Stories That Teach Life Lessons

How to Avoid These Six Deadly Traps When Buying a Pool


Lack of knowledge and not understanding what questions to ask are common causes of the six deadly pool purchasing mistakes. If you can avoid making these errors, you could save time, money, and stress.

You’ve decided to purchase a pool, but you have no idea where to begin. Perhaps getting an idea of people’s most typical blunders when buying a collection will give you a leg up. Every day, unsuspecting consumers are “duped” into purchasing a pool without any guarantees or protections. These individuals often feel let down and even angry when their expectations are unmet.

In my many years working in the pool business, I’ve seen countless customers make disastrous decisions when picking out their pool. It seems like every year; I hear the same tales repeated. Based on my extensive experience and conversations with numerous pool owners, I have identified six typical blunders new pool buyers make.

How to Stay Safe from
The Six Deadly Sins of Swimming Pool Buying are. Inquire appropriately. Just do it. Asking the right questions can help you avoid 90% of the issues for most people when buying a pool. You can expect to avoid most surprises, but there is always a ten percent possibility that something you haven’t thought of will occur.

On the other hand, if you’re like the vast majority of pool buyers, you probably have no idea what questions to ask because you know next to nothing about pools or pool building. That’s why I compiled this analysis, especially for you. If you’re looking to buy a collection, this study will make you one of the few people who actually “know what they’re talking about.”
When considering the purchase of a pool, the first things you should think about are the following:

1. Justifying my desire for a swimming pool.
2. How will my loved ones and I use this pool?
3. Who will be responsible for the pool’s upkeep?

Why do we need answers to these questions? You need to know “why” you want a pool before choosing the “what” kind you want. Is it to “keep up with the Joneses,” to have fun as a family, to host visitors, for physical therapy, exercise, personal recreation, or for some other reason?

The first fatal error when buying a pool can be avoided if you know the answers to these questions. First blunder:
Skimping on Pool Purposeful Design
You’ve probably heard the expression “form follows function,” which means that before deciding on a pool design, you need to know what you intend to do with it. What you intend to do in your pool will determine your method.

Most people considering buying a pool do so for a particular reason. When meeting with potential pool designers, having this information on hand will be helpful.
If, for instance, you plan to use your pool primarily for family gatherings, then you should install gates and netting to restrict access. If entertaining guests is your top priority, you may want to pair your pool and any accompanying waterfalls with ambient lighting and unique landscaping. Swimming in shallow water for extended distances, spa jets in the seat, pull-up bars, and even a smaller pool with swim jets are all features that could be included in a collection designed for physical therapy or exercise.
The Fallacy of the Big Swimming Hole
It’s fascinating that first-time buyers want elaborate pools with diving boards and deep ends. The deep end of the collection is rarely used, and the diving platform becomes more of a safety hazard after about a year of use by the new owners. Most commercially available video titles
The pool’s deep end is where the adults spend the vast majority of their time while the youngsters play. Constructing such a big pool with a deep end was a waste of money and resources, as only 35% of the available water is ever used. Your insurance premiums may increase if you install a diving platform, so discuss this with your agent.

Fencing around your pool is essential, not only for the protection of your children but also for maintaining some privacy. If your yard is sloping and you want to add a step-down to your pool while maintaining your seclusion, a retaining wall may be worth considering. If your yard is on an incline, many pool designers will recommend raising the level of your pool. Because there is less soil to haul away, construction companies can save money. This strategy can give your inground pool the appearance of being above ground.

Having a mental picture of your ideal garden, not just the pool area, is essential. Considering your current garden and long-term landscaping plans, your pool’s design and placement should be thoughtfully considered.

Some other considerations for your pool’s layout are as follows.

1. Make sure your home, bathroom, and leisure space are all conveniently located near your pool. Planning for easy access to and from your collection is essential, so think about where to put patios, decks, and pathways.

2. Make sure there are no buried pipes, septic systems, electrical lines, or telephone wires before deciding on a site.

3. Drainage – Water must flow away from the pool to prevent puddles and the accumulation of debris and contaminants. This is paramount if you live in an area prone to inundation.

4. Accessories – Allocate sufficient deck space for each accessory, such as a diving board, spa, slide, or waterfall, if you intend to place any.

5. Sheds – A frequent practice for safeguarding pool accessories is constructing a shed in the pool’s immediate vicinity.

6. Having your pool in the sun can help keep the water warm, but having it in the shade of trees can lead to much additional work.

