FAQBuilding a Pool Advantages Choosing a Style Choosing the Right Company Cost and Time Materials The Process Space Needed Pool Care Maintenance Safety Pool Safety Chemical Safety
Creating Your Personal OasisPool? Spa? Cabana? Design your personal oasis. Which Pool is Right for You? Why Heritage Pools? Schedule an On-Site Consultation & Estimate What Should You Expect? Add in the Extras: Games, Accessories & More
Frequently Asked Questions
Building A Pool: Advantages
Do the benefits of owning a pool make the cost worth it?
Yes! The memories created by family and friends will stay with you for life. Just think of the improvement of your mental and physical well being by providing both stress relief and the perfect exercise solution. Even just sitting by your pool takes the stress out! And don't forget the increase in property value. Having a pool is one of the most rewarding investments that you will ever make!
Does a swimming pool add value to my home?
Yes it does, especially one by Heritage pools. And the better you take care of the pool, and the more you decorate the pool area with landscaping and accessories, the closer you will get to 100%.
Building A Pool: Choosing the Right Company
How can I be sure to choose the right pool builder?
This is probably the most important decision you will have to make during your pool purchase and building experience. Referrals can be the most valuable source of information. Ask for a list of customers that you can call and ask about their experience. If they had any problems, did the company take care of them?
Check the contractors licensing information and insurance information. If the company is not licensed there is not much sense in going any further. Ask if the company has changed names or ownership? Have they gone out of business and reopened under another name? How long has the company been in business?
If possible, go and see some of the work that the builder has done in your area.
Make sure that they are a member of the APSP (Association of Pool and Spa Professionals) and of course, always check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that any complaints filed were favorably resolved.
Building A Pool: Choosing a Style
How should I decide on the design of my pool?
A design expert from Heritage Pools will meet with you to discuss what you want out of your pool. They will ask you how you intend to use your pool and will get an idea of how much area is available for the pool. Is exercise important? Will children use the pool? How many people do you envision will use the pool at the same time? Where will the pool look the best when viewed from the home? We will also create a computer model of your pool so you can see exactly how it will look when completed.
A lot of your decisions will depend on the location of the pool, the design of your home and surrounding area, use of the pool and what you want to achieve for your backyard oasis. It's important to remember that you are not just buying a pool. This is going to be a permanent addition to your home: a water park in your backyard, a place where you will entertain, and the place where children and grandchildren will meet and play. We can help you with these objectives by designing a pool just for you and your backyard.
Are some swimming pool shapes less expensive than others?
Rectangular pools or pools that have corners are more expensive than curved pool designs if you compare based on the number of gallons of water. In general, pools are priced by the length of the tile around the pool.
Building A Pool: Space Needed
My yard is very small. Can I put an in ground pool there?
Heritage Pools can construct pools in all sizes and shapes to fit your yard or area. You will be surprised at how a limited backyard can inspire the most innovative pool design.
Call us for a design consultation before giving up on that small yard or hillside location. Best of all, our in ground pool and spa designs and estimates are free, and we’ll show you exactly what your new pool and/or spa will look like.
Building A Pool: Cost and Time
I sometimes see advertisements promising pools at very low prices. Is it really possible to get an inground pool at these prices?
Most of these "fantastic deals" are nothing more than bait-and-switch to get you to call. Or they use low quality equipment and materials and cut corners on workmanship to achieve these low prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
When looking to build your inground pool, you need to ensure that you're comparing apples to apples. All the estimates should include the same equipment, same volume of water and the same features and accessories. You don't want to be surprised by hidden costs when you purchase your pool. Most importantly, pay attention to who's going to do the work! Your pool company should have their people on site supervising the construction process.
Remember that your new pool should be built to last the lifetime of your home.
What is included in the initial expense of purchasing a pool?
A design consultant will give you a good understanding of all costs associated with building and owning an in-ground pool. They will also help you understand how the cost will be affected by the materials, water features, equipment and overall size of the pool area.
