Buying swimming pools isn’t something we do every day, right? It certainly isn’t a subject we study in high school, so when anyone starts thinking about getting one installed, most of us are pretty, well, dumb, about it.

Today though, there is information available at any time so that you can become an educated shopper when it comes to swimming pools. From the basic designs to custom pools, compared to just five years ago, there is information abounding all over the place.

But one of the best places to get information about shopping swimming pools is from somebody that “has been there, done that.” Nothing speaks better and louder than experience. Here are 5 things that anyone that has gone through the process would tell you:

1. Make Sure you Really Want One
This probably sounds silly, maybe stupid even, but it’s not. You’ll be able to make a rational decision and better choices when you are 100% sure you want a swimming pool. The ownership of swimming pools is not cheap, and it certainly isn’t easy. It is going to be an expensive project having it installed and maintaining. As such, everyone in the household needs to be on board with this project.

2. What is the MOST Important Thing to you for Your Swimming Pool?
Are the aesthetics or the customization important to you? Do you want minimal maintenance or is the design more important to you? Swimming pools have warranties – what part of that warranty is important to you? Do you want a water feature? When you start shopping swimming pools, these are a few of the most common goals that pool shoppers usually have. So, determine what is important to you!

3. What is MOST Important Thing to you in Choosing a Pool Installer?
There are swimming pool installers that offer a turn-key setup, but are you more concerned about getting the lowest price possible? Maybe the workmanship quality is what’s important to you? These are all important decisions when shopping swimming pools, but probably the most frequent one is the price of installation. Like in all things, you get what you pay for, so keep the workmanship and warranty in mind as you shop for the cheapest price in the world of swimming pools.

4. Know Your Budget
Today, swimming pool loans are harder to get. Equity lines, property values, and second mortgages are all a part of this scenario, and it has made it difficult to get loans for swimming pools. So, it is advised to get your financing in order before you start shopping swimming pools. You don’t want to put down a deposit and then find out just before install is to begin that your loan wasn’t approved.

5. Concrete, Fiberglass, or Vinyl: Know the Difference
There are several types of pools, and each has its own pros and cons. For most swimming pools, fiberglass fits most consumers, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. By getting yourself educated before you begin shopping, you will have a distinct idea and be able to make a well-informed, logical decision on which type of swimming pools will fit your needs best.