These days, you can buy just about anything online. Food, furniture, heavy machinery, and yep, even inground swimming pools. We’re not talking inflatable kiddie pools either. These are massive, permanent structures, and they are sold online every day from various retailers. When you shop for an inground pool online, it can be as simple as picking the pool you want, paying for it, and having it delivered to your door. But how does buying a swimming pool online change your installation options? What choices do you have when you buy a pool online?
So you’re up for a home improvement project, only this time you’re taking on something big...you want to build your own swimming pool. And that’s awesome. We know how rewarding it can be to complete a project and benefit from it for years. It might fill you with a sense of pride to do things on your own and to do a good job, or you might just want to save some money. Swimming pools can be tricky though, and mistakes can be costly. So, how will you know if a DIY inground pool is a good idea or if you’ve undertaken too much?
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.
Close your eyes and picture the sidewalk on your street. I myself live on an ominous back road—no sidewalk or concrete, just loose gravel and abandoned houses. But it branches off the main street, which is paved and has a sidewalk. Fancy. This sidewalk features trip hazards and aesthetic issues: multiple cracks, salt stains, little holes and etching, and (bonus) a set of footprints from a small dog. Concrete has its own set of issues, but let’s think about those salt stains and etches for a moment. That’s just from the occasional weather maintenance, like the trucks that spray salt all over the road and the sidewalks (and your car if you’re driving behind them). Water in a concrete pool wears at the plaster all day every day. Now add a salt chlorine generator to that mix. Salt + water + concrete. See how that might be an issue?
If you’re looking into getting an inground swimming pool, you might be asking yourself, “Should I get a concrete pool?” Here At River Pools, although we may be exclusively in the fiberglass pool manufacturing and installation business, we readily admit that concrete pools are sometimes a better fit for some people. In fact, there are even times when we encourage shoppers to choose a concrete pool over other types. Why would we do that?
Here at River Pools, our mission as educators in the pool industry is to answer all your questions—the common, the technical, and even the bizarre. (Don't worry; it's a judgment-free zone.) The most common question? Cost. Whether vinyl liner or concrete or fiberglass pools, whether extravagant or minimalistic aesthetics, people want to know about how much they're going to spend. You ask; we answer.
The following is a guest post from Diane Pierce at Authentic Plaster & Tile. Owning a pool can be a relaxing way to take a break after a long day, or enjoy the majority of your summer vacation. They’re the ideal location for any backyard barbecue where friends and family can gather together, connect with each other, eat good food, and splash around. They can also be a lot of work if not properly maintained in a timely manner.
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.
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.
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.