Standard pricing will also vary based on ease of access, demolition needs prior to building the pool and local permit costs. Much of the initial expense will be based on what is called the "hardscape". Hardscape is what is placed around the pool. The size and materials used in decks, patios, waterfalls, gazebos, planter walls and many other features can be simple or sensational. You have the greatest influence on the total budget based on the design of your hardscape.
Why do cost estimates vary when pools seem to be the same?
The cost of a pool is determined by more than the size and shape of the pool. A lot of builders will cut corners on various aspects of the pool. Compromising on workmanship, quality of materials, design, underground strength, ease of maintenance, warranties, and service are easy places to lower your price -- while lowering the quality of your investment at the same time! Be sure to get as much information as possible about how the pool will be built and exactly what equipment is being recommended. Heritage Pools never submits low estimates with the intent to increase prices during construction. Heritage Pools estimates incorporate the highest quality materials, craftsmanship, design, and customer service.
How much will my utility bill increase if I get a pool?
Heritage Pools average estimates show utility bills range between $20 - $40 per month, depending on what area of the country you live in. Check with your local Heritage Pools design consultant for more accurate figures.
How long does it take to build a swimming pool?
From the day of the dig it should take about 4 - 8 weeks for a gunite pool depending on the size and complexity of the project and, of course, the weather. Remember though, from the day you sign the contract for your pool other things have to happen before the pool can be dug. Things like financing (if applicable), approval from your homeowners association, marking and finding utilities and pipes, and permits from the city or county. Permits can sometimes delay the pool building process.
Because each situation is different, it's impossible to give a hard and fast time frame example. However, when the time comes, your Heritage Pools design consultant will give you a time-frame specific to your pool, and we will commit to do everything possible to reach our deadlines, or advise you of any potential delays as soon as they occur.
What pool shapes are available?
Your choices are almost unlimited when it comes to shapes, custom features and design. Our expert design consultants will offer suggestions on the best way to utilize the size and shape of your yard. Wherever your imagination takes you, Heritage Pools can design and build it.
What option choices do I have?
Almost anything you can imagine! Our Heritage Pools team can design and construct a pool that meets your wildest imagination. Technology changes at unbelievable speed in all phases of our lives and swimming pools are no exceptions.
We are experts in designing and building all varieties of pools, spas and additional fun features such as waterfalls, rock features, tanning ledges, fountains, and grottos. Innovative water treatment options, fiber optic lighting, spa products, remote controls, automatic cleaning devices and many other options are also available to make your pool ownership easier and more enjoyable.
Building A Pool: Materials
Gunite or Vinyl: Why Choose These Over Other Materials
Many factors go into selecting the type material to use when building a swimming pool. Gunite, Vinyl, Shot-crete, and Fiberglass are just a few. Heritage only installs Gunite and Vinyl pools. Some pools companies claim to be installing a Gunite pool but in reality they are installing a Shot-crete pool. There is a huge difference in these materials, most homeowners wouldn't know the difference. These companies rely on that fact save money. If you are considering a Gunite pool make sure to ask the question as to which material will be used. Heritage uses only Gunite while other companies substitute the lesser material and pocket the extra savings.
Gunite Construction really means Custom construction. No prefabricated kits or component parts in these structures, every aspect of construction is customized and performed by true craftsmen. Freeform shapes, unique water features such as Vanishing edges and Elevated Hot tubs, Retaining wall and support structures for challenging lots and locations, unmatched structural integrity and the ability to use many different echelons of finishing materials make the Gunite pool the right choice of most of our clients.
Vinyl Construction really means lots of bang for your buck. Heritage uses only the best galvanized steel in-ground pool kits available. The liner itself is coated with a specially engineered acrylic coating giving the linear extra resistance to chemicals, algae growth, sun exposure and more. If a custom look at a great price is your definition of Great Value, than a Heritage Vinyl pool is exactly what you need.
