If you’re in the market for an inground fiberglass pool, you’re probably looking for a single resource that lists the most prominent fiberglass pool manufacturers in America. As a manufacturer of inground fiberglass pools, we are often asked our opinion of other manufacturers. Because we believe strongly in answering the questions we are asked, we put together the following list of 10 of the most prominent fiberglass pool manufacturers in America in alphabetical order.
Don't blindly wonder if a fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl liner pool is right for you. Our educational ebook does a deep-dive comparison of the 3 types, all while noting the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Over the years we’ve helped answer millions of questions from potential pool buyers and found that when people understand the basic construction process, it empowers them to make a more confident decision regarding which type of inground pool is right for them. In this article we provide an overview of the basic construction phases of concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl liner pools. For a more in-depth look comparison of these pool types, be sure to check out our free eBook “Comparing Fiberglass, Concrete, and Vinyl Liner Pools in the Modern Age”. Concrete Pool Construction Phase 1: Concrete Pool Excavation This phase is similar for all three types of inground pools. Earth is excavated and either hauled off-site or used on the property. This is not a decision to make the day excavation begins. Even if your builder does not address dirt removal, be sure to bring it up in advance as it often requires time to find a dump location plus there can be associated costs. Duration: Several hours to two days depending onthe pool size, equipment used, soil type, and the means of dirt removal. Project Time Frame: Day 1 Phase 2: Steel Placement Concrete has a very high compressive strength, meaning it is resistant to crushing forces. However, it has a relatively low tensile strength, meaning it doesn’t naturally flex or bend very well. Adding steel to concrete structures, such as swimming pools, increases the structure's ability to flex and move with it’s environment. A cage of steel bars, also called rebar, is tied together and eventually encased in the concrete shell creating a web of strength and help prevent structural failure.
One of the advantages of working with fiberglass pools is the flexibitlity it allows in design and installations. We are able to customize our pools to fit the needs of our customers.
On hot days where the temperature has you sweating and thirsty for a cold drink, there aren't many things as refreshing as jumping into a cold pool. A pool is something you want to enjoy when it's hot outside. However, many people don't consider that their pool water can reach temperatures in the 90's during the summer. Pool Chillers, an optional feature on pool heat pumps, are specifically designed to lower your pool's water temperature so you can fully enjoy it, even on the hottest days of summer. In the following video, Jason shows just how big the difference can be when you have a Chiller/Cooler installed on your pool.
It was a blistering July day in Virginia. The heat index was 108 degrees, there was a heat advisory in effect, and we were sitting around the office discussing what an enlightening experience it is for potential clients who decide to make the trip to visit our inground pool park in Warsaw. Dan Dunn, our sales manager mentioned how he not only takes time to show the different types of patio options featured in the pool park, but he actually has his clients remove their shoes to feel the temperature difference between the various patio materials. Immediately a light bulb went off in my mind and I said, "Video!"
We recently received a comment on our blog asking: "What is the process of removing dirt during an inground pool installation?" We find that this is a question that most folks have when considering an inground pool. Today you're in luck because in the following jobsite video we tackle this, as well as other common excavation/dirt related questions. But before we jump into the video, here are some other questions about the removal of dirt on an inground pool project that we receive on a daily basis:
If you are considering an inground pool you have probably asked: "What pool options and accessories should I consider and how much do they cost?" These are great questions and you're in luck, because today we are going to discuss the most popular options and accessories on the market today. Let's jump right in! Salt Chlorine Generators Salt Chlorinators work by converting salt, which is dissolved in your pool water, into pure chlorine. As a result, you get great water quality without the harsh side effects typically associated with chlorine pools like burning eyes and strong odors. Simply maintain the proper salt level in your pool by adding salt directly to the water once or
Are you looking for inspiration for your new backyard pool? Awesome! After helping hundreds of folks in Virginia and Maryland design and build their dream pool over the years, we would like to help you get your project off on the right foot. But if you're like most people, the prospect of finding the perfect pool can seem daunting. Well, your in luck, because today we're going to walk you through a simple step-by-step process to finding the right pool shape, size, and features for your backyard space. Let's jump right in!
So you're considering an indoor swimming pool? Great! Having worked on many indoor swimming pool projects ourselves over the years, we have found that people often have a variety of questions when they initially begin their research. Today, we are going to cover some of the most common questions we receive from our clients, as well as from folks around the world who find us via the internet. Let's jump right in!
Are you considering installing pavers around your inground pool? If so, you are in luck because today we are going to discuss some of the most common paver questions we receive here at River Pools Powered by Thursday Pools Manufacturing. In the following job site video, we show the installation of pavers around our Wellspring 40 freeform fiberglass pool and cover the advantages and disadvantages of using pavers as a patio material. But before jumping into the video, let's discuss a few questions that are not covered in the video:
After installing over 1,000 inground fiberglass pools throughout Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia since 2001 we at River Pools have worked in a wide variety of soil conditions, ranging from coastal areas that are literally below sea level, to mountainous regions engorged with bedrock. As such, we have had to learn to deal with both high water tables (ground water) and the removal of rock for the installation of our pools. If you are considering an inground pool, you likely have a myriad of questions regarding how water and rock can influence the construction of your project, and whether the soil condition should impact which type of pool you purchase. Today, we're going to tackle these questions and hopefully give you the information you need to feel comfortable moving one step closer to owning your own backyard pool. So let's jump right in!
Are you thinking of installing a pool in a yard with trees? After surveying hundreds of yards in Va, Md, and WV for inground fiberglass pools over the years we have encountered many different tree scenarios, and would like to share our experience with you today. Here are some common tree questions we are going to cover: How close can I install my pool to an existing tree? Which trees should stay and which should go? How can I protect my trees during construction? Is it okay to build up dirt around the base of a tree? Should I be concerned about tree roots damaging my pool or patio in the future? What should I do with the stumps after trees are removed? Can I come back and remove trees after the pool is installed?
