Earl's Pools Incredibly Informative Pool Blog

What type of equipment works best when excavating a fiberglass pool?

Posted by Josh Bush on Mon, Apr 04, 2011 @ 14:04 PM

trackhoe resized 600

We here at Earl's Pools of Alabama have used many different types of equipment throughout the years when excavating a hole for installing a swimming pool.  We use a trackhoe excavator to install our pools in our installation department for a few different reasons.

  1. This excavator is on a track system, which allows us the oportunity to work in areas that a tractor with tires wouldn't.
  2. The 360 degrees of motion with the cab of the excavator allows you to sit in one area and dig as well as load a dump truck with ease.  This speeds up the excavation of a swimming pool hole dramatically.
  3. The weight of the machine we use is about 33,000 pounds and can be used to compact fill dirt outside of the pool area by walking it in.
  4. The legnth of the arm on the tractor that we use is long enough to pick up all of the fiberglass pools that we carry, so we use the excavator to actually set the pool in the hole once the hole has been dug and gravel placed in it. 

Contractors across the nation use several different types of equipment to accomplish the installation of swimming pools, but a trackhoe excavator works best for us. 

Tags: fiberglass pools, Pool Installation Process

What options are there for financing swimming pools?

Posted by Trent King on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 @ 08:03 AM

houses made of money

  Here is a thought for some to take into consideration when planning the investment of a new pool. Although you may be able to pay for your pool up front or looking to finance it, take in consideration of refinancing your home and get the greenbacks to do what ever you please. Use the bad economy in your favor by taking advantages of the lowest interest rates available. After recent conversations with mortgage lenders it is beneficial to refinance now while the interest rates are bottoming out and if you can get at least a 1% decrease in your current rate it is worth the effort to get it done. The towering rumor of you having to be in a home for 7 years to build up equity is not true. Put yourself in the same or lower monthly payment and get the money you need to invest in a pool that will not only increase the value of your home, but have an investment and vacation that will last you a lifetime.

Sr. Loan Officer

Cathy Gapen



from Hometown Mortgage told me to give her direct contact info. out and she would be glad to answer any questions or concerns to see if this fits you. Hometown Mortgage has a great reputation and deals with all their customers direct because they are the lender. Tell her Trent at earl's pools sent you.

Tags: fiberglass pool cost, fiberglass pool advantages, Pool Upgrades

Can you install a fiberglass pool inside an existing pool?

Posted by Josh Bush on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 @ 16:03 PM

Would you like to have this situation in your backyard?

Liner Pool Problems

Unfortunately one of my customers had this unpleasant site in her own backyard, and with the site of this she asked me if there was any hope.  After assessing the situation, I let her know that my recommendation was to install a fiberglass pool inside of this nightmare that she currently had to deal with.  We discussed a few things initially she needed to consider.

  1. What cost am I looking at for this type of project? -  To install a fiberglass pool in this situation she basically was looking at a whole new install.  Even though there was an existing hole there, the cost of additional gravel to fill in the area around the new pool would offset the cost of not having to excavate a new hole. 
  2. Will you be able to tell there was another pool here before?-  When we finish the job you will have no idea that there was anything here before.  We actually set the grade of the new pool a bit higher and poured new concrete on top of the existing patio area that was there before.
  3. Do you think it is worth the investment?-  One of the first questions that you must consider is if you intend on living there for a while or not.  In her situation this is her retirement home and wanted to fix things up to enjoy for years to come.  Even though the cost is high upfront to transform your backyard, by installing a fiberglass pool you save as you go.  The chemical consumption on a fiberglass pool was cut down to about 15% of what she was spending with the liner pool she already had.  Power usage also was cut to less than half of her existing pool, and the overall look that we created in her backyard for years of excitment and pleasure to come outweighed those years of frustration that she had dealt with before.  Her new pool that we installed requires about 20 minutes a week maintenance, and that is the one thing that has meant the most to her.

So in closing can you install a fiberglass pool inside of an existing pool, why yes you can.  You must weigh out what is best for you and your family of course, but it is worth the investment down the road.

Tags: fiberglass pool cost, fiberglass pools, Pool Installation Process, fiberglass pool advantages

Are fiberglass pools too slippery for comfort?

Posted by Trent King on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 @ 15:03 PM

   This is starting to become a concern to some customers, because of the new age pools are not having the traditional hand rails or ladders being installed. This has really been the trend for Leisure pools and their higher end luxurious looks for a number of reasons. Now days people are not only having pools installed for swimming, but to enhance the pool area as a showpiece used for entertaining before swimming season and when it is over. Whether its a get together or just to sit out and relax, people tend to gather around something. This is where your back yard oasis comes into play with the endless options of landscaping, outdoor fire places or pits, outdoor furniture, lighting and water features, etc. Some tend to think ladders and handrails are an eyesore and takes away from the pool or just get in the way. Although in some applications they are necessary for some people, it should not be much of a concern getting in and out of these pools. Leisure makes a non-slip surface on all the pool and spa bottoms, seats and steps. This textured surface does not take away from the colors or sparkles and is barely visible when water is in the pool or spa, but does create secure standing areas on the bottom of the pool.  If you may have any questions or concerns with the bottom texture of a fiberglass pool please feel free to contact me.  Here is a close up picture of the texture with no water on it.

