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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few myths – and some helpful tips – about owning a swimming pool.

1. “I can’t afford a pool.” 
Owning a pool is probably a lot easier than you think. There are many reasonably-priced options including some companies and banks that can offer financing for putting a pool in your backyard. The type of pool, materials, accessories, and landscaping you choose will influence the cost of the project.

2. “My yard will be ruined for a year and workers will be around all the time.” 
An accurate understanding of the building process will help you develop realistic expectations for the completion of your pool. An average pool can be completed in just a few months. But obviously, unforeseen factors such as the weather or permit delays can affect the building process. A good builder will communicate any changes in the project schedule to you as soon as possible. Changes made to the pool or deck after the start date can also create delays and possibly additional permitting.

3. “Maintaining a pool takes a lot of time and effort.” 
You can always hire a professional to do the job, but with today’s technology and newer, more cost effective pool equipment, you can get the same great results in very little time. Optional items such as pool and spa Automation, salt system chlorine generators and In-floor cleaning systems are just a few of the products that could really help maintain your pools for you while you are at work.  In fact, maintaining a pool is easier than maintaining your car or your lawn!

4. “My electric bill will significantly go up if I own a pool.” 
Utility bills vary depending on where you live, who your provider is, and most importantly what type of equipment you have. Average estimates show that utility bills only increase between $30 and $50 each month using standard pool equipment. Using a good variable speed pump can save you a bunch of money on your electric bill because it has the capability of running at a very low speed during normal pool circulation hrs. Then the pump can operate at a higher speed when needed for options such as a spa or water features.

5. “Pools require constant repairs”                                                                                          You should research a builder’s work and ask questions about the longevity of the pool types they are considering. Proper cleaning and maintenance prevent the need for unscheduled refurbishing, and some manufacturers may even offer a lifetime guarantee for pool products that we install. At Ultimate Pool Design we take the structural elements and waterproofing process very seriously. We train all of our employees in these methods because they are very important to having a structurally sound pool. We use the best materials possible and quality craftsmanship to ensure that your pool will not need constant repair.

6. “Salt water pools have no chlorine”                                                                                       Not true- A salt water pool still has Chlorine. In fact it converts ordinary table salt into chlorine. Although we don’t use table salt that is essentially what it does. It will make managing your chlorine levels very simple. It does it for you. Once we get your pool outfitted with a “chlorine generator” and acclimated to the pool salt it won’t need chlorine on a weekly basis. Just add salt when needed. You could go up to six months without adding salt. These types of systems can keep your pool chlorine at perfect levels every day.

7. “I’m afraid of getting taken by a dishonest pool builder.” 
This could be a very difficult to foresee. A dishonest builder will be convincing that they are honest. Ask questions about the process of building the pool, the products and accessories. Make sure that your builder has the knowledge about this type of construction. Many builders have salesmen/ designers that sell for them. They too should be knowledgeable about all the phases of the construction and products. Get a feel for how much time a designer or salesman is willing to put in to make sure that you are comfortable. Meeting the owner of the company should be important too. Ask about how the schedule of payments are to be made.  Never feel comfortable with being asked to give a lot up front.  

With any building project, you should always check a builder’s professional credentials, ask for references and view samples of complete work.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I select the right pool builder?
Make sure to interview your prospective builder very carefully. Here are a few things to consider.

  • What is the company’s reputation in the community?
  • Do you know a friend or neighbor who has used the same company with good results? If not, can the company provide you with some reliable references or customer report cards?
  • How does the company treat you as a potential customer?
  • How long has the company been in business, and how long have they been building in your area?
  • Will the company provide you with a clear written estimate so that you’re not confused about what work will be done?
  • Will they finish the project on time?
  • Will the company add hidden charges after the construction process has begun?
  • Will they keep your property clean and safe throughout the construction process?

Artificial Environments Inc. is well known within our building community for offering unparalleled customer service. From helping you understand all of the design options, to clearly communicating what you can expect during the construction process, we make sure that you are well informed during each phase of the project. We set the standard in our industry as leaders. In fact, 98% of all our projects are finished on time and within budget!

2. Will a pool increase the value of my home?
Yes. Most studies show that a pool will increase the value of your home anywhere between 7% and 15%, depending on where your house is located. It will also continue to increase in value throughout the years, just like your home. In many cases here in Florida it will determine the selling factor of your home. A beautifully built pool can create a visually stunning focal point and a center of entertainment for the family and friends. Many buyers want to find a home with a pool because it can be financed within the homes mortgage. Sometimes the overall thought of construction can be very scary for consumers without the general knowledge of good construction.