When we first began installing fiberglass pools in the early 2000's we encountered our share of problems. Despite the fact that we fixed each one and made sure every customer was happy, we were still left asking the question: What went wrong? Many of these issues were leaks that developed in the plumbing of the pool or in the fittings that the plumbing was connected to. In the following video I explain our process, called Rhino-Loc Construction, that we developed specifically to eliminate these plumbing problems along with the other challenges associated with fiberglass pool installations.
If you are considering an inground swimming pool you probably have a lot of questions about how they are constructed. Before we get into the following video that covers a key component of fiberglass pool installations, let me introduce you to our FREE inground pool ebook, that goes into great detail regarding the installation processes of all three types of inground pools: Concrete Inground Pools, Vinyl Liner Pools, and Fiberglass Pools.
I'll be completely honest....at River Pools we have made just about every fiberglass pool installation mistake possible. Our major learning curve occurred in our first years in business beginning in 2001. We fixed every problem and insured our customers were happy, and the evidence is our reference list which is over 1,000 names long. But we also asked a powerful question: What are the underlying causes of these problems? In the following video, taken from our 2016 River Pools Powered by Thursday Pools Dealer Conference,
Whether you are a pool builder or a home owner, it's important to understand that the process of building a fiberglass pool on a home under construction presents some unique challenges. However, if these are understood and discussed beforehand they can be easily overcome.
If you are looking for information about how fiberglass pools are manufactured, you have come to the right place today! Being a manufacturer of fiberglass pools, we receive lots of questions on a daily basis about the materials we use, how they are applied, and how they perform in the field. The following video is a video clip from our 2016 Dealer Conference where one of our dealers asked, "Is it possible for water to penetrate from the backside of a fiberglass pool and cause osmotic blisters?" This is a great question, and luckily Bill Khamis, 35 year composites veteran and
If you are seriously considering an inground fiberglass pool I'm going to make two assumptions: #1. You are actively searching for specific information from fiberglass pool manufacturers about the actual materials they use and how they are applied. #2. Up to this point, your search has been in vain. Luckily, your search is over. In the following video taken from an educational session of our 2016 Dealer Conference, Bill Khamis, partner at River Pools Powered by Thursday Pools Manufacturing, outlines the specific causes of several manufacturing challenges the fiberglass pool industry has faced over recent decades. But he doesn't stop there.
If you're interested in purchasing an inground pool and you have a sloped backyard, then you've probably considered incorporating a retaining wall into your design. In the following video, we'll cover the most popular questions people have about retaining walls around inground pools. Here's what we'll be discussing in the video: Types of retaining walls around pools Retaining wall cost and prices Popular retaining wall features Basic retaining wall construction around pools
If you are considering an inground pool, you've probably noticed there a lot of decisions to make! From the type of pool, to options and accessories, to the type of patio and coping; all of these details impact the look and feel of your finished pool...as well as your budget. One detail that may not initially stand out is the pool coping, or material that borders the perimeter of the pool. In the video below, we discuss a particular type of coping called cantilevered concrete coping.
If you are considering an inground swimming pool and have a realistic expectation of how much it will cost, the next step is to explore the various pool financing options available to you. Here at River Pools Powered By Thursday Pools Manufacturing we have had the opportunity to help hundreds of clients make their backyard dreams a reality, by not only manufacturing and installing their pools, but also by helping answer their questions about pool loans and financing and directing them to financial institutions that can best serve their needs. If you find yourself in need of more pool financing info, you're in luck because today we’re going to answer the most common
If you are considering an inground pool and have limited space to work with you're likely thinking that a small pool could be the way to go. Today we're going to discuss some of the major questions we receive on a daily basis here at River Pools Powered by Thursday Pools Manufacturing from folks who think that a small pool might be the best option for their backyard. Let's jump right in! What Are The Dimensions or Sizes Of Small Pools? We consider small pools to be up to 26' long and up to 12' or 13' wide. If this is too small for you, perhaps a medium pool, which ranges up to
If you are seriously considering an inground swimming pool, you’ve probably discovered that there are a lot of decisions to make! At the top of this list stands one preeminent question: How do I select a reputable swimming pool builder? This question is so important because the expertise and integrity of your pool builder will play a huge role in determining the final outcome of your project. To assist you in this process, we at River Pools have put together a checklist to help you vett potential pool builders. This checklist is based on our experience of not only working with over 1,000 inground pool customers throughout Virginia and Maryland, but also from helping hundreds of folks who found us through the internet find reputable swimming pool builders in their area (see more about this below). So, regardless of where you live or whether you are looking for a concrete, vinyl liner, or fiberglass pool, this checklist will help you identify various criteria to look for when selecting your swimming pool builder. Okay, let’s jump right in! The Ultimate Swimming Pool Builder Vetting Checklist Contractor Name: ___________________________________________________________ 1. Business Information and Experience __ The company is licensed and insured note: ask if the name on the license is the same as the company name. If not, find out why. __ Find out how many years the company has been in business Years in business: __________ note: 43% of contractors fail within the first three years after start-up
After years of working with hundreds of inground fiberglass pool customers we have found that there are several key factors that our clients research when preparing for their project such as cost and pricing, the amount of pool maintenance required, and how long they can expect their fiberglass pool to last. Today, we are going to discuss the latter, and share with you what we know about the durability of inground fiberglass swimming pools. So Let's get started!
Have you ever wondered how an inground fiberglass pool is created? In the following video we introduce the three step process to making a fiberglass pool from scratch: 1. The production of the Pattern or "Plug" 2. The production of the Mold 3. The production of the Pool The video shows the "birth" of our first Oasis 27 pool from the mold. This process begins with the production of the pattern. As you'll see in the video, a pattern is the original shape of the pool shell. It is constructed using wood, fiberglass, body filler, and primer.
