Part 2 of 2: What happens when you change your mind?
Before work begins, making changes to your original pool plan is usually fairly simple. For example, early on, pool builders should be able to add equipment options, modify the shape of your spa, or include a pool mosaic in a wall.
However, whether you are thinking of adding a foot to the width of your pool or changing the height of your rock waterfall, it is critical to review this with your designer as far as possible in advance of the start of construction. Once construction begins, the time and cost to modify your plan often becomes higher!
Budget increases depend on a variety of factors, such as the construction phase your pool is in, if different equipment or special materials must be ordered, or if additional or specialized labor is needed.
In some cases, changing plans is simple. For example, switching your tile selection—unless you want a custom or out-of-stock design—should not create a delay.
Decking is another example. Increasing the total amount of deck can usually be accommodated right up until the day the deck crew arrives.
However, if it is two days before the scheduled deck installation, and you want another 100 square feet—and it is imported Italian travertine—chances are high it will blow your budget and construction timeline.
Do keep in mind that what may seem like a relatively small plan change can throw progress and budget way off course.
For example, your pool has been dug, steeled, and plumbed. Gunite application is set for tomorrow. However, after looking at the pool’s width for several days now, you decide on the swimout shelf that you originally passed on.
Changing your mind now will cost more money than if you added the swimout to begin with. It will also create serious delays.
That’s because the steel will have to be removed from that area of the pool, the forms will have to be ripped out and redone, the excavator will have to return to dig the swim out. After all of this, the area will have to be re-steeled (and in some cases also re-plumbed for an extra return line).
All of these reasons illustrate the importance of making sure that you understand and are happy with your pool construction plan.
If you must make a change after the fact, be sure to discuss the possible ramifications—both for cost and delays—with your builder before making a final decision.
Above all, be sure to obtain any modifications in writing. Your builder should have a written addendum, and it should note any extra cost and any additional time.
Careful planning will help your project remain on budget and schedule while ensuring that you get a backyard resort that you want and will enjoy for years to come.