What I Wish I Knew Before Building a Pool: 7 Key Insights

Building a backyard pool isn’t just about splashing into a summer dream – it’s a full-blown, equally thrilling and uncharted adventure. We all picture those lazy afternoons by the water, the joyous family gatherings, and the soundtrack of laughter and splashing.

However, as a seasoned pool builder, I’ve seen firsthand that this dream can quickly become overwhelming without the right knowledge. There’s a common sentiment among many homeowners, often expressed as ‘what I wish I knew before building a pool,’ which encompasses the unforeseen challenges and vital decisions that come with such a project.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through the essential insights and lessons I’ve learned from years in the field – those crucial tidbits that answer exactly what homeowners wish they knew before taking the plunge into pool construction.

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7 Key Considerations for Building Your Dream Pool

Pool Materials and Associated Costs

Knowing the financial landscape is as important as the design when constructing your dream pool.

Budgeting for a pool extends beyond the initial quote. Additional costs may arise, like landscaping, fencing, and ongoing maintenance. It’s not just about the here and now; it’s about the future too.

Now, let’s talk materials.

Concrete and fibreglass are popular choices, each with its own merits. A concrete pool offers unparalleled durability and customisation. Imagine shaping your pool to fit your backyard’s unique character – that’s the flexibility concrete provides. However, this comes with a higher price tag and longer installation time.

On the flip side, fibreglass pools are the go-to for quicker installation and lower initial costs. But here’s the catch: its shape and size are pre-determined, limiting your creative freedom. And while fibreglass is durable, it doesn’t quite match the longevity of concrete.

So, what’s the takeaway?

Choose wisely, considering both immediate costs and long-term value. Your pool should be a lasting treasure, not a fleeting fancy.

Detailed Planning and Design

Successful pool construction hinges on meticulous attention to detail, from initial design choices to ongoing maintenance considerations. A comprehensive plan and design are the bedrock of a successful project.

Every aspect, from the depth and shape to the placement of lights and jets, needs expert planning. It’s not just about aesthetics – functionality and safety also depend on these details.

Moreover, when selecting finishes, remember they’ll spend most of their life wet. A tile that looks stunning dry might transform under water.

So, always view your finishes in wet conditions to ensure they meet your expectations. This level of detail in planning safeguards against future regrets and ensures your pool is not just a visual delight but a haven of joy and relaxation.

Construction Timelines and Delays

When it comes to pool construction, patience is often a virtue.

The timeline you’re initially presented with is an ideal scenario. However, reality often has other plans. Weather unpredictability can turn construction sites into muddy standstills.

Then there’s the waiting game for approvals from local councils or body corporates, which can be lengthier than anticipated.

Contractor schedules, too, are a juggling act, with multiple projects often running concurrently.

It’s important to factor in these variables when planning your pool project. A buffer for potential delays helps manage your expectations and keeps frustration at bay when timelines inevitably stretch.

Neighbour Relations and Construction Impact

Adding a pool to your property is not just about you; it is a community project. Keeping neighbours in the loop is key. A simple heads-up about the impending construction can go a long way in maintaining harmony. Be upfront about potential noise and dust, and assure them of your efforts to minimise disruption. It’s also wise to discuss construction access routes to avoid any surprises.

Don’t forget that a little courtesy can help maintain peace and foster goodwill, making the entire process smoother for everyone involved.

Personal Preferences vs. Popular Opinions

When it comes to pool design, you’ll find that opinions are as plentiful as the stars in the sky. Everyone seems to have a ‘best practice’ or a ‘must-have’ feature.

But here’s the thing:

Your pool should reflect your personal style and needs. While listening to others’ experiences and advice is beneficial, ultimately, the decision lies with you. It’s your oasis, your retreat.

So, weigh the opinions, but let your preferences lead the way. After all, you’re the one who’ll be enjoying it.

Dealing with Pool Companies and Contractors

Maintaining a good relationship with your pool company and contractors is a pivotal part of the process. Clear communication is your strongest tool. Set expectations early and keep the lines of dialogue open. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, no matter how trivial they may seem.

Remember, you’re entrusting them with your dream, so ensuring they understand your vision is crucial. Also, be prepared for regular updates and site visits. Being involved and informed helps you make timely decisions, keep your project on track, and ensure the end result aligns with your envisioned paradise.

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Active Involvement and Oversight

Your active involvement in the pool-building process is not just beneficial; it’s essential. Think of yourself as the captain of this ship. Regularly check in on the progress, ensuring everything aligns with your plan.

Don’t shy away from visiting the construction site. Seeing the development firsthand can give you a real sense of progress and help catch any discrepancies early on. It’s also an opportunity to build a rapport with the builders, fostering a collaborative environment.

The hands-on approach does not imply micromanaging but rather remains informed and engaged throughout, ensuring you get what you envisioned for your backyard sanctuary.


In wrapping up, building a pool is a journey that goes beyond just creating a space for relaxation. It’s about crafting a personal haven. Always remember that thorough budgeting and understanding material choices set the foundation. Detailed planning and design tailor the pool to your lifestyle.

Expect and prepare for construction delays, and maintain a good rapport with your neighbours to ease the process. Your preferences should guide the project despite the sea of opinions. Effective communication with your pool contractor is key, and your active involvement is crucial. Embrace this journey with patience and excitement; soon, you’ll be basking in the oasis of your dreams.

Ready to bring your dream pool to life?

Consult with Wagtail Built, where expertise meets innovation to create your perfect backyard escape. Contact us today to start your journey towards a bespoke pool built just for you.

Brooke Morgan

Brooke Morgan

Brooke Morgan founded Wagtail Built to bring his 23 years of construction industry experience to families on the Central Coast. His local custom home improvement company prides itself on quality, reliability, and personal service. As a family-owned and operated business, Brooke and his team are deeply invested in the homes and relationships they build, staying true to their core values of trust, integrity, quality, and communication.

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