We can all admit that, back in the day, fiberglass pools used to be a bit of an eyesore. But science is an amazing thing: the technology has developed so that not only are these pools now gorgeous, but you can find the exact design and accessories to create your dream backyard. We at River Pools take nigh-parental joy in creating fiberglass pool shapes and designs to fit all kinds of needs. Disclaimer: The shape and size of fiberglass pools can’t be customized the way concrete or vinyl liner pools can. A, they’re built from existing molds, rather than from scratch. B, they have to be 16 ft by 40 ft or smaller, since they travel via highway to get to your house. It’s sad, I know. However, that’s not to say you have no choices! There are plenty of options available, and every fiberglass pool manufacturer produces different designs. Most people are able to find a fiberglass pool design that they love and that fits their needs.
The following is a guest post from Mike Harper, aka The Pool Care Guy. Flocculant may sound like the white fluffy stuff you spray on your fake tree at Christmas, but it's actually a really useful chemical you can use to clean up a cloudy pool. In fact, it's probably the fastest way to clear up a pool that you can’t seem to get clean with your filtration system. But in case that’s not enough information for you, let’s talk about it a little more.
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.
Sometimes it’s time for a switcheroo. I’ll reorganize my nonfiction bookcase, or my mom will plant new flowers around her house, or my cat will suddenly start sleeping on a new corner of the sofa for no reason. You might have reasons behind it, or you might just feel like a change. Maybe for you—whether for money, maintenance, or just a plain ol’ change of pace—your vinyl liner pool is the subject of that change. At River Pools we manufacture and install fiberglass pools, and several times each year, we replace vinyl liner pools with fiberglass units. Our clients are thrilled with the results, and with fiberglass pools gaining market share every year, we expect to take on more and more of these replacement projects.
Testing your pool water for the first time? It can feel intimidating, especially if you never had a good chemistry teacher to build up your science confidence. But don’t worry! At River Pools, we know pools, and we’re here to help.
In February 2018, River Pools had the opportunity to build a fiberglass pool for former Vice President Joe Biden. This was in Delaware, though—outside the River Pools installation area. A problem? Not at all. Enter one of our nationwide dealers, Clean Cut Pavers and Pools. River Pools manufactured the Greco fiberglass pool shell and transported it to the dealer, who installed it in the Bidens' backyard. Some of the River Pools family went out that week to watch the installation and to highlight this dealer, their employees, and their good work. (Others of us—that is, me, myself, and I—were left at the office. I was kind of sad.) The visit was a great experience, and the installation went well! We're growing as a manufacturer, so we're talking to dealers all across the country. This is a new partnership we're excited about and they are as well. During the pool installation process, we spoke with Doug Arcos and Rich Bell from Clean Cut Pavers and Pools to get their perspective as fiberglass pool dealers: What do dealers look for in a pool manufacturer? What do dealers look for in a pool product? What do dealers want in leads from the manufacturer? What are some current trends in backyard pools? How do dealers handle pools in smaller lots?
Lifespan matters for just about everything. As an exotic pet owner, I check how long a snake breed is expected to live before adding that snake to my menagerie. As a laptop buyer, I check user reviews for the real-time battery life before purchasing that model. So how long will your fiberglass pool last?
We say “Don’t drain your pool.” Then we say, “At some point, every pool will need to be drained.” So, fiberglass pools: to drain or not to drain? That is the question. Yes, I know this Hamlet-style pondering can be confusing. But are we contradicting ourselves? Not quite. To keep your pool living its best life, don’t jump on the drain train. Problems can happen if the groundwater around an inground swimming pool is higher than the water in the pool, no matter what type of pool it is.
If you're considering an inground pool, you're probably wondering what the pool will look like in 5, 10, or even 20 years. At River Pools, we've been around a while and understand how the different types of inground pools weather over time…specifically, when and how the surfaces of inground pools fade.
When you're considering a pool for your backyard, you have big decisions to make. Here at River Pools, we aim to provide informative, all-inclusive content to answer your questions about inground pools. Even if you don't choose our fiberglass pools, we want you to know you've made the best decision for your family! In our blog and our videos, we've created content to help you walk through the three main choices: Is an inground pool right for your backyard? Is a fiberglass pool the best option? Who is the best manufacturer?
Are you considering an inground pool or, more specifically, a fiberglass pool with an integrated tanning ledge? Are you a fiberglass pool installer looking for best practices regarding tanning ledge pool installations? If so, you're in luck! Today we're going to share our system for installing tanning ledge pools—and reveal our unique manufacturing process to ensure your tanning ledge pool is super awesome. Let's dive right in!
“A patio around the pool.” Sure. No problem. Sounds simple, right? Until you start thinking size, and shape, and materials, and money… Yuck. Details. The devil’s in ’em. But we at River Pools are here to help! We want to clear out the mess and the stress so that you can make the best pool decision for you and your family. We specialize in fiberglass pools, sure, but no matter what pool type you choose in the end, we provide all the information on all the aspects, good and bad.
