Pro Tips with Jamie Snyder

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Are Fiberglass Pools Heat Resistant?

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sun, Jul 08, 2012 @ 30:09 AM

upstate_fiberglass_poolYes, fiberglass pools are heat resistant. They are suitable for any climate in the United States. In fact, they are 17 times stronger than concrete pools and can withstand temperature extremes of hot and cold.

Another advantage of fiberglass swimming pools in hot weather is, that algae is less likely to grow on the non-porous surface. Chemicals also won’t interfere. There is no adverse effect due to heat or sun-exposure.

Our fiberglass pools come from Leisure Pools USA, one of the biggest manufacturers in the US. The company is originally from Australia and did a lot of research and development for their product. Since the UV intensity in Australia is extremely high they wanted to have a product, which is highly resistant to sun, weather and chemicals.

The result are surprisingly versatile and strong pool shells and an extremely resistant finish. The Aquaguard® Gel Coat finish is specifically designed for swimming pool applications and comes in a variety of colors. It is formulated as a one-coat spray that is easy to apply – and easy to repair, in case surface or pool should get damaged.

Yes, even fiberglass pools can get damaged, “if you smash it with a sledge hammer”, says James Snyder of the Albert Group. “Let’s face it you can crack anything if you really wanted to. Pools made by Leisure Pools USA have a breaking strength of 21,000 psi. So if you use this pool in the manner that it was designed you will be fine. But if you do have an accident it is easily repairable.”

Leisure Pool also offers a 35 year structural warranty and a 15 year surface warranty. This is notable, since the gel coat has actually been laboratory tested out to 20 years with no noticeable deterioration.

swimming_pool_for_your_weekend_house


Go Green: Environmentally Friendly Swimming Pools

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 @ 31:08 PM

Ecofriendly Swimming Pool

There are several ways to make your pool environmentally friendly. “We recommend our clients energy efficient pumps, salt-chlorine generators and the use of materials, like fiberglass, which is not only a natural insulator, but also requires less maintenance and chemicals”, explains Monroe pool builder and landscaper Jamie Snyder.

Safe Energy and Money
It does not necessarily have to be more expensive to invest in an environmentally friendly pool. In fact, “going green” and managing your swimming pool in an environmentally healthy and sustainable way will save you a fair amount of money in the long run. By upgrading to a variable speed pump you can save up to $800 per year in electricity. Equipped with an automatic timer the new pumps just use the amount of energy they really need.

Minimize Evaporation
According to the US Department of Energy a Swimming Pool Cover reduces evaporation by 90 to 95 percent and will cut down the heating costs dramatically. An automatic cover is also a great safety feature and can help to minimize the use of chemicals, which dissipate with the wind blowing across the surface.

Use “green” materials
When deciding to go with a fiberglass pool you instantly make an environmentally sound decision. While vinyl liners tend to tear and need to be replaced after a few years, the new fiberglass pools are built to last for a lifetime. The material is strong and allows the pool to flex without cracking (like cement pools), which is ideal for the extreme temperature changes in the north. You won’t need to worry about repairs, resurfacing and costly liner replacement. Plus you won’t add another old liner to the landfill.

Aquaguard Gel-Coat prevents Algae-Growth
With Leisure Pools exclusive Aquaguard Gel-Coat surface for fiberglass swimming pools there are far fewer chemicals needed and algae can’t bond that easily. In Vinyl pools algae often grows in seams and in the texture of the liner or in the cracks of a cement pool. Fiberglass pools don’t need to be scrubbed and can be cleaned easily. They are also pet proof, and as of today the longest lasting swimming pool surface available on the market.

Leisure Pools_Fiberglass_Swimming_Pool_Dealer_Monroe_NY

Are fiberglass pools too slippery for comfort?

Posted by James Snyder on Wed, Apr 06, 2011 @ 22:01 PM

A Note From Jamie Albert Snyder:  This week I read an awesome blog post by Earl's Pools in Alabama and really enjoyed it. I have asked them to be a guest publisher on this site and they graciuosly agreed.The following post is By Trent King of Earl's Pools in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Are fiberglass pools too slippery for comfort?