As one of the leading manufacturers of fiberglass pool shells in America we get asked all the time, “How do you create a new fiberglass pool design from scratch?”. It’s a question we love answering because it’s a fascinating process and we honestly feel that the more informed the consumer is about the product they are buying, the happier they will be with it in the end. With that said, there is a three step process in the creation of a new fiberglass pool design. 3 Steps To Creating A New Fiberglass Pool Design: Step One: The Pattern Step Two: The Mold Step Three: The Pool This is a very detailed process that we can’t cover entirely in this article, but we can give you the basic concept behind the first two essential steps, constructing the pattern and producing the mold.
What's Hot In The World Of Inground Pools Today? One advantage we have here at River Pools Powered by Thursday Pools Manufacturing is that helping hundreds of inground pool clients plan and design their dream pools allows us to keep a pulse on the options, accessories, and features that are trending in the inground pool marketplace. And today we want to share this with you!
If you’re considering an inground pool, you are probably also considering installing an underwater pool light. As we work with hundreds of folks throughout Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia each year we have the opportunity to answer tons of questions about pool lighting. In this article, we’re going to tackle some of the most popular inground pool lighting questions we receive on a daily basis. Let’s jump right in!
Are you looking for a way to utilize your swimming pool for as much of the year as possible? At River Pools we meet with hundreds of folks across Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia each year regarding their inground pool projects and we receive many questions regarding pool heaters. Today we're going to discuss the benefits of heating your pool, different heating options, and how much each option costs initially and on a monthly basis.
The fact that you’ve found this article means you are probably well into the process of finding the right pool for your family.
If you are in the market for a rectangular fiberglass pool, you’re probably wondering which design will best meet the needs of your family.
Of the hundreds of questions we are asked on a daily basis, the most common is probably this:
A man and a woman who met on line are having their first phone conversation. Here's how it goes:
We have written a blog on this subject a few years ago, and after visiting the Pool and Spa show in Atlantic City I felt that the topic needed to be revisited. I had heard that some fiberglass pool manufacturers who also have vested interest in vinyl liner pools manufacturing are requesting that their fiberglass pool dealers install vinyl liner pools also. I have no problem with that as long as the sales person keeps the customer's best interest in mind when working with them. I have installed vinyl liner pools myself and under the right conditions, I would do it now.
As a pool guy, I get asked all the time, "What are the most popular options for in-ground pools and why?" I would say the three most popular options are salt water chlorinators, underwater pool lights, and security covers. Here are the pros and cons of each.
If you are considering a new pool or even replacing your existing pool pump, you're probably wondering which type pool pump will best meet your needs. Great question!
When we started River Pools and Spas 14 years ago we were like any other pool company and if you asked for it we sold it to you. But we have learned that the customer can be their own worst enemy. What I mean by that is buying a pool is usually a new experience for the home owner and with the right guidance they can end up with a pool that will best suit their family.
Okay, let's cut to the chase. Although as a pool guy this seems crazy to me, the following is an accurate portrayal of the entire conversation most folks considering an inground pool have with a potential builder about a very important topic...their warranty:
At River Pools we receive calls on a daily basis from folks who are in the process of looking for a new home or property where they can install a future pool. They all want to know the same thing: “What should I look for in a property where I can install the pool of my dreams?” That’s a great question, and we just happen to have some great ponters so let’s dive right in!
When I first walked into the backyard of Chuck and Kristian Todd in Arlington, Virginia my first thought was, 'If this is going to happen, it'll have to be interesting.' In the end, it turned out to be quite interesting indeed, as you'll see in the following before and after video.
Although this photo might confuse you at first, it's showing a fiberglass display pool at our headquarters here in Warsaw Va. after some serious wind gusts that have been plaguing the state over the last couple of days. What normally is a pool shell on its side with the trailer as its base, mother nature decided to blow it over with some serious force behind it, causing the shell to slam to the ground. Even better though, the shell was unharmed. It's flexibility and tensile strength, as always, saved the day.
In the past, we at River Pools and Spas have taken the time to recognize the different advances and developments in the fiberglass pool industry over the years, many of which have been the most read articles on this blog to date. So as 2013 is now here, we felt it time to discuss the best inground fiberglass swimming pool designs we’re seeing in terms of functionality and creativity in 2013. Also, as a side note, this article is not about the quality of the included manufacturers, but rather our opinions on their designs. Here goes:
Our primary goal here at the River Pools blog has always been pretty straight forward...to empower potential pool owners with the information they need to make their backyard dreams a reality.
Often times when homeowners are considering the purchase of an inground swimming pool, they want to know how it will affect the value of their home—which is a very important and legitimate question. Interestingly enough, the type of pool you choose for your backyard will greatly dictate the return on investment for the pool itself.
We’ve talked extensively about the cost of fiberglass pools here on this blog over the years but as 2013 approaches, I wanted to take a look at where pricing is headed in this industry and what it means for consumers and pool builders as a whole. Pool Prices and Consumer Perception For years, the majority of swimming pool consumers, before the “research” phase of buying started, have generally felt that a swimming pool cost 20-30k installed. And although such projects are still feasible today within that budget, the reality is that inground pools, especially when one looks at the entire package (like decking, electrical, options, fencing, etc), are more in the 40-100k range—with multiple factors that will dictate the package price. Because the housing market took such a huge hit in 2008, the swimming pool industry was drastically affected by the events, and fiberglass pool manufacturers left and right were either bought for pennies on the dollar or simply went out of business. During this time period, most manufacturers have done their best to offset costs and keep price increases to a minimum, but at some point, the industry will have to turn back to normal margins that lead to financial stability and long-term success. If this doesn't occur, we'll only see more company mergers and empty factories.
