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Pool Installation Explained: From Project Kickoff to Splash-Ready Finish

Swimming pool installation is on the to-do list of many Canadian homeowners. You might be on the fence about investing in a swimming pool, or you might be here because you want to know exactly what is involved with swimming pool installation before you make a commitment. 

Swimming pool installation involves various steps and considerations, from planning and design, to construction and maintenance. 

Whether you’re envisioning a serene retreat in your own backyard, or a lively hub of entertainment, understanding the intricacies of pool installation is essential to making informed decisions and achieving your dream backyard! 

Let this blog be your comprehensive guide to all things you need to know about swimming pool installation.

7 things to consider before pool installation

1. Planning the purpose of your swimming pool

Getting outside and staying active is great for your health – and what better incentive to get outdoors and exercise than to have the kind of backyard you want to spend all your time swimming in? 

The first step is to decide what your swimming pool is going to be used for. Will it be used for fun recreational purposes, wellness and exercise, or primarily to boost the aesthetics of your backyard space? 

The purpose of your swimming pool matters a lot, because it’ll help you choose the type of pool you want. 

  • If you’re looking for something small and pretty that will make your backyard look like a dream oasis, you may want to consider installing a plunge pool. 
  • If you’re looking for occasional fun, you might want an above-ground pool to avoid excavation costs. 
  • Then again, if you’re looking for a swimming pool you can swim laps in, you might be looking for something longer and inground. 

Explore different types of swimming pools to make the decision that suits you best.

2. Designing your swimming pool

Once you’re sure about how you’ll be using your swimming pool, you can start making plans for what your swimming pool will look like. 

The size and shape of your swimming pool are up to you, for the most part. Depending on the available depth in your backyard and the space you have, you can choose a swimming pool shape that suits your preferences. 

You should check local swimming pool regulations in your area before you make any big decisions in terms of depth or size. 

Right now you might be thinking, Hang on… I thought all swimming pools were either round or rectangular. 

You’re not wrong – round and rectangular swimming pools are the most common pool shapes, because those shapes fit more easily into various spaces. But that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a specialty shape if you have the inclination. 

We’ve installed swimming pools that are square, round, rectangular, bean-shaped and oblong. Take a look at our finished projects for design inspiration!

Boulder Design 3D rendering of fiberglass pool design
Boulder Design will create a 3D rendering of your dream backyard.

3. Swimming pool rules and regulations

You will need to obtain all necessary permits before you begin construction for your swimming pool installation. Your back yard may be your own, but you need to double check there aren’t pipes, wells or electrical lines underground that you weren’t previously aware of.

You can check on standard Ontario pool regulations here, or get specific advice by calling your local bylaw office to find out if your area has particular rules you need to be aware of.

4. Choose the location of your swimming pool

Once you’ve taken care of the permits and you know exactly where it’s safe for pool installation, you can choose the location of your swimming pool. 

When choosing the location of your swimming pool, you want to keep a few important things in mind: 

  • Proximity to your household utilities
  • Proximity to property lines (especially for neighbourhoods in urban areas)
  • Location of your septic system and leach fields (in rural areas) 
  • Proximity to cistern or wells in your yard (in rural areas)

Pro tip: In addition to making sure your pool isn’t built on top of something dangerous or important, you should also take a look at your yard and figure out which areas get the most exposure to the sunlight. You don’t want to build your pool somewhere too shady!

5. Swimming pool types and materials

As mentioned above, the purpose of your swimming pool will help you determine the type of pool you get – but you should know the details about the materials, too. Here’s a quick refresh of different pool types: 

  • Inground pool: buried in the ground, usually more permanent and more customizable. Somewhat more expensive. 
  • Semi-inground pool: partially buried in the ground, partially above ground. Somewhat less expensive than inground pools. Somewhat harder to maintain due to exposure to the elements. 
  • Above ground pool: built entirely above the ground. Usually the least expensive option. More maintenance is usually required due to exposure to the elements. Above ground pools in very cold areas may need to be taken down during the winter months. 

