The typical pool takes about eight-twelve weeks from completed excavation. However, weather issues, material shortages, slow inspection response from the city may result in longer periods of time. These delays are rare. If you are doing landscaping in conjunction with the pool, the pool completion may be delayed a few days to allow a landscaper to get his project started. If you are responsible for providing the barrier codes, such as a pool fence, these items must be in place for us to call for final inspection. Sometimes during the process, we may be “red-tagged” for an item. Do not panic. These are normally very minor issues easily and quickly resolved. Murphy’s Law- do not schedule a special event centered around the completed pool, hoping the pool will be done in time.
Purchasing a Pool Before Close of Escrow
It is okay to enter into an agreement to purchase a pool before you close on your home and get the keys. This will not affect the mortgage process. However, you never want to make a loan application for the pool prior to securing the keys to your home. This may well adversely affect the mortgage process. So, to make a purchase prior to close, simply have a contingency for close of escrow and pool loan approval. If you intend to make large purchases after you close on the home, you may want to wait until the pool loan is approved. A pool loan is often more difficult to secure than a home loan, but easier than a car, furniture & appliance or similar loan.
We will assist you, if desired, with securing financing for your pool. We have a secure portal on our web site for you to apply. Please understand, the loan processor you will be talking with will do her/his best to guide you through the process, they are not the person making the final decision as to rates or approvals. They are only a conduit to one of the many lenders they have available. Rates for both secured and unsecured loans are typically higher than home mortgage rates, sometimes by several percentage points. You are welcome to secure your own financing as well. Approvals and rates are based on credit scores, credit history, employment history, how much debt you may currently have and other factors. We have several lenders available with a variety of programs and requirements. If you have had a short sale, bankruptcy, repossession in the past three years, it is quite difficult to be approved. Sometimes peer to peer lending groups are a viable alternative. Because the loans typically do not have prepayment penalties (always verify this), you may be able to refinance the loan at more favorable terms in a year or two.
Arizona is one of the few places where a pool will actually add value to your home, and sometimes it may appreciate just like your home does. It is considered one of the few home improvements that can provide a payback when you eventually sell. While no one wants to pay “too much”, we should also be wary of paying “too little”. It does little good to approach this home improvement “on the cheap”. You don’t need to spend money on frivolous features, but you also want to recognize that next home buyer will be critiquing the quality and efficiency of the pool just as he would the rest of the home.
You Will Receive a “Lien Notice” by Certified Mail Early in the Process
We are NOT placing a lien on your home with this notice. We are required to send this notice out to protect our right to lien in the event we are not paid for some reason. It is sent on every job and is not a reflection of your trustworthiness or credit history.
We will layout the pool prior to excavation. We need a fairly clean slate to work on. If there are swing sets, boulders, pavers, plants or other items in the pool area, they should be moved to allow us to do the layout, then dig the pool. We do not move these items for you unless you have specifically contracted with Lakeside to do so.
If the project has not begun, we can make changes. Sometimes changes can be made during the construction process. However, what may seem like a simple change may not be quite so simple after all. Changes may also affect the permit process. Moving a pool just a couple feet often requires a new permit be applied for. If there are additional costs incurred to make changes, these will be passed on to the buyer. Please inspect the final plan, the layout and ask questions if you have concerns. We want to meet your expectations, and working together, we can.
It is not unusual to look at the layout and feel it is “too small”. Objects with no dimension or depth normally create that sense. However, once the pool excavation is completed, that same pool may appear too large or deep. Do not worry. Once the pool is completed, all will be as expected.
We are assuming an open access or will create access by removing a wall or gate to allow for equipment for excavation. Please do not build, plant or place other objects in the access area before the pool is completed. If there are irrigation lines, plants or other landscaping in the access or pool area, you will need to get them rerouted or relocated. We do not include landscape repair in our pricing. We can secure repairs at a nominal cost.
There is a contingency in almost all pool contracts, pertaining to unusual soil conditions. This could mean loamy or sandy soil, which collapses as it is dug, requiring reinforcing, garbage soil, which is soil which most dumps will not accept without a surcharge, or hard soil, such as difficult caliche, granite, huge boulders, requiring additional time and/or equipment to complete the excavation. When we have some of these conditions, “overbreak” may be necessary; this means, additional shotcrete to assist in the reinforcement in loamy soil or fill in voids resulting from rocky conditions. There is an additional cost to dig the pool when these items arise. They are most common in mountains or hill sides but can occur elsewhere. We will not know the cost until excavators look at the attempted excavation and provide a bid. We will normally secure three bids on your behalf to get the best possible price. Overbreak costs are not known until the shotcrete application is completed.