Well, you’re in the market for a swimming pool…Congratulations! Yes, I know, you may be thinking a pool is going to be a lot of work. But these days, it clearly doesn’t have to be, especially if you choose a few options that will make pool ownership much, much easier. In order to help you find the type of pool that will best suite your needs, here are some helpful tips:
With the proliferation in growth of the fiberglass pool marketing over the last 10 years here in the United States, consumers are getting more and more options, sizes, and accessories to choose with their fiberglass swimming pool.
Well it's that time of year folks. August is here, vacations are being taken left and right, the heat is on, and for some pool owners, this all can equate to that green thing that makes pool ownership a frustrating experience---Algae.
Although I'm not a huge fan of infographics, I thought this one was exceptionally done and a fun look for any swimming pool afficionado...
Rarely do we ever toot our own horn here on this blog, but recently Pool and Spa News--the swimming pool industry's premier publication--ranked River Pools as a top 50 builder in the United States.
As someone who closely watches swimming pool research buying and traffic pattern from an internet marketing perspective, this last week has blown me away in terms of the amount of people online right now researching swimming pools, much of which can be attributed to this incredible heat wave we've been feeling throughout the U.S. and certainly on the east coast. In fact , to get a true feel of just how much heat affects the way people research swimming pools, take a look at the following screen shot, which shows the amount of traffic we've been getting these last 2 weeks here at the River Pools website.
Well, it appears every 6 months I'm going to be writing an article about how Viking Pools has decided to purchase another fiberglass pool manufacturer, with Royal Fiberglass Pools being the next small company to hand over its keys to the industry giant.
After having been heavily involved in the swimming pool industry for the past 10+ years, it has been interesting for me to watch the changes that have occurred in the industry, as well as the trends that seem to be taking shape daily, especially when it comes to preformed fiberglass swimming pools.
When it comes down to it, every type of inground swimming pool has its share of problems. Vinyl liner pools are very temporary, fiberglass pools have size/depth restrictions, and concrete pools have their drawbacks as well. In this article though, I’m going to point out some problems with concrete pools you may not have considered before, as these are things you should clearly know before moving forward with your inground pool purchase.
Let’s face it; many folks just don’t have a flat yard. If you fall into that category and are interested in an inground pool you are probably asking yourself the following questions:
With the summer upon approaching rapidly, many folks out there are debating whether or not they should go with an underground pool (aka “inground”) or one that sets on top the ground.
If you are considering the purchase of an inground pool, you’re probably wondering what maintenance and repair costs you can expect to encounter as the years pass on. As you’ll see, the answer to that question largely depends on the type of pool you choose: concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass.
With real-estate a premium even in difficult economies, many back yards today simply don't have a whole lot of space. This being said, just because you have a small backyard doesn't mean you shouldn't consider installing an inground swimming pool. This article will discuss some of the common questions associated with this important topic.
Are you considering a coping upgrade on your new fiberglass pool? If so, take a minute to check out this video outlining how NOT to install fiberglass pool coping.
Last week, I opened my swimming pool up for the season and was surprised to find the results-- it was green...REALLY GREEN.
In the market for an inground pool? If so, you're certainly looking for the options and accessories that best meet your needs.
Let's be honest: Although fiberglass pools are taking the inground pool market by storm in North America, there are still some potential installation problems that continue to pop-up in the industry:
When someone is considering the purchase of an inground swimming pool, there are many factors that will dictate whether they choose fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl liner. And although each type of pool has it's own pros and cons, this article will discuss 5 main benefits to owning an inground fiberglass swimming pool.
With the readership of this blog consisting of folks all over North America, Australia, and other parts of the world, each and every year we get emails from folks from what seems like every corner of the globe expressing dissatisfaction with their pool installation and contractor.
There is a huge misconception out there in the inground pool consumer market and I’m here today to set the record straight.
After having installed 84 fiberglass pools in 2011, and with sales currently better than ever, we at River Pools and Spas are looking to increase our production capabilities for 2012. In order to reach our goal of 120 fiberglass pool installations, our current plan is to add an additional crew to offset the additional workload.
Is Buying a Used Fiberglass Pool a Good Idea?
So you're thinking about doing a DIY and installing a fiberglass pool kit yourself, ehh? It's interesting how often we get asked about self-installs here at River Pools. In fact, we usually sell 3-5 of these kits every year to homeowners. That's why I wanted to discuss today some of the problems and considerations that must be made before you simply buy a kit and start digging.
Now that gravel has become the accepted standard (over sand) as the backfill and base material used in the fiberglass pool industry, many persons often inquire with our company as to the type of gravel/stone that should be used as well as the amount typically required when installing a fiberglass pool.
There are many factors that make up the quality of a fiberglass swimming pool, and one of the most important is that the appropriate amount of materials are used during the process of constructing the shell.
We are frequently asked questions about deck drainage for inground pools.
In one of the most surprising moves of the fiberglass pool industry of 2011, Viking Fiberglass Pools (Latham Int) has announced today that it has purchased Trilogy Pools, another major fiberglass pool manufacturer.
One of the questions we often hear this time of year is about tarp pool covers, and whether or not they'll do the trick for protecting your swimming pool over the cold winter months. In most cases, the frank answer to this question is 'NO'. Here are 5 reasons why:
Well, sadly the summer has again come to a close for most folks around the US, which means it's time to winterize their inground swimming pools. But for those persons that own a fiberglass swimming pool, it's very important to remember one key to a proper winterization: Water Level.
In the last year or so, we at River Pools and Spas have done more paver patios than ever before with our fiberglass pool installations. With their elegant look, customized design, plus the fact that they never crack, pavers are becoming more and more popular as a patio choice amongst swimming pool consumers.
