I've been asked quite a few times "How does a fiberglass pool arrive?". Below is a short video showing a Leisure Pools USA fiberglass pool being delivered to a home owner and how we take it off the trailer. The video shows the Pool arriving in Blooming Grove, NY on a rainy day. We use a telescoping forklift to lift the pool off of the tilt trailer and move it up the driveway. It does not look like it but this Riveria 30 model pool weighs in at nearly 2,300 pounds.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a question that comes up almost every time I sell a pool. There are three main types of pool filter.
1.Sand Filter: In this method, impurities are extracted from the water utilizing sand to collect and attract the debris. Sand filters must be backwashed (running it in reverse) to unload the water waste. This is a manual process that must be performed every few weeks. Sand filters trap debris as small as 20 to 40 microns.
2.DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filter: Diatomaceous earth is mined and is the fossilized exoskeletons of tiny diatoms. They are used to coat "grids" in the filter housing and act as tiny sieves allowing for the removal of debris as small as 5 microns. Once the pressure rises, the filter is backwashed just like a sand filter and then "recharged" with more DE powder. DE filters trap debris as small as 2 - 5 microns.
3.Cartridge Filter: Cartridge filters have a greater surface area than sand allowing for fewer clogs and easier maintenance. Cartridge filters are designed to run at lower pressure than sand which puts less backpressure on the pump, providing more flow and turnover. Cartridge filters should be cleaned once or twice a season by simply hosing them off. Cartridge element filters trap debris as small as 10 to 15 microns.
First I will start off saying that in most circumstances any of these three will work just fine. For the lucky few that have a town building department that makes this decision for you, you are stuck with the filter they choose.
·If you want low maintenance cartridge is hard to beat
·Sand is a great choice if you are looking for simple and effective
·The cleanest water is made by DE filters
·Both sand and DE filters require backwashing
When someone asks me what type of pool filter is best I usually ask them if this is their first pool? If they have had a pool in the past and had a filter system that they already felt comfortable with then by all means use the same style again. If they are new to pool ownership I recommend a cartridge filter for its ease of maintenance. Yes it is true that DE filters are able to “polish” the water more. A pool clarifier can be added to the pool water to make the tiny particles stick together so that they will be caught in the cartridge filter. And on top of all this cartridge filters are simpler to use.
If you have been doing any research lately into fiberglass pools the question of which manufacturer is best often comes up.
A few years back after installing patios around other pool builders’ pools I realized that there was a need for a pool builder that understood landscape design. Most pools that I worked around were not set level or at the correct height for the surroundings. I knew it could be done better so I set off looking for a manufacturer to buy pools from. I immediately recognized the benefits in fiberglass pools vs. the competing technologies.After a few days searching the internet I found a few brands that I wanted to research more.
The first brand I came across was Viking. I contacted them and moved on to the next which was Leisure Pools USA. I left my contact info and moved right along in similar fashion to Blue Hawaiian, San Juan etc.
The first phone call back I received was from Leisure Pools USA, he was a funny sounding guy and he called me mate. His name was Paul Pusztay, little did I realize that he was one of the owners of the company. He explained the company and product. It all sounded too good to be true. He told me that they would send me a dealer kit with all sorts of samples, literature, etc… And to expect a follow up call. I was like yeah right – everyone says that.
The next phone call was very different, a guy representing Viking called. He sounded nice enough and informed me that the Viking line was not available for my area but that I could get Liberty Composite Pools. I asked him what that meant for me and he explained that the same company makes the pools but my styles available will be limited. He did infer that if I had a customer that wanted a Viking that it “may” be possible to get it to me under the LCP name. I had told him that I had already been in contact with Leisure and that I was considering selling both brands. He told me that wasn’t a good idea and to just sell his. That way it wouldn’t create any bad blood between us. He also told me to wait for a mail pack and follow up call.
