Betz Pools Blog

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To get a quality concrete pool, you need to start with a quality pool shell.

So how can you be sure that’s what you’re getting?

The quick answer:

One of the most important variables to look for in a quality concrete pool shell is the calibre of its concrete.

The very best concrete is made using the Dry Gunite process. It is superior to concrete made using shotcrete wet mix, which is pre-mixed in a factory.

It is also important to consider the quality and quantity of the reinforcing steel used to stabilize the pool wall. Betz uses more than other builders.

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A stable pool wall is critical, but plumbing and other components greatly contribute to the quality of a concrete pool.

The quick answer:

From professional design to meticulous plumbing layout and hydraulics to industry-leading features to ironclad warrantees, Betz has worked hard to earn its admirable reputation for quality in concrete pools.

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Today’s array of interior finishes can make it tough to figure out which one is best for you.

The quick answer

There are more choices in concrete finishes today than ever before, and they are all available in an assortment of colours and textures:

  • smooth plaster (under trade names such as Marbelite or Armourcoat)
  • smooth plaster infused with fragments of quartz, seashells and/or glass beads (such as AmorQuartz)
  • exposed aggregates like natural rock, seashells and/or glass beads (such as PebbleTec or DiamondBrite)

The best choice for you will depend on the cost weighed against the aesthetics, surface feel and durability. The cost range is significant and so are the benefits.

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You likely know that Betz is the go-to builder for concrete pools. But did you know that Betz also builds the best vinyl pools available?

So what should you look for in a vinyl pool? And how does Betz do it better?

The quick answer

Superior customization: We have a special technique to ensure liners fit perfectly every time regardless of the shape and size of your pool. So our ability to customize not only vinyl pools, but also pool stairs, hot tubs and tanning shelves, is virtually unlimited.

Superior construction techniques: Our attention to excellence includes a process to create the strongest pool wall and patio support you can get on a vinyl pool.

Superior pool equipment: We don’t just stick to one pool equipment supplier, we shop around and get the best of the best from the leading suppliers.

Superior warranty: We are the only builder confident enough in the quality of our vinyl pools to offer a five-year fully comprehensive warranty.

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One of the most critical steps when you hire a pool builder is to ensure that the employees working on your property are professional, safe and properly certified.

The quick answer:

When the pool company you hire cares about employee safety training and certifications it doesn’t just benefit those employees:

  • proper employee certification protects you from potential liability while work is being done on your property
  • a well-trained employee does a better job
  • companies that treat their employees well and invest in employee training tend to retain those employees, and the expertise they develop
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The quick answer:

Want to repair or update your pool? Add on some cool features? Switch up your pool's shape?

Here's what's trending in pool renovations today:

1) Water features
2) Backyard landscaping including knee walls, patios, decks, roof structures, cabanas, sprinkler systems, and night lighting
3) Auto-levellers
4) Automatic pool cleaners
5) Automatic covers
6) Whirlpools
7) Diving rocks

Whatever you decide to do, do it with a reputable company that knows the materials and methods needed to ensure the work withstands all seasons.

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The quick answer

1) Hire someone who knows what they're doing

2) Find out what's out there

3) Make your wish list

4) Take a look at real-life examples

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So you want to turn your backyard into a leisure and entertainment oasis. Is it better to hire one contractor to oversee the whole project? Or does it make sense to do your own research and hire an array of trades yourself to save on costs?

The quick answer:

This one is a no-brainer.

Avoid the headaches of piecemeal project management. Hire one company with lots of capacity and experience to manage your backyard project. You’ll be surprised at the many advantages of doing that.

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An interview with Marvin Betz, President, Betz Pools

Jolting to attention in the driver's seat of your car while barrelling down Highway 401 is without a doubt one of the worst ways you can wake up.

In 1973, Marvin Betz was running Betz Pools on his own, trying to keep up with the demand for swimming pools by working 14-hour days during the week and going on sales calls at night and on Saturdays and Sundays.

"It turned out that falling asleep was my wake-up call," Marvin says. "My business was growing like crazy and I just wasn't hiring to keep up with the demand. The very next morning I hired my first sales person."

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The quick answer

Define how you want to use your pool: Figure out what you want to do with your pool. Will it be a focal point for relaxation, family fun, entertaining colleagues? Once you decide how you'll use your pool then broaden your vision to incorporate future options such as spas, outdoor kitchens and shade structures. Even if you won't be installing these features right away, it's prudent to make room for them in your original design. (See Tips 1 & 2)

Know what you're up against: Familiarize yourself with the unique properties of your yard plus any local bylaws or restrictions that could affect your plans. You'll want to account for these factors in your original design so there won't be any surprises later. (See Tips 3 & 4)

Make it real: Streamline your choices by setting up a budget and sketching out some possible layouts. (See Tips 5 & 6)

Other considerations: Learn about pool options (e.g., concrete, vinyl, fibreglass) along with materials for decking, walkways and other surrounding surfaces. Privacy and landscaping considerations will also affect your plans. (See Tips 7, 8, 9 & 10)

Whatever vision you have and whatever property restrictions you're facing, there's a perfect pool design waiting for you. Looking for inspiration? Check out these awesome swimming pool designs.

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The quick answer

Reputation – look for word-of-mouth recommendations, read through online forums and check contractor websites for testimonials. Get at least three references you can check from each potential contractor.

Experience – look for an owner-managed company that has been in business for a long time and retains long-term and well-trained staff.

Guarantees – ask to see proof of general liability insurance, workers' compensation and written warranties.

Realistic pricing – be wary of very high or very low bids or demands for large upfront payments.

Aim to hire a well-established, qualified, competitively-priced contractor with a great reputation. 

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The quick answer

For this topic, there really is no quick answer, but for a simple summary consider the following:

Salt water systems for pools and spas are broadly misunderstood, sadly even within the industry, and the marketplace is full of misinformation.

Beware of claims that salt water pools are “natural” and free of chemicals. This is not true.

Beware of the promise that a salt water pool will require “less work.” It sounds great, but also is not true.

Anyone who is considering switching to a salt water system should read this article in its entirety and maybe even do additional research on their own before making a final decision.

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The quick answer

It's important to keep your pool clean and sanitized — check out my last post for more information on that.

Testing and balancing your pool water should be done weekly or as needed after events like heavy use or windstorms. The main components you'll be testing for and then balancing are sanitizer (chlorine or bromine), total alkalinity and pH.

New pool owners are encouraged to have their water tested regularly by a pool professional. Most pool companies provide this as a free service.

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The quick answer

DAILY — check skimmer baskets and empty as needed

WEEKLY or TWICE-WEEKLY — clean (skim surface, brush walls and floor, vacuum)

WEEKLY — add sanitizer (chlorine or bromine)

WEEKLY — test and balance water for sanitizer (chlorine or bromine), total alkalinity and pH

New pool owners are encouraged to have their water tested regularly by a pool professional. Most pool companies provide this as a free service.

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The quick answer

Concrete: For a top-of-the-line custom designed pool with all the bells and whistles, you want concrete. With proper maintenance, including interior resurfacing every 20 to 25 years, a good quality concrete pool will have an unlimited lifespan.

Vinyl: Vinyl is an affordable alternative to concrete that can be partially customized to deliver a stunning upgrade to any property. Vinyl liners should be replaced every eight to 15 years. Vinyl pools have a 25 to 30 year lifespan.

Fibreglass: Fibreglass pools cost a little more than vinyl pools and are made from a mould, which means they cannot be customized. A fibreglass pool's lifespan, and the amount of resurfacing it requires, will be highly dependent on its quality.

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