7. Check the subdivision’s rules to see if building a pool is prohibited.

Most municipalities require a survey or plot plan of the entire property before issuing a building permit. If you purchased a house recently, you probably already have one. The poll results will guide your decision about where to put the pool and its fittings.

To ensure that your pool’s primary functions and activities are represented in the design, it is highly recommended that you plan an initial on-site consultation. In addition, an on-site consultation should encourage you to think about your ultimate goals for the garden.

Second Error
Poor Pool “Container” Selection.

Concrete/gunite, fiberglass, and vinyl lining are the three most common materials for in-ground pools.

Upkeep will always be involved, no matter what kind of pool you get. However, there are unique difficulties associated with caring for each pool design. Before deciding, it’s crucial to learn about the specific challenges associated with each form of pool.

Swimming Pools Made of Concrete or G.U.
The most popular in-ground pool materials are concrete and gunite (reinforced concrete) because they have been around longer than the newer, more energy-efficient pool materials.

The pool’s printable surface is achieved by spraying concrete and gunite over a steel rod and wire mesh structure and then coating it with plaster. Commercial and municipal pools are increasingly using concrete and gunite construction.

Concrete and gunite pools can be customizable to almost any design. It takes the longest to construct and is the most costly of the three pool options.

In addition, cyanobacteria and bacteria can flourish in the tiny crevices present in concrete and gunite. The variations in temperature and weather can also cause it to fracture and chip, creating new spaces for bacteria and algae to colonize. As a result, concrete and gunite pools require the most upkeep of the three collections, and their monthly upkeep costs can reach $100 or more. Because children tend to spend long periods in swimming pools, the rough surface is especially harmful to their skin and feet.

Concrete and gunite ponds must be drained and cleaned once or twice a year. After the water has been removed from the pool, the concrete and gunite will need to be patched, and the pool’s exterior will need to be acid cleaned and possibly re-plastered. Based on the water quality, an acid wash must be performed every three to seven years. Using acid to wipe away a plaster or mar cite coating is effective. The pool will need to be re-plastered after the second acid cleaning.

Swimming Pools with Vinyl Linings
A high-density vinyl lining is used in vinyl liner pools to create a patterned surface for aesthetic purposes. The pool’s liner is “seamed” together at all points along its perimeter. On top of a concrete base, walls made of polymer or steel are bolted and attached. A vinyl rib along the outer border of the liner attaches to the top of the paneled walls, allowing the liner to be spread out over the floor and walls.

Vinyl-lined pools can be installed in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the expense of concrete or gunite pools. Vinyl lining pools require more upkeep than other collections due to the liner’s susceptibility to scratches and cuts from sharp or hard items (such as toys or mechanical pool cleaners). When repairing a vinyl-lined pool, the entire lining must be replaced. Depending on the time of year, this can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,900.

The vinyl’s porous fabric and joints are a breeding ground for algae and bacteria, necessitating heavy chlorine use. The analogy that comes to mind is a shower curtain constantly subjected to steam and water.

Algae growth under a plastic liner can cause severe issues because it eats away at the liner from below and is difficult to remove. The upkeep costs for a vinyl cover pool can easily reach $100 per month.

Furthermore, heating expenses will be higher than average, particularly with steel wall construction. Steel and vinyl stand between the 57-degree earth and the pool water. While a polymer or plastic wall can help keep heating bills down, doing so can add several hundred dollars to the final price of a pool’s building (anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500).

Acrylic Pools
Installation of a fiberglass pool typically takes less than five days, and the collection itself consists of a single prefabricated fiberglass container that is buried in the earth. The surface of the fiberglass is finished with a gel layer that is smooth and impervious.

Although fiberglass pools come in various sizes and forms and can be relocated if desired, you are still limited to those options, unlike with a concrete or gunite pool. Due to their prefabricated, one-piece nature, fiberglass pools are typically no wider than sixteen feet.

Fiberglass pools are popular because they need hardly any upkeep compared to concrete or vinyl pools. Surfaces made of fiberglass are more durable because they resist damage from punctures, chips, and leaks. As a result, there are hardly any ongoing expenses each month. In cold climates or on unstable soil, where surface materials contract and expand, fiberglass’s durability becomes particularly essential. Because of this, cracks and chips are common in concrete and gunite pools.

The non-porous nature of fiberglass prevents the growth of algae and germs. This can result in significant savings over time as the pool requires only about a quarter as much bleach as typical pools.

