Q: Which construction type of in-ground pool is best?

A: There are generally three construction types or pool shells. They are fiberglass, vinyl-lined, and gunite (concrete).

Fiberglass swimming pools are made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic, which has been molded into specific pool shapes at a factory. These shapes and sizes are limited by Department of Transportation rules for delivery over public roads. Unfortunately, nothing during the installation phase can alter the shape or dimensions of these pools, so design options are very limited.

Vinyl pools have some flexibility in shape and size, unlike fiberglass. Although vinyl-lined pools have advanced recently and may offer some advantages in colder climates with freeze-thaw cycles, they still lack the design options that gunite pool shells offer.

Gunite swimming pools are a popular choice for homeowners who want to install a high-end swimming experience to their backyard.  They can be fashioned into virtually any shape and size, which makes them the most popular choice for homeowners searching for a custom, high-end look or a unique solution to an atypical backyard. Regardless of the size or details of your home site, an experienced gunite pool builder can create a custom size and shape that complements your home's architecture and surrounding landscape.

Because of the custom nature of gunite pools, they are easily created with special additions such as negative edges, grottos, water features, underwater benches, and more. The only limitation is your imagination.

Q: What is a saltwater pool?

A: Pools that are labeled as saltwater actually dissolve salt through electrolysis instead of standard chlorine tablets or granules to cleanse and sanitize pool water. They actually do produce chlorine but through a saltwater chlorinator (chlorine generator) that produces chlorine as salt passes over an electrolytic cell. Since salt is a natural conditioner, saltwater pools leave your skin feeling smoother and won’t irritate eyes the way chlorine can. Saltwater pools are also considered more eco-friendly since you don't have to handle or store potentially hazardous chlorine.

Saltwater chlorinators also include an electronic control panel so you can easily monitor the salt level. A saltwater pool has between 2700 - 3400 parts per million (ppm) of salt. For comparison, ocean water has about 35,000 ppm of salt. A saltwater pool has all the benefits, but you don’t feel crusty when you get out, and your skin doesn’t have that just-dunked-in-salt feeling. Instead, it provides you with the same benefits as a pool with a cholorine-based system, without the large amounts of chemicals.

Q: Which is better to clean & sanitize my pool - salt or chlorine?

A: Cost, maintenance, and health concerns are all things to take into account when discussing your pool options, but you also need to consider which system will provide the best swimming experience for you, your family and your guests. Chlorine pools have both the sanitizer that kills algae and bacteria and an oxidizer that removes unwanted organic matter, such as oil and perspiration. However, as both systems of chlorination perform this function, only you can make the decision that best fits your needs.

Chlorine pools have been the most common over the years and probably still are today. This type of system to chlorinate pools is easy to operate, and chlorine is readily available at most pool supply and major retail stores. Pool owners can add chlorine tablets to a device plumbed near the pump and filter or add chlorine directly into the pool water through a floating distribution device.

In a saltwater pool, destabilized chlorine is produced so you will probably need to periodically add cyanuric acid to maintain a chlorine residual. While you will still need to check alkalinity, pH levels, and sanitizer levels with either kind of chlorination system, the ideal chlorine level is easier to maintain in saltwater pools.

The amount of salt you need to add periodically will depend on things like rainfall, the frequency of backwashing, and the water loss from splashing or draining and adjusted to the water added to maintain the proper level. Once you've added the initial salt at to your pool, you will only have to add salt from time to time to maintain consistent chlorine levels. Once added to the pool water, the salt never disappears like chlorine. The up-front cost of salt is higher than regular chlorine. However, the cost evens out over time.

The average saltwater pool system might use $10 to $20 worth of high-quality salt per year, while chlorine systems might cost $60 to $100 in chemicals.

All your choices really come down to what is right for you and your family.

Q: What type of filtration system is the best option for my pool?

A: There are basically three types of pool filters; D.E. (diatomaceous earth), cartridge and sand. The suitability of a filter can have as much to do with filter size, as the type of filter you chose. That’s why it's so important to size the filter to the volume of water in your  pool. Beyond that, it comes down to your water clarity preference and how much maintenance you’re willing to perform to determine which filtration system is best for you.

Sand filters may require the least routine maintenance, but don't filter as well as the D.E. or cartridges. Cartridge filters require cleaning more frequently and replacement of the filter media. They are fairly simple to clean and replace, but they don't filter the pool as well as a D.E. filter. If you’re looking for the most crystal clear water that a filter has to offer, look no further than a D.E. filter. Just be prepared for a little more maintenance time. D.E. filters, like sand filters, require periodic backwashing, but they also require periodic addition of diatomaceous earth, or recharging, after breaking down and cleaning the filter from time to time, depending on the amount of use. Sand filters only require that the pool filter sand is replaced once every five to seven years generally.

A D.E. filter's performance wins hands down in the clarity department because it has the ability to trap smaller particles in the water. See below:

Good – Sand filters 25-30 microns
Better – Cartridge filters 10-15 microns
Best - D.E. filters 3-5 microns

Clean and clear water depends on the runtime of the pool pump regardless of which filter you choose. Every pool must have the complete volume of water filtered at a minimum of once in a 12 hour period. This is called turnover, and your pool should go through at least one per day. This isn't usually difficult as most pools today are designed for an 8 to10-hour turnover.

Q: Does it matter who builds my pool?

A: Selecting the right pool builder is one of the most important decisions in the entire process. The right builder should see your vision for your pool or spa. Since you can’t just pick out a pool off the store shelf, you need someone who can translate what’s in your head to your backyard. If you trust your builder, and you can communicate, they can walk with you down the path to the perfect pool, leading you to accessories and additions that will make your pool experience more than you ever dreamed it could be.

Not all pool builders are the same, and they won’t all give you the personal experience you get with Modish Pools. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing your pool builder:

  • Will this pool builder will carry out my wishes from design to groundbreaking to your first swim in a timely and courteous manner and with professionalism?
  • Will my pool builder take care when crossing my lawn, protecting my home and landscape features, etc.?
  • If a problem comes up, will my builder address my concerns professionally?
  • Will my pool builder stand behind their work during and after the project if I have questions or need assistance?

Addressing these questions will ensure that you hire a pool builder who is first-rate. Not every contractor provides the professional service you deserve – find one that sees your vision and meets your needs.

When you build a pool, you want a builder that understands and values the trust you've placed in them. You want someone who will put in the extra effort, and go the extra mile, to capture the vision you have of your "backyard oasis." A great builder will work with you create a vision and design with your desired features and budget in mind. You want a builder that will bring your vision to life with attention to detail and experienced craftsmanship. Your pool builder should stand behind their work and truly understands the investment you've made with them. You want a Modish Pool experience which means a  pool builder that will work hard to meet your needs and address any concerns. We know the best referrals come from satisfied customers, and we don’t take that for granted.

Q: How long will it take to build my pool?

A: The time it takes to build your pool properly depends on several things such as the size, complexity of design, the complexity of features and any unforeseen weather. It requires the  active participation of the home and business owners at certain times before construction begins. Your input will be needed on details like waterline and cap tile, interior finish, deck material colors and styles, and more. The average Modish Pool can be ready to enjoy in 30 – 60 days.

Q: How much does a pool cost?

A: Pools are not one size fits all, and custom pools mean custom pricing. The size, shape, and depth of the pool all affect the cost. When you make decisions on the pump, filter, chlorinator or features like underwater beach entry, waterfalls, a swim-up bar, it can change the cost as well. We account for things like site access to the construction site and if there is a sprinkler system in place that needs to be worked with or around.

We would love the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your wants and needs and what sort of budget your backyard oasis will need to become a reality.