“I Will Not Have A Pool Installed”

Yep… You can quote me on that headline. It was my mantra over the past five years especially while we were building our present home here in Kona during 2016. We’ve had pool in the past. We didn’t use it that much, but it was nice to look at. It just seemed like a waste of money to me, but that’s my opinion. Besides that, they’re not cheap to build, and they cost money to maintain.

Well now… wouldn’t you know it? We are now having a pool installed as I write this. So why the reversal on my thoughts? Let’s start by disclosing the fact that the CEO of my marriage, who also happens to own 51% of the voting shares, says we need one. Ok… “Why?” I ask, “You rarely used the last one.” “Becaaauuse…  they are so beautiful,” she expresses with the tone of a pixy fairy… and continues by adding YOU can get some exercise without hurting your old creaking joints. She also adds, “and with a spa at one end of the pool, we can relax together under the stars at night,” wink wink. Ok, I’m sold!

excavator digging out pool in hawaii ocean view backyard

So now I thought I should share some of my experience with the pool project underway. I am a straight shooter, so I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you. If I had to start with a word of advice to anyone contemplating adding a pool to their piece of paradise .. it would be this one word. “Patience.” In all fairness.. this is not a slam against pool companies in general. Let’s face it, we are all dealing with challenges the likes we have never seen before in our lifetime thanks to the pandemic. Supply chain issues and labor shortage are just two of the thorns in the side of business owners and their customers for the past few years. So let’s begin with my search for a contractor. In spite of the day-to-day business challenges… the pool business appears to be booming! My take is the mandatory stay-at-home factor added more interest in things like pools, you probably heard about that on the news.

So I call not two., not three, but five companies and the names will remain anonymous. Two that never called me back one that showed up and I was not feeling great about, one that spent hours with me walking through the project and never gave me an actual quote. The good news is the one we selected happened to be the same company that was working on a few pools in my neighborhood. That contractor was upfront from the start about how long of a process this would be. Drafting plans, County permitting, backlog of subcontractors’ schedules, and the supply shortage on materials were all covered at the start. So now my head hurts and I need to adjust my expectations on when exactly I can begin my aqua training so I can shatter Michael Phelps’s world records.

pool being dug out

The quote and cost I was presented exceeded my hopes and dreams as usual. Even with the fact that we are installing a simple straightforward lap pool .. no waterfalls.. special disco lights or flaming volcanoes. The added spa feature was the greatest part of the above said budget but who am I to argue with what makes my wife happy. I’m not going to say that cliché line, “Happy wife, happy life,” but you know I’m thinking it.

So where are we to date? In June our excavation began. Living on a slope presents its challenges but can be done in most cases. It would have been nice to make a wider pool but that would have required another level of engineering and design for a higher support wall. Twelve by forty feet is what we settled on with an additional seven by seven spa. A few weeks later we had the forming crew come in. Gunite, a concrete blend of sand, cement, and water that’s applied through a high-pressure hose, is now complete, coping and waterline tile installed and looks great.

pool install

So far I’m very pleased with the level of quality and commitment to customer satisfaction that each crew has brought to the project. We are now nearing the end of the year and with a little luck… Audrey will be sipping a Mai Tai in the spa sometime late January, cheering me on while I’m preparing for the 2024 Olympic trials.

Before I close this story, I would be remiss if I didn’t address what a pool might add to the value of our home in the event of resale. A Money magazine article published in May of 2021 says it does significantly increase your home’s market value. Some use a rule of thumb from an appraiser’s point of view. You may be looking at an increase of $15-20k. I scratch my head when it comes to this type of analysis since a pool cost is ten times that. There are so many variables. Buyers’ needs vary and you can’t please everybody, so this is my view. If you want a pool, get a pool… or is it if you don’t want a pool, get a pool? Well, I think you know what I mean.

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Debbi Schultze

December 5, 2022

You know we LOVE our pool! 😎

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