A Comprehensive Checklist for Building Your Dream Pool

Oct 1, 2022 | Pool

How often have you peered out your window daydreaming about how much fun it would be to spend your summer months splashing around in a backyard pool? Perhaps you’ve wanted this for as long as you can remember but are unsure where to start. The building process can get technical, but it doesn’t have to […]

How often have you peered out your window daydreaming about how much fun it would be to spend your summer months splashing around in a backyard pool? Perhaps you’ve wanted this for as long as you can remember but are unsure where to start. The building process can get technical, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. 

That’s why we compiled a comprehensive checklist for building your dream pool to get you swimming and enjoying that warm summer sun in no time. 

Consider Bylaws and Safety Guidelines

Before dipping your toes into the fun parts of your dream oasis’s vision board, you must be aware of your future pool’s compliance with bylaws and safety regulations. The City of Ottawa sets out specific requirements for outdoor water areas. Adequate fencing and barriers are essential to preventing mishaps, especially with small children. You’ll also require an enclosure permit and inspections to ensure your pool follows all necessary standards. 

Assess Your Pool Location and Terrain

The location of your yard and the type of terrain it has will help you prepare for extra costs and processes. For example, building an inground pool on a hilly landscape may require more complicated construction, such as ground reshaping or installing retaining walls to prevent the structure from sliding. Additionally, soil tests can determine if the ground is suitable for construction. You will also have to consider rewiring any utility lines above or below your yard that may get in the way of your pool. 

Machine Accessibility

Installation of your inground pool will require the use of heavy machines. These might include concrete mixers, excavators, and trucks. As a result, you may need to plan for an access route to your backyard. This could involve the removal of fencing, sheds, or other barriers so that these machines can fit through easily. 

Pool Type

After considering some of the technical parts of this process, you can start to take a look at your vision board. Pools are typically made from three types of materials: fibreglass, vinyl, and gunite. Fibreglass options are ready-made, one-piece shells installed straight into the excavation site. Choosing vinyl means your pool will be built with thin wall panels to frame the area and support the plastic lining that holds the water. Gunite pools, a Benson Pools specialty, are made using reinforced concrete and can achieve any custom shape, size, or style. This material typically has a lifespan of over 100 years.

Pool Size and Shape

When considering size and shape, you will need to decide on the primary purpose of your pool. You may want a big rectangle for functionality if you aim to exercise and swim laps. On the other hand, a smaller pool of virtually any shape would work well if you’re going to use your personal oasis for entertaining, relaxation, or leisure. Don’t forget that the size should leave enough room for decking or hardscaping and storage or entertaining space for your backyard. 

Pool Features and Style

Now is your moment to shine and bring your unique ideas to the table. If you want your pool to be eye-catching, you may want to consider special lighting, custom tiles, or striking colour schemes. You can also make the outdoor space your own with customized benches, stairs, shade pergolas, speakers, diving boards, heaters, and more. Creating the personal lagoon of your dreams comes with endless possibilities. If you’re stuck and need inspiration, you can browse for different styles online or go through pool catalogues to see which styles, shapes, and potential add-ons appeal to you.

Budget and Insurance

Your checklist would not be complete without discussing the budget. Knowing the costs of the installation process before you decide to follow through with your plan is essential so that you aren’t left with any surprises and can prepare your savings accordingly. The most basic builds can range from $50,000 to $70,000. At the same time, customized designs, such as a gunite pool with artisan tile, natural stone, designer interior plaster, or other unique materials, could double the cost. You may also experience higher prices for add-ons, including hardscaping, landscaping, and water features.

Ensure that you budget for extra costs, like the price of challenging excavations or hiring workers to rewire utility lines and conduct terrain testing.

It is also worth keeping in mind that adding a pool to your backyard will increase liability exposure, ultimately impacting your insurance rate. Ensure you contact your insurance company ahead of time and discuss a potential payment increase, and add your new addition to your homeowner’s policy once the installation is complete. 

How Long Does it Take to Build a Pool?

Any construction project is a technical process that requires many moving pieces. Perhaps you’ve been planning for weeks, if not months. When it’s finally time to schedule your excavation and installation, you can anticipate three to six weeks, depending on the project’s scope. If it is a simple build, it may take less time. However, if you require more complicated landscaping and patio construction, you can expect this timeline to stretch by a few weeks or months before your oasis is ready to use.


The vegetation you surround your pool with should be carefully thought out. You may want to visit a local greenhouse and get their perspective on what has worked best for their customers who have pools. Additionally, here are some tips to consider:

  • Avoid messy trees that shed needles and cones or bear fruit. This prevents excess debris in and around your pool.
  • Choose low-maintenance varieties, especially if you place them in hard-to-reach areas that would make frequent yard work more difficult. 
  • Maximize your privacy with ornamental grasses, climbing vines, or bushes without compromising your sun exposure for the summer.
  • Keep your greenery people-friendly by avoiding trees that attract insects like wasps or bushes that have poisonous berries. 
  • Take note of how big your plants may grow, and ensure you leave enough space between each one to avoid overcrowding or tightness with your pool and surrounding structures in the future.

Choosing the Right Contractor

Your builder ultimately makes your visions come to life, so it’s essential to do your research before making your decision. One of the main things to consider is their reputation. Search for client testimonials and customer reviews to get an idea of other people’s experiences with the company, and review the photos they have available of their work. 

It is also important to check if they have up-to-date licenses and adequate insurance coverage to confirm they can legally operate and you won’t be liable if something is damaged or someone gets injured. 

Finally, take note of their transparency and communication, especially in your initial interactions. The best contractors deliver good work and exceptional customer service, including prompt and friendly responses and honest answers to your questions.

Your Backyard Oasis Awaits!

Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of constructing your dream pool, it’s time for you to get started and make it happen. While the process can be tedious at times, it can also be exciting — you can look forward to spending your summer months cooling down and having fun with your friends and family, after all. At Benson Pools, we work with you every step of the way to stay on time and within budget. Get in touch with us to learn more about transforming your yard into an oasis.


What Does Pool Maintenance Service Include?

Maintaining a safe swimming pool requires regular and comprehensive care. A professional pool maintenance service ensures your backyard oasis remains just that, perfect for relaxation and fun. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the steps of pool maintenance,...

read more

How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump?

Keeping your pool clean ensures it’s safe to swim in, making it the perfect way to cool off on those long summer days. As a pool owner, it’s important to note that your pool pump is an essential device that keeps the water clean. Even if you're diligent about adding...

read more