Most people shopping for a pool think that they know just what they want. For example, 90% of the people who want a diving board think they need it. But after education on the pros and cons of a diving board, only 10% of those people will still get a diving board. You're spending a lot of money on this swimming pool investment. You expect that the person that you invite into your home will be an informed professional and have your best interest at heart. In reality the person who shows up will probably be a salesperson trying to earn a commission that will feed his family or lifestyle. That's what is in his/her best interest, not yours. All too often, the homeowner says, "I want a pool this size and a deck this big," and the salesperson quotes them on what they ask for. It's far easier to sell a pool when the homeowner knows what they want, so why rock the boat? That's the mentality of most salespeople today. The problem: in most cases, what the homeowner thinks they want, and what they really want, are two different things.
Fiberglass pools come in many different sizes and shapes. Back in the 1970s and '80s, you were limited in the selection of sizes and shapes of fiberglass pools. Fiberglass pools came 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.
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.
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.
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 purchase of a swimming pool is a huge investment. Buying a pool is not like buying a car; it is more like adding on an addition to your home. Most people purchase their first car before they are 18 years old and they do so with the help of a family member. During your lifetime you will purchase many cars where on the other hand you will probably only purchase one pool. Also when purchasing a car you can get quite a bit of advice from quite a few people, because almost everyone you know has owned more than one car. The same is not true with a pool. Even when talking with someone who has had or has a pool does not guarantee good advice, because that person has probably only owned one pool, which means that their knowledge is limited to just that.
When does a pool need a retaining wall? One of the biggest challenges that I run into when I show up at someone’s home to lay the pool off is the grade of their yard. I rarely walk into someone’s back yard and discover that it is completely flat. Sometimes I find that with some extra gravel and some creative backfilling we can get by without the extra expense of walls. Sometimes walls can really add to the aesthetics of the pool when incorporated properly.
We have already discussed automatic pool covers in another blog article that discusses all covers, but this past year I have had many requests for automatic pool covers and mostly I have found that those people have not read our article on pool covers.
Lately it seems that a lot of homeowners I am meeting with have slopes in their backyards. Some of these slopes range in a grade difference of 1’ to 6’ from where the pool deck starts and finishes. What this means is that your fiberglass pool, when set in the ground, may be even with the ground on one end or side and 1 to 6 feet out of the ground on the other end or side. In such occasions, retaining walls are often the necessary solution, although moving the pool to another more flat location can at times work as well. I had one customer who could have moved their pool to an area in the backyard that would have alleviated any walls, but they wanted the added visual effect the walls would give them.