Where do I Start?

Building your own pool is much easier than you may think.  Large companies do not want you to know how simple it is to manage a pool project and how little time it takes out of your day.  There are several factors which come into play that need to be considered and planned for when managing such a large project, however if you follow the outline on this site, you will find it is extremely straightforward and your project will come together effortlessly.

So, where do you start?  

The first step in building your own pool is to either purchase software to create a blueprint of the pool and surroundings, or to hire out the designing aspect.  

Now, we did not purchase software to create the blueprint as we hired out this portion of the project.  However, I can point you in the direction of some software which seems to have great reviews and can easily be used for this purpose. 
Buy Home Designer Suite
Instructions on building a pool in Home Designer Suite

We live in the Arizona area and the person we utilized for blueprinting our pool design will assist in any location.  She was wonderful to work with and I would highly recommend contacting her for your pool design needs, if you prefer to not mess around with designing your own blueprints.  Her name is Jeanne Scofield and she runs Owner Grown Pools (ownergrownpools.com).  We paid a minimal fee and she was with us every step of the way.  She is extremely knowledgeable about the process of designing and building the pool and even keeps up with permit nuances that most large pool building companies either blatantly disregard or don’t inform the owner of.

Once you set up an appointment, start thinking about what design you want for your pool.  We chose a very different design than what we originally planned on.  The first idea we had was to build a rectangular pool as our backyard is rectangle and the design in our house would flow well with that.  Little did we know that rectangular pools tend to run higher in cost due to the need for straight lines.  This is the reason many new pool builds are kidney or “free form” shaped.  

Other items to think about are whether you want fountains or other water features, what kind of entrance into the pool you want or need and most importantly, how many skimmers you want and where you want the pool located within your property.  Also think about how many lights you want in your pool as well as whether you want pool tile added to your steps.  All of these items add up over the course of the pool build so have a good idea of what you want ahead of time.

What we did:

Like I said before, we originally planned to have a rectangular pool.  We wanted fountains and a beach entry.  What we actually ended up with was a partial rectangular pool with a free form side closest to the house.  We decided against the beach entry as it would require a much longer distance at entry and would take away the majority of the actual pool.  We chose one free form side as it decreased the cost of the pool.  For the entry, we chose to have a baja step, large enough to allow two lounge chairs to rest on it.  We also chose to have two umbrella slips and two fountains within this step.  We were expecting a baby and also had a five year old daughter at the time so the fountains within the water were guessed to be a good fit for the kids.  We also chose to have a second, smaller baja step on the other side of the pool, just along the wall from the entrance.  This was primarily chosen to be an assistance of sorts for children who wanted to walk the wall or swim to the other side.  They could swim there and have a place to rest before moving on.

Lessons Learned:

Keep an open mind going into the design process.  You may have pinned fantastic ideas for your pool, but many of those are way out of budget or unrealistic. Think about your current and future needs.  Are you childless and plan to remain so?  Maybe you want a lap pool or a more designer pool.  Do you have many small children?  Think about safety and how you want the children to utilize the pool.  Are you retired and looking to use the pool for exercise?  Think about a lap pool or incorporating a rail to assist in entry and exit to the pool.

Approximate Cost:

I am not sure what the average cost will be if you design your own pool, however we paid approximately $1200 to use Jeanne at Owner Grown Pools.