pool contractors

Getting a Pool? Here’s 7 Qualities to Look for in Your Pool Contractors

For many people, a pool is one of the signs that they have arrived. It’s also great for the health.

Once you determine that you can afford a pool out of pocket or through a financing option, there is still the problem of picking the contractor. Installing a custom pool takes more than just a willing heart. It takes knowledge.

Picking a name at random from the available pool contractors in your area is risky as well.

If you want a custom pool but struggle with how to pick a contractor, keep reading. We’ll cover seven qualities you want from solid pool contractors.

1. Experience

When it comes to any kind of contractor, there is no substitute for experience. This proves especially true for pool contractors.

A pool contractor will likely excavate on your property for an in-ground pool. They must know how to identify underground hazards, such as pipes or electrical lines.

Just as importantly, an improperly installed pool can leak into your yard. The chlorine that keeps pools sanitary can damage your lawn or even your neighbor’s lawn. While not necessarily a crisis, it can mean costly repair bills.

2. References and Reviews

While it may seem pointless, you should ask potential contractors for three references. Yes, this first round of calls will almost certainly get you glowing reviews from friends or family members. That’s when you ask for references from the last few months or their most recent projects

This second round of calls often proves more telling. The contractor can’t cherry-pick glowing references from their last few projects unless they consistently do a good job.

You can also poke around online and look for reviews. As long as you don’t see a pattern of problems, it’s likely a good sign that they do solid work.

3. Portfolio

If you plan on getting a custom pool, you don’t want any surprises. At the very least, you want some evidence that the contractor can pull off what you want. Portfolios can help you there.

A good pool contractor will take some pictures of their work, whether it’s a new pool or a pool renovation. Some will put these images up on their website. Others will keep hard copies in a photo binder at their office.

If a contractor doesn’t post their images on their website, ask about a portfolio when you talk with them.

4. Credentials

You’ll also want someone who has the right kind of credentials. In general, this means an appropriate contractor’s license. Since pool installation typically includes installing an electrical filtration system, look for someone with a residential appliance installer license.

This license ensures the contractor has the right working knowledge of basic electrical systems. As an extra precaution, ask the contractor about their subcontractors. Do they work with a licensed electrician as necessary?

Also, your local jurisdiction may impose extra license requirements on contractors beyond those required by the state.

5. Insurance

Even if your local community doesn’t require a license and bond for contractors, you should still ask about their insurance coverage. Since the pool installer will work on your property, there is a risk that they might damage your property or a neighbors property.

For example, a crew member might slip and break one of your windows while loading up at the end of the day.

This type of damage gets covered under a general liability policy. These policies come in many shapes and sizes, but $1 million in coverage is a fairly standard amount. 

At a bare minimum, the policy should provide $250,000-$300,000 in coverage. Unless something goes catastrophically wrong, this should cover any run of the mill damage.

6. Communication Skills

Your custom pool contractor should also possess solid communication skills. At no point should you ever wonder about the plan or what to expect on pool installation day.

The good news is that you’ll get an opportunity to test this element early on. The contractor should ask you several questions about what you want from your pool. You should also ask them questions about materials, average costs, and typical installation timelines.

This process informs their initial consultation. It also lets you know whether you can get workable information from them.

Good contractors typically provide clear, concise answers to your questions. If you must keep asking the same question in different ways, it can mean the contractor doesn’t know or doesn’t communicate well.

7. Warranty

While a custom pool probably won’t suffer any major problems in the first year, you should still ask about the warranty policy. A warranty is a sign of good faith from the contractor. It tells you that they stand behind the work.

It also tells you that contractor will try to make good on any problems that do occur.

If the contractor does offer a warranty, ask for a copy of it before you sign a contract for the pool. Read it over carefully. It should cover the work performed.

You can also ask about whether the parts they use, such as filter or heating systems, come with warranties. They may not know all the details, but they should have some working knowledge of what warranties their suppliers offer.

Picking from the Pool Contractors

Picking from the available pool contractors can take some effort. You’ll spend some time on the phone talking with references. You may also spend time online checking portfolios and licenses.

After you confirm those facts, though, it becomes a matter of feel.

Does the contractor inspire confidence? Do you like them?

If not, you should move on to another choice. Otherwise, you’ll spend all of your time worrying about the pool installation.

Sahara Construction & Custom Pools specializes in designing and installing custom pools and patio covers. For more information or a free consultation, contact Sahara today.

pool maintenance schedule

Keep Your Custom Pool in Tip-Top Shape: Following a Pool Maintenance Schedule

Custom pools are every homeowner’s dream. In fact, your custom pool, even if it’s a huge investment, must have been a long-term dream of yours. 

One day, you thought to yourself, for years, before it finally came to fruition. Well, congratulations. But now, it’s time for a strict pool maintenance schedule. 

Say what? Yes, indeed. It’s not enough to have a beautiful custom pool built and left to admire daily. It requires an extreme level of pampering, especially if you’ve spent upwards of $100,000 on it, which is what is typically estimated

There isn’t any reason for you not to maintain your pool yourself. It’s easy enough if you follow the steps. Let’s take a look at some of the items on your pool maintenance schedule below. 

Why A Pool Maintenance Schedule Is Mandatory?

Most pool owners get lazy after a while with their pool. It’s not uncommon to start seeing pools after a few months of ownership that have green stagnant water in it and are beginning to grow some serious families of mold and algae.

Why is this the case? Well, at first you were super duper excited about your custom pool. It had been on your bucket list forever and ever. You finally checked it off – wow, what a feeling. 

You were riding high on that for days. You lovingly caressed your pool and pampered it like a newborn baby. You cleaned it every day and didn’t feel annoyed when you had to spend your free time on the pool filters or such. 

