Let’s figure out together what is best for you.*

*NOTE: This is a representation of all in ground pool types available and not just those by Augusta Aquatics.

 

Pool Types Possible Materials Shapes, Sizes & Depths Speed of Installation[1] CostRanges[2]
Vinyl Liner Wood Frame    and/or Wall,Galvanized or Stainlessand Polymer[3] Somewhat limited by expertise of installer & manufacturer capabilities Typically 1 to 2 weeks and is dependent upon the individual installer. $20,000 to $60,000[4]+
Fiberglass Various materials and methods of construction Limited by manufacturer and by what is allowed across roadways Typically 1 to 2 weeks and is dependent upon the individual installer. $30,000 to $70,000+
Concrete Gunite, Shotcrete& Cast in Place Somewhat limited by expertise of installer Typically 3 to 8 weeks and is dependent upon the individual installer. $45,000 to $80,000+
Hybrids Concrete & Fiberglass, Concrete, Fiberglass & Liner Somewhat limited by expertise of installer Varies by Installer and materials selected. Varies widely due to selection of materials and experience of installer
Natural Concrete or EPDM(rubber liner) Limited by region and what is practical as swim area is determined by bog Typically 6 to 12 weeks and is dependent upon the individual installer.[5] $40,000 to $100,000+

 

 

An Experienced and Friendly Word About: 

BUILDING INSPECTIONS & WARRANTIES

“BUYER BEWARE”

“Buyer beware” was a phrase that was repeated to me by several local building inspectors when I asked about the lack of nationally accepted building standards and inspections in most of Virginia. Prior to July 14, 2014, with the implementation of the ISPSC 2012 code by Virginia, Nationally accepted swimming pool standards existed (ANSI/APSP), but were largely ignored, by regional building officials, as they were not law.  The portions of the standards that were acceptted as law, and sporatically enforced, dealt with fencing and electrical work.  ACTUAL POOL CONSTRUCTION WAS NOT AN INSPECTABLE ITEM AS ASSUMED BY MANY HOMEOWNERS. The new state law is a plus for you, the consumer, as it places the burdon of enforcement clearly on your local building official. However, per the new law, he or she may interpet and enforce as they see fit.

 Warranties, as presented by many manufacturers, pool builders and installers are frequently not what they appear to be as well. Bold print titles such as “LIFETIME WARRANTY” “TRANSFERABLE LIFETIME WARRANTY” and alike sound very promising and are used to lure you to buy a product line or service. When you actually read these they will nearly always be “to good to be true”. Frequently they are wrought with limitations or “FUZZY” exclusions that protect the manufacturer, installer or builder from what the title implies. In reality the warranties are often very “limited” at best to “repair or replacement, as determined by” someone other than you. Before you invest your home, family and money into a “lifetime” investment read all warranties throughly, check references of the builder/installer (including where they had an issue with product or installation), contact the DPOR and the BBB about their record and to see if there are any outstanding issues. Make your understanding and expectations “CLEAR” and have these in writing for the protection of all invloved.

 

FEATURE / BENEFITS / CONSIDERATIONS

VARIOUS SWIMMING POOL STRUCTURES[6] in Central Virginia

In Ground Pools Features Benefits Considerations
Vinyl Liner
  • Lowest cost pool
  • Can have great flexibility in design
  • Quick install
  • Soft to touch
  • Easy start up
  • Allows for greater budget into patio and other finish items
  • Pool can be one of over 100 standard shapes and sizes or customized to your particular needs, wants and desires
  • Can be made to look like a concrete pool
  • Many linear finishes to choose from
  • Does not require excessive start up procedures
  • Quality of materials used
  • Quality of installer
  • Easily punctured & repaired
  • Upgrades can bring costs up into basic fiberglass and concrete pool cost ranges
  • Liner can be swapped out for new style
  • Steel, Polymer, Stainless Steel or Fiberglass wall systems available in different grade of materials
Fiberglass
  • One piece construction
  • Lowest maintenance costs
  • Many sizes, shapes & colors
  • Can be made to look like a concrete pool
  • Easy start up
  • Quickest install
  • More time available for Fun
  • Easily adaptable to swim/ exercise pools or spas
  • Coping and patio finish choices easily enhance the look of the pool
  • Limited sizes, color and shapes available
  • Quality of pool is link to manufacturer and their processes
  • Quality of application is directly linked to quality of installer
  • Great choice for tight spaces
Concrete
  • Gunite, shotcrete or case in place
  • Most available finish options
  • Can be any shape or depth
  • Strongest Pool
  • Strong, resilient and easily repairable if needed
  • Greatest flexibility of shapes, sizes, elevations, depths and other design criteria
  • Often considered the longest lasting & highest quality pool
  • Somewhat limited by expertise and experience of installer
  • Getting what you ant could be expensive
  • Quality of pool highly dependent upon design, material and quality control of or over installer
Hybrids
  • Mixing types of structures can expand options
  • Pool/Spa, Waterfall/Pool or Feature/Pool combinations
  • Many hybrids can lower costs, provide quality options and be very aesthetically pleasing
  • Allows for great flexibility in creativity
  • Somewhat limited by expertise of installer
  • Fine points of design a must
Natural
  • Concrete or EPDM (rubber liner)
  • Most ecological friendly pool
  • Customized to client
  • Cost and sustainability options
  • No chlorine or conventional sanitizes
  • Your pool will be unique to you
  • Designed by latitude and what is practical as a swim area per bog type, size & plant materials


