Buying a swimming pool in Las Vegas, Nevada - Buying an inground pool or swimming pool builders

How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips! How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips! How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips!
How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips! How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips! How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips!

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Bart Austin, REALTOR«

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Las Vegas, Nevada

(702) 362-1653

Buying or Building A Swimming Pool

How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips! How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips!
How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips! How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips! How to buy a pool and swimming pool construction tips!

Buying a swimming pool can bring years of enjoyment! ... and an
in-ground pool can represent a permanent improvement to your
property. But, plan carefully before   you build a swimming pool!

Determine Why You Want A Pool
Before buying, prospective pool owners should consider ...

1.  Why do I want a pool?
2.  What is it for?
3.  What am I going to do with it after it is built?

The reasons for wanting a pool can be many; personal recreation, family
recreation, exercise, physical therapy, entertaining, water safety instruction,
etc. Once you have decided the "why," then you can decide what kind of
pool you want.

Types of Swimming Pools
There are two basic types of swimming pools: above-ground and in-ground.
In general, above-ground pools are less expensive to install because of the
materials and construction methods involved. Usually a special, heavy-duty
vinyl lining is laid over a supporting structure built of steel, aluminum, wood
or other material. There is a wide range of pool sizes and there are even
models available in kit form that the homeowner can build.

Some above-ground pools can be taken down and stored or moved to new
locations. Maintenance is relatively simple and small cuts or tears in the vinyl
can be repaired with inexpensive patching materials. Above-ground pools are
usually available in round, oval or rectangular shapes. In most communities,
above-ground pools are not taxed as property improvements.

In-ground swimming pools can be built using vinyl liners reinforced below
ground by a sup- porting framework. Other in-ground pools are constructed
of fiberglass, poured concrete, concrete called gunite that is sprayed over
a basket framework of steel reinforcing rods and wire mesh. A white plaster
compound is then applied over the concrete or gunite for a smooth surface
and can be painted .. any color you wish!

Depending upon the space available, in-ground pools can take a variety of
sizes and shapes .. ..round, oval, kidney, free-form, etc. However, because
of the installation costs for excavation, supplies and labor, in-ground pools
are more expensive to build than above-ground pools. Unlike above-ground
pools, in-ground pools usually are taxable as property improvements.

Additional Costs - Required and Optional
Swimming pools require certain basic equipment over and above the pool.
A filter system to insure clean water, steps or ladders, & skimmers for surface
cleaning are considered essential. Many pool owners install heating equip-
ment and pool-side decking of concrete or wood. Pool covers are often used
to keep water clean and retain heat when the pool is not in use.   If used
properly, these covers can be a wise investment.

A wide range of accessories is available for pools including pool and outdoor
lights, diving boards, slides and hand rails for steps. While some accessories,
such as outdoor lights, can be added after construction, it is more economical
to have fixed pool equipment installed at the time of construction.

Also, in the greater Las Vegas area, at least 5 feet of "non-climbable" fencing,
and a "self- closing mesh gate" with a latch (having a lock wouldn't hurt either)
are REQUIRED BY LAW!! I'm sure other states have similar laws in place.
Even if it isn't required, you should have it anyway to "child-proof" your pool
area. ALWAYS check your local building codes!

For filter and heating equipment, most pool owners decide on some kind of
housing structure to protect the machinery from weather. In some climates,
pool builders may recommend screening the pool area to keep out summer
insects such as mosquitoes and flies. And you may want to consider land-
scaping the pool area both for wind protection, privacy, and appearance.

Before building, pool buyers should talk to their insurance agent to find out
about additional home owner coverage for the new pool. Information about
possible property tax assessment increases also should be obtained from local
taxing authorities so you will know what to expect when property taxes fall due.

Financing Your In-Ground Pool
Some swimming pools are considered a good property investment by many
banks, and prospective buyers would do well to ask about any and all
financing arrangements. Many pool builders offer financing but it is wise to
shop around because interest rates vary (try banks, credit unions, etc.).

Swimming Pools and Home Resale
Regardless of the pool requirements of your own family, keep I mind that
you may one day want to sell your property, and a swimming pool suitable
for all ages can be a favorable selling factor. Remember that very young
children and many older persons are not able to use ladders to enter and
leave a pool. Walk-out steps in the shallow end are helpful.

Choosing A Pool Builder
Many prospective pool owners turn to neighbors and friend who have
swimming pools for information and recommendations about pool
companies and builders. You should, of course, talk with more than one
builder and inspect and compare swimming pools the builders have installed.
You may want to contact home builders or architects for references to pool
companies.

I always recommend you call  the "Better Business Bureau" too. You want
to be sure, too, that your builder is properly licensed, insured, and bonded,
and can make any necessary site and soil evaluations of your property. The
builder also should know about existing zoning, building and grading require-
ments. Ask the builder about any liability and compensation insurance he may
carry to protect you in the event of an accident during construction of the pool.
If you are crazy like me, it also wouldn't hurt to check the builder's credit rating
and check county records for any pending lawsuits.

When To Buy and Start Construction
In warm climates, any time is a good time to build a pool. In colder climates
it might be better to order your pool in late summer; the weather is best for
construction and contractors are less busy. You will then have a pool ready
for the first warm day the next spring.

