Concrete Vs Fibreglass
Which is better?
Most Pool builders only install one type of pool, Most concrete pool builders are against fiberglass pools, and guess what? Most fiberglass pool installers will rubbish concrete pools.
The same goes for friends. If your friend has a concrete pool then chances are they will tell you concrete is the way to go and likewise your mates with fiberglass pools will promote fiberglass pools.
At Garden City Pools we like both. However in some situations one type will outperform the other.
Forget about flexibility as most people don’t want a twisted or bowed pool and they don’t flex in the directions that matter anyway.
Let’s look at the positives for each:
- Fibreglass pools offer the most maintenance free pool.
- Fibreglass pools are fast to install.
- Fibreglass pools are very smooth on hands and feet.
- Fibreglass pools use less chemicals
- Fibreglass pools are less expensive
You should consider a fibreglass pool if you want a fast install and you are happy with the shapes and sizes available.
- Concrete pools offer flexibility in shape
- Concrete pools are strong enough to use as retainer walls and can be built out of ground.
- Concrete pools offer a large range of finishes and allow for wet edges, islands, beeches, steps, ledges you name it.
- Concrete pools are more suited to reactive black soil as they have the strength to resist the pressure of the soil.
You should consider a concrete pool if your lands is sloping a lot as it will not need a retainer wall, or if the soil is not fully compacted around the walls like in cut and fill situations.
Some other instances to consider concrete is when a crane is unable to get to the pool area due to trees and power lines. Concrete is pumped to the pool so it can be up to 60m from the pool to the truck.
When it comes to the appearance of the pool, it makes no difference. The appearance of your pool will boil down to your pool builder’s ability and your budget. Some of our best looking pools are fibreglass but are assumed to be concrete.
If you want to listen to the council of friends that’s fine but listen to the ones that have had both pools. They are more likely to give you an unbiased opinion.
Alternately give us a call and we will be happy to give you professional free advice you on what we believe would be the best pool for your situation.
WHAT ARE PROVISIONAL SUMS AND PRIME COSTS?
Provisional sums are an amount that has been allowed in your contract for parts of the job that are difficult to price fairly until they are undertaken. Excavation is usually a provisional sum in the contract and is likely to change from the allowed amount. If it comes in less we will refund the difference, if it comes in more we will charge the extra amount it cost us.
For example, during the excavation we may encounter rock which will slow digging down and also may have to be taken to a special site to dispose of, in turn adding extra to the excavation time and adding disposal fees.
Typical culprits for extended excavation times are: Rock, Tree Stumps and Roots, Unexpected Underground Services and Extremely Hard Ground.
Rock and tree roots can also alter the amount of backfill needed as it is not possible to excavate a neat hole and may end up wider and deeper then intended.
Other Provisional Sums include but are not limited to: Water to fill the pool, Crane hire and Backfill.
Provisional sums and their value are specified in you contract.
Prime Costs are an amount that has been allowed for things like tiles or pavers in the case of tiles it may be that the client wishes to use a different tile to the one allowed for. In this case we will either charge extra if the chosen tile is more expensive or refund if the chosen tile is cheaper. However in the case of Prime Costs there will be an extra charge for handling the alternative products this charge is written in the contract but is usually 20%.
Some Typical Prime Cost Items are: Tiles, Pavers, Fence Styles, Concrete finishes and Interior linings.
Solar Heating vs Heat Pump
In Queensland, thanks to our abundant sunshine, solar pool heating is the most popular choice. Solar pool heating harnesses energy from the sun. The great attraction is, of course, that sunlight is a totally free and natural resource that is environmentally friendly. The system once installed is cheap to run.
The limitations are that solar pool heating is only as effective as the amount of direct sunlight that is shinning on the absorber. Solar heating takes time, and is limited by cloud cover and shade. It also takes up a lot of space and needs good orientation for best results.
You would choose solar heating if,
- You have plenty of roof space facing North
- You are after a system that is a season extender only
- You are after the least expensive system to install and run
A little less is known about heat Pumps. One important thing is that they have come down a lot in price in the last few years.
Heat Pumps are in fact a very energy efficient way to heat your pool. This is because for every 1kw of energy they consume they produce 5kw of heat. While they are by no means as cheap as solar in terms of running costs they are still pretty reasonable when the performance they deliver is taken into account. Heat pumps will work day and night and are a lot faster than solar heating. They will also extend your swimming season and allow you to get the most possible use out of you pool.
