Choosing a Pool

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own your very own in ground swimming pool?  Are you aware that there are several types of in ground swimming pools available?  How do you decide which type is best for you?  In the world of in ground swimming pools you have some decisions to make.  Where to start?

First you will have to decide if owning an in ground swimming pool is right for you.  Many people who want an in ground swimming pool are those who are either looking for a place to relax throughout the summer, or they are looking for something to enrich the lives of their family as a whole.

Most people are already aware that an in ground swimming pool represents a significant investment and should not be taken lightly.  Regardless of which type of in ground pool you decide on, you will have to put some of your hard earned money into it.  Obviously with that hard earned money in your backyard, you will want your pool to stay the best it can be for many years to come.  This is where the different types of pools come into play.

There are basically three types of in ground pools on the market today, and they are all very different from one another as far as the structure and the building of them go.  To begin lets start with the concrete pools.

Concrete Pool

This is the “high” end pool in the industry.  Likewise you will be paying the “high” end price for it.  This pool is constructed entirely in the backyard.  That being said, it will have no manufacturer warranties with it.  This means if something does go wrong, the cost to repair it will come directly from your pocket.  I am not sure how much you know about concrete but there is an understanding among those who work with it everyday, and that is that concrete will crack and it is just a matter of where it will crack.  Have you ever noticed how a sidewalk is divided into sections.  The lines that run through a sidewalk are put there for a purpose, and that is in an effort to control where the concrete will crack.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Imagine having a brand new pool and suddenly a crack appears at the bottom of it.  Imagine that the crack is deep enough, and now your pool is losing water.  Now what?  You have to have the pool drained and the crack repaired.  Now you have the expenses of having the crack repaired, refilling the pool, re-treating the water with chemicals, and re-heating the water.  On top of all that you now have an area at the bottom of the pool where the repair has been made and is visible to all.  You spent all of that money on your pool to have an eyesore smack dab in the middle of it.

Another thing that I think you should know about concrete is that it is not the most forgiving material.  It is abrasive and never hesitates to remind you of that fact.  Don’t believe me, well skinned knees and elbows don’t lie.

The majority of people that get this type of pool typically get it for the symbol of social status that accompanies it.  In my opinion there is nothing better about this pool than any other type of pool.  In the end you have water in your backyard, you just paid more for it to be there, and you will likely continue to pay for it.  This brings me to the next type of pool on the list.

One Piece Fiber Glass

This is a type of pool that I think is fairly new to the industry.  It is supposedly a quality product that will compliment your backyard quite well.  To me that is a little misleading.  This type of pool is molded in a factory and brought to the location where it will be installed.  This means that the size and shape are predetermined by the manufacturer.  There is not a lot of room for customization, and if your backyard is not suitable for the sizes and shapes that are offered then you don’t get one.  If you can’t get one it will be difficult for it to compliment your backyard won’t it.  Another downside to this aspect is that they are not representative of your personal style.  You might get one and then the next summer, Bob from down the street gets the exact same pool.  As far as them being a quality product, that is up for debate as well.  This type of pool is not exactly structurally sound.  It is not made to support itself.  This becomes apparent during the build when the pool has to be filled at the same rate as it is being backfilled.  This means that the the water level inside the pool has to be the same as the backfill around the pool.  This is to keep the pool from collapsing in on itself or from blowing out.  There is another well known issue with these pools that you should be aware of.  Being that they are a solid impermeable shell, they are capable of floating, and popping out of the ground.  This happens when pressure from water in the ground exceeds that of the pressure in the pool itself.  Typically this is only an issue when the pool is drained for one reason or another.  Manufacturers of this type of pool will argue that there is no reason for draining the pool.  That begs the question, how is someone to do a surface repair under water.  For instance, when fading occurs, or if the shell cracks.  Certainly these types of repairs would need to be done above the water level.  Or what happens when the plumbing fails overnight and your pump continues to run.  You wake up with a flooded backyard and an empty pool, or worse case scenario, you wake up with a flooded backyard and a pool that has popped out of the ground.  Now you have a huge expense you need to make to repair everything.  You can find examples of this by searching the internet.  So what type of pool is left?

