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  • Writer's pictureMatt Daly

The Best Pool Companies in Richmond, Virginia

At Water and Earth, we make it our priority to work with the best in the business. From patios to pergolas our designs are only as good as the teams that help bring them to life. So when it comes to building and installing great inground swimming pools, we are equally committed to working with the best pool companies in Richmond, VA.

Before we jump into our list of the most prominent pool builders in the Richmond area, consider this note. Whether you're working with a design company like us, or looking for a single company to design and execute your pool installation, you should first have a basic idea of what type of swimming pool you want to install in your outdoor space.

Different swimming pool contractors specialize in different types of builds. So understanding the style of pool construction you will allow this list to better serve you. If you're thinking about installing an inground swimming pool in your backyard, there are three main types of swimming pools to consider: Concrete/gunite, vinyl, or fiberglass.

Each have their benefits and drawbacks. Getting a company who is well versed in the type of pool you want is paramount to a finished product you love. That being said, let's get into it.

Gunite/Concrete Pools

Most Water and Earth pool designs are installed as gunite or concrete inground pools.

What is a gunite swimming pool?

Gunite is a specialized concrete blend consisting of sand, cement and water. To build a gunite pool, a hole is first dug, and a steel cage known as a rebar is installed to help give the pool its shape. Then, gunite is applied through a high pressure hose and let it cure until it becomes rock hard. After that, plaster, tile, and coping work is done, bringing the final design to life.

Gunite Swimming Pool Builders in Richmond, VA

Douglas Aquatics is one of the most prominent swimming pool companies operating in Richmond, VA. For more than 50 years, Doug Salvia has grown his company from a small building operation to a powerhouse company that not only handles swimming pool constructions, but pool renovation, pool maintenance, and a variety of commercial pool operations.

They are highly regarded by their customers, as well as by the industry at large. We can personally sing the praises of Douglas Aquatics, as Water and Earth has worked closely with their team to realize several of our designs in the Richmond area. Whether you're looking to get your dream pool installed, or just need a professional to make a few well-informed repairs, we stand behind their quality of service and product.

This company specializes in concrete pools, and is well known in the area for their work in the commercial sector. Very few companies here will perform inground pool installation in a commercial capacity, but Douglas Aquatics does, and they do it very well. Some of their most notable work has been done on some of the newly renovated tobacco buildings in the area, and they are the go to in Richmond for luxury commercial pools.

Gunite pool designed by Water and Earth Landscape Design in Richmond, VA and built by Douglas Aquatics.
Gunite pool built by Douglas Aquatics for one of our outdoor living spaces

Plunge pool in Richmond Virginia designed by Water and Earth Landscape Design and built by Douglas Aquatics.
Infinity edge plunge pool built by Douglas Aquatics for our James River Watch outdoor space.

Plunge pool in The Fan built by Douglas Aquatics
Plunge pool in The Fan built by Douglas Aquatics

Another one of our go-to contacts, Ultimate pools has been serving Richmond, Virginia for more than 30 years. Founded in 1991, Steve Jowers, his son Travis now operates the business after his father's retirement. We've seen first hand how they tackle every pool construction, renovation project, or maintenance task with the detail it takes to be at the top of the industry. We have to trust the companies that we work with, and Ultimate Pools has consistently proved that they are some of the best in the business.

Neither Ultimate pools, or Douglas work outside of the swimming pool realm, and both specialize in gunite builds. This focus allows them to put their all behind their craft. If you have an existing pool, they also offer maintenance and renovation services, and we're happy to stand behind their work.

Backyard spa designed by Water and Earth Landscape Design and built by Ultimate Pools in Richmond, VA
Gunite spa built by Ultimate Pools for one of outdoor living spaces in Richmond, VA

Swimming pool designed by Water and Earth Landscape Design built by Ultimate Pools in Henrico Virginia
Gunite pool built by Ultimate Pools in Henrico for one of our design projects

Manakin Sabot backyard design by Water and Earth Landscape Design. Gunite pool built by Ultimate Pools.
Gunite pool and spa built by Ultimate Pools for our Manakin Rd. design.

Rounding out the top three gunite pool builders in Richmond is JoPa. JoPa also specializes in concrete swimming pool construction and pool installation. While we haven't worked directly with JoPa, they've been working in Richmond since 1958 and have created a recognizable name for themselves.

Like the companies above, they started in pool installation and construction but have since expanded to include a retail operation, located on Broad St in Richmond.

Next, we'd like to give a notable mention to a newer name in the gunite pool game. Though Exquisite Pools is a newer company, their owner comes fully backed by more than 40 years of experience.