Building A Pool: Process
- After receiving an inquiry from a potential client, an on-site consultation is conducted. This is the most important part of the process. An exchange of ideas between the Client and Heritage takes place. Through this exchange of ideas, we try to establish and understand the expectations, wants, and needs of the client while also assessing the area given to work. From this meeting a conceptual design is generated allowing Heritage to determine a budget number for the project.
- Once design and cost are agreed upon the project can begin. All permitting and inspections applicable to the project are taken care of by Heritage. The design will be laid out in the field for the homeowners approval prior to excavation. Once this layout is approved excavation begins.
- A 3/8" -1/2" steel rebar infrastructure is placed on floor and walls of pool. The rebar skeleton will be bonded with a #8 bonding wire and inspected by a state electrical inspector. The rebar skeleton will also be inspected by the applicable county building inspector.
- The walls and floor of the pool will be sprayed with Gunite approx. 10"- 12" thick. This gunite structure must be allowed to cure for a minimum of 48 hrs prior to any further excavation being done around structure.
- All underground components such as plumbing and wiring are installed, bedded in gravel, pressure tested, inspected, and covered.
- The decking selected for the project is then installed. This can be any number of materials, Pavers, Stamped and Colored Concrete, Natural Stone, or Travertine Tile.
- Interior finish is typically the last major aspect of the project. Heritage installs many types depending on the clients preference. The most common types include Marcite, Diamond-Bryte, or one of the many Exposed Pebble Finishes.
- Completion of the project comes with the Pool being up and running, cleaned, sanitized, and ready for the clients to jump in and enjoy. Much like the closing on a new home, Heritage has a Certificate of Completion which is signed by both parties, concluding the project.
What should I expect when building a pool?
Pool Care: Maintenance
What can be done if algae shows up in your pool.
Heritage Pools and BioGuard™ offer many solutions based on your individual needs. Heritage Pools will make educated recommendations after performing a free water sample test. Heritage Pools and BioGuard have products such as Banish™ to kill all types of swimming pool algae and Spot Kill™ which is formulated to kill black algae on walls. Spot Kill WP, which should only be used on white-plaster pools, is also formulated for killing black algae on walls.
My water looks cloudy. How do I fix it?
Your best course of action is to bring a water sample and let us test it. We can test your water for free and provide personalized instructions on the best corrective measures.
Possible suggestions we may provide:
When pH is high: Lo 'N Slo™
When filter is dirty: Strip Kwik™ and/or Kleen It™
Low Free Available Chlorine levels (need to shock water):
Burn Out Extreme™
Burn Out™ 35
EasyShock and Swim™
Polysheen™ Blue (which is also an excellent water clarifier)
Note: For BioGuard SoftSwim™ pools, use SoftSwim Filter Aid and Flocculent
Why should I sanitize my pool?
Sanitizing pool water kills bacteria that can be harmful to bathers and also aids in controlling algae. You need to constantly check and maintain your sanitizer level because bacteria enters the pool continuously from many sources. BioGuard™ offers several chlorine/bromine based sanitizer options including our Mineral Springs™ program or explore our non-chlorine sanitizer program, SoftSwim™.
What is Free Available Chlorine?
This is the active chlorine in the water that has not combined with organic matter and is therefore available for killing bacteria and algae. The proper range for free chlorine residual is 1-3 ppm. Below 1 ppm can cause swimmer irritation, cloudy water and even allow algae to grow. You should test often throughout the summer when the pool is used most.
Why do I have to \'shock\' my pool?
"Shocking" your pool water chemically destroys the organic contaminants introduced by bathers and the environment. They restore water clarity, help maintain water balance and eliminate the main causes of eye and nose irritation.
What products help with stains caused by metals in the water?
Pool Magnet™ Plus ties up copper and iron to prevent stains
Sparkle-Up™ aids in removal of copper and iron from the water
Stain Remover removes most stains caused by metals
SoftSwim™ Stain Control ties up metals to prevent stains in SoftSwim™ pools
How can I prevent scale formation?
