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Pool Loans – What Are The Best Options Available?

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Pool Loans - What Are The Best Financing Options For Buying a Swimming Pool?

Adding an inground swimming pool to your backyard can increase the value of your home and add years of enjoyment for family and friends. However, you consider all the implications of pool ownership before investing potentially tens of thousands of dollars on a pool. Swimming pools require continual upkeep and care in addition to their initial expense. According to PoolContractor.com, the average starting cost of an inground pool is $35,000 for fiberglass, $25,000 for vinyl liners, and at least $40,000 for Gunite. Even if you can save money on materials or labor, a swimming pool is still a significant investment. Consequently many homeowners wind up exploring pool loan options when it comes time to decide how they plan to pay for pool construction.

How Do Pool Loans Work?

First off, building a swimming pool can be a pretty costly proposition, especially in this climate where the average price for an inground pool has gone up 30% in the last two years. Swimming pool loans are available for most well qualified buyers. To get a better handle on which loans are best suited for consumers, we spoke with Greg Powell of Viking Capital, one of the leading providers of financing in the pool industry.

“A swimming pool loan can be the differentiator between buying the pool you really want and have to settle for a smaller pool. Having easy access to financing is a game changer for some homeowners”, explained Powell who has been helping homeowners secure pool financing for over 20 years.

Typically a pool loan can be obtained in a variety of ways. Consumers can shop around for a variety lenders to discover a pool loan that works best for their particular needs.

When you’re authorized for a usual loan from a bank, you’ll usually get all of your money right away. The loan will then need to be repaid with interest over a period of time. The interest rate and monthly payment you qualify for will be largely determined by your income and FICO credit score.

“Due to the hefty initial cost required for a new pool, many homeowners choose to borrow money and pay it off over time.” said Powell, “If you don’t have the cash up front, there are a variety of options that homeowners use to finance a new swimming pool.”

Let’s take a look at what a few of those options are:

HELOC vs Home Equity Loans – Photo Credit: Visualistan

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan allows you to borrow against the value of your property and use it as collateral, allowing you to get a lower interest rate. Home equity loans are similar to personal loans in that they include a set interest rate, a set repayment schedule, and a set monthly payment that never changes.

“You’re essentially taking out a second mortgage when you take out a home equity loan for pool financing.” said Powell, “It’s a fixed-rate installment loan secured by your home equity.”

If you’ve lived in your house long enough to have built up enough equity, a home equity loan for a pool can be a good option for you. However, before jumping in wholeheartedly, you should consider all the pool financing options available and figure out the ideal one for you.

HELOC Loan

A home equity line of credit, often known as a HELOC, is a revolving credit line secured by your home that you can use to pay for significant purchases or consolidate higher-interest debt on other loans. The interest on a HELOC is frequently lower than on other forms of loans, and the interest may be tax deductible. Because tax rules may have changed, please ask your tax expert about interest deductibility.

You borrow against the available equity in your home with a HELOC, and the house serves as collateral for the loan. The quantity of available credit is replenished as you repay your outstanding balance, similar to a credit card. This means you can borrow against it again if necessary, and you can borrow as little or as much as you need for the duration of your draw period (usually 10 years), up to the credit limit you set at closing. The payback period (usually 20 years) begins after the draw period ends.

Using a HELOC to finance your swimming pool has some drawbacks, much like using a home equity loan. Because a HELOC uses your property as collateral, you risk losing your home if you don’t keep up with your payments. You’re also bound by the same equity limits, so a HELOC is only a viable option for borrowers who have a considerable amount of equity in their home.

Personal Loan – Unsecured Loan

Many pool buyers opt to do a personal or unsecured loan which is a very popular method of financing a pool. A personal loan allows you to borrow a lump sum of money with a fixed interest rate and repayment time.

Personal loans are unsecured, which means you don’t have to put your home up as collateral in order to qualify. If you have exceptional or very high credit, or a FICO score of at least 740, you may be eligible for a pool loan with a low fixed interest rate.

When compared to other swimming pool loans, personal loans frequently have minimal or no costs, making them a very cost-effective solution.

“A personal loan is an excellent choice for someone who has strong credit but little equity in their home.” said Powell.

Many homeowners opt to buy a pool from a builder that provides in-house financing.

Financing Through a Dealer

Another method consumers use to finance a swimming pool is buy from a dealer that offers their own financing. If you opt for a builder that does this, make sure you read the fine print carefully and expect to pay higher interest rates. For consumers who don’t qualify for a personal loan or home equity financing, this may an option if all else fails.