We love that this is a Black-Owned business, something that Richmond, Virginia is sorely lacking in the construction space. They are located in Rockville, Virginia, and offer services ranging from new pool construction to full renovation.

Finishing the concrete category is Anthony and Sylvan. Of all of the companies listed here that specialize in concrete and gunite, this name may be the most familiar. And that's because they are the largest. They undoubtedly have one of the largest reaches of all the Richmond pool builders on this list, but unlike the above companies, they are not locally based in Richmond. This presents a problem.

Unlike most contractors who travel from lower priced areas to do work in a more expensive location, Anthony and Sylvan does the opposite, coming from pricier areas to more affordable locales to do work--and their high prices come with them.

So while they may have a wide net and a large reach, we still believe a Richmond based company is best for Richmond based jobs.

Vinyl Pools

Vinyl pools are the second most prominent type of inground pool installations. Vinyl pools are created by stretching a custom vinyl liner sheet to create the pool structure. This liner locks at the top edge and into a track on the bottom of the pool coping.

Vinyl pools take less time to install and are lighter on engineering, but they aren't as durable or versatile as gunite constructions. Still, if you're going ahead with a inground vinyl pool, it's important to hire a company that knows what they're doing.

The Best Inground Vinyl Pool Builders

First on the list is Pla Mor pools. This company has been doing vinyl pool construction in Richmond since 1968. Pla Mor specializes in vinyl swimming pool service, but also sells hot tubs and spas. They are well reviewed, and offer a wide variety of services including vinyl replacement, renovations, and work on automatic pool covers.

Swimming pool construction in Glen Allen, Virginia
Pla More pool installed on one of our design projects

Pleasure pools has been working in Richmond and the surrounding areas since 1977. Their founder, Ronald F. Bultje worked previously constructing drain fields and installing septic tanks. From there, starting a pool company seemed like a natural transition. With a background in heavy equipment, Pleasure Pool customers have left largely positive reviews, citing both their satisfaction with the finished project, and the quality of the overall work.

Finishing out this category is Swim N Pools. Based out of Chester, Virginia, Swim N Pools has been providing inground and above ground pool services to the Richmond area for years. Though they specialize in vinyl and inground services, they also create above ground pool solutions, as well as offer hot tub and spa products. Like most companies on this list, Swim N Pools has the resources and equipment to help service and maintain your pool throughout the year.

Fiberglass Pools

What is a Fiberglass Pool?

Last but not least, let's talk about fiberglass pools. Unlike concrete or vinyl, inground pools in this style are somewhat limited in their design options. This is because of the way they are made and installed. Unlike gunite or vinyl, which take their shape while being installed, a fiberglass pool has a predetermined shape that is lowered into the ground. You could almost think of the process as lowering a finished bathtub mold into your outdoor space.

From there, most companies will finish the yard space with a concrete pool deck and coping. The pool building process can be stressful, and fiberglass inground pools remove some of the stressful legwork if you aren't interested in spending the time and fronting the cost of a custom design. Still, you need to make sure you hire a pool installer that knows what they're doing.

If you're looking for a local company to do a quality fiberglass pool installation, Billy's Pools is a good place to start. They offer several different styles and designs, ranging from more modern, angular swimming pool models to freeform designs. Though we haven't worked with Billy's directly, they maintain a consistently high reputation among online reviews.

Aquatic Concepts

Aquatic Concepts proudly identifies themselves as experts in fiberglass models. No matter what kind of new pool you choose, it's less stressful for you as the customer to rest assured knowing the company you've chosen specializes in that service.

This company claims to take on fewer projects at a time, which can be a good thing. The more projects a company is handling at a time, the higher the chance that your backyard will get less specialized attention. It is important to note that Aquatic Concepts is newer to the industry, and brings with it less of an online footprint, so finding a word of mouth contact to ask about the process may be helpful.

Landscape Companies That Install Inground Swimming Pools

Last but not least, we thought we would round out this list by mentioning some non-pool specific companies. There are several companies in Richmond, VA offering both full landscape design services, as well as pool installation. If you're looking to cut some time and communication work out of building your dream backyard, this can be a good way to go.

While Water and Earth is a design only firm, we understand the appeal in working with a one-stop shop. Both Outdoor Dreams and Commonwealth Curb Appeal come with a great industry reputation that we can vouch for. Both of these companies will take you from design to finished product and leave you with an excellent backyard living space.

At the end of the day, whether you're looking to do a custom gunite installation, or are looking for a more affordable fiberglass model, we want you to work with the best company for the job. While we haven't worked with every company on this list, we want to be the first to point others in the right direction, even if that direction isn't Water and Earth. Several of these companies have installed pools for us personally, and others we've never worked with, but all are worth consideration depending on your individual project or design.

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