Pool Planning Guide

Reasons to Build a Pool

This guide is also available in PDF format. Click Here to download the PDF.

As time becomes increasingly limited, many people have turned to their homes as a source of relaxation and entertainment Time, energy and money go into transforming a chosen space into the perfect home, and for many, the same level of care is taken to extend the living space outward.

Outdoor living spaces are desirable because they increase personal space, and when done correctly, become a seamless extension to your home.

There are many benefits to building a pool. These include:

  • Increasing the value of your home
  • Creating an outdoor living space
  • Keeping you cool when it’s hot, instead of hiding indoors with the high conditioner turned up
  • A pool is a great way to keep an eye on the kids
  • Pools cost less than money spent on big family vacations or entertainment options
  • Encouraging family time
  • Creating an outdoor resort at home

At McGee Pool and Patio, we offer a complete range of outdoor living services. We design and build swimming pools, lap pools and decorative pools. We install hot tub spas, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, decking, water features, update lighting and pool fixtures. We also do pool servicing and renovations.

When it comes to pool building, we’re the best. Every project is managed by owner, Sandy McGee, who takes pride in getting to know his customers. With over 25 years’ experience building pools; he helps to educate on proper pool building.

Experience. Workmanship. Stability. : Choosing the Right Pool Builder

Pool design and installation has changed dramatically over the years. Innovative technology and competition has transformed the industry of pool building, giving homeowners even more options and choices. Pools now come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and can be customized to fit your specific needs.

McGee Pool pools are expertly designed to fit your space and compliment your architectural style, and can be made to work with nearly any budget. Homeowners can also choose from a wide variety of pool add-ons such as rock formations, water features, fountains, pool decking and backyard landscaping.

With all of these emerging choices it’s important to evaluate your needs before choosing a pool builder. Review your space and how you intend to utilize your pool. Will your whole family be spending nights and weekends there? Or maybe you need a lap pool to stay in shape? How will your pool fit with existing landscaping?

Whether it’s for exercise, recreation or relaxation you will need an experienced pool builder who will listen and develop a pool that will work for you even as your needs change over time. The reputation and expertise of your builder is vastly important.

Always ask the following questions:

  • What is your pool builder’s reputation in your community?
  • How long has your pool builder been in business?
  • How long have they been building in your area?
  • How many pools have built?
  • Is your pool builder financially stable?
  • Can they provide you with reliable references?

Any good contractor knows that a pool is a large investment and their part in the design and construction of the pool can make all the difference in the world. You need a contractor that is confident in their workmanship and financial stability.

At McGee Pool, you will work directly with the owner, Sandy McGee. When the phone rings it’s going to be him that answers. He is knowledgeable and has been in business for over 25 years, and has built over 1,000 pools.

Sandy McGee will listen to what you want, and discuss all of your options with you. Then he will design a pool that will work for your space and meet your needs. He can also add outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and cedar structures to give you a year-round backyard living space.

By hiring an owner/builder experienced contractor like Sandy McGee, you will save yourself countless hours of worry and headaches. With onsite supervision, we manage every detail of your project to ensure that it’s finished on time and within budget. Our personalized service is nearly unmatched in the area. We won’t just sell you on the idea; we’ll be there to build it with you!

Fulfilling your dreams and creating a new lifestyle for your family by building a pool is a life changing event. Sound good? Let’s get started!

Getting Started: How Will You Use Your Pool?


Do you love the sounds a pool makes? Maybe you love the steady motion and ripples across its surface as the wind blows, or way it looks as rain hits its surface. There are many things about a pool that can create a natural tranquility. From the gentle burble of water across rocks to the soft white noise of the water pouring from a waterfall feature, there is so much relaxation to gain from noises alone.

How about the steady stream of water from laminar jets that makes you feel as though you’re at a spa in your own home. Maybe you enjoy the soft glow of lights illuminating the water at night or the reflection of your home and all the people in it across its surface?

Water is unique and many people are drawn to it simply because it makes them feel more at peace. The human body is made up of 60 percent water, and the entire earth is covered by two-thirds water, so it is easy to understand why we would be drawn to it.


There is nothing like the feel of cool, crisp water splashing all across your face and body on a hot summer day. Whether your idea of fun is a floating bed or a cannon ball, pools have been the source of entertainment for pool owners for years.

Underwater toys and games are everywhere during the summer and people can spend entire days together in their back yard. The fun atmosphere of a pool brings people together and keeps them there!

Consider water slides and diving boards as part of the fun. They add another level of entertainment for family and guests alike. We can help you design a pool that is both fun and entertaining!

Exercise and Sports

Play pools are great for exercise. They have a depth of 3ft to 5ft to 3 ft. This is perfect for water sports such as volleyball, basketball or lap swimming. Consider adding a spa to relax after a long day of sports and activity. It is a great way to stay in shape while having fun.

Function and Design

Now that you know how you want to use your pool and what you want it to look like, let’s explore deeper and discuss pool placement and additional uses.

Will you use your pool in the morning, afternoon or evening? Plan for maximum sun when your pool will be used the most. Are you going to use it to entertain the block? Are you planning on family barbeques after work? As previously mentioned, you’re going to need a sufficient amount of deck to accommodate entertaining.


