Over the next few months I’ll be expanding my blog as well as a new blog and website I’m starting that covers Swimming Pool Builders Raleigh. I plan to contact and review every popular pool builder in the Raleigh area that appears high up in the rankings of Google. I will also visit recent and current pool builds and talk to each builder and business to see how they handle me, problems, the community, etc.

I’ve recently been looking at Backyard Oasis Pools in Raleigh and I’ll be covering more on them in the coming weeks. This company is a premier pool builder in the area and they handle customer service amazingly well. I called yesterday and complained about some different things I didn’t believe in or understand (I acted that way anyway) and they handled the call great. They were polite, never rushed and seemed to want to stay on the phone with me until I calmed down.

I’ve also visited some pools this company made and I would highly recommend anyone check them out if your interested in a custom swimming pool. Again, I DO NOT get paid by these companies and I do all these reviews and write ups on my own.  =)


Are you thinking about getting a new pool installed? Make sure you check out Backyard Oasis Pools in Raleigh. Simply click my link or call them at 919-556-7227

Rising Sun Pools usually does a pretty good job handling customers, but over the last few years it seems customer service is going down hill a bit. Take for instance the Garner location that’s pictured below. My wife went in the other day to get some salt for our pool and 8 people were in line waiting for help, my wife ended up waiting 20 minutes before she sent me a txt saying she had to leave. I told her “It’s ok I’ll go down and grab the salt in a few days” because I didn’t want her waiting any longer.

Getting a few bags of salt should take a few minutes at most, but the long wait times my wife and I had shouldn’t happen in retail in my opinion. I went back the following week and ended up waiting over 45 minutes for salt. While I understand it’s the summer months and everyone is opening their pools they should hire enough people to help everyone quickly.

I did Email Tara who is one of the owners at Rising Sun Pools and she told me she needed more staff, that the current staff didn’t work out and quit. Maybe paying staff a higher rate would keep them around longer? All I know is nobody in their right mind should need to wait 45 minutes for a few bags of salt. Another woman in line told me she had been waiting almost 25 minutes and she seemed very upset. Either way you might want to visit your local Walmart or another pool supply store if you need FAST help during the summer months.

UPDATE: After I posted this “opinion” about the problem with the store and wait times I was contacted by Tara (one of the owners of Rising Sun)……….  I was told my business was no longer welcomed at Rising Sun Pools. So now my entire family is hunting for a new pool business that will be happy to help us. 

rising sun pools

Rising Sun Pools Review

Posted: August 15, 2010 in Contractors

Rising Sun Pools Review – August 8, 2010

I’m currently in the process of installing my in ground pool & I selected Rising Sun Pools in Raleigh, NC to do the install. I’m not paid by this business and I was not asked to write this review…….. I’m simply documenting the entire process to help other families in Raleigh and the Triangle who are thinking of installing a new pool. I’ll take you through the entire process and tell you everything I experienced with the company and their workers. So take some time and start reading and enjoy the images and information.

Please keep in mind that I always contact 6 – 12 companies before I do any type of work. I get estimates, read online reviews, check the BBB for complaints and then compare all the information before I sign anything. I hope my months of research will do you some good.

Now let’s get started with my Rising Sun Pools Review.  =)

My Rising Sun Pools Review starts off with me removing trees from my yard. I had about 8 different estimates for this project and Leaf & Limb Tree Service had the best estimate and customer reviews. It took them a day to remove the trees and they mulched them back on the yard instead of hauling anything off. I hired a few guys off CraigsList to rake up the ground cover and move it deep into the woods the following week. Click Here for my full Rising Sun Pools Review.

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Rising Sun Pools would be out next week so it was time for the fence. Every pool in North Carolina needs a fence by law. When they come out to inspect your pool your required to have a fence, locked fence doors and a back door alarm on your home. We got our fence installed about three weeks before the pool install started, All American Fence did the install for us……. they were by far the best company with the best price. It took about 3 weeks for the fence product to arrive once we ordered it. The install process takes about a week if it doesn’t rain any. We are very satisfied with the fence and have had many compliments.

