I’ve decided to document the whole process of our inground pool install here on the blog as a better way to get in depth with some of the planning and details. If you missed it on my Instagram stories, I’ll get you up to speed real quick.
Last year, during the height of the pandemonium, my husband and I tossed around the idea of getting a pool. He was leaning more towards an above ground pool and I was halfway on board. Mostly because I have never been a fan of above ground pools. No shade if you own one, they just aren’t my jam. However, seeing as though we were spending so much more time at home, we decided an upgrade from our $10 Slip-N-Slide would be nice.
So, I started the research process and found that we weren’t the only ones who had a grand idea of putting in a rona pool. Pools, like many other backyard entertaining products, were in short supply. We couldn’t find a pool company locally that had what we were looking for. Most were too small or too big.
So, we revisited the idea of an inground pool. The very first thing we had to figure out was how we could pay for it. We didn’t have a stash of cash under the mattress to pay for it outright so we knew some sort of financing would be involved. There are several options if you want to go this route and we discussed them all. You can get a loan from a company like LightStream which specializes in pool loans, a HELOC which is a Home Equity Line of credit, a personal loan, or a 401k loan.
A HELOC is basically a line of credit that taps into the equity in your home. Not to be confused with a home equity loan. The HELOC allows you to borrow, repay, and borrow again similar to a credit card and the home equity loan is basically a second mortgage. We didn’t want to do either of those options and so we settled on a 401k loan.
A 401k loan is basically a loan you take against the money in your 401k. How much you can borrow depends mostly on how much you have in your account. You’re essentially paying yourself back plus interest. That interest is usually a lot lower than you’d get with conventional financing. The downside is the opportunity cost. You lose the benefit of any potential return you could’ve gained having that money invested in the market.
My husband has been contributing a good percent of his pay into his 401k for several years so we figured we could swing it. Thus began the inground pool planning process.
The first I did was research pool companies in our area. My main deciding factor were reviews of customers posted online. I finally settled on a company not too far from us and we scheduled our original meeting.
The Initial Consultation
The first meeting consisted of a rep coming to our home to look at our lot and go over what we wanted to include in our pool. I was already prepared and knew some of the basic things we wanted to include like a saltwater system and extra concrete added to our patio and one side of the pool. There were other things we had to decide then (we could change it later) like whether or not we wanted a heater (we said no after asking our neighbors if they used one), the fencing, what kinds of lights, and other additional features.
We kept it pretty simple honestly. There are a ton of options you can make when building a pool and they can drive the price up immensely. We chose some upgrades like an LED light as opposed to the standard white light the package came. We skipped the slide (it was almost $3k), the extra jets and waterfalls and opted for standard brushed concrete instead of pavers.
The base package we chose was $28,995 for a 16×32 rectangle pool. Here is what that price includes:
What isn’t included is a fence which we needed because our property isn’t fenced in. The neighbors on either side of us have a fence but one of them have a wooden fence that isn’t to code for a pool so we would have to fence in three sides. We decided to fence around the pool itself and we will add the fencing across the front ourselves. The fence and the added concrete added quite a bit to our overall price. I’ll share the complete breakdown line by line in a separate post later.
We opted for a concrete vinyl liner pool.
With the fencing and extra concrete (and the other extras) we ended up at just over $48k. So, keep that in mind if you see an enticing package price lol.
Some extras were a must. The concrete and fencing had to happen. Most pools come with just 3 ft of decking all the way around which isn’t enough room for a lounge chair situation to happen. So we ended up adding an extra 10 ft on one side. Also, the fencing was necessary to pass inspection and I wanted it around the pool as an extra deterrent for little ones. Local code just says you need a fence. They don’t care if it’s around the property or pool.
Next up was our design meeting! I’m going to tackle that in a separate post tomorrow so I’m not writing novels here lol.