pool ideas

7 Exciting Pool Ideas to Help You Plan Your Custom Pool Project

You have decided that you want to add a pool to your backyard. Congratulations.

A pool is one of the most meaningful and functional additions that you can make to your home. It is a great place to relax on hot summer afternoons. 

Well, having a general idea that you want a pool is one thing, but getting and implementing the design which might work for you is something different.

If you are stuck because you do not know which idea will work best for you, here are seven ideas to help you come up with the perfect custom pool design.

Keep reading to find out if there are pool ideas which might work perfectly for you.

1. The Basic Re-imagined Rectangular Pool Design

Rectangular pools are the most common, especially in schools, public swimming spaces, and sporting facilities. They are also quite common in homes. A rectangular pool is easy to imagine, plan and construct.

The pools are also classy, they transcend time, and they are very professional. A rectangular pool design will be ideal if you want to expand the visual appearance of your backyard and utilize the space effectively.

You can also easily re-imagine other aspects of the design such as adding stairs at the shallow end, using accessories which create the appearance of a resort and many other creative changes.

2. The Natural Waterfall Design

If you want to take your backyard to the next level and invite an unimagined level of beauty there, think about incorporating a natural waterfall design to the pool creation process. You can start the design by choosing an assortment of rocks to mimic the natural landscape around a waterfall.

After the rocks have been installed, get a landscaper to choose ideal colors and paint them. When the different colors combine, space will look like the ultimate tropical hideaway. To complete the picture, you can plant several tropical trees and shrubs.

With this design, everyone that visits your backyard will leave feeling as they got lost in paradise. You will need to add a few chairs to relax in, and you will have the perfect place to sit, relax and kick back after work.

3. Creating the Home Resort Oasis Pool Ideas

Another creative idea that will make a heaven out of your backyard is the home resort oasis. Here, you start with erecting a hedge of rocks around the backyard. The design of the rock will depend on the shape of the pool design.

If you want a rectangular pool, design a rock hedge which will match that. On the other hand, if you want a circular or other pool shapes, let the design of the rocks follow that pattern.

You could even add a fountain at the middle of the pool if you want to make it look truly exceptional. When you add a few tropical plants and a selection of flowers, you will have the perfect home resort oasis.

4. The Contemporary Resort

Another design idea that will transform your backyard completely is the incorporating aspects which will transform it into the contemporary resort. To pull off this pool design:

  • Add a water fountain to the pool design or the general backyard design.
  • Create a deck around the pool; this is the element which will set the pool apart from other basic swimming pool designs.
  • After installing the deck, add a few sun loungers to complete the design.
  • Add an outdoor shower for people to rinse off and cool after a swim.

5. The Elevated Deck Pool

This idea works well when you need to transform your backyard, but you do not have the amount of space that you need to make it happen. If you want to hide unsavory sights such as a neighbors fence when swimming, you can design an elevated deck to cover the part of the pool next to the fence.

After adding the elevated deck, look for sprawling lawn chairs to set on the deck. It will create backyard pool ideas that speak of complete elegance. If the pool is rectangular, you can have a series of stairs leading down into the pool.

6. Curvy Pool Design

While the regular and traditional geometric pool design is common and easy to execute, you can also create a truly unique backyard using curvy pool design ideas. It is as simple as picking a curvy shape that you like whether it is a heart shape, a map or any other object which inspires you.

After creating the basic shape of the pool, you can add fountains and vegetation as needed to complete the design. With the help of a competent architect, the shapes that you can design and mold your pool into are infinite.

7. The Clean and Contemporary Backyard Pool

Another design that will transform your backyard into the perfect dream is a clean and contemporary design. If your house has taken up a contemporary style with simple geometric forms, your outdoor pool should reflect the same.

Invest in a pool which copies the simple geometric shapes inside the home. Add a deck to make the perfect transition between the edge of the house and the pool. You could even choose to have a deck which goes all the way around the pool.

Keep the colors neutral, and make sure that the poolside furniture is classy and comfortable. This combination will make your backyard a dream.

