Ask the General: What is a pre-construction meeting, and do I actually need one?

Dear General, 

My neighbor asked me if I had a “pre-construction meeting” set up for our new pool. I nodded slowly and said, “Uh no, not yet,” and then quickly changed the subject. What is a pre-construction meeting, and do I actually need one? Thanks in advance for your answer.

– New To This In Newport

inground fiberglass pools


Hi Newport, 

Not a bad question from your neighbor at all! If you’re getting set to dig, landscape, plumb, crane and engage in all the other elements of constructing your pool and pool deck, it is a great idea to set a meeting. Let me provide some context. Normally after the pool contract is signed, a period of time passes between the signing and the actual dig day. A pool project requires ordering, production, preparation and other coordination. In that time period, it’s easy for checklist items to be forgotten, imagined or not entirely in consensus. The pre-construction meeting is the opportunity for everyone—the homeowner, the sales/design team and the construction superintendent—to get on the same page.


Top two reasons to ask for a pre-construction meeting

  1. It gets you ready. You get answers to key questions you may not even know you will have. It might seem like an extra step, but speaking from experience, it is always a time-saver and benefits the efficiency and clarity of the project. Does the fence need to be moved? Where is the initial water fill coming from? Questions like this must be understood by all ahead of time. Even if it’s a one-man operation and your pool guy is the salesman, truck-driver and construction foreman all-in-one, a meeting within about 10 days of construction is a great time to review the contract, design and construction process.
  2. It ensures your dealer checks all the boxes. When I first arrived from the airline industry, I was comfortable in a world of checklists, status reports, official reviews and so on. Guesswork or assumptions were simply not an option in that industry. And I think most passengers intuitively understand this and go along with the necessary protocols for the safety and well-being of all. So, when I started in the pool industry, it was a bit of a shock to experience a gray area between what was said, what was assumed and what was done. I felt the industry could use some “flight control.”  I wanted that level of commitment to the mission, so I developed a “Superintendent’s Report for Pool Construction.” This report goes in tandem with the meeting where we would discuss pool elevation, electrical box type (this is key!), landscaping, and many more details of the construction. Check all the boxes, and things will be looking all clear for making that pool a reality.

What a good pre-construction meeting looks like

In my experience, a good pre-construction meeting, goes something like this: 

  • It usually lasts 90 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity of your pool project.
  • Your pool dealer will walk the yard, chalk or paint the pool location, taking note of and avoiding any buried utilities. 
  • Your pool dealer will set a benchmark, so you will be able to see the finished elevation of the pool.
  • There should be a discussion about rainfall and an explanation/demonstration on how rainwater will drain around the pool and decking.
  • Your pool dealer will prepare you for dig day. Not everyone has experienced this. It can be uncomfortable watching heavy machines destroy your backyard! But with a little forewarning, you will rest easier during the digging and start anticipating seeing it all come back together again with a beautiful pool. 
  • Your pool dealer will review the contract with you and review what is included and what would be considered your responsibility.

A beautifully made pool requires a professional approach. Newport, I hope that answers your question, and I hope that you are proactive and insist on a pre-construction meeting. Your pool will be greater for it!  

Until next time…
– The General