Living in Tampa makes swimming a year-round activity, and there’s no better way to escape hot and humid days than with a dazzling pool. Choosing the right swimming pool and pool company can be a challenge, however. ConsumerAffairs researched the best pool builders in Tampa to get purchasing advice and find the right options for you.
Backyard swimming pools are an excellent way to entertain guests and cool off in the Florida heat. They’re popular in Tampa neighborhoods that don’t have homeowners associations with community pools. Older and more established areas like Hyde Park, Bayshore and South Tampa have larger yards, lots of kids and a population that desires to maintain well-landscaped lawns and outside living spaces that often include pools.
Choosing between inground or above ground swimming pools in Tampa
Pool builders in Tampa often specialize in inground or above ground pools, but some companies sell and install both. When you’re deciding which is best for you, consider these factors and how they impact your lifestyle and budget.
Inground vs. above ground pools in Tampa
Above ground pool
Adds value to your Tampa home
Great for entertaining
Takes just a few days to install
Less space is needed
More maintenance required
Higher electric bills
Adds no value to your Tampa home
No deeper than 48” or 52”
Outdoor entertaining and daily use
Homeowners on a budget
Buyers can choose different sizes, shapes, water features and surrounding patio designs
Wrap-around decks and railings can be added to outdoor pools
Average installation cost
$25,000 - $80,000
$2,000 - $12,000
Above ground pools are typically built with steel or aluminum outer walls and a vinyl interior liner. Companies have more options for constructing materials when building inground pools, with each type of pool having different benefits.
Concrete pools, also known as gunite pools, are popular in Tampa because of their unlimited customization options. These swimming pools are perfect for Tampa residents who are looking for a centerpiece for a landscape design or want features such as a multi-level pool. Concrete pools take longer to build, however, and require more cleaning because of the porous material.
Fiberglass pools are durable and easier to maintain than concrete pools but have limited customization options. Because these pools are pre-built by the manufacturer, buyers are limited to the selection offered by their contractor and cannot design their own.
Vinyl pools are the least expensive option for inground swimming pools. These pools are relatively customizable but less durable and require the owner to replace the liner every six to 12 years. Liner replacement typically costs around $4,500, depending on the type of liner and pool size.
Keep in mind that inground pools are considered permanent, while you can remove an above ground pool if you no longer want it or would rather sell your home without it. Consider the size of your yard as well — if you have a large backyard, you can install an inground pool that’s any size or shape. If you have a smaller yard, an aboveground pool might fit better.
Maintaining your pool in Tampa
Regular maintenance is vital to keep your pool safe, extend its life span and keep it working at peak performance. Besides cleaning, you also need to ensure the water has the correct pH balance. Even if you have your swimming pool professionally cleaned regularly, you’ll want to have the following supplies handy:
When talking to pool builders in Tampa, get an idea of what you can expect in terms of construction timelines and cost. Some questions you should ask before buying a pool include:
Do you offer on-site inspections to help determine the best pool for my yard?
How long will the installation take?
What kind of payment plans or financing do you offer?
Do you have warranties on parts, materials and the life of the pool?
Do you offer maintenance packages?
How do you prevent damage, corrosion and general wear and tear?
Do you offer saltwater and chlorine water, and which do you recommend?
What kinds of chemicals do you use, and how do I know if the amounts are off?
The City of Tampa requires homeowners to apply for a permit before installing an inground or above ground pool. In addition to the general swimming pool permit, you may also need permits for electrical, plumbing, fencing and site clearing work. An experienced swimming pool contractor lets you know what is required and helps with any necessary permits.
Blue World Pools specializes in affordable above ground pools and offers three different pool models and pricing plans. Installation is available seven days a week, and the company’s experience as a volume dealer enables them to keep prices low. Tampa reviews indicate the pools are low-maintenance and the company’s customer service is outstanding.
Jandy Pro Series is a pool automation company providing services and solutions to pool builders in Tampa and around the country. The company can provide a list of local dealers who use high-quality products and materials in their pool designs. The user-friendly supplies provided by Jandy are easily connected to smartphones and other digital devices.
Larsen's Pool & Spa
Larsen’s Pool & Spa is a local Tampa pool company that has been in business for over 30 years. It has a local reputation for reliability and value; reviewers in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties rave about available warranties and the company’s high industry standards. Larsen’s is a member of the Florida Swimming Pool Association.
Grand Vista Pools
Tampa homeowners can have Grand Vista Pools build a customized swimming pool and complementary outdoor living space. The company is locally owned and operated, and it uses state-of-the-art design software to create and install pools. Reviews from Tampa customers praise Grand Vista’s customer service and the stress-free experience it provides.
Located in North Tampa, Trendsetter Pools offers customized pools with high-quality construction and installation. The company performs on-site evaluations and personal consultations to help design the perfect pool. Trendsetter provides a number of warranties, including a 25-year pool shell guarantee. Tampa customers say the company is fast, reliable and has competitive prices.