we can work on the entire job from start to finish. Let us know if you’re in the Twin Cities and looking to add a pool onto your landscape. You can also check out our owners, Asher and Craig, talking more about this in an interview with County Materials.