Double double, toil and trouble / fire burn and gelcoat bubble… Wait. Why are there bubbles in my pretty, pretty fiberglass pool gelcoat? How did they get there? Who can I yell at about it? First of all, don’t yell. It’s not nice for anyone. Second, let’s take a chill pill and discuss these bubbles—osmotic blisters.
Time for a shout-out to the unsung heroes: pump and filter systems! Your pool pump circulates the water to distribute the chemicals and filter out particulate matter from the water to keep the water clean, pretty, and safe. It’s doing you a solid, but it can also be a giant energy hog thanks to all that work. (Plus, extended hard work could wear the pump out sooner than expected. We don't want that. After all, extended hard work is the worst.) So how can you get all the benefits without spending extra money on electrical costs you don’t need?
Looking for the perfect vinyl liner pool? You’ll eventually have to choose the vinyl liner part of that. Color and design, of course—but how thick are the different pool liner options? How do the manufacturers measure it? What does the measurement mean in normal people terms?
We recommend cartridge filters for fiberglass pools with salt water systems. They work the best and are easy to clean.
Ever notice how some people insist on using a $5 word when a 10¢ word would suffice? (I know I just used the word “suffice,” but hear me out.) The first time I heard the phrase “exposed aggregate” for a pool finish, I thought it was a pretentious way to say “Pebble Tec.” But it’s actually the correct term. Not all exposed aggregate pool finishes are products of the Pebble Tec company. Exposed aggregate finishes are sometimes called Pebble Tec in the same way that we often call tissues Kleenex—one brand has become representative of the product. So we’re going to talk about exposed aggregate finishes as a whole.
You know that feeling when you have so much to do that you end up just binge-watching Netflix instead of doing anything at all? Pool research can feel that way. What should I search first? What should I search for? If it’s your first time looking into all this stuff, it can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of information, and somehow you’re supposed to figure out how to navigate it all. How are you supposed to know what you don’t know? Well, fear not. I’m going to give you a super quick rundown of the most common questions—and links to learn the answers. Boom. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
The joys of summer: pools and convertibles. My best friend has a red Mustang convertible named Sally (i.e., Mustang Sally). In the summer we love to drive with the top down to get Slurpees. However, with a heavy heart, she has to cover Sally up for the winter. Likewise, you should bundle up your pool during the chilly months. We know it’s a sad day. We won’t judge if you cry a little.
No one wants to be labeled “high-maintenance”—and we don’t particularly want to live with someone or something high-maintenance either. Well, you’re in luck! Your fiberglass pool is as low-maintenance as they come.
Ever watched “What Not to Wear”? I wish Stacy London would hand me $5,000 for new clothes. The catch: those clothes didn’t come off the hanger magically the right shape. All those outfits were tailored to the shopper. They looked amazing afterward, yes, but that tailoring also used up a big chunk of their shopping money. Now prepare yourself...that’s basically what you have to do to a vinyl liner pool.
My mom is big on interior design, and her most recent project is redoing the tile on her kitchen wall. It wasn’t old-fashioned or broken, but she likes everything to be up-to-date and looking its best. In the same way, for fiberglass pools, tile is a matter of taste, not necessity. Here at River Pools, it’s important to us that you get the pool you want. Some customers love tile, and we’re happy to put it on. Others choose to save the money toward other features and accessories. There’s no wrong option!
Are you in the market for a freeform fiberglass pool and looking for the perfect model for your family? We’re here for you!
Fine print: we all hate it. How many of us really read the Terms and Conditions? Buckle down...you really do need to read your pool warranty. Actually read it. Then ask about anything you don’t understand or agree with.
When I’m not taking the pool industry by storm, I like to write novels. I plan ahead obsessively: think 10-page character sheets, hand-drawn world maps, and color-coded plot diagrams. “Congratulations on overthinking everything,” you say, “but I’m not writing a book. I’m buying a pool.” Don’t give me that look! For pool purchases and maintenance, you, too, need to plan ahead. Maps and diagrams included, probably.
Don’t you hate when you’re trying to smooth frosting on a cupcake and it keeps showing the dents from the spoon or knife? If you know how to do it right, tell me your secrets. Bakers must have sold their soul to figure out the magic trick for that. Sure, the cupcakes taste the same either way, but it just looks so much better when they’re smoothly swirled. Welcome to the world of trowel marks on a pool.
Concrete pools are often referred to as “gunite” pools, but then what’s shotcrete? Are gunite, shotcrete, and concrete all the same thing? Not to worry… all will be revealed. (Doesn’t that sound ominous? I love it.) Quick refresher: concrete is a mix of water, cement, sand, and a coarse aggregate, which is usually stone or gravel. The cement, sand, and aggregate are the initial mixture. How the builder mixes in the water determines how we refer to it.
Odds are, you’ve heard pool people tell you, frantically and with tears in their eyes, “Don’t drain your inground pool!” They mention hydrostatic pressure as the reasoning before running off to warn the next pool owner they can find. It’s nice of them to alert you…but what are they talking about? Why shouldn’t you drain your pool, really? What does “hydrostatic” even mean? Not to worry, friend. I have your back. Let’s talk pool physics.