Vinyl Liner

Vinyl liner in ground pools are in my opinion the best bang for your buck.  There are a couple types of material that they can be made from to offer the best possible pool for your needs.  In addition to that, they are entirely self supportive.  They do not need to be backfilled and filled with water at the same rate.  Another benefit is that the building material is manufactured in a controlled setting, so most manufacturers will offer several warranties for their products.  This means that if something does fail, it will likely be taken care of at little or no cost to the homeowner.  The fact that they are made up of individual components also means that repairs are often quick and easy.  A huge benefit is that they are entirely customizable.  Regardless of your backyard needs, a pool can be designed to accommodate them.  Do you need a small but elegant pool, or do you need a large unique shape to fill up a huge backyard?  Either way a pool can be designed to fit your needs.  Some might argue that the liner would need to be replaced every few years or so.  This is somewhat true, however if the pool is well taken care of the liner can last anywhere from 7 to 12 years.  In addition to that changing the liner allows the homeowner a chance to change the look of their pool by simply changing the design of the liner.  The liner itself is vinyl, so there is no abrasion associated with it.  Say good bye to skinned knees and elbows.

These are just some of the differences between the three main types of in ground pools.  Obviously you can make your own decision on what is best for you.  However I hope this post sheds some light on the subject.  For more information on vinyl liner in ground pools, or general swimming pool information please feel free to check out the rest of my blog as I have written about just about every topic related to swimming pools.  As always feel free post a question or comment and I will do my very best to address them.

The Problem with One Piece Fiberglass In Ground Pools

The one piece fiberglass pool is becoming more popular each year, but I think that there are some things that you should know before having one of them installed in your backyard.  The following are aspects of the one piece fiberglass pool that they don’t want you to know.

– The Structure – 

As water is drained, the pressure outside the pool causes the pool wall to cave in

This is an aspect that I feel often gets overlooked, unless of course you are an installer in which case you are probable well aware of it.  Being that they are made of fiberglass, they have some flex to them and they are not a self supportive structure.  If fact if you have one of these pools, you may have noticed that during the build the builder was filling the pool with water as they were backfilling the pool.  The reason they do this is to equalize the pressure.  Many people don’t even think about the fact that the water in the pool weighs a tremendous amount.  That weight pushes out against the sides of the pool, and if there is nothing around the pool to support the weight of the water in it then you could potentially face the very real potential for the pool walls to collapse, causing irreparable damage to the structure.  On the other hand If the pool were to be backfilled without any water in it, then it could collapse in on itself or at the very least not hold its shape.  Either way it is something that should be considered during the installation process.  The best way to avoid this issue is to backfill the pool and add water at the same rate.  This will help prevent the structure from failing.

– Limited Sizes and shapes – 

As the name suggests, this type of pool is made entirely out of one piece of material.  This type of pool is molded in a factory somewhere.  This means that the size of pools available is limited to the amount of space available in the factory.  The shape of the pool is also limited to the molds that the factory has to work with.  This basically means that there is no customization.  You choose from what is available and that is that.  It is essentially a cookie cutter process.  The factory produces these pools over and over again.  You will not get to add your personal touch and design tastes to the pool.  You get what you get and that may also be what your neighbor has.  If you are looking to get a large extravagant pool then you may want to consider going a different route because even the largest one piece fiberglass pool is still relatively small.

– Don’t dare drain the pool –

This comes back to the issue with structural integrity.  Some say that there would never be any reason to drain this type of pool, but I strongly disagree.  There is always the potential for something to happen where the repair would require that the pool be drained.  For instance, what if there is a leak at the main drain, or a crack shows up on the bottom.  There are also situations that could cause the pool to lose water unintentionally.  Perhaps your filter cracks and you lose the majority of the water through it.  This has happened in the past.  A family left their home for a few days and upon their return they saw a mess in their backyard.  The pool had lost water from the plumbing failing at the filter pad.  As a result their pool popped out of the ground which in turn destroyed the concrete around it.  In my opinion that is the worst case scenario.  Another thing that could have happened stems back to the difference of pressure.  When the pool drains the pressure inside the pool becomes less and less, and the pressure outside the pool stays the same.  This could lead to the collapsing of the walls of the pool.  In the case I just mentioned the pressure from ground water under the pool was great enough to force the pool out of the ground.  Without the weight of the water inside the pool there was nothing holding it down.

