So you want a swimming pool in your backyard, now what?

So you want a swimming pool in your backyard, now what?

As temperatures sky rocket in the St. George area, many homeowners dream of a backyard pool to cool down in for the summer. Construction of an in-ground fiberglass pool provides not only a place to cool down, but also creates a gathering place to make memories with friends and family. Many wonder what it would take to make this dream a reality. The process from dream to reality is easier than you may realize.

Planning is a central first step. Important things to consider when planning your backyard oasis are the size and layout of your yard and where a pool would fit best. Also think about the main use of the pool. Do you want it to be the focal point of a larger entertaining area or do you have limited space or prefer a small pool with an attached spa? Additionally while planning, keep your budget in mind and what type of accessories you may want such as slides, handrails, or water and rock features. There may also be certain requirements or issues required by your city, county or HOA. It is important to be aware of these regulations and what limits that may place on your plans. As local, experienced swimming pool contractors, Diamond Reef Pools can help you navigate through some of these requirements in our free consultation. Now with your plan in hand, rest assured there are a large variety of  in-ground fiberglass pools to meet most wants and needs.

After making your initial plan, be sure to prioritize what you want most. Swimming pool construction is a permanent addition to your home and yard. While size and location are difficult and expensive to change later, items such as a heater or a slide can be added sometimes years after the pools completion. However, some items you don’t want to skimp on because they will save major headaches and problems down the road.  How do you know what is critical and what can be done later? As a licensed fiberglass pool installer in the St George area we would be happy to consult with you at no charge to help you develop these plans and meet all the regulatory requirements.

Once there is a developed plan and budget then the actual construction can begin. A building permit from the local city is the first step in that construction. These permits can take anywhere from days to weeks to obtain depending on the city. Unfortunately, no work can begin until the permit is approved. However don’t worry, as a local St. George area fiberglass pool installation company, Diamond Reef Pools is not only familiar with Washington County requirements but will also handle all the permitting paperwork for you.

Once the permit is in hand then we will mark out the location of the pool in your backyard. This will include the trenches for plumbing and electrical lines. Then the digging will begin excavating the hole to the correct depth and grade. Then excess material is hauled away and a layer of gravel is applied to the bottom as a foundation for the fiberglass pool installation. It is important gravel is graded correctly to provide both a stable and solid base.  An uneven base will leave high and low spots that will be felt on the floor of your pool and cause damages later on.

Then the excitement really sets in as your in-ground fiberglass pool arrives for installation. This typically requires the use of a crane. The crane allows the fiberglass shell to be set directly in the hole on top of the leveled gravel base material. You are now one step closer to swimming.

Next is plumbing. Once the shell is set the various holes for the skimmer, main drains, returns and lights are cut and plumbed. This includes extending the PVC pipe and conduit runs to the predetermined location for the pump, filter and electrical panel. The wiring connecting the lights is then pulled to properly seal the lights in the pool wall. Finally, all PVC fittings are sealed and pressure checked as well.

Now the pool plumbing must be inspected by the local city building inspector. Depending on the volume of inspections each inspector has this can take days to weeks to be completed. Once again your friends at Diamond Reef Pools are qualified swimming pool contractors and will take away this headache by arranging all these inspections for you.

Best practices for fiberglass pool installations require that backfilling around the outside of the shell be done at the same time and levels as water is added. This allows us to fill the pool with water and backfill the outside of the shell with pea gravel up to the exposed plumbing while waiting for the inspector. Packing the pea gravel into the spaces between the existing dirt and the outer pool shell, as well as keeping the water levels and gravel levels in balance, is necessary to keep any voids from creating bulges in the walls. Therefore having an experienced fiberglass pool installation team like Diamond Reef Pools install your in ground pool is critical, to avoid any expensive repairs.

Once the plumbing passes inspection, the pool is filled to the skimmer, and gravel is brought to grade, then a rebar skirt is built. The rebar is set into the lip of the pool shell and a mesh is extended out 3 feet. This will tie the pool to the decking and provide a solid base for whatever material is used for decking around the pool. The next regulatory step is the “bonding” of the skirt, the lights wiring, and any other metal accessories such as a handrail or ladder, to a bonding ground at the electrical panel. The equipment is then connected to the plumbing and electrical circuits. Then one more inspection is required by a city inspector for safety. Again, no worries, Diamond Reef Pools will arrange all this for you as part of our dedication to quality fiberglass pool installation.

Now don’t dive in your pool yet, we are almost there! Finally we are ready for the decking. The most common is cement. If this is the case a coping edge form should be attached to the pool. Once the cement has been poured, or other decking material applied, a final inspection can be obtained from the city. Lastly, the fiberglass pool is cleaned from the construction processes and appropriate chemical (salt or chlorine) is added to sanitize and prepare the pool for use.

At last your dream of a fiberglass in ground pool is realized! Contact Diamond Reef Pools today to start your backyard vacation today!

Which pool type should I choose?

When you think of a swimming pool what images come to mind? Big community pools with the tell tale smell of chlorine, the neighbors above ground pool with the ladder to climb up to get in, or the small blow up plastic pool from the big box store?

If you have been investigating the acquisition of an inground pool for your backyard you probably have found out there are three types of pool construction, Vinyl Liner, Gunite(cement), and Fiberglass. But which type is right for your backyard?

Well here are some points to consider as you try to determine what pool type will work best for you.

  1. Installation Cost: The least expensive to install is a vinyl lined pool, next is gunite, and then fiberglass shells.
  2. Speed of installation: Fiberglass pools generally are the quickest to install averaging 3-5 weeks. Vinyl Lined pools are slightly longer at 6-8 weeks while gunite averages 2-3 months.
  3. Variety of size and shape: The clear leader here is gunite with the only limitations to the size and shape is money and space. Vinyl Lined pools can be designed with many shapes and designs but do have some structural limitations. While there are a variety of shapes, sizes and depths fiberglass is obviously limited to the molds provided by the manufacturers of the shells and the fact that they need to be transported from the factory to the installation location.
  4. Durability: Fiberglass shells from a quality manufacture typically come with a lifetime warranty. Gunite if properly maintained and resurfaced timely can last a long time as well. Vinyl lined pools are the least durable of the three.
  5. Maintenance and repair costs: The costs for maintenance include regular maintenance of the chemicals and materials for cleaning as well as any long term repair or replacement costs. Fiberglass is the least expensive both in maintenance as well as long term costs, the vinyl lined pools are next, and then gunite pools.Since both fiberglass and vinyl lined pools are made from non porous materials the amount of chemicals required to control algae growths is significantly less than gunite. Gunite also will require regular deep scrubbing to keep it clean. Both vinyl and gunite pools will require replacement on average every 10 years of either the liner for vinyl or the finish on gunite pools. While all three types can accommodate salt systems to generate chlorine it shortens the finish lifespan on gunite pools.

As you can see there is no perfect pool type. Each has it own pro and cons. However, no matter which type you choose to have installed in your backyard, the most important consideration is the installation company. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what is and is not included from your contractor. Also check to see what type of reputation they have with former clients. Neither being new to installations or having years of experience is a guarantee of quality or the lack thereof. Whichever way you choose to go hiring a quality installation company will help you more fully enjoy your pool.

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