Concrete Pool Installer in Central PA

BLW

Member
Feb 13, 2020
6
State College PA
Hello,

We are interested in installing an in-ground concrete pool in Central PA; we are located near State College, PA. Every pool installer within 1 hour of us says the same thing "concrete pools are not good for Central PA, you need to choose between vinyl or fiberglass." The closest concrete installers are in the Harrisburg, PA area ~1.5-2 hours away.

My questions:
1. Is Central PA “bad” for concrete pools?
2. Does anyone know of an installer in my area?

Thanks!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
12,801
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

I don't know of any physical or environmental reason that a concrete pool would not be good in Central PA. Except that they are the most expensive type of pool to build and require more experienced specialized contractors and there is not enough work in your area to support them.

The problem is not just finding an experienced builder. The builder typically subcontracts most of the work from the engineering plans, the rebar, gunite or shotcrete, tile installation, plaster, plumbing, electrical. I think those builders are saying they don’t have the experience and contractors to do concrete pool builds.

Look around your area and see if you can spot concrete pools. Even look on satellite maps. If you find some then ask those owners if their pool is concrete and who built it.
 
Last edited:

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
425
Walnutport, PA
I'm in the Allentown area, and don't know of any off hand. @jimim - any ideas?


^^That's the 'big' concrete PB in this area. He may have some suggestions if you reach out. Or depending on how grand you're going, he may even travel.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,593
NE/Pa
Tony is the best bet for that area if he does work in your area! I tried so hard for him to do my pool up my way but he only works in a certain mileage of area. He was my coach through my whole build. One of the nicest guys I have ever talked with. I would hire him in a heartbeat!
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,593
NE/Pa
I just read you r central pa. I think tony is out. He does more of the Phili area and it’s not a large area he covers.
On a side note. We r penn state! I would assume you are penn state fan. Lol
 
  • Like
Reactions: l1ltaral1l

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,643
Morris Cnty NJ
You can get just about anything in a vinyl pool just like concrete for much less. Except bar stools in pool and stuff like that it can mostly be done in vinyl and look great. Just letting you know. I'm sure there is a reason you are after a concrete pool
 
  • Like
Reactions: l1ltaral1l

BLW

Member
Feb 13, 2020
6
State College PA
Welcome to TFP.

I don't know of any physical or environmental reason that a concrete pool would not be good in Central PA. Except that they are the most expensive type of pool to build and require more experienced specialized contractors and there is not enough work in your area to support them.

The problem is not just finding an experienced builder. The builder typically subcontracts most of the work from the engineering plans, the rebar, gunite or shotcrete, tile installation, plaster, plumbing, electrical. I think those builders are saying they don’t have the experience and contractors to do concrete pool builds.

Look around your area and see if you can spot concrete pools. Even look on satellite maps. If you find some then ask those owners if their pool is concrete and who built it.
I talked to one of the oldest pool installers in the area. He does not know of anyone who builds concrete in the State College/Altoona/ Willimasport corridor. He also said that concrete is not good in our area.

I only know of one concrete pool in the area; we looked at the house when we were house hunting. Pool was at least 30 years old and completely functional. Have not been able to locate any information about the builder.
 

BLW

Member
Feb 13, 2020
6
State College PA
I just read you r central pa. I think tony is out. He does more of the Phili area and it’s not a large area he covers.
On a side note. We r penn state! I would assume you are penn state fan. Lol
I have been corresponding with Tony. Unfortunately, we are out of his area, but he offered to provide me with any information and assistance. Great Guy!

My wife and I are Penn State Alum and I work for the University. Our pool will be white with a dark blue stripe down the middle!
 
  • Like
Reactions: l1ltaral1l

BLW

Member
Feb 13, 2020
6
State College PA
You can get just about anything in a vinyl pool just like concrete for much less. Except bar stools in pool and stuff like that it can mostly be done in vinyl and look great. Just letting you know. I'm sure there is a reason you are after a concrete pool
We considered a vinyl liner pool, but we are concerned about animals. We live in a rural area and between our dog, the neighbor's dog, ducks, deer and everything else furry and feathery, we are hesitant to go with vinyl.
 

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
425
Walnutport, PA
We considered a vinyl liner pool, but we are concerned about animals. We live in a rural area and between our dog, the neighbor's dog, ducks, deer and everything else furry and feathery, we are hesitant to go with vinyl.
We have a dog, foster for two rescues and have an in-home dog boarding business. Dogs were a major concern for us, too. We did a vinyl liner with two 11' walk in fiberglass steps. Our PB told us that dog caused liner tears mostly occur on the steps. I was still concerned about rips from the dog scratching the side to try and get out (if they didn't know where the steps were). I actually called and spoke to the liner manufacturer and they settled my concerns. Is it impossible to get a tear from dogs? Sure. But in their opinion, it doesn't happen very often, especially if you don't have vinyl covered stairs.

So glad you spoke to Tony! Wish I had other suggestions for you.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,593
NE/Pa
I have been corresponding with Tony. Unfortunately, we are out of his area, but he offered to provide me with any information and assistance. Great Guy!

My wife and I are Penn State Alum and I work for the University. Our pool will be white with a dark blue stripe down the middle!
Awesome! I got another idea for u. We r a Disney family. I found a tile company down in Florida that made Mickey heads out of our tile for step markers.
Maybe you can find someone to do paws or even a small version of the nittany lion side profile!
 
  • Like
Reactions: BLW

BLW

Member
Feb 13, 2020
6
State College PA
@BLW -how is your search going?
Unfortunately, not well. I have contacted ~ 10 concrete pool companies in southern PA. Only two responded, but that was to tell me I am out of their service area. At this time we are leaning towards a 16' x 40' fiberglass (it is the largest). Although vinyl gives us the size and flexibility of design, we are concerned about dogs or wildlife ripping the liner.
 

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
425
Walnutport, PA
So frustrating when the bulk can't even give you a simple reply!

We were also concerned about our (many) dogs and liner, which is why we chose large fiberglass (grey) walk in/out steps for each end. After talking to the liner company and casually to other people in my dog rescue groups, the bulk of the dog induced tears seem to happen on the stairs/benches when covered with the liner. And them after playing with an actual piece of our liner once it came, I realized how flipping strong it was. And while not impossible, it was pretty hard to puncture.

We don't have many experienced fiberglass installers down this way either. Have you found one? Or still in the investigation phase?
 

BLW

Member
Feb 13, 2020
6
State College PA
So frustrating when the bulk can't even give you a simple reply!

We were also concerned about our (many) dogs and liner, which is why we chose large fiberglass (grey) walk in/out steps for each end. After talking to the liner company and casually to other people in my dog rescue groups, the bulk of the dog induced tears seem to happen on the stairs/benches when covered with the liner. And them after playing with an actual piece of our liner once it came, I realized how flipping strong it was. And while not impossible, it was pretty hard to puncture.

We don't have many experienced fiberglass installers down this way either. Have you found one? Or still in the investigation phase?
There are 7 FB and vinyl installers within a 45 minute drive. I talked to them all. We have found an installer, that does fiberglass and vinyl, we like. We considered the fiberglass bench with the vinyl liner, but we also want a splash pool (12-18" deep) which brings the liner rips back into question. We have a Great Dane, so we need to account for the long legs.