Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thinking about a pool for this summer?

Start planning now! Chances are that most pool contractors are booked up solid by Spring!

Fall or early in the new year is an ideal time to contact a contractor. Planning a pool involves a number of things to consider and it should not be a rushed process. You want to make sure it fits your yard and fits right once it is in place!

Most common things to consider:

  • Pool size and equipment location is usually the first idea to cross the table... What would fit best?...a humpback kidney shaped pool with it's rounded edges?... or a roman-end pool? Layout planning with either your pool contractor or a landscape designer will come in handy here.
  • Backyard access!!! Is there a wide enough gate or fence area to allow excavation equipment through? You may need your neighbour's participation in granting equipment access across their property with the promise of full repair once the job is completed. (Promising use of pool usually wins them over.)
  • Check local by-laws and regulations regarding pool installs. Building codes are put in place to ensure safety for both the wandering public and the property residents. Things considered are pool locations, ravine protection by-laws, septic systems, maintaining a certain percentage of regulated green space and most importantly... fences & gates!
  • Vinyl or concrete? In-ground or above ground? An average cost for an in-ground vinyl-lined pool can start at $35,000. Concrete based pools average $50,000. Above ground pools are cheap to install yet often look like an eye-sore in the landscape because of their height.
  • Consider pool patios & finish materials... A three-foot wide band of concrete is typically installed to encase the sides of the pool and add to the paved access area. It helps guarantee the pool edges from being damaged by frost or prevent rainwater from washing in soil & debris that clogs the pump/filter. Consider a different look before it is done.
  • Pool coping... They can build the pool edge to accept stone coping or to finish with a plastic edge-moulding. Depending on stone choice, it could cost between $3,500 to $7,000 for installation. Once you know the size of your pool, start looking for the proper amount of stone coping needed as supplies sell out fast!

  • Last thing to consider is a Saltwater or Chlorine-treated pool. Saltwater systems actually produce a natural type of chlorine that keeps the water clean and is gentle on your skin. The filtration systems are different so you need to determine which way you want to go. Ask your contractor to explain all the pros and cons of both systems.


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

Good artical, We are doing exactly what you stated. The contractor is all set. Permits are approved and the plans are all set. One thing I would like to know. We are planning on installing a textured concrete patio around the pool. I like in the north east as well. Instalation is scheduled for March. How lond do we need to wait to let the ground settle before the patio is poured? Thank you in advance.


Paul said...

Basically you can pour that concrete pad almost immediately after the pool is constructed. Assuming that you live in an area that has stable soil structure, there should not be a problem.

Pool excavations are usually backfilled with 3/4 inch clear gravel...this minimizes settlement and helps to drain water away from the exterior of the pool walls. A 4 inch minimum thickness, concrete pad is then poured around the pool deck actually helps to tie into the pool structure and make things stronger.

Just make sure the installer for the concrete pad has tamped the sub-grade can also ask for a wire mesh or re-bar to be included in the concrete pour for added strength.

If an excavation of any sort is not back-filled with gravel, then your whole situation changes, you'd have to wait about 2 to 3 years for any earth to settle when it has been disturbed to depths of 5 or 6 feet.

Melissa Meske said...

Hi, I am interested in your comment about coping. We have an inground vinyl pool with ugly white metal coping around the edge and I want to replace it with a rock like edging that looks more natural. Where would I find that type of material?

Paul said...

Hi Melissa,

Depending on where you are located, there should be a local building supplier or stone masonry supplier in your area. Check with your local listings for a brick or stone supplier... also check with garden and landscape suppliers. Some garden centers may be able to lead you in the direction needed for a local supplier in your area.

Listings to look under:

Natural Stone dealers
Landscape Suppliers
Garden Centers
Stone Yards
Pool Coping
Natural Stone Coping said...

Hi Paul- my wife and I want to put in an above ground pool. I have to level the area first with a bobcat, which is not a big deal. We've got a pool almost picked out- but the problem I have, is I cannot get any installers recommended by the dealer, to come out and see my backyard, and give me a price to install!!! Can you recommend a few above ground pool installers....thx

Paul Corsetti (416)455-5515 said...

Hi there,

If you are in the GTA area, I would look up "The Poolcraft Company" which is based out of Richmond Hill.

Jason and his team have been performing like stars every time I have a pool project come up. You can find them here:

Or call them direct at: 905 884 2720 ...Toll free: 1 877 469 6649

Anonymous said...

Thanks wonderful post, we are getting an above ground pool installed 'inground' and want to opt for the stone coping.

question, can you advise us on how to best place the concrete to set the coping? How far in etc to the edge of the top of the pool? Thickness? Its a 9x4.5 Oval shaped pool, soon to be excavated and installed.

Paul Corsetti (416)455-5515 said...

Your Pool Contractor should know exactly how to set the concrete around the pool to accept a coping stone. If not, then that would raise a warning flag for me...

The concrete is to sit flush with the pool edge so that a mortar bed can be laid on enough of the concrete that it will properly secure the stone down. A good stone mason will explain this process to you as well... I like to use 14 inch wide coping just for this reason so that the stone has a lot of area to grab on to in terms of securing to the concrete edge. The over-hang is usually set at 1.5 to 2 inches as an edge so that swimmers can hang on to the coping for a rest while in the pool in deep water.