Pro Tips with Jamie Snyder

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How to find the right in ground swimming pool.

Posted by James Snyder on Tue, Apr 13, 2010 @ 12:09 PM

This article is written to help you find the right pool for you and your family. If you are sitting here reading this chances are that you have been thinking about owning a swimming pool. There are many types of pools to choose from. Swimming pools come in a bewildering array of sizes, shapes, colors, materials and build quality. Knowing all of your options will help you make an informed decision that you will be happy with for years to come.

As a pool builder in Orange County, NY I have seen just about every type of pool installed. I offer my advice here, to give you - the consumer - a view of the different types of Swimming pools through the eyes of a pool builder.

Types Of Swimming Pools:
1. Gunite (sprayed concrete) - Probably the most popular type of pool in the US.
2. Vinyl Liner - Probably the most popular type of pool In Orange County, NY.
3. Fiberglass - Probably the pool with the most false myths associated with it.


Gunite pool Pros:
  • Size and shape are limitless, any shape, any size, any depth. Great for places that need large pools such as hotels, schools and municipalities.
  • Easily adaptable to existing landscape.
Gunite pool Cons:
  • Gunite pools take longer to install - up to 4 months.
  • Surface reacts with water and in turn requires more chemicals to keep pool water correct.
  • Needs expensive acid washing and resurfacing. This procedure can easily reach $15,000 to $25,000 and you can count on doing this every 10 years or so.
  • Expensive to heat because of the nature of concrete it does not insulate the water from loosing temperature.
  • More chance for dead spots in the water. Because of the ability to make many different shapes most of the shapes are not tested designs. A dead spot is an area of the pool that water does not flow into and out of efficiently. This will lead to algae build up.
  • Surface is rough on skin.
  • Warranty is not backed up by anyone other than the builder. There is no factory to fall back on.
  • Very high maintenance, because of the surface being porous it needs to be brushed regularly to remove algae.

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Vinyl Liner pool Pros:
  • Cheap initial cost.
  • Size and shape are all but limitless. Although most pool builders will pick from pre-determined "stock" shapes and customize if needed.
  • Uses fewer chemicals than Gunite. Because the liner is not very porous the liner does not allow algae to easily grow. In turn fewer chemicals will be needed.
Vinyl Liner pool Cons:
  • Recurring costs, in the form of liner replacements. Liners typically cost between $5,000 and $9,000 to replace.
  • The warranty on a vinyl liner covers very little and to top it off it is pro-rated.
  • Vinyl liners are easily punctured. Pets, wild animals, kids toys, tree branches, rocks, etc... Any one of these can cause you to open up your wallet for a new liner.
  • Expensive to heat just like Gunite there is nothing to help insulate the water from the ground.
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Fiberglass pool Pros:
  • Fiberglass is an insulator, this makes heating the pool much easier.
  • No maintenance cost associated with fiberglass shell, Simply put you will not have to put any money into the shell and there are no liners to replace or resurfacing.
  • Surface is not abrasive and feels good to walk on. Additionally a smooth but grip enhancing texture is added to the bottom surfaces and steps for ease of walking.
  • Built in seating that can double as therapy by adding spa jets.
  • Built in steps
  • Fastest installation time
  • Proven shapes with no dead spots
  • Zero chemical reaction between the pool shell and liner means easy cleanup and least chemical usage.
  •  Leisure Pools USA manufactures their pools indoors in an EPA level 5 facility. This ensures repeatability of the molding process to exacting standards. As well as keeping our air clean to breathe.
Fiberglass pool Cons:
  • Fiberglass pools have to be shipped and that limits the size of the pools that are available. Sizes of 16' x 40' by 8' deep are just about as big as you can go.
  • Fiberglass pools are built on a mold that is already made so custom shapes are not available.
  • Repairs on some colored finishes are not perfect. Leisure Pools USA has the system down pat but other no other manufacturer does.
  • Cost a few thousand more than vinyl liner pool. You get what you pay for.

Thanks for reading!!
Jamie Albert Snyder

Tags: Aquaguard, Vinyl Liner, swimming pool, pool builder, Leisure Pools USA, fiberglass pool, swimming pool design, pool contractor


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