We will need sufficient breakers in an electrical panel to run the wiring for the pool. Normally we require two breakers, but in some cases may need more. If there is not sufficient breaker space, we will need to add a sub panel (about $300). We also need to have sufficient service to the home. Some much older homes may need to have their service upgraded, although this is rare.
We will need to tunnel and run plumbing lines from the pool equipment and water source to the pool. We do not include any landscape, water line or concrete repair in our pricing. We will do our best to be prudent and careful. We can have lines repaired and rerouted at a nominal cost. If your yard has rear sewer, septic, well or other underground obstacles, we need to know about it in advance. These items are rare in newer homes, but if there is any question, you may hire a locating service to locate these lines before we begin.
When the shotcrete is applied, it will need to be watered down two-four times a day, depending how hot it is. When we deal with out of town buyers, we normally include this in the cost of the pool. If you are living in the home permanently, our assumption is you will be able to do this, and we do not charge for someone else to do it. Don’t worry, you can’t “over water”. We can pump out any excess if necessary.
When we install a gas heater, we can run the lines, but the homeowner will need to contact the gas company to switch out the meter. This will be done near the end of the project. The gas company will need access to the home to check other gas appliances as a safety precaution, the homeowner will need to schedule this.
Inspections & Scheduling
We will schedule all the phases of construction and contact the city for the necessary inspections. We are not permitted to proceed until these inspections are completed. Normally they are done quickly, but we are at the mercy of the city schedule. When we schedule a phase for a certain day, please understand on occasion the crew assigned gets delayed at a prior job and we are not always immediately aware. We will do our very best to keep you updated when this happens. Please do not remove the plans from the site (usually at the electric panel), as the city requires they be maintained on site and may stop work if they cannot be located. Rain or other bad weather or wind may delay the project. Fortunately, we do not get a lot of this.
The last payment is due after the final inspection PRIOR to the interior finish/coating (plaster/Pebbletec). We cannot continue without this payment. The payment schedule is proscribed by the State and all builders should use the same schedule.
Each municipality has its own set of safety requirements. We will advise you of these at our initial consultation. In some cases, pet doors with access to the pool area are not permitted. Sometimes codes may change or be interpreted differently. These circumstances are rare, and we will do our best to keep you informed.
Pets and Children
The construction area can be hazardous to pets and youngsters. You will want to assure yours do not have any accidents in the construction area. This is no different than keeping an eye on those loved ones once you have a pool in your yard.
Setbacks & Easements
Each municipality has its own set-back rules. Your municipality is not necessarily your Postal City. For example, much of Litchfield Park postal is actually Maricopa County. We will advise you of your governing jurisdiction and its requirements at our initial consultation. Almost every community requires the pool edge be located five feet from the home. If there are windows within that 5’ range, you can replace the windows with tempered glass (no film). This may be an option with a smaller yard to consider. Normally no part of the project may encroach on a utility easement.
We will clean up all the debris and excess construction materials when the project is complete. This includes removing the concrete wash-out area we prepare at the side of the home. The trenches will be filled in. Please do not fill in any trenched area on your own as these are often left open for the city inspector to examine.
Equipment Start-up & Orientation
We will do the pool equipment start up after the pool is filled with water. The water will normally be supplied from your hose bib. While we are there to start the water, you will want to monitor the fill and turn off the water when it reaches the middle of the tile. We will do an orientation and get the chemicals started for you. Depending on the interior coating, you will need to thoroughly brush the pool for the first couple weeks. This will help provide for a much smoother, cleaner interior. Please understand some colors do not appear in their final state for some days or a couple weeks after start-up. The normal color will appear after the water saturates the interior and the chemicals become distributed.
Please do not place chlorine tablets in your skimmer. You can provide a chlorine floater, or we can install a deck-chlor to accommodate the tablets. Placing tablets in your skimmer can adversely affect the pool pump as well as damage the skimmer. Lakeside will not place tablets in your skimmer if we are doing your pool service.