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Pool Renovations: The Marriage of Engineering and Design

Pool builders who want to practice renovations and remodeling of old pools take on an enormous challenge that, if not answered, will merely product the same unsatisfactory results in the new version. The two big-picture questions that must be answered before embarking on a pool renovation or remodel are how and why.

The how involves the more technical aspects of the project: the condition of the current shell, what created the existing problems, if it is possible to add new features like a vanishing edge or a spa, and whether the vessel can even survive the repairs.

The why involves the design and true purpose of the renovation. When clients ask for a pool remodel, they already know what they don’t like about their current pool. It is your responsibility as the pool contractor to ensure the remodel is, in fact, an improvement over the original. Every pool deserves thoughtful design, but the design of a remodel must truly be intentional.


The most basic type of renovation is a materials-only flip. The pool owner wants to change the tile, coping, or interior finish. This type of renovation can be done with sub-contractors and is generally straightforward. However, one common incorrect belief is that you can change out one of these three items without touching the other two. Although you can sometimes change the interior finish without changing the tile or coping, most of the materials-only flips require all three to be changed. It is important to let the client know before you even begin on a materials-only flip that it is a long process and will probably require more work than they originally anticipated. The second, more challenging type of renovation is correcting physical defects, such as leaks.


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