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In-Ground Pool Buyers Guide

Interested in building an in-ground pool? This is the perfect place to start! Read below to learn how to navigate the intricacies of buying an in-ground pool.

While pool costs vary on elements such as size additions, water features, enclosures, and deck and patio design, you must also consider factors such as quality of workmanship and design, strength, ease of maintenance, warranty, and service. The size, shape, and materials will also make a big difference. That being said, an in-ground pool can be purchased and installed for around $25,000-$60,000.

If that’s in your budget then you’re in the right spot, see below for all the information you’ll need to choose the in-ground pool of your dreams!

Planning

Where will you put your in-ground pool?

Materials

What type of pool is right for you?

Equipment

What equipment do you need?

Upgrades

Upgrade your pool with these options!

Drains

Learn about drain safety. 

Heaters

Heaters can extend your pool season. 

Pool Covers

A safety cover is essential for your pool.

Fencing

Learn about fence requirements.

Furniture

Relax by your pool with patio furniture.

Landscaping

Make your backyard an oasis. 

Deck and Patio

A deck or patio can complete your pool.

Safety

Most important aspect of owning a pool.

Planning

Planning is the most important part of any pool project: swimming pools vary in size and shape, but it’s important that the size of your yard meets the requirements for your pool design. This saves many headaches later on.

Shallow pools with a max depth of 4 to 5 feet are becoming quite popular. These pools are great for water sports (water polo, basketball, volleyball, etc.). If you want to be able to dive, you’ll need a pool of at least 8 feet deep – contact your pool builder and manufacturer for complete safety information on pool diving.

Pool designs are making it easier than ever to blend your pool into the landscaping of your yard. Naturally shaped pools made to look like outdoor ponds and other “free-form” pools, easily lend themselves to your landscaping. Or you can always stick with the classic rectangle, square, and oval shapes, which never go out of style.

Choosing Your Materials

Shapes and materials go hand-in-hand. Some shapes can only be produced using Vinyl liners. Understanding the differences, both in construction and price, is the next step to building the pool of your dreams!

Vinyl

Vinyl lined pools have helped to reduce the cost of pool construction. That’s because pools are built with prefabricated metal/steel or plastic frames that are set into a pre-dug hole and reinforced with concrete footings and wall braces. The easy assembly makes these pools less costly – nearly half the price of a concrete pool! There are a number of “standard” sizes and shapes available, and builders are able to do custom designs as well.

Learn more about the Vinyl Pools and Vinyl Liners offered by Rising Sun Pools.


Fiberglass

You may have seen Fiberglass pool shells; we have a few sitting outside our showrooms. They are made in the shape of the pool and delivered to the job site in one piece, then lowered into the ground by a crane.

Pricing of a Fiberglass pool is usually 30-40% higher than vinyl pools, but over time require less maintenance, reducing the overall lifetime cost of your pool.

Learn more about the Fiberglass pool options offered by Rising Sun Pools.


Concrete

Instead of using liners, Concrete pools use a combination of concrete and plaster. Excavation of the property is necessary, but these pools provide a wide variety of creative options – from waterfalls to custom steps. These pools are usually at the highest end of the pool price range.

Due to the custom nature of these pools, it can often take 60-90 days to build. Most Concrete pool projects start at $40,000.

Learn more about Rising Sun Pools' Concrete Pools.


Drains

For maximum safety and optimal cleaning, Rising Sun Pools always includes two main drains and skimmers as standard equipment on your pool package.

This way, if something or someone blocks one drain, the pump will pull water from the other drain, while eliminating the suction on the blocked drain.

Rising Sun Pools is fully compliant with Virginia Graeme Baker Laws.

Heat Pump

Adding a heater to your in-ground pool can extend the swimming season by at least two months in both the spring and fall. You have several options for pool heaters:

  • Electric heat pumps
  • Natural Gas or Liquid Propane Fuel heaters
  • Solar heater

Ask us which type of pool or spa heater is best suited for your application.

Pool Covers

A pool safety cover can provide added peace of mind. Safety pool covers must be in compliance with ASTM F 1346-91 Standard Performance Specification for Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs. Do not confuse safety covers with other pool covers which are used to save energy (solar covers) and keep debris out of the pool.