Implementing the Design

Step one is deciding the perfect type of pool you want. The second step in the process is getting someone to bring the idea to life. If you want to get a pool designed in your backyard, but you are feeling challenged with creative ideas, contact us or visit our website for ideas.

We will gauge the appearance of your backyard and help you actualize the pool ideas that will transform it into the ultimate outdoor getaway.

pool shapes

7 Great Swimming Pool Shapes You’ll Definitely Love to Have In your Home

The planning stages for designing a new pool in your backyard can be quite exciting!

There are so many elements to consider when adding a pool to your existing landscape. It’s important to consult a professional to gauge the possibilities that your backyard will allow for a pool.

From there, the sky’s the limit!

Pools can be a great focal point for your backyard. They can be the centerpiece for your summer parties or a mainstay in your children’s happy memories. Dream away when you’re imagining the possibilities for your pool design.

Let’s discuss the basics of pool shapes and layouts to get you started!

Some Preliminary Questions to Consider

Before we dive into different pool designs, let’s look at some topics to consider to create a foundation for your ideas. 

Brainstorm with these questions to help guide you in deciding the perfect pool layout for your home:

  • Who will be using the pool?—children? athletic swimmers? sunbathers?
  • How much space do you want to allocate to your pool design?
  • Where in your yard do you wish to put the pool?
  • What activities do you envision using your pool for?—parties? backyard hangouts? kids’ play area?
  • How deep do you want it? any shallow areas?
  • Any additional accents you wish to include—fountains? waterfalls? stonework?
  • How do you wish to integrate with the architecture of your home?
  • Any practical accessories to include?—firepits? hot tubs? watersports gear? patio? outdoor kitchen?

These questions will help focus in on the details you wish to discuss with your pool contractor. But the main meat of today’s question is: which of the pool shapes is best for your home?

Let’s take a look!

7 Great Swimming Pool Shapes

There are a variety of pool layouts that have been elegantly incorporated into the landscape and architecture of homes like yours.

Here are the top 7 pool designs to consider while you brainstorm on your new, backyard pool!

1. The Rectangle Pool

The earliest of pool designs, the rectangle layout is a tried-and-true classic.

Ideal for those seeking a simple layout that allows kids to play and athletes to swim laps, the rectangle covers it all. And it blends in well with most home architecture designs and landscape layouts.

Don’t feel restricted to the hardened rules of the rectangular shape, though. Plenty of designs have seen great success with some modifications; for example, consider rounding off one of the edges with a rounded hot tub for contrast. 

2. The Kidney Layout

A design popularized in the 1960s and 70s, the kidney-bean shape is another that stands the test of time.

Similar to the rectangle shape, the kidney layout is a favorite of children and adults alike. It’s rounded edges and curvy shape give it a much more casual, relaxed feel than the rectangle design.

Keep it funky with this cool bean!

3. The L Shape

The L shape design is great for those with children.

It allows you to sequester the kids off into a shallow area next to the entry stairs. From there, the adults can still enjoy their leisurely floating or watersports games in the deeper, longer end of the pool.

The adjacent space to the pool can be utilized to great effect. Consider adding in an outdoor kitchen or firepit area, or take the water activities to another level with a slide!

4. The Figure-8 

The figure-8 design is a more modern update to the kidney bean layout.

This pool features a smaller, circular section atop a larger circle of water. It’s great for those that wish to separate a shallow end for children from a deeper end for adults.

And for those seeking to swim a few laps, there’s still plenty of lengths!

Like the kidney bean, the figure-8 is ideal as a basis. Feel free to add modifications to enhance the design and make it unique to your backyard!

5. Geometric Layouts

We’ve already covered the most basic geometric pool shape: the rectangle.

There are plenty of other shapes to consider, like the oval, octagon, square, or heart. Or something completely unique, utilizing clean lines and curves of a custom geometric layout.

Geometric shapes offer a modern aesthetic, complementary to contemporary architectures and landscapes. They fit in well with homes that already showcase sharp angles and crisp edges. 

6. Grecian & Roman Pool Shapes

The Roman and Grecian pool designs are a great complement to classical architecture and formal landscape settings. They can give quite the grandiose allusion of an ol’ time Hollywood picture. Go big or go bigger!