– Problems with the finish – 

Blemish remains after repair is made

As I said before these pools are made primarily of fiberglass that is eventually coated with a smooth gel coat finish.  One issue that I have heard of is that this finish is susceptible to fading, leaving behind an eye soar.  If that were to happen on the bottom, then there is yet another reason the pool would need to be drained.  From what I have come to find out this type of repair is not cheap, and in many cases does not last.

– Location Location Location – 

I have built some pools in some pretty isolated or hard to get to locations.  This leaves me wondering how a one piece fiberglass pool would be delivered to a similar location.  Typically these pools are brought in on the back of a semi truck and crane lifted around the house or in some cases over the house to the back yard.  So from that alone I can’t imagine that having one delivered would be cheap. So how much would it be to have one delivered to a place where a semi truck can’t gain access to? How would they even get it there then?  I once attended a series of training seminars at a company that manufactures one piece fiberglass pools.  This question was brought up at that meeting.

We were told that this company in particular could deliver the pools a number of ways including by helicopter and boat.  So now you have to pay for helicopter delivery?  $$CHA-CHING$$  So all that being said, the location of the install and the amount of money the customer is willing to spend plays a huge role in the practicality of this pool.

These are some of the issues associated with one piece fiberglass pools.  Some say that there is no way that they will pop out of the ground,  some say that there will never be any reason to drain the pool, and some even say that they are structurally sound.  However the old adage remains true.  A picture is worth 1000 words.  All the pictures shown in this post suggest that they do in fact pop out of the ground, they are not structurally sound, and they are not the easiest pools to work with in general.

For more information on in ground swimming pools, specifically vinyl liner in ground pools check out my other blog posts.

Why get a pool

A swimming pool is a large investment and an even larger commitment.  If you think about it having a swimming pool is like adding another member to your family.  You have to buy things for it, you have to take care of it, you have to interact with it, and of course you have to give it water.  If it had a personality of its own or a consciousness its relationship with you would be unconditional.  No matter what you do your pool will be there doing the same thing it always does.  It can act as a place of refuge from the stresses of the outside world.  It can act as a place of entertainment for you, your loved ones, and your friends.  It can be a tool of therapy for both emotional and physical ailments.  It can act as a romantic setting to impress a date.  It be a peaceful setting for late night drinks or evening dinners.  There are many things that a swimming pool can be if you treat it with care and respect.  You can literally become the envy of your neighbors by having a beautiful inground swimming pool.  There are several different types of inground swimming pools available today.  When you have made the decision to have a pool installed this one of the first obstacles you will have to over come.  When deciding you will want to keep a few things in mind.

First you will have to look into your wallet and decide how much you are willing and able to spend on a pool.  The most expensive type of pool available is the concrete pool.  This is the type of pool that you will likely see movie stars having in their own backyards.  I think that the price is partially due to prestige that people feel when they have one.  It’s kind of like having designer clothes and high end luxury cars.  A lot of the cost is wrapped up into the name.  People buy these things because they want to feel important and powerful.  Truthfully while concrete pools, designer clothes, and luxury cars are nice, there are other lines, brands, and styles that are just as good and not nearly as expensive.  While a concrete pool might help to separate you from the rest of your neighbors, there are some drawbacks.  They might seem trivial to some but to others they may be a deal breaker.  First a concrete pool surface is the most abrasive surface of the types of pools.  You might think no big deal but you must realize that if you have children running around the pool and jumping in and out of the pool everyday you will likely spend a good amount of time playing medic, and treating scraped knees and elbows.  The other downside of this abrasive characteristic is that it provides a good place for algae and bacteria to settle and thrive.  Another drawback is that being concrete if you should ever have a problem with the plumbing of the pool you will have to have the concrete busted up to get to the plumbing and then re-poured again.  This type of repair could again result in a good amount of money leaving your wallet.