Non-skid pool surface

Tags: fiberglass pools, Pool Installation Process, fiberglass pool advantages

What are the top four pool upgrades that most choose?

Posted by Josh Bush on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 @ 15:03 PM

Salt Chlorinator

After installing pools here at Earl's Pools for the better part of thirty years we have always sold upgrades with pool purchases whether they may be perimeter tile, water features, salt chlorinators, underwater pool lighting, pool coping, patio options, slides, diving boards, deck jets, spa jets, automatic pool cleaners, or even retaining walls.  Within the past few years I started noticing that nine times out of ten most customers of ours chose the same four upgrades.  What we decided to do was to include them into our base price of the pool.  Here are the four most chosen pool upgrades by our customers over the past five years and reasons why.

  1. Salt Chlorine Generator-  The salt system with a fiberglass pool seems to cost my average customer around fifty dollars anually to maintain their pool.  Salt chlorinators produce chlorine from salt instead of using tablet forms or granular forms of chlorine.  Most salt systems even let the home owner know when the salt level is low in the pool, which provides them with less confusion when maintaining the water chemistry in the pool.
  2. Underwater Lighting-  We now use LED low voltage lights in our new installs due to the safety features and the overall more classic look that it provides.  Without a wet niche light used in the pool you take that potential of electrical current passing into the pool water.  Pool lighting provides that extra look at night as well as illuminating the inside of the pool for more enjoyment in the evenings.
  3. Automatic Pool Cleaner-  There are several different types of cleaners available in the market, but with designs now days it allows most customers of mine the ability to maintain their pool in about ten minutes a week.  This provides that ability to just swim instead of skimming the water or even manually vacuuming before you get to enjoy that pool you invested in to create that form of vacation in your backyard.
  4. Pool Coping-  One of the best things that you can do to boost the apperance of your pool cosmetically is pool coping.  There are several different types:  stamped concrete, cantilever concrete, flagstone, paver, bullnose brick, travertine, or tile.  Whichever one that you may choose draw your attention to the pool itself and provide that custom look that everyone longs for with their own pool.

If you may have any questions, please contact me through one of our contact forms located throughout our website.


Tags: fiberglass pool cost, fiberglass pools, fiberglass pool advantages, Pool Upgrades

What size fiberglass pool is best for my family?

Posted by Josh Bush on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 @ 14:03 PM

One of the most common asked questions is, "How big of a pool do you think we need to accomodate my family?"  This question is only answered by myself when talking with others after I have spent some time with them getting to know them and their family a little better, with understanding some of their hobbies and listening to what they intend to get by installing a pool in their backyard.  Let's face it most installs now days are done to provide that backyard escape for families that allow them to stay at home as a place of vacation.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing which style and size pool are best suitable for you and your family.

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  1. One thing to consider is the option if my family needs a diving board or not on the pool.  If so, then in order to have a diving board installed on a pool it needs to meet a depth of eight feet or more.  This can limit your choices to sometimes only a few different styles.
  2. If you are the type that loves to have company over and entertain others, then you may want to consider a gradual slope pool, due to the fact that if the pool only goes to six feet or so then most can utilize the entire pool.  Depending on the size of the backyard you want to choose a pool that is small enough that you allow yourself to provide adequate patio spacing to enjoy furniture for lounging and entertainment around the pool as well as within the pool itself.
  3. If you have smaller children like I do then one of my concerns is finding a pool that provides a play area for little ones incorporated into the design that I choose.  One of my favorite designs in this situation is the Riviera made  by Leisure Pools USA due to the large seating area on the shallow end of the pool that is ideal for smaller children to enjoy.
  4. You may be one that requests some customization to a fiberglass pool, whether it be a tanning ledge, spillover spa, water features, or even a negative edge pool.  If this is the case then with the availabilty of many shapes that are provided in today's market you open yourself up to many different options to incorporate that special look you desire around your investment with a pool.

In closing, we here at Earl's Pools of Alabama look forward in assisting all of our customers in meeting their needs whatever they may lead to be when choosing which pool meets their needs the best.  If you would like to receive more information about the fiberglass pools that we install here at Earl's Pools please fill out one of our contact forms, and we will get back with you as soon as possible.

Tags: fiberglass pool cost, fiberglass pools, Pool Installation Process, fiberglass pool advantages

Why we feel that we offer the highest quality fiberglass pool manufactured.

