Here you will find information on Base Pool Pricing - Typical Pool Sales Process - Free Pool Design and Quote
See why you need to do your research before launching into construction on your new pool project.
These articles are a little long in nature and that is done in order to give you the education you will need if you are going to be able to make wise choices for your pool project.
If you get bored bounce around, come back later.
This site is made for you to spend time at off and on at your leisure.
Industry Wide "Base Pool Price" Explanation
A Shotcrete Type Pool Shell will normally come with specific "subcontractor minimums". For example there will be a minimum yards of Shotcrete charge, a minimum IA (inside area) charge for Plaster, 80 perimeter ft of Tile, an 80 perimeter pool for Rebar that they will charge for. These are the minimums that the contractors have determined that they will charge in order to show up on the job. If you get a number of quotes from other builders you will notice that most pools are quoted at 80 perimeter and anything more is an "add-on" cost. They call it "Base Pool Price" and no two companies calculate the pricing the same way. You Will Not get an "Apples to Apples" comparison no matter how hard you try. You will simply have to get a feel for the costs of the different line items and go with your gut feeling on one of the builders (or salesperson) that you are dealing with.
More Notes on "Base Pool" Pricing:
Base Pool Pricing is not usually realistic pricing for most situations. Base Pool means the backhoe and dump truck can drive right up to the pool dig site without any access issues. As soon as you determine that cannot happen, which is usually the case, you have to add in money for a Bobcat Tractor to take the dirt to the dump truck out at the street. You will need to add money to remove and replace a section of property line wall as well as removing and replacing the gate and adding the self closing spring that you are required to have by code. Base pool pricing usually goes out the window right away. That's why I just price a pool up for what ever it is. No base. No standard pool. There is a list of things that will go in almost every pool as a standard and that will be covered later.
Base Pool Pricing will also usually only include about 50 ft of electrical run. It will only include usually 25 ft of pool light wire and conduit. These footages normally need to be increased for actual distances and the required cost add-on.
Base Pool Pricing will include only 15 to maybe 25 ft of plumbing from equipment to pool or to the location of the feature that the plumbing is feeding. This footage normally needs to be increased along with the associated cost as well.
Another Slightly Important Note:
An 80 perimeter pool that will be listed in a Base Pool Price can vary drastically in "square footage". Square footage is what really drives the cost of the pool shell construction and all the items that go with it and reducing square footage is where a builder can drastically cut construction costs. This is what I call the "rubber band effect". For example an 80 perimeter rectangle will give you the most amount of square footage for an 80 perimeter pool compared to a very curvy freeform design. If you take a free form pool design and push the inside curves in fartoward the middle of the pool you are increasing or stretching perimeter (rubber band effect) but you are drastically reducing the square foot number thereby saving on the cost to build. So now when you see a really low priced "80 perimeter" pool but there is a picture of a very curvy pool design that is only maybe 320 sq ft you will understand what you are being offered.
What you can Expect form the Typical Pool Company Salesperson
A sales person will have to see on average 3-6 potential customers for every pool that they sell. They have to limit their time with you. If you do not buy a pool from them they are wasting precious hours of their life that they never get back. Your pool plan is usually only completed to the extent that the salesperson has enough of a design put together to get you into a contract. And that is the builders fault as the salesperson is not paid a nickel for his or her work unless you buy a pool. Due to the rush to "get you done" there can also be some disconnects on what you and the salesperson discuss and what finally ends up on paper and in the contract. There can be errors and omissions discovered by the construction department when they get a hold of the plan.
So that is why the salesperson will pound out a "free" pool design at your kitchen table in roughly 40 minutes, blow through whatever he or she believes is the most relevant collection of information that may satisfy you (your hot buttons) and many times hope to get you into a contract during that first appointment. (1st Appointment Close). And you will see below that you really are paying for those "free" plans after all.
Architects do not work that way nor do home builders.
With architects and home builders plans are treated like construction plans, not quick sketches without details such as utility placement, critical dimensions, property line setbacks, plumbing and electrical runs and so on. A real pool plan takes some time especially depending on the complexity of the project and a real construction plan will cost something. All plans cost somebody something.
No Such Thing as a "Free Pool Design and Quote"
You will always be paying for a plan even though you may not catch it by the time you are entrenched in the contract signing event. When you sign your pool contract with a company the first area of line items on every pool contract is:
Pool Plans, Permits, Structural Engineering and the phrase "Gas Lines may require a separate permit at additional cost".
That line item for "Plans" is in there and being "charged for" because the plans will have to be cycled through the CAD and Construction Dept in order to be completed to the extent that the pool can be accurately built, that usually takes a couple weeks or more with big pool companies and that of course will cost money. The line item may even say "NC (no charge)" but you will see it nested in the "Base Pool" section of the contract and Base Pool is normally somewhere around $14 - $17,000 and everything else is added on afterwards as additional line item extras until you get to the final cost of the pool and extras.
So the only free plans you may sometimes but rarely get are the ones done by those other unfortunate sales people that did not get your business. And most of the time those plans will not be left with you unless you have signed a contract with them first. And it will not any type of plan that you can build to. At best you can show it to another sales person if you happen to like the design, another reason it is never left behind.
Pool Construction Options and Pool Equipment Options
If you are going to be able to make sensible choices and selections for your pool project you are going to need to spend time pouring over all of the available options. Again 40 minutes at your kitchen table is going to be a very brief and limited overview of your available choices.
This website was created and is always being updated with much of the material and selections you will be faced with. See the Pool Equipment pages for all of your equipment options. I don't have everything here but I am doing all that I can based on my past experiences helping customers make all of these somewhat critical decisions.
It is never good when after a pool is completed the customer discovers a nicer color or different material selection that could have been made. And that can happen in the best of circumstances so it is wise for you to spend the time and do a lot of your own research as well.
And . . . beware of all the "helpful advise" given to you by neighbors, relatives, co workers etc. on how you should build your pool. Many times their knowledge is out dated, purely erroneous or something they learned from another pool salesperson or even to justify their own purchase. Some of these sales people are only throwing out what they have been taught by other sales people or their builder and it is very often not the best advise or worse case absolutely wrong.
Again, do a lot of your own research. You may even straighten me out on something. It happens. Things change.