Let’s be honest: we all like to seem super skilled and smart. My personal tricks include:
I have zero tolerance for the cold. My family teases me for my wimpiness. I’ve accepted it.
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.
Most of us have been around vinyl liner pools at one time or another. (For example, my grandparents have one. I now know that they needed to replace the liner years ago. Don't blame the grandkids for rusted wall panels, Nana.) But personal experience doesn't necessarily mean someone knows the details. Curious about the basics? Here at River Pools, we worked exclusively with them for years before we discovered and fell madly in love with fiberglass pools. We’re all about making information available to you and easy to understand. That includes all types of pools.
For my family, a diving board is a runway. It's all very dramatic. We waddle like penguins, strut like models, wave like royalty, and stroll like oblivious pedestrians...and then drop into the deep end of the pool, still “walking.”
What’s the best concrete thickness for your pool? If you’re asking this question, you’re probably already looking at and comparing the pool contractors in your area. The vast majority of us can’t DIY a concrete pool; the process is too complicated and technical. You’ll contract professionals to engineer and construct it. Be sure to ask them the relevant questions we lay out in our Swimming Pool Builder Vetting Checklist to confirm their integrity and expertise.
Okay, I know warranties aren’t exactly a fun conversation topic. But bear with me! Most of us skim over Terms and Conditions, but you do actually need to read your fiberglass pool warranty—and you need to know what to look for. As fiberglass pool manufacturers and installers, we at River Pools can offer expert advice.
Time for a radical statement: fiberglass pools aren’t for everyone. I know! Contain your shock! River Pools manufactures and sells them, but our priority is one thing: customer satisfaction. We want you to be informed so you can make the best decision for you and your family...even if that means not choosing us.
Are you in the market for a freeform fiberglass pool and looking for the perfect model for your family? You aren't alone. As manufacturers and installers of inground fiberglass swimming pools, we at River Pools have a unique determination to help homeowners (like you!) to find your perfect pool—whether that means choosing us or not.
Considering a fiberglass or vinyl liner pool? We’re here to help. Even though we specialize in fiberglass pools, our goal is for you to walk away satisfied, and part of how we achieve that is by providing information on all types of pools, not just the ones we sell.
As tempting as it may be sometimes, you’re not allowed to leave people stranded in your pool. There are laws against that. Swimmers need a way to get out of the water, so you need a ladder at least, if not actual steps, and you have to include them in your design from the beginning.
Planning a new vinyl liner pool and unsure what to do with the floor? Although River Pools now specializes in fiberglass pools, we started out working only with vinyl liner pools, and we want to share our knowledge so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
If you’re planning to buy a concrete pool, have you ever wished you could time-travel to the future and see what the construction process is like? Time travel is, of course, the best solution to any question, but in this case we can provide answers without it.
Based on our experience, people usually assume that replacing a concrete pool with a fiberglass pool will be cheap—maybe as much as replacing the liner twice in a vinyl liner pool, or resurfacing a concrete pool. I like a clearance sale as much as the next person, so I’m sad to say this isn’t the case. It can actually end up costing more than a new pool.
Did you ever swim in the ocean, get a mouthful of seawater, and think, “Yum, I wish my pool at home tasted like this”? Yeah, probably not. Lucky for you and your taste buds, that’s not what a saltwater pool is.
A lot goes into the manufacturing and installation process for a fiberglass pool. It’s especially hard to make sense of all those steps when the explanation includes a lot of pool and science jargon, regardless of whether you’d like a refresher on the basics of a fiberglass pool or already know the components.
Green: the lovely color of freshly mowed grass, summer leaves fluttering in the breeze, and the protagonist’s eyes in any teen novel in the local library. It’s not so lovely when it’s the color of algae in your inground pool.
Here at River Pools, we care about your skincare routine. Well, for your feet.
Even though we’re one of the country’s leading fiberglass pool specialists, we’re still familiar with concrete and vinyl liner pools and understand that they have a place in the market. We appreciate their value and recognize that people want to learn about all types of pools. We’re here to help you learn everything you need to know about buying the perfect pool for you and your family. In this article, we'll cover the pros and cons of these two types of pools in the following areas:
Every pool owner has different goals. This affects the design—pools don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) one-size-fits-all. You can customize concrete pools to fit almost any look you like, which is a huge advantage for this pool type. However, most don’t vary that much.
Liner wrinkles are part of owning a vinyl liner pool. A liner is very thin, and when it’s initially installed, it’s not uncommon to have some wrinkles in the pool. Wrinkles can also develop slowly over time, which is unfortunately true for both pools and people.
Pools aren’t always for exercise, so why should they all be designed as if they are?
Whether you’re building the pool yourself or contracting it out, you need to know the differences between the material options for your wall panels. It’s only the second step in the construction process, too, so you can’t make much progress until you decide. And this decision will be with you for a long time.
Ah yes, the relaxing rush of a waterfall. Such a beautiful, soothing noise…until you remember that you’re sitting by your pool and didn’t install a waterfall. Yikes.
What is a fiberglass pool, in the most basic sense?