3. What about warranties? Is my investment well-protected?
Warranties are very important. At Artificial Environments Inc. we provide you with the strongest guarantee in the swimming pool industry. We are confident in the product we build and we offer a warranty that backs it up. You should always ask for and compare the warranties when requesting estimates from builders. You should also remember that a warranty is only as good as the company that issues it. Dozens of pool builders go out of business each year. And if they’re gone, so is your warranty.

4. I’ve heard that having a swimming pool can be a lot of work. How much work is involved in owning and caring for a swimming pool?
In the past, pool maintenance was more of a chore. But with today’s technology and conveniences, owning a swimming pool is easier than owning a car! Pool chemical testing and maintenance, cleaning, and preprogrammed filtration and heating can all be automated. Automatic pool cleaners and various sanitizing devices also make your pool simple to maintain. Your only concern will be finding more time to enjoy your pool or spa!

5. I sometimes see advertisements promising pools at very low prices. Should I consider this option?
It is actually possible to build a pool at a low price. But you should be aware that to build a low cost pool, equipment, structural elements, craftsmanship, and design are all compromised. Besides ending up with a pool that doesn’t fit your property because of improper design, using poor quality construction materials can also put you and your families investment at risk. Also beware of the Bait and Switch tactic. Many dishonest companies will show you a deal for a pool. It may not include everything that you want or need. Once you are under contract the extra expenses will appear. Many companies in the pool industry use specialized sub contractors, this is not always a bad thing. Specialized subs have all the tools needed to complete their jobs quickly and efficiently.  Unfortunately some pool builders pay their sub contractors well below their respectful wages. Some subs charge less just to get the work. The trade off in order for those sub contractors to be able to make the wage profitable is to use less material or cheaper and inferior materials.   The old adage is still true: You get what you pay for.

At Artificial Environments Inc. we know that the cost difference between a great job and a poor job doesn’t have to be significant. Your Ultimate pool professional will work with you to determine a budget that meets your needs. We can custom design your pool to fit our financial parameters, and we’ll also help you secure the appropriate financing if possible. The end result is a beautiful and dependable custom pool that is what you are expecting, affordable and within your budget.

6. Why do cost estimates vary so much when the pools seem to be the same?
The price of a pool is determined by much more than just the size and shape of that pool. Unfortunately, many contractors don’t include important factors that affect cost in the actual estimate they give you. This also means that you can get hit with hidden charges after construction has begun. Some important things to consider are:

  • Quality of Materials
  • Craftsmanship
  • Design Expertise
  • Underground Strength and Durability
  • Customer Service
  • Time Required for Construction
  • Warranties

7. What factors affect the cost of my swimming pool?
Surprisingly, construction costs for the pool structure itself do not vary greatly from pool to pool. Prices can be affected slightly by ease of access onto your property, demolition requirements prior to construction, and local permit costs. The size and design of the pool affect the cost too, but not as much as you might think.

Much of the variation in price is based on Material selections, Hardscapes, accessories and upgrades. The size and materials used in your deck, patios, waterfalls, gazebos, planter walls, and other features can be simple or sensational. As the customer, you have the greatest influence on your total budget as you control the design of your pool.

8. Is financing readily available for this type of project? 
Yes. There are several banks willing to do secured and unsecured loans. We also have individual programs that are specially developed for pool financing. We have a direct link on our website that you can fill out for financing a swimming pool.  Currently most of the financing programs and banks will finance a pool loan for up to $30,000. It of course will depend on your credit. In a few cases they could finance a pool loan up to $50,000.

If financing is a deciding factor in to whether you will or will not buy a pool please let us know first so that we can help point you into the right direction. It is also a good idea to get pre qualified so that we would know what the budget would be when designing the pool.  

9. How should I decide on the design of my pool?
Each property has unique features that should be considered when your pool is being designed. So does your family! At your request, a design expert from Artificial Environments Inc. will meet with you at your home to discuss your pool needs and desires. What style pool fits you best? Freeform, Geometric, Lagoon?  We will ask you how you intend to use your pool. Is exercise important? How about family use? What about location? Where will the pool look best when viewed from your home? Our design expert may take photographs, video, or sketches of your yard. Then they’ll prepare a custom design at no charge…a design that fits your needs AND your budget!

10. Are there any additional options available to add to my pool? 
Technology is changing at an unprecedented rate, and swimming pools are no exception. Innovative water treatment options such as salt systems, L.E.D. and Fiber-Optic color changing  lighting, spa products, remote controls, Water Features and Waterfalls, automatic cleaning systems, and many other options are now available to make your pool easier to maintain and more enjoyable than ever. Tell us what you would like, and we can show you how to do it. We can even automate your entire pool and spa right from your iPhone or iPad!