But as time went on, you got lazy. You got used to the novelty. It wasn’t as miraculous anymore. You got bored with it, and in fact, you were kind of getting annoyed by the whole thing.

Why did you even get a pool in the first place? No one in the family even uses it that much, you think, annoyed. 

Maybe you are already here or maybe not. Either way, if you make sure that you have a strict pool maintenance schedule in place, you will not be able to make excuses about it anymore. Let’s see what some items on that schedule should be. 

Skim off Leaves and Larger Debris Daily

In certain seasons, you are going to have a lot of floating debris, like falling leaves, branches, and other such items. It is important to clean this debris out daily!

It seems like such a pain, but it’s important not to let it affect the entire system of your pool. If you have a basket collecting debris, clean it out daily as well. Do not let it pile up, it can clog things up as well. 

Clean Your Skimmers Daily

Larger debris can get stuck in your pool’s skimmer, so make sure that you clean it out daily. Also, make sure that your pool’s water level doesn’t fall too low during hot days, or get too high during the rainy season. Keep it halfway up the skimmer.

Use Your Pool’s Pump Daily

Even if you are not using your pool daily, your pool’s pump needs to be used daily to make sure it’s working at its peak. It also maximizes the effectiveness of the chemicals you use in your pool and keeps your pool safe to clean.

Your pool manufacturer gave you an instruction manual for your pump. Follow it to a T.

Check the Filter to Remove Any Debris Stuck There Weekly

There’s going to be built-up grit in the filters, that you will need to backwash to clean. It’s easy enough but needs to be done weekly so that your pump filters stay in tip-top shape. Again, follow your manufacturer’s instructions on this.

There are some chemicals specifically for cleaning up the oils and dirt that build up in your pool’s filter. It’s a great idea to use these, instead of mere backwashing.  

Balance the Chlorine pH Levels Weekly

Test and adjust the Chlorine and pH levels weekly. The quality of the water needs to be maintained at a certain level to be safe to use and safe for your pool’s structure. Getting a lab test done on your pool water once a month is a great idea, as well.

Also, you might be using a bunch of different chemicals in your pool water, some of which are used daily, some weekly. Keep a schedule for these as well, so that you don’t miss a day, due to your forgetfulness. It’s paramount for everyone’s safety.

Scrub off the Sides of the Pool and Floor Weekly

This is a pain to do, but scrubbing, or vacuuming the sides of your pool and the floors, with a strong pool vacuum is a great idea. It will keep the slime off your pool liners, and also maintain its long life.

Repair Any Leaks as Soon as Possible

 

If you think your pool is leaking water, because the water levels are falling too fast for it to be normal evaporation, then check the water levels for the next 48 hours to see what’s exactly going on.

If a leak is confirmed, fix it immediately. Do not wait. You didn’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on your pool, only to have it break apart due to a tiny leak. It could turn into a major mishap if not taken care of right away. Stay alert!

A Weekly Pool Maintenance Ensures a Long Life for Your Pool

As you might have noticed, some of the items on the pool maintenance schedule are daily items, and others are weekly. If you do not have the time to do all the tasks on the swimming pool maintenance list yourself, then hire someone to do it.

Either way, get it done. There are no ifs, ands, and buts about this. 

It’s crucial not only for your pool’s long term health but also for the health of every person who ends up using the pool.

If you wish to learn more about our custom pool services, please contact us today!

custom pools TX

Understand the Process to Get a Custom Pool in Texas

Would you love to entertain in the summer? Are you interested in an underground custom pool where you and your family could relax, enjoy the company, and get some outdoor exercise?

Putting in a pool involves more than just dreaming about it. If you’re ready to install one, there are a few steps to follow. 

Here’s what you need to know about custom pools in TX.

The Advantages of Custom Pools In TX

Everyone knows summers in Texas are nothing to sneeze at. In fact, temperatures in July range from 92-100 degrees Fahrenheit on average. 

It’s difficult to get outside when you aren’t cooling off. A swimming pool can help you beat the heat without leaving your own property. 

A soothing body of water on your own property is also excellent for your mental health. It can enhance your sense of well-being and trigger the parts of your brain associated with empathy. Swimming is also a great stress reliever.

Regular swimming can help increase muscle strength, build endurance, and increase physical fitness. It can help you to lose weight and tone your muscles. This can lower your risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

In addition, swimming can improve your coordination, balance, and posture. Working out in water means that you’ll be able to work out without extra pressure on your joints. 

A swimming pool is also a great way to provide entertainment to your friends and family. What better reason is there to have a barbeque than to invite everyone over to take a dip in your new pool?

If you have a family, a pool is a great way to make sure that your house is the one everyone likes to hang out at. Just add some hot dogs and chips, and your kids won’t want to be anywhere else in the summertime!

Get a Permit

You’re required to have a permit from the State of Texas in order to have a custom pool in your backyard. You can apply for one through E-permits online. You will need the site plan and pool plan detail before you can apply for a plan.

If you’re working with a custom pool company, they may apply for the permit for you. Check with prospective companies first to make sure they handle this.

The Pool Process

Your total custom pool cost will depend upon a lot of factors. You may, for example, wish to install deck jets that provide extra visual or audio interest. Or you could choose to add a waterfall or LED lights.

The extra features you choose could also add the amount of time it takes to build your pool. You’ll want, however, to choose the type of pool that you know will make you happy in the long run while you’re investing time and money.

After obtaining a permit, your pool company will dig out space for your pool. This will probably take around a week.

The “bones” of your pool are then put in place. This includes the plumbing, steel, and other electrical components that cause your pool to run.

