Underground Lines- The typical setbacks required for common household underground lines is 5 foot from waters edge to electrical, gas, telephone, city water and cable TV lines. This does not include lines buried in a utility easement.
Overhead Lines – Most insulated household service wires (electric, telephone, and cable) are required to be a minimum of 10 feet from waters edge. If you cannot maintain 10 feet to waters edge, it will be necessary to bury wires or have the overhead service moved to another location.
Access to Backyard- As a rule of thumb, in order to accommodate standard sized machinery, we generally need at least a 8’6” opening with 18 foot of overhead clearance. We can, however, use a miniature excavator and overhead boom truck to lift the pool over your house and place it in your backyard if access is too tight. The amount of landscape repair needed after installation will depend on several factors including slope of yard, type of soil, current weather conditions and size of machinery needed.
Surface Drainage- The pool shell and all related accessories (concrete apron, fence and landscaping) must not impede the drainage of surface water from downspouts, sump lines, sprinklers or heavy rainfall to their intended destination (storm sewer basin, pond, ditch, street, etc). Often times, it is necessary to install deck drains in concrete apron and reroute existing downspouts, sprinklers and sump lines to avoid damage to your new pool.
Retention Walls- May be needed if the final grade exceeds a slope of 1foot in height to every 6 foot in length. Types of retention walls include boulders, colored blocks, wood timbers and poured concrete. Even mounded dirt can be used as a small retention wall if your lot is large enough.
Setback Requirements- Each and every municipality independently governs how close a pool can be located to the house, property lines, septic fields, wells, overhead decks, easements, garages, out buildings, wetlands, woodlands, overhead wires and waterways. Some cities even have laws that restrict lot coverage percentages. If your pool plan does not meet the criteria for desired placement, a variance can sometimes be obtained from your local municipality.
Fences- Michigan State Law requires that all inground pools must have a fence. Your local municipality can add additional ordinances to the state requirements. Door alarms are also required on any doors that have direct access to the pool. This does not include pool gates that are self-latching and self-closing. The only exceptions to installing door alarms are to encapsulate the pool perimeter with fencing or to install a key operated safety cover.
Mortgage Survey/ Plot Plan – It is extremely helpful if you have a survey available when a salesperson comes to your home. This will help to locate lot lines, easements, wetlands, etc. We also use your survey to obtain the necessary building permits for pool installation. You normally would have received a mortgage survey form the title company that you used at time of closing. If you do not have a mortgage or have not officially closed on your home you may be able to get a survey from the builder/developer. As a last resort, we can sometimes make a hand sketch to submit for the necessary permits. If your city will not accept a hand sketch, a land survey can be obtained for approximately $600-$1200, depending on the size of your lot.
Installation Timing- New Construction
Outdoor Pools- It is best to install an outdoor pool after you have completed rough framing, roofing, electrical and gas meters. This will ensure that we do not impede the access needed for your builder to complete the outside of your home. It will also allow us to start up your pool equipment and check for any plumbing leaks prior to pouring the concrete deck.
Indoor Pools- Since our pools come delivered in one piece it is crucial that the pool shell be installed before rough construction has begun. Also, be sure to install your footings at least 18” deeper than the pool shell if you are in a loose soil environment or closer than 6 feet to your footing in hard soil. If you plan on using your wall to support the pool shell and backfill, it is advised to consult a structural engineer to ensure the integrity of the wall.
Outdoor Pool/ Outdoor Equipment- For an average pool installation you will need an area that is approximately 4’ wide x 4’ long. Your pool equipment is designed to remain outside and uncovered all year long. If you plan on having an outdoor pool it is always best to leave your equipment outdoors also. It is much more convenient for you to gain access to your equipment for routine maintenance to the filter, pump basket, temperature controls on the heater, spa jets, cascade, slide and other built in water features you may have. It is also easier for our service technicians to open and close your pool. Gas heaters must be at least 5’ from any window because of exhaust fumes.
Outdoor Pool/ Indoor Equipment- Should you choose to enclose your pool equipment please keep in mind that the floor must be constructed of non-combustible material (i.e. concrete, pea stone, sand). It is required that all indoor heaters be placed on an 18" metal platform. This prevents a fire in case flammable liquid is spilled on the floor. You also need to maintain at least 6” to interior walls. Lastly, you will need to vent the exhaust gases to the outside with galvanized ductwork.
