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FAQ - Construction

Do I need to have my above ground pool installed by a professional?

Pool installation is a task often best handled by the experts. While most above ground pools are designed to be easy and fast to install, a professional installation crew can provide you with assurances regarding getting the job done right the first time. However, spring and summer are the most hectic time for pool professional, so it’s very important to set a schedule and book a crew early if you want to make the most of your pool for the entire season. Find out when the pool can be installed and how long it will take before you make your purchase.


How can I make sure pool construction stays on schedule and on budget?

You should always agree on a detailed budget and estimated timeline before you sign a contract with a professional pool builder. Obviously, unforeseen factors can alter the schedule and sometimes impact the budget. For example, weather, customer change requests, permit delays, etc. can all affect the project, but a good builder will communicate and coordinate with you throughout the project to ensure successful pool construction and complete customer satisfaction.


How can you stop the liner from floating in an inground pool?

I would recommend keeping the water level as high as possible. This problem occurs most often when pools are pumped down too low and covered when winterizing. The weight of the snow, ice and water on the cover over the winter and spring months pushes down on the cover forcing water out of the pool. It is recommended that after having your pool professionally winterized that you add some water to it.


How do I get an inground pool liner back in the track?

It depends on the type of coping and the age of the liner. If the liner is still pliable you can slightly lower the water level and then use a heat gun to heat the liner and carefully stretch the liner back into the track and use a liner lock to hold the liner in the track. Liner lock is available at some pool stores. Note be very careful doing this. I would not attempt this on an older liner.


How do I know if my pool fence satisfies local legislation requirements?

When you purchase a fence, choose a product that is designed and manufactured in compliance with safety guidelines. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has published a document to help choose a safety fence. Find the latest information from the CPSC.


How do I know what local laws and regulations are?

Contact your city or municipality for applicable laws and regulations governing above ground pools – these may include the following:

  • A building permit (not required in all areas, but you should always check)

  • Safety standards (in certain regions)

  • Utilities (electricity, laws governing when pools can be filled and drained, etc.)

  • Laws regarding fencing and boundaries around a yard with a pool

  • Boundaries of your property

Be sure to select a spot that is far from overhead or underground electrical lines and water and natural gas pipes and make sure you’re not putting your pool near any natural water sources.


How do I know what size pump and filter I really need?

Your pump and filter will be sized according to the volume of water in your pool. The main objective of any filtration system is the ability to turn over all the water in your pool at least once within a period of 12 hours.


How do I select the right pool builder?

It's always a good idea to consult with several professional pool builders and consider key issues such as experience, reputation and customer service before deciding who will build your pool. Our Dealer Selector can put you in touch with builders in your area, along with professional pool retailers who sell above ground pools and pool service professionals who can help you properly maintain your pool so you can enjoy it for years to come!

As when hiring any contractor, you should always inquire about references, insurance and make sure they are properly licensed (if required by your state). You should also check the Better Business Bureaudatabase for any unresolved complaints

Also, make sure to interview your pool professional carefully. Here are a few things to consider:

  • What is the company’s reputation in the community?

  • Do you know a friend or neighbor who has used the same company with good results? If not, can the company provide you with dozens of reliable references or customer report cards?

  • How does the company treat you as a potential customer?

  • How long has the company been in business, and how long have they been building in your area?

  • How many pools have they built?

  • Will the company provide you with a clear written estimate so that you’re not confused about what work will be done?

  • Will they finish the project on time?

  • Is the company in good standing with your local Building Department, the State Department of Consumer Affairs and/or Contractor's Board?

  • Will the company add hidden charges after the construction process has begun?

  • Is the company financially stable so that there is no risk that you’ll be left with an unfinished pool if they go out of business?

  • Will the company be careful to remove or take care of landscaping and other outdoor structures?

  • Will they keep your property clean and safe throughout the construction process?


How easy is it to install a saltwater system?