In contrast to concrete pools, fiberglass pools never need to be drained for cleansing. Furthermore, cleaning the fiberglass surface requires a weekly 10-15 minute vacuuming of the pool’s floor. Although concrete/gunite pools are the most common, fiberglass pools are more durable and flexible, able to endure more significant external pressure without cracking or breaking.

There are, however, significant variations among plastic pools. (Not all resins are made the same.) Vinyl Ester resin is essential. The collection would not stay together without this bonding substance. Cobalting, a black or purple stain that develops from outside, is also stopped by Vinyl Ester. It’s a chemical process that takes place inside the fiberglass. Typically, the discoloration can be cleaned off, but it will come back. Verify via written documentation that Vinyl Ester is present in the water. If it isn’t listed in the printed materials, it probably doesn’t exist.

Including a vapor shield in the fiberglass is crucial. The gel coat or finish is smooth and non-porous, but no vapor shield is along the pool’s rear wall. Fiberglass fabric can be used to collect groundwater. Gel layer blistering caused by moisture or groundwater leaching through the fiberglass is typically not covered by warranties.

Verifying that the pool was built with manually laid fiberglass rather than chopped glass would be best. Full sheets of fiberglass fabric are used to construct the much stronger hand-laid fiberglass. Pudding-like consistency, chopped glass fiberglass is applied by spraying or rolling on strands of the material. Since fiberglass pools are prefabricated, you can inspect one before installing it. Take a look at how things end up in advance. The appearance above the earth is indicative of the formation below the ground. Remember that water accentuates imperfections.

The industry’s technology is advancing at about one month per month, with recent developments like the incorporation of Carbon Fiber, which adds extreme strength, and some pretty nice-looking colors, making this field worthy of more attention than it has previously received.

3rd Error
Using the Incorrect Programmer
Choosing the incorrect developer to construct a pool is the biggest blunder a pool buyer can make. Many companies that build pools “overnight” employ seasonal employees. Some builders, however, hire fitters (or subcontractors) who have little to no background in putting in swimming pools.

High employee attrition is a persistent problem for the pool construction industry, making retaining skilled workers with extensive experience installing pools difficult. Many builders will sell you a collection without considering how it will fit in with the rest of your property or your way of life.

Please verify that the developer is not operating out of his shed and instead has a permanent office. Don’t buy a pool off the web, either. Spend some time at the place in question.

Visit the sites of the remaining two or three architects on your shortlist to examine their offerings in person. Check out the customer service. (Remember, people who feel good about themselves produce good results).

Next to your house, this is the most important purchase you will ever make. Put in the effort. Plan an enjoyable family outing to shop pool and meet with potential contractors. Get out and eat. Don’t rush things; take your time. Relax and learn as much as you can.

When requesting a plan or bid for the construction of your pool, consider asking the following questions of prospective pool builders.

1. How familiar are you with putting my preferred pool material (fiberglass, concrete/gunite, vinyl liner), and do you carry the pooling container I’m looking for?
Most pool companies only install one of these three varieties. Even if a contractor has extensive experience with concrete pools, that doesn’t mean they’ll have the same level of expertise with fiberglass pools. Check the builder’s track record to see how many collections they’ve put in similar to yours. Verify the builder’s experience in similar projects before commissioning them to construct additions like a porch, spa, or landscaping.

2. How long has your typical installer been with the company? Do you use subcontractors? Do you only use subcontractors who have proper licensing and insurance?
Many pool companies hire outside help to do everything from digging to tiling. Here, it’s essential to consider the background of the workers helping out. The quality of a pool’s construction is directly proportional to the skill of its installers. The quality control will be higher if the contractor employs his workers. If a subcontractor is used, ensure they are properly registered and bonded to cover you in any mishaps.

3. Does the National Spa and Pool Institute recognize your credentials? In what other professional associations do you participate?

Supporters of the spa and pool business can join the National Spa and Pool Institute (NSPI). The National Swimming Pool Institute (NSPI) offers “Certified Builder” training to educate pool builders on the best practices for constructing swimming pools that adhere to industry standards. The certification demonstrates the builder’s dedication to quality and the completion of minimum education requirements for the work. By asking this one query, you can identify a shady contractor from a legitimate one. Membership in professional organizations like the BBB, a chamber of commerce, or even a service club like Rotary shows that a contractor is committed to staying in business for the long haul.

4. I was wondering if you offered pool construction funding.Whether you already have the cash on hand or will be obtaining it from a commercial lender, the answer to this query could shed light on some interesting dynamics. If a contractor is willing to extend credit, they have likely been in business for some time and established a positive relationship with financial institutions. Having more than one choice for paying for the pool’s building is a big plus. In addition to the advantages above, the interest you pay on a loan to finance the construction of an in-ground pool is deductible as a home improvement.

