Tips for a Smooth and Enjoyable Pool Building Process

Designing and building a custom gunite swimming pool doesn’t
(and shouldn’t) be a stressful or drawn out process. When you find the right
pool company to meet your needs, it should actually be smooth and enjoyable! At
the end of it all, this experience should be a wonderful memory for you and your
family, made better only by the many years you’ll spend enjoying in your new
backyard oasis.

If you’re hesitant that a swimming pool project may be more
than you can handle, take a look at these tips for streamlining the process and
setting yourself up for a positive experience.

Establish
a clear vision for your pool, but stay open-minded.

It’s very helpful to begin the process by first understanding
your goals for your backyard space. How do you plan to use the pool? How many
people will you entertain on a usual day, and do you desire a space that can
ebb and flow to accommodate various numbers of guests? Websites like Houzz will
help to give you some ideas of possibilities and help you determine styles you
do and do not like.

The flip side of this coin is that while it’s great to have a
clear vision, you should also stay open-minded that certain things may need to
change to accommodate the size and shape of your backyard, your budget, and
restrictions based upon property lines or township requirements. A trusted pool
professional can help advise you on all of these things.

Begin the
process by doing your own research to start.

If you do an internet search for pool companies in your area,
you might be overwhelmed by the many options available to you. While an
internet search is a great starting point, you then need to narrow down your
results by doing further research. What type of pool are you looking to build?
What skills and qualifications are most important to you? Answering these
questions, and then doing your research on the companies who align with these
qualifications will help you identify the top two or three pool companies with
whom you should call and schedule a time to meet. This way, you’re not
overloading your schedule and possibly wasting your time with dozens of pool
companies who aren’t quite the best fit for your particular job.

Have your
initial meetings early.

Maybe you’ve only started to day dream about having your own
swimming. It’s not too early to talk to someone! If you feel confident that a
pool project is in your future, even in the next two to three years, it’s worth
having some initial conversations with potential pool companies.

First, these meetings will open your eyes as to what the pool
building process really entails; it will also help you get a ballpark figure
for the appropriate budget for your project. You will then have the information
you need to determine the direction and timeline of your project. Is this something
you want to pursue in the next 12 months, or is this now something you feel
like you want to wait on in order to better determine your design or save
toward your budget? The answer to this question and more are valuable things to
be gained from your initial meetings.

Let
quality and customer service guide your selection process.

The pool company you ultimately select as you professionals
to design and build your pool will have a large impact on your experience with
the project. This is why doing your research and having initial meetings early
is so important for a smooth and enjoyable pool building process. To help guide
you toward the best selection for you, let quality and customer service guide
your decision. What company has the most experience building the type of pool
you desire? Do your personalities ‘mesh’ well? Remember, these are people you
will be working closely with over the course of the next year or more. When you
base your decision on quality and customer service, you are likely to find a
company who will deliver your expected results.

Be
realistic about your project timeline.

Another tip for making any home project more enjoyable is to
be realistic about your project timeline. Things tend to take longer than we
would like them to. Managing your own expectations from the start will help
reduce stress or feeling like you’re behind, when really you’re right on track
by industry standards.

“Sleep”
on major decisions, but don’t overthink it.

At various points in your pool project, you’ll be faced with
large decisions that will greatly impact the look and functionality of your
pool – not to mention the cost. While it’s important you take these decisions
seriously, don’t drag things out for weeks or months. Give yourself a few days
to reflect on your options, do some research, ask a trusted friend, and then
make your decision and move on. Not only will this help keep your project on
deadline, it will prevent you from overthinking things.

Stay
focused on your “why.”

Finally, keep your eye on the prize. The goal of your pool
project is to create a fun and welcoming space where you can relax and create
memories for years to come. There are many ways this can be achieved.
Throughout the building process there may be changes and challenges that will
cause you to adjust your initial plan. By staying focused on the “why” of your
project, you will keep a level head and a positive perspective.

Are you ready to take the first step toward building your dream pool?
There’s no need to be intimidated by or nervous about the process.
Contact us today so we can paint a clearer picture of what you
should expect when working with Aquavisions.


3 Things Aquavisions Does Differently Than Most Pool Companies

When someone asks, “What does Aquavisions do?” the simple answer is we build custom gunite swimming pools. But is that all we do? Not even close! It’s a little (a lot) more complex than that. Why? Because so much goes into a custom swimming pool – and it all starts with having a relationship with our clients.

When anything is designed custom for someone, it requires a much deeper understanding of that person and their lifestyle, wants, and wishes than simply picking something from a catalog, having it delivered and installed. So what makes Aquavisions different than most pool companies? Our major points of differentiation full under three main categories.