Your pool itself will then get installed. The amount of time it takes to install your pool will depend upon the material you choose.

Vinyl or fiberglass pools, for example, can get installed in less than a week. Fiberglass pools come pre-built and require only minor alterations once they are placed in the dug-out space.

Concrete pools will take longer to install because they are built almost entirely on-site. They could take between two and three weeks to build.

Finally, your contractor will add customized elements such as landscaping and lighting. Or you may have chosen a fence for safety. Remember that your pool will take a little longer to install if you have chosen several custom features, but the wait will be worth it once you have the pool of your dreams.

Choosing the Right Contractor

Before settling on a pool contractor, be sure to ask trusted friends and family for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experiences.

Was the job done well and to your specifications? Did the crew arrive on time and clean up the worksite every day? Were there any unexpected costs along the way?

If you can’t get any personal recommendations, call up pool companies, and ask for at least three references that you can speak to about their experiences.

You’ll want to work with a local pool contractor, as these professionals will know about the specific regulations and climate issues in your area. Read online reviews and make sure what you’re reading matches up with what you’re hearing from individuals.

Get at least three estimates from pool companies before hiring one. You’ll want to know that what you’ll be paying is reasonable for your geographical area, as well as the type of pool you’re looking for. 

A kidney-shaped vinyl pool with a waterfall, for example, should cost around the same whichever local company you’re using.

Make sure you get all costs for parts and labor in writing before you decide on a pool company. The right contractor will be able to give you a good estimate of the costs involved. You won’t want any fees to come up during the building process that you weren’t expecting. 

Building Your Dream Pool

Custom pools in TX are a great investment. With a little planning and the right contracting company, you can be relaxing, exercising, and entertaining in your own backyard in no time.

For more information on building your Texas pool, contact us today.

 

 

 

how often to change sand in pool filter

Pool Maintenance: How Often to Change Sand in Pool Filter Systems

Is your pool looking cloudy despite it’s working filtration system? Well, if that’s the case, then it’s possible it’s time for you to change the filter sand.

Pool filters and the filter sand itself go experience the workings of time, so at some point or another, you will have to change them. But do you know how often to change sand in pool filters? Well, let’s take a look.

What is Filter Sand?

Just like how fish tanks have their filtration systems, pools have theirs as well. Instead of a mechanical filter that runs at all times, pools use sand. Yes, that’s right, sand.

A pool filter keeps the water clean by trapping the gross things that find their way there. Things like algae, dirt, bacteria, and every dead bug you’ve ever seen floating around. The filters do this with the help of filter media.

Filter media is the material used to actually grab and trap the gross things in the pool. The filter media pools use is sand.

Why Do I Need to Change the Sand?

Well, the filter sand works because it’s surface is rough. The coarseness allows it to grab the dirt and bacteria that are being filtered. As time goes on, the sand will start to lose this roughness and therefore will also lose it’s filtering abilities, allowing the contaminants to remain in the pool.

Types of Sand

Because filter sands need that coarse surface to trap contaminants, not all sand will work. So, unfortunately, you can’t cheat the system and grab some sand from outside. You’re going to have to purchase one of these three types of sand.

Glass Sand

The first type of sand is glass sand. This sand is incredible for the environment because it is made from 100% recycled material.

In addition to its low environmental impact, glass sand minimizes channeling. Channeling is when the water is able to create a straightway through the sand, allowing it and it’s contents to get through unfiltered. The glass sand is able to do this because the grains of sand are all different sizes.

Silica Sand

Definitely one of the most common of three filter sands is silica sand. #20 silica sand to be exact.

This sand is made from quartz, making the edges of the grains of sand perfect for trapping the contaminants. Silica sand doesn’t have an “extra feature” like how glass sand minimizes channeling.

Zeolite Sand

The final of the three filter sands is zeolite sand. Cool name, right? The sand is made from zeolites which are volcanic rock minerals.

In addition to the cool name, zeolite sand is bustling with “extra features”. Zeolite sand has a structure similar to that of a honeycomb. This hexagonal structure increases the surface area of zeolite sand to around 100 times greater than your typical filter sand, allowing it to trap even more contaminants.

The second perk of zeolite sand is molecular sieving. This process allows the sand to chemically trap chloramines for essentially forever, decreasing the frequent use of pool chemical additives.

Cleaning the Sand

Before you ever have to change the sand in your filter, you’ll need to add sand cleaning into your pool maintenance routine.

Generally speaking, backwashing the sand filter will rid of any debris. After backwashing, just be sure to skim the pool thoroughly.

In addition to backwashing the sand filter, treating the filter with sand filter cleaner about once a year will do wonders. Because backwashing only gets rid of certain contaminants, the filter cleaner does the job perfectly.

How Often to Change Sand in Pool Filters?

Generally, you’ll want to change the sand in your pool filter about once every five years. Once you’ve gone past five years without a change, the reliability and efficiency of your filter go down. If you aren’t too sure how long it’s been since your current filter sand was last changed, it’s probably a good idea to change it anyway.

Signs Your Filter is on the Fritz

If you choose not to change sand just in case or you think something is wrong with your filtration system, make sure to look out for signs your filter is going bad.

Some common filter issues include:

  • Broken Laterals
  • Cloudy water as a result of a slow sand filter
  • Dirty sand filter even after backwashing
  • Leaking multiport valves
  • Pressure issues
  • Tank failure
  • Valve failure

If you’re noticing any of these problems with your sand filter, it is in your best interest to change the sand. If the change of sand doesn’t help and you’re still seeing these issues arise, then it’s time you get a new filter altogether.

How to Change the Sand

Now, let’s start changing the sand.

First up, you’ll want to remove the old sand. To do this, open up the filter. If your filter has a multipart valve attached, disconnect it from the plumbing.

The next step is to pull the drain plug and let the water drain. Then, pull the tank apart and scoop out the sand. It is a good idea to use plastic cups so as not to damage the laterals.

After the sand is gone, clean out the tank and make sure all of your laterals are in place. Now replace the underdrain assembly.

After you’ve done that step, fill up the tank with water until it’s half full. Then, add in your sand. Just be sure to level out the sand bed after each bag.

After you’re done adding your sand, it’s time to reassemble your filter and voila! Your filter sand has been changed.

A Beautiful Pool

Knowing how often to change sand in pool filters will keep your pool beautiful for years to come. Your sparkling waters will be the talk of the neighborhood. Just remember to clean and replace your sand regularly so you can keep your pool safe and pristine!

Did you enjoy this article or find it helpful? If so, be sure to share it with others. If you’re interested in getting a pool, contact us for a free consultation!

pool finance

How To: Pool Finance Methods

Ah, swimming pools!

They are some of the things most homeowners wish they had, especially during those hot summer months. Would you believe there are over 10 million swimming pools in the United States? Swimming happens to be the most popular recreational activity for kids and teenagers, so it’s understandable if you also want one.

So, what’s the one thing holding you back? Possibly the financing because building a pool can be quite expensive, more so if you want an inground pool. However, have you thought about pool finance options?

There are several pool financing methods you can try out, some of which we have discussed below. There is no one best solution for everyone because it will depend on your credit score and how much pool you can afford. 

Here is a breakdown of all those pool finance methods, and we hope by the end you’re able to make an informed decision. 

How Much Swimming Pool Can You Afford?

The price of a pool widely varies depending on whether you want an above-ground or in-ground pool, the size, and shape of the pool, how leveled the ground is, the construction materials, any add-ons like a slide, diving board, or hot tub, etcetera. 

Additionally, your local municipality or your insurance policy may require you to install a fence around the pool to prevent accidents. This means that your choice will drastically affect the overall costs of your swimming pool.

A Breakdown of the Most Viable Pool Finance Options

Now that you have determined the kind of pool you want, it’s easier to determine a price estimate or have a professional pool installation company calculate everything for you, including the installation costs. Now, you can have a secure or unsecured pool finance loan, and your option may come down to your credit score. 

You can take out a personal loan if it offers you the best pool financing rates. However, there are better options that you should try first because they are likely to offer you better pool financing rates such as home equity loans, cash-out refinancing, and home equity lines of credit. All of these options come with their pros and cons, so choose what suits you best. 

Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans are known as second mortgages, and once you apply for one, you’ll receive a lump sum of money at a fixed interest rate. 

Essentially, you may have to pay for it in 10 to 15 years, and any fees associated with the loan will highly depend on the lender. One of the major benefits of a home equity loan is that the interest rates are usually lower compared to other pool finance options, and the interest could be tax-deductible.

The process of getting a home equity loan, however, is quite lengthy and tedious, and you’ll be placing your home at risk of foreclosure if you’re ever unable to pay the loan in the future. It’s essential for you to have sufficient equity, and most lenders will require at least 15 to 20 percent. 

A higher credit score will give you an easier time qualifying for the loan, and you’ll have lower interest rates as well. The lender will also scrutinize your income, and the higher it is, the better debt-to-income ratio you’ll have. 

Home Equity Line of Credit

A home equity line of credit or HELOC is another viable swimming pool financing option that lets you borrow money against your home. The lender will appraise your home’s value, check your remaining mortgage, and scrutinize your debt, credit history, and income to determine how much you deserve. 

Unlike a home equity loan where you receive a lump sum of money, when you get a HELOC loan, you’ll receive a credit card or blank checks that you can use to withdraw funds. 

This gives you the advantage of only withdrawing the funds you need whenever you need to. With this type of loan, you’ll only need to pay the minimum amount, and the interest rates will vary with the lender. You can ask to have a fixed interest rate, which some lenders agree to. 

On the downside, the fees associated with HELOC loans are quite steep. You’ll start with a home appraisal fee, an application fee, and the closing costs as well. You should compare lenders before you settle for a lender to scrutinize the lowest fees. 

Cash-Out Refinancing

A cash-out refinancing, or a cash-back finance loan is a new mortgage that you take for a lot more than your current outstanding balance. You get the difference between the new and old mortgage in cash. Suppose you need $20,000 for your new swimming pool, and you still owe $100,000 on the $200,000 mortgage you have for your home. 

You can refinance the loan for $120,000 and use the extra $20,000 to build your new pool. One good thing about refinancing your mortgage is that you can get a lower interest rate than you currently have. 

However, if you currently have a low rate, it may not be suitable because essentially, it’ll come with a higher interest rate compared to a HELOC or a home equity loan. There’s also a high chance you may not qualify because most lenders view this as a high-risk loan. The loan could be tax-deductible, but you should expect high closing costs.

In-House Financing

Some pool building companies opt to partner with financing institutions to offer pool loans to homeowners, and you may find this to be a viable option. This essentially means that you need to find a pool builder first, and they’ll source the loan for you. 

This is a convenient option because the builder already has a network of lenders, and you can choose one that’s suitable for you. Of course, you need to consider the professionalism of the swimming pool builder and their ability to build your dream pool and not just their ability to get a loan for you. 

Get a Personal Loan

A personal loan is another viable option because you can practically do almost anything you want with it, including building a pool. You can get a personal loan from online creditors, credit unions, or banks, so shop around for the best option. Your credit score will determine whether you can get an unsecured personal loan and what interest rates you qualify for. 