Indoor Pool Recommendations- If you have an indoor pool you must keep your equipment inside. This will prevent freeze damage to your equipment. It is most convenient to place your pool equipment in the same room as the pool. If space is limited, we can usually find a place in your basement for the equipment. The cost of installation is higher due to additional material cost and labor, but it is often the best alternative. The recommended room size for indoor pool equipment is 6’ x 10’. This will allow plenty of room for service to your equipment and to store pool toys. NOTE: If you are adding a spa or several water features please contact us for sizing.
Financing your Pool- If financing is required we have several options for you to choose from. It is always cheapest to finance a new pool using the equity in your home. The interest can sometimes be deducted on your taxes as well. If you do not have equity, we can also look at non-lien loans or possibly credit cards.
Trees – People often ask us about the damaging effect of tree limbs or roots. Unlike a vinyl liner type pool, the limbs and roots of a tree will not harm our rigid fiberglass shell. You should, however, be aware that your concrete apron could be affected if the base of the tree is less than 5’away from a hardwood tree. You should also consider what location would provide the most sun for your new pool. You will get the best heating efficiency if your deep end of your pool receives the hot afternoon sun. Some types of tree leaves are very acidic which can stain your concrete apron. You can clean leaf stains with a mild solution of trisodium phosphate (T.S.P.). TSP is found in most local hardware stores. Stagnant tree leaves can also cause topical staining on a fiberglass pool. Fiberglass pools stains are easily treated with a liquid stain and scale control added directly to the pool water. For most stains, treatment and removal takes less than 24 hours. If you have an excessive amount of tree leaves a leaf cover can be added. They are made from a textile mesh similar to a screen door. Please keep in mind that your pool is usually shut down for the winter by the time leaves start to drop heavily anyway.
Can Fiberglass Pools “Pop Out”? - Yes, of course, if you drain the pool water down too far and the ground water table beneath the pool shell is excessively high. Each year there are far more concrete pools that “pop out” than fiberglass pools. Even a 250 million pound Carnival Cruise Ship will float when it is empty. If your pool remains full of water it is impossible to “pop out”. If there is ever a need to drain your pool (i.e. glass breaks and falls into pool, vandalism, etc.) please consult us first. We install a sump crock dewatering system on every new pool. It is designed to remove ground water from around your pool shell while your pool is empty.
What about Frost? - Another common misconception about fiberglass pools is that they crack from ground frost. Common sense will tell you that the bottom of your pool shell is well below the frost line. Just like the foundation of your home, we line the excavated pool shell with a bed of pea stone. The biggest problem caused by ground frost is to the concrete deck. To help stop some of the cracking issues to the concrete deck we install rerod reinforcement and also use a high tensile strength concrete mix.
Does an Inground Pool Destroy my Resale Value? - The misconception about pool ownership still exists today. Thirty years ago swimming pools were a hassle to own and operate. Today, with the advent of smooth, non-porous finishes such as fiberglass, owning a new pool couldn’t get any easier. Manufacturer’s have also perfected automatic pool cleaners, automatic timers, automatic pool covers and even automatic chemical feeders. Unfortunately, the old pool mentality still exists with people not familiar with modern pool systems. Another big fear among potential homebuyers is unexpected repairs to the pool structure. If you explain that a fiberglass shell has a lifetime warranty it should help your sale. If that still isn’t satisfactory and your potential buyer simply does not want a pool, you can move a fiberglass pool to another location or sell it for market value and regain some of your investment. Concrete and vinyl lined pools can not be moved and end up in the local landfill.
Fiberglass: Other Applications - Water and septic tanks, fuel tanks, and most all underground storage tanks, because fiberglass does not deteriorate or leak. Helicopter blades, because of its strength, flexibility and resistance to cracking. Its also used on expansion bridges, due to its versatility and strength.
WHERE CAN I SEE A FIBERGLASS POOL IN THE GROUND? - You can give us a call at the number below for a comprehensive list of residential referrals in your area.