Both are rectangular in shape but differ in the style they imbue with accents and elegance. Grecian styles are elongated sides with the corners removed, either cut at an angle to form an octagon or modified with inward-facing arches. Roman styles, instead, remove the ends of the pools completely and opt for wide, rounded arches.

These styles offer classic appeal to any home. And you can’t go wrong with some decorative columns!

7. Freeform Designs

If you wish to fully realize a whole landscape, the freeform design is the way to go.

Here, you’ll be considering every element, either existing or that you wish to create. Pay particular attention to the landscape features and architecture that you wish to incorporate.

You could go with a design that’s modern and pristine, or something more natural-seeming.

There can be any sort of possibility with custom pools, so consider your budget and go from there. To really make a statement, consider teaming up with private contractors so they can offer all their expertise to make the best backyard pool for you!

Time to Plan!

We hope these ideas for different pool shapes bring you inspiration for your design. As you can tell, there’s a lot to consider when adding a pool to your home.

When you’re ready, consult a professional to bring your pool dreams to life in your backyard!

cost of inground pool

Swimming Pool Builder: What’s the Typical Cost of Inground Pool?

There are few home improvements as impressive, and challenging, as adding an inground pool to your property. Pools are great for gatherings, exercise, and relaxation. The benefits can outweigh the cost of inground pool installation for many people.

There are many factors that need to be addressed before your pool is built. Before all of that, you need to work out how much you’re going to be spending.

Cost of Inground Pool Installation

That cost is different for every homeowner as there are many options for inground swimming pools. You’ll need to account for size, accessories, and any patio work you want to be done around it.

Size

This is the biggest factor that determines your cost to build. Bigger pools are obviously going to be more expensive to build and maintain than smaller pools.

If you aren’t sure how big it should be, then take a look around your yard. How much of your property are you willing to convert into a pool area? This tells you how big it can be.

Now think of what you want to use it for. Do you just want a pool to float around and relax in, or something longer for laps? Even consider whether you want to install certain features like a waterfall or bar in the pool.

An average-sized pool ends up being around 12-feet by 24-feet and $20,000 to install. Remember that a pool isn’t just a cement pit full of water. There are pipes, valves, and drains necessary to the maintenance and cleanliness of the pool.

Material

Different materials have different prices. Crazy, right? The primary materials used in inground pools are vinyl, fiberglass, and concrete, each with their own benefits.

Fiberglass is the cheapest option, running between $20,000 and $36,000, but that doesn’t mean it’s the worst. A fiberglass pool is installed as a single shell and needs some deck built around it. Fiberglass is very easy to keep clean and the shell doesn’t need much special care.

Vinyl gets a bit more expensive, from $20,000 to $40,000. Vinyl is easy to maintain and keep clean. Vinyl is also difficult for algae to take hold on, so it won’t need much chemical treatment, which can make it cheaper in the long run.

Concrete pools can be a bit pricier, going from $30,000 to $50,000 and requiring more in long-term maintenance. Thanks to the stability of concrete, they tend to be the larger pools. Though due to their size, the initial cost of filling them and the subsequent costs of maintenance come out to be the highest of the pools. 

There are online calculators that can get you a rough estimate of the installation cost like this one. But the best way to know for sure is to get a consultation from a professional service. 

Accessories

A pool’s a pool, but a pool with some extra features is something special. If you’ve got the space and the budget, consider adding some accessories to your pool.

A waterfall addition looks great and doesn’t add too much to the overall cost of the pool. Kits go from several hundred to a few thousand dollars.

If you have kids, then they will probably want a slide. Try and count this as an early birthday present because a permanent one will cost thousands of dollars. If you don’t want to spend that much, smaller inflatable ones can be under $100.

To really get the most out of your pool, it’s best to think of it as a continuation of your patio. With this mindset, you can consider any patio piece as part of the pool.

A poolside bar is great during parties and barbeques. A simple rolling bar for storage and prep can easily cost under $100, but a permanent fixture with refrigeration can go into the thousands. Make sure to keep an eye out for broken glass.