Which Pool Finance Option Is Best for You

These are some of the top options that you can use for your pool finance. Consider all the pros and cons associated with each option before settling and compare the lender to ensure you get the best pool financing rates available. 

Now that you have an idea where to get the loan check out our website for amazing custom pool ideas or better yet give us a call, and we’ll discuss how we’ll build you your dream pool just like you want it!

pool tips

Top 10 Pool Tips to Keep Your Pool Looking Brand New

Owning a pool can be great, but the upkeep associated with it can seem like a lot.

Likewise, maintaining a pool and keeping it looking its best can be difficult. People often give conflicting pieces of advice, and doing the wrong thing can damage both your pool’s appearance as well as its wellbeing in general.

So what are some pool maintenance tips?

Keep reading for a list of 10 pool tips that’ll keep your pool looking crystal clear and inviting.

1. Keep Optimal Pool Chemistry 

When you own a pool, you should be checking to ensure it’s chemically balanced once a week during periods of warmer weather.

To check it, purchase a test kit or strip, and you’ll see your pool’s chemical balance in no time.

The pH level of your pool should fall between 7.2 and 7.8. A pH level of 7.4 will give the best and safest experience for swimmers. Keep in mind that the higher the pH, the less effective chlorine will be. At 8.0, chlorine will be around 10% effective.

By maintaining pH levels, you’ll use less chlorine and your pool will look better.

2. Check the Water Level

Do you live in a hot and sunny place? Or did you recently have a large pool party with a lot of splashing?

If you did, your pool level might be lower than it should be. If your water level becomes too low, your pool’s pump may run dry and burn up. Keep in mind that natural evaporation occurs as well, with most pools losing around 1.5 inches of water a week. This number may be greater or less, depending on the climate where you live.

Contrarily, you should also ensure that your pool’s water level doesn’t get too high. When levels get too high, the skimmer can’t function, and debris can build up.

Keep the water levels at the center of your pool skimmer for it to work its best.

3. Run Your Filter

If you’re looking for a crystal clear pool experience, you’ll need to make sure your filter runs. In fact, if you’re using your pool, experts recommend that you run your filter for 8-10 hours every day. 

If you don’t, the water doesn’t get a chance to move and becomes stagnant. This speeds up the growth of bacteria and other unpleasant things.

If you don’t want to spend time cleaning and scrubbing, make sure to consistently run the filter.

4. Skim Daily

Your pool filter works hard, but sometimes it needs a little extra help.

By skimming your pool every day, you’ll help eliminate bugs, debris, and whatever else seems to appear in your pool when you check it in the morning. When you don’t skim, the organic material lies around and then breaks down.

This not only makes the water dirty but will also make the water cloudier and less appealing. In some cases, it may be best to hire a professional to help clean.

5. Keep the Skimmer Close to Empty

In between you doing the skimming, you should also be checking to see how your skimmer is working.

It should do a good job of sucking in unwanted objects from your pool, but make sure that you empty it often. When you don’t, it won’t work as well, and objects and debris can start to build up at the bottom of your pool.

To keep it running its best, keep the basket almost empty of debris. You’ll appreciate the work it does if you do!

6. Empty the Lint and Hair Pot

If debris moves past the skimmer basket, it then makes its way to your pool’s hair and lint pot. This is located inside your pump.

If many people are using your pool, you may need to clean this more often. To clean it, turn off your pool’s pump and release the pressure. Most pools have a basket inside the lid of the pool pump.

You should also make sure that this basket is not damaged or broken. If it is, it can create problems for your pool’s system. 

7. Inspect the Chlorinator

If your pool is chlorine-based, check the chlorinator to make sure it’s running properly. This can mean checking for loading, clogging, as well as the chlorine tablet levels.

Depending on the model and its features, you may be able to add extra chlorine in order to ensure a steady and consistent flow.

8. Inspect the Chlorine Generator

Do you have a salt-water pool or a pool that doesn’t have any chlorine? If you do, it has a chlorine generator which makes chlorine for salt-water pools. This piece of equipment can require some maintenance. 

Make sure that no calcium deposits or other debris have built up. Keep it clean so that it can circulate the saltwater into the salt cell and generator.

9. Examine Your Pool’s Structure 

Aside from making sure your water looks clear and beautiful, you should also be inspecting the structure of your pool.

Take a look at the walls. Are there any cracks or other signs of damage? Do they look weaker than they should? If there is a problem, it can lead to corrosion or rust, and you should resolve it as soon as possible. 

Paying attention to your pool’s structure also means keeping it safe. Make sure any gates or fences are operating safely, and that the chemicals you use are stored away from children or animals. 

10. Limit Shocking

Shocking can be a great way to get your pool looking nice, but doing it too often can be detrimental to its wellbeing.

When you do need to shock your pool, make sure to do it at night when no one is using it. Doing it at night will also ensure that the sun doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of chlorine-based shock. 

You can also look into using non-chlorine based shock. This is a better option if people will be swimming soon, and will also not be degraded by the sun.

 

Splash Into a Beautiful Pool With These Pool Tips

Everyone loves a pool, and by taking care of yours, you can make sure that you’re getting the most out of it. Following these pool tips will also help it look its best.

If you have a pool problem or are in the market for a new one, contact us today and let us help you.

cool pools

Maintenance and Renovation: A Guide to Cool Pools and Efficiency

Are you considering renovating your pool? Do you think it could benefit from having a few modifications made to it? 

By simply maintaining your current pool and inputting some custom renovations, it will start to feel brand-new. You’ll fall in love with it all over again!

In fact, there are several custom renovations that you can make to revamp your pool, no matter how old it is. Simply give a pool builder in Katy a call to make some awesome renovations.

