Ask the Experts

Michael Burke

Pool Designs, Inc.

Michael Burke

I have been installing fiberglass pools since 1983. I started out digging the hole, skreeting the bottom, leveling the pool and making sure the entire area is ready for concrete. Having been on over one thousand installations I have an eye for layout and height of pool and concrete. I also customize plumbing for all applications.

David VanSant, President

Aqua Pro Pool and Spa

David VanSant

We are family owned and operated and have been in the pool and spa industry for over a decade. Aqua PRO believes that a quality swimming pool built by an experienced pool designer will compliment any style of home. We have always strived to be progressive and embrace innovative technology in order to develop new skills, which broadens our ability to provide you with the most advanced building resources available and still remain within your water recreation budget. We can give you expert advice on selecting a pool or spa that will meet the recreational and leisure needs of you and your family. We believe that as a company, we exist only because of our customers and so we strive to achieve 100% customer satisfaction through our commitment to excellence.

Ric Reineke, President

The Pool Guyz

Ric Reineke

I started my own construction company in 1994. We built hundreds of high end custom homes. Started building Viking Pools in 2000 after buying one for my new home. Moved The Pool Guyz Headquarters to Virginia Beach from Manassas Virginia in 2003. Opened second store in Tampa Florida in 2007. Received Viking Dealer of the year in 2007. Won Master of Design Award from Pool and Spa News in 2007. I have been the featured builder and pool contractor of choice for the Matt Roloff family on TLC's Little People Big World, and have installed pools on the ABC primetime show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Ken Lauro, President

Florida Concepts Pools

Ken Lauro

My pool building experience dates back to the 1960's when I built and sold gunite pools for Gunite Pools of Westchester, based out of Westchester County, New York. Florida Concepts Ltd, was incorporated in 1981. Our first "Viking Fiberglass Pool" (Santa Barbara) was installed in 1994 in Mahopac, NY and we still show it as a testimony to the integrity of the Viking Fiberglass superiority in the industry. We are award winning builders and Exclusive Dealers for Viking Pools servicing Westchester, Putnam, Dutchase, Orange & Rockland counties in New York & southern Connecticut.

Greg Hoover

Midwest Fiberglass Pools

Greg Hoover

I have been with Viking Pools since the beginning plant in California. My experience in pool installation and construction is extensive! I originally helped design some of the installation programs for Viking Pools and was actually involved in the design of the Gulf Coast, Gulf Shores, Rockport and Freeport models of the Viking line. Over the years I have installed tens of thousands of pools and have over 42 years of excavating experience. Today, I serve customers from Michigan to Florida.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Michael Burke, Pool Designs, Inc.

The choice of pool builder is really the first big step toward completion of your pool. The way to choose a builder with confidence is to DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Check with your local Better Business Bureau that the company is reputable. You are able to go to the BBB website at www.bbb.org. The next step would be to see some completed work. Any company that really wants your business will be eager to give you references. References are a great way to learn about your builders first hand. References are always partial to your builder but will be a reliable source of information. The final thing you want to do when choosing a builder is ensure that the contract states everything that your builder has said. It is very important to make sure you know how the payments work and when you can expect work to start and finish. Viking dealers are the best to buy from because Viking ensures that every installer/builder is reputable, has great customer service and build amazing pools that live up to the Viking name. That is why you can buy with confidence from a Viking dealer/builder. Viking has strict regulations with its dealers to ensure that each customer purchases a quality pool built with the utmost craftsmanship and professionalism.

David VanSant, Aqua Pro Pool and Spa

Choosing a pool builder is no less important than choosing a reputable builder of your custom home. Your new Viking Pool, and all that surrounds it, will be an extension of you and your family. Choose wisely when selecting your pool builder. Make sure the builder has a store-front and office where you can contact the company during normal business hours if there are problems during or after your project. Be sure to ask that the builder not only show you photos of his/her completed work, but also if you can go and visit the sites of the pools they have already built. Being able to visit the backyard living space of another resident in your area provides two pillars of confidence to you as a potential customer. First, seeing is believing when it comes to a Viking Pool properly installed. Do not get confused with the antics of Photoshop and other editing programs. Ask to SEE the pool. Second, and most importantly, visiting completed projects allows the potential client to see what type of interaction the builder still has with the family who owns the pool. Does the family interact well with the builder while on-site? Aqua Pro believes in forging lasting relationships with families…is your potential pool builder doing the same? Is the homeowner of the Viking Pool you are viewing Raving Fans of their and YOUR potential pool builder?

Ric Reineke, The Pool Guyz

Credentials are KING. Ask the Builder to show you what he has done not tell you what he can do. Ask for at least three references and call them. If he is a good Builder he should have a minimum of these 4 things.

  1. A professional place of work. An Office which displays his work.
  2. A valid state contractor's license and local business license.
  3. A valid APSP card. This is his credentials as a pool & spa professional.
  4. A good standing with the BBB. Make sure you check this.

David VanSant, Aqua Pro Pool and Spa

When picking a pool ask yourself what you will generally use the pool for once it's completed. Will you be entertaining much? Do you or someone in your family enjoy swimming laps? How many children do you have? One thing to consider is the lifetime warranty of a Viking Pool. Even if you have small children, the pool will still be there once your children have grown. Just how large of a pool do you as empty nesters want to care for?

Ric Reineke, The Pool Guyz

A good Pool Builder will explain in detail why you should buy a particular type and size of pool after reviewing your family size and yard size and surroundings. There are also lifestyle influences and budgets to consider. The professional has seen all of these circumstances before and will know how to deal with them.

Michael Burke, Pool Designs, Inc.