Regardless of the type of cover you choose, there are automatic and manual models. Consult with Rising Sun Pools representative for the type and model that best meets your particular needs. For safe installation, use and maintenance of these covers, carefully read and follow the directions from the manufacturer.

Fencing

One of the questions we are most often asked is: do I need a fence around my pool? The answer is yes. All pools require a minimum of a 4-foot high fence surrounding the pool area. Make sure the fence you install has a self-closing and self-latching gate.

Besides being an important safety feature, fencing can be used in many creative ways around your pool. Such uses include, but are not limited to:

  • Separating your pool area from a neighbor’s property
  • Create a special pool area apart from swings, slides and other playground equipment
  • An attractive fence can camouflage your pool equipment
  • Enclose a separate spa or sauna area
  • Privacy for family and friends

You can get pretty creative here. Make sure to get advice from a landscape architect or fencing contractor, to help you decide which fence type will suit your visual and functional needs. Equally important during the construction of a new swimming pool is temporary fencing.

At Rising Sun Pools, we always install some type of temporary fencing to prevent children from playing around the construction area and protect them from falls or other avoidable accidents.

Spas

At Rising Sun Pools, we can help you explore creative ways to incorporate in-ground spas into your pool’s construction or show you “portable” or stand-alone therapy units that can be designed to fit the landscaping or deck area.

Portable units, with a much greater number of jets, offer a variety of therapeutic value and more options/accessories than in-ground spas.

Options and add-ons for hot tubs and spas include: stereo systems, Wifi, and home automation.

Rising Sun Pools is proud to carry Sundance Spas. See our Hot Tubs section for more information.

Landscaping

Landscaping your pool area really adds to the ambience of pool ownership. You can create a place of beauty, safety, privacy and convenience. Although you may not be in a position to do everything you want at once, that’s okay. By all means go ahead and create a landscape design to fulfill all your dreams of the perfect backyard. Once you have a master plan, you can add-on in stages. Start small and work your way up. During the design process we are happy to give you some ideas or refer you to a landscape architect.

Privacy is usually a concern and should incorporate various design elements such as trees, walls, fences, screens, shrubs, gardens, or whatever you like that accomplishes your goal.

Comfort is also important. Do you like lots of sun? Maybe you’d prefer to have a shady area by the pool for lounging or reading? Consider how you will entertain poolside. Will it be parties, family gatherings, barbecues? Long term planning is important for a successful project.

Blending the landscape elements in both your home design and pool area can help to achieve a harmonious balance for your backyard pool environment. Talk to professional landscapers and garden design experts for ideas, but don’t forget to include us in the conversation when exploring your ideas. Your plan may involve a change or radical redesign in pool shape or size.

Deck & Patio

You may decide to surround your pool with any number of materials. Some of the more common designs include concrete decking (both broom finish and stamped), brick, wooden decking, paving stones, fieldstone and porcelain outdoor tile.

You may choose to include a path or walkway linking the pool to other areas of your yard. These are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. These design materials add usable space and functionality to your pool area. They allow for drainage, ground cover, and eye appeal.

Undoubtedly you will find many landscaping design books. These books are filled with wonderful ideas and may inspire you to create your own layout.

Furniture

Of course you’ll want to think about outdoor furniture for relaxing by the pool. Possibly lounge chairs and umbrellas to create shaded areas, for when you need them. Maybe include children-sized seating for your youngest family members and friends.

Your main goal here should be balance, variety, proportion, and overall aesthetics.

Visit our Outdoor Living section to view some options for pool furniture.

Safety

Nothing is more important for your pool projects than safety. Supervision is a key element in getting maximum, safe enjoyment from a pool. Children should never be left alone in or near a pool, spa, or any body of water. While layers of protection such as a fence, wall, or natural barrier around a pool can help protect children under the age of five and other unauthorized users, there is no substitute for adult supervision.

Pools should never be used by anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Before jumping into a pool, users should know the depth of the water and check for any submerged obstacles, surface object, and other swimmers. Jumping incorrectly into shallow water can be dangerous and injuries, such as a broken leg, can occur if you hit bottom with sufficient force. If you want a pool that you can dive into, make sure it is designed specifically for diving and meets all standards as specified by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, ANSI Standards, and Consumer Safety Board regulations. You can learn more about these regulations by clicking the links below: