Monthly Archives: June 2011

Steps And Benches For Vinyl Liner Inground Pools!

One of the trends that is happening in the vinyl liner pool market is the option of covering steps and benches with the liner. I personally think that it is a great way to go. It gives the pool a uniform look rather than having a white fiberglass step sticking out against a blue liner.

Fiberglass steps and seating areas.

Going this route is the least expensive and the easy way to build a vinyl pool. The step or bench comes as a one piece unit that is bolted into place with the wall panels. The liner is sealed around these with a gasket and faceplate strip. This makes it easy to build the pool, knowing that your liner will fit without wrinkles. The bulk of vinyl pools are built this way and turn out very nice.

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Vinyl covered steps and benches.

Going this route when building a vinyl pool is becoming very popular as I stated before. Adding the steps and benches with the liner covering them gives the pool complete uniformity. The color scheme of the liner is the same across the whole pool without the steps sticking out.

One of the drawbacks to covering the step was the use of rod pockets and clips to hold the liner into the step. It could be a pain to work with this system of securing the liner to the step or bench area. Manufactures now make a bead receiver that is built into the step or bench when it is assembled. The liner manufacture welds a bead on the backside of the liner where it will attach to the step. This is the same bead that is used to secure the liner into the coping around the top of the pool. This works much better in securing the liner to the step or bench than the rod pocket and clip system.

Building a pool with a vinyl covered step does require the builder to really pay attention to dimensions and measurements when constructing the pool. If the pool is not built right to specs there is a chance the liner will have wrinkles around the step area. You would think that should not be an issue but a lot of pools are built with the philosophy, “ah that’s close enough”. Sad to say but it’s true.

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Overall if you are looking to put some “wow” factor into your vinyl liner pool, look at the vinyl covered step and bench options.

Why The Bottom Of Your Vinyl Liner Inground Needs String Lines!

What do you mean I need string lines in the bottom of my pool? When I am talking about string lines, I do not mean when the pool is finished. When the liner is installed you do not want anything underneath it but the material used for the bottom of your pool. And you want it to be completely clean.

So what do I mean by string lines in the bottom of the pool? During the construction of your pool, when the bottom is being done is when your contractor should be using string lines. Whatever style or shape the bottom of your pool will be, the use of string lines insures that the dimensions and measurements are right.

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Correct Depth!

This is the biggest reason why I feel that setting string lines are important. Once the wall panels for your pool are set in place and leveled, your contractor should measure from the top of the wall down into the hole to get the exact depth. We will set rebar pins and tie off string line so we know right where we are supposed to be. Whether your pool is going to have a finished depth of 8’, 6’ or whatever you decide on, the way to make sure it is exact is to set string lines.

Liner Fit!

The liner will be made to fit your pool. Your contractor will have a dig sheet showing the dimensions of the liner for your pool. They now have to build the pool to fit the liner. Do not let your pool builder tell you they can stretch the liner in place. Liners will stretch but it should never be more than 1”, two at the most. If the liner is stretched into place it will cause it to be pulled to thin in spots, which shortens the life of the liner. No matter how well the dig is done, unless string lines are set, there is no reference point to go off of when the pool base material is installed. Setting reference points with string lines can cause extra work. There will probably be places than need to be cleaned out, either by shovel or possibly a pick. Possibly there needs to be gravel added to the bottom to fill in low spots. Most pool builders I have seen will not take the time to do this. They place the bottom material by putting just enough to cover the dirt and say “we’ll let the liner stretch in place”, not caring to make sure the dimensions for the bottom are right. Not good.

Pool Base Material!

Whatever your pool builder uses for the base of your pool, whether it is a vermiculite mix or a grout concrete mix, it needs to be installed at a certain thickness. This is where settings string lines allows for the builder to see if there is enough room between the dirt and the string to install the base material at the proper thickness.

If you want the liner for your pool to fit like it was made too, it is a good idea to make sure your contractor sets string lines as reference points. Don’t get me wrong. You can “eyeball” it close. When you are spending thousands of dollars on your pool project though, do you want it close, or exact?

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Happy swimming!!