Building a Swimming Pool

A Few Things to Consider

A reader asks: We are just stumped! We’ve been looking into purchasing a pool for our small backyard. We’ve looked into fibreglass pools at this point and like the way they look. We seem to hear a different story from each person we ask regarding the purchase of a new pool. Most agree it’s the installer who is the key. Is that your consensus as well? How do we check on the installer other than relying on the references given to us by the pool company?

From Ray: First I want to disclose that I also am a manufacturer of fibreglass pools so I will try to be as objective as possible.

A fibreglass pool is a great choice for your back yard and will absolutely be the lowest maintenance pool. You can look on our site for lots of other background information on these pools. Since I come from a Composites Engineering background we are a little different than the other companies you might find.

You are correct that the installer is everything! Unfortunately fibreglass pools tend to lower the barrier of entry into the installation pool business side and so they tend to attract what I might affectionately refer to as Billy-bob and the back hoe gang. You get the point. On any builder or carpenter first check the BBB in your area. Also request a list of references AND a list of jobs currently under construction. This will give you the opportunity to see who you are dealing with directly.

A few more general things to consider:

  • Don t allow them to talk you into exposed coping: go with pavers stone or a cantilever deck
  • Consider Tile but don t allow it to be installed at the factory this will result in unlevelled tile at the waterline
  • Request that the pool be installed with no main drain. They are not necessary for circulation and can pose and entrapment hazard.
  • Try to find builders that are members of NSPI. Also ask if they are Certified Building Professionals (CBPs)
  • Bob the Builder Coloring Pages

Finally be careful of dark colours and pools. We have colored surfaces but do not have extremely dark colours. These fail after some time and fibreglass unlike liners or shotcrete are not designed to be resurfaced in the field.

Happy Swimming!!!

Ray Cronise The RTR Group Inc.

Swimming Pool Safety for Children

A swimming pool in the yard can be very dangerous for children. If possible do not put a swimming pool in your yard until your children are older than 5 years. If you already have a pool protect your children from drowning by doing the following:

  • Never leave your children alone in or near the pool even for a moment.

  • You must put up a fence to separate your house from the pool. Most young children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the pool. Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all 4 sides of the pool. This fence will completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard. Use gates that self-close and self-latch with latches higher than your children’s reach.

  • A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) adds to the protection of your children but should not be used in place of the fence between your house and the pool. Even fencing around your pool and using a power safety cover will not prevent all drownings.

  • Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd’s hook or life preserver) and a telephone by the pool.

  • Do not let your child use air-filled “swimming aids” because they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can be dangerous.

  • Anyone watching young children around a pool should learn CPR and be able to rescue a child if needed. Stay within an arm’s length of your child.

  • Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren’t tempted to reach for them.

  • After the children are done swimming secure the pool so they can’t get back into it.

Remember teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT mean your child is safe in water.