Use BioGuard™ Scale Inhibitor to help prevent scale formation that can cause serious damage to pool surface and equipment. Keeping pH and calcium hardness in range will also help to prevent scale buildup.
How often should I clean my pool filter?
It is recommended that pool filters be cleaned at least two times per pool season - mid-summer and in the fall - or more often if needed. The filter should also be cleaned at spring opening if it wasn't cleaned as part of the pool closing procedure in the fall. Strip Kwik™ removes oil and grease while Kleen It™ removes dirt, scale and metals from from all filter types. Use SoftSwim™ Filter Cleaner for SoftSwim pools.
What is pH?
pH is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of water. This is the most important part of chemical balance because it protects the equipment, allows the sanitizer to do its best job and increases swimmer enjoyment.
Ideal range 7.4 to 7.6
If it's too low, use BioGuard Balance Pak™ 200.
If it's too high, use BioGuard Lo 'N Slo™.
What is Total Alkalinity (TA)?
It's a measurement of the water's ability to resist changes in pH. pH can be affected by environmental factors such as acid rain, pollution, run-off from the surrounding land, and fertilizers, to name a few. Keeping the TA at the proper range will help prevent pH from fluctuating and help prevent scale and cloudy water.
Ideal range 125 to 150 ppm
If it's too low, use BioGuard Balance Pak™ 100
If it's too high, use BioGuard Lo 'N Slo™.
What is Calcium Hardness (CH)?
It's the amount of dissolved calcium in the water. Keeping CH at the proper range will help protect equipment and keep water sparkling. It also helps prevent cloudy water.
Ideal range 175 to 225 ppm (200 to 275 ppm for plaster and SoftSwim™).
If it's too low, use BioGuard Balance Pak™ 300.
If it's too high, use BioGuard Scale Inhibitor.
If over 400 ppm, it may be necessary to partially drain the pool and add source water with lower CH.
What is Chlorine Demand?
Chlorine demand is the consistent inability to maintain a chlorine residual in a pool. It is caused by a buildup of contaminants which creates an "overload" on the sanitizing system. Quite simply, it means that more sanitizer is required than is being provided to the water.
There are two ways to treat chlorine demand. The first is to add the appropriate amount of chlorine. The quickest way to find out what that amount is, would be to have a BioGuard dealer run a chlorine demand test on the Accu-Demand30™. The second way to treat chlorine demand is to drain some of the water and replace with fresh water. While this will not completely take care of the demand, it can help lower the amount of product needed.
What are common problems and what can I do about them?
A common "green" algae that can be free floating or wall-clinging. Ranges in severity from patches on walls and bottoms to entire pools. Can clog filters and create surface damage if left unchecked.
Banish™ - Kills all types of swimming pool algae
Forms in cracks and crevices on pool surfaces, especially plaster finishes. Known for protective coatings that make it impervious to normal chlorine levels.
Banish™ - Kills all types of swimming pool algae
Spot Kill™ - Formulated to kill black algae on walls.
Spot Kill WP - Only used on white plaster pools.
The most common cause of increased chlorine demand is a high level of contaminants. Bring a water sample in; we'll test it for free and make a recommendation.
Burn Out Extreme™
Burn Out 35 - Corrects chlorine levels
Hazy, murky appearance. Caused by poor filtration, inadequate circulation, water balance, low sanitizer levels and/or lack of routine oxidation.
Lo 'N Slo™ - Corrects high pH
NEW improved Kleen It™ - Cleans dirty filter media
Burn Out Extreme™
Burn Out 35 - Boosts sanitizer levels
Foam is caused by elevated levels of algicide or a foaming algicide in pools with jetted returns, attached spas or water features. Foaming can also be caused by a foreign contaminant such as soap or oil entering the pool. Foam should dissipate over time, but the use of Anti-Foam will help clear the foam much more rapidly. To prevent foam from occurring due to high algicide levels, skip your next scheduled addition of Back Up™ or switch to non-foaming Algae All 60™.