Once the fence was installed we wanted to put in some Evergreen trees for privacy. I priced these out for 3 weeks and found prices from $146 – $790 (installed). The best price I found was from a local company called Lee’s Produce and Garden Center Clayton, NC. They provided us with 12 foot trees and did the full install in one day. Once installed I had to water every 4 days for about a month. It takes a good three hours to water these size trees when you put 16 in the ground.

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You need to start looking around online at other pools. Collect a list of pictures you like so you can talk to your installer and tell them what you want to do. Remember that you don’t have to do it all at once, your installer should be able to tell you what can wait until later. We plan to install a pool house, outside shower, kitchen, waterslide & more next year. Here are some of the things you need to decide.

- Do you want a fiberglass, vinyl or concrete pool?
- What type of pool patio do you want? Brushed concrete, Stamped concrete, Pavers, Stone, Etc
- Do you want a diving board, slide, seats in the deep end, salt water, colored lights, heater
- What kind of landscaping do you want?
- Do you want pool lights? How many?
- Patio Furniture: Always Use Fabric Made by Sunbrella

Current Pool Prices for North Carolina (Updated After Reading a Comment)
Concrete Pools = Highest Prices
Fiberglass Pools = In the Middle
Vinyl Pools = Lowest Price

Make sure you check EVERYTHING a contractor offers in his pool package. Do NOT rush this choice!

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When I first contacted Rising Sun Pools I sent an Email off to them via their website and Veronica Gadbois Emailed me back with some basic info. I setup an appointment to talk to their sales person, Josh Gadbois who actually comes out to your house. I told Josh I had done some research and what I wanted. He told me how the install process worked and said they could work everything out for me. I gave them a down payment to get my actual install date locked in for September 21st. If you don’t give them the small down payment you can’t get a guaranteed install date for your pool.

Now that we are actually into week 6 of the install I do really wish Rising Sun would do the initial sales meeting a little different. After continuing my research I have found BETTER items and MORE I could have done to the pool to make it better. I wasn’t really presented with these ideas at the time of the sale so I wasn’t aware of them. However, If I would have been told I would have spent the extra money and purchased/changed some items, more on this later.

Rising Sun Pools had to push the install date back a few days which was fine. When they showed up they brought in a back hoe and some guys to put the pool together. The dig took about three hours and they had everything setup to put the pool walls into the ground. Rising Sun Pool staff put all the walls in and installed the plumbing. They came back on DAY TWO and put some concrete around the plumbing and back walls. Then they back filed the pool with dirt. They also installed the pool pump, water lines, salt water system, etc. So in TWO days the basic install was done.

NOTE: If they hit rocks on the dig or ground water it will cost you more money to fix. They also charge to haul the extra dirt away, the nice thing is I needed the dirt and the guys put it in my back yard by the tree line I recently cleared.

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Rising Sun Pools Review
Now that your pool has to sit for 3 or 4 weeks you can get the electricity installed. I highly suggest you use the recommended contractor Rising Sun suggest – Harte Electric -Click Here.

Rising Suns installer will give you a general estimate for this at around $1500 – $1800 I believe. Remember, that this is an EXTRA cost outside your pool installation cost. Also because your acting as your own contractor you can hire any electrician you want, but they need to know what they are doing as this has to be inspected by the city.

Mr Harte came out and talked to me about my pool install. I let him know of my future plans for a pool house, slide & waterfall. I also told him about some issues I had with my home electricity so he could fix those as well. I’m a nut during Christmas and my power always goes out due to my Christmas decorations so I had him install some new circuits and plugs in the front of our home. I also had him change the location of a reset switch from under the home to the outside wall. We also spoke about doing patio lights, tree lights, landscape lights and more. They can do it all and their workers are VERY polite and do a great job.