5. Could I contact a few of your previous clients?Here we have the crucial query. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so if they don’t let you talk to a satisfied client, you can assume they don’t have any. If a contractor didn’t show you references from happy clients, you should look elsewhere.

The accurate measure is making direct contact with the target audience. Inquire if you can choose two references from a list of ten satisfied clients the builder has provided. This will help you select a fair and impartial client. Asking the customer, “I know that the builder does great work, but all jobs have at least one or two things that didn’t go as planned. Can you tell me what were some things that didn’t meet your expectations?” is an excellent way to get them to open up and share their thoughts.

6. How much does the proprietor participate in day-to-day operations? You shouldn’t automatically write off a company whose owner isn’t actively engaged in daily operations, but you should investigate the management team’s track record. A one-to-one relationship typically exists between the owner’s participation and the company’s quality.

7. Can the contractor provide proof that they are adequately covered, such as a certificate? If an accident occurs while the pool is built, you should inquire whether the contractor carries liability and compensation insurance. The worst scenario is when something goes wrong, and you incur losses but have no legal means of recouping those losses. Every reliable contractor should have complete insurance coverage. Period.

Don’t hire a contractor if you have to inquire for proof of insurance and don’t get it. You may contact the listed agent to ensure the coverage remains active. Finally, keep in mind that workers are safeguarded by worker compensation. Liability safeguards possessions. Both are required.

You should also examine the builder’s financial stability and the county’s litigation history.

8. Does the contractor provide in-house architectural planning? Many reputable builders offer in-house design services, saving you money and highlighting the contractor’s professionalism and knowledge.

9. Will you fix any problems in my yard or landscaping? During the interview process, you and the builder must have a frank discussion about harm. The damage done to the yard during a pool installation often shocks potential pool buyers.

But there is such a thing as extra harm because of the builder’s carelessness. Be careful to write this provision into the contract at the outset. Some pool companies won’t guarantee against property harm because of the pools they install.

10. Who will handle the piping and wiring, if any, and what specifications must they meet? The contractor working on your pool should be familiar with local wiring, drainage, grading, and construction codes. You must put your designer to the test. You can gauge their understanding of the requirements even if you don’t know the solutions.

Never give in to pressure from a pool contractor to apply for a permit in your name. It’s the builder’s responsibility to make sure…

11. What sort of pool maintenance instruction will I obtain once the pool is finished? After construction is complete, you should receive instructions on how to care for the pool and its components. This instruction should cover equipment upkeep, chemical and cleaning, winterizing, and safety. The health of your collection depends on these factors.

12. When can you begin building, and how long do you anticipate it taking?It doesn’t matter how competent or trustworthy a pool builder is if you can’t fit your timetable into theirs. Good pool builders are often scheduled far in advance, so it’s best to start looking early in the season or adjust your timeline for pool installation accordingly.

Avoid making a hasty decision about a pool or its construction due to time constraints. Consider the merchandise and the builder’s reputation before deciding. A professional function Object() { [native code] } will never opt for quickness over quality. Waiting a few more months won’t harm you, especially if this is your first pool. Continue to prioritize excellence.

13. How much is it, and what kind of down payment do you need? Your pool’s cost should be reasonable, after all. You should only request bids from reputable construction firms in which you have complete faith. The standard deposit ranges from 2% to 5%, though this differs from builder to builder. Stop the discussion immediately if the builder requests a down payment of more than 10% of the total cost. Inquire about the builder’s explanation of the down payment timetable as well.

Having Solid References Is Crucial

The following questions will give you a better idea of who to hire to construct your pool. Remember that the interviewer is more interested in your experience than in memorizing the correct response to a question. Contact the BBB, the state, and any municipal building departments you can think of. The name of a competent function Object() { [native code] } will spread quickly.

Fourth Error
Avoiding Reading Your Pool Contract and Warranty Completely
Not fully comprehending your pool contract and guarantee is a fatal error. As Ross Perot once said, agreements and warranties for swimming pools can be misleading if you don’t read them thoroughly and ask enough questions.