You would choose a Heat pump if,
- You want to use your pool 9 to 12 months of the year
- You have limited roof space or have solar panels
- Your roof area experiences a lot of shade
- You want a system that heats on demand
WHATS THE PROCESS?
1. Call Garden City Pools for free advice and to arrange a site visit and quote.
Garden City Pools will send a representative to site to aid you in selecting the options from the huge range available that best suits you. This is the time to think about where the pool is going to go. Take into account sun shine, underground services, slope of the land, over head power lines and trees and access for heavy vehicles.
The representative will discuss different water types, different filtration systems, access issues, colours and styles.
If you are not sure what you want, don’t worry our reprehensive will be happy to help you out.
2. We will provide a detailed estimate based on your preferences
Now is the time to refine your quote. You will have the prices for your chosen inclusions and can delete some that are not important or add some that you may not have previously considered.
While considering the budget think about the electrical connections. Electrical work is not included in the price of your pool. If you are considering a heat pump it may require extra heavy wiring. Also consider how the electrician will run wires to the preferred filter location.
3. We will provide a revised estimate.
4. Sign a contract.
After signing the contract we will provide engineering and draw plans in order to submit your building application. After final auditing the plans will be submitted for approval.
5. Receive building approval.
After the building application has been approved we can move to construction stage. The construction stage involves the following for fiberglass pools: Site inspection by our installer- excavation of pool hole – crane the pool in – backfill & fill with water – put up temporary fence – initial plumbing – concreting – final plumbing and set up filters – install accessories like water features and filter sheds – tiling – landscaping – permanent fencing – clean and balance the pool – install final accessories such as blanket and roller, umbrellas, deck jets – handover.
The process for concrete pools is a little different : Site inspection by our builder – excavate pool hole – form work and steel fixing – initial plumbing- concrete – cure process (4 weeks) – tiling – set up filters – permanent fencing – interior lining – balance water – install accessories like umbrellas deck jets blanket and roller – handover.
At handover we will explain how to make the most out of your pool and how to look after it so you can enjoy a hassle free swimming pool.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Obtain as much information as possible regarding underground services you may be able to get a plumbing diagram from your builder or the local council.
Soil type is important, so if you can get hold of the soil report for your house it will be helpful.
If you are contracting your own electrician, make sure he is available to run conduits and connect power at times that suit the pool construction. The installer will be able to tell you those dates once the construction process begins. Make sure the electrician contacts us to discuss requirements. Heavier than normal wiring and breakers are required for most heat pumps and earth bonding is required for all pools.
Make sure we have good access to the site during construction. We need a tidy and safe work site to get the job done on time.
Keep the kids well supervised we have a very interesting job with lots of big trucks and diggers and great things happening, so it can be tempting for little ones (and big ones) to encroach on the construction zone.
If you are arranging your own fencing make sure it is finished within the included temporary fence hire period (usually 4 weeks) otherwise you will be charged extra on your temporary fence hire.
- Your pool is installed by our own qualified, fully licenced and experienced building team.
- Water is included in your price. (fiberglass pools)
- Includes drawing your plans, standard lodgment fees and standard certification fees.
- Excavation and cartage of materials away from site to the value of the agreed provisional sum.
- Temporary fence hire (4 weeks)
- Independent engineer supervision on the steel work. (concrete pools)
- Standard engineering for M classed sites
- Installation and OHS procedures adhere to Australian Standards
- $10 000 000 public liability insurance.
- Comes with 50mm pipe work and 2 pool returns to ensure optimal circulation
- Has 400mm large format paved coping
- 7 piece manual cleaning kit included.
- Davey or Zodiac Cartridge Filter, Pump & Chlorinator
- Pool and work site cleaned on completion
WHATS NOT INCLUDED?
- Extra Excavation, once your excavation allowance has been exhausted extra excavation will be charged at the cost only price. We will provide invoices from our excavation contractor if requested.
- Disposal fees, only charged if we cannot find a free tip site for your soil. Usually only an issue for contaminated soil, rock, grass and vegetation.
- Electrical Work. Electrical work must be carried out by a licensed electrician, if you do not know an electrician we can recommend one for you. If you choose to install a heat pump, extra heavy wiring may be required, ask your electrician to contact us for specifications.
- Relocating or repairing services or landscaping unless specifically quoted in your price.
- If it is not written on your Estimate or in your Contract then it is not included in your price.