So now you might be thinking about those one piece fiberglass pools you have seen in southern states.  I have installed a few of these in the past and my honest opinion is that these pools are not the best way to go.  One thing that I don’t really like about them is that they only come in a few shapes and sizes.  That being said I wouldn’t want the same pool that my neighbor could just as easily get.  With the fact that there are only a few different options to choose from, there is not much that can be done to suit your specific wants or needs or to adjust for specific backyards.  It is what it is, and no matter how they are advertised they are not very big.  A major drawback its that this type of pool is not self supportive and if you ever need to drain the pool it could very easily collapse on itself.  Another problem with draining a one piece fiber glass pool is that if there is water underneath the pool when you drain it, there could be the possibility that the force could shove the pool out of the ground.  This is actually more common than I thought.

The best choice in my opinion is a vinyl liner inground pool.  They are cheaper than a concrete pool and cheaper to repair if something should happen.  In addition to that they can be made into virtually any shape or form to fit any backyard or personal taste.  You can also change the look of them by simply replacing the liner with a new one of a different pattern.  So if you get tired of looking at the same old pool year after year you will have the ability to drastically change the look of it by getting a new liner.  Another huge benefit is that the surface of the vinyl liner is smooth not rough so it will save your little swimmers from scrapped knees and elbows while at the same time aid in the cleaning of your pool because there are no rough areas for algae and bacteria to attach to.  With this type of pool you can achieve the same luxurious look of a concrete pool at a fraction of the cost.  With today’s technology you can have a virtually maintenance free pool and coupling that technology with a vinyl liner in ground pool you will greatly improve the possibility of having a maintenance free pool.

A swimming pool is supposed to be something that is loved and enjoyed for a long time.  Choosing the right type of swimming pool is the first step in loving it.  If you choose the wrong type then you can be looking at something that causes you unnecessary stress rather than something that offers you a care free relaxing environment.  For more information on the types of pools, the technology available for your pool, and many other topics related to swimming pools please check out my other blog posts.  I currently have 44 different posts on all sorts of topics related to inground swimming pools and specifically vinyl liner inground pools so chances are if you are curious about something, I have you covered.

Only Alpha Pool Products – Technological Advanvces

Only Alpha pool products is by far the leader in innovative, technologically advanced in ground vinyl liner swimming pool building materials.  They have successfully taken something that has been done one way for decades and flipped in on end opening the door for the next generation of in ground vinyl liner swimming pools.  Their cutting edge technology coupled with their dedication to customer service and years of experience in the in ground swimming pool industry leaves the competition behind to try and play catch up.  people have been building in ground swimming pools for decades, and they have built them out of a variety of materials.  I want to take the time to go over some of these materials and explain some of the downfalls of such materials.

To begin, Lets look at the old way of building in ground swimming pools out of wood.  Yes that’s not a typographical error, they actually used to build in ground pools out of wood.  In fact if my memory serves me correctly which it usually does there are actually a few builders out there today that still do this.  As a builder myself this is shocking to me.  I mean seriously!  Have you ever seen a piece of wood that has been left outside for a number of years.  Just look at an old wooden fence and how after a number of years it starts to deteriorate.  Some might say, “well the wood being used in the in ground swimming pools is treated lumber so it lasts longer”.  That is all well and good but the fence in my backyard is somewhere around the 15 year old mark and the lumber used to build it was treated and yet it is still falling apart.  The other thing about a fence is that while it is exposed to the elements, it is not sitting in a perpetual state of dampness like a pool sitting in the ground would be.  In my professional opinion, having a wooden structure in the ground as the “backbone” of a pool is a ridiculous notion that should have passed away along with those long ago that thought a wooden in ground pool was a good idea.

