A Guide to Pool Purchasing

Canadian families have many options in creating a backyard oasis, playground or both. One of the most popular is a swimming pool. Not only is a pool fun and healthy, it also transforms the backyard into a beautiful entertainment center.

The choice of pool is dictated by budget, size of yard, family age and size. The most expensive and least popular is the concrete (or gunite) pool. Prior to the 1960s, it was a families-only choice.

A starter pool

Now there are many, including extremely affordable above ground models. There are several choices of material in above ground pools. The typical mass merchant model, is the blow up or above ground poolcanvas wall type. This model is the most affordable but the least durable. This is ideal for the family that wants a pool for a few short years. The big drawback with this type is you usually have to take it down for the winter. A more durable model is the steel or stainless steel wall type lined on the inside with a vinyl liner. These are available round and oval with heights of 4 to 4 ½ ft. This type of pool sells in the $2,000 to $6,000 range and a good one typically lasts 25 to 30 years. It is also ideal for the DIY handyman to install.

More integrated choices

Onground Pools
The next step is the pool called the onground. The sidewalls of this model are typically made of 14 gauge rigid steel similar to the inground steel & vinyl type. This pool is ideal if the customer wants to partially sink it inground or into the side of a hill. Usually a full or partial deck is installed around this structure. This model sells in the $10 000- $15 000 range.

Fiberglass Pools
Fiberglass pools have made inroads in Canada only in the last 15 years. It comes delivered in one piece & is typically craned over the house into a ready excavation. An advantage of this type is it usually can be installed in under a week. In the early years, fiberglass pools got a bad reputation simply because the manufacturers sold them to every contractor who owned a shovel & a pickup truck but had no experience installing pools. The industry suffered because of this blunder but fortunately the manufacturers woke up & started dealing with reputable, experienced pool dealers. Although size & shape are more limited than vinyl or concrete, there is still a big enough selection to suit most potential pool owners. A big plus over concrete pools is a fiberglass pool never needs painting or re-marbleizing. Also, unlike concrete, it has no effect on pools pH or water balance. Proper pH levels & water balance are critical issues for a swimmers health & comfort. It is also a huge factor in the lifespan of the pool structure & equipment.

Commit to the long term

Inground Pools
The most popular pool material, by far, is the inground steel and vinyl pool, these originated in the sixties and have grown in popularity ever since. In fact, the management of Leisure Industries has been involved in the sales of steel and vinyl pools since 1969. The size, shape and features of this model have also grown exponentially over the years. The shape and features are only limited to a pool owners imagination. Swim outs, tanning ledges, water features, vanishing edges are just a few of the innovations now possible. Modern vinyl liners are also far superior and longer lasting than the originals. With a myriad of colours and patterns available, there is sure to be a style to satisfy the most discerning of tastes.

Happy swimming!