Anti-Foam - Eliminates foam quickly
MUSTARD (YELLOW) ALGAE
A chlorine-resistant form of green algae. Often resembles dirt or sand on bottom or sides of pool. It can be brushed away very easily, but returns quickly. Although it can create a large chlorine demand, it has been known to survive in high levels of chlorine.
Banish™ - Kills all types of swimming pool algae
Scale formation is caused by high calcium hardness.
Scale Inhibitor - Eliminates scale discoloration. Helps prevent scale from forming on pool surfaces and damaging the equipment
Discoloration of pool equipment and surfaces caused by contamination, sunlight and metals in pool water.
Stain Remover - Removes most stains from pool surfaces and returns all metals to pool water
Pool Magnet™ Plus - Ties up metals in pool water
Sparkle-Up™ - Aids physical removal of metals through a filter
Safety: Pool Safety
- Never leave a child alone or out of your eyesight in or near the pool, spa, or hot tub--not even for a second. There is no substitute for responsible adult supervision
- Access to the pool, spa, or hot tub should be limited by locked doors and/or gates whenever swimming or soaking cannot be supervised.
- Keep toys, particularly tricycles or wheel toys, away from the pool, spa, or hot tub. A child playing with these could accidentally fall into the water.
- Do not allow anyone of any age to swim without a "spotter" nearby.
- Pools, spas, and hot tubs are attractive to children, and children must be kept away from them in the absence of responsible adult supervision. A fence, wall, or natural/artificial barrier should completely surround your pool, spa, or hot tub. All gates or doors leading from the house to the pool area should have a self-closing and self-latching mechanism that protects against unauthorized entry and use. The inside latch should be 54" high, above the reach of toddlers or young children. Also, an alarm system for your pool, spa, or hot tub can warn you, if someone has penetrated the barrier.
- Check with your state or local government to learn their specific legal requirements concerning fencing around pools, spas, and hot tubs. You cannot be too cautious. If your pool, spa, or hot tub is indoors, lock the door to the room or have a cover that locks, to keep out children.
- Do not place objects (e.g., chairs or tables) near the pool, spa, or hot tub fence or barrier that could allow a youngster to climb over.
- Remove vegetation and other obstacles to create a clear view of the pool, spa, or hot tub from the house.
- If you use a pool, spa, or hot tub cover, carefully read and follow the manufacturer's directions for safe installation, use, and maintenance. Always completely remove the cover before using your pool, spa, or hot tub to avoid the possibility of anyone--especially a small child--being trapped and drowning under the cover.
- Drain any standing water from the surface of your pool, spa, or hot tub cover. An infant or small child can drown in even the smallest amount of water. If you use any of the lightweight, floating pool, spa, or hot tub covers, be especially alert for the potential for drowning accidents. These covers are not designed for safety and no one should ever crawl or walk on them. Pools, spas, and hot tubs are attractive to children, and children must be kept away from them in the absence of responsible adult supervision.
What are suggested pool safety practices and equipment?
Manual Safety Covers
An impenetrable covering that completely covers the pool, spa, or hot tub, blocking access to water. They should meet ASTM F1346 Standard.
Door Exit Alarms
Warns parent or guardian when a child opens the door. These can be a door announcer/chime or even a home security system.
Self-closing/self-latching devices for doors and latching devices for windows
Keeps all doors and windows leading to the pool, spa, or hot tub area securely closed, limiting access by children. These can be a hinge pin replacement, sliding glass door closer, and swing arm.
Fence Gate Closer & Latch
To close and latch fence gates securely, making a pool, spa, or hot tub inaccessible to a child. Make sure the gate is self-latching.
Fence Gate Alarms
Sounds when fence gate is open. Infrared Detectors/Wireless detection alarm that sounds when the area around the pool perimeter is entered. Types include light-beam and body energy.
An alarm placed in the pool that sounds upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. Types of alarms include surface water (wave motion), pressure waves (acoustic), and electronic monitoring systems.
