Pool Planning Step-by-Step
06 Apr Pool Planning Step-by-Step
6 Steps to the Perfect Inground Pool
From Popular Mechanics
There’s nothing like installing a concrete swimming pool to one-up your neighbor’s aboveground version. But planning your dream pool can be harder than it first seems. Consider your options and obligations before breaking ground, and inground pool construction will proceed swimmingly.
So, you’ve decided to take the pluge, (pun intended), and finally put an inground swimming pool in your backyard. You can envision years of splashing, barbeques, parties, and family memories being made already. What you haven’t spent alot of time thinking about is how to get started and where to turn for the next step. Fear not, as this post from Popular Mechanics presents a step-by-step guide to planning the perfect swimming pool environment for your backyard.
Here is an excerpt from the post:
Here’s what we learned along the way:
1. PICK A POOL
There are three main types of inground pools. In order of popularity they are: concrete, vinyl-lined and fiberglass. In small pockets of the country, you might also find contractors building steel- or aluminum-walled pools.
Concrete pools are truly custom-built and can be formed to virtually any size or shape. These types of pools are often called Gunite or Shotcrete pools because concrete is shot from a gun onto steel-reinforced walls. Once the concrete cures, it’s either plastered smooth, painted, finished with a textured aggregate surface or tiled. Alternatively, a smaller percentage of concrete pools are formed and poured in a way similar to a house foundation. This technique, called structural concrete, is often used for pools built into hillsides.
It typically takes longer to install a concrete pool than any other kind—generally between three and 12 weeks—but it’s considered the strongest, most durable type of pool. In fact, there are many concrete pools still in use today that are well over 50 years old. And, unlike any other type of inground pool, existing concrete pools can be remodeled, enlarged and updated.
Vinyl pools are made from a preformed flexible liner that fits into the hole and attaches to a reinforced wall frame made of steel, aluminum or non-corrosive polymer. Most vinyl pools are rectangular, but L-shaped and freeform liners are also available. And vinyl liners come in dozens of patterns and colors to satisfy anyone’s personal preference or poolscape design.
When considering a vinyl pool, be aware that pool toys, pets and sharp objects can puncture the liner. And while liners can be repaired, play it safe by choosing one that’s at least 20 to 30mm (about 1 inch) thick. Construction time for a vinyl-lined pool is generally one to three weeks.
Fiberglass pools are factory-molded into one giant bowl-shaped piece, which is set into the excavated hole by a crane. As a result, fiberglass pools can be installed much faster than other pool types. In some cases, installation takes as little as three days.
Fiberglass pools have a supersmooth gel coat finish that’s extremely durable and stain resistant. Unlike concrete, fiberglass pools are nonporous, so they tend to use fewer chemicals and harbor less algae.
However, fiberglass pools come in fewer sizes and shapes than concrete or vinyl pools. And the huge molded pools must be shipped via truck, which are often forced to take long, circuitous delivery routes. “The transportation of oversized loads is regulated by individual states,” explains Suzanne Barrows of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. “Therefore, truckers will often have to drive around several states to deliver a fiberglass pool.”
How a fiberglass pool gets to your house isn’t your responsibility, but there must be adequate space in your yard for the crane to drive to the pool site.
All three types of pools—concrete, vinyl and fiberglass—are available nationwide. However, some types are more prevalent than others in certain regions. The flexibility of fiberglass and vinyl liners makes them ideal for very cold climates where winter freezing and thawing cycles can damage a rigid concrete structure. Vinyl pools are sold in most areas, yet fiberglass is most popular in the south. Not sure which type of pool is best for you? Rely on the expertise of local pool contractors. If they’re all installing the same type of pool, it’s probably for a good reason (it often has to do with the local climate and soil conditions).
2. COMPARE PRICING
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