This type of financing is a solid alternative for someone who may not qualify for a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit, or a personal loan.

There is plenty to consider when financing a pool. Before signing a contract it’s smart to see what your payments will be.

Before Applying For a Pool Loan

“Consider consulting with a few pool contractors to obtain a general estimate of your final pricing, then play around with a pool loan calculator to see how much your monthly payment might be.” said Powell. “Playing with the numbers can give you an idea of what your monthly payment will look like and how much pool you can afford.”

“Paying a little extra each month helps pay off the loan quicker.” Powell explained, “Conversely, if you want a lower payment, you may be able to pay a lower monthly amount if you spread the payments out over more years. Typically we see consumers who opt for a 15 or 20 year loan” said Powell.

Repayment term: If you have designs on selling your home in a few years, it’s a smart idea to avoid a pool loan with a longer repayment period. A home with a pool may be worth slightly more, but it may only appeal to a smaller set of purchasers because not everyone wants a pool in their backyard.

If you’re already in your dream home and not going anywhere you’ll need to think about the long-term costs of owning and managing a pool. Maintaining a pool is costly. You’ll need to budget for pool cleaning equipment, lighting and heating, a pool cover, and other routine maintenance things in addition to the substantial upfront building costs.

Should I pay for my pool in cash?

If you have the means, another option to explore is purchasing your new swimming pool with cash. This will save you money in the long run by avoiding the need to pay additional interest. Think about what you’d do with this money. You don’t want to deplete your emergency fund, so compare the interest rate on a swimming pool loan to the returns you’d earn from investing your money instead.

If you don’t have all of the money you’ll need to buy a pool, you’ll want to look into financing the rest with some form of loan. Even if you have the cash to pay for your swimming pool outright, you may not want to leave yourself cash poor to buy a swimming pool.

What is the best loan for a pool? What are the most often asked questions concerning pool financing?

There isn’t any one perfect answer for which type loan to get for a pool. If you need a large loan and have strong credit, a personal loan may be a decent option, but if you want the lowest interest rate and don’t mind putting your house up as collateral, a home equity loan or HELOC traditionally has a much lower interest rate.

For a pool loan, what credit score is required?

People with credit scores as low as 640 may qualify for a pool loan. “Consumers should keep in mind that the lower their credit score, the higher their interest rate will normally be. They will also normally be approved for smaller loan amounts than buyers with optimum credit.” said Powell.

What is the duration of a typical pool loan?

You may normally target the amount of time it takes to repay a personal loan or a home equity loan with a personal loan or a home equity loan. Typically, this will be between two and ten years. The longer the loan, the cheaper your monthly payment will be, but you’ll pay more interest in the long run. With a HELOC, you’ll typically be allowed to draw from your credit line for ten years before repaying the loan over 15 to 20 years.

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Optical Illusions – Mosaic Tile Seascapes

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Optical Illusions - Stunning Mosaic Tile Seascapes

One of the great things we love about mosaic tile in luxury swimming pools is the artistic versatility of the material. It’s a notoriously difficult medium to work with, but artisans are able to design incredibly sophisticated optical illusions in the pool with tile mosaics.

Designing an artistic mosaic that utilizes the entire canvas of the swimming pool takes real skill. The elites of the industry are adept at using tile as their preferred medium to paint a portrait that tells a story. One industry-recognized tile artisan who has mastered the ability to do just that is Ray Corral of Mosaicist, Inc. The Miami-based firm has built a reputation for designing stunning mosaic tile pool interiors.

Using Tile To Create Optical Illusion Mosaics

Collaborating with high-end builders and designers like Brian Van Bower and Ryan Hughes, Corral is used to working on luxury custom pools that require his particular skillset. His ability to create transcendent designs that draw you into the pool interior is undeniable.

Creating optical illusions in the pool is something that’s second nature for Corral. “I’ve come to realize that a lot of the simple things we do grab attention and people are just taken back by it. We take it for granted because we’ve done so many designs. Sometimes what we think is amazing because of the complexity, people don’t always understand and appreciate,” said Corral.

Mosaic seascape interior. Photo Credit: Mosaicist

While most of the mosaic tile interiors Corral designs these days are for modern geometric-shaped pools, he still does a fair amount of freeform pool interiors. In South Florida, mosaic seascapes are popular and Corral caters to that clientele looking to turn their pool interior into a tropical lagoon.

Designing Realistic Seascapes

This particular project showcases Corral’s abilities at creating optical illusions with mosaic tile. From the intricate waves in the sand to the ocean scene inside the pool, creating those types of visual effects is definitely something that not every tile firm can easily master.

