Ah, Spring is in the air! Well in some parts of the country anyway! For those of you who are looking to replace your current in ground swimming pool liner, or those of you planning a new swimming pool construction project, choosing a liner fabricator should include some key considerations:
- The fit and finish the fabricator is known for. Different fabricators design and manufacture liners differently. It is important that the liner you purchase is designed specifically to fit your pool. Certain fabricators design liners small so they "stretch" to fit. A small amount of "stretch" is normal in any liner design and is OK but a liner designed to rely on a large amount of stretch sometimes called a "parachute cut" is a recipe for another new liner sooner than you should need to. It is important to work with a knowledgeable installer as well. Better measurements provided by the installer to the fabricator results in a better fitting liner. You know what they say... "Measure twice, cut once!"
- The way a liner is constructed shows if it is a quality liner. No pool liner can be made without seams. A fabricator should strive to have as few seams as possible. The mathematics and shape of your swimming pool will determine how many seams it has, so don't think that because you have more seams than someone else you know does, that you have a bad liner. It is important that the seams of your liner have proper feel and overlap. This is where an experienced liner shop will shine. There should be little if no need to trim any of the seams after welding them together. This comes from a good crew putting your liner together at the factory. Liners with large flaps of vinyl hanging past the weld are not well assembled. Although this material is behind the liner and may not be visible from inside the pool, it is an indication that not enough time and care was spent aligning the edges of the pieces and putting the liner together.
- Patterns are important. A good liner fabricator spends time and works with the material suppliers to design patterns that combine years of tried and true designs along with new design trends in interior and backyard designs. Researching pattern designs with pool owners and liner installers before putting ink to vinyl is key. If you are having to look through tons of brochures to find something you like, then maybe you don't have the right brochures in front of you.
- Research and ask questions. What does the industry say about the product or service offered by the fabricator. A few fabricators have answered a need in the marketplace for something different. 27 mil. liner thickness has been around for years and offered somewhat of an upgrade when it came to something a little thicker or stronger, now a new vinyl is available which features an upgraded vinyl polymer and better printing inks. This liner material is more chemical resistant, will look better longer and can withstand the punishment of the sun better.
At Merlin Industries, Inc. we take pride in our fit, finish and pattern selection. We offer over 36 different pattern choices including four patterns in our Aqua-Max high molecular weight polymer vinyl. We provide measure and installation training to our independent installers and dealers. Visit our website at www.merlinindustries.com.