   This is starting to become a concern to some customers, because of the new age pools are not having the traditional hand rails or ladders being installed. This has really been the trend for Leisure pools and their higher end luxurious looks for a number of reasons. Now days people are not only having pools installed for swimming, but to enhance the pool area as a showpiece used for entertaining before swimming season and when it is over. Whether its a get together or just to sit out and relax, people tend to gather around something. This is where your back yard oasis comes into play with the endless options of landscaping, outdoor fire places or pits, outdoor furniture, lighting and water features, etc. Some tend to think ladders and handrails are an eyesore and takes away from the pool or just get in the way. Although in some applications they are necessary for some people, it should not be much of a concern getting in and out of these pools. Leisure makes a non-slip surface on all the pool and spa bottoms, seats and steps. This textured surface does not take away from the colors or sparkles and is barely visible when water is in the pool or spa, but does create secure standing areas on the bottom of the pool.  If you may have any questions or concerns with the bottom texture of a fiberglass pool please feel free to contact me.  Here is a close up picture of the texture with no water on it.

albert group landscaping ebook1Click here to download our e-book - A Guide to Swimming in Quality and Style.

Why a vinyl liner pool costs less than fiberglass – you get less.

Posted by James Snyder on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 @ 59:01 PM

If you are reading this, chances are that you are thinking about investing in a swimming pool. First congratulations, there is no better way of adding excitement and quality family time to your backyard.  But, now it’s time to make some choices.

When deciding  on purchasing  a swimming pool in NY you have 3 basic choices vinyl, gunite(concrete) or fiberglass. New York has long been known as “vinyl country” and for good reason. There are tons of vinyl liner pools in NY. Their design dates back to 1948 when Cascade Industries introduced the Vinyl Liner swimming pool in NJ. Back then - before there was the internet or a compelling fiberglass pool choice there were vinyl liner pools and gunite pools. Now the game has changed with the introduction of the fiberglass swimming pool.

Fiberglass pool builder orange county ny

When fiberglass pools first arrived on the scene they were – well  - not ready for prime-time. The original fiberglass pools had some inherent problems. First was the look of them, they were no more attractive than a bath tub. Second they didn’t react well with pool water - they would blister, fade and yellow - that’s a big problem if you ask me. Today with the aquaguard finish from Leisure Pools USA those problems have been sorted out and fiberglass pools really have only one drawback. They are only available in the sizes and shapes that they offer – no custom jobs. Fortunately they know this and strive to design remarkable pools.  Click here to see the shapes available from Leisure Pools USA.

A few years ago I made a decision to become a “fiberglass pool guy”. With all of the bad press out there about fiberglass I was intrigued. As a Landscape and swimming pool contractor in Orange County NY I had been working with both vinyl and concrete and knew their problems. As I researched fiberglass more I came to realize what was going on. Vinyl and Gunite guys were scared of fiberglass. That is because fiberglass is the fastest growing segment in the pool industry. Fiberglass was already the most popular type of pool being installed in Australia and now it won’t be long until your circa 1948 vinyl liner pool technology is extinct here as well. (NEWSFLASH - Vinyl Liner pools are already is extinct in the southern and western states only the north east remains - for now.)

The problem as I see it with a vinyl swimming pool is that you are not getting much for your money. The fact is that most of what you are paying for in a vinyl pool is labor. And when the labor leaves you are left with a vinyl liner inside some type of wall. They will talk about different wall types and so on, but the fact is I have never seen a properly installed pool wall fail – unless it’s wood. It’s the liner that fails. And when this happens the base of the pool – usually sand or vermiculite – more often than not needs repair as well. A typical liner replacement will set you back 4-7k depending on size. This does not include water or anything else that “pops up”. With a fiberglass pool there are no such associated costs or headaches. Downtime and waiting for a replacement liner to get installed is a thing of the past.