Materials of each can vary. Inground pools are usually made of concrete, fibreglass, or vinyl. Above ground pools are usually made up of resin, steel, or aluminium. Vinyl liners are usually installed for aesthetics and a smoother pool feel. 

Your choice of swimming pool materials is up to you – and your budget. Take a look at the benefits of fibreglass pools, and compare the different materials before you make your choice.

Fiberglass Pool 33x14 Installed by Boulder Design Pool & Landscaping
Fiberglass Pool

6. Cost factors

The cost of your swimming pool installation will vary depending on the size, type, materials, location, site preparation needed, labour, and additional features (like landscaping, lighting, or pool heating options) that you choose. 

In Ontario, the average cost of installing an inground pool can start from $50,000 or more, while above ground pools are much less, if you’re looking for something small and cheap. 

For the best estimate, we recommend taking a look at our swimming pool cost guide.

7. Swimming pool maintenance

Each pool type comes with its own requirements for maintenance to ensure that your pool remains in good condition for years to come. 

Where above ground pools will require more weather-related maintenance due to the fact that the pool’s shell is permanently exposed to the sun and elements, inground pools need to be properly encased and installed to ensure no damage or leakage below ground. 

Standard swimming pool maintenance includes keeping the pool safe, clean and functional. This means:

  • Removing debris from the swimming pool and filters
  • Regularly performing maintenance on filters and pool equipment 
  • Testing the water for cleanliness and treating it with the appropriate amount of chemical
  • Winterizing your swimming pool for the colder months 

You should also consider investing in a pool safety cover, which helps to keep it clean and warm, and helps to guard against accidental falls into your swimming pool when you’re not there to supervise.

Swimming Pool Installation Process

Okay, you’ve gone through the list above, you’ve got your pool type, materials, location, and long-term maintenance goals in mind. 

Now it’s time for the actual pool installation process. What’s involved? That depends on a few things, including your pool type. 

If you’re installing an inground pool, you’ll need to prepare and excavate the area, which includes removing debris from below the pool area and levelling the ground. 

Depending on your pool type, installation may include the need to pour concrete around the base of your pool, assemble panels, insert the pool liner, and insert filling around the pool’s exterior (inground) to ensure the walls don’t warp or crack.

Specialty features of pool installation

In addition to the pool itself, don’t forget that you may also choose to have specialty pool features included in the installation process. 

Energy-efficient pumps or solar pool heater systems, pool lighting, automatic cleaning systems, water-efficient filtration systems, and pool safety covers are included as specialty features in your pool installation. 

Check out some of the specialty features we’ve installed in your neighbours’ yards for inspiration!

Decking and landscaping

An important part of your pool installation process should be decking and landscaping around your swimming pool. 

No matter which type of pool you get, you want it to complete and enhance your backyard aesthetic. You don’t want an eyesore – you want a beautiful backyard oasis that really makes you feel good about your space and your investment. 

You may want to build a deck around your above ground pool, or lay out a beautiful patio around an inground pool – or both, if you’ve got a semi-inground pool! 

Your landscaping options may also include safety features like fences and gates to protect against accidental falls into the swimming pool, especially if you have pets or small children. 

Check out our top tips for a low maintenance (but beautiful) pool landscape design custom made for your backyard space.

Swimming Pool Installation Specialists

Who do you call when you’re ready for the pool installation? You hire professionals who are trained and experienced in pool installation! 

Hiring a professional pool installer ensures your project is executed with precision, efficiency, and compliance to pool installation regulations. 

With expert knowledge and streamlined processes, professional pool installers can help you navigate permits, regulations, and safety protocols seamlessly. 

Professional pool installers can help you get access to your pool within a reasonable timeframe – unlike the DIY method, which can sometimes lead to unexpected delays on the way toward project completion. 

Backed by warranties and a commitment to quality, professional pool installers provide peace of mind, knowing that your swimming pool investment is built to last! 

By entrusting your pool installation to the pros, you not only ensure safety and compliance during the installation process, but also unlock the expertise you need to turn your vision into a stunning reality, ready for years of enjoyment with confidence. 

When you work with Boulder Design, you’re working with the best. Browse our website for the full list of our services – and get your free quote today!

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