Five important things to know before buying or building a swimming pool at your house in Thailand
By Virginia Ewart-Jones
Thailand is one of the top countries in the world where expats go to find an easier, more fulfilling life. One of these reasons is the tropical climate, which enables constant outdoor relaxation that’s simply not possible in many other parts of the world. Spending time outside in hot weather isn’t always enjoyable though if you don’t have a reliable way to cool off. This, of course, is why many people in Thailand consider having a pool a non-negotiable part of their property when looking to buy a house or villa. If you’re in that category, read these tips before signing any contracts:
Hire the Right People
This is excellent advice when undertaking any major project, but is exceptionally important when building a swimming pool which is a big commitment that’s expensive to build and maintain. First-time pool-buyers may think that they can get away with hiring less expensive workers who are inexperienced or from non-swimming pool companies, but it’s rarely ever worth the risk. Think of that quote that says,
“If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.”
A good way to find out if someone is experienced enough to build a quality pool is first, to ask for their qualifications. Once you get the qualifications, ask a lot of questions and try to get them to educate you about the process. They should want you to be comfortable with the plan, thus should be willing to take a minute and explain it to you and visit your home to do a land survey. Do this before signing any contracts, because if they are consistently vague you should look into other contractors.
Get someone who understands contracts to review it with you before you sign. Know all of the “What If’s.” There are an infinite number of things that can go wrong with building a pool, from natural disasters affecting initial construction, failed materials, accidents and injuries pre and post completion, and unexpected hindrances that may or may not cost you more. If you can’t anticipate all of things that can go wrong, at least find out where to look up the answers and who to ask when something does happen.
Price, of course, is one of the biggest factors you’ll need to consider when building a pool. However, going with the least expensive options may wind up hurting your wallet more than it helps. Prices that sound too good to be true usually are.Don’t take a deal over the phone and don’t skimp on anything mechanical like the filter types, pipe seizes, pumps, etc. Those are the items that will make the biggest difference when your pool is a few or more years old.
Pools can be very dangerous, which is why rules and regulations are always mandated by the local government. Before you start building or decide on any construction plans, make sure you check with the local municipality about what is required regarding safety measures, including barriers and fencing, space surrounding the pool, etc. Think about how the materials you choose will affect the safety of the pool—you don’t want to pick anything that could be slippery when wet. Imagine what the pool will look like at all times of day, especially at night. Will it be very visible or is it possible that a person (or an animal) could accidentally fall in or near it? Will you include a deep end or a diving board?
A pool is a long-term commitment and a permanent addition to your house. You need take the future into account when adding a pool and consider how it’ll be used today, next year, in five years and in ten. If the pool is mainly for the kids, don’t just settle on a shallow kiddie pool. The kids will grow and will want something more adult-sized. Is there a possibility of someone wanting to use it for athletic swimming one day, or will it be strictly recreational? If you are only using it for recreational purposes, you may want opt for a smaller pool and use more of the space and money fixing up the surrounding patio.