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The Braden's First Pool

Swimming will be fun - once we get the pool built.

We moved from Germany to Tampa in 1988 and we purchased a new home on a golf course.

Our next step was to have a pool built, so we included a pool as part of our offer on the home, which was still being constructed.

Early on in the process we were informed by the real estate agent that the money we had agreed upon to pay for the house and its swimming pool would not work because VA would only approve a loan against a finished product and there was no way to finish the pool prior to us moving in. So real estate agent glibly subtracted somewhere around $14,000 from the cost that we had agreed upon and assured us that we would very easily find a swimming pool contractor for that price or less to get our pool once we moved in. And without checking further, we agreed.

A few months after we settled in we began shopping for pools, and guess what: almost all were more than $14,000. But we found a contractor they gave us a reasonable price for a screened-in pool with a spa.

It turned out that I was preparing for an overseas trip as part of my job at the same time the pool contractor's sales agent was trying to get us to sign the contract for the work. Therer were some details to be worked out and I didn't think I had time tio continue negotiations and still get ready for my trip, so i told the agent that we would close the deal when i got back. But the agent was really working to close the deals so he reduced the price and promised with his pinkie finger that all details would be resolved to my satisfaction before the pool was built. And that worked well, especially the part about the pool getting less expensive.

One interesting pre-construction conversation that I had with the contractor occurred when he asked me how deep I wanted the pool. He said the price he quoted was for a pool that was up to six feet deep, but for an additional depth the cost was very reasonable: $100 per additional foot in depth. I responded that if this were the case, I’d like a pool that was nine feet deep thinking about that diving board I would install at one end of the pool.

The contractor said he was agreeable to that but gave me the following to reflect upon. Pools normally start out at about three feet deep. Most adults, when they are in the pool, are comfortable when the water is up to their chest. In public pools you don’t see many people in the area where the pools are five feet or more in depth. So if you build a pool that goes from three feet deep to nine feet deep and is 30 feet long there’s probably only 10 feet in that pool that adults will feel comfortable in using.

I decided that that was very good advice and asked if a pool could begin at one end at three feet deep, go down to about six feet deep in the middle, and then back up to three feet deep at the other end. The contractor said sure, and that turned out to be a great decision. For one thing we could put a net across the deep middle and stand at either end and play volleyball. If you wanted to cannonball into the pool you just did that in the middle section. If you wanted to swim from one end of the pool to the other, you started in three feet of water and ended in three feet of water which was very comfortable.

That design worked like a charm, and we used that same design for a pool we had built at our home when we moved to Tallahassee.

Let's just say that our pool and heated spa got lots and lots of use from family and friends, and it enriched our lives greatly.

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