A pool’s warranty typically covers the following:

1. Wall, reinforcement, and concrete structural stability.

2. Filters, skimmers, compressors, and heaters are all examples of equipment.

3. Work and parts for electrical, gas, pipe, and swimming pool infrastructure.

Most pool purchasers are caught off guard when something goes awry because they did not read the fine print to find out what was and was not covered by the warranty. Use a pump, filtration, and heater from the same company if possible. That way, you’ll only need one guarantee for your essential machinery. In addition, most pool services won’t have spare components for all major brands. Discoloration in fiberglass or vinyl liner pools is not typically addressed because the color of the walls depends heavily on the quality of pool maintenance and the chemical balance of the pool water. Because concrete, natural chips, when subjected to the weather, chipped concrete or gunite is rarely justified.

Be wary of what is and isn’t covered by the vinyl floor warranty when shopping for a pool. Is it just the lining’s joints or everything? Vinyl liner pool installers often highlight the seam guarantee, but in my experience, vinyl liner pool seams have never failed. The vinyl coating is the most vulnerable part, not the walls or the joint.

The Warrantor of What?

Figure out who is responsible for what guarantees. Like, who covers repairs to the compressor and filter, if anything? Which one: the maker or the retailer? To whom should issues be reported? Do they offer a freephone number? Who will step out and take care of this? Sometimes, multiple service providers are responsible for addressing issues that arise from the various manufacturer warranties. For guarantees and maintenance on swimming pools, a one-stop shop is uncommon.

Talk to the builder about the guarantee and your concerns in detail. Determine what is unwarranted and why. The queries will make a lot more sense once you’ve compared a few warranties side by side.

Fifth Error

The cost of Ownership is being overlooked in favor of the Initial Investment.
In-ground pools can cost $40,000 or more, so most buyers focus on the one-time construction expense, not ongoing maintenance costs. The best long-term value can be found in a pool with little upkeep. Over time, you’ll spend less on maintenance and repairs for a collection with fewer needs for expensive chemicals, cleaning, resurfacing, and replacement components.

Spending More Money

Some pool purchasers may be unprepared for the additional expenses of necessary essential equipment. Filtration systems, access devices (ladders, stairs), and skimmers (to remove debris from the water’s surface) are all required pieces of gear.

Heating systems and concrete or timber decking are common additions to pools. Covering a collection when not in use is common for hygiene and thermal efficiency reasons. These covers, if used correctly, can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs.

Sixth Error

Giving in to Sleazy Marketing Tactics
Once the decision to construct a swimming pool has been made, the next logical step is to rush through the installation process. Dishonest salespeople and builders will jump at the chance to take advantage of unsuspecting customers at this stage.

Remember that the late spring and early summer can attract these shady types to neighborhoods with many swimming areas. Sometimes advertisements appear that looks too wonderful to be true. In other words, “Buyer Beware!” warning indicators are listed below.

1. Pools promoted as “on-sale” but are more expensive because the salesperson tried to upsell you. The shopping industry is notorious for employing this strategy, known as “Bait and Switch.”

2. A common sales tactic is to give a discount on the condition that your pool will be used as an example.

3. Pushy salespeople who try to force you to accept a contract under duress. Remember that a reputable builder, or the authorized agent of a reputable builder, will never pressure you into signing a contract or agreement.

4. Don’t let yourself be persuaded into applying for a “Building Permit” in your name. The hired help is responsible for this. Insist that the contract expressly says that the pool contractor must use only “subcontractors” who are themselves licensed and bonded.

5. Be wary of a possible high-pressure sale from a pool contractor who refuses to make an early in-person visit. The contractor probably doesn’t get or care about your needs.

Purchasing a pool can be daunting for those who have never done so. There are countless factors to think about… Factors to consider include the pool’s material, design, construction, upkeep, guarantees, contracts, liability, utilities, limitations, accessories, and more. Unsurprisingly, many people spend hundreds or thousands more than they need to because of errors they made when purchasing pools.

You can save time and money by reading this report and not making the typical buying errors. It will teach you the right questions, leading you to the perfect pool for your household.


Naras, Mark
To put it simply, Aquamarine Fiberglass Pools & Spas, Inc.

Hello, and thank you for visiting Aquamarine Pools of Texas and Aquamarine Fiberglass Pools & Spas. We create lasting memories with the help of Fun Space Direct.


Aquamarine has been in the swimming pool industry for over a decade. Despite the recession, the company has seen ongoing growth in its ability to make families happy by turning their backyards into mini-resorts. Nothing beats the exhilarating pleasure of having one of our fine composite fiberglass pool products, as experienced by the happy families who have installed our inground pools in Texas and Michigan. We can help you realize your hopes of creating heirlooms that future generations will cherish.

To learn more about our swimming pools, click the links provided throughout the site or call us at (800) 432-8994 to talk with one of our backyard resort designers.

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