Ask the General: New Pool Owner FAQs

new poolDear General-


I think our family is finally ready to take the plunge and get an inground fiberglass pool. We’re excited! But we have so many questions. When should we buy? How should we finance? What should we be thinking about when we’re choosing the features for our pool? What do we need to learn in terms of pool safety and maintenance? Help us be a new pool owner, dear General!


Excited in East Chicago


Dear Excited-

Yes, getting a pool IS a very exciting time and yes, there is a lot to think about. I could go on for hours about all the fun you’ll have as a new pool owner. I could also go on about the responsibilities of owning a pool, like assigning pool maintenance chores, pool safety and common pool maintenance mistakes to avoid. But let’s just dip our toes in the water for now… I’ll try to tackle some new pool owner FAQs. You should definitely tune in to my regular posts to learn as much as you can about pool ownership.

  1. When is the best time to buy a pool? Well, I was a pool salesman for years, so I’m tempted to answer “RIGHT NOW AND I’LL BE RIGHT OVER.” But since I’m retired I’ll just give you a little advice. If you live in the Midwest, pool builders near you are already booking (or booked!) for spring installs, so you need to get on the list now for next season. An early start will enable you to finish your landscaping so you have the most time to enjoy the pool. Most reputable pool builders will have a pretty full schedule come spring, but once the season starts, you might get lucky and squeeze onto their schedule for an early summer installation. If the weather gets nice really early and installs run ahead, pool companies may even offer discounts to help fill in gaps in their schedules, but that’s a gamble. My best advice, if you want to be in the swim by summer, is BUY NOW. Fall and winter are the best times to make your decisions and get your pool installation scheduled for the spring.
  2. How should we finance our new inground swimming pool? There are lots of financing options for your new pool project. Just like any other major purchase, you need to do some research and get the best possible deal on your investment. Check out home equity lines of credit (HELOCs.) They allow you to borrow only as much money as you need for your pool project against the equity in your house.
  3. What should we be thinking about when choosing the features for our new pool? Inground pools offer a lot of great benefits: quality family time, exercise, increased social activity with fun pool parties and relaxation, to name a few. Think about which of those add-on features are most important to your family. If it’s exercise, choose a large and deep pool with wide-open swim lanes. If it’s relaxation, think about a pool with a tanning ledge that allows you to lounge in the water while soaking up some rays. If your kids are just learning to swim, consider one of the fiberglass pool industry’s newest innovations– beach entry fiberglass pools (Patent US 10,358,837 and 10,472,839). It’s just a like a day at the beach! Your kids can play on the “shore” and ease their way into gradually deeper water while the big kids swim farther out. Think of all the money you’ll save on vacations when you bring the beach to your own backyard! And don’t forget to add in some add-on features– extras like a slide and water features will make your new pool truly your own.
  4. What about swimming pool safety? While we’re on the subject of kids and pools, seize the window between the time you order your pool and the time your pool is installed to teach your kids the rules of pool safety. Spend some time over the winter helping them learn the rules. You might even come up with some fun games or quizzes to make sure they’re sinking in. Then, by the time summer swim season comes around, the kids will be well-versed in the do’s and don’ts of safe swimming.
  5. What do we need to know about swimming pool maintenance? Your pool builder will give you some great information about maintaining your new pool after it’s installed and you should look for a reliable pool maintenance pro near you. In the meantime, read up on water chemistry and decide if you want a salt or chlorine-based system. There are some misconceptions about pool ownership and pool maintenance that need to be debunked and some common mistakes you can avoid. The biggest trick is to stay on top of daily maintenance from Day One. Split up the tasks amongst all the family members to keep everyone engaged.

new pool ownerEvery family has different needs, wants and reasons for getting a pool. For my family, being a new pool owner was all about togetherness. My wife worked for the school corporation, and had summers off.  We wanted the kids to have a place to bring their friends so we could keep an eye on them and know who they were hanging out with. We had a place for family cookouts, little league teams, church groups, a wedding reception, many pool parties and a fun, safe place for our children and their friends to hang out.

Your family will find a million ways to enjoy your pool too. Don’t get too bogged down in worrying about maintenance. You’ll figure it out. And your local pool maintenance pro will help you as well. Remember how you felt when you took your first kid home from the hospital? If you can raise kids, you can take care of a pool. It will be wonderful and you’ll have experiences that your kids will remember forever. I know mine do.

Well, these leaves aren’t going to rake themselves. I’d better get to it.

Until next time-

The General


Who is The General?

The man, the myth, the legend….we just call him The General. His organized, systematic approach to pool installations over the years had his crew members calling him “The General” and it stuck. The General has over 30 years’ experience in the pool and spa industry, working for one of Pool and Spa News’Top 50 Pool Builders.”

Over that time, he designed, sold, project-managed and installed over a thousand inground swimming pools. As a pool owner himself, he’s the perfect authority to give you the inside scoop, with amazing tips and tricks to make pool ownership a breeze!