Somewhere along the path of technological advancements somebody came along and decided that concrete was the way to go for the structure of in ground swimming pools.  Don’t get me wrong this was a huge step forward from the wooden pool, and is still being used today by hundreds of builders for both residential and commercial purposes.  The only problem with a concrete pool is that concrete will crack at some point.  Think about how every spring the city sends out road crews to fix cracks and potholes in the roads that appeared in a matter of months over the winter.  Or think about how every sidewalk you have ever seen is divided into sections by a worker with a saw.  The reason for that is in an effort to try and control where the sidewalk will crack, and yes i said “where the sidewalk WILL crack”.  Every Concrete workers know that the concrete will eventually crack.  Now what do you suppose will happen if that concrete pool containing a massive volume of water cracks?  You guessed it.  It will probably leak.  Not to mention that it will be an eyesore in the pool for everyone that sees it.  The other thing about a concrete pool is that they have become what people consider to be a high end pool.  After all every movie star or sports figure out in California with a pool has a concrete pool.  That alone is enough to cause the price of a concrete pool to be very high compared to other types of pools.  In addition to the initial high cost of installation, you have to understand that all of the plumbing lines and fittings in the pool are now encased in concrete.  This means if the is ever a problem with one of the lines or fitting you will have to pay someone to come out and break up the concrete to fix it.  That would be a pretty expensive repair.  The last thing I want to say about concrete pools is that once you have it there is very little that can be done in terms of changing the look of it.  In other words you could look at a thirty year old concrete pool and see that it is a thirty year old pool.

I think that at some point someone realized that concrete is not the best solution for everyone.  Considering that the majority of the population in the U.S. that might want a pool are middle class families that actually want to use a pool for recreation rather than to have one to represent their social class standing, there was a need to come up with a way to cut down on cost.  Pools started being made using steel.  This cut down the cost of swimming pools so more people could enjoy them while still offering superior structural integrity compared to that of a wooden pool.  The problem with steel is that it is corrosive.  Over time it will rust and lose some of that structural integrity.  I have seen steel walls that have have holes rusted right through them.  Granted that was on a thirty year old pool.  So if you think about it in those terms the cost is relative to the quality.  Steel is a widely used material for the building of vinyl liner in ground swimming pools.

However Only Alpha Pool Products had taken that to the next level.  They still use the common 14 gauge galvanized steel that has become the cornerstone of steel wall vinyl liner in ground pools, but what they have done is developed a proprietary clear coat that gets put on each panel after the galvanization that actually protects the steel and galvanization by actively repelling water away from the panel.
The other difference that sets their steel panel apart from the rest is their patented “Spert” riveting system.  While other manufacturers use toggle locks which can easily be broken to hold their panels together, Only Alpha Pool Products’ “Spert” technology is a superior way of locking the panel flanges together resulting in an unbreakable bond.

One of the newer types of pools on the scene is what is known as a one piece fiber glass pool.  This type of pool is just that.  It is created by a mold and is all one piece of material that gets put in the ground to give homeowners a pool.  The problem with this type is that the structure is not self supportive.  That means that it has to be back filled at the same rate that it is being filled with water to equalize the pressure of the water in the pool.  Once the pool is finished being built just hope that you don’t ever have to drain it for any reason.  Being that the pool is not self supportive, if it needs to be drained then you will lose that equilibrium of pressure.  If this happens the the pressure of the earth around the pool pushing inward could very well cause the entire structure to collapse in on itself.  In addition to that enormous flaw.  This type of pool is limited to its size and versatility.  You won’t get a lot of options in regards to personal taste and backyard needs.

Only Alpha’s Composite

Finally, my favorite building material is composite material.  Don’t mistake this material for polymer of structural foam because it is far different and far better.  This is a material that is only offered by Only Alpha Pool Products and is the envy of other manufacturers.  This type of material is 100% non-corrosive and as strong as steel.  While polymer or structural foam material is non-corrosive it is greatly lacking in strength.  The reason for that is because Only Alpha Pool Products’ composite material is made of a single sheet of SMC (sheet molding compound) that has been in reinforced with the Fused Fiber Matrix which basically means that there are 8″ to 12″ woven fibers throughout the panel giving it a greater tensile strength than steel.  Structural foam is made from a bunch of little pieces of material that get melted down and injection molded resulting in a large amount of tiny little voids throughout the panels.  In addition to all that Only Alpha Pool Products

Structural Foam Material

panels contain thermosetting properties which means that once the panels are made they won’t bend or warp from heat or cold.

