Pool Builders in Montana: Finding the Right One

If you have been considering putting in a swimming pool at your home, you probably already know that there are many things to consider and a lot of decisions to be made.

Building a swimming pool in Montana is not something that you do on a whim. It takes planning to get it done correctly and the last thing you want to do is find out that you hired the wrong pool builder after the fact!

With that in mind, here are some tips and things to consider when looking for a pool builder in Montana.

The expertise of the company you hire will play a huge role in the final product that you end up with, so you need to do your due diligence when deciding on a builder. Some builders do it all, and some specialize, so whether you are thinking of a vinyl liner, concrete or a fiberglass pool, it is important to make sure you hire the right builder for the job.

  • Make sure the company is fully licensed and insured. This sounds like an elementary point, but you need to make sure that the builder you hire is qualified and prepared to build your pool. Along with that, find our about their level of experience. The number of years that they have been in business is important. Most business like pool building will fail within the first several years, so if they have been around for a while, chances are good that they do excellent work.
  • Ask for references. Customer references are one of the most important bits of information that you can find about any potential builder. If they are professional, they probably have references on hand, ready to go when asked, but you should also be able to research the company online through Yelp and other various online rating services. The opinions of other people can be quite valuable when it comes to finding out who you will be working with for your project.
  • Speaking of reviews. When you check out online reviews, obviously you are looking for positive reviews, but if there does happen to be a negative review or two, look to see how the company responded to the negative review. This will give you some insight as to how they handle potential problems and issues that make arise during a project. If they responded in a professional manner, you can figure that they will professionally resolve any problems that you may have. If they did not, the pool builders may not be somebody that you want to work with. You can learn a lot about a person when they respond to a potential issue or problem.
  • Check out what products the builder uses. Make sure that the products are safe and also back by good warranty. A swimming pool is not a temporary structure and you want to make sure that yours is being built with the highest quality products available in your price range. Again, you don’t want to find out 3 years down the line that your pool builders used shoddy products or products that would not hold up over time.
  • Does the builder warranty their work? Not only should the products used have a good warranty, so should the work that the builder does. Find out what the duration of the warranty is and what exact that warranty covers. What if a repair is needed? Who covers the parts and who covers the labor? Make sure you know what you are getting into and that the terms of the warranty are clearly spelled out.
  • Design and planning is important! Any swimming pool builder that you use should present a fully diagrammed plan to you before beginning any work. Things like the exact location and dimensions of the pool should be made clear from the beginning. Where the pump and filter are located are important points. Having an access lane for construction is something that you need to know ahead of time. Your pool will probably be built in your backyard. Make sure you know how the builder is going to access the backyard as they are building it.
  • Obviously the pricing of your project is extremely important. You don’t want any surprises coming up half way through the job. Not only is the price important, so are things like completion dates. You may have completion dates for various stages of your project depending upon the complexity and you need to know that your builder is not only aware of them, but will stick with them. Nothing is more annoying that a project that continually suffers from delay after delay.

One final point is to just make sure you are comfortable with the person/persons that you will be working with. Swimming pools are not built in a day, so chances are you will be working with this company over several weeks or even months. The owner or foreman will be the person that you have the most contact with.

Make sure that you get along with this person and feel comfortable approaching him or her about any questions you may have or about any potential issues that may arise. If you don’t feel like the person is approachable in the beginning, you can be sure that they won’t be any more approachable as the project goes on.

It is not necessary that you become buddies with pool builders, but it is necessary that you have a good working relationship with them and can relay any thoughts or concerns to them at any time.

What to Consider With a Backyard Pool

Putting in a backyard pool is a major step. No matter what route you take and what options you choose, it is going to end up costing tens of thousands of dollars and will also greatly affect the outdoor space around your home, not to mention the value of your home.

It is a purchase that you will definitely want to put some time and thought into because it is something you will be living with as long as you have your home.  You don’t want to end up overpaying for your pool, you don’t want to build the wrong thing for your family, or a pool that is too small, or requires too much maintenance etc.

