Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning the Process

I want to build a pool, when can someone meet with me?

We’re always available to meet with you and discuss your new backyard project! Typically, once you have shown interest by filling out a form, emailing us or calling us, a design specialist will reach out within 24 hours to set a time to come meet with you at your residence to learn more about what your backyard oasis looks like. You are also encouraged to do some Google searching for ideas on what you are looking to do in your backyard prior to meeting with us. This will allow us to quickly start with your design and get the process moving much quicker than normal.

How long does it take from the time I sign my contract to diving into my new pool?

The average timeline is 3-6 months once we have completed the dig stage of your swimming pool. Read more about the twelve steps of our construction process.

What factors affect the cost of a pool?

The cost of a swimming pool can vary significantly based on several key factors. Here at Empire Pools & Outdoor, we work closely with you to determine a design and features that suit both your dreams and your budget. Below are some of the main elements that can influence the final cost of your pool:

Type and Size of the Pool: Whether you choose an in-ground or above-ground pool can greatly affect the cost. In-ground pools typically cost more due to the excavation required. Similarly, the size of the pool is directly proportional to the cost. Larger pools require more materials and labor, thus increasing the price.

Material Used: The choice of material can also influence the cost. For example, vinyl is typically the cheapest option, followed by fiberglass, with concrete being the most expensive due to its durability and customizability.

Location: The location and accessibility of your backyard can affect the cost. If it’s difficult to access, it could increase labor costs. Additionally, the type of soil, slope of the yard, and local climate can also affect the installation costs.

Custom Features: Adding features such as waterfalls, slides, diving boards, hot tubs, or complex lighting can increase the overall cost. Similarly, choosing a saltwater system instead of chlorine, or opting for an automated cleaning system, will also affect the price.

Landscaping and Decking: The cost of surrounding pool elements such as patios, decks, fencing, and landscaping are typically not included in the base price of the pool and can significantly increase your project’s overall cost.

Ongoing Maintenance: While not part of the installation cost, it’s important to factor in the cost of ongoing maintenance. This includes cleaning, chemical adjustments, potential repairs, and winterization.

We encourage you to speak with one of our pool specialists to get a better understanding of the potential costs associated with your dream pool. We’re committed to providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

What kind of maintenance is required for pools?

Maintaining your swimming pool is key to ensuring it stays clean, safe, and enjoyable for years to come. Here are some key maintenance tasks you’ll need to consider:

Cleaning: Regular cleaning of your pool is essential. This includes skimming leaves and debris off the surface, brushing the pool walls and floor, and vacuuming. If your pool is outdoors, it might require more frequent cleaning.

Chemical Levels: Keeping your pool’s chemical levels in balance is crucial to prevent bacteria and algae growth and to maintain the water’s pH level. This typically involves testing and adjusting levels of chlorine or salt, pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.

Filter Maintenance: Your pool’s filter system plays a crucial role in keeping the water clear and free of small debris. It’s important to clean and backwash the filter as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on the type of filter you have (sand, cartridge, or diatomaceous earth), maintenance procedures can vary.

Water Level: Keep an eye on your pool’s water level. It should not get too low (which can cause the pump to run dry and overheat) or too high (which can affect the skimmer’s functioning).

Check and Maintain Equipment: Regularly check your pool’s pump, heater, and other equipment to ensure they’re working properly. Periodic servicing may be required, especially after the winter months.

Professional Inspection: It’s recommended to have a professional inspect your pool annually. They can spot potential issues early, such as leaks or equipment malfunctions, saving you from more costly repairs down the line.

At Empire Pools & Outdoors, we understand that maintenance can be a lot of work, so we offer a range of maintenance services to help keep your pool in top shape. Please contact us for more details on these services.

What safety measures do you recommend for the pools?

At Empire Pools & Outdoors, safety is one of our top priorities. Here are some safety measures we highly recommend for all pool owners:

Fencing: Installing a fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around your pool can prevent unsupervised access, especially from young children and pets.

Alarms: Installing alarms on all doors and windows leading to the pool area can provide an additional layer of safety. Also, consider a pool alarm that will alert you if someone or something enters the water.

Covers: Using a safety cover when the pool is not in use can prevent accidental falls into the water.