Associated Web Links and Reviews

 

If you have been on the internet you know how difficult it is to find real information about pools that is not pointed to one kind of pool or another. The links provided below are relatively free from influence by a particular manufacturer or pool company, including ours. The idea is to help you weed out information that may be slanted towards one type, make or model of pool. As Augusta Aquatics designs, installs and builds the three major types of pools our mission is to determine what is the best pool for you as opposed to telling you the one we sell is the best pool for you. With over 40 years in the business I have experienced the pluses and minuses of various types of pools, patios, designs, materials, and so on, here I share that with you.         

 

Pool Types, Designs and Styles  Interesting reading, I liked the information provided in the article. However, I suggest that you research the products and pool contractors advertised on any website.

 

Bob Villa – Swimming Pools 101  I am a fan of Bob and his show. However, I perceive a fiberglass slant in this article and no links to local pool builders. His cubic foot pricing of concrete pools is more in line with pricing vinyl liner pools in this region. He makes good points in many areas and then again in other areas not. My feeling is that depending upon where you are in the country the perspectives may change along with costs.

Popular Mechanics – 6 Steps to the Perfect Inground Pool    Usually a great source of information, PM (Popular Mechanics) has most of this right. One item really stood out and that they indicated 20-30 MM liners are about 1” thick. Not so, it is probably a typo. Liners are about 1/16” thick and are usually backed by a foam pad against the wall that makes them seem thicker.  I have noticed that several PM articles indicate that fiberglass as the least expensive pool. In this region it is vinyl liner, then fiberglass with concrete being the most expensive. As with everything else quality of the product and the quality of the installer/builder determine cost.

 

Swimming with Possibilities  – This article was not what I was expecting in that it stayed pretty neutral on the different types of pools. I really liked that they indicated that the coping (pool perimeter) can be used on any type of pool to enhance the look. In vinyl liner the extruded plastic or powder coated aluminum are the least expensive and therefore most popular. Some fiberglass pool contractors use the top flange of the pool as coping, which I feel gives it an unfinished look. Coping comes in several different styles, colors and textures. Of course each of these has a cost impact along with the aesthetic upgrade it brings to your project.

 

Codes and Standards  –  This link takes you to the Standards page of the APSP (Association of Pool & Spa Professionals). Here in Virginia the Commonwealth recently adopted the ISPSC (International Swimming Pool and Spa Code) 2012. This is a victory for you the consumer as prior to this law there was extremely little regulation as to the design and construction of swimming pools, public and private. Pool design and construction was BUYER BEWARE as suggested to me by several building inspectors, who could not enforce standards on our competitors.  

[1] Based upon identical Pool Size of 16’ x 38’ and basic Scope of Work of pool installation only; weather and outside factors, such as rock not included. Scope of Work as determined by the ISPSC 2012 as adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia with enforcement tentatively scheduled after July 14, 2014, as determined by your local building authority.

[2] These costs vary dramatically by what is found to be acceptable by local Building Officials and what is provided by manufacturer and installer.

[3] Various wall thicknesses exist from 14 gauge to 20 gauge in galvanized steel. Engineering varies widely amongst brands. Seek VA licensed structural engineer stamp on plans.

[4] Wood frame and or wall being least expensive followed by thin 20 gauge steel. 14 gauge galvanized steel and polymer vary slightly based upon wall design & manufacturer. Stainless steel pool walls are the most expensive, typically.

[5] Requires establishment and maintenance of organic life.

[6]Structures may vary in quality of materials and skill of installation. The circulation, filtration, sanitation, heating, control and safety of water may also vary just as greatly in design even though there is more regulation on these items than that of available structures. When looking at structures the management of the water plays only a small role. Water management is regulated the same on all residential pools, except for natural pools. Spas and spray grounds are different than pools in this regard. Any CBP (Certified Build Professional) should be able to explain these differences to you.