Check out the website at for more information and videos demonstrating the strength of their superior building materials.


Why My Vinyl Liner Pool Is Better Than Other Types Of In-Ground Pools

As you may or may not know, there are several types of in-ground swimming pools available.  Some may see an in-ground swimming pool and think it just another in-ground pool.  The difference in the types of in-ground pools is the materials they are constructed with. Some materials and styles act as indicators of class ranking.  Basically, people look at a gunnite/concrete pools and see them as being the upper echelon of in-ground swimming pools.  This may be due to the fact that they are the most expensive type of in-ground pool on the market.  However, there are two other types of in-ground pools to consider.  One piece fiberglass and vinyl liner pools are becoming more popular in today’s world.  In the following paragraphs, I will offer a closer look at the differences in the three types of in-ground pools and explain why I believe the vinyl liner in-ground swimming pool is the best.

To begin, let’s evaluate the gunnite/concrete pool.  I have already mentioned that this is the most expensive type of in-ground pool on the market.  There are some other things that might make this type of pool less desirable to the average person.  Let’s look at the surface of the pool.  It is porous and the most susceptible to damage caused by water chemistry.  If you didn’t already know, the water in a swimming pool has to be maintained through the use of chemicals in order to keep it clean and safe for swimmers.  This includes the proper levels of pH, chlorine, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid, and total dissolved solids.  For some, this process is more difficult to do than they may think.  (For more information see my  post “How To Maintain Your Vinyl Liner In Ground Swimming Pool”)  The truth is, pool chemicals on their own are rather harsh and should definitely be kept out of reach of children and pets.  When their levels become unbalanced in a pool, they can have negative effects, especially on gunnite/concrete pools.  Unfortunately, even if you keep your water properly maintained in a gunnite/concrete pool, at some point you will have to have the pool resurfaced at a considerable cost.  This usually occurs between seven and fifteen years.  In addition to that, the pool’s surface is pretty abrasive and will prove to be a common cause of skinned knees, and elbows.  Also, its porous surface is ideal for algae and bacteria growth.  Now, let’s look at the fact that it is made of concrete.  This means that all your plumbing lines for the main drains, skimmers, and returns are encased in concrete.  In the event that you get a leak within one of the lines, you might find yourself having to have the concrete busted up to fix the leak and then have it re-poured again.  With that amount of work, you are looking at a fairly costly project.  Not to mention that the pool will have to be drained and re-filled ($$$).  Concrete also has a tendency to crack.  This is not ideal, and any concrete worker you ask will tell you the same.  This is why sidewalks are cut into sections.  The cuts are made to try to control where the concrete will crack.  Last but not least, the installation process can take months, and because the pools are manufactured on site, they typically have very short if any warranties.

Now, let’s look at the one piece fiberglass in-ground pool.  In my opinion, these have some major drawbacks.  First, they are made from molds, and these molds only come in a small variety of sizes and shapes.  Even the largest pools are at most average in size, and commonly the advertised sizes are not an accurate representation of the actual size of the usable pool.  Another thing about these molds is that they don’t allow the pool to be custom designed to fit your personal tastes and backyard needs.  Going back to water chemistry, if the surface fades or deteriorates it is difficult and expensive to resurface.  A major problem with one piece fiberglass pools is that they are not self supportive and may collapse or buckle if emptied.  I have also seen this type of pool pop out of the ground after a hard rain.  The last thing that you should know is that one piece fiberglass typically come with suspiciously short warranties on some color surfaces, and no warranties against floating or buckling.