Installation on home pools and spas usually takes only an hour or two, and is often done by home owners themselves. Commercial installations are also very simple and can become slightly more complex due to equipment and pipe work layout, or access and space limitations – but if there is a pump and filter, the saltwater system can be installed.


How long does it take to build a pool?

Different types of pools take different lengths of time to build and/or install. Since fiberglass pools come pre-engineered in one piece, they are the fastest inground pools to install, followed by inground vinyl pools. Above ground pools can be up and running in a matter of days since no excavation is required.

The length of time it takes to build an inground gunite pool depends on many factors including the weather, the size of the pool and the features and options that you select. A professional pool builder can give you an estimated timeline along with a budget when you request a quote.


How should I decide on the design of my pool?

Design choices are best made after you have decided how you are going to best use your new pool or spa. Family activities vary greatly depending on the age of the family.


How thick is gunite used in swimming pools?

Gunite is generally 7 to 12 inches thick depending on the area of the swimming pool. In specific circumstances, the engineer (or plans) may specify the gunite be thicker.


I have a small and difficult yard to work with. Can I still have a pool?

Gunite is generally 7 to 12 inches thick depending on the area of the swimming pool. In specific circumstances, the engineer (or plans) may specify the gunite be thicker.


Is painting my pool a good idea?

The answer is always NO. Paint causes a condition known as "chalking." Chalking causes cloudy water while swimming, particularly while in use by children, as they tend to agitate the water more than adults. Chalking causes spotting on swimwear, and can clog your filter. The biggest problem with chalking is that it will cause your pool to appear dirty. Painting is at best a temporary "fix."


What can I expect to see during the excavation process?

Building a gunite pool is a major construction project. In addition to excavating where your pool will be there also needs to be trenches that go from the pool to the pool equipment, from the pool equipment to the main electrical panel, from the pool equipment to the gas meter and if necessary from the pool equipment to any controller locations. This often results in the entire yard being dug up.

A homeowner should expect existing landscaping to be disturbed and possible replaced if there are no other means of installing the underground conduits.


What can I expect to see during the gunite process?

Gunite is applied pneumatically. The day this is applied you will have a large compressor truck and several large gunite trucks in the front yard during the entire process. As the gunite is applied it is shaped and molded as desired.


What color pool surface is best for heat retention?

Regarding the pool shell and finish itself, then the darker the finish the better. Black has been a recent favorite of pool owners for a surface color. A black finish gives the swimming pool a “lagoon” look, however there are people who do not like that look. A disadvantage to the black is that if you are not diligent with pool chemistry, you can end up with black algae because it is hard to see in a black finished pool. Another is that, again, if you are not right on with chemicals you can end up with a nearly white pool within a few years due to calcium buildup.Regarding the pool shell and finish itself, then the darker the finish the better. Black has been a recent favorite of pool owners for a surface color. A black finish gives the swimming pool a “lagoon” look, however there are people who do not like that look. A disadvantage to the black is that if you are not diligent with pool chemistry, you can end up with black algae because it is hard to see in a black finished pool. Another is that, again, if you are not right on with chemicals you can end up with a nearly white pool within a few years due to calcium buildup.


What information should I have available to get a price quote?

When you call for your quote, you need to answer the following questions:

  • What is the approximate size of the pool (gallons or dimensions)?

  • Do you have a covered (lanai) or open pool?

  • Do you have a hot tub and/or fountains in your pool?

Your phone quote will usually be a range of price, from lowest to highest. Once the technician arrives to the pool, he or she will inspect your pool equipment for proper pressure and flow and give you the exact price before service is started.


What is a gunite pool?

A mixture of cement and sand sprayed onto contoured and supported surfaces to build a pool. Gunite is mixed and pumped to the site dry, and water is added at the point of application. Plaster is usually applied over the gunite. The plaster is actually the material that is visible and that comes into contact with the water.


What is a saltwater system?

