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5 Smart Pool Planning Steps to Be Ready for Summer

January 31, 2024
Dublin Cobble® pool deck

Pool of your dreams

With snowblowers humming and a focus on just trying to keep warm this winter, it’s hard to think about swimming pools, unless you’re in a sunbelt area. However, now is the time to take a dive into summer planning, especially if you want to be able to host that end-of-school pool party.

Step 1: Get inspired

Custom pool design, inspiration

Start thinking about what type of pool design you want. Gone are the days of the boring rectangle surrounded by a simple concrete pad. With all the colors, textures, and multidimensional design elements available today, there are all sorts of custom pool designs you can consider. The possibilities are endless! So, grab your mouse and check out our inspirational photo gallery where you’ll find hundreds of the best swimming pool ideas by PebbleTec®, the “World’s Most Trusted Pool Finish” for pool lovers and commercial developers. Then check out the Belgard paver pool decks by exploring our pool deck Pinterest board or the Belgard Design Studio, where you can envision your future pool space.

Step 2: Think long-term

Outdoor fireplaces, pool decks

Is the pool the only missing element in your long-term outdoor living plan? If not, think ahead to avoid major problems. For example, if you intend to add an outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen, or perhaps outdoor lighting, plan to discuss these extras with your contractor, so you can address the need for future utilities or footings. This could save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Outdoor kitchens, outdoor lighting

Step 3: Find a qualified contractor

This is definitely a situation when you do NOT want to make a choice solely on cost. There are a lot of bad pool contractors out there who can put in a cheap pool and disappear. Then, when it cracks and leaks into the yard or the pump dies due to faulty materials or wiring, you could find yourself in a remediation situation that’s much more costly than putting the pool in correctly the first time. Our contractor locator page is a good place to start. Many of our authorized hardscape contractors are also pool contractors. If the Belgard contractors in your area do not build pools, they can typically make good recommendations. If you’re interested in a PebbleTec pool finish, be sure to find an authorized pool builder or installer in your area by visiting the PebbleTec locator tool.

Step 4: Design phase

Now the fun part…making decisions. An experienced contractor will guide you through this process. The most important thing to remember during the design phase is to pick what YOU like. Forget what Aunt Tilda and your friends say. If you like it, do it. You’re the one paying for it and the one who will be swimming in it. Trust your contractor’s experience when it comes to what works well and what doesn’t.

When it comes to making final decisions on what you want your pool to look like, experts suggest that you start with the selection of a finish type first. Choose from an array of textures, ranging from natural and refined to ultra smooth. Then you’ll want to select your favorite water color. Finishes come in an array of colors, including blues, greens, and grays. Once you have a finish, consider accents like glass tiles to complement your pool finish. You can even go a step further with the addition of dramatic fire and water features to enhance the look.

In the end, be sure to go with the design and features that you really love, or you may have regrets later.

Step 5: Develop a construction plan

Pool contractors, pool construction

Most of your pool construction details can be worked out with your contractor. Start date will typically depend on mother nature and the permit office. The construction time can take anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks, depending on the type of pool, complexity of design, and weather.


  • Get ready to experience a muddy mess for a little while.
  • Make alternate parking arrangements for your family to avoid blocking construction access.
  • Consider bathroom access for the construction workers.
  • Plan a pool party and invite your neighbors as a gesture of goodwill after all the construction noise and traffic.
Pool pavers


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