The installation process should be relatively simple. Let's start with completion of contract of work and deposit is given. The process of permitting now begins. Builders should do your permitting for you or at least help you with it. This includes recommending to you surveyors or engineers if that is what your township requires. After you get your permit number, your builder should give you some sort of a "dig date." This would be the day for starting construction. Our company, Pool Designs Inc., gives you a dig date just outside of 10 days from getting your permit number. The company will do a "One Call" where the utilities will be sprayed out on your lawn and flagged. On the day of installation you can expect a foreman, in our case myself, to head up the project and be the clear leader of the construction. I will lay out the pool and make sure the placement matches the permitted plans and is where you want it. The dig begins. The major component of the dig that cannot be overlooked is that you only want the hole 6" bigger than the pool. You also don't want to dig the hole any deeper than 4" than the pool itself. This ensures that once backfilled and filled with water your pool will be at 99% compaction and not moving out of level. Once the pool is in the ground and plumbed you can expect a number of inspections. Remember that each township, municipality and state are different. The next part of the process is electrical work. The electrician either from the builder or a sub contractor must run the appropriate electrical workings out to the pool and your pool should be bonded at this time. Once you pass electrical inspection the concrete of your choice is poured. With our customers we like to say that from start to finish the process take about two to two and half weeks to completion.

Ric Reineke, The Pool Guyz

The first thing to remember is this is a major construction project. The yard in which you know it now will be transpired into a beautiful in ground pool. For us the install goes as follows. The first day we layout and dig the hole. The dirt is removed from the property if needed and the sand is placed in the hole. The second day the crane and pool arrive and we set the pool in place. The water will begin to fill the pool as soon as it is set and the backfill process begins. Normally by the end of day three the pool is completely installed and ready for the deck to be formed. Over the next week the electrical is completed and the deck is poured. Then the pool is cleaned and balanced and we do a final indoctrination with the new owner.

Greg Hoover, Jr., Midwest Pools and Spas

There are some really great options available in today's pool market that can add some sizzle to your Pool or spa without breaking the bank. Some of the more popular options we recommend to our customers include: fiber optic lights, salt water systems, automatic pool sweeps, massage jets, rim tile and small waterfalls. These items will not only add to the ambience but they will make the task of owning a pool nearly hands free. Let's face it- the reason you purchase a pool is to add to your quality of living not to add another project to your daily chores. If these items are not in the budget right away, many of them can be added in the future.

David VanSant, Aqua Pro Pool and Spa

Adding only a couple options to your pool will take it from ordinary to extraordinary---often times at a minimal cost. Basic pool options which add some personality to the pool are Crystite Pool finishes, perimeter ceramic tile, and inlaid mosaics. Water features utilizing LED or Fiber Optic technology are also a popular choice. The Magic Stream laminars from Pentair or Cascading Waterfalls from Viking add individual character and will make the neighbors say WOW when you turn them on at sunset. The salt generators are also a great and work well with our pools we have installed.

Michael Burke, Pool Designs, Inc.

The number one difference between a safety cover and an automatic cover is one goes on and off and as you please and the other one must be fastened on and taken off by hand. Automatic covers are a great option if you are financially able to purchase one. The automatic cover gives you the option to keep your pool covered and free from debris all year long. Automatic covers keep the pool clean and makes your pool nearly maintenance free. A traditional winter safety cover meets the needs of 90% of pool owners. Winter safety covers will have anchors drilled right into your concrete that comes up and down for closing and opening. The cover is spring loaded and fits securely across the top of your pool. It will be about two and half feet from your pool coping going straight over the pool. These covers keep debris and people out of your pool for the winter months. There are many types of safety covers of varying cost. Mesh covers allow water to pass through and filter debris. Solid covers allow nothing to pass through and you will need some sort of a pump if there is not a drain in the cover itself. Safety covers are far more cost effective of an alternative and meet most people's needs. I suggest that you see what exactly your pool cover needs are for you and your family and speak to your builder about what they suggest also.

Ric Reineke, The Pool Guyz

The automatic pool cover is permanently installed by a track system which allows the cover to slide over the top of the water of your pool. This is done either under your coping or on top of your deck. The cover rolls up into a box that can be placed in the ground or under a bench at one end of your pool. A key is used to open and close the cover. The winter cover needs to be installed annually and anchors into your deck with hidden grommets that can screw up or down when cover is off. The price difference is thousands of dollars depending on your pool size and cover options. If you have the budget for an automatic cover, the savings in heating and peace of mind in safety is well worth the cost to upgrade to this option.

David VanSant, Aqua Pro Pool and Spa

Maintaining proper pool chemical levels is much easier when you make the correct, sound investments in equipment during the building of your pool. Salt systems, large cartridge filters, and robotic cleaners help remove contaminants which often times leave chemicals unbalanced. During start-up, balance your swimming pool water by taking a water sample to your local pool store or builder for analysis. With optical scanners and software, your pool professional can give you a print out of exactly what you need to add to your pool water for an enjoyable experience as well as to protect your investment.

Ric Reineke, The Pool Guyz

This is very easily done with a Viking pool. The smooth surface of our pools doesn't offer a good solution for algae to form. When using a salt chlorinator and keeping salt levels proper, you will normally not have to add any chemicals to the pool at all. Various kits are available to check water chemistry as well as simple bottle of test strips you simply dip into the water and match the color to the bottle.

Greg Hoover, Jr., Midwest Pools and Spas

Winterizing a pool correctly is the single most important step you will ever have as a pool owner. The most common mistake that pool owners and untrained pool companies make is draining the water below the pool returns. DO NOT DRAIN THE POOL! You may void your warranty if you do. A pool that is drained down will have a lot of undue stress on the sidewalls from ground pressure and frost. A pool that has been properly closed can remain full of water. We have been winterizing pools in Michigan for over 20 years without draining any water and have had great success. My best advice is to hire a professional pool build to open and close your pool.

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