A saline (saltwater) sanitization system provides on-site production of the sanitizer necessary to maintain water in a safe, healthy and algae-free condition. Sanitizer is produced automatically, within the water itself, and involves no handling, storage or adding of chemicals to the water. A saltwater system, properly sized for its application, will eliminate the need to purchase sanitizing chemicals such as – pool chlorine, algaecides and shock chemicals.

What is the best choice of a liner pattern for my pool?

Just like choosing a paint color for a room in your home, making a choice of liner pattern for your pool is a very personal choice. Many patterns are available to suit your decorative preferences.

Ask yourself: what are the colors surrounding my pool? The colors of the coping, deck, house, and patio furniture are important considerations in selecting a pattern that ties into your backyard decor. Ultimately, selecting the 'best pattern' is part of the fun of owning a vinyl liner pool, so enjoy the opportunity to design your pool to your personal taste.


What is the difference between shotcrete and gunite pools?

Both are concrete pools. Gunite is dry applied concrete with a minimum strength of 2500psi to meet National Pool and hot tub Codes. Shotcrete is a wet concrete with a minimum strength of 6000psi.


What should I look for in a swimming pool fencing contractor?

Ask your swimming pool fencing contractor to see samples of his/her work before you assign the job of constructing your swimming pool fence. Ask for references, photos and if possible, an opportunity to see some of the company's most recent work in person. Interview at least three different swimming pool fence contractors and gauge which one you are most comfortable with.

Whose work were you most impressed with? Where did you get the best estimate, and who has the best presentation in general? These questions and your research will be beneficial in finding the right contractor to construct a safe barrier for your pool.


What the difference between a pebble type surface and a plaster surface?

Traditional pool plaster surfaces are composed of cement and crushed marble fines. They are smooth by nature and many colors are available through the addition of color pigments. A pebble type pool finish is an exposed aggregate, meaning there are small rocks embedded in the finish. Whereas, they provide a beautiful look they tend to be rougher on the feet than a traditional plaster. The longevity of both of these finishes rest solely on proper water chemistry and can easily last up to 20 years.


What type of pool should I choose?

The type of pool you select can be based on many factors, including:

  • budget

  • personal preference

  • the area of the country you live in

You can choose from inground gunite, vinyl, fiberglass, or above ground. Each pool type is available in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles and offer many optional features. Based on your needs and expectations, your professional pool builder can help guide you through selection, design, budget and more.

Get started by designing your dream pool with our quick guide to building your pool.


Where can a saltwater system for a saltwater pool be used?

The saline method of water purification can be used on virtually any body of water which presently requires some form of sanitizer/oxidizer to maintain the water in a healthy, algae-free condition.


Why do I need a site plan when designing my pool?

Your building department may require a site plan to be submitted with your application for permit along with the swimming pool plans. It must show all property lines, any structures and the proposed swimming pool or spa. It has to be to scale and dimensioned. It also has to show other details such as your fence, gates, electric and gas meter location.


Why should I choose a gunite pool?

Gunite swimming pools can be any shape or size, with smooth corners and edges. Walk in steps, beaches, waterfalls, weirs, standing ledges, water seats and islands can all be incorporated to provide clients with the swimming pools they want, and not just an 20 x 10 hole in the ground! Additionally, gunite swimming pools rarely leak.


Will a darker liner heat my pool?

While a darker liner may help heat the water a very small amount, the key factors are the exposure to sunlight, use of a solar blanket, and a pool heater. The difference the liner color will make in terms of pool water temperature is insignificant. This should not influence your pattern choice.


Will I be able to see the seams in my vinyl swimming pool?

Yes, though it will be very subtle you will be able to see the liner seams in your pool. Liners with white base film tend to make the seams more visible and liners with blue base films less so.


Will my vinyl covered steps be slippery?

You should always enter and exit your pool carefully and with a firm grasp of the handrail, regardless of the type of step. Provided that there is no algae growth on the steps a vinyl covered step should be no less or more slippery than a formed plastic in-wall step. Remember, algae aren’t always visible, so exit and enter your pool deliberately and with the use of a handrail!

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