I have my plans, now what?

You have chosen your pool design, the blueprints are put together and you feel ready to move forward.  So where do you go from here?  Contractors and Permits.

The first step will be to start calling contractors.  The company we used to build our design provided us with a long list of several contractors in each category.  I was able to call each, provide them a blueprint of the pool and obtain quotes.  It is a good idea to call and talk to the company personnel as this is just as important as their reference sheet.  If you don’t get along with the person on the other end of the line, you are bound to have trouble down the road if they need to correct anything.

You will need to go to your local permit location (usually near or at city hall) to obtain the proper permits to begin work on your pool.  This is a very simple process once you are there.  You will fill out a form or two regarding your project, provide the blueprints and you are on your way!  The permit processor will contact you via phone or email to inform you that your permits are ready for pick-up.  

Once you have your permits in hand, ensure they are easily available to be reviewed, such as within your electrical box or hanging just outside of that.  Living in Arizona, we rarely see rain fall, so I placed our permits in a ziplock back and hung it just outside of the electrical box.  You never know when the permit group will come knocking at your door to ensure you are following all of the protocols of your pool build.  Your individual contractors will need to ensure you have the proper permit as well, so keep them handy and visible.  

What we did: 

The day I applied for permits was the day I started looking for contractors.  As I used a reputable pool design company (ownergrownpools.com), I was provided a large list of contractors in the area.  If you are outside of the Arizona area, or do not intend to use a pool design company, do not worry!  I will assist you with learning about what you should look for when contacting contractors.  Many times, one contractor knows another, and then another, and you will easily be able to obtain references for the next step in your build process.

Permits took a few days, so I had plenty of time to look for, hire and book my first couple of contractors.

Lessons Learned:

Call your contractors back, even if you decided not to use them.  They are counting on your business and if they provided you a quote, they are expecting a call back.  I ran into one contractor who warned me about using other companies for our dig and it made me feel much better about choosing someone else.  She was rude on the phone and did not take our denial of their services well.  

There are really no lessons learned when it comes to permits.  They are very straightforward and after you have your permits, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the permit office (they will provide you with a good number for questions).  Also, when your permit reviewer from the state comes to your house for approvals, they are always willing to give you pointers on how to pass your next review.

Approximate Cost:

There is no cost to obtaining permits or contacting contractors.