Z Poolform System Revolutionizes Concrete Coping Projects

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Z Poolform 2 1Few recent developments in the world of pool design and construction can claim to have changed how builders do their jobs as much as the Z Poolform system. Used to create stunning cantilevered concrete pool coping, the reusable system was developed by Concrete Countertop Solutions in Scott Township, Pa.

Consisting of rigid PVC pieces and engineered to be compatible with gunite, fiberglass and vinyl liner pools, the Z Poolform system transforms concrete coping with a variety of profiles and textures that include rock face and granite. Not only does the system eliminate the need to set concrete forms with messy, one-time-use Styrofoam, but it also saves builders time, money and stress.

Just ask Christian Montanero, a Pennsylvania-based pool builder who started his own business around the same time the Z Poolform system became available.

“Even when I was on another crew and we used the Styrofoam forms, everybody had to know what they were doing, because it was a complicated process,” he says. “Now I can just send a small forming crew to the site, and I sometimes include a new guy, too, because the process is quick and easy to learn. Plus, I’m actually charging more money to put that edge on pools.”

The Z Poolform system allows for much greater design flexibility; available decorative profiles include textured stone finishes that aren’t possible with other forms. There also are no tie wires, forms stay in place while setting without the risk of falling off or blowing away, and they can easily be stripped the following day and used again on the next project.

“I try my hardest to make it not even look like concrete anymore,” Montanero says. “I’ll put decorative saw cuts in between to make it look like individual stone slabs, and everyone loves it.”

Birth of a ‘Game Changer’

Stephen Wagner, owner of Aquatic Design Inc., is a multi-regional boutique pool designer, builder and consultant who uses the Z Poolform system on every project. He does most of his work in Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado — three states with vastly different climates and clientele.

As a young pool builder in Pennsylvania decades ago, he teamed up with Concrete Countertop Solutions founder Ed Baldoni (who at the time was an in-demand premier builder of custom homes) to deliver one-of-a-kind residential projects in the northeastern Pennsylvania market.

Wagner recalls building a concrete pool in Baldoni’s Pennsylvania backyard in the 1990s using the traditional Styrofoam forms, as well as the frustration they both experienced during that process. “I remember him saying, ‘There’s got to be a better way to do this,’” Wagner says.

Wagner and other pool builders familiar with Baldoni’s approach to using forms to create concrete countertops encouraged him to develop a similar design solution for concrete pool coping, and the Z Poolform system was born.

“I was one of the first builders to use it after using the competitors’ products for 30 years,” Wagner says. “It’s been a game changer.”

Up until that point, Wagner avoided concrete coping work as much as possible.

“It really pained me to be putting eight to 10 contractor bags of Styrofoam in a landfill every time we poured,” he says. “I didn’t necessarily push that type of concrete edging in my projects, because of the environmental factor.”


Spreading the Word

Given all of the advantages the Z Poolform system offers — and despite widespread usage by builders from coast to coast — Wagner still wonders why more pool builders haven’t joined the revolution.

“The initial investment is worth the long-term payback, because of the multiuse factor,” he says. “I know people don’t always seek out new things, that they want do what they’re used to doing. But this is one of the only truly new things on the construction side that has entered our industry in a long time.”

Customers love what Z Poolforms can do, and they’ve been more than happy to refer Wagner, Montanero and other builders incorporating the system into projects to their friends and neighbors. Similarly, builders are eager to share their experiences using the product with their peers.

“There is no comparison between this system and other systems,” says Montanero, who plans to open a showroom next year in which he will display examples of the coping and other backyard work he can do using products from Concrete Countertop Solutions. “You’re talking about comparing a Ferrari to a Pinto. When I see other builders using something else, I try to convert them over to Z Poolforms.”

“It’s just a matter of getting other pool contractors to try them,” adds Wagner. “Once they do, they’ll probably be as excited about the system as I am. It has transformed how we pour concrete around the swimming pool. Thank God I never have to touch Styrofoam again.”

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