See below for several cool pools and renovations that you can start to make to take care of your oasis and give it a jolt of excitement.

1. Resurface Your Pool

Maybe you feel as if your pool looks outdated. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the material inside the pool is starting to wear out. Either way, you can benefit from having your pool resurfaced.

If you love the shape, size, and location of your pool, then resurfacing can make your pool look brand-new while keeping all the features that you love.

Make no mistake about it, this is one of the more costly pool renovations that you can make to an existing pool, but it’s worth every penny. You can choose from different materials to bring out your desired aesthetic.

Be sure to reach out to a Katy pool company to find the right fit for your need. It can help you find the best method of resurfacing your pool.

2. LED Lights

Maybe you want to liven up your pool for the nightlife. If you use your pool to entertain family and friends often, then you’ll want to tap into modern technology to keep the party going longer.

One of the biggest trends in custom pools right now is the use of LED lights. You can place them underwater and build an entirely new aesthetic for your entire backyard.

Not only will set the mood for any occasion, but they will also help you save on energy costs for your pool. You can install smart LED lights in which you can change the color of the lights from an app on your phone!

The pool company that you hire can help you install the LED lights into your pool’s current layout. That way, you keep the same pool while providing a new feature for you and your family to enjoy.

3. Salt Water

Many pool owners are making the change from a chlorine-filled pool to a saltwater system for a system that naturally produces chlorine instead of having to shock it all the time.

It also creates a level of chlorine that keeps your pool shining, but is also less harmful and irritating for people’s skin and eyes. 

Your list of chores for maintaining the pool will go down significantly. You won’t have to make frequent trips to the store to purchase pool solutions. 

Salt water has also been proven to be less harmful to the materials inside your pool. Not only does it keep the pool clean, but it’s also instrumental in helping your custom pool keeps its youth.

4. Waterfalls

Some people out there enjoy using their pools for monstrous parties. Others enjoy having them for a peaceful getaway from their everyday life. No matter which category you fall into, you’ll enjoy the zen that a waterfall can bring to your custom pool.

Among the most popular are rockface waterfalls, which bring a natural element to your pool’s layout. It gives a beautiful white noise to zero out the noise of the neighborhood around you. 

They’re also a great way to help your water system cycle through more effectively. The best part? You can build one that’s unique! Reach out to your custom pool builder to learn more about what type of waterfall you want to install in your pool’s layout.

5. Firepit

For those of you that love having social gatherings around your pool, you’ll love the idea of adding a firepit near (or even in) your pool.

You can choose from a gas firepit or wood firepit to start. Then get with your custom pool builder to talk about optimal shape, design, and materials to embed your firepit around your pool.

You’ll love the peaceful serenity of being by your pool at night while the firepit blazes. All the adults can socialize while the kids continue to swim. It’s a perfect place to intake a poolside cocktail no matter what season you’re in!

6. Energy Efficient Equipment

Maybe you’re tired of your pool costing you so much money on the energy bill. You want to find a way of cutting that bill in half by making some improvements to the pool’s current system.

A few of those methods have already been mentioned in this article (LED lighting and a saltwater system). However, you can also consider implementing a new pool pump, filter system, and start to embed solar-powered features as well.

Get with a trusted pool builder in Katy to find the best energy-saving equipment to put in your pool. They can point you to the best pool equipment brands to invest in and perform the installation as well.

Use These Renovations for Cool Pools to Your Advantage

Now that you’ve seen several awesome and efficient renovation ideas for cool pools in Katy, TX, it’s time to start this process!

Be sure to read this article for more information on 6 common pool problems and how you can fix them quickly.

No matter what renovation you’re interested in, be sure to fill out this online form to request a free consultation and we’ll be happy to assist you further!

outdoor living solutions

8 Reasons You Need to Invest in an Outdoor Living Solution

Is your current backyard boring or not very functional? Investing in outdoor living solutions can turn that vast patch of grass into highly usable areas where everyone wants to gather.

The options can be as simple as adding a deck to as exciting as building a custom pool in your backyard. You might love your new backyard so much that you spend all of your free time there.

Keep reading to learn eight reasons why you should invest in outdoor living solutions.

1. Personal Enjoyment

One of the biggest reasons to renovate your outdoor space is for personal enjoyment. If you don’t get much use out of your yard, adding outdoor living areas may make it more appealing. You can feel relaxed and do lots more in the space to make your time at home more enjoyable.

2. Increased Living Space

Outdoor living solutions give you more space to spread out at home. If you have a large yard that doesn’t get much use, it makes sense to transform it into functional areas that you’ll want to enjoy. 

Your backyard can solve space issues indoors. Say you don’t have a dedicated dining room and your eat-in kitchen is cramped. Building an outdoor kitchen and dining area lets you cook and dine outdoors, where it feels more open and enjoyable.

An outdoor patio and lounge area gives you a comfortable place to sit outdoors. You can take advantage of beautiful weather instead of always sitting indoors. Add an outdoor TV to the setup, and you create a second living room outdoors.

When designed well, your outdoor spaces flow naturally from your indoor spaces, creating a fluid space that makes living easier. A seamless transition makes your backyard feel like an integral part of your home rather than a separate outdoor space.

3. Entertaining Potential

If you love to entertain guests, outdoor living spaces make that even easier and more versatile. It can significantly increase your entertaining space, which means you can increase your guest list. With a well-designed backyard, your home could become the go-to spot for all family, friend, or neighborhood gatherings.

Patios, outdoor kitchens, and outdoor dining spaces let you cook for your guests. Everyone can spread out and mingle while enjoying your signature BBQ dishes. With an outdoor kitchen, you can cook without feeling disconnected from your guests.