Anti-Slip Surfaces: Slippery surfaces are a common cause of poolside accidents. Consider installing non-slip materials around your pool deck and entrance area.

Depth Markers: Clearly marking the depth of the pool can prevent swimmers from diving or jumping into shallow water.

Life-Saving Equipment: Always keep life-saving equipment such as life rings or reaching poles near the pool.

Drain Covers: Ensure all drains have safety covers to prevent suction entrapment.

Pool Rules: Establish and enforce pool rules such as ‘No running’, ‘No diving in shallow water’, ‘Always swim with a buddy’, etc.

Swimming Lessons: Ensure everyone in your home knows how to swim. If they don’t, consider enrolling them in swimming lessons.

CPR: Have at least one family member who is trained in CPR.

It's important to remember that while these measures can significantly reduce risk, they do not replace active supervision. Always keep a close eye on anyone in or near the pool.

Empire Pools & Outdoors is committed to helping you create a safe and enjoyable environment. Our team is always available to provide more detailed advice on safety features and precautions.

Designing Your Pool

Is there anything in my backyard that would make my design harder to build?

Usually we can be creative enough to make almost any design fit the circumstances… but there are some items that we can not control such as setbacks, HOAs, access, size and we must check the utility lines to make sure we can actually dig in that area.

Is it easy to add water features after my pool has been built?

It’s not exactly easy if it wasn’t plumbed for it from the start. It is possible, but you are much better off getting it done while the pool is being built than waiting and doing it later on. It’s going to cost more and there may be some downtime where you can’t use your pool or deck while the work is going on.

What are some ideas for “party pools”?

Great question! If you’re looking to host parties and have a good time year-round in your backyard, here are some ideas to mention to your designer! Sun shelf for relaxing. Wide steps and benches to hang out on. Water features to create some ambiance noise. Bar stools. Swim up bar. Fire pits or fire bowls. There are a ton of ideas – remember to tell your designer that this will be a pool to have a good time in and they will do the rest!

What’s the most popular design? Deep pools or play pools?

The most popular design is going to be a “Play Pool” – which is characterized as something that is functional and fun at the same time. We usually like to keep them around 5′ to 5’6″ deep so you can swim, walk and play all in the same pool. Diving pools are still around, but cost more to build and aren’t as fun and functional as a shallower pool.

What are the different types of swimming pools available?

There are several types of pools including above-ground, in-ground, concrete, vinyl-lined, and fiberglass pools. Each has its advantages and drawbacks concerning cost, durability, maintenance, and customization. Empire Pools & Outdoors only offers in-ground, concrete pools as they have the longest durability and allow for maximum customization.

What pool size and shape should I go for?

This depends on the space available, your budget, the intended use of the pool (exercise, relaxation, entertaining), and personal aesthetics. An experienced pool designer can help you determine what will work best in your specific situation.

Can I customize the design of my pool?

Absolutely! Many factors can be customized, including the shape, depth, size, color, and the materials used for the pool’s interior and deck. You can also add features like waterfalls, slides, diving boards, tanning ledges, and swim-up bars.

What is a pool deck and what materials can be used for it?

The pool deck is the area surrounding your pool where you can put patio furniture or lounge chairs. It can be made from a variety of materials including concrete, natural stone, pavers, tile, or wood.

Should I consider a saltwater pool or a chlorine pool?

Both types have pros and cons. Saltwater pools are generally softer on the skin and eyes, and they require less direct management of chemicals. However, they can be more expensive upfront and may require more expensive repairs due to corrosion over time. Chlorine pools are cheaper to install but require more frequent monitoring and adjustment of chemicals.

How does the pool construction process work?

While it can vary, the typical process includes design, excavation, framing, installation of plumbing and electrical systems, interior finishing, deck and landscaping work, and finally, filling and treating the water.

Should I consider an infinity pool?

Infinity pools, also known as zero-edge or negative-edge pools, give the illusion of water extending to the horizon. They can be a stunning addition to a property with a good view, but are typically more complex and expensive to construct and maintain.

What are some energy-efficient features I can include in my pool design?

To make your pool more energy-efficient, you could consider a solar heater, a pool cover, LED lights, and energy-efficient pumps and filtration systems. Additionally, the design and orientation of the pool can also contribute to its energy efficiency.

