Finding a path to get from design through construction and beyond: Part 1 Design

Finding a path to get from design through construction and beyond: Part 1 Design

The first question I ask a new client is ‘Why do you want a swimming pool’? Though a simple question, the answer often changes and evolves during that first meeting.

So, before discussing the beautiful HGTV project that we all dream about, let’s consider some of the realities of designing and building a total swimming pool environment.

The 4 Steps To Picking The Best Swimming Pool Designer

1) Planning and preparation

A Swimming Pool under construction in Florida

In my thirty three years designing swimming pool environments, only one client ever had us demolish their completed project and implement an entirely different design in the very same space! I mention this because once your project is in the ground, you will probably live with it for as long as you own your home. So, thoughtful planning of your entire project is essential before construction begins.

Poor planning will inevitably lead to added expense, added construction time, and disappointment. Start your planning now!

2) Need vs. Desire

You may have heard the expression ‘form follows function’, and never is it more appropriate when designing a swimming pool and landscape project.

A Swimming Pool under construction in Florida

Dig deep to understand what you and your family must have, rather than what you would like to have.

It is important to create and prioritize a list of what is essential and what is not. Take the time to understand your whole family’s needs... including your pets!

3) Cost

There are only two things to remember when understanding the cost of a swimming pool project:

  1. Swimming pool projects are expensive

  2. Swimming pool projects will almost certainly exceed your planned budget.

When planning your budget remember that the beautiful swimming pool project you visualize may include landscaping and irrigation, an outdoor kitchen, a shade pavilion or pergola, and furniture.

Don’t make the mistake of planning a project where the cost of one item leaves you without funds to build the other parts of a project. Think of it as overextending to buy your dream house that remains minimally furnished for years.

unfinished backyard landscaping

4) Design

Quality of design is as important as quality of construction.

When interviewing a designer or swimming pool company to plan your project, make sure they understand all the elements that need to be woven into a beautiful and functional design.

No one element in your design should stand out or overshadow the others.

The greatest compliment a pool designer can get is when someone walks through the family room doors and says “What a beautiful backyard”.

If they say “What a beautiful pool” the designer was unsuccessful.

Balance, harmony, rhythm, repetition, are the design elements that make a project sing. The site, budget and the needs of the client make it reality.

By hiring your swimming pool and landscape designer first, you are able to take your perfect design drawings and specs to multiple construction companies so they can bid on the project. This is the only way to get a true apples-to-apples cost comparison between construction companies.​

Take the time to find a designer that listens and understands your priorities has experience working in your town, and can successfully integrate all these components into the creation of a beautiful project.

Would You Like A Free Consultation?

If you are considering improving your home with new landscaping or a pool, give me a call for a free consultation. You'll be glad you did!

Look for Part 2 of “Finding a path to get from design through construction and beyond” in my next blog entry.

About the Author

Marc Evan Schwartz is a swimming pool and landscape architectural designer with thirty two years of experience designing award winning projects throughout South East Florida, Connecticut, and New York. He has his Master of Landscape Architecture from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forest and his Bachelor of Landscape Horticulture from the University of Massachusetts. Marc’s design philosophy is to use his creativity, expertise and experience to guide his clients towards a beautiful and functional project that reflects their needs and desires.