THINKING OF PUTTING IN A POOL? MAKE SURE YOU GET THE JOB DONE RIGHT.
6 THINGS TO WATCH FOR WHEN BUYING A POOL
A pool is one of the largest investments that homeowners make to enhance their property. Sp it only makes sense that you get your pool built properly so that you can have worry-free enjoyment for many years to come.
Unfortunately, many pool contractors cut costs by cutting corners, but that typically results in an inferior product that costs you much more in maintenance and repairs than you saved in the first place. Whether you choose a fiberglass pool, a vinyl liner pool or a semi-inground pool, there are certain things you should watch for when having your pool built. Knowing these things will ensure that you avoid the headaches and expense of dealing with costly repairs down the road.
#1 – DESIGN
Let’s start with design. Your pool is the centerpiece of your backyard, so it should be designed with your entire outdoor living space in mind. Too often, a pool builder will show up and start marking off an area for the pool with little thought given to how the pool integrates with the rest of the property. Creative Homescapes has been creating beautiful backyard living spaces since 1987. We know how to design a pool that will maximize the beauty and enjoyment of your outdoor living space. Our professional designers will consult with you to determine what’s most important to you and create a pool design that suits your property, your lifestyle and your budget.
#2 – POOL WALLS
Corrosion is a huge issue with pools in our climate. Pool walls that corrode are a primary source of leaks, particularly when the walls are made of steel and especially if they are poorly installed. Most pool builders use steel walls for their vinyl pools. In an effort to cut costs, many of them use steel imported from China, which is often sub-grade and not properly rust-protected. The results are often dramatic – and extremely expensive for the unfortunate homeowner.
How do we make sure that this doesn’t happen to you? We use polymer instead of steel for all our vinyl pool installations. Polymer walls are virtually as strong as steel and are non biodegradable, increasing the longevity of the pool. They’re engineered for superior strength and endurance and won’t rust, rot, dent, or corrode. They use a non-corrosive, sturdy bracing system, with industry standard panel heights (42“), and come with a 50 year limited warranty.
Polymer walls cost a little more – but it’s worth it. You don’t want to take the risk that your pool will end up like the one in the photo above. Of course, if you choose a fiberglass pool you don’t have to worry about this issue at all. Fiberglass pools are constructed in one solid piece and are extremely durable. They’re built to last a lifetime.
#3 – PIPES & FITTINGS
Another key component of your pool, and one that is also a major source of leaks, are the pipes and fittings used for the pool’s plumbing. We use only high-quality construction grade pool fittings for our pool plumbing. It costs a little more, but it’s the better way to build a pool. You’ll save money in the long run and be much more satisfied with your pool.
Some pool installers cut corners by using low quality PVC pipes and cheap fittings for pool plumbing. They’re easier to install and cost less. Unfortunately, they’re also susceptible to cracks and leaks, particularly in colder climates such as ours. You might save a little up front, but those savings quickly go down the drain when you have to rip up your pool deck and landscaping to find and repair a leak. Avoid the headaches and the cost – get the job done right to start with.
#4 – DRAINAGE SYSTEM
Just like your basement, a pool needs a proper drainage system to prevent excessive water buildup around and beneath your pool. This has become even more important in recent years with the high water tables we’ve experienced in our region. If you know of anyone who’d ever had their basement flood, you’ll easily understand this.
Unfortunately, most pool builders skip this critical step in order to cut costs. But all too often, you end up paying for it down the road. There are three things we do to ensure that every pool we build has a proper drainage system.
The first is using high-quality clear stone for backfilling around the pool. Clear stone provides the necessary wall support while allowing water to properly drain away from your pool walls and fittings. Some pool builders cut corners and costs backfilling around the pool walls with the dirt excavated from the pool. Why is this a problem? Because the dirt and clay from most excavations will pack tightly around your pool fittings and pipes and won’t drain well. Any shifting of the ground, common with our area’s freezing and thawing cycles, can exert enormous pressure on the pool walls and fittings. When that happens, the pool walls can bow out or the pipes and fittings can come loose or leak, resulting in costly repairs. No self-respecting pool builder backfills with dirt.
Next, we install a Big O drainage pipe around the pool perimeter to channel excess water away from your pool. This works the same way that the big O tile or pipe works around your basement.
Finally, we install a sump pump with every pool we build. Altogether, this process ensures proper drainage and all but eliminates excess water build-up around the pool. And just as important – it gives you peace of mind, even in the wettest weather.
#5 – POOL FLOOR
Next, let’s talk about the pool floor. Have you ever heard of a pool liner floating? That’s caused by excessive amounts of water building up between the liner and the pool floor, pushing it upward. There are typically two causes of this. First, you could have a tear or leak in your liner, and the pool water is getting under the liner. The second cause is more problematic. It could be that water is coming up from the ground underneath the liner, forcing it up.
How does this happen? When building a vinyl pool, you need to construct the floor to prevent water from seeping through and getting under the liner. Some installers use only a mortar-like material for their floor. It can be installed quickly, but the material is porous by nature, and does not properly prevent water seepage.
We start by laying down a concrete substrate before applying the pool floor. This provides additional protection from seepage and ………………………………………………………………………… We also install a sump pump with every pool we build in order to eliminate any excess water that builds around the floor or walls of your pool. This should be standard practice for all pool builders, particularly with the higher water tables we have experienced in our region in recent years. If your pool builder isn’t doing this, ask them why.
And once again – with a fiberglass pool, you have no worries about liners or pool floors.
#6 – EQUIPMENT
Finally, let’s talk about equipment. It’s easy to cut initial costs by using inexpensive pumps, filters and other pool equipment. It saves some money up front, but in the long run you end up paying more. Here’s why.
Cheaper pumps run less efficiently than higher-quality pumps. They work harder to draw and circulate water, resulting in larger electricity bills. And inefficient sand filters cause pumps to work harder as well, exacerbating the problem.
We use Hayward pool equipment in our installations. Hayward is among the industry’s top providers of quality pumps, filters and heaters and more. They offer the most energy-efficient pumps and heaters on the market, backed by one of the industry’s best warranties. Over a 10 year period, most of the higher end pools we build can recognize energy savings of $10,000 – $20,000.
Another way to reduce operating costs is using a variable speed pump. A variable speed pump operates at less than 100% capacity most of the time, dramatically cutting down the amount of electricity used. It runs quieter, delivers better water filtration and reduces the burden on pipes and plumbing. It can also be programmed to operate at only certain times of day, resulting in even more hydro savings.
Good equipment can make you pool run more efficiently and give you clearer, cleaner water. A pool with the proper equipment and hydraulics system can save you from $10 to $15 thousand dollars in the first 7 to 10 years of owning your pool.
That’s a quick overview of the things to watch for when you contract a company to build your pool. We can’t stress this enough – cutting corners to offer a less expensive pool is a poor practice that results in an inferior product that is prone to problems. We believe in doing the job the right way, right from the start. Quality may cost a little more at the outset, but you’ll more than recover that cost in long term savings and in the many years of enjoyment that you’ll get from a quality-built pool from Creative Homescapes.
Choose from Vinyl Liner, Semi-Inground and Fiberglass (click an image for more information)
Enhance your new pool with a custom deck, water features or stonescaping to create a beautiful backyard masterpiece.
We use only industry-leading Hayward equipment in all of our installations.