The next day I open my door to see a Fed Ex package from guess who – Leisure Pools. There was more stuff in that kit then I expected. I was blown away. Later that day I got a call from Chris Bradford explaining that if I chose Leisure he would be my dealer rep and that him and his wife run the Indiana distribution yard. I asked him about the possibility of carrying both lines and he said that I could but after I saw the two in person I wouldn’t want the other line anymore. We talked till I was tired of talking. He explained every aspect of the company. When I hung up the phone I was not aware yet that Chris would be so much a part of my business. He is beyond helpful and I consider him a mentor. His wife Desra works with him as well, she is amazing. After talking to Chris and sleeping on it I was not interested in any other brand.
Lucky for me and my customers I made the right choice and never went down the other road. Besides San Juan called like a week later and Blue Hawaiian never called.
Fast Forward 1 year to the Leisure Pools USA first Annual dealer conference.
This is where I got to see firsthand what makes Leisure Pools so great.
From my point of view as a pool builder 2 things make leisure pools USA awesome.
First is their Philosophy of running their business. Right from the owner calling me directly to their construction methods, everything is always first class. Leisure Pools USA is the only fiberglass pool company to my knowledge that:
·Laser lines all of their molds. This makes it a breeze to set and level the pool in the ground.
·They also are the only manufacturer to use steel framed molds. Every other manufacturer uses wood molds. These flex with changes in humidity and warp over time creating pools that are tricky at best to make level. Some brands even require bottle jacks to make level.
·Leisure Pools USA operates a category 5 EPA rated facility, the most advanced facility of it’s kind in the pool building industry. This shows their commitment to their trade and the environment all in one. Did you know that some manufacturers spray fiberglass resins outdoors and pollute the environment?
·Dares to put 200+ dealers of their product in the same room. Can you imagine the complaining that would go on if they built an inferior product?
Second and just as important is - the people. I feel that I am truly buying from a company that cares about me as a dealer. They don’t pile dealers on top of one another or try to make a second line to compete with the first as does Viking.I always have access to a network of dealers that I can talk shop with. For instance I talk about marketing with Marcus Sheridan of
Riverpoolsandspas.com frequently. If I want to know something about fiberglass I can call up Howard Guidry. He knows everything there is to know about it. If I have an internet question I can call Alex Gilmore. Click here to see how He dominates the internet. If I want to know what new things Leisure Pools USA is doing to stay ahead of the market I can call Paul Pusztay. Not many companies of this size have owners that are this available to talk to. If I need technical drawings to appease a town building department I can get ahold of Jerry Kisgen. Jerry has been a great help to me in those situations. And of course Chris & Desra Bradford, They make interacting with leisure Pools USA a pleasure. I can honestly say that Leisure Pools USA surrounds themselves with some of the most stand up people I have met.
Myself and Chris Bradford at the 2nd annual 2010 Leisure Pools USA dealer confrence
In closing, I chose Leisure Pools USA because of who they are, how they build pools and how they interacted with me from the beginning. I keep Leisure pools because they just keep getting better!
Many people have this same question. They assume that a pool contractor has the needed expertise when it comes to designing and building a swimming pool. While this is true to some degree. There are problems with taking this approach. This is why I decided to add swimming pools to my list of services.
It all started by our company being called out to landscape the areas around swimming pools that were built by other contractors. It became apparent that these pool contractors were not taking into account some basic design elements that make or break an outdoor living area. I knew our company had the necessary tools and skill to do this the right way. After all when you think of it in its most basic form – a swimming pool is a water feature incorporated into your landscape.
For the most part swimming pools consist of a few basic elements that can be combined to create an endless array of designs. There is a basin that holds the water, it is usually deeper in one end and more shallow in the other. The entry for a pool usually consists of steps in the shallow end. Some real basic designs omit this. The deep end may have a ladder to get out, diving board or slide. A spa may also be incorporated. People that really enjoy the spa year round will chose to have it set up so that the pool can be closed for the winter while the spa remains open.Water features create a very posh environment and they can consist of waterfalls, deck jets, spa jets and the list goes on. Lastly there is some form of coping.