How much will my vinyl liner pool cost? What do I need to budget for? You’ve already asked yourself these questions—you know that buying a pool is a big financial decision. You don’t need us to tell you that. River Pools aims to provide you all the information so you can make the best decision in your pool search. We suggest ways to make your pool project more affordable and provide a pricing guide for all three of the major inground pool types. Now we’d like to help you budget by providing an overview of the areas you should take into account when planning your dream backyard pool: the factors for both initial and lifetime costs.
A pool is a pool is a pool, right? Actually, not so much. When you’re planning such a big investment, you need to look into the three primary pool types—concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass—to understand the differences. River Pools manufactures and sells only fiberglass pools, but we know you need all the information on all the pool types in order to make an educated decision on what’s best for your needs. For some people, concrete is the way to go.
Are you shopping for liners for your vinyl liner pool and uncertain what thickness is best? Want to verify in layman’s terms what your pool builder has offered? Unsure what a “mil” measurement even means?
If you decide to go with a vinyl liner pool, we won’t cry…much. (River Pools specializes in fiberglass pools, after all.) But that vinyl liner needs some special attention in order to live its life to the fullest. While the builders and installers are responsible for creating your pool according to specifications, you have the power to ensure that they do so and that your pool stays in good health for as long as possible. One way to do that is to understand how to prevent divots, dents, and bumps in the bottom of your vinyl liner pool.
Interested in a concrete pool, but concerned about staying within budget?
Are you in the market for a concrete pool? With so many pool types and companies available, it can be difficult to find unbiased, thorough information. Here at River Pools, we sell fiberglass pools exclusively, but we understand a fiberglass pool may not be the best fit for everybody, and many pool shoppers might find a concrete pool to be the best option for their situation. However, concrete pools comes with their own unique set of problems, and because a pool installation is such a big decision, we want to ensure you have the full picture. Here are 10 of the most common problems for a concrete pool—and how you can avoid them.
Buying an inground pool is a major purchase. They cost tens of thousands of dollars and can affect both the aesthetic of your outdoor space and the value of your home. This is a purchase that you should never take lightly. There is a lot of research that you need to do before buying one and a lot of decisions that need to be made. If you leap in without doing your homework, you could overpay, purchase a pool that requires more maintenance than you prefer, or hire the wrong contractor for the job. Doing your research can help you make educated and informed decisions about the type of pool you buy and its features. All in all, this should help ensure the pool not only looks amazing outside your house, but has the features and functions that make sense for you and your family. Here are the six things that you should know before you purchase an inground pool.
If you are installing an inground pool, you are likely excited about the prospect of being able to swim and play in the pool when you want. However, when people purchase a pool, they have an idea in their head as to what their space will look like. It may be green and lush, or it may be exotic and tropical. Regardless, the pool alone will not make your vision a reality. It is the landscaping around the pool that helps everything come together to give you the outdoor space you have been dreaming of. Choosing a look or theme will help you decide what type of landscaping to place around the pool.
As a current pool owner or someone who is looking to purchase a pool, somewhere along the way, you may have asked yourself, what's the difference between a salt water pool and a chlorine pool? Which is better? Should I get a salt water generator for my swimming pool?
If you are planning on buying a pool, you may be looking at the accessories as well. There are hundreds of pool accessories available on the market today. Some help improve the cleanliness of the pool, some increase safety, some add functionality to the pool, and others improve the aesthetics of the pool. Taking the time to do your research on the various types of accessories available will help you determine which are ideal for your pool. Keep in mind, that the accessories you need may change depending on the type of pool you are planning to buy. Here are some of the top swimming pool accessories and what information you should know if you are considering the accessory type.
If you're considering the purchase of an inground fiberglass pool and have done any research on the web, you've probably encountered some discussion of the problems associated with fiberglass pools.
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.
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:
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 use 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. 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 ensure the pool does three things: Drains properly Looks pleasing to the eye Works with the grade of the yard as much as possible (and thus not spending “invisible money”)
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.
I met with a great couple last night for a project planning meeting.
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 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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
Such was the question a customer asked me recently and so I figured that being we’d not broached this subject here on the blog, as well as the fact that November is upon us, now was the perfect time to address the idea of year-round inground swimming pools.
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
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: Have you ever made this statement of your home? “Geesh, I wish the steps leading to the upstairs were closer to the front door?” Chances are you haven’t. But notwithstanding, the single biggest design hang-up that folks encounter, especially with fiberglass pools, is the notion that the steps of the pool need to be as close as possible to the entrance of the pool area.
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. Sometimes I think those two dogs have more say than any human in Jim’s household…but I digress. Let’s take a look at a few common questions we get regarding pools and dogs.
7 Qualities of the Best Fiberglass Pool Builders in America
This is part 2 of our efforts here to highlight the 2 fabulous fiberglass pool projects that won this year's Master of Design awards.
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.
...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???
Let me start off by saying that we are huge proponents of salt water chlorine generators and do recommend them to most customers. However, there is no such thing as a perfect system. The purpose of this article is to bring to light several of the issues we’ve seen with salt water chlorine systems after installing close to 1,000 of them over the past 8 or 9 years. As you’ll see, most of the issues we’ve encountered haven’t been with the actual salt water systems, but with the impact that the system has on other pool components.
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??