A pool becomes the focal point of a backyard once installed. It will attract the eye, so you want the rest of the space to blend well to that. Play areas, gardens, patios and outdoor kitchens must be thought of before installing a pool. You will want to give yourself room to grow and expand as you continue developing your outdoor space.

Getting to the Specifics: Pool Planning

Shape and Size

These two things should be determined by you and/or your family’s lifestyle, as well as the size of your backyard. We can talk to you and help you determine the correct size and style to suit your needs. From traditional to custom pool shapes, we will help you ever step of the way.

Beyond Basic

When you’re building a pool you want someone who is detail-oriented. It’s the details that can take a pool from ordinary to extraordinary. The right pool options such as a flagstone entry, waterfalls, spas, water jets and rock formations really adds a lot to your pool. These are the final touches to a perfect paradise.


There are many different kinds of filters on the market. Your pool builder can educate you on sand filters, cartridge filters and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. The right filter clears your water of impurities, keeping your pool clean and healthy. We can help you choose the right filter for your pool.

Interior Surfaces

The pool surfacing choices are nearly endless. You can choose from traditional plaster finishes, fiberglass pool finishes, a more natural look with pebbles and stone. We have over 50 standard colors and can blend a color of your choice. Visit the pool and spa finishes section of our website to view some of the pool finish manufactures we work with.


Lying or lounging beside your pool is almost as much fun as being in it. The natural ambience and relaxation a pool represents is incredible. That is why choosing the right pool decking is so important. You will want a pool deck that reflects your pool style and works well with your space. Consider seating, shaded havens and fire pits on your pool deck. They are great for outdoor entertaining. Visit the decking section of our website for additional information.

Cleaning Systems

Remember, while owning a pool is a big responsibility, we can help you! You must always allocate part of your budget to the cleaning of a pool. Though it needs to look great, it also needs to be safe for you and your family.

There are many cleaners on the market today, and even more automated options that will make pool cleaning even easier. Paramount Pool & Spa systems offer in-floor cleaning and circulation systems for concrete, vinyl and fiberglass pools. This system will clean your pool so that you don’t have to! We have other cleaning systems for you to choose from.

  • McGee Pool also offers pool cleaning services. Visit Pool Services on our website for details!

Water Sanitizers

Maintaining a clean and sanitized pool is an important safety requirement. We can help you choose from traditional chlorine and chemical sanitation or more sophisticated cleaning methods like mineral based purification systems and salt chlorine generators. Let us help you choose the one that’s right for you and fits within your budget.

Water Features

Water features increases the entertaining and exciting qualities of any pool. They are a dynamic element that bring years of extra enjoyment. Exotic rock waterfalls, therapeutic spas, sparkling fountains, raised spillways and laminar jets are just some of your options.

Diving Pool

A diving pool is different from a traditional swimming pool in regards to depth. A minimum diving safety depth must be met. As an alternative to a diving board, you might consider a diving rock platform with a secluded grotto beneath it. Both are fun and entertaining features!


There are so many entertainment options you can invest in when installing a pool or spa. Imagine a swim-up bar with stools. How about an outdoor kitchen with a barbeque grill and refrigerator? What about an outdoor fireplace or fire pit with chairs to lounge in at night? Will you need umbrellas to protect you from the hot summer sun or chairs to seat many?

McGee Pool can transform your entire backyard into the outdoor oasis of your dreams. You can view tons of photos for ideas and you will be educated on what will work with your space.

Pool Lighting and Backyard Lighting

You can create a stunning outdoor atmosphere by installing a pool, custom water features and state of the art pool cleaning and circulation systems, but how’s it going to look at night? How are you going to use it at night and how will you keep the party going after the sun goes down?

  • *Pentair IntelliBrite® LED lights are the wave of the future in pool lighting.

Outdoor lighting is an essential element for any outdoor living space. Carefully controlled outdoor lighting can be designed to illuminate homes, water features, structures, foliage and pools. Purposeful lighting gives you the flexibility to extend your time outdoors during and after the sun sets, while practical or intense lighting illuminates pathways and cooking areas.

Individual switches, dimmers, motion detectors and automatic lights are important safety lighting features. They help you move easily at night, and they provide protection while you sleep or when you are away from home. Weather-resistant products and fixtures give you more flexibility, and new energy efficient bulbs provide high energy savings while creating a look you won’t be able to wait to show off.

The right lighting will increase your time spent outside to help maximize your investment.

Additional Information

Whatever reason you’re looking to build a pool, you’ve come to the right place. We have the experience, knowledge, personalized service and financial stability you need in a pool contractor. Sandy will be there every step of the way to help guide you to the pool or backyard living space of your dreams.

This guide is just a sneak peek at the pool planning process. For additional information you can browse through the website or give Sandy a call at 972-529-1712.

Contact McGee Pool to see if there is a custom maintenance plan we can create for your pool!


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Typical Project Budget:
$70,000 to $300,000

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McGee Pool & Patio, Inc., Swimming Pool Contractors, Dealers, Design, McKinney, TX