If you build a backyard pool, you can host pool parties for any number of events. Guests who don’t want to swim can enjoy other outdoor living areas of your backyard.

4. Cheaper Entertainment at Home

Many outdoor living options keep you and your family entertained at home for less. Instead of taking an expensive vacation, invest in a custom pool and other backyard features that make your home feel like a resort. You can enjoy a staycation year-round with your outdoor living amenities.

A home pool saves you on admission to community pools and water parks. It can also save you money on birthday parties. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to rent a kids’ party venue, you can host a birthday pool party at home for much less.

5. Increased Home Value

When you add outdoor living space, you also add value to your home. Even if you don’t have plans to sell anytime soon, increasing your home’s value is a bonus when you do put it on the market. Plus, you get to enjoy the upgrades until you sell.

Many outdoor projects offer a good return on investment. Adding a wooden deck can offer almost a 76% ROI while adding a fire pit could give you a 67% ROI. 

No matter how the numbers work out, having custom outdoor living solutions on your property sets your home apart. When you sell it, those features will stand out to potential buyers and could help your home sell faster or get a higher selling price.

6. Family Bonding Time

A well-designed backyard with functional outdoor living spaces is more appealing to your family. Everyone will naturally gravitate toward that space, which can result in lots of fun family times together.

Family bonding time could be as simple as taking your meals outdoors to your patio dining area. If your plans include a pool or kids’ play area, you have more opportunities to stay active and play together as a family.

7. Health Benefits

Spending more time outdoors can boost your health in many ways. You get more vitamin D, which supports your immune system, bones, and blood cells. Statistics show that 4 out of 10 Americans deal with vitamin D deficiency, so there’s a good chance someone in your family could use more time in the sun.

Getting outdoors can reduce your anxiety and help you feel better. All you have to do after a long, stressful day is head to your backyard for stress relief. It could also help you feel more creative.

Being outdoors might encourage you to be more active. That’s especially true if your outdoor living plans include a pool where you can play for fun or swim for fitness.

8. Endless Options

When you invest in outdoor living solutions, you can completely customize them to fit your space and preferred options. That can include an outdoor kitchen, gazebo, dining space, pool, hot tub, fire pit, and other entertaining areas.

You can also customize the look of your outdoor areas to fit your space. For example, a custom pool can be built to blend in with the natural features of your backyard. You can choose a sleek contemporary outdoor kitchen or a cozy rustic style outdoor kitchen based on the style of your home.

Best of all, outdoor living solutions are available in all budget ranges. You can develop your outdoor living space gradually, or completely renovate your backyard all at once.

Invest in Outdoor Living Solutions

Investing in outdoor living solutions can benefit you in many ways. Pools, patios, outdoor kitchens, and other backyard improvements increase the functionality and enjoyment of your outdoor spaces.

If a pool is part of your outdoor living plan, contact us for a free consultation.

pool problem

6 Common Pool Problems and How to Fix Them

There are over 10 million residential pools in the United States. That means there are millions of people getting ready to cool off this summer and splash around. With that said, there are few things more disappointing than getting ready to jump into a pool on a hot, summer day only to realize that it’s dirty or damaged. 

By knowing about the most common pool problems and how to care for a pool, you can avoid these issues and have a worry-free summer. So continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

1. Green Water

If you step up to your pool and notice that the water is a deep green, then you most likely have algae in your pool. The most likely reason for this is that you skipped testing the water and the chlorine level in your pool has dropped below what’s needed to stop the growth of algae. 

Thankfully, this can be easily solved. Test your pool water and confirm that it’s algae. You’ll then need to shock your pool in order to kill the algae. 

Once you do that, you’ll have to brush the surfaces and walls of the pool in order to remove the dead algae. You’ll then want to vacuum everything up in order to bring your pool back to normal. 

The pool won’t be usable until the whole process is completed.  

2. Cloudy Water

If your pool water is cloudy, you’re likely dealing with a buildup of bacteria. Just like with the algae problem, you most likely skipped on testing to see if your pool water was low on chlorine. Chlorine is so important because it kills the bacteria. 

Make sure to test your pool water and add chemicals as instructed.  

3. Dirty Filter

The filter for your pools needs to be checked on regularly. It’s fairly easy for your filter to become dirty and then be rendered ineffective. 

If it seems like your filter is working but you have cloudy or green water, then check the filter after you’ve tested the water. The filter is going to dirty more quickly if there are environmental issues or heavy pool use. 

You’ll also have to clean the filter more often if there’s heavy pollination or if tree blossoms fall into your pool. And dirt and dust can be blown into the pool when there’s a lot of wind. 

All of these factors can lead to efficiency problems with the pool filter. Make sure that you clean the pool filter according to its instructions.  

4. High Or Low pH

7.2-7.6 is the safe pH level for swimming pool water. If your pH is below or above that range then you’ll notice irritation to the eyes, throat, and skin of the people who use your pool.

The pH level can be determined when you test your pool. You can balance the pH when you need to with pool chemicals. This is another point that underscores the importance of frequent pool cleaning and pool care. 

5. Leaking Vinyl Liner

If you notice that the water level in your pool has gone down more than .25-inches, you want to correct the issue right away. The first thing you need to do is figure out where the leak is. Check on the pool equipment and the piping first for the leak. 

If all of the connections are tight, and the equipment appears to be intact, you want to check the liner. 

If the water level has stabilized, then the leak is likely somewhere at the current water level. However, if your pool is still leaking, you’ll have to look deeper and even check the floor for a tear, worn area, or hole. 