“When we look at the sand it looks real,” said Corral, “These clients wanted a realistic environment. They have tropical landscaping, bridges, landscaping inside the pool that just creates this type of oasis. They want to look outside their window and see coral reefs, fish, and aquatic animals,” he explained.

“There are folks that are close to the ocean, or the ocean is in their hearts, or they’re into diving, whatever the case may be. A lot of these people want scenery in their pool and we just to try to create them something realistic,” said Corral.

“When we put a design together we take into account that the reality of that fact is that most of the time the homeowner will be looking at the pool and not necessarily swimming in it. We take into consideration how the design looks from the second floor, first floor and when you enter the pool,” Corral explained.

“We also take into account the depth of the pool and the transition from the shallow end to the deep end,” said Corral. It’s in the planning and design of the elements that will comprise the entire scene, that he spends an inordinate amount of time going over with customers who want a pool interior of this nature.

“Many times homeowners are looking through our Instagram or our website or the books we have in our office to help them pick out elements to add to their swimming pool,” said Corral.

Creating a Tropical Paradise in Mosaic Tile

Designing the client’s ideal tropical fantasy in mosaic tile can be difficult on freeform style pools. Corral indicated that the shape of these pools is extremely difficult to work with and requires a certain level of planning and dexterity to properly execute. It seems to be old hat for him though. Planning an all-mosaic tile beach entry pool that transforms into a tropical lagoon in this fashion is something his firm Mosacist, Inc. does at least several times a year.

“What’s difficult is on these designs is that the closer that you get to the walls, the more attention to detail you need to have. It’s very easy for a designer to do a circle and have that manufactured somewhere else, but it’s difficult to design a concept that hugs the walls this way and have it come out well.”

3D Rendering of Aquarium
3D Rendering of Aquarium – Photo Credit: Mosaicist, Inc.

Aquatic Mosaic Art

Designing gorgeous seascape mosaics for the pool isn’t Corral’s only wheelhouse. He showed us other breathtaking examples including a mosaic tile aquarium he installed for one of his customers From the 3D rendering to the real-world product, it’s incredible the amount of detail that’s involved to achieve these types of optical illusions.

Aquatic Glass Mosaic Tile Art
Aquatic Glass Mosaic Tile Art – Photo Credit: Mosaicist, Inc.

To plan, design, and install all of the unique elements that will comprise a total scene, you can easily see how many individual mosaics are required to create effects of this nature. It’s an old world artisan skill and one that Corral has honed over his years in the tile industry.

“We’re always looking for that one client that wants us to do something we’ve never tried before,” said Corral, “We get excited when clients allow us to do something different. It gives our portfolio diversity and keeps us at the top of the industry.”

Listen to our entire conversation with Ray Corral of Mosaicist, Inc.

Photo Credits: Mosaicist, Inc.

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Pool Vinyl Liner Replacement – Give Your Pool a Makeover

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Give Your Pool a Makeover With a Vinyl Liner Replacement

Spring has sprung and that means it’s time to start thinking about opening your pool for the season. It’s also the ideal time to evaluate how your swimming pool’s interior is holding up. If you notice cracks, tearing, or separation occurring – it may be time to consider a vinyl liner replacement.

Replacing Your Swimming Pool’s Vinyl Liner

Choosing to replace your swimming pool’s liner provides an excellent opportunity to upgrade to a new pattern or thickness. During this timeframe, it’s advisable to consult with a pool contractor that can make recommendations on which liner brand to choose.

It makes sense that a thicker pool liner is able to withstand more impact. There are a wide variety of thick puncture-resistant liners on the market for homeowners to consider when replacing their liner.

Most swimming pool vinyl liners offer approximately 5-10 years of usage before they start to become faded or begin to deteriorate. Simple environmental stress coupled with the routine wear and tear of seasonal use can accelerate this process quicker in some areas of the country. Taking precautions to protect your swimming pool in the off-season with a pool cover, will certainly help prolong the life of your vinyl pool liner.

Vinyl Liner Replacement in Swimming Pool – Photo Credit: HB Pools

Signs Your Pool’s Vinyl Liner Needs To Be Replaced

Each year when you open your swimming pool, you should be checking for signs that your vinyl liner has successfully survived another winter. There are basically 6 surefire indications that your vinyl liner is on its way out.

