Earl's Pools Incredibly Informative Pool Blog

Retaining Walls and Swimming Pools

Posted by Josh Bush on Wed, Dec 07, 2011 @ 10:12 AM

Elegance 40' w/ Retainer Wall

When are Retaining Walls Really Neccessary?

  • Many yards that pools are installed in are not your typical flat area.  We deal with many differences in elevation throughout our area that we install in.  Obviously a pool has to be level, and to achieve that in a lot of cases a retaining wall is needed to level off the desired area where the pool must go.
  • Some installations can be managed with just tractor work and changing the grade of the area, but in many situations we may build a wall of two feet or less at times for the cosmetic enhancement that comes along with the wall and the look it adds to the project.
  • Drainage is one important factor you must consider when installing a pool.  When the pool builder changes grades in a backyard the existing drainage flow goes out the window, so to enable proper drainage away from the house or pool area a retaining wall is needed.

There are many different types of retaining wall materials that are used throughout the nation by different builders.  The main thing that needs to be remembered with retaining walls is that some walls work better for different applications.  For instance, if I were to be installing a vanishing edge pool to where the pool is situated up close to the wall i prefer using a solid poured concrete wall.  If a stacked block wall were used in this process grid is required in accordance with the wall, so therefore I may not be able to place the pool as close to the wall as desired to make sure that my wall was built properly.

Retaining walls do add cost to the overall project, but are sometimes just needed.  They add the curb apeal is some applications, but in some cases add the ability to actually install a pool in some backyards.



Tags: Pool Installation Process, Pool Upgrades, Retaining Walls

What are the advantages/disadvantages of inground spas?

Posted by Josh Bush on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

The types of spas that we install here at Earl's Pools are fiberglass spas made by the same manufacturer of pools that we also install.  There are many different things to think about when considering installing an inground spa instead of the conventional portable spa at your residence.


  • The warranty on inground spas exceeds the warranty on portable units.  The warranty on the spas that we install manufactured by Leisure Pools USA carries the same warranty as their pools, which is a fixed 35 year on the structure of the spa and a 15 year warranty pertaining to the color of the spa.
  • The custom rock, tile, or whatever you may choose to venere around the spa allows a look of your own.
  • The many choices of coping that can be placed on top of the spa is unlimited.  Flagstone, brick, pavers, cantilevered concrete, ect..
  • The look you create by installing an inground spa makes the unit look like it actually was meant to be there, instead of just sitting out on your patio.

Classic Sorrento Spa


  • The cost of purchasing an inground spa is greater than a portable unit depending on the options that you choose on either unit.
  • With inground spas you can't easily access the plumbing underneath like you can with portable units, so with inground spas you see much less jets throughout the spa.  The same generally goes to say with lighting options on the spa.
  • Inground spas are installed with the idea that it will stay at that site, but with portable units you can actually move them to different locations.

No matter which spa type you decide to go with there are things to weigh out on what spa application is best for you and your family.

Tags: Pool Upgrades, Inground Spas

How much time does it take to maintain a swimming pool?

Posted by Josh Bush on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 @ 15:04 PM

Hayward Pool Cleaner resized 600One of the most frequent questions that I have asked to me is, "How much time do I have to spend maintaining my swimming pool?"  I hear stories all the time of people that have had a neighbor, friend or a relative that tell them that they hate their pool because of the amount of money and time that it takes to maintain their pool.  I certainly feel their pain in this area, but with technology advancing with different pool cleaners, salt systems, and vast improvements with the fiberglass pool manufacturers, this is no longer a problem.  The one problem that I find from those that have this complaint is the fact that they don't check their pool chemicals weekly and really don't mess with the pool until it starts turning green on them.

We install fiberglass pools only, mainly due to the question that this article is being written for.  There is no other pool available that is easier to maintain than a fiberglass pool.  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Fiberglass pools are not a pourous material. (no bacteria and algea bleeding through from the backside of the pool)
  2. The side walls of the pool are slick and are hard for algea to form on.

We install salt systems and automatic pool cleaners on all of our pools.  We include these two upgrades with others to ease the burden of maintaining a swimming pool from the consumer.  My consumers spend less than 30 min. a week to maintain their pool.  We want to enjoy our pool with family and friends, not take care of it so this can happen.  Don't let the myth of pools being a hassle turn you from one of the best investments you can have.  What price can you put on spending more time with the ones that you love.

Tags: fiberglass pool advantages, Pool Upgrades, Pool Maintenance

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

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