If you plan it out beforehand, a hot tub can be integrated into your pool for two kinds of luxury. It’s definitely a high-cost upgrade, probably $7,000 to $16,000 extra, but it is certainly worth it. Swim in the cool pool during the heat of the day and climb into the hot tub when the sun goes down to relax.

Maintenance

Like a pet, a pool’s expenses don’t end after you get it. Pools need to be maintained or they’ll suffer. Nobody wants to swim in a swamp so keep your pool clean.

Cement pools will require acid washing every few years to look as clean as possible, and eventually, it will need to be re-shelled. This can cost about $27,000 after a decade of regular maintenance and utility prices. The nature of cement makes it easier for algae growth.

Vinyl and fiberglass pools don’t have as much algae growth since they are much smoother and have fewer places for algae to latch on. These cost about $13,000 to maintain on average.

It can get pricey. Assume to pay up to $5,000 a year in maintenance for an average pool. This includes the chemicals, tools, electricity, and repairs to keep the pool clean and running.

You can save money by caring for your pool on your own. Once you have the tools, you only need to buy the chemicals which vary by brand.

If your pool is not inside of a screened-in patio, consider buying a cover. The price depends on size and material just like the pool itself. If your pool is a shape other than a rectangle it may cost more as well to get it custom-made.

A pool cover helps reduce the amount of debris like dirt, leaves, bugs, and other waste from getting in when the pool isn’t being used. The less time you have to spend cleaning, the more time you spend enjoying the pool.

Add It Up

Take advantage of the Texas sun and plan to swim all year. Once you have your total cost of inground pool installation, give us a call or message us for a free consultation.

Our custom-made pools can meet your needs and our financing can help you afford it.

dog swimming pool

Letting Fido Join in The Summer Fun: What to Know about Letting Your Dog in Your Pool

As the summer gets nearer, dog owners must take care to ensure their pooches don’t overheat.

Unlike us, dogs don’t sweat out excess body heat – so it’s very important to make sure they are cool in the hotter weather.

Why not let them take a refreshing dip in your pool? Or even get them their own dog swimming pool!

Here’s what you need to know about letting your pooch go paddling.

Can Your Dog Swim?

This may seem like an obvious point to make, but a dog needs to be able to swim before you let it loose in your pool.

Most dogs instinctively can swim, but if your pet has never tried it before, make sure it knows what it’s doing.

Timid dogs may panic or struggle in the water, so it’s important to recognize whether or not your pet would actually WANT to go swimming. Like humans, it might just not be for them.

It’s likely, therefore, that your dog will be able to swim if it is attracted to water and if it’s confident.

It’s also important to know that this isn’t determined by the dog’s breed. Even larger, stronger dogs might be frightened or nervous around water, while smaller, weaker pooches may take to it like a duck to… well, water.

Have You Got a Dog Life Vest?

Much like you would kit out a child with a life vest, there are products on the market that will help your dog stay afloat.

Again, if you’re easing your pet into swimming in the pool, this might be a good idea to get them started.

These life vests – available at pet stores – are bright and buoyant and will help with your dog’s first forays into the water.

Know Your Dog’s Obedience Levels

It’s important for a dog to be well trained anyway, but this is even more important when it comes to letting them loose in the pool.

It’s crucial that your pet knows what ‘come’ means so that you can call him or her to you when you need to, should you need to rush them out of the water.

Practice this with your dog before letting them go swimming, and be sure to have doggie treats on hand for when they do as they’re told.

Have the Vet’s Number On Hand (and Learn Pet CPR)

In case there is an emergency, you should familiarize yourself with pet CPR. This means you may be able to help your dog, should it have problems in the water.

And of course, have the vet’s number on speed dial should anything worrying happen.

Keep a Close Eye

Don’t leave your dog unattended while it’s in the water.

Whether they are the most competent swimmers or not, this is important. You never know what could happen. You wouldn’t leave your children alone in the pool, so don’t leave your dog.

Just be aware that they’re taking a swim and be sure to keep an eye on them.