The truth is, in the long run a vinyl liner pool will cost you a lot more to own. Because a vinyl liner doesn’t insulate the water from the ground it costs about 8 times as much to heat. Read fiberglass is an insulator here. Add in the cost of liner replacements and you can start to see the picture.

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Why spending more on a high efficiency pool pump will save you money.

Posted by James Snyder on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 @ 41:10 AM

High efficiency pool pump swimming pool design Orange county NY

When comparing pool pumps there is a lot more to think about than just HP. New high efficiency pumps such as the IntelliFlo VS+SVRS by Pentair are designed to save you money. Although they cost more to buy than a standard pump they will save you money right away. So much so, that if you have a traditional 1-2 HP pump and it’s brand new – throw it away. Don’t get offended, it’s just that today’s high efficiency pumps are just that good. Another benefit to the IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump is that it has a built in timer and SVRS (safety Vacuum release system). The SVRS feature helps keep you in compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act also known as the VGB laws. If you are building a new pool it is mandatory you follow VGB guidelines, if you have an older pool check your local laws to see if you need to rennovate your pool to comply. All commercial pools must comply. The built in timer is more advanced then your typical pool pump timer allowing you to set up more advanced and energy saving cycles. Check out the video below to learn more about the Intelliflo Variable Speed pumps and how they save you money. Or go here to calculate how much you will save on your pool.

To have Albert Group Landscaping & Swimming pools come to your home and discuss your pool project click here.

5 Reasons the ownership experience of a Fiberglass Pool is awesome!

Posted by James Snyder on Sat, Feb 12, 2011 @ 20:12 PM

1.       Leisure Pools USA uses the Patented Aquaguard gel coat finish. The only finish specifically guaranteed not to blister, fade, spider crack, cobalt, yellow, or any other of the bad things that are possible. View the full warranty here. Not to mention - they have the best colors in the industry.

Leisure Pools USA fiberglass swimming pool westchester NY

 

2.       The Aquaguard finish has zero chemical reaction with the water. This means that the pool is the easiest of any type of pool to keep clean. Algae will not be a problem as it is in concrete (gunite) pools. You will not have a “scum” line to scrub as concrete and vinyl do. This means more time to enjoy your pool and less time working on it. A pool is supposed to be fun right?

 

 Save fuel

3.       Fiberglass is an insulator. This means that the heat placed in the pool stays there longer. Whether it’s the sun that heated your pool or you have a heater. You will notice a huge difference. For instance, a 15,000 gallon pool made from concrete or vinyl will take about 3 days to heat using a 400,000 BTU heater. The same size pool in fiberglass may only take 1 day using a 150,000 BTU heater. This is a huge savings. If both heaters are rated at the same efficiency and 8 hour days are used the math works out like this. A vinyl pool using heat for one 8 hour day uses 400,000 BTU’s X 8 hours = 3,200,000 BTU’s  This number times 3 days gives you 9,600,000 BTU’s. Now the same calculations applied to the fiberglass pool using the smaller heater equates to 1,200,000 BTU’s used. Since BTU’s used correlate directly to fuel used you can see that the concrete / vinyl pool uses EIGHT times the fuel to do the same thing. This would be the same as comparing a car that gets 40 miles per gallon to a car that gets 5 miles per gallon. With fiberglass pool owners getting so much better fuel economy it’s no wonder that they open their pools early and close them later in the season.

 

4.       Fiberglass pools by Leisure Pools USA never need to be resurfaced and they do not have liners to replace. Did you know that concrete (gunite) need to be resurfaced every 10 years. The average cost for this is in the $12,000 - $15,000 range. Not only that, Every 3 years it needs to be acid washed. These items are so costly that most people just skip it. This leads to further damage and poor water chemistry. This in turn leads to wearing out plumbing and equipment. My dad told me something when I was a kid – “If you neglect to repair – you will despair”. And in this case it fits perfectly.  Vinyl pools have their own hidden maintenance costs. Liners rarely last more than 7-10 years these days. Twenty years ago liners were built to last. These days that is just not the case. First fading sets in – so even if it still holds water who wants to look at it? Second it is not uncommon for an animal to get in the pool and tear the liner. Ditto for other foreign objects such as branches, rocks, etc. And then there is just plain old bad luck. Liners are never warranted against anything except the seams coming apart. And even when that happens the warranty is pro-rated and issued as a discount on the cost of  buying another liner – labor for installing the new liner and disposal of the old one is not included, neither is water. On a five year old liner you would be lucky to get $300 towards a $4,000 - $6,000 liner job.

