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Smart Design Steps When Working with Pool Contractors in Lancaster, PA or Reading

Posted On: May 23,2017 By: Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Smart design steps when talking to pool builders or contractors in Lancaster, PAYou’ve made the decision you want to build a pool. Now that you’ve decided the project is a “go,” you are about to embark on an exciting journey that will end with your brand new swimming pool.

But it is your next steps, in selecting from pool contractors in Lancaster and Reading, PA, that will be critical in the outcome of that process. Choosing the right pool professional to carry out your vision will make all the difference.

Like most homeowners, you might already be getting tunnel vision with your focus solely on the pool itself. That is probably leading you to explore various pool builders in the Reading and Lancaster, PA area. But we invite you to think outside the box and also consider working with a landscape design professional to assist with the process. A Registered Landscape Architect (RLA), in particular, is an expert in actually knowing how to bring a complete backyard vision to life.

A lot of pool companies are aggressive about getting the sale of your pool, plunking in a concrete patio, and moving on to the next job as soon as they can. The pool building season in our region is short and understandably they want to sell as many jobs as they can. But a pool builder like this is only focused on the pool itself.

Smart design steps when talking to pool builders or contractors in Lancaster, PA

After your pool is installed, they don’t really stand to have repeat business from you or a long-term relationship throughout the years. They aren’t thinking about the rest of your landscape, and that can wind up being a huge detriment for you. At the end of the day, it’s the total package (the patio, the plantings, the lighting, the pavilion, etc.) that will help you fully enjoy the space. These are features that an RLA is going to take into account and why it’s so important that a design expert is part of the project.


The Path to Your Dream Pool in Reading and Lancaster, PA

If you really want the full package, the backyard that has the outdoor kitchen under a pavilion, beautiful plantings, and a highly functional patio surrounding your pool, then you need to consider working with a company that has a design expert on staff. An RLA will think about all those items that most pool builders in Reading and Lancaster, PA will overlook in their focus on getting the pool in quickly.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in wanting the pool done but overlooking these other features can be a deterrent from your enjoyment of the space. Yes, you can add those items later but it’s a lot more of a hassle, and a lot more expensive if you didn’t account for those features during the design phase.

Smart design steps when talking to pool builders or contractors in Lancaster, PA

Pool contractors in Reading and Lancaster, PA might also entice you with a lower price, but you have to consider what you’re actually getting for that investment. You’re probably just getting the pool itself, maybe a cheap concrete patio surrounding it. Oftentimes once the pool is complete, homeowners realize that the space needs so much more to be the complete backyard living area they’d dreamed about. When adding those features in after the fact, the cost may skyrocket and that cheap pool is suddenly costing a lot more than had you just planned for those items in the original design.


Phasing your Reading or Lancaster, PA Pool Project

Smart design steps when talking to pool builders or contractors in Lancaster, PAIf your budget doesn’t currently allow for all the features you want your outdoor living space to have, that’s okay. By working with an RLA, the project can be phased to be completed over a period of time that your budget allows. The only smart way to phase a project is to work with a design professional who really knows all the small details to account for along the way.

For example, here is what should be done in each step for a complete outdoor living project that is spread out over three phases.

Phase One

Phase one is when you want to do as much necessary excavation as you can so that your yard does not have to be torn up again in future phases. By planning ahead you will have everything in place that will be needed down the road without having to bring equipment back on site. During phase one your pool and patio will be completed. Using dry-laid pavers is the most forgiving when it comes time to remove small areas of them in future phases.

Phase Two

Because you planned ahead, phase two does not require any underground work. When it’s time to add in your pavilion and fireplace, the dry-laid pavers can be removed and the rough-ins for water, electric, or gas are already ready and waiting underground. In this stage, we’re building up and not excavating anything.

Phase Three

Similar to phase two, in phase three you can continue to build above ground with everything you need already in place. Phase three might be when you add an outdoor kitchen. Space has been appropriately accounted for during the design phase so your kitchen won’t be too small or not be able to fit all the features you wanted. Because everything was planned for in advance, it will be just right.

With smart planning and design, one of the best things about each of these phases is that nobody can tell that the project is incomplete during that phase. Only you will know that it’s not actually the fully finished project (and we’ll keep your secret).

Working With Pool Contractors in Reading and Lancaster, PA

Smart design steps when talking to pool builders or contractors in Lancaster, PAWhile there are definitely some pool companies out there that are all about getting the job done quickly (and hastily!), there are also some really wonderful pool builders in Reading and Lancaster, PA that Earth, Turf, & Wood has proudly partnered with. We believe strongly in partnering with the pool company and each focusing on what we do best. It is that partnership that helps us succeed.

While the pool company will focus on the installation, we’ll help them with the design and layout aspects of the project. That means accounting for all the small details that come into play as well as phasing the project if necessary.

By working together we’ll ensure that you get the complete backyard you’ve been dreaming about- not just the pool. A great pool area is so much more than just the pool itself. It’s part of an entire outdoor living space that meets all your family’s needs.


If you’d like some pool ideas for your Hershey, York, Reading or Lancaster, PA home, you can check out pictures of pool designs in our gallery. You can also schedule a free consultation or give us a call at (717) 276-9447 to talk more.

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Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Written by Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Mary Hatch Dresser is a Registered Landscape Architect with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design. Mary has designed landscapes for 32 years and joined ETW exclusively in 2009. Mary is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); and also serves on the Shade Tree Committee in Strasburg Borough where she resides. Mary prides herself in carefully listening to her clients to professionally meld their ideas and personal criteria with sound, experienced design practice.

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Serving Southeast Pennsylvania including: Lancaster, Reading, Lebanon, York, Hershey, Harrisburg and surrounding areas.