Once your happy with the price and what you need done the electricians will come out to your home. They start by digging a huge trench from your current electrical box on the side of your home to your pool. They then run the electrical wiring and pipes in the ground. Then they run a copper ground wire around the pool and attach it to the pool in 4 places. They also ground your diving board stand and pool rails, this keeps you from getting shocked.  =) Once that’s complete they leave everything as is and leave for the day because the city inspector has to come out and pass the install.

If the install passes (mine did) they will come back out a few days later and back fill the holes. They also connect your pool command model (the brain), your pumps, filter, plugs, etc. After that is complete you get to sit and wait again for the patio deck guys.

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Last night around 3am a huge thunderstorm rolled through and dumped about 4 inches of water on us. You can see from the pictures the dirt sure did settle more or maybe wash away, lol. The actual pipes that come up out of the ground to my pumps are twisted a bit, they don’t line up anymore. The inside of the pool floor also looks a little rough. I also have a good 4 feet of water in the deep end. I’m going to Email Jon from Rising Sun Pools right now and see what he says about what needs to be fixed, etc.

So the bottom of the pool being a little messed up from the rain and the other issues I had are no problem from what they tell me. Here is the response I got back from Rising Sun Pools.

“The bottom is formed out of vermiculite. It is a pliable material that hardens over time and is very easily re-troweled and smoothed out before the liner goes in. The day of the liner install they will complete any bottom repairs that are needed. No worries we deal with it all the time.”  They also told me all the other issues are normal and will be fixed by final installation.

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Rising Sun Pools came out today to do pressure testing, drainage for the pool and final connections for my pumps. First the water lines were tested for leaks. Basically they hook up a small device to each line and build up pressure, the gauge will get to 15pounds and then they watch to see if it stays at 15 or slowly losses pressure to 0. If the pressure goes down you have a leak and they need to redo that line if the pressure stays up your ok. All my pipes checked out and we didn’t have any leaks.  *claps*

The swimming pool needs to drain if it gets to much water from rain. So Rising Sun Pools attached a drain line to the top of the pool in the deep end. If the water reaches the drain it will run out and decrease the water level.

Finally they finished hooking up all my pipes, pumps, filters, etc. You can see my before and after pictures. It shows what the pipes looked like before and after. Once they were finished they left for the day. Now we wait until Wednesday for the patio and rock install.

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Rain, Rain & More Rain!

Posted: August 8, 2010 in swimming pools

It’s been raining like crazy all week and you can really see where the water sits on my property. The bad news is all the water currently goes right around my swimming pool pumps and electrical units. I hope when we do the patio they can get all this graded so the water doesn’t stand anymore. I posted this section and the pictures so we can compare before and after images once the pool is finished.

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This is a pretty big update, I’m going to cover about a weeks time frame here. Tara (the owner) of Rising Sun Pools called me after about 4 weeks time and asked how everything was going. She checked to see if I had everything setup for the patio, if I was happy with what had been done so far, etc.

A few days later three guys came out and brought our Heat Pump. We decided to use a heat pump for the pool so we could extend our swimming time to the end of October and open around the end of March. This was the best thing to use for us because we don’t have natural gas lines in our neighborhood and I didn’t want to haul in a huge gas tank. If we did have natural gas I would have select a gas heater due to it’s ability to heat faster. You can see in the pictures below the install and the unit as it was brought in. Once the heater was installed the workers drained the pool water out using a small pump and they dug a few more holes for drainage and water for my waterfalls. They also brought out the two laminars for the install, but these won’t go in the ground until the patio and rock wall is finished. If your not sure what laminars are check out the first image below, they are the lighted stream of water you see going up and into the pool.

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Stone Boulders

Posted: August 6, 2010 in swimming pools

My wife and I decided to install stone boulders on the back of the swimming pool. We looked at about 1000 pool pictures and I really think the stone with nice landscaping behind it will really set the pool off. We plan to have the stones built up about 3 – 4 feet with three waterfalls coming off the stone into the pool. We will place the two jet laminars (streams of water with light) behind the stones and have them coming over the waterfall and into the pool. Here is a quick look at one of the images we liked for the boulder waterfall. The rear will be built up with dirt so we can place plants, etc behind the boulders.