Is the Pool Dog-Friendly?

If you have a pool that your pet can’t get out of, it’s not a sensible idea to let them swim in it.

If there is a sudden need for your pooch to get out, it needs to be able to do so of its own accord. A pool with high sides is not suitable.

Invest in a Dog Swimming Pool

Install a dog swimming pool at your home just for your pooch!

This is a great idea if you don’t want your dog in the main, larger pool; or if your main pool isn’t dog-friendly.

Perhaps you haven’t got the room for a large pool at your home, but you do have space for a doggie pool. Treat your pooch and install one for them.

Dog pools can also be custom built at a certain depth so that you don’t have to worry about your pup in deep waters.

Don’t Drink the Water

Swimming pool water is full of chemicals and it’s not appropriate to let a dog ingest it.

Be sure to teach them this. If they try to drink from the pool, tell them not to. And have fresh drinking water on hand by the poolside for them when they get out.

After all, swimming can be thirsty work.

Get Involved

Walking and playing are some of the fun pastimes that come with being a dog owner.

And swimming can be too.

When your dog swims in the pool, get in with him or her and play with them. It’s a great way to enjoy time with your pet, and you’re keeping an eye on their safety too.

Play catch and fetch with your canine companion in the water, just as you would on the grass.

Rinse Cycle

When your pup is finished frolicking in the waters, make sure you rinse them with fresh water, from the hose.

It’s important to get rid of the chlorine on their coats to keep them healthy – just like you would take a shower after a swim yourself.

Give them a bath with shampoo too if you can – it’s best to get them clean and fluffy again after their time in the pool.  

A Cool Dog is a Happy Dog

Tempted to invest in a dog swimming pool for your home, to keep your pooch happy and healthy?

Don’t delay! If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us for a free consultation today. We can make your (and your canine companion’s) dream pool a reality.

swimming pool house

Increasing House Value: 5 Things You Need to Consider Before Installing a Swimming Pool

Adding a pool to your home swimming pool house can be a great way to improve your lifestyle. It’s a great way to entertain guests and is a fun outlet for bonding as a family.

Having your own pool means that you can swim whenever you want – night or day – with no one looking. It also means that you don’t have to deal with strangers splashing you or sharing lanes when you want to swim laps.

This summer, give your friends and family a new place to gather while adding value to your home. Build a swimming pool.

But make sure you think through the construction process first. There are a lot of concerns specific to swimming pool construction and if you don’t think it through, you could end up with a serious construction mess on your hands. Read on to learn the factors to consider before you begin.

1. How You Will Handle the Financing

Whether you decide on a small above ground pool, or you want to excavate the land around your house to build a swimming pool, there will be a lot of costs involved.

You may have been considering installing a pool at your home, but you aren’t sure how you will handle the pool financing. Fortunately, many of the pool building companies out there will allow you to finance through them. Consider getting a consultation to find out what kind of funding is available.

You can also consider refinancing your home to use some of your equity to create a pool. Just make sure that the other homes in your area had an increase in value when they added a pool. You don’t want to lose your equity on an asset that won’t add value to your home.

2. What Other Homes in Your Area Have

Not everyone considers a pool to be an amenity. Some people are concerned about the amount of upkeep that they require and costs of maintenance in the future. 

If you add a pool, you could be distancing some buyers when you go to sell your home in the future. Ask a local real estate what families in your area are looking for. If there are a lot of families begging to see homes with pools, then great. But if they get a lot of clients who are concerned about owning a pool, you may want to reconsider the option.

Homes without pools can sometimes sell for a higher value in areas where a lot of homes have pools since they are rarer.

3. How You Will Design the Surrounding Space

In order to have a nice outdoor swimming pool, you also need to spend some money creating the space that surrounds it.

You will need to make decisions like what kind of plants will surround your pool and take into consideration how much foliage they might drop into the pool. If you have a lot of trees surrounding your pool, you will need to invest more in a strong filtration system to collect the leaves.

You should also look into the laws in your area surrounding swimming pool safety. Some areas require you to install a fence of a certain height or have a screening enclosure around your pool to protect you from liability if someone’s kid were to wander into your pool.

