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Thread: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

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    Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    My only experience with pools is swimming in them. My wife and I are in the fortunate situation to be looking at a larger pool for our new home. We live in Toronto and literally bought a home at the end of our street because it has a huge backyard (for Toronto) that we can make our lifelong oasis.

    I've looked at a lot of different pools and we like the features/function of either the Allure or Icon (Leisure Pools) in 35' length.

    What I can't get my head around is the Gunite vs. Fibreglass debate. There is a lot of mixed information on the web and in the stores!

    My primary question -> will a quality fibreglass pool stand the test of time or is it a short term solution?
    Does Leisure Pool build quality? San Juan? Barrier Reef? Lambeth?

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    Welcome to TFP!

    I'm not knocking anyone's FG pool, because it's a great option for a more conservative budget. That might be because you simply don't want to pour that much cash into a pool even if you can. To say that even well installed FG pools are as long lasting as a well built Gunite is less than honest in my opinion. More commonly, FG pools have major problems before the cement type. I don't have a preference for any FG brands, but a good install is critical no matter the brand.
    TFP Moderator
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    I have a Viking FB pool. The installer and manufacture sure sells it like it's indestructible. We'll see. We opted for FB because the ground in our area is very unpredictable causing shifting and vertical movement. Even homes in my area have lots of foundation problems. This changes each year based on the weather conditions with extreme drought or flooding. It's our hope the FB is a little more forgiving than a gunite pool for that reason. I can't say one brand is better than the other, but I can say that just like with any type pool, it all boils-down to how it was installed. Whoever bids for your work, make sure they are top-notch and don't cut corners with everything from soil/base preparation, plumbing, electrical, to decking. With any pool, once you start filling it up, you don't want to have to go backwards and empty it. Lots of pics from the link (My Pool) in my sig below. If you have any specific FB questions, you can PM me.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    My wife and I are also wrapping our heads around this same question. We are in Northeast Wisconsin. Some say that concrete is great for cold climates, while others say that fiberglass or vinyl is the way to go. There seems to be one very reputable Gunite builder in our area and everyone else pushes Fiberglass. The more interesting and confusing part for us is that the Gunite with PebbleFina quote we received came in significantly less than both the Fiberglass and Vinyl quotes. We are looking at a a 16' x 34' ish sized rectangle sport pool with an autocover, and equipment would all be the same regardless of pool type. I love the theory that a fiberglass pool will require fewer chemicals to maintain, but I also know enough from lurking on this forum for the past 2 years that keeping to a regular maintenance schedule and following the TFP method is beneficial and can affect the longevity of any type of pool.

    I get that stores would rather sell fiberglass for the quicker installation time (more pools installed in a season is more $$), but in our area that doesn't mean that the actual install cost is less. The even more frustrating thing for us is actually sifting through quotes and looking at the markup on equipment costs.
    Last edited by Idyllic; 03-23-2016 at 07:08 AM. Reason: typos

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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    Appreciate the replies. Had posted to 'another pool' forum and it was crickets all the way around

    I'll read through some of the gunite builds on her that others have GC'd themselves and see if that is feasible for us. It would be great to get a deeper end and a few custom tweaks, but at what premium I suppose.

    If we go with FG I'll have an experienced installer for the day the pool gets installed but I can dig a hole to spec and landscape to finish (hard and soft).

    I'm still curious how they get the FG shell in level and well supported. Many of the videos you see they are literally just dropping it in on the first go and then packing gravel in voids as they backfill. I'll hazzard a guess that a good install is heavy on prep but also several dry runs at placing the shell.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    It's interesting to watch. You may not be able to see everything in my installation pics, but it went like this for me:
    - Hole dug, elevated properly, and leveled fairly accurately before shell arrival
    - Base delivered and groomed to accommodate shell per mfr instructions
    - Shell delivered and set; initial leveling begins
    - Shell level maintained as installs add water to press it down; at same time, begin backfill and constantly (laser) leveling the structure. If one end or side needed to be raised, the use a long 6x6 post as a lever under the lip of the shell and stood on the opposite end to lift it up; then backfill to maintain required level

    They did this for about two days straight until the water weight and shell was weighed-down, level, and backfilled tightly.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    Pool looks great Pat. See you've had it for over a decade - how is it holding up?

    Assuming sand as base & fill isn't an issue with your soil conditions and climate?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    I didn't know as much then as I do now. If I had, I might have asked for a gravel backfill just for piece of mind. But all-n-all everything is doing well. The pool itself is very easy to maintain. Our set-up is quite modest compared to many on TFP, so it's very simple. A large pool, but simple. There are pros & cons across all types of pools. I'm sure you'll find the one you want. When you "see it", you'll know.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    Don't suppose your pool doubles as a rink in the winter, Pat? Using FG pool as a rink was a selling point for us Canucks!

    Perhaps I should come up with a needs and wants list....

    We are a very active/sporty family with lots of friends close by. Our daughter is 7 (going on 15) and is great in the water. We love to cook and do casual entertaining and bought this house specifically for the backyard and its pool-ability.

    We're very practical - function before fashion.

    So the things about the Leisire Pool Allure and Icon that attracted us are: tanning ledge, benches & exits at both ends, and decent size at 16' x 35' or 40' depending on where it fits in the yard.

    I'm not totally in love with the spa. To me it's a bubbly tub for the kids to bounce in and out of or the adults to have drinks in. I would prefer to get a real standalone spa (beechcomber) that can be used in the winter as well and has the jets/power to really work the muscles.

    I realize you can do all this and more with a gunite pool but at that added cost we would have to push the build.

    So if FG pools will last 15 yrs before repair and aren't a roll the dice solution then I think it makes sense for us.

    I will still read some of the GC your own gunite build threads. What are the savings?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    ha. No, it doesn't get cold enough to freeze or use our pool as a skating rink, although that's a neat idea. Very we very practical as well. We chose our type pool because we like to swim, and some shapes don't really accommodate long swimming. Our pool also has a sitting ledge along the entire side, so we can sit with the sun at our backs at the end of the day, face the back of the house, and relax. I do think the nature of fiberglass allows for some easier maintenance. You almost never have to really scrub anything, it just brushes right off. As for long-term savings, hard to tell. If a pool is chemically maintained, I don't see where either type would require anything much more than just the chemicals. With TFP, you're only looking at bleach and acid primarily. Maybe some baking soda or some other household product once in a great while. I honestly expect our FB pool to still be in the ground long after we're gone. I don't see it breaking-down or falling apart. Those shells are quite amazing.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    Thanks Pat. Appreciate the reassurance. Friend of mine is in Sydney and he says FG is dominant in his area.



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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    We have a Leisure Moroccan 38, about to begin our 6th season. It is the only pool I have ever had so I do not know much else other than fiber. So far so good for us and with a salt system it is really easy to care for.

    The key is a very experienced installer. So much goes into the prep to make the final product great.

    Jim
    Jim

    Southern Frederick County, MD - Leisure Moroccan 38 Fiberglass Pool - 19,800 gallons
    Pentair 1.5 hp 2 speed pump - Cartridge filter - Dolphin robot - TF-100 Test Kit - SWCG

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    Re: Uber Newb - First Pool - Toronto, ON

    Hi, Jim - I'm a Marylander as well & thinking about a Leisure Pool. Do you mind passing along your installer information. It looks like you have been very happy with your choices. Any advice, regrets, etc.? We are also considering River Pools, but have read great things about Leisure. Thanks so much!

    Michelle

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