Options for Putting in a Pool

We get asked… “I am considering having a pool installed at my home. What are my options?”

options for adding a poolWe asked Cheryl Myers of Amerispec Home Inspection what options are available when you’re considering putting in a Pool. Her answer follows.

“When it comes to pools, there are many options to consider: the type of pool, the type of heating, pumping, and filtering systems to be used, and the type of chemicals used to keep the water clean.”

(Other considerations include safety devices that can be used to prevent accidents and the landscaping surrounding the pool.)

There are two types of pools: in-ground and above-ground.

In-ground pools come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and differ in the materials used for their structure and liners. Similarly, there are different options available for the walls of above-ground pools. The pool wall structure of in-ground pools may be made of poured concrete, gunite (a concrete mixture that is sprayed from a special gun over steel reinforcements), plastic, steel, or fiberglass. Above ground pool walls are typically made out of vinyl-lined steel or plastic. Poured concrete pools were once very popular, however due to the labor intensive installation requirements, gunite pools have become the concrete pool of choice.

Vinyl liners come in a variety of different shapes, including rectangular, L-shaped, kidney shaped, oval, etc. The life expectancies of vinyl liners typically range from 10-20 years. These pools may be installed above ground or inground and are the most popular style of pools for residential use due to their relative ease of installation and low cost. Fiberglass is usually associated with hot tubs; however, pools may also be constructed using a molded fiberglass shell, placed in a hole in the ground or using fiberglass panels that are assembled on-site over a concrete base.

The soil conditions in the area where the pool will be installed must be considered prior to excavation.

Ideal soil conditions would be undisturbed loam (i.e. equal mixture of sand, silt and clay). Clay, sandy, or wet soils all present challenges for the excavation and installation of a pool. A soils engineer can determine the type of soil on the property by taking and analyzing core samples. If the soil is expansive clay or sand, or if wet soil conditions are present, special considerations will have to be taken into account during excavation and pool wall support installation.

Pool equipment, chemicals, landscaping and safety requirements are other important details to keep in mind when deciding to install a pool at your home.

If you are considering buying a home with a pool, we suggest having a professional review the maintenance activities before taking possession.

amerispec home inspectionsHome inspectors, like the folks at Amerispec Home Inspection, offer varying levels of pool inspection. To learn more about pool inspections, maintenance and other requirements, Call Cheryl 302-996-0405 for New Castle County, 302-491-0444 in Kent County or 302-722-4435 in Sussex County, email cmyers@amerispec-de.net or visit www.amerispec-de.net today.