Building A Pool

Do you teach me how to use my pool and controllers?

Yes! Once your pool has been filled, we will set up a time to introduce you to your pool equipment and set up your controllers/automation – this is called “Pool School”. We will also add the initial chemicals to the pool to ensure a proper start up. We will also provide all the manuals to your pool equipment as well.

How much more will my pool cost if I decide to add an in-ground spa?

On average, adding an in-ground spa to your pool will start around $16,000 more depending on the features, sizes and amenities that you choose to go along with it.

Will there be a specific person overseeing my pool build?

Of course! We will assign a project manager to your project to ensure everything is perfect and exactly how you want it to be at the end. They will be your first point of contact during the entire build.

How do we pay for our pool?

Empire Pools & Outdoor will require a 10% deposit of the agreed price upon contract signing. The remaining payments are paid upon successful completion of certain milestones such as: 35% of the contract will be paid after excavation, 30% of the contract will be paid once gunite has been placed (you have a concrete pool shell), 20% of the contract will be paid once the deck has been completed and the last 5% will be paid once the pool has been filled. If you decide to get financing, a 10% deposit is still required (some finance companies do not provide this deposit).

What brand of pool equipment do you use?

We only use the best – Pentair!

Do you pull the permits and how long does that take?

Yes, we pull the permits and usually it takes anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks depending on your jurisdiction. Every jurisdiction has a different timeline and requires different documents to ensure proper permitting paperwork has been submitted.

What will my yard look like during the construction of my pool?

Don’t expect your yard to look it’s best during the construction of your pool. Remember, we have very heavy machinery that will leave tracks in your grass, we will dig your pool which will leave dirt in your yard, there will be trucks pulling in and out throughout the process. We will be sure to clean up our mess and not leave any debris or trash behind – our professionals are respected and respectful – that’s how we provide the “White Glove Service” throughout the building process.

How long does it take to build a pool?

The time it takes to build your swimming pool can vary due to weather, time of the year, the design and more. If all goes as planned, the average pool build takes about 6-12 weeks from the time we have completed the excavation process (dig the hole).

What’s the average size of a pool?

The average size is 30 feet by 15 feet, but no need to worry about that, let’s focus on what you want and what your backyard can handle!

What does a “Standard” pool include?

Since we are a custom luxury pool builder – there really is no “standard” pool. From a starting standpoint, a 300 square foot pool that goes from 3’ to 5′ depth, a Pentair Variable Speed Pump, Pentair Energy Efficient Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intelliconnect Automation, Level 1 WetEdge Mini-Pebble Interior Finish, Pentair LED Color Lights and more!

Maintaining Your Pool

What does No Flow mean on my salt system?

There is a flow switch inside the salt cell and when water flows over that switch, it will tell the salt cell that it is safe to produce chlorine. If there is not enough water going across the flow switch, the sensor is not tripped and you will get a low flow indicator. If there is anything causing a low water flow to the pump/cell, such as a dirty, leaf filled skimmer basket, this could create the No Flow issue. Other causes may include a dirty filter or a dirty or clogged salt cell. Before assuming that your flow sensor is bad, make sure you filters, cell, and baskets are all clean and not obstructing the flow.

What does No Cell Power mean on my salt system?

A “No Cell Power” issue can usually be solved by turning the breaker that controls your system off then back on. If that does not fix the issue, we’ll send a technician out to take a look, it could be a bad relay or bad circuit board.

Hear from Our Happy Homeowners

Discover why homeowners across Central Florida trust us for their outdoor transformations.

George Owens

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Kim Wexler

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James Cart

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We created Empire Pool & Outdoor with one driving purpose —to design and build custom luxury pools and outdoor spaces that enrich home environments. Our combination of experience, imagination, white-glove service and unparalleled quality generates a seamless design and build process that goes far beyond the status quo. By aligning with your vision and expertly managing each stage of the build from start to finish, we’re able to deliver luxury pool and outdoor living environments that exceed your expectations.

Our entire team at Empire Pool & Outdoor takes great pride in working with our clients, from initial planning to budgeting to building. We look forward to offering an elite level of service unmatched throughout the industry to all our clients.

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Our team of experts is here to answer

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