We talk about swimming pools all the time here at River Pools and Spas, but the bottom line question consumers need to answer during this process is:
Ohhh Irene, what bringeth thee???
Like many of you, I just was part of the ‘East Coast Earthquake’ of 2011. For 10 seconds, I was sitting in my office, feeling the floor shaking beneath me, and asking myself—“Am I actually in an earthquake???”
One of the more popular shapes in the inground swimming pool industry is the Roman End style-- a rectangle with a half circle on each end of the pool. With it's elegant look combined with it's plentiful seating, Roman End pools can certainly enhance the look of a backyard.
As we've mentioned many other times in the past, fiberglass pools have come light years in the last decade when it comes to beauty and aesthetics. Today, it's not uncommon to see fiberglass pools in the most luxurious of homes, much of which can be attributed to these advancements as well as the fact that consumers are now more informed than ever.
We are frequently asked the question: What is the correct elevation or height to set an inground pool? First off, we need to understand why setting the pool at the right elevation is so important. Choosing the right elevation will insure the pool does three things:
You may be wondering: How long should the Salt Chlorine Generator for my inground pool last? Let’s take a quick look, but first let’s take a second to understand exactly how salt water chlorinators actually work.
I recently stumbled across Angies List.com. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s an explanation in their words: “Angie's List is the premier word-of-mouth network for homeowners with more than 1.5 million members nationwide. It's a growing collection of homeowners' real-life experiences with local service and health care professionals. Our members research, rate and review service companies in more than 500 different categories. We receive over 400,000 inquiries and more than 40,000 reports each month from our members.”
If you’re in the market for an Inground Pool you may have wondered about the importance of your pool contractor doing the work themselves verses using subcontractors. Today we’re going to answer some of the most common questions consumers have about this topic. Let’s get started!
We’re passionate about fiberglass pools here at River Pools and Spas, and we believe that the only barrier that prevents many potential pool owners from considering fiberglass pools as a serious option is simply a lack of awareness.
Like anything else in this world, purchasing and installing an inground swimming pool can be a wonderful or awful experience. And after having this blog and doing our best to educate consumers over the past decade, it has become apparent to me the number one reason why some swimming pool installations turn into a nightmare for the homeowners is simple—The didn’t do their research.
At River Pools and Spas we have the opportunity to speak with literally hundreds of pool builders around the world. Sometimes they teach us, sometimes we mentor them. But any way you cut it, it’s given us tremendous exposure to the world of fiberglass pools, and great insight into the little things that tend to make a big difference in fiberglass pool construction.
So here we are, mid April, and many of you reading this are still looking at a pool in your back yard with a cover on it. This is understandable, and I’m sure you have your reasons, but I simply wanted to write this little article from the opposite perspective.
We figured we'd have some fun and attempt something we've never done, or even seen done before in the pool industry (although I'm sure it has)...and that's to do an entire fiberglass pool installation including concrete patio all in a single day!
Let me just say, if you’re reading this article…..it’s pretty safe to say you have good taste.
Yes, that’s right, fiberglass pools are better than concrete pools, at least in most applications. Are there exceptions? Sure, no doubt, fiberglass pools are not for everyone due to some of their size and shape limitations, but the fact that they are exploding in popularity all over the world, especially in the US and Canada, one must no longer see fiberglass as a distant 3rd to concrete and vinyl in the swimming pool industry. But the main question is why? Why so much growth in popularity? Here’s the short answer:
This is a great question!....and one that needs addressing.
If you’ve following our fiberglass pool manufacturing series to this point, you know we’ve already covered:
Note from Marcus: This is a guest post from one of the most prominent landscape designers in the Northern Virginia area, David Marciniak of Revolutionary Gardens....
Ok, if you’re following our series on fiberglass pool manufacturing, you’ve already learned about the defects that can result from improper mold maintenance as well as the importance of proper gel coat application in manufacturing. Today we’re going to discuss the third phase in the fiberglass pool manufacturing process, the vinyl ester resin layer, and the importance it plays in building a long lasting pool.
Today we’re going to discuss how the gel coat layer of a fiberglass pool is applied in manufacturing, some guidelines used by manufacturers, and the problems that arise when these guidelines are not adhered to.
Ok folks, today we’re going to discuss what causes blemishes, marks, and defects on the surface layer of a fiberglass pool. There are typically two types of ‘blems’ we see:
This year at the Atlantic City Pool and Spa Convention I had the pleasure of meeting Gil Erlich, V.P. of Sales and Marketing for Aqua Products, the World's Leader in Robotic Pool Cleaning Solutions.
For full disclosure, let me just start off this little article by saying that I’m not an economist (although these days, that might be actually lend the following words quite a bit more credibility). But what I do understand, and clearly have my finger on the pulse of, is the state of the swimming pool industry.
For the past couple of days, my business partners and I have been viewing the new 2011 products of the swimming pool industry here at the Atlantic City Pool and Spa Convention. Each year, we attend this show in an effort to continually stay informed as to cutting-edge industry products and practices. And of all the items that have caused me to raise an eyebrow during this show, the one I'm maybe most impressed with is the concept of an all-tile fiberglass pools.
Many of you reading this right now know you’re likely getting a pool this year. Yep, you’ve finally made the decision to ‘take the plunge’ (lots of pun intended). This being said, most of you are going about this whole ‘pool buying thing’ the wrong way.
Although I really hate using this blog for anything other than giving out great education and tips to swimming pool shoppers and owners, occasionally I have to make an announcement here or there, as I am doing today.
Ok, pools and cars are both seen as status symbols……they’re both relatively expensive……and they both come with a wide array of bells and whistles. There’s a lot in common there. So you should go about purchasing them the same way right?...nope!