4. The Ongoing Cost of Pool Maintenance

Pools aren’t a one time cost. You will need to pay for the chemicals and tools to keep your pool clean. Every time someone comes out to clean your pool, they will charge you around a hundred dollars.

Most years, your swimming pool may be able to get away with cleanings monthly, depending on how much you are using it. But if you have a summer where there is a lot of rain, you may end up balancing and cleaning your pool water every week. 

If you live in a cold weather climate, you will also need to consider the cost of winterizing your pool. Each year you will need to lower the water level, backwash the filter, clear the water lines, and put a cover on it. 

Opening your pool after the winter comes with its own costs. Someone will have to reassemble the filtration system, refill it with water, and test the water chemistry to get it back in a normal range for swimming.

5. Whether You Need a Swimming Pool House

If you plan to build a large swimming pool on your property that you will use to host events, then it may be a good idea to build a swimming pool house. 

It could be as simple as a small cabana with an outdoor shower and a toilet so that your guests don’t have to go in the house to use the restroom. Or you could build a larger structure with a bar and outdoor kitchen to take your entertaining to the next level.

Other optional features include creative lighting in the swimming pool for night swims, equipment for playing games like volleyball and basketball in the pool, and specialty tile work.

When You’re Ready to Dig It

Whether you decide to create a swimming pool house structure and a complete backyard oasis, or if you’re just trying to put in a small dipping pool, we can help your vision come to life.

At Sahara Construction, we have been helping families in the Katy, Texas area invest in the luxurious backyard of their dreams. You’ll be impressed with the high-quality materials we use to create your vision. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation. 

swimming pool builders

Swimming Pool Builders: 7 Tips for Finding the Right Builder for Your Pool

Did you know that swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the entire country?

And if you live in Texas… we are gonna make a safe bet that swimming is even more popular in your area. 

Which is why putting a pool into your yard may just be the best idea ever. A beautiful pool can be a source of many benefits including family fun, entertainment, and great exercise.

But, there are a number of common pitfalls that can turn a pool installation into a potential nightmare.

Fortunately, you can avoid these pool pitfalls. Because we are going to walk you through just how to screen swimming pool builders. So that your pool installation goes like a dream.

Read on to find out how you can set yourself up for hassle-free pool installation.

1. Research the Type of Pool That You Want

The first thing to do to ensure a smooth pool build is to research the type of pool you want. You can check out swimming pool designs and trends, and draw up a list of your requirements.

You can also research pool filtration systems and get to grips with the types that will suit your preferences. 

Getting clear on what type of pool you want will make finding a great contractor that much easier. For example, if you establish that you want to have an indoor pool, then you can narrow down your search and focus only on indoor pool builders. 

2. Visit the Premises of Your Local Swimming Pool Builders

The next step to finding a reliable contractor is to visit the premises of your local swimming pool contractors. 

Although you might be tempted to simply call up potential contractors, and get them to come to you, visiting their premises poses a big advantage. 

You will get to see how professional their offices are, and whether they have displays or a showroom. This will help you gauge how trustworthy the different companies are. 

If a contractor does not have any premises at all, this is a definite red flag.

3. Check for Certifications and Licenses

The next thing to do when screening swimming pool contractors is to check for certifications and licenses. 

  • Check for a contractor’s license: Check whether a contractor has a contractor’s license or not. You can check the status of a contractor’s license by searching for it on the license search function of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
  • Enquire about what certified builders are on staff: Ask contractors whether they have a certified pool builder on their team. 
  • Master Pools Guild: Ask if a contractor is a member of the Master Pools Guild. If so, that’s great, but not a requirement like the licenses and certifications are.
  • Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP): Another indication of excellence to check for is if a contractor is part of the APSP.

4. Ask About Warranties, Insurance, and Permits

The next thing to ask swimming pool contractors about is warranties, insurance, and permits.