Leisure Pools Elegance 33 in Australian Blue

 

5.       The installation goes WAY faster. The pool portion of the project is faster because of the one piece pool shell. Gunite pools typically take 45-60 days to complete and vinyl liner pools can easily take 35 days. A typical fiberglass pool will be done in under 10 days.

To schedule your free consultation click here

How to Install fittings in a fiberglass pool

Posted by James Snyder on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 @ 11:01 PM

Here is a short video on how to install fittings such as lights, spa jets, suctions and returns in a fiberglass pool.

Top 5 questions people ask when buying a fiberglass pool

Posted by James Snyder on Sun, Sep 26, 2010 @ 42:07 PM

 

1. Will the pool pop out of the ground (float)?

The only way a pool will pop out of the ground is if the pool has more water around it than in it. The pool cannot quite simply “pop” out of the ground by itself. As a matter of fact there are many more concrete pools that have “popped” out of the ground than fiberglass. And Vinyl liners are way more susceptible to ground water damage. Check out my blog titled “blah” to read more about this. At Albert Group Landscaping and pools we do two things to help you make sure this will not happen.

1. We install either drainage around the pool or a sump tube for inspection. We can do both if you like as well. The drainage pipe is used when it is possible to pipe the water to a lower section suitable for this. A sump tube is a 12” pipe installed vertically at the deep end of the pool. We place a skimmer lid on top to give it a finished look and be safe. If you decide that you need to drain the pool, you may at this time open the lid to the sump tube and see if there is any water in it. If there is none at this point you may drain the pool.

*For my customers reading this* If you ever feel the need to drain the pool please call me. I will come out for free and help you with this decision. There is normally no need to ever drain the pool. If a deer jumped in and died that’s one thing, if you have algae – no way!

2.  We will not build a pool without a concrete locking collar. I understand that some people may want to save some money. But I have a reputation to protect. This collar will do more for you than just add weight to the pool – making it even harder to to “pop”out of the ground. This collar also keeps the shape of the pool from changing. If a pool installer is willing to skip this – run!

2. Can a fiberglass pool crack?

Sure - if you smash it with a sledge hammer. Let’s face it you can crack anything if you really wanted to. Pools made by Leisure Pools USA have a breaking strength of 21,000 psi. So if you use this pool in the manner that it was designed you will be fine. But if you do have an accident it is easily repairable.

 

3. How are you going to get the pool around my house - can you even get the pool into my back yard?

Most of the time this is easy - even if you think it’s hard. Trust me, I’m not going to waste my time on an estimate for something  that is simply not possible. We usually only need a 6- 8 foot path. If that is not available the next option is to crane it in over the house. And finally - under very rare circumstances – a helicopter mat be used.

4. We have heard that salt water pools are all the rage. Why, and are fiberglass pools compatible with salt?

First, fiberglass pools were designed with salt in mind. There are zero down sides to using salt water chlorination for your pool sanitation. Currently, many public pool across the country are making the switch for safety reasons. You can think of salt systems as “set it and forget it”. You almost cannot make a mistake that will cause an unsafe swimming condition. I still recommend checking the water before you swim with test strips. But you will find that the water is almost certainly fine and you can go swimming. The only problems I have ever seen are the system needs to be cleaned (a simple 10 minute process). Or - the system may have gotten turned off(or down) by accident.