The 6 Signs Your Swimming Pool’s Vinyl Liner Needs Replacement

  1. Fading in your pool’s vinyl liner
  2. Cracks and tears in the liner
  3. Wrinkling and deformities
  4. Problems with liner bead
  5. Discoloration and staining
  6. Water loss and leaks

How Long Do Vinyl Liners Last?

These days, the average shelf life of a vinyl pool liner is much shorter than in years past. “Vinyl pool liners used to last between 20 to 30 years in the average pool. Virtually everyone got more than 10 or 12 years even if you were terrible with your maintenance and water chemistry. The days of seeing this kind of longevity from a 30 mil inground pool liner are gone,” said Steven Goodale in an article he wrote on this very subject.

Vinyl Liner Replacement in Pool is so Satisfying to Watch - Time Lapse Video
Vinyl Liner Replacement in Pool – Photo Credit: River City Pool & Spa

The Realistic Life Span of a Vinyl Liner

These days, you’re lucky to see 7-10 years of life out of a liner on the high-end, but the reality is probably going to be closer to 5 years before it starts to look really aged.

What Causes a Swimming Pool’s Vinyl Liner To Deteriorate?

A major problem that homeowners encounter with their vinyl pool liner has to do with mother nature and chemically treating their swimming pool. The Sun’s UV rays along with the harsh chemicals used to sanitize the water itself can cause a liner to fade over time.

There are other factors that can cause a vinyl liner to deteriorate quicker than expected. Chlorine is corrosive and can effectively bleach your pool liner. Failing to manage the pH can also cause the water to become acidic enough to chemically siphon the very plasticizers that keep your vinyl liner pliable.

“Over more time, a liner in a low pH ‘acid bath’ will become brittle, fade in color and eventually begin to literally fall apart,” said Arnold in his article – 5 Ways to Destroy a Vinyl Pool Liner

One of the biggest problems that vinyl liner pool owners tend to encounter is their liner slipping out of the coping track. This is caused very simply by the liner losing its elasticity with age and use. While there are ways to put a vinyl liner back on its track, this is a sign to look for when evaluating whether or not to replace your liner altogether.

Old and damaged pool liner in need of replacement. Photo Credit: Pinterest

Swimming Pool Vinyl Liner Replacement

If you notice signs your vinyl liner needs replacement, the best advice is to schedule an estimate with a pool contractor that specializes in vinyl liner swimming pools. Once they’re able to ascertain that the liner truly does need to be replaced, they can place an order for a replacement.

Last season it was very difficult for consumers to get their hands on vinyl liners in a timely fashion. Many orders were delayed for months due to a wide variety of logistical delays and manufacturing shortages. This year, many of the same conditions prevail so it’s advisable that consumers get their orders in as early in the season as they can. Doing so will ensure their liner can be scheduled for installation as quickly as possible.

An Expected Cost of Owning a Vinyl Liner Pool

“As far as construction costs are concerned, vinyl liner pools are certainly the more economic option when compared to high-end materials like gunite pools.” said San Diego Pool Builder – Bar Zakheim, “However, replacing your pool’s vinyl liner still has a pretty hefty price tag associated with it. While this is an anticipated cost for vinyl liner pool owners, it still remains one of the main drawbacks of building a vinyl liner pool. It’s definitely something I warn folks about ahead of time if they are considering buying a vinyl liner pool.”

When considering replacing your swimming pool’s vinyl liner, the time to act is before summer begins. Once the summer starts it becomes extremely difficult to get your liner as manufacturers are often backlogged with existing orders to fulfill.

Ordering your liner in the off-season is the best advice to ensure that your pool is swim-ready with a new liner installed in time for the upcoming swim season. If you’re trying to get your hands on the perfect vinyl liner, you may want to check the resource list of pool liner manufacturers below.

Pool Liner Manufacturers

TARA

Swimming pool company Tara Manufacturing in AL is a leading provider of vinyl swimming pool liners and winter pool safety covers for inground swimming pools.

https://www.tarapools.com/

Loop-Loc

Known for Safety Pool Covers strong and tough enough to support an elephant. Loop-Loc also makes a wide range of luxury pool liners.

https://looploc.com/

Merlin Industries

Merlin Industries is a premier manufacturer of vinyl liners, safety covers, spa covers, steps, and safety fences.

https://www.merlinindustries.com/

Dover Vinyl Products

A leading manufacturer of pool liners and cover products. Dover Vinyl Products has been manufacturing vinyl liners in the USA since 1971.

https://www.doverpoolproducts.com/

Garrett Liners

Garrett Liners is the longest-established vinyl swimming pool liner manufacturer in the world and a leading manufacturer of inground and above-ground liners as well as safety covers.

