When you live in the desert, it sure is nice to have your own oasis right in the backyard. With prolonged warm temperatures in much of the state and very little rainfall, Nevada is a great place to install an inground swimming pool. The cost of building a pool in the state is likely the only thing stopping more Nevadans from taking the plunge.
Nevada is a large state with a more diverse climate than most outsiders probably suspect. In Carson City, Reno, and other northern parts of the state, the winters are no joke. It’s really only the populous southern parts of Nevada that fit the stereotype of a hot southwestern state. In Las Vegas, for example, you can easily keep your pool open seven months out of the year – longer if you install a pool heater.
If you are going to heat your water, why not harness the power of the sun to do it? With sunshine in abundance, Nevada provides ideal conditions for a solar heater. They can be expensive to install (unless you do it yourself), but if you’re planning to heat your water anyway, you will save money in the long run.
If you’re looking for an aesthetic touch, consider features that blend with the local scenery. A freeform pool surrounded by native rocks and plants can be as much fun to look at as it is to swim in.
Construction labor is very expensive in Nevada, so you can expect to pay more for a labor-intensive project such as gunite pool installation. On the other hand, the swimming pool industry in general has been walloped by the weak economy, so you may be able to find a good deal anyway. You can save more money by doing some of the work yourself or serving as your own general contractor, provided your local pool code allows it. As always, you should confine yourself to high-quality and dependable contractors, even if “better deals” are out there.
One advantage of hiring an experienced pool company is that they can handle all the required permits, inspections, and paperwork. In Nevada, as in other states, building permits are administered at the local level, so the process can vary in both major and minor ways depending on where you live. In Clark County, you’ll need to get a permit for the pool and/or spa, along with separate permits for plumbing and electrical work.
Your pool must comply with all local laws governing swimming pool safety. These, too, can vary from place to place, but the major requirement in most cases is a safety fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate. In southern Nevada, the fence must also block access from the house (or, alternatively, you can install an alarm). A pool company that has operated in the area for any amount of time should be able to advise you on what safety equipment you need in your area. However, it’s never a bad idea to educate yourself.