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 7 Things you need to know when purchasing a fiberglass swimming pool and pool installation

| Scott Prunty |

 7 Things you need to know when purchasing a swimming pool


Why the Design Process is so important

The design process is the most vital step in getting the pool of your dreams.  Like Ben Franklin said, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”  The process begins with a quick questionnaire to establish your wants and needs.  This is followed up with an on-site consultation to review the site and discuss your responses to the questionnaire.  While on-site the design team will review zoning requirements for the placement of the pool and other elements of the design.  From here the design team begins its magic to bring the ideas into a realistic 3D rendering of the final project.  This process typically takes the design team 1-2 weeks.  

Permitting pertaining to swimming pool construction

Zoning approval is the first step in obtaining a building permit for an inground pool.  Zoning will review the design plan that we have made along with a physical survey of your property to make their determination.  Once approved the plans go to permitting.  Permitting reviews technical data and construction processes to ensure they comply with current building codes.  It is extremely important that the builder pulls the building permit.  The permit holder is the one responsible and liable for following the building code.  This responsibility should fall on the professional.  Gas and electrical permits are additional to the pool building permit.  These must be pulled by licensed electricians and gas fitters.  A competent pool builder will have a team of electricians and plumbers they work with to pull these permits as part of their total pool installation package.   A team that works together provides better results.  

Homeowners Associations

Homeowners association rules vary by neighborhood and are not published public knowledge.  It is the client’s responsibility to know the requirements and provide them to their builder.  The team can design and build within the requirements of the HOA.   Most HOAs want to see detailed plans of what is to occur with the fiberglass pool installation.  The design provided will make this a breeze. 

Swimming Pool Equipment

The type of pool shell is important to the design and function of the inground pool.  But the equipment is what makes all the difference.  Like a fancy sports car, the engine and accessories are what make it a sportscar. Mix high performance and low maintenance for the ultimate pool package.  Here is what that looks like:

Automation:  Your swimming pool automation comes in many different forms and quality levels in pool construction.  We provide what we have found to be the best and most reliable on the market.  Jandy’s iAqualink automation system. Automation provides run time schedules for the pump, lights, heater, and salt systems.  Other accessories such as landscape lighting, fire, and water features can also be controlled.  The system also allows remote diagnostics for our team should you encounter any issues.  

Pumps: Would you floor your car from stoplight to stoplight if you wanted it to live a long life and to be efficient with your fuel?  NO,  so why would you use a single-speed pump that runs full speed all the time burning up electricity?  Variable speed pumps are the solution.  Operating at a lower RPM to efficiently cycle the water for filtration; with the ability of full speed for water features and cleaning cycles.  Extending the life of the pump and saving massive amounts of electricity.  This is one of the key elements of efficient pool design.

Filter: As a leading pool contractor, our preferred filter is a cartridge filter for excellent water clarity and low maintenance.  Filtration to 10 microns, no backwashing; less water waste, performs well at low speeds, such as with variable-speed pool pumps, and typically only requires filter cleaning once per season.

Salt Systems: One of the best advancements in pool maintenance is the Sanitizing system. Also referred to as a saltwater pool that is certainly less upkeep. Salt chlorinators are designed to function alongside variable-speed pumps, meaning pool owners can keep energy and maintenance costs down while trusting that sanitizer is still being generated automatically. With the consistent sanitizer levels delivered by salt chlorinators, pool owners spend up to 85% less money on chemicals compared to traditional chlorination methods. The cost of maintaining such a pool is simply less.

Lights: LED color-changing lights are a hands-down favorite at night.  But how many lights should your pool have?  The answer varies by size and shape, but typical lights should be spaced on average 8’ apart.  This ensures even lighting with no hot spots or dimly lit areas.  This is both aesthetically pleasing to the eye and for safety at night.  Control them with the automation app to change colors.  

Heater: The heater… the most underrated friend of the pool owner, but boy what a great home improvement!  For this pool accessory, we only recommended gas heaters in our climate. Heat pumps will work at times, but will not perform to their potential.  If you have ever got in a pool that was too cold and got right back out you understand why the heater makes sense.  So consider, if the water temperature you prefer to swim in is only June to September you will have 4 months to truly enjoy your pool.   Now if your pool company adds a heater and you only heat it once it’s warm enough out to swim, but the pool is too chilly for your liking, say May and October, you will gain two months of usable time.  That is 50% more usability of your pool investment for a fraction of the price.  

The pad: Equipment needs to be set up on a solid foundation.  A concrete pad provides this; HVAC pads are something you will want to avoid as they can move over time causing issues with your equipment.

Swimming Pool and Construction Warranty

Warranties are important, but only are as valuable as the company offering them.  Buying a pool shell and equipment from a reputable manufacturer is important and ensures the warranty will be there if needed.  We offer shells from Imagine Pools and Thursday Pools that have lifetime structural warranties.  Equipment from Jandy that has a 3-year part and labor warranty, but  ONLY because we are certified Jandy professional installers.  Buying from a noncertified installer will not get you the extended warranty period. On top of the manufacturer’s warranties, we offer a 3-year workmanship warranty.  

Construction Process of building your fiberglass swimming pool

All of that and we are just now talking about installing a pool. Why?  Because our experience has taught us that a successful pool project is much more than the build; it’s the planning, design work, proper pool shell, and equipment selection.  Without that the build doesn’t matter.  Timelines can vary for building a swimming pool, but typically; 1-2 days to dig the pool and haul out the dirt, 1 day to base out the pool with clean stone (no sand), 2-3 days to plumb the pool, backfill with clean stone and fill with water, 1 day to lock in the collar of the pool with concrete, and 1-2 days to plumb the equipment pad and hook up the electricity.   Typical installation from shovel to the ground until water is circulating is 7-14 days.  Once the construction is complete we will grade the yard, clean the pool, and balance the chemicals.  We will program the automation and set schedules.  Followed by a client orientation for their new pool .

Payment Options for your new swimming pool project

For most people building their dream pool is a one-time thing.  For some, it might not be your first rodeo, but ultimately getting what you want on the first try is important.  We recognize that the investment made has been from years of savings and planning, and sometimes you just don’t want to give that hard-earned money away.  Knowing that we have teamed up with several lenders to provide payment options.  Whether you want to add more than what you budgeted for, like spending other people’s money or just enjoy having a fat nest egg, we have options.  Just ask and we can help make the recommendation best for your situation.  

Thanks for stopping by and hope this post has provided you with valuable knowledge to get your project started.  

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Written By Scott Prunty

Scott Prunty is the president of Solid Structures. Throughout his 15 active years in the Design-Build Outdoor Living industry, he has earned various certifications in the areas of ICPI Residential, ICPI Advanced Residential, ICPI Commercial, PCIP, and is an ICPI certified instructor.

  • 15 years actively in the Design-Build Outdoor Living industry
  • ICPI certified Instructor
  • ICPI Residential, ICPI Advanced Residential, ICPI Commercial, and PCIP certified
  • Imagine Pools certified installer
  • Fluidra certified installer
  • Trex Platinum Pro
  • Avid saltwater person, boating, diving, surfing, fishing
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