  1. We get to know you personally.

Building a pool gets personal. Okay, maybe not as personal as some other things in life, but in order to really understand what it is our clients want and to make sure we are providing you with all options available to you, it’s important we understand you on a personal level. We will visit you at your home to see your outdoor space and also to talk with you, in a space that makes you most comfortable, about your hopes and goals for this pool project. From here, we’ll take all of this information into consideration and start by crafting an initial pool design that we feel hits all the right marks. Every step of our process is custom and personalized to you.

  1. We’re your partner through it all.

When it comes to every step of physically building your pool, we’ve got you covered. However there are many other moving parts to this project that people forget to consider. For example, how will you hardscape and landscape around your pool? Who will you use for your fencing company? When these questions arise for our clients we are happy to offer recommendations and guide them through the process so they can appropriately budget for these aspects of the pool project. Also, we want to see that they work with trusted vendors who we are confident will uphold the same standard of quality to which we provide. Simply put, when you work with Aquavisions, we are your partner who will guide you through it all.

  1. We’re in it long-term.

Finally and most importantly, we are committed to our long-term relationship. That’s right, we want to be the people you call upon should you ever need anything related to your pool, even 20 years from now. We never see our pools as a one-off project. Rather, we pride ourselves on always be responsive and helpful to our clients whether they have a simple maintenance question or need a solution to a complex problem. And of course, we are available to assist any pool owner, even those who do not own an Aquavisions pool, with the proper opening and closing of your pool each season. This alone will greatly help to maintain the quality of your pool and reduce the time and labor required of you to take on such projects on your own.

At Aquavisions, we do things a little bit differently when it comes to designing and building custom gunite swimming pools. And quite frankly, being different has made all the difference, not only to us but to our clients who continue to express in many different ways how owning an Aquavisions pool has changed their lives, brought their families closer and helped them to create memories that would never have been possible otherwise. This is why we are so passionate about what we do!

Do you someday hope to build a new pool or upgrade your current one? What qualities in a pool company are most important to you? Share your response in the comments below!


Ready to Get Serious About Building a Swimming Pool? Here’s Where to Begin.

The start of a new year may have you thinking about setting new goals, or possibly picking up a few that have fallen off over the last few months or years. For some, this might include the goal to finally build your dream swimming pool that you have been longing for year after year. And right now is a great time to set that goal and make a commitment to achieving it this year!

However, if you find that you’re not quite sure where to begin, don’t worry. Getting started is fairly straightforward and does not have to be an intimidating process. Like any other project you’ve tackled, there are small steps you take along the way that lead you to the end result. Take a look at our advice for getting serious about building a swimming pool – and taking the right steps to launch your project this year.

Get Inspired

First and foremost, you want to start with inspiration. Especially for a project such as creating your dream outdoor living space, it’s important to develop a clear vision for your wants and needs. Everyone has a different lifestyle! How do you want your backyard and pool to reflect yours? For some, this may be a tranquil and serene space to relax and lounge. For other, this may be an energizing and exciting space filled with lots of options for activity like slides, games and sports. Or maybe it’s a combination of both. No matter where you land on the spectrum, it’s important to identify this point before moving on to the next step.

Understand the Building and Zoning Permit Process

Inspiration is one important component of building your dream pool, but it has to be met with a balance of reality. This is why it's so important to investigate the building and zoning permit process for your particular local municipality. Rules and regulations can vary significantly from township to township and county to county, so you want to make sure that any obstacles or restrictions are known before you get too far along in the design process. Keep in mind that this is something your pool company can and should assist you with. It can be a daunting task to navigate along, but with the right pool company to guide you through the process, and share their expertise, this can made a manageable task. When brings us to the next point.

Find the Right Pool Company

Now with a clear vision for the space you wish to create, you must find the right pool company that matches your vision and has the necessary experience and resources to bring your vision to life. Each pool company is unique – as is every customer. This means you need to research and interview enough pool companies until you find the one that sparks a connection. There are several factors you’ll want to consider such as a company’s pool specialty, reputation, style, quality, customer service and pricing. When you feel aligned in all these areas, you know you have found the right pool company to take on your job.

Know Your “All-In” Budget

Next, you need to spend some time fine-tuning your budget. Many people begin with a rough budget and that’s a great place to start. But now that you know the scope of your project and have a wish-list for all that you want to be included, you need to know how much you can really spend to bring it to life. Most importantly, you’ll want to account for things like tax, the cost to open, maintain and close your pool each year, excavation, hardscaping around the pool and fencing. There are many outside costs, beyond the pool alone, that need to be included in your “all-in” budget.

