How to Avoid These Six Deadly Traps When Buying a Pool


Lack of knowledge and not knowing what questions to ask are common causes of the six deadly pool purchasing mistakes. You may save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress by avoiding these blunders.

So, you’re interested in purchasing a pool, but you’re not sure where to look. Perhaps getting an idea of people’s most typical blunders when buying a collection would give you a leg up. People are “duped” into purchasing the incorrect pool in an unprotected manner daily. These folks often feel let down and even enraged when their expectations aren’t realized.


Throughout my extensive experience in the swimming pool industry, I have seen countless customers who regrettably learned this lesson the hard way. It seems like I keep hearing the same tales year after year. In my many years working in the pool industry and after speaking with hundreds of pool owners, I’ve seen a pattern of six recurring mistakes that new pool buyers seem to make.

The Way Out of This Predicament

The Six Deadly Traps When Buying a Pool Is. Inquire appropriately. Very elementary. Asking the correct questions will help you avoid 90% of the issues for most pool buyers. 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 construction. For that reason, I decided to compile this report just for you. Read this research, and you’ll be among the few pool buyers who actually “know what they’re talking about.”

When considering the purchase of a pool, the first things you should think about are:


1. I still don’t understand why I want a swimming pool.

2. What will my loved ones and I do in the pool?

3. The pool needs someone to keep it up.


What makes these issues crucial to discuss? To answer the “what” kind of pool you desire, you must first determine the “why” you want one. Is it to “keep up with the Joneses,” to have fun as a family, host visitors, for physical rehabilitation, exercise, personal amusement, or some other reason?


The first fatal mistake when buying a pool can be avoided if you know the answers to these questions. First blunder:

Having a collection that is poorly designed for swimming

You’ve probably heard the saying “form follows function,” which certainly holds when deciding what sort of pool you want. Consider your intended uses when making your pool selection.


Most people considering buying a pool do so for a specific reason. When meeting with potential pool builders, having this information on hand will be helpful.

For instance, if your pool is used mainly for family gatherings, you should install barriers like gates and fences to prevent unauthorized users from entering the pool area. If you plan to use the pool primarily for entertaining guests, you may want to install special lighting and landscaping features, such as a waterfall, in and around the pool. Swimming in shallow water for longer 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 rehabilitation or fitness.

The Lies Behind Big Swimming Pools

It’s interesting to note that first-time pool buyers tend to want elaborate pools with diving boards and deep ends. After a year or so of ownership, most people stop using the diving board, and the deep end of the pool becomes unused. Most commercially available video games

Most adults spend their time in the pool’s shallow end, where the youngsters rarely venture. It was a waste of money and resources to construct such a massive pool with a deep lot, as only 35% of the available water is ever used. Talk to your insurance agent about the potential for higher premiums because of diving boards.


Fencing around your pool is essential, not just for the safety 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 privacy, a retaining wall may be worth considering. If your backyard is on an incline, your pool contractor may suggest raising it. Construction companies can save money on trucking fees simply by removing less dirt. This option can give your inground pool the appearance of being above ground.


Having an idea of how the rest of your backyard, not just the pool, is supposed to appear is also essential. Considering your current backyard and long-term landscaping plans, your pool’s design and placement should be thoughtfully considered.


When planning your pool’s layout, keep the following in mind:


1. Make sure your home, bathroom, and entertainment space are conveniently located near your pool. Patios, decks, and walkways should be strategically placed to allow easy access to and from the pool area within the house.


2. Make sure there are no hidden pipelines, sewage systems, electrical lines, or telephone cables before deciding on a spot.


3. Water must be able to flow away from the pool so that debris like dirt and muck don’t end in there. This is paramount if you live in an area prone to flooding.


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


5. One widespread practice for safeguarding poolside apparatus is the construction of a shed specifically for that purpose.


6. Having your pool in the sun might assist in keeping the water warm, but having it in the shade of trees can lead to a lot of unnecessary work.


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


A survey or plot plan of the entire land is usually necessary when applying for a building permit. If you bought a house recently, you probably already have one. The survey results will guide your choice of site for the pool and its associated features.