Avoid Getting Into "Hot Water"
Once you have decided to build a swimming pool, there is a natural excite-
ment and eagerness to have it installed as soon as possible. This is often
the point at which unwary buyers can get into hot water because dishonest
salespersons and builders will be quick to take advantage of the situation.

Please keep in mind that the late spring and early summer months can bring
these unscrupulous people into communities where home swimming pools
are popular. Attractive advertisements can turn up, offering deals that seem
too good to turn down. Some warning signs signaling "Buyer Beware!!" are:

1. Salespersons who tell you an advertised pool they offer "on sale" is not
    worth having and then try to switch you to a more expensive model.
2. Salespersons who use the ploy of offering a reduced price on the basis
    your pool will be used as a model.
3. Salespersons who pressure you into signing a contract. Remember: no
    reputable builder and no authorized representative of a reputable builder
    will rush you into signing any agreement or contract at any time.
4. In my humble opinion, if you live in Las Vegas, and ANY pool company
    asks for more than 2% to 5% down to start construction on your "in-ground"
    pool, get up and head for the door - fast!!

    In the state of Nevada, a pool builder cannot take a deposit greater than
    10% of the total cost of your pool, up to an amount not to exceed $1,000.

5. NEVER! NEVER! get talked into taking out the "Building Permit" by
    yourself .. or especially, in your own name!! Let the contractor do it!
6. Make sure that it is in writing and clear that the contractor is REQUIRED
    to hire only licensed and bonded "sub-contractors"!

Working With The Pool Builder
From your first planning meeting until your pool is completed there will be day-to-
day decisions to make. When any questions arise be sure to discuss them with
your contractor.

Local building regulations should be thoroughly reviewed and understood in
advance. You should know what lot grading may be necessary and the height
and cost of any required fencing. Utility lines (water and electric) may have to
be installed or changed, and hook-up charges should be known before the start
of construction.

Discuss any necessary or possible removal of shrubs or trees to allow equipment
and supplies to be brought to the site and any possible damages to driveways,
walks or lawns because of heavy equipment or supply storage. Your discussions
should be frank and a clear understanding reached before work begins so that
you know what repairs will be made and who will pay for them.

Finally, take time to be sure about all construction details as well as the size,
shape and materials you want for your pool. Once work begins, changes could
mean increased costs to you.

The Contract ... PLEASE READ THIS!
The contract you sign with your builder is the most important step in building a
swimming pool. It should provide specific information about the pool you are
going to have built.

The National Spa and Pool Institute points out that every item of expense for
materials and labor, including optional equipment, should be covered in your
contract. You should have "in writing" ...
1. The date the work will start.
2. When work is to be completed.
3. The total cost.
4. All the financing arrangements should be "spelled out".

    Make certain that all promises and representations made to you orally are
    included, in writing, in your contract.

By working with a reliable contractor, you will know the terms and conditions
of all warranties, who is responsible in the event repairs or replacements are
needed, who will do the work, and who will pay for it.

Equipment, Features, and Considerations
There are several ways to help keep pool heating costs to a minimum while
enjoying a comfortable water temperature. First, locate your pool in the sunniest
part of the available property and, where possible, use existing structures such
as a house or garage to help screen wind. A solidly built fence for the pool area
will help shut off cooling winds, & a pool cover can help retain water temperature.

Remember that over-hanging trees limbs can mean leaves and twigs in the pool,
and grass planted too close to the pool can mean cuttings in the water. Keeping
the pool clear of such debris can avoid filter clogs or damage and mean efficient
use of the filtering system and less use of pool chemicals.

You may want to look into solar heating units for your pool. Various types are
available and your builder should have information about them. A solar unit,
used in conjunction with a "back-up": heating system, can save on operating
costs. Keep in mind, however, that because of the initial cost of the solar unit,
this saving may not be realized for several years, depending on the climate
and geographical location of the pool.

Pool Area Restrictions and Safety Tips
Wise pool owners keep safety in mind when planning and using a swimming
pool. Here are a few examples of good safety practices:

Pool decks should be constructed - or treated - with slip-resistant materials
   and made "off limits" for running and children's tag games.
Children should be supervised in the pool area and in the water at all times.
Pool lifesaving equipment and a first aid kit should be kept at the pool.
Glass and other materials that can break or shatter should not be permitted
   in or around the pool.
Water depths should be clearly marked.
Hand rails on ladders should be installed.
Ask your builder for pool safety information and be sure to read it.

Pool Maintenance and Other Fun Jobs
Your builder should supply you with a booklet that tells you how to keep pool
water clean, how to use pool cleaning equipment and how to maintain the filter
and heating equipment as well as the pool surfaces. If a problem arises, call a
pool service specialist. Many pool builders have their own service staff; other
companies specialize in service and cleaning. They can best advise you how
to correct problems and maintain your pool with a minimum of effort. Don't forget
the purchase and application of the necessary chemicals

For more information on pools and spas, contact:

The National Spa and Pool Institute
2111 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 838-0083

Consumer Product Safety Commission
Washington, DC 20207
(800) 638-2666
In Maryland call (800) 492-2937

ęCopyright Bart Austin - REALTOR«. All rights reserved.