Work Backwards from Your Desired Completion Date

With all of these other items in place, you might be wondering “When can I expect my project to be complete?” Many clients focus on the end project and how soon they can be enjoying the luxury of their own swimming pool. Start with your desired completion date, then work backwards. Be upfront with your pool company about when you hope to be finished, and they will be honest with you about the timeline for completion. These two dates may align, or may need to be adjusted to meet in the middle somewhere. Most importantly, be flexible with your completion date and your pool company. Your pool company surely wants to see your pool complete as much as you do, but keep in mind that having a well thought out design and quality product is always worth the time it takes to complete it.

Are you ready to get serious about building your swimming pool? If you need help deciding how to start the process, reach out to us today. We’re happy to answer your questions and provide insight!


The Process for Building a Custom Gunite Swimming Pool

Within a few moments of describing the process for building a custom gunite swimming pool, you’ll quickly realize that this is very different from the process of installing a fiberglass or vinyl liner pool. Foremost, a gunite swimming pool is fully customizable. Rarely will two pools be the same – which is why they’re great for people who want a unique shape or size that they know is one-of-a-kind and specially designed to maximize the use of their outdoor space.

To understand the process for building a custom gunite swimming pool, we want to walk you through the various steps so you know what to expect and also why this process is so unique – take a look!

On-Site Consultation

Because gunite pools are custom designed and built, the process begins by meeting with the client on their property. We want to see the space, take measurements and account for the unique aspects of the property we either want to alter or work with. This also allows the client to show us their vision for the space and challenges they wish to overcome.

3-D Design Process

Next, we take a client’s wish list and conceptualize an initial design. With the use of our Pool Studio Design Software and an Oculus Rift VR Headset, we are able to show clients all angles of this design. This virtual experience helps people to visualize their back yard space and the potential it has to be a one-of-a kind Aquavisions pool.

We then work closely with each client until a final design is agreed upon. Even if it takes many rounds of revisions, we don’t stop until it’s the perfect balance of beauty and function and works within the client’s budget.

Grading and Excavation

The physical process begins by grading and leveling the property. Next, the pool is painted out and formed using 6 inch strips of peg board and half inch steel rebar. The excavator carves the actual shape of the swimming pool directly into the earth until the desired depths are reached. Finally a six inch base of stone covers the entire bottom of the excavated pool shape.

Installing Plumbing

Once the pool is dug and the stone is placed, all necessary plumbing is installed. This is a critical piece of ensuring a pool is functional and can be properly maintained over time.

Building Rebar Cage

After the plumbing is completed, a steel cage is constructed using half-inch rebar to reinforce the concrete shell. This will become the backbone that helps to give the gunite its desired form.

Installing Lights and Electric

Next we install the lights and electrical bonding of the pool. Depending upon the design of the pool, this step can be fairly simple or extremely complex. Additionally, all of plumbing lines are air tested to ensure that all connections are properly sealed and there are no leaks in the lines.

Shooting and Forming the Gunite

Let the fun begin! Three inches of gunite is shot under the steel cage of the pool floor. Three more inches of gunite is added on top for a total floor thickness of six inches. After the gunite application is complete, the forms are removed.

Coping, Tiling and Rock Detailing

If the pool design contains natural rock detailing such as a waterfall or jump rock, the boulders will be moved into the correct placement and eventually mortared. Also, a six inch band of decorative tile is installed around the entire pool perimeter and the radius bull-nosed coping is placed above the tile for a fully finished look.

Hardscaping & Landscaping

Before any more work can be done on the pool, the hardscaping and landscaping finishes around the pool must be completed. This includes patios, landscape beds and fencing.

Pebble-Tec Interior Finish

The Pebble-Tec interior is sprayed and troweled over the gunite. This is an aggregate plaster material that is available in 3 textures and 48 colors to provide clients with ultimate flexibility to reach their desired look and feel. One day later we return to acid wash the Pebble-Tec which removes excess plaster and exposes the beautifully colored pebbles within the finish.

Adding Water

This is the step that really brings the pool to life! Chlorinated water is trucked in and added to the pool until it reaches the appropriate level in order for the pool’s pumps and filter to function.

Professional Orientation

Upon completion of the project, we will schedule an orientation with one of our pool professionals who will guide you through all of the important processes so you feel fully comfortable with your pool and to ensure it functions properly.

Enjoy your finished pool!

Throughout all of these steps, none is more fulfilling than seeing our clients’ reactions to their brand new gunite swimming pool. We love receiving photos and hearing stories of all the fun memories that are built within this new spacec. Most importantly, we remain available to answer any questions that might arise and to assist with the opening and closing of the pool each season. When you own an Aquavisions pool, you become a valued member of our family for life!

Want to learn more? Check out this video clip that shows the time-lapse of our building process all in about 2 minutes!

**Note: This is a very generalized and simplified description of the process. Every pool build is unique and can change depending upon the style and scope of project.**