Building a Swimming Pool?

Ray Cronise has some answers!

A Few Things to Consider

A reader asks: We are just stumped! We’ve been looking into purchasing a pool for our small backyard. We’ve looked into fibreglass pools at this point and like the way they look. We seem to hear a different story from each person we ask regarding the purchase of a new pool. Most agree it’s the installer who is the key. Is that your consensus as well? How do we check on the installer, other than relying on the references given to us by the pool company?

From Ray: First I want to disclose that I also am a manufacturer of fibreglass pools, so I will try to be as objective as possible.

A fibreglass pool is a great choice for your back yard and will absolutely be the lowest maintenance pool. You can look on our site for lots of other background information on these pools. Since I come from a Composites Engineering background, we are a little different than the other companies you might find.

You are correct, that the installer is everything! Unfortunately, fibreglass pools tend to lower the barrier of entry into the installation pool business side and so they tend to attract what I might affectionately refer to as Billy-bob and the back hoe gang. You get the point. On any builder first check the BBB in your area. Also request a list of references AND a list of jobs currently under construction. This will give you the opportunity to see who you are dealing with directly.

A few more general things to consider:

  • Don’t allow them to talk you into exposed coping: go with pavers, stone, or a cantilever deck
  • Consider Tile, but don’t allow it to be installed at the factory – this will result in unlevelled tile at the waterline
  • Request that the pool be installed with no main drain. They are not necessary for circulation and can pose and entrapment hazard.
  • Try to find builders that are members of NSPI. Also ask if they are Certified Building Professionals (CBPs)

Finally, be careful of dark colours and pools. We have colored surfaces, but do not have extremely dark colours. These fail after some time and fibreglass, unlike liners or shotcrete, are not designed to be resurfaced in the field.

Happy Swimming!!!

Ray Cronise, The RTR Group, Inc.