So once we decided on exactly what we wanted (this may change more than 100 times during the pool install process) we talked to lots of people to find the right company to handle the job, more on that after this post. The stones came in on the huge 18 wheeler this week with 38 tons (yes that’s crazy) of rock. One guy unloaded it all and put it into the backyard in about 30 minutes.

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Swimming Pool Status – Updated – Jan 14, 2011
As of  today we have come a long ways from my last post at the bottom of this blog. Rising Sun Pools, Harte Electric and Capital City Curb & Gutter have done a ton of work over the past 24 weeks. I plan to update the rest of the blog with images, daily work progress, etc ASAP. For now you can see my current swimming pool status pictures below and check out what were doing next.

STATUS: Pool Liner Installed, Water brought in and heated already (brought in by truck & currently at 88F), 8 person Spa already setup and wired, Some flowers installed already (by me), Patio and rock wall complete (except for final sealing of patio), lights and laminars working, rock wall lights installed. Pool has been closed for the winter, pumps still come on when it’s freezing outside, pool is NOT covered. Concrete and rear rocks REMOVED to fix a leak. The leak was caused when a concrete beam hole was dug and the guys hit a pipe. This was really not a big deal and could happen to anyone, but they caught it and fixed it.

TODO LIST: Seal concrete for the second time, install diving board, put concrete back where leak was fixed, replace rock wall, replace top left rock on rock wall with flat rock for diving, put tree lights in behind pool, install boulder wall lighting, put down concrete grip, back-fill in front of the new wall with dirt, lay out sod to stop mud issues, fill in dirt behind rock wall, run waterfalls on the rocks (we are doing two large waterfalls), plant landscaping, build a 12 foot fireplace with wood holder and seating for eight people.

THIS LEAK HAS BEEN FIXED: We found out a pipe in the deep end has a leak (yes that is REALLY bad news) so Rising Sun Pools has to come in and coordinate with Darren over at Capital City to see if they can dig under my 38 tons of rocks and repair the leak. If they can’t repair the leak that way they have to remove the boulders, remove the concrete and then repair it. This was a pool install issue with dirt settling so I was told, it was not a concrete issue. I’ll get more information about this and update later with images and video of the fix. We are swimming and enjoying the pool now so the fix won’t take place until we close down the pool when it finally gets cold outside.

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WARNING: The pool deck design is one of the hardest decisions to make when deciding on all your pool options. Please do as much research on this and make sure you know what you want. Once this is done it’s going to be impossible to change without spending a ton of money and time.

Some Good Information
What Kind of Material to Use for Your Pool Deck
Gallery of Pool Decks
Luxury Swimming Pools
Master Pool Guild Gallery

When you install a pool from Rising Sun Pools they give you a contract list of people they work with. So, to be clear, when you purchase the swimming pool YOU will still have to find your own contractors and pay extra money for electrical, patio deck, gas lines, brick work, grading, landscaping, decking, fencing, etc. Now it was my turn to find someone to do our patio as that was the next step in my pool install.

First we had to decide what we wanted to do with the pool. I didn’t want basic concrete as it looks to plain in my opinion. However, this is a great way to go if you want to get your pool installed quick and pay the least amount of cash for a patio. My wife and I looked over a ton of pictures and decided we wanted to do a stamp concrete design. We want to do a dark edge around the pool with a lighter stamp color like the images below.

Once we were sure of what we wanted I had to find a contractor. As usual I called about 8 – 12 different companies and got estimates from them all. Some of these guys simply came out, looked for 5 minutes and left due to lack of experience in doing the rock wall and waterfalls. I had one crew come out that talked so loud the neighbors three homes down could hear them. I’m not sure why they had to scream the entire time they talked but it was really bad news, I didn’t use this company.  =) A few other people came out and were nice and had experience but their prices were so outrageous I couldn’t use them.