The pool industry needs a new invention (or maybe it’s already out there): AN IN-SEASON POOL COVER
You know what one of my biggest pet peeves is?.....floaties in my drink. And with five kids I know that if I give someone a sip, there’s going to be some backwash going on! I can cope with giving up my ice cold soda, but there’s another type of backwashing that annoys pool owners on a weekly basis. You know what I’m talking about….sand filters. No, there’s nothing wrong with sand filters. Heck, I grew up on them. But geesh, it’s just seems like such a waste of resources. Let’s take a closer look.
OK, so it’s Christmas week and I hope everyone is loving life with family and friends. But considering Santa is on his way, and being that Spring is believe it or not just around the corner, it may be time to think about a few ‘gifts’ for your swimming pool this coming year.
Many pool service companies base their business model on weekly or bi-weekly visits to the customer’s home to service the pool. We’ve accepted that as a fiberglass pool company, that’s not a viable business model for us…..because our customers simply don’t need it.
First it was Coca-Cola.
Many people naturally assume that all pool companies close during the winter (I guess the idea of installing a swimming pool in January does seem a little odd.) However, many pool companies, like ours for example, install inground pools year round. We have this love/hate relationship with the winter months. It’s a chance to catch our breath from the rush of the pool season, but because people aren’t exactly thinking about swimming when it’s 30 degrees outside, they aren’t beating the doors down to buy pools. Hence, the highly coveted winter discount.
Just a quicky here for any fiberglass pool owner who has a solid winter cover, or any cover that does NOT allow water to pass through it. Just to review here, mesh security covers allow water through, solid security covers do not, standard tarp winter covers do not either. This applies to the solid and the tarp.
One of the most under-utilized options for fiberglass pools (in my opinion) is the coping material. Many people assume that cantilevered concrete coping is the only alternative…..simply not so.
May our families and tan lines remain happy and strong this holiday season!
It’s hard to go wrong with fiberglass pools. They’re easy to maintain, they use very little chemicals, and they have the lowest lifetime cost of any type of pool.
***Note from Marcus---- This is a guest post from Bob Ault, the man I consider ‘The Father of Fiberglass Pool Tiling’. For quite some time now, I’ve been pestering Bob about contributing a guest post here to our blog because I know he’s informed, opinionated, and GREAT at what he does. Over the past few years Bob and I have developed a friendship stemming from our desire to help elevate the education and information levels in the fiberglass pool industry. Despite the fact that we may disagree on a few points here or there, I truly believe Bob is one of the ‘great ones’ in this industry and feel honored to have his thoughts on our platform here at River Pools.
How long does a fiberglass pool really take to install? That’s the focus of today’s article and let me say it’s one of the most mistaken and sometimes misunderstood parts of having a fiberglass swimming pool installed in your backyard. I find it a little funny when I look online and I see companies with the headline ‘We will install your pool in one day!’. Actually, I’m a little bothered by these statements because the task of installing a fiberglass pool in one day is nearly impossible. Why? Well here are the different phases of an actual complete installation:
We’ve all seen an increase in the “blow-up ring” pools peppering backyards across the country. Heck, I’d say that at least half of the time when we show up to install an inground fiberglass pool, there’s a circular imprint on the ground where a blow-up pool used to be.
This coming week, Jim, Jason, and myself will be attending the annual National Pool/Spa/Patio Show held in Las Vegas. As always, we're excited for this event and the opportunity to meet/chat with many of the pool/spa professionals we have formed relationships with over the years. Regarding the show though, I wanted to mention a few things:
In interesting industry news, Viking Pools/Latham International has purchased Blue Hawaiian pools. For those of you unfamiliar with BH, they have plants in Florida and North Carolina and have been a significant manufacturer of fiberglass swimming pools for quite a few years now. This news was confirmed to me yesterday by more than one current BH dealer and the transition appears to be happening over the coming month or so.
Retaining Walls and Fiberglass Pools
Check out this quick video of a custom security cover installation on an inground fiberglass pool with an 18" poolside wall and elevated paver patio. As you will see, the cover anchors into the elevated patio then stretches taut across the pool.
Can Fiberglass Pools be Built on Fill Dirt? This article is going to be short and sweet, but it’s the result of a disturbing email I received the other day that made me realize we hadn’t covered the following subject in our blog. The email read:
Are Fiberglass Pools Wide Enough For Play?? I had an interesting experience last week with a gentleman who was considering a pool. As we were standing in his backyard and doing a general lay-off of the pool, he quickly dismissed the idea of fiberglass because it simply wasn’t wide enough. After a few minutes of Q & A though, the customer decided he really just needed to talk to some of our existing clients who own a pool and get their take on the matter.
Ask yourself a quick question:
One advantage of being a pool guy working at a Home Show is the opportunity to answer literally hundreds of questions about fiberglass pools. It just so happens that most people have the same questions, and after attending dozens of such shows and fairs over the past ten years and answering literally thousands of these pool questions, I figured it would be beneficial to take a moment and cover the basics for those just beginning their quest for the perfect inground swimming pool.
Although we’ve written similar articles to this one on the blog before, the following letter prompted me to come up with a list of things fiberglass pool consumers must check on/know before they agree to any work from a contractor. As you will see from the following letter I received a few days ago(I've withheld all names involved), such a list can save a homeowner from many potential problems
As most of you are very well aware, the entire purpose of this blog is to educate, and at the same time elevate, the fiberglass pool industry. And because the popularity of fiberglass pools has exploded throughout North America in the past 10 years, it’s critical to us, the writers of this blog, that such a growth curve continues to happen as consumers become more and more informed as to the beauties of fiberglass pool ownership.
Attention Fiberglass Pool Owners: Please Do Not Disclose this information to your buddies with Concrete/Gunite Pools…..because they’ll be way jealous and drastic things could happen.
Just the other day I was speaking with a pool customer in the Maryland area who was debating the merits of concrete vs. fiberglass swimming pools. During our discussion, I became disenchanted to hear some of the concerns this gentleman had—not because he had concerns, but the root of the concerns themselves.