An alarm clipped on the child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water. These can include a clip-on transmitter with in-home receiver or a Rope & Float Line. A rope & float line should be placed across the pool alerting swimmers to the separation of the deep end from the shallow end of the pool.
To isolate the swimming pool by way of a minimum four-foot-high enclosure/To temporarily isolate a pool, spa, or hot tub when children are visiting. Fencing can add to your pool area's appearance as well. Types include chain link, wooden picket (if non-climbable), ornamental, portable fencing*, and natural barrier (thick hedge), if permitted by local code.
Life Ring, Shepherd's Hook
All rescue equipment should be placed near the pool in an easily accessible spot, and should be kept in good condition. These can be used to pull someone in trouble to safety.
Posted Emergency Information
Post all CPR, other emergency information, and warning signs, as well as the emergency phone number "911" (or other emergency medical service number), near the pool, spa, or hot tub.
A cordless or poolside telephone means parents don't have to leave children unattended while they answer the phone. Also, it's a good idea to have one handy to summon help, if needed.
Anti-Entrapment Drain Covers and Fittings
Current grates and covers help prevent body or hair entrapment. Make sure that drain covers meet the ANSI/ASME A112.19.8M standard. Safety doors should be installed in all pool cleaner wall suction lines. Pools, spas, or hot tubs with drain covers that are broken, missing, or not adequately secured should not be used until the proper replacement has been installed. Never allow children to play on or near drains, suction outlets, or jets.
Clear water aids in identifying soakers and swimmers in distress, helps swimmers avoid collisions and is an indicator that the sanitizer, circulation, and filtration systems are functioning. Poor water clarity suggests the presence of bacteria and/or algae or nutrients for their growth, and that the circulation and filtration systems may not be working efficiently to remove the contaminants from the water.
10 Quick Safety Tips For Children
Safety: Chemical Safety
- Keep your vehicle clean and organized.
- Separate incompatible materials by distributing them between the front seat, back seat, and/or trunk.
- Do not purchase or carry damaged containers.
- To prevent movement of spillage, securely anchor your load.
- Store chemicals in a cool, dry, well ventilated place with a locked or secure entry.
- Do not store outside or in direct sunlight.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Keep all pool and spa chemicals separate for each other and other chemicals. Violent reactions such as explosion, fire, or noxious gas fumes can be produced when incompatible chemicals contact each other. NEVER mix any chemicals together.
- Do not stack chemical containers.
- Immediately after opening, replace caps firmly.
- Post emergency information and phone numbers nearby.
- Follow label directions carefully. Read the instructions! If the label is faded or torn, do not guess what it says. Return the product to your dealer.
- Add chemicals to pool water, not the other way around. Chemicals must be added directly to the pool or through a feeder specially designed for that specific chemical. When chemicals are added directly to the skimmer, the strong concentrations could harm pool equipment or swimmers. If the instructions call for chemical dilution, use a clean, oversized bucket with water in it. Add chemicals to the water in the bucket. Read the instructions!
- Wear safety glasses or a face shield when handling chemicals. A breathing respirator may be included to prevent fume inhalation. Take other protective measures such as wearing gloves and a plastic apron.
- DO NOT MIX CHEMICALS – EVER! This includes directly mixing full-strength or diluted chemicals in a bucket or even in the same location in the pool. At the very least, you could anticipate a water-quality problem. However, you could be endangering your life and the lives of others. Chemicals cannot be mixed with each other by using containers or scoops that were previously used for other chemicals. Always use a clean bucket and scoop that has been designated only for one particular chemical.
- Never smoke around chemicals. Fire or explosion could result.
- Do not breathe chemical fumes or dust. If skin contact occurs, wash immediately. If chemicals splash into eyes, flush eyes for a minimum of 15 minutes and immediately contact a physician.
- Use ONLY a water-filled fire extinguisher on a chlorine chemical fire. Never use the dry chemical type of fire extinguisher.
- Keep emergency numbers, including the fire department, poison control center, and MSDS, posted and on-hand for all chemicals.
Pool Chemical Storage:
Using Pool Chemicals:
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