Now, let’s look at the vinyl liner in-ground swimming pool.  This type is the easiest and least expensive to repair when needed, because the pool consists of components.  Problems can be more easily isolated and solved without having to go through unnecessary steps to get to them.  A huge benefit is that a quality structure is self supportive.  This means that if installed properly by an experienced pool builder, they will not buckle when emptied.  Also, this type of pool can be custom designed to fit your personal tastes and backyard needs.  Basically, they can be made in any shape, or design that you might want.  With vinyl liner pools, the components are manufactured in a controlled environment and generally have long manufacturer warranties.  Last but not least, there are some added benefits when it comes to the liner.  One is that there are countless liner designs and colors to choose from.  Another is that the liner’s surface is very smooth, making maintenance, and cleaning much easier.  The algae and bacteria that may form has a more difficult time sticking to the smooth surface of the liner, and can easily be brushed away versus gunnite/concrete pools where the rough surface allows the algae and bacteria to dig in and get a firm hold.  The other thing is that the smooth surface is skin friendly, so there won’t be any skinned knees or elbows from the pools surface.  Finally, if the liner ever becomes damaged by chemicals it is more economical to replace rather that having to resurface a gunnite/concrete, or fiberglass pool.  Typically a liner will last anywhere between seven to ten years, but I have replaced twenty year old liners in the past, and with a liner replacement you get the option of changing the liner design which gives the pool a completely new look.

So, there you have it.  A vinyl liner pool offers consumers the high end look of a gunnite/concrete pool without the high end costs, and it is more economically sound when it comes to repairs.  You get more design options, easier maintenance, and a structurally sound build.  The last thing that I would recommend when getting a vinyl liner in-ground pool is to have an in floor cleaning system installed.  With the liner’s smooth surface, and a properly installed in floor cleaning system, you will get a virtually maintenance free pool, inevitably allowing you to spend more time relaxing and enjoying your pool and less time cleaning it.

For more information on vinyl liner swimming pools, please take a look at my other posts.  They cover many pool related questions, ranging from swimming pool safety to how to have your vinyl liner in ground pool clean itself, and many things in between.


in ground swimming pool

Types of In-ground Swimming Pools and Which is the Best

When you think of an in-ground swimming pool, what comes to mind?  Many will imagine the typical concrete/gunite swimming pool that you might find at a hotel.  I would think that to be a common conception of what an in-ground swimming pool is.  The fact is that while a concrete pool may have tended to be the industry standard in years past, it is no longer the only material option available for building an in-ground swimming pool.  Just like everything else in the world, technology has provided consumers with better, more reliable products.  Concrete is still available and used quite a bit, but now there are other types of in-ground swimming pools.  There are one piece fiberglass pools available, and what the industry would call vinyl liner pools.  Although all three are common in the swimming pool industry, there are a few big differences in what they have to offer.  When contemplating what type of pool best suits you, really take the time to look at what the advantages a vinyl liner pool are.  To do this, you need to first understand what the disadvantages of getting a concrete or fiberglass pool are.

To start, let us consider the disadvantages of gunite/concrete pools.  Some people might tell you that a gunite/concrete pool is like the “Cadillac” of the pool industry.  There is a certain element of “class” that comes with this type of pool; a gunite/concrete pool acts as a symbol of social class.  If improving class rank is the only reason someone might want a swimming pool, then they probably wouldn’t care to consider what lies ahead of them with the purchase of their new pool.  For others whom might want to get a pool to have summer fun and bring the family together, you will want to consider long term care and expenses.  While there is some truth to the whole “Cadillac” argument, it is probably with regard to the initial cost of installing the pool and the  A concrete/gunite pool is the most expensive pool in the market, which is why I say that it is a symbol of social class.  In addition to that, the pool would need to be resurfaced every 7 – 10 years at a considerable cost.  Why, you you ask?  The need to resurface is due to the fact that the surface is porous and susceptible to damage by water chemistry, which can be difficult to maintain at times.
 Another thing to consider is that concrete can crack.  If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who has worked with it.  Have you ever wondered why a side walk or road is cut into sections? That is done in an effort to control where the cracks occur.  Let’s look at the surface in more depth.  It is a rough, abrasive surface that is not really skin friendly or all that easy to clean.  It is the cause of skinned knees, and it has plenty of little groves for bacteria and algae to cling to.  Now, you have expensive repair.  Had enough? Not yet.  Keeping all that in mind, know that the installation process can take months as well.  Being that the pool is manufactured on site it will likely come with very short warranties, if there are any warranties at all.
The next matter to consider is that all in-ground swimming pool installations require