The process of setting a Deep End Fiberglass Pool is the most critical phase of the construction process. An improper set could result in damage to the pool shell when the weight of the water is placed on the structure.
As just about any pool shopper knows, there is a significant debate raging on in the swimming pool industry:
Many of you seeing the title of this article may laugh at the idea of pools and dogs, but believe it or not for many families out there the dog(s) have just as much say in the pool as the rest of the family does. Just ask my business partner Jim with his two pugs. Heck, sometimes I think those two dogs have more say than any one in Jim’s household…..but I digress. :-)
7 Qualities of the Best Fiberglass Pool Builders in America
This is part 2 of our efforts here to highlite the 2 fabulous fiberglass pool projects that won this year's Master of Design awards. The pool shown was installed by Cherry Hill Pools in Massachusetts. What's so impressive about the project, as you can easily see, is the dynamic natural water feature that begins at a high elevations and cascades into the free-form fiberglass pool below. Considering myths are often circulated regarding the fact that fiberglass pools don't look good with natural water features, I give quite a bit of credit to companies like Cherry Hill that are changing the perception of fiberglass swimming pools across the country, especially in their Northeast corner of the United States. Also, I've included here a few answers to some questions I sent out to Cherry Hill.
When purchasing a swimming pool, many homeowners debate as to whether or not a water feature is a worthy investment. Although arguments could likely be made for both sides, I would emphasize here that a pool is an AWESOME addition to a back yard and to your family experience with or without such a feature. Notwithstanding, there are some definite benefits to having a water feature installed on your swimming pool. Here are my top 3. Also, make sure you take a look at the following video as it shows a recent stone water feature we built on a 16x40 fiberglass pool.
This article is the first in a two-part series I’ve done interviewing the winners of the prestigious Masters of Design Award given out by the pool industry’s leading magazine, Pool and Spa News. As you can see from the photo, this 16’x40’ model by Leisure Pools is no ordinary fiberglass pool, and major props to Signature Pools of Chicago Illinois for bringing this project to fruition. If you’re considering the purchase of a fiberglass swimming pool, this article is a prime example of a company doing things in the fiberglass pool industry the right way. Signature’s leading designer, Todd Emmerson, is the voice in the following interview:
...and you thought you were supposed to shock the pool, not the other way around!
One of the greatest evolutions in the fiberglass swimming pool industry has been a concerted effort from many builders and manufacturers to add customized features to their products. And considering the biggest knock on a fiberglass swimming pool is its lack of customization, such an effort makes quite a bit of sense.
One of the most challenging aspects of buying an inground pool is visualizing what the finished project will look like, and this is especially true on a sloping lot where retaining walls are needed.
Although there are certainly many ways to dress up an inground swimming pool, I wanted to write a brief list showing 11 things (just about all of which are shown in the video) you may consider to dress up the overall appearance of your backyard ‘poolscape’. Keep in mind that as you read the following ideas they are just that-- ideas, and by no means a requisite to having a beautiful pool in your backyard. As I always say, it’s better to have a pool in your backyard without all the options you wanted, than it is to have a beautiful pool with every option you ever dreamed of......in your head……and not in your backyard.
One of our goals with this blog is to nullify what we refer to as the “curse of knowledge” throughout the swimming pool industry. Pool professionals, and all professionals for that matter, often forget that the common customer lacks the depth of knowledge that they have taken years to acquire. What results is a breakdown in communication regarding products, services, construction processes, and an overall misconception of what exactly will happens in the backyard. I’m certainly not immune to this, as I certainly make the same mistake from time to time with my clients. So the purpose of this article is to discuss one of the most common pool construction processes that fall under the dreaded “curse of knowledge”: Swimming Pool Excavation.
When purchasing a swimming pool, consumers are often curious as to how loud the pool's pump and filter will be. Such a question makes a good bit of sense, especially considering no one wants to be relaxing next to their swimming pool with the load roar of a motor just a few feet away.
My business partner Jim got an email this week from a previous inground customer that gave me a little grin, mainly because it is such a perfect representation of a conversation we have when talking to potential customers the first time regarding Heat Pumps:
This is one of those articles that may not win me many fans in the swimming pool industry, but I'm frankly OK with that. I write about subjects that are on my mind--subjects that I feel are true and have merit, and this is certainly a subject that I've been thinking much about as of late.
Just how hard is it to clean an inground swimming pool???
Although there are certainly quite a few myths out there regarding the drawbacks of fiberglass pools, one of the most amusing has to do with its ability to deal with adverse soil conditions. For example, just the other day, I had a lady ask me this question after she had sat down with a concrete pool salesman.
I was at an appointment recently with a customer who asked a question that I've heard so many times before. In the midst of her struggle to justify a swimming pool purchase, this is what she said:
In a continued effort to point out the pros and cons of all types of swimming pools on this blog, this article will discuss a common issue that can arise with a swimming pool over time--- fading. As you are likely aware, any surface of any product is going to lose some color and brilliance with time. So the main goal here is to give you an accurate expectation of each type of pool, as well as the factors that can dictate color loss.
What does it cost to wire a swimming pool??
This article may sound a little self-serving, but trust me when I say that it is not. In fact, it may be as important as any ‘How to buy a pool' article we've ever written because it discusses one of the most common errors I witness each and every year from consumers around the country with regard to their pool purchase.
Potential swimming pool owners often times wonder how much they'll spend on a monthly basis for electrical/ power usage with their new swimming pool. Considering long term costs on a pool should certainly factor into one's purchasing decision, such a question makes quite a bit of sense.