To ensure that your pool’s essential functions and activities are reflected in the design, it is highly recommended that you schedule an initial on-site consultation. Moreover, an on-site consultation should encourage you to consider your long-term garden goals.

Second Error

Poor Pool “Container” Selection.


In-ground pools can be constructed from concrete/gunite, fiberglass, or vinyl liner.


Upkeep will always be involved, no matter what kind of pool you get. However, there are unique issues associated with caring for each pool design. These difficulties vary per pool type. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn about them beforehand.

Pools Made With Concrete or Grouted In Stone

Because they have been around longer than the newer, more energy-efficient forms of pools, concrete and gunite (a sort of reinforced concrete) are the most prevalent in-ground pool types.


The pool’s printed surface is achieved by spraying concrete and gunite over a steel rod and wire mesh framework and then coating it with plaster. Commercial and public collections are increasingly using concrete and gunite construction.


The beauty of concrete and gunite pools is that they can be fashioned into almost any design imaginable. Unfortunately, it is the most time-consuming and costly of the three pool options.


Algae and bacteria can take advantage of the tiny crevices in concrete and gunite and flourish there. The variations in temperature and weather can also cause it to fracture and chip, creating new spaces for bacteria and algae to colonize. This is why concrete and gunite pools have the highest monthly maintenance costs, at $100 or more. Because children prefer to spend long periods in swimming pools, the rough surface is especially detrimental to their skin and feet.


Concrete and gunite pools must be drained every year or two to be cleaned thoroughly. After the water has been removed from the collection, the concrete and gunite will need to be patched, and the pool’s outside will need to be acid cleaned and maybe re-plastered. An acid wash must be performed every three to seven years, depending on the water quality. Plaster and mar cite can be stripped away using an acid wash. It is common practice to re-plaster a pool following its second acid wash.

Vinyl-lined swimming pools

A high-density vinyl lining is used in vinyl liner pools to create a textured surface for aesthetic purposes. The pool’s lining is “seamed” together for its whole length. The walls are made of polymer or steel and are bolted and connected to the concrete base. The vinyl liner is laid across the floor, and the paneled walls and its outer edge are attached to the top of the walls using a vinyl rib.


Vinyl-lined pools can have a low initial investment compared to concrete or gunite pools and can be installed in a fraction of the time. Vinyl lining pools require more upkeep than other pools because it’s easy to scratch or cut the liner with toys or hard items (even mechanical pool cleaners!). Repairing a vinyl-lined pool is expensive because the entire liner must be replaced. The cost might range from $1,500 to $3,900 or more.


The vinyl’s porous fabric and seams provide a breeding ground for algae and bacteria, necessitating heavy chlorine use. Similar to a shower curtain that is constantly subjected to steam and water.


Algae growth under a vinyl liner is a significant problem since it may eat away at the liner from the bottom up and is very difficult to treat. Vinyl liner pools might cost $100 per month or more to maintain.


In addition, heating costs, particularly for steel wall construction, will typically be higher. Steel and vinyl stand between the 57-degree earth and the pool water. While a polymer or plastic wall might help keep heating bills down, doing so can add several hundred dollars to the final price of a pool’s construction (anything from $1,500 to $2,500).

Plastic-Glass-Sided Swimming Pools

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


Fiberglass pools can be purchased in various sizes and forms and relocated if desired, but unlike concrete or gunite pools, they are not customizable. Due to its prefabricated, one-piece nature, fiberglass pools are typically no wider than sixteen feet.


Fiberglass pools are preferred over concrete or vinyl pools because they need almost any upkeep. Fiberglass is more durable than other materials since it does not break down easily. As a result, the upkeep expenditures are low every month. If you live in a cold region or on unstable terrain, where surface materials contract and expand, fiberglass will serve you well because of its durability. This is the primary cause of damage to concrete and gunite swimming pools.


The non-porous nature of fiberglass prevents the growth of algae and bacteria. As a result, only roughly a quarter as much chlorine is needed to maintain water quality as is typical for other pools, translating to significant savings over time.


