Homeowners are likely to make mistakes when buying an inground pool simply because of a lack of knowledge and understanding of the proper questions to ask their pool builder. Consequently, you just might save thousands of dollars and avoid a ton of frustration that comes from knowing which mistakes to avoid.
Make sure you ask the appropriate questions! It’s straightforward. If you ask the appropriate questions, you’ll be able to find 90% of the possible issues that most pool buyers confront. There’s always that 10% risk that something unexpected will occur, but for the most part, you’ll be able to prevent most unpleasant surprises.
However, you and most other pool buyers have the dilemma of knowing so little about pools and inground pool construction that you have no idea what questions to ask. That is why we’re trying to educate consumers about what they should consider. You will be one of the few pool buyers who “know what they’re talking about” after reading this article.
There’s a great book called “Find Your Why” written by Simon Senek. Knowing your “why” is applicable in this sense. Figuring out why you want a pool is almost as important as deciding what it will look like and who will build it.
Are you planning on building a pool for family fun, entertaining visitors, physical therapy, exercise, and personal enjoyment, or simply to beautify your backyard? Knowing the answers to the answers to these questions and finding out your “why” when it comes to buying a pool will help you avoid making some mistakes later on in the pool buying process.
“Form follows function” is a popular phrase you may have heard at some point in your life. To figure out what kind of pool you want, you must first figure out what you’ll be using it for. Knowing the exact purpose your pool area must serve is paramount in deciding exactly what you’re building. The type of pool you’ll build is determined by its intended usage and bather load requirements. Regionality plays into this as well. In Toronto, many homeowners simply prefer to build a fiberglass pool because of the high costs associated with concrete pool construction and a staggered pool construction cycle.
People who are thinking about buying a swimming pool almost always have a specific aim in mind. It’s crucial to share this with your pool designer and tell them exactly what needs the pool has to serve. This will be conveyed to the pool builders when factoring in your pool cost estimate.
Obviously, if you plan on using your pool mostly for family fun, you’ll want to include a few basic safety features like privacy walls or pool fencing in order to restrict access to the pool area. If your swimming pool will be primarily used for entertainment, you might want to combine sophisticated accent uplighting with unique backyard amenities like a pergola or firepit to enjoy conversations poolside.
If you’re building a pool with a young family, consider including a longer swimming section or large tanning ledge to your pool design. This will enable you to enjoy the pool area with younger swimmers. It also conveniently doubles as a sun deck and if you bring in a ledge lounger it adds a sophisticated and contemporary look to your swimming pool.
With that said, the majority of first-time pool owners happen to be people in their mid 30’s to mid-’50s with a young family. Incidentally, many of these consumers still want a huge pool with a deep end and a diving board. One interesting occurrence occurs. After a year of pool ownership, these new owners discover that the deep end is rarely used, and the diving board can become a safety and insurance problem to contend with.
Let’s be practical for a moment. The shallow end of your swimming pool is where the majority of the games are played by the youngsters, and where parents and grandparents are going to spend 95% of their time. Opting to build a massive pool with this huge impractical deep end where only 25% of the pool has a standing surface, can ultimately result in a larger pool construction cost and less pool usage for your family. By and large, if a deeper pool is desired, you’ll still want a 6-7 foot deep end with a healthy split of 40% shallow / 60% deep end. Allow for swim-outs and shelves if you plan on having a larger pool. The breaks in a pool are important and should be thoroughly considered when planning a pool.
If your yard is on a slope, you might want to consider a retaining wall so you can step down to the pool and have more privacy.
You should also have a clear idea or vision of how you want your entire backyard, not just your pool, to look. Both now and in the future, your pool should complement your current backyard and connect with your landscaping ambitions.
Make sure you have on-site consulting from the start so you can design your pool around the key uses and activities for which it will be utilized, as well as your overall vision for how you want your backyard to look.
Inground swimming pools are divided into three major categories: vinyl liner, fiberglass, and concrete. Because of the materials and construction methods used, concrete pools are generally the most expensive to install, they also take much longer to build. Vinyl liner pools are typically much less expensive to build and have a quicker construction time. The drawback there is that the vinyl liner will need to be replaced every 5-7 years.
A fiberglass inground pool offers the best value in terms of turnkey pool construction, flexibility in terms of design, and durability that consumers are looking for. Out of all possible options, a fiberglass inground pool is usually the one that consumers prefer because of its smooth interior finish. That’s another major drawback of going with a concrete pool. Typically a gunite or shotcrete pool will get a plaster interior finish that is rough to the touch and feet of swimmers. A vinyl liner pool has a smoother finish but again, the liner will never last as long as a fiberglass pool shell. Typically a fiberglass pool interior will hold up for decades before it needs to be reglazed.
Unfortunately, vinyl liner pools are usually only used for around a decade or two. They are a strong pool choice for consumers on a tight budget for their inground pool construction, however, they are not as durable as fiberglass pools. The vinyl lining inside the pool is attractive and comes in a variety of different patterns. Ultimately, all vinyl liners can be punctured and they are susceptible to environmental damage as well. This is something to consider when trying to decide long-term value over initial construction cost.
Because of the length of time and the various materials and expert tradesmen necessary to perform a concrete inground pool construction, many consumers opt to look for a simpler pool installation alternative. The length of time for pool construction is substantially longer than with a fiberglass pool, it’s a fact.
Steel rebar and the concrete shell first have to be installed. The concrete then needs to cure before the pool interior can be applied. This is a process that can take weeks, sometimes months to complete. The staggering difference in the time it takes to complete construction turns many homeowners’ feet cold when considering a concrete pool.
The cost for building a concrete pool is also typically more expensive. That’s another one of the pros of a fiberglass pool. In markets like Ontario Canada, concrete is going for a premium right now and construction crews are in high demand. Getting your inground pool shot with concrete might not be as simple a task as you think. As concrete crews rush to meet consumer demand, quality is going by the wayside.
Conversely, a fiberglass pool is manufactured to follow a rigid set of safety and construction protocols before it can ever leave the factory floor. Consistent quality and a stringent set of manufacturing guidelines ensure a quality pool construction experience and turnkey installation for your builder.
Concrete and gunite pools may have the advantage of being able to be built in nearly any shape or configuration. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive of the three types of pools to construct, and consumers rarely if ever see the value of choosing that type of construction over a fiberglass pool.