You certainly don’t want to hire the wrong contractor when you are taking on a project as major as a backyard pool.

Doing your research before you ‘dive into’ the backyard pool project is essential. You not only want it to look awesome, but you want to make sure that it has the features and functions that you and your family will get the maximum enjoyment out of.

Here are some things that you should consider when putting in a backyard pool:

  1. The type of pool that you want
  2. Cost of various type of pools
  3. Construction process including time-lines
  4. Size and shape of the pool
  5. Landscaping around the pool
  6. Which contractor to hire to get the job done

One of the first decisions that you will be faced with is what type of pool do you want?

You basically have three choices; concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl lined pool. The vinyl option will always be your most cost effective choice, while concrete will always be the most expensive. Fiberglass pools are the most popular choice and while concrete pools can be constructed in basically any shape or size, fiberglass come pre-formed. So unless you have certain size capabilities in mind, fiberglass is probably the best choice for most people.

A fiberglass pool will be the lowest maintenance of any of your choices. Both concrete and vinyl liners are subject to staining over time, as well as algae. For these reasons alone, most people choose to go with fiberglass so they can spend less time cleaning their pool and more time enjoying it.

Backyard Pools
Backyard Pools

Fiberglass will also be smooth with no rough edges which means you have much less of a chance of scratching yourself on the bottom or edges. The other benefit of fiberglass is that they are the easiest to install. You can also install them in any weather, which is not the case with concrete or vinyl as concrete cannot be poured as easily in the winter months.

Overall, fiberglass is probably the easiest of the choices that you will be faced with when planning your backyard pool.

Obviously there are different costs associated with different pool types. Since putting in a pool is an expensive proposition, cost is a consideration for most people.

Here are some breakdowns of what your pool may cost (on average) and also what it will cost to maintain over time:

  1. Lets start with the most expensive type of pool. Depending upon the size of the pool you build, a concrete pool will run somewhere between $20,000-$100,000. In addition, the cost of maintaining a concrete pool will be an average of $27,400 over a 10-year period after taking everything into account.
  2. Since a fiberglass pool is a preformed, known size, you can figure that it will cost the length of the pool X one thousand, plus $10k. What that means is that a 25-foot fiberglass swimming pool will cost around $35,000. The cost of maintaining that pool over a 10-year period will be around $4,000.
  3. The least expensive option for your backyard pool is the vinyl liner. You can spend around $20,000 for a 25-foot vinyl liner pool, however it will be expensive to maintain. The average maintenance cost over a 10-year period is about $12,000.

There are also other costs, especially when selecting inground pools, as well as hidden costs associated with building a pool. You will want to set aside money for things such as pool accessories, electrical work, fencing around the pool, and patio and landscaping around the pool as well. Some of the more ‘hidden’ costs that you might run into are items such as retaining walls, extra concrete, hauling away the dirt from digging out the hole for your pool, plus any over runs on time that may come up.

The longer you have to pay workers to build your pool, the more it will cost and if they run into unforeseen factors once they start building, the labor may end up being more than originally anticipated.

Speaking of labor. Make sure and take into account a time frame for the construction. Find out exactly how long it is going to take to build and install the pool. This time-line can be based on many factors, including the size of the pool being built, the weather elements during the building time, and the size and experience of the construction crew. You should be able to get some ‘concrete’ answers from any builder before they start on your project.

Don’t settle for anything less.

The landscaping is a very important aspect when it comes to building your pool and one that should be address before breaking any ground. You want your backyard to look great and you need to plan for it ahead of time. The first thing to keep in mind is your patio that will accompany the pool. You will want a space for a grill or an outdoor kitchen area, plus you need to make sure you have enough space for people to sit when they are not in the pool.

The more comfortable you make your patio, the more you and your family will enjoy the pool. Also keep in mind plants and grass. You will no doubt have to replant grass in your backyard as well as add decorative plants around your pool and backyard.

There are costs associate with doing all of this and they must be taken into account from the beginning so that once your pool is installed, you have a nice, beautiful, usable area to go with it.