A lot of people with medium-sized pets like to let them play in the pool. Have a dog? Sheep? Llama? Small horse? They might be interested!
If you’re new to the world of pool ownership, get ready to use your Surprised Face… You don’t have to have a pool cover. I always got the impression that you did, but it’s actually not required. The obligatory fence around the pool area is your first line of defense in the safety arena.
Let’s be honest: we all like to seem super skilled and smart. My personal tricks include: Reciting all of “Beauty and the Beast” from memory Counting on my fingers how many novels I’ve written, using dramatic pauses Using the phrase “nonlinear progression of time” (I may not be much fun at parties, now that I think about it.) Anyway, my point is, here’s a topic that you can try out for yourself: science! Science may not be your specialty, but you can impress your neighbors if you casually explain some chemistry to them in precise scientific terms, so it’s worth a shot.
I have zero tolerance for the cold. My family teases me for my wimpiness. I’ve accepted it.
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. I know; it hurts me too. Here’s why it’s expensive even though you already have the pool-shaped hole in the ground—and why it may still be worth the cost.
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.
If you are looking to build an inground pool, you may be excited about the prospect of adding this new feature to your outdoor space. A pool can provide you and your family with many benefits and hours of fun. However, while playing in a pool can be fun, building one is another story. There is a lot of research and work that needs to go into planning the pool. You need to ensure that you purchase the right pool and layout so you are happy with your decision for years to come. There are many factors that come into play when designing and selecting a pool. This includes items like size, color, type, and design. Here are a few of the things you need to consider when you are buying a pool. They will help you hone in on the pool size, shape, type, and design that best meet your needs.
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”.
One of the advantages of working with fiberglass pools is the flexibility it allows in design and installations. We are able to customize our pools to fit the needs of our customers.
Are you losing water in your fiberglass pool? Perhaps you've scanned the pool surface and cannot find any damage to the pool shell so you're wondering where to turn next.
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 live in an area with a high water table you may be wondering if a pool installation is possible, or how to manage ground water during the installation of an inground pool.
Are you in the market for an inground swimming pool?
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?
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!
If you are in the market for an inground pool, whether fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl liner, one of the first things you're likely to consider is the shape of the pool you'd like in your backyard. Being that you're reading this article, there's a good chance you're interested in a freeform or curvy shaped pool. You likely have some questions about freeform pools such as:
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.
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!
If you are seriously considering an inground fiberglass pool, I'm going to make two assumptions:
Before I give my frank observations on the happenings of last week’s national dealer conference, allow me to reflect a little if you wouldn’t mind.
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:
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 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 questions we receive about pool loans. Let's jump right in!
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 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 (up to 34' long and 14' wide) would be a better fit. Then there are always large pools, which can be 40' or even longer.
If you are seriously considering an inground swimming pool, you’ve probably discovered that there are a lot of decisions to make!
After years of working with hundreds of inground fiberglass pool customers we have found that our clients research several key factors when preparing for their project: cost and pricing the amount of pool maintenance required 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? Let's see the 3-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 shell The video shows the "birth" of our first Oasis 27 pool from the mold.
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 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.
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.
Fiberglass pools come in many different sizes and shapes. It used to be that you were limited in the selection of sizes and shapes of fiberglass pools back in the 1970s and 80s. Fiberglass pools use to come in two colors, white and powder blue. But today there are a wide variety of fiberglass pools to choose from, including a wide variety of colors to pick from. This is due to more people getting into the manufacturing of fiberglass pools and the advancements that have been made in the gel coat industry.
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.
A man and a woman who met online 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 of 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. What the concrete/gunite companies knew was that most fiberglass companies did not have diving pools, so they could use that to help beat out the fiberglass sales guy. But it did not take long before fiberglass manufacturers started building fiberglass swimming pools that were 8’ deep and could take a diving board.
The Pros and Cons of Automatic Pool Covers:
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:
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 prolific 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. This being said, the size of fiberglass pools will always have some limitations due to the fact that they are built offsite in a factory and then shipped on highways. With most wide-load laws preventing anything to travel on the highway that is more than 16’ wide, this can make it very difficult to produce anything of a greater size.
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.
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: What options do I have for installing a pool in my yard? What will the project look like when completed? How much will it cost?
In the following video you’ll see an existing vinyl liner pool that we converted to fiberglass. The most amazing aspect of this entire project is that the dilapidated vinyl pool you're about to see is only 15 years old…and it’s already gone through 3 liners!
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 already researching how much the pool will cost upfront. It's important! However, you’re probably also 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 being a premium even in difficult economies, many backyards 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. In fact, a small yard can really flourish with the addition of a small pool design and all it has to offer. This article will discuss some of the common questions associated with installing an inground swimming pool in a small backyard.
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 discuss 10 of the most popular and innovative pool options in the pool industry today! You'll learn why they are gaining in popularity and ballpark costs for each.
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.
Yes, people do buy used fiberglass swimming pools. And no, I’m not kidding. How does it happen?
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. Then we'll reveal the average lifespan of salt chlorine generators...along with a few pointers on how to make yours last longer.
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 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.
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.