some plumbing.  This plumbing is done using PVC pipes and fittings that are glued together to allow water to flow from the pool to the filter, heater, chlorinator, etc. and back to the pool again.  Now, heaven forbid there every be a leak at one of the fittings around or under the pool.  With a concrete pool, to repair that fitting, the pool would need to be drained, the concrete busted out, the fitting replaced and then the concrete would have to get re-poured.  That would undoubtedly be a fairly
cost of maintenance.

Now lets consider a one piece fiberglass pool.  I have worked with these in the past and I was not all that impressed.  If you look at the size of a one piece fiberglass pool, there are two things that really stand out.  First, even the largest of fiberglass pools are average in size, and that the advertised size of the pool is not a valid representation of the actual usable size of the pool.  The other thing is that although their size may be average they are still big, awkward objects that need to be brought to your house and taken from the front yard to the back yard.  If you have trees in the way, well no worries they can be cut down (sarcasm).  Another thing about these pools is that they can not be custom designed to fit your personal taste or your backyard needs.  Basically, it’s a take it or leave it type of situation. Be aware that the surface is susceptible to fading and deterioration, and be careful when draining a one piece fiberglass pool because the structure is not self supportive and may buckle or collapse under the weight of the surrounding ground pressing inward.

One piece fiberglass pool owners are at risk to spend more money even when the pool is empty. When a pool is full, the water in the pool counteracts the pressure pushing in from the outside.  Additionally, consumers should know that a deep hole in the ground has a tendency to fill with water.  This is not always the case, but more often than not ground water will begin to seep in.  When a pool is full of water, the water inside the pool is heavy enough to hold back any water from the ground underneath.  When emptied, though, the ground water now has a place to go, and moving water is a very strong force.  I have seen the ability of water to pop a one piece fiberglass pool right out of the ground.  You know what that means: $$$.  With all that considered, there is one more thing.  These pools usually come with suspiciously short warranties on some color surfaces, and no warranties against buckling or floating. If you are considering a one piece fiberglass pool, you should also consider the expense of potential repairs.    

Finally, we get to the good stuff:  the advantages of getting a vinyl liner pool.  I have installed these many, many times.  In my opinion they are without a doubt the “best bang for your buck.”  Unlike the one piece fiberglass, a vinyl liner pool can be custom designed to fit personal preferences and backyard needs.  They can easily achieve that high end look of a concrete pool without the high end cost.  Seriously, I have seen some amazing vinyl liner pools.  A huge benefit is that they come with long manufacturer warranties because they are manufactured in a controlled environment (extra piece of mind).  Another positive is that vinyl liner pools are self supportive. No worrying about the pool collapsing if it needs to be drained, which  it will occasionally.  So, why will it need to be drained?  Sun damage is a common factor and, as with all pools, chemicals required to clean and maintain the pools chemistry can be unbalanced and have adverse effects.  Basically, at some point the liner will need to be replaced.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.  Replacing a liner is more economical than resurfacing other pool types.  Also, the need for a new liner affords homeowners the opportunity to change the look of their pool.
about them unlike a one piece fiberglass pool is that if properly installed they are

There are countless designs and color choices to choose from and replacing an old liner can be like getting a new pool!  The liners are also smooth so they are easy on the skin, and easy to clean.  Last but not least, a vinyl liner pool is the easiest and least expensive to repair.  As stated before, technology has provided consumers with improved products, and it is no different when it comes to swimming pools.  If considering getting a swimming pool, I would strongly recommend getting a vinyl liner rather than purchasing a concrete or fiberglass pool.