There’s no need to drain a fiberglass pool to clean it, which is a significant time saver. Furthermore, cleaning the fiberglass surface requires a weekly 10-15 minute vacuuming of the pool’s bottom. A collection made of concrete or grout might seem the most sturdy at first, but a fiberglass pool can bend about two feet without cracking and withstand a significantly greater force from the outside.


However, there are significant variations in fiberglass pools. (Not all resins are made the same.) Vinyl Ester resin is essential. The collection would not stay together without this bonding agent. Cobalting, a black or purple stain that grows from the outside in, is likewise stopped by Vinyl Ester. It’s a chemical reaction that takes place inside the fiberglass.

In most cases, cleaning will work, but the stain will return. Verify the presence of Vinyl Ester in the pool with written proof. There probably isn’t because it wasn’t advertised in the paper.


It’s also crucial that the fiberglass incorporate a vapor barrier. The gel coat or finish is smooth and non-porous, but there is no vapor barrier at the pool’s rear. Fiberglass fabric can take in water from the soil. Gel coat blistering caused by moisture or groundwater leaching through the fiberglass is typically not covered by warranties.


Verifying that the pool was built with hand-laid fiberglass rather than chopped glass would be best. Full sheets of fiberglass fabric are used to construct the more substantial hand-laid fiberglass. Chopped glass fiberglass is a pudding-like substance typically sprayed or rolled on and consists of fiberglass shards. Seeing your finished fiberglass pool before it’s installed is a huge time saver. Look at the result before you start. In other words, it won’t look well below if it doesn’t look nice above ground. Don’t forget that water accentuates defects.


Recent innovations, such as incorporating Carbon Fiber, which provides extraordinary strength and some great-looking hues, make this sector worth a closer look than in the past.

Third Error

Using the Incorrect Programmer

The worst decision a pool buyer can make is working with the wrong developer. Numerous “fly-by-night” companies use contract labor to build pools. Some builders, however, choose installers (or subcontractors) who have little or no background in putting in swimming pools.


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


Verify that the developer is not operating out of his garage and instead has a permanent office. Don’t buy a pool via the web, either. Spend some time visiting the site in question.


Once you’ve got your top two or three builders picked out, it’s worth your time to visit them and check out what they have to offer. Check out the customer service. (Remember, people who feel good about themselves achieve good results).


Next to your house, this is the most important purchase you will ever make. Put in the effort. Spend a pleasant day together exploring different pools and construction companies. Have a meal. Just take it easy for a minute. Relax and learn as much as you can.


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


1. How much experience do you have installed my preferred pool material (fiberglass, concrete/gunite, vinyl liner), and do you carry the pool container I want?

Most pool companies only install one of these three varieties. Even if a contractor is well-versed in installing concrete pools, that doesn’t mean they’re also well-versed in 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 deck, spa, or landscaping.


2. I wondered your installation team’s typical experience level or if you outsource the building process. Do you exclusively use subcontractors that have proper licensing and insurance?

Having the entire installation handled by subcontractors is not out of the ordinary for pool builders. Here, it’s essential to consider the background of the contractors 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 builder employs his workers. However, if a subcontractor is engaged, you must ensure they are appropriately licensed and bonded.

3. Do you have a National Spa and Pool Institute membership? In what other professional associations do you participate?

The NSPI, or National Spa and Pool Institute, is the trade group that helps advance the spa and pool business. The National Swimming Pool Institute (NSPI) offers a “Certified Builder” course designed to educate pool builders on the most up-to-date methods for constructing beautiful and functional pools. The certification demonstrates the builder’s dedication to quality and the completion of minimum academic requirements for the work. By asking just one question, you may 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 builder is committed to being in business for the long haul.

4. I was wondering whether 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 question could shed light on some interesting dynamics. If a builder is willing to extend loans, they have likely been in business for some time and established a positive relationship with financial institutions. Knowing your funding choices before beginning the pool’s construction is helpful. The interest you spend on a loan to pay for building an in-ground pool is deductible since the pool is viewed as a home improvement.