I was on an appointment last night with a potential pool owner and was reminded of the important, as well as frustrating, theme of this article. To make a long story short, the homeowners had received a couple of quotes for their swimming pool and despite the fact that they obviously needed a small retaining wall on one side of their pool, none of the other companies had mentioned this relevant fact. And why had such an important element of the project been tossed aside? Simply put:
DIY Fiberglass Pools | Fiberglass Pool Information | Fiberglass Pool Manufacturers | Fiberglass vs Concrete vs Vinyl Liner | Finding A Pool Contractor | Installation & Construction | Pool Design Guides | Pool Videos
When one looks back on the fiberglass pool industry over the last 25 years or so, it's truly amazing the amount of progress the industry has made as a whole. Upon reflection on these changes, I figured it would be a good thing to look at this time period and mention the innovations that have made their mark on the industry.
First of all, let me preface this article by saying that I'm not a mom nor and I a woman, so by no means am I speaking here as if I'm an expert on the subject of ‘Mom stuff'. Notwithstanding, my wife is a mother of 3 and upon discussing the subject with her, as well as having informal discussions with our substantial customer base of mothers here at River Pools, I decided to come up with the following list, which I think is pretty cool. So here goes:
Ok, so you've finally decided this is the year for a swimming pool in your back yard. Great, because as I sit here at my kitchen table and consider the words for this article I want you to know this article is specifically written for you, the inground pool shopper.
Yesterday, I had to witness one of the components of being an inground pool installer that really, really bothers me--A recent pool owner had been ripped-off.....and in a bad way.
One of the biggest debates that pool shoppers have during the process of building their swimming pool is which type of concrete to use for their patio. And although there are many, many types of patios that can go around a swimming pool (like brushed concrete, stamped concrete, pavers, stone, brick, overlays, etc), this article will solely focus on helping you to understand the pros and cons to brushed (aka broomed) vs. stamped. By so doing, you will be able to make the best choice for you and your family.
A few weeks ago, I posted an article called Small Fiberglass Pool Design Awards for 2010, which has been received with tremendous response. Considering the article has already been read over 1000 times in such a short period of time, I figured we ought to discuss as well the ‘Big Boys' of the fiberglass pool industry and give out awards to the designs that are at least 16'x40' in size. As with the previous article, I have analyzed all the fiberglass pool manufacturers in the industry to come up with awards. As always, the information herein is my opinion, and just because I like or dislike a design does not mean it should totally influence your decision as a fiberglass pool shopper. But like everything else found here on this blog, this article is meant to educate and enlighten consumers so that they are able to make the best decision possible for their family when it comes to purchasing a fiberglass swimming pool. So without further ado, here goes:
Now that pool season is aproaching, many pool owners are facing the question that they've been asking themselves for quite a while: Should I get a salt water system in my swimming pool?
If one looks back just 10 or 15 years ago in the swimming pool industry, they'll find that roughly 90% of all inground swimming pools had a diving board. But today, the trend has done an almost complete 180 degree turn. In this little article, I'll analyze 5 reasons why diving boards have now essentially gone the way of the dinosaur and practically become extinct.
When Is the Best Time to Open My Swimming Pool? Well it's that time of year again folks. And after the winter we had here in Virginia, I say Gooooooood Riddens. But with the warmer weather, the ‘swimming bug' will soon be affecting all of us. (That is, if it hasn't already done so.) In fact, as I write this article and sit in my car at a parking lot in Yorktown Virginia, the temperature outside is about 93 degrees on April 7th. Wow, now that's what I call skipping spring!
Having been in this business for almost 10 years now, it's absolutely unbelievable just how much the inground swimming pool market has changed during this time. This trend was made even more evident to me when I recently sat down with a customer in Baltimore Maryland, who, by all intents and purposes, was a self-taught fiber glass pool expert.
One of my favorite parts of maintaining a blog about the fiberglass pool industry is the chance I have to look at the unique designs that manufacturers are coming up with as the industry progresses. Last year, we posted another very successful article regarding the top fiberglass pool designs of 2009 but this year I wanted to break things down even further and take this opportunity to solely focus on the ‘little guys' of the industry and analyze what makes some of these small inground pools (anything less than 30' in length) such a unique design.
5 Ways to Buy an Inground Fiberglass Swimming Pool for Less than $30,000 in 2010
Fiberglass Pool Coping: A How-To Video
My three year old daughter came to me on a recent morning and proclaimed vigorously, "Daddy, I need you to take me outside.....Now!".... And if there is one thing I've learned over the years as a parent to my kids, there is nothing better than a daughter grabbing the hand of her father and being lead to wherever her whim might take the journey....And so we were off.
"What the heck is a ‘ceramic core' fiberglass pool?"...........
I was recently sitting with a customer looking to buy a fiberglass swimming pool and the classic question came out.
This is one of those blog articles that I really debated on writing. Why? Because it's one that shows the ‘ugly side' of the fiberglass pool industry. And as all our readers are very well aware, we have done everything we can at River Pools to educate the world, via this blog, on the GOOD of fiberglass pools. So as you read the following, I'd ask that you remember this key phrase, which applies to any pool, any industry, and any company:
Ok, so rumor has it that the economy is currently not as strong as it was this time five years ago....And although I have not officially confirmed this rumor, I'll just assume that it's true, at least for the duration of this article ;-) .....
Many people, especially when debating over whether to install a fiberglass pool themselves or have a professional installer do it for them, are frankly not quite sure of what a proper installation entails. As we have done with so many other videos regarding the swimming pool industry, this video (produced by Jason Hughes) takes all the essential steps of unloading, excavating, setting, plumbing, filling with water, and backfilling a fiberglass pool and rolls it into a concise yet extremely informative and entertaining 10 minute video.
5 Vinyl Liner Pool Problems and Solutions
We are frequently asked questions about the effects of ground water on fiberglass pools. The short answer is that it has no effect in most cases as long as the pool remains full of water.