5. Can a Fiberglass pool have cool options like concrete pools?

Absolutely, some of the more common options are:

1.       Waterfalls

2.       Spa jets

3.       Tanning ledges (baha shelf)

4.       Swim up bar

5.       Built in seating

6.       Heater

7.       Salt chlorine generator

8.       Underwater speakers

9.       Deck jets

10.   Shear descents

11.   Lights (LED, Color changing, and standard are all no problem)

12.   Cartridge filter

13.   Basketball net

14.   Volleyball net

15.   Robot vacuum

16.   Custom stonework around the pool

5 reasons fiberglass pools are are great in northeast climates

Posted by James Snyder on Sun, May 09, 2010 @ 09:02 PM

1.       Fiberglass is tough and resistant to temperature extremes.  Did you know that the Boeing 777 airplane uses fiberglass in key structural areas areas of the nose, wings and nacelles. And that it is much colder at an altitude 30,000 feet then it is in the dead of winter in your back yard.

 

2.       Fiberglass is strong and long lasting. Pools made by Leisure Pools USA have a tensile strength of  21,000 Pounds per square inch (psi).  They are leaders in the industry. And just as the boat industry took a while to convince it's consumers, once it did there was no turning back. With the increase of pools made by Leisure Pools USA every year it is obvious that the market has embraced fiberglass swimming pools and there is no turning back. Fiberglass swimming pools Orange County NY

       Fiberglass boat being run over by bull dozer

        "They should have called it fibersteel instead of fiberglass," complained the boat salesman. It was a number of years ago, and he was trying to sell fiberglass rigs to fishermen loyal to aluminum. Today, few people question the strength of fiberglass. In fact, the shoe is on the other foot. With the boat market in a slump, some salesmen now complain "I wish the damn things would wear out." - Popular Mechanics, April 1991

 

3.       Fiberglass is an insulator – this means a longer swimming season. As a matter of fact Owens-Corning invented fiberglass in 1938 to be used as insulation. This property is great news to fiberglass pool owners in the northeast because it allows you to use much less energy to keep your pool at a comfortable temperature.  For instance I met with a family 2 years ago that had previously owned a vinyl liner pool that had a 450,000 BTU natural gas heater.  When I told them that their new fiberglass pool only needed a 150,000 BTU heater they thought I was nuts. And even worse that I did not know what I was talking about. In order for them to feel comfortable I promised that I would take the heater back if they were not happy with it. Well here we are 2 years later and every year they ask me to open their pool 1 month earlier and close it one month later than they had ever done before. They even mentioned that their new pool is so efficient that it really doesn’t cost them anything extra to do so. They are not my only clients to extend their pool season, over 50% add at least 1 month to their swimming season.

 

swimming pool monroe ny

 

 

4.       Fiberglass installs faster than Vinyl or concrete. We just touched on how nice it is to be able to have a longer swimming season, well wouldn’t it be nice if installing the pool was fast as well. With fiberglass it is. Our pools are pre made in a controlled environment so that installing it is a breeze. When you decide to own a fiberglass pool we will have the hole for the pool dug and ready to receive your pool when it arrives. Your new pool will will be delivered in one piece ready to be placed in the ground. Within 2 days you will be swimming. Being in the northeast a short season should not be ruined by sometimes months of construction.

 

fiberglass pool shell monroe ny

 

5.       You get what you pay for – or better yet – you keep what you pay for with fiberglass. With a vinyl or concrete pool you are paying for labor more than anything else. Well, at the end of your project the labor drives home and you are left with the cheap materials used to make your pool. With a top quality fiberglass pool by Leisure Pools USA it is not this way. You are paying for top grade Vipel F764 isopolyester resin, Aquaguard gel coats and the finest fiberglass available. When we leave, you still have everything you paid for. It’s a no brainer, paying for better materials vs. paying for your installer’s time.

fiberglass swimming pool fishkill ny

 

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.
Harriman NY swimming bool builder
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


 

 

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Everything you need to know when buying a fiberglass pool. From the best time of year to buy and picking a contractor, to pricing, options, and add-ons!

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