After you find the leak, you can temporarily fix it with duct take. Duct table can adhere to surfaces that are underwater, but it won’t hold forever. The edges will start to get loose, and duct tape is also not UV resistant. 

You’ll have to figure out if the liner needs to be replaced. If it’s a decade old and had developed a worn area, it’s going to be tough to reach. If you feel it only needs repair, you can consult with an expert. 

If the line is only a few years old and in otherwise good shape, it’s worth trying to patch it. Patches can last for several years without any problems. This will really depend on where the tear is and how much stress is being placed on the liner. 

6. Worn O-Ring

The filter O-ring and pump O-ring should be check regularly for wear. The O-ring that wears the most is the large O-ring that can be found between the filter body and the filter head. 

You should check this piece every time you clean the filter. 

A broken O-ring will enable water to leak from the filter. Buy the replacement O-ring and apply a lubricant to the O-ring before you install it in order to extend its life. 

The Importance of Knowing About Common Pool Problems and How to Fix Them

We all love our pools. And by practicing proper swimming pool maintenance, and fixing pool problems as soon as they come up, we can ensure that our pools last for many years without any serious issues. 

And if you’ve got a problem that you need help solving, don’t be afraid to reach out to the professionals. If you need your current pool serviced, or you want to build a new one, contact us today and see what we can do for you!

best swimming pool

Take the Plunge! 7 Exciting Reasons to Invest in a Custom Pool for Your Home

There are 10.4 million residential pools in the United States. Are you ready to join this group of Americans who are relaxing and having fun whenever they want?

If you need some convincing, keep reading. We’ll tell you the 7 reasons you should invest in a custom pool for your home.

Just think about it: you could end up having the best swimming pool in the neighborhood!

1. Convenience

Having a pool in your backyard is the ultimate form of convenient relaxation. You don’t have to worry about walking or driving a long way just to swim around.

Even if you do have a neighborhood pool, the one in your backyard will be most preferred. You can walk out the back door and you’re already ready for your day of relaxation.

This also means that you’re feet away from your home when you’re done swimming. When you’re tired and soaked, you can go straight inside. Whether you like laying down or showering after you’re done swimming, you’re steps away from doing so.

With a pool in your backyard, you don’t have to worry about whether pools are open around you, how far away they are, or how busy they are.

2. Privacy

If you have a pool, you would own private swimming pool. You get to decide who goes in and when they do so.

If you truly want to, you can swim every single day by yourself. You don’t have to worry about neighborhood kids coming over and ruining your time for relaxation. This is your time to enjoy your pool.

If you’re self-conscious about your swimwear, this won’t matter in your backyard. You can wear whatever you want without having to worry about judgments. 

If you’re an extremely private person, you can even get security measures for your pool. Yes, there are pool alarms! You don’t have to worry about uninvited guests or sneaky kids coming over when you’re not home.

3. Exercise

Having constant access to a pool means that you have constant access to a great form of exercise. Swimming is a low-impact way of working out that will keep all ages entertained.

Instead of having to worry about running on a treadmill or lifting weights, you can play in the pool water. This is an extremely fun workout.

There are many different types of exercises that you can do in the pool. From water aerobics to swimming to strength workouts, you have a variety of ways you can use your pool to work out.

4. Hosting

If you have a pool, you’re bound to be one of the most popular places in the neighborhood. If you have kids, their friends are bound to be over. Even if you don’t have kids, your adult friends will always find excuses to come over.

Your pool could be the key to promoting your hosting hobby. You can host family and friends for holidays and weekends. Just add some snacks and a little music and you’ll have the best pool party in town!

Whether you’re a natural host(ess) or not, the pool will do most of the work for you. You’ll have the perfect form of entertainment in your backyard.

5. Relaxation

Swimming is just as great for your mind and soul as it is for your body.

If you’re looking for a chill day off of work or an evening of relaxation, the pool will be your favorite.

You can invest in some floaties or lay on your back across the water. Either way, you’re guaranteed to find some bliss in your pool.

You can also look at buying pool lights, speakers, and other additions to make your pool experience even better. Think about it: playing music and lying back on a floatie with a drink in your hand. What’s more relaxing than that?

6. Inclusive

Anyone and everyone can swim. Even if you or a loved one has a disability, your swimming pool is bound to be fun for everyone.

You can add additions for those with physical disabilities so that they can get in on the fun. People with arthritis or similar joint issues will find joy in the lightweight feeling that they gain from swimming around in the water. Swimming can improve joint pain and help those people with chronic joint pain find relief.

Imagine the great memories that your children will make with their grandparents and other relatives. The older members of your family won’t have to be stuck watching your kids have fun and play around. They can join in!

If you’re worried about young children being around the pool, you shouldn’t be worried at all. Use your pool to teach your young children how to swim. Swim lessons for young children can be extremely advantageous.

7. Distraction

Having a swimming pool in your backyard is a great distraction for everyone. If you find that you or members of your family have a hard time getting away from electronics, a swimming pool is exactly what you need.

This relaxing oasis is the best way to pull people from the screens and get them moving. In the summer, it will be great for your children to have something fun to do.

You won’t have to worry about your children being stuck to their screen playing video games, watching television, or scrolling through social media. They’ll be too busy playing in the backyard in your pool.

Just think about the exercise and great memories that your family will be making with a pool in your backyard. Family movie nights will turn into water gun fights. Kids not coming out of their room will turn into kids not coming out of the pool.

Build the Best Swimming Pool in the Neighborhood

Now that we’ve got you geared up and excited about getting a pool, you might as well get the best swimming pool in the neighborhood.

If you’re ready to get your own residential pool, look no further than Sahara Construction and Custom Pools. We will give you a free consultation. Take a chance and start building your dream pool today.