Posted by Josh Bush on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 @ 19:03 PM

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Had a great first day at the home and garden show with many potential buyers.  I had great pleasure sharing some facts with those interested in purchasing a pool whether they were pros or cons with the fiberglass industry.  One of the first people that approached the booth open with a question, "Do you install Leisure fiberglass pools?"  I followed with a yes and his next statement was, "The best pool I have seen manufactured."  He followed with letting me know that he was from Texas, but currently lived in the Myrtle Beach area now.  This gentlemen knew his stuff and let me know that he had around twenty years of experience in the fiberglass pool market with sales and installs.

Overall I felt privileged knowing that our company motto of providing the best quality product and service available was spot on with our partnership with Leisure Pools USA.  When comparing apples to apples there is no other manufacturer we have installed that comes close to competing.  With our inovative style of customization and a quality pool to install we look forward to another year in 2011.

Tags: fiberglass pools, fiberglass pool advantages

Few reasons why gravel is best to set and backfill a pool with.

Posted by Josh Bush on Tue, Feb 01, 2011 @ 16:02 PM
  • gravel

We here at Earl's Pools of Alabama have been installing pools for the better of thirty years and have used many different types of materials with the construction process.  The last decade we have used gravel as our source of backfill with all of the pools that we install.  Here are a few reasons we prefer gravel above all others.

  1. 89 stone is used as the base to set the pool on and backfilling the step and seating areas of the pool.  It's smaller size is great for filling in those tight areas that may try to leave a void area of material during installation, and a solid base for the pool to be placed on.
  2. 57 stone is used to backfill the side walls of the pool during installation.  The size of this stone is about half an inch in size, which works well locking together for greater compaction when it is dropped into the overdig area around the pool.
  • Gravel itself compacts really well, and it is far greater than sand or dirt that may be used in place of it.
  • Gravel is a permeable material, so pretty much what you are doing by using gravel around a pool is installing a french drain system around your pool also.  Gravel helps in this area to relieve water pressure that may build up behind the pool.  Sump lines are always installed behind every pool we build to help in this area also.
  • Gravel speeds up the installation process drastically because you don't have to wash it in behind the pool like you would sand or let dirt sit for weeks or months until it may reach a desired compaction rate.

We here at Earl's understand that not all areas in the nation have an abundance of gravel like we do in our area, but after many years of experience with pool installations we feel that gravel is the best choice when backfilling a pool.

Tags: fiberglass pools, Pool Installation Process

Negative Edge/ Spillover Fiberglass Pools

Posted by Josh Bush on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 @ 15:12 PM

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I have been in the pool business for almost thirty years.  The last fourteen years I have been installing fiberglass pools.  The mindset in the beginning was to put in pools as fast as you could and as many as you could.  In the last seven to eight years people have gotten away from just pools to backyard paradises.  In the beginning no one was doing much custom work with fiberglass pools.  Since now fiberglass being the best pool you can install for longivity and ease of maintenance, we have adapted other ways to customize these pools.  Negative edge and spillover pools can be installed using fiberglass pools.  Obviously there are certain types of yards that need to be used for these installations to the get the best result of the negative edge or spillover effect.  These are not the type of installs that you will do in volumn, but are the type that make you proud of the work and imagination involved to create them.  This also allows you to get into the yards of some of those that were before restricted to only gunite pools.

As far as the flow and catch basin sizes on these pools there is a lot of information available to use when making this type of install.  We install fiberglass pools manufactured by Leisure Pools out of Texas.  We have been able  to talk with the manufactures to produce a pool that is built to our specifications on projects such as these. 

The bottom line is fiberglass can be used in negative edge/spillover applications.  Not only does the customer have cutting edge designs but pools that are the easiest to maintain hands down.


Lynn Bush


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Tags: fiberglass pools, Pool Installation Process

What time of the year is best for installing a swimming pool?

Posted by Josh Bush on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 @ 11:12 AM

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Anytime of the year is a great time to have a pool installed by Earl's pools. Althouth there are some things that the customer must understand before installation and that is the part that can be most frustrating is the waiting process.

Swimming season installations

  At this time of the year the wait can be longer due to high demands. If you purchase a pool based on who can get to it the quickest, there is probaly a reason they can get to it quicker, this is not always the best situation for the consumer. This is the customer's decision on when to purchase a pool and when it will be best for them to take on the process. These waiting periods are often over looked when added on to the following.

Estimated time of completion

-permits (1-2 weeks)

-installation (2-3 weeks)

-landscaping (1-3 weeks)

-fencing (1 week)

-total amount of time potentially (9 weeks)

Off-season installs

Although due to colder temps. and wet weather the installation process may take longer, but you will have a completed pool in time for the entire swimming season. This is why we feel it may be beneficial to install a pool during the later months, so your return on investment is greater for that year. You may also find winter specials that will save you money versus standard prices while demand is high.