5. May I contact a few of your previous clients for feedback?

The crucial question hinges on this. The proof of the pudding is in the eating; therefore, if they don’t let you talk to a satisfied client, you can assume they don’t have any. You should go elsewhere if a builder can’t show you references from happy clients.


The actual test is making direct contact with the target audience. Inquire whether you can choose two references from a list of ten satisfied customers the builder has provided. This will help you pick a neutral client without bias. To pull the customer off the fence, you can say, “I know 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 of the things that didn’t meet your expectations?”


6. How much does the owner participate in day-to-day operations?

You shouldn’t automatically write off a company whose owner isn’t actively involved in daily operations, but you should investigate the management team’s track record. The degree to which a business owner is invested in his or her company’s success is often directly correlated with that success.


7. Can the contractor provide proof that they are adequately insured, such as a certificate?

If you want to make sure you’re covered if something goes wrong while the pool is being built, you should inquire about the builder’s 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. Any reliable builder will have comprehensive insurance coverage. Period.


Don’t hire a contractor if you have to ask for proof of insurance and don’t get it. You can even phone the insurance company or agent to ensure their policy remains active. Finally, keep in mind that workers are safeguarded by worker compensation. Responsible behavior protects assets. Both are required.


Checking the builder’s credit and looking into any litigation that may have been filed against them are two other things to consider.


8. Can you design your home with the builder?

You can save money and benefit from the builder’s experience and expertise by taking advantage of many reputable companies’ in-home design services.


9. Will you fix any problems in my yard or landscaping?

When interviewing a builder, it’s important to discuss your expectations up front, especially regarding damage. The amount of yard damage caused by a pool installation sometimes comes as a shock to pool buyers.


However, there can be excessive damage if the contractor is careless. Be sure to write this provision into the contract at the outset. Some pool companies won’t build you a pool unless you agree to pay for any harm to your yard.


10. Who will be responsible for the necessary plumbing and electrical work, and what will they cost?

The contractor you hire to construct your pool should be familiar with local electricity, plumbing, zoning, building, and grading codes. You should make sure your builder knows what they’re doing. 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. The constructor’s best interest…


11. When the pool is finished, what kind of instruction will I get on keeping it up?

After construction is complete, you should receive instructions on how to care for the pool and its components. This instruction should cover equipment maintenance, 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. If you want to hire a reliable pool contractor, start looking early in the season or adjust your timeline expectations accordingly.


Avoid making a hasty decision about a pool or its builder due to time constraints. Choose based on criteria including product and constructor quality. A professional constructor will never go for haste over quality. Waiting a few more months won’t hurt, especially if this is your first pool. Continue to prioritize quality.


13. How much does it cost, and what is the required down payment?

In the end, your pool’s cost should be reasonable for you. Only contact builders you have confidence in and who can fulfill your basic needs for a proposal. The standard deposit ranges from 2% to 5%, which varies from builder to builder. Stop the interview immediately if the builder requests a down payment of more than 10% of the total cost. Check the builder’s down payment schedule and make sure you understand it.


The Value of Solid References


In general, you may learn a lot about potential pool builders by asking them a series of questions. Remember that the interviewer is more interested in your experience than memorizing the correct response to a question. Contact the BBB, the state, and any local building departments you can think of. The name of a skilled builder will travel far and wide.

Fourth Error

You Didn’t Read Your Pool Contract and Warranty Carefully

Not thoroughly familiarizing yourself with your pool’s contract and warranty is a fatal oversight. Pool contracts and deposits can be misleading if you don’t read them thoroughly and ask enough questions, so remember what Ross Perot said: “The devil is in the details.”


The typical pool warranty covers the following components:


1. Wall, reinforcement, and concrete structural integrity.


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


3. Electrical, gas, pipe, and plumbing for pools: materials and labor.


Most pool purchasers are caught off guard when something goes wrong because they did not read the warranty’s fine print to see what was and was not covered. Ideally, the pump, filter, and heater should all come from the same company. That way, you’ll only need one warranty for your essential machinery. In addition, most pool businesses won’t keep a supply of repair parts for all major brands. Because the color of the walls depends heavily on how you’ve maintained the pool and the chemical balance of the pool water, issues like discoloration in fiberglass and vinyl liner pools are typically not covered. As a result of concrete’s inherent sensitivity to weather, repairs to chipped concrete or gunite are rarely necessary.