https://www.garrettliners.com/

Precision Vinyl Corp

Since 1987 Precision Vinyl Corp has manufactured custom made 20 ml. vinyl pool liners, and a wide range of other vinyl products.

https://www.precisionvinylcorp.com/

GLI Pool Products

A Latham Pools brand, GLI Pool Products’ core offerings are inground and above-ground pool vinyl liners as well as custom pool safety covers.

http://www.glipoolproducts.com/

Cardinal Liners

Cardinal Liners has been making liners for 47 years, with a staff that has a combined 150 years of experience. Cardinal Systems, Inc. welcomed Pen Fabricators into the Cardinal family a number of years back.

http://www.cardinalliners.com/

McEwen Industries

McEwen Industries offers one of the finest selections of inground and above-ground vinyl liner patterns in the swimming pool industry. The company also manufactures an exclusive line of pool safety covers.

http://www.mcewenindustries.com/

Pocono Pool Products

Pocono Pools Products specializes in manufacturing inground and above-ground pool liners. The firm has been manufacturing quality vinyl liners since 1981.

https://www.poconopoolproducts.com/

Swimline Corp

Founded in 1971, Swimline is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of inground and above-ground pool liners as well as pool safety covers.

https://swimline.com/

Kayden Manufacturing, Inc.

Based in Paterson, NJ – Kayden Manufacturing, Inc. is a family-owned business and manufacturer of pool liners and pool bladders.

http://www.kaydenliners.com/

Pegasus Products

Pegasus Products is a family-run business based in Branchburg, NJ and a manufacturer of inground and above ground pool liners and pool safety covers.

https://pegasus-products.com/

Latham

The most well-known manufacturer of inground and above-ground vinyl pool liners and safety covers, Latham Pools has a number of brands including CoverLogix, CoverStar, GLI Pool Products, Kafko Pool Products, Plastimayd and others.

https://www.lathampool.com/

Featured Photo Credit: Inyo Pools

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Pools

National Pool Opening Day is April 30th

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National Pool Opening Day is April 30th

This year, National Pool Opening Day is April 30th and marks the official first day of the swim season across the country. Of course, not everyone opens their pool on the last Saturday of April. Many pools in the northeast will remain closed for a few more weeks. This weekend, however, is the ideal time to stock up on pool chemicals, supplies, or equipment for the summer season! From coast to coast homeowners are opening up their swimming pools and it’s an important time for pool companies as well.

Pool openings mark a critical point in the operational success of swimming pools. Failing to follow the right steps can cause costly damage. It is absolutely vital that homeowners in particular pay close attention to following the correct procedure when opening their inground or above-ground pool.

How Did National Pool Opening Day Get Started?

National Pool Opening Day comes on the last Saturday of April each year. Annually the day is celebrated to encourage pool owners to get their swimming pools ready for summer. The day itself was actually started back in 2016 by Leslie’s Pool Supply as a way to acknowledge the first swim day of the summer and get people thinking about cleaning their swimming pool.

We want to ensure that you start your swim season off the right way, here are some great resources you can use for making certain you open your pool correctly.

Resources For Opening Swimming Pools

Swim University

Swim University is a robust knowledge base and video tutorial library that teaches homeowners the basics of proper pool care and maintenance. Aside from taking an entertaining approach to education, host Matt Giovanisci provides practical and straightforward tips and hints. You’ll find all of the basic information one would need to learn about opening a swimming pool on SwimUniversity.com

Learn how to open your pool on Swim University

Leslie’s Pool Supplies

Leslie’s Pool Supplies has everything you’ll need in terms of chemicals and maintenance equipment. They can also provide great advice in-store about any products you’ll need for opening your swimming pool. With over 950 stores around the country, it isn’t very hard to find a Leslie’s near you. In fact, if you bring them a water sample from your pool, they’ll tell you exactly what chemicals you need to purchase in order to balance your water chemistry. An important resource for homeowners, and a great way to get exactly what you need for opening your pool correctly.

Purchase all the chemicals and supplies you need to open your pool from Leslie’s Pool Supply

Pool Contractor

If you have concerns or any misgivings about how to open your swimming pool yourself, the best advice is to hire a professional pool contractor. With over 35,000 vetted pool service technicians in their directory, they provide a comprehensive list of pool builders and pool service companies around the nation. Whether you need to open your swimming pool, or have basic repairs or upgrades that need to be made; you’re sure to find a top-notch service provider in their directory.

Find a pool service company to open your swimming pool on Pool Contractor

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