So who did we finally decide to use? We actually went with the Rising Sun Pools suggested contractor who is Capital City Curb & Gutter. I went out during my bidding process and got to meet Darren (the owner) and speak to him about ideas, etc. He is a very nice guy and this company does a ton of work on pools all year long. He told me they could do the rock wall, waterfall, grading, etc and had no problems doing any of the work we needed done. He also had a very good price for everything I wanted to get done. Here is his actual website with portfolio, information, etc.

Click Here to Visit Capital City Curb & Gutter

They came out yesterday and graded out around the pool and got everything ready so they can pour the concrete next week. We also decided to put in a rock bench type seating area to help keep the water flow away from the pool. More on that later when they get started.

The only problem I had with this company was the lack of communication at times. They are actually so busy (working from 4am until 11pm some days) that it’s very hard to get a call from them sometimes. Also on a few days they were going to show up to work and they never came or called. This really won’t effect you in most cases as you may be at your normal job, etc when they work on your pool. I was at the house waiting all day so I could take pictures and document everything for this pool review so I was a bit upset. I even called the owner and left a voice mail saying “I told you I was ready to install the pool and pay you but I can’t get a return call……  do you just not want to do my patio and work”

Darren got my message and called me back, he was very polite and told me he was sorry but he was just really busy. So I got over my temper and told him I was sorry for being upset with him and we worked together on the project. So if you can handle some communication issues with this company (that seems to be the only issue) then I would suggest you use them. I even had another guy Email me yesterday saying he was getting his pool installed and wanted to know who to use for the patio. I told him to use Capital City but also warned of the communication problems, he told me that he already talked to them and got an estimate and agreed with me about communication issues and getting a call back. So in the long run maybe I can speak with Darren after the install is complete to see if I can talk him into hiring someone to answer the phone for his company. Wink

Here are some of your patio options when installing a deck. Concrete, Stamped Concrete, Flagstone, Pavers & Travertine

Below are pictures of the crew grading my pool, it will be time for concrete Monday!

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Concrete Capital City Curb & Gutter in Raleigh, NC

I was super excited when I got up today because Darren and his crew from Capital City – Concrete Raleigh were finally coming out to install concrete around the pool. You have so many options when selecting your pool patio so don’t forget to read my concrete patio article here. I changed my mind about the overall look of our pool patio a few times but I’m 100% sure of my final choice now. Rising Sun Pools suggested we use Capital City Curb and Gutter to install our pool patio. After speaking with Darren (the owner) we decided to go with him and his company did have the best prices.

Swimming Pool Waterfall
Hey everyone, as of today it’s March 25, 2011 and the pool has been opened this year. Rising Sun Pools came out and got everything adjusted and opened up for me early this week. What I’m really excited about is the new swimming pool waterfalls that we finally had finished! I can’t say enough about it, the pool atmosphere feels like we are at a resort and not in our own back yard. After a few other companies failed at the waterfall setup the 4th and final company American Aquascapes got it PERFECT and the waterfall turned out better than expected, they also build custom ponds, Koi ponds, etc. If any of the daily readers here are thinking about getting a pool built and possibly having some waterfalls call American Aquascapes at 336-578-6123, the work they do is beyond amazing. Another great thing about the swimming pool waterfall is that the sound makes you want to relax and take a nap, I’ll get a video soon and post it online.You will notice that there is some black looking cloth under the waterfall rocks, that will be taken off when we are 100% done. Also the yard is not finished. The landscaping you do see in the images were also done by the same guys who built the pool waterfall in Raleigh.

If anyone has any questions about any articles here please comment with your Email, I will reply ASAP. As of today this site is getting 17 visitors PER DAY! Enjoy the swimming pool waterfall images below.