Swimming pool contractors that are pool install specialists think up ways to combine these elements to make a pool will be attractive and offer recreational enjoyment. The down side is since they are specialists in their field they often are not well versed in home design and landscaping. This will almost certainly result in problems down the road. If a swimming pool is chosen based on the design of the pool alone, it will most certainly clash with the design of the home. Elevations are critical to have correct. If the pool is built too high than you will have drainage issues. In extreme cases remodeling the pool or re-building it will be required causing extra expenses. Did you realize that building a 20’x40’ pool twelve inches higher would save the contractor the expense of removingroughly 37 yards of soil. That is two to three huge truckloads of dirt or roughly $1500 in labor, fuel, trucking and dumping. It’s no wonder why we see this scenario all the time. That money goes right in the contractors pocket.
Just to be clear, none of this is the pool contractors fault. They are not expected to understand these elements. They are hired to place a pool in the ground where you say you want it.
When we are called in to design a pool area, we ask our clients how they envision using the area. In fact we have a checklist covering over 80 topics that helps us design the perfect outdoor living area for you. We also show you a computer created 3-D design first. Using these methods we can give you a beautiful, durable, fun and functional living space.
A beautiful fiberglass pool installed by Albert Group Landscaping & Swimming Pools in Monroe, NY
As a company we repair vinyl and concrete pools, but we only install Leisure Pools USA Fiberglass pools. Fixing pools is a great business for me, but I like building them even more.
First the Pros of vinyl liner pools:
1.Size and shape are basically whatever you can dream up.
2.Cheap installation cost.
Now the cons:
Vinyl liners are a wear item, such as brakes on your car – they wear out.
Vinyl liner pools are especially susceptible to tearing near the top.
These liners can puncture easily and repair methods are generally unsightly.
Staining of the liner is common, as well as fading.
If water gets under the liner it creates an area where the liner is able to float between the water inside and under the pool. Once this water under the pool is no longer there the liner has to stretch back down. This will can cause a crease in the liner. Furthermore if the liner has a crease in it that means that there is a surplus of material in that area. This in turn means that there is not enough material somewhere else, creating stress on the liner. This stress will eventually cause the liner to tear.
A vinyl liner may only be stretched once. If you drain the pool you need a new liner. You may get away with it, but you shortened the life of the liner.
Vinyl liner replacements – are ALL done by measuring the pool for a new liner. There is no such thing as “picking one out of a catalog by model number”. This creates a greater chance of the liner not fitting due to human error in measuring. Don’t believe me, every vinyl liner measurement form has a no refund policy there for a reason.
Once the liner has a crease in the floor it is generally better to just leave it alone, same goes for liners with bumps under them.
When they say something like the average vinyl liner will need to be replaced in 7-10 years. That’s what they mean – average. The problem with that is I know a customer that has had 3 liners in 6 years. The first one was as soon as he moved in the house and then another 5 years later. Five years is respectable, not quite 7 but will do. Then he had to do it again the next year. Each time I was called to quote him a new fiberglass pool and he figured he would just save money and go with a liner. At an average replacement cost of $5,000.-$7,000 I’m not so sure how much he saved, never mind all the down time he had with the pool.
A pool liner that is old but still holds water, do you really want that? We've all seen the old liner bleached out and stained all over. This does not make you think of the back yard oasis that you had envisioned?
The warranty. It’s just a feel good thing that really doesn’t cover much besides a new liner (no labor, no water, no chemicals or down time) if the seams fail. That’s why the guy from the example above bought a liner 2 years in a row. The last liner was from his pet dog scratching it.
The steps and benches look ugly. They are usually white or grey (better) but they just don’t look nice. It is getting more commonplace to incorporate the steps in the liner but it does add an additional cost.
Shape and size are basically whatever you can dream up. This was a pro a few minutes ago but there are problems to this. If you build a custom pool chances are that the water flow will have “dead spots” these are areas that weren’t planned out quite right and water kind of sits there. What this means is an area that you have to clean more often.
Old technology that has been abandoned in Australia, which happens to have the highest pool per home ratio in the world. With so many pools they had to get it figured out.
Liners allow the heat to escape into the ground more easily than fiberglass. You are paying to heat the ground not the pool. That is why so many people say heating a pool is so expensive.
I could go on but you get the point.
Below is the same house as above after we replaced their Vinyl Liner pool With a Fiberglass pool manufactured by Leisure Pools USA.