You should be wary of the warranty’s coverage while shopping for a vinyl liner pool. Is it only the lining’s seams or everything? When installing a vinyl liner pool, most contractors will emphasize the guarantee on the hem. The vinyl coating is the most common weak point, not the seam or the walls.


That’s Warranted by Whom?

Find out who is responsible for what guarantees. Like, who covers repairs to the pump and filter, if anything? Who is accountable, the maker or the retailer? To whom should issues be reported? Is there a free phone number I may call? Who will come out and take care of this? Each manufacturer may have various service providers available to handle product warranty issues. Warranty and maintenance for swimming pools are typically unavailable at a single location.


Talk to the builder about the warranty and your concerns in detail. Determine what is unwarranted and why. The questions will be considerably simpler after you’ve compared a few warranties side by side.


Fifth Error

Considering Only Initial Investment Instead of Total Expense of Ownership

Most pool buyers focus on the initial outlay of $40,000 or more for an in-ground pool and give little thought to the ongoing expense of maintenance and upkeep. The best long-term investment is typically in a collection that needs minimum care. Over time, you’ll spend less on maintenance and repairs for a group that doesn’t need a lot of TLC.


Spending More Money


Some people are caught off guard by the additional costs of essential equipment needed for their new pools. Filtration systems, access devices (ladders, steps), and skimmers (to remove debris from the water’s surface) are all required pieces of gear.


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


6th 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 buyers at this stage.


Remember that the late spring and early summer can attract these shady characters to neighborhoods with many swimming pools. Sometimes advertisements appear that look too good to be true. Please take note of the following “Buyer Beware!” indicators.


1. Salespeople who try to upsell you by saying the pool you’ve seen “on-sale” isn’t as good as the one they’ve been promoting. This is a shared sales strategy known as “Bait and Switch” that can be found at many retail establishments.


2. If a salesperson offers you a discount on the condition that they can use your pool as an example, run the other way.


3. Constant pressure from salespeople to make a purchase. Remember that no respectable builder or authorized representative of a reputable builder would ever pressure you into signing a contract or agreement without giving you the time to consider the terms.


4. Never give in to pressure to apply for a “Building Permit” in your name. The hired help is responsible for this. Ensure the contract explicitly stipulates that the pool contractor must use only properly licensed and bonded “subcontractors.”


5. Be wary of a hard sell from a pool company that won’t come out for an initial visit. Likely, the contractor isn’t interested in learning about your specifications.



The procedure can seem downright terrifying for those who have never bought a pool. Numerous factors must be taken into account… Everything from the design to the pool’s upkeep, warranty, responsibility, plumbing, landscaping, energy, drainage, restrictions, and accessories are all factors to consider. Unsurprisingly, many people spend hundreds or thousands more than they need to because of blunders they made while purchasing pools.


With the knowledge contained in this research, you will be able to steer clear of the pitfalls that plague most pool buyers. This guide will provide the information you need to ask the correct questions when looking for a pool for your home.




Naras, Mark

Waterfront Pools & Spas by Aquamarine Fiberglass, Inc.


You’ve reached Aquamarine Pools of Texas, the sister company to Aquamarine Fiberglass Pools & Spas. WE CREATE MEMORIES with Fun Space Direct’s help!




Aquamarine has been in the pool industry for over a decade. Despite the recession, the company has seen sustained growth in its ability to make families happy by turning their backyards into mini-resorts. Nothing beats the exhilarating delight of owning one of our superior composite fiberglass pool products, as experienced by the joyful 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.


If you’re interested in learning more about our pools, you may do so by clicking the appropriate links on our website; alternatively, you can call us at (800) 432-8994 to speak with one of our backyard resort designers about how to begin etching unforgettable memories into the minds of you and your loved ones.

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