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My final opinion on Rising Sun Pools and my review update. Today is June 11, 2014 and our pool, yard, landscaping, fence, etc is 100% finished! We actually have a huge group coming over this afternoon to swim and cook out. This blog is still in the works, if you notice at the very bottom I quit updating it a few months ago. I plan to finish putting up all my pictures and information ASAP for all of you wanting a pool in your backyard. I’ve spent over two years researching pool builders in Raleigh, I’ve interviewed 10 or more pool builders, called their office with annoying questions to see how they react, etc. I even called up every swimming pool builder in Raleigh acting like I had no idea about swimming pools to see if they would try and take advantage of me. Rising Sun Pools did a great job on my pool, worked with me on payments, fixed problems I had and helped me out with every aspect of my pool build. I did use all the contractors on their hand out sheet and I only ran into some problems I wanted to mention. If your really interested in a quality swimming pool I would suggest you contact Backyard Oasis Pools Raleigh and talk to them first.

Say Something Bad and Your on the Naughty List

I usually only have good things to say about Rising Sun Pools, but it seems to me when you say something negative or give your opinion your placed on the Naughty list. What does that mean? Well, after my wife and I both waited over an hour and 30 minutes total just to get some salt I wrote about it and the problem at the Garner location. 5 minutes after my review went up I was contacted to say my business was no longer welcomed at Rising Sun. Is that the type of people you want to work with when you build a pool or do anything else?

Watch Your Money & Total Cost
- Always make sure your aware of the EXACT cost of the swimming pool install at all times. I went way over budget and most of the final bill comes AFTER the pool is complete. Get a fully itemized copy of everything before you even start work. Remember that your patio, electric work and everything else is an EXTRA cost when installing the pool so make sure to price all that out before the work begins.

Warning: Problems with Contractors Recommended by Rising Sun Pools
- Capital City Curb and Gutter do good work and have a great staff, but I do have a list of serious problems with them and I wanted to let everyone know below. As I said I want to be as fair and honest as I can so everyone can decide who to use when building their pool. Rising Sun will hand you a list of contractors they suggest you use when they build your pool. One of the highest costs outside of the pool itself will be your concrete patio. Be prepared to spend $4.00+ per square foot of concrete. Rising Sun suggested we use Capital City Curb & Gutter for our concrete patio and we did after speaking with them and a number of other contractors. I have some serious complaints I wanted to address here that you should really think about when using this company.

Complaint #1: Communication (well the lack of) – Capital City Curb and Gutter has missed over 20 (yes 20) appointments with me. They will call or Email, tell me they are coming and then simply don’t show up, never call to let me know and leave me hanging. When your as busy as I am and your waiting for your appointment it’s really upsetting to have this issue, but 20 missed appointments is just ridiculous.

Complaint #2: Won’t fix problems – Capital City was informed of problems with my pool and it was never fixed. Even tho it’s been almost 3 years and I have told them again and again of various issues they simply don’t get taken care of and I have to keep hunting them down and calling. Check out the images below to see exactly what I’m talking about.

WALL PROBLEM: As you can see from the image below the concrete top caps all match except for one. I told them about the problem and they even brought out the new top cap, but it’s sat in the same exact place now for over 2 years. Even when the guys were out here and I told them about it again and again it was never fixed and as of today 6/28/13 it still is not fixed.

photo (11)

CONCRETE ISSUE: If you look at the images below you’ll notice a white type of look to our concrete, like the sun changed the color or it got bleached out. This is actually a sealer they put down to make it where it wouldn’t be slippery. The problem is their workers put on to much and the build up gave it this look. They were coming to fix it 3 weeks ago and they worked for about 30 minutes and said they would come back later that day or tomorrow. Well guess what? They never came back and they never fixed it, no calls, no emails.

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You can also see from the images below that we have several areas that need to be fixed but they haven’t been taken care of either. These are various cracks in the concrete that shouldn’t be in these locations.

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So now you have to decide who to use for your concrete patio. I really hope my comments and suggestions help you decide what to do. Keep in mind I gave this company 3 years and over 20 missed appointments to try and get my concrete patio fixed. Now I’m so upset I’ll actually call another company and get someone else to come fix the work I already paid for as I simply don’t want to deal with Capital City Curb and Gutter any longer. I would suggest you look at Angie’s List for your pool concrete installer as all the reviews on this site are monitored and not faked reviews.

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