Here are some of the warranties and insurance types to inquire about:

  • Workers compensation and liability insurance: Ask for solid proof from contractors that they hold insurance in the area. If not, in the advent of accidents, you may just find that you are liable.
  • Pool warranty: Be sure to ask the contractors you are screening whether they offer a warranty on their finished pool. A company that does not offer a warranty is usually one to be wary of.
  • Workmanship warranty: Besides a good pool warranty, you also want to have a workmanship warranty. This ensures that any mistakes made on the job do not make a hole in your pocket.
  • Building permits: Double check with your contractor that they undertake the submission of building permits for your pool. If they omit to do this and you don’t know about it, you could be fined for a hefty sum. 

5. Ask for References

When interviewing potential companies, be sure to ask for references. But before you ask for references, inquire as to how many pools the company installed in the last year. 

If they then hand you a significantly smaller amount of references for that period, you will know that not all of the installations resulted in happy customers!

Besides client references, you can also ask for partner references. Partner references are references from other companies in the trade. Such as pump suppliers and hardware stores. 

These references will give you an indication of how the company does business in general. 

6. Check for Complaints with the Builder’s Business Bureau

Another precaution you can take is to check for complaints with the Builder’s Business Bureau (BBS).

On their website, you will be able to see:

  • How long a contractor has been in business
  • How many complaints they have had lodged
  • How many of the complaints were resolved

If the contractor has been in operation for some time, a few complaints are to be expected. But if there are numerous complaints, and mostly unresolved, then this is a warning sign. 

7. Get It in Writing

If you are negotiating with a contractor and they are promising ‘extras’, such as a free pool pump, be sure to get this in writing on your quote.

When offered freebies, you may think you are snagging a bargain. But if the contractor conveniently forgets his promises the quote could turn out to be just as, or more expensive, than competitor rates. 

8. Double Check Details on the Contract

Once you have received a contract, double check all the details. If anything doesn’t make sense, question the contractor.

Also, make sure that the contract covers the following:

  • Clear descriptions of services
  • The terms of payment
  • The deadlines of the project
  • An item-by-item list of materials
  • A breakdown of your and their responsibilities

Final Word

Building your dream pool does not need to turn into a nightmare. Now that you are armed with these tips, you’re more than ready to find a team of reliable and professional swimming pool builders. 

So, start planning those pool parties!

If you are eager to get going with planning the build of your swimming pool, then why not take advantage of our free consultation

 

pool water features

Chasing Waterfalls: 10 Stunning Swimming Pool Water Feature Ideas

Thinking about improving your backyard in time for summer? Adding some pool water features might just be what you need.

If you live in Cypress, a pool is an essential way to beat the heat. Whether you’re adding a pool for the first time, or looking to upgrade your current one, there are lots of cool water features that can make it even more enticing. With the right upgrade, your pool can become a part of a chic outdoor oasis that’s relaxing even when you’re not in it.

Wondering what the best pool water features to add are? We’ve put together a list of our favorites here — keep reading to learn which ones you should try this year!

1. Poolside Fire Pits

Didn’t think fire and water could mix? Think again.

A firepit is always a great addition to an outdoor space, making it appealing even in the cooler months. But when you add a firepit (or several) alongside your pool, you also create a cool contrasting effect. 

Your firepits can go right next to your pool. The contrast of flames and water, with flickering reflections of the fire at night, will transform the way your pool looks.

2. Poolside Garden

Why not extend your garden all the way up to the edge of the pool?

Both swimming pools and decorative ponds look great when they’re fringed with foliage. If you have trees in your backyards, you’re going to get plant matter in the pool anyway, so adding a nearby garden won’t change your pool cleaning requirements.

What it can do, though, is lend your pool a sense of natural appeal, so you’ll feel like you’re bathing in Hawaiian hot springs. A poolside garden feature goes well with other natural touches, like a natural stone edge.

3. Walk-Up Bar

If a swim-up bar isn’t quite your style (although that’s certainly an option too), you can add a walk-up bar to the edge of your pool.

All you need is for the ground at one side of the pool to be low enough that the pool’s edge can be used as a bar. Add some high stools or chairs, and you’re all set. Now, you know where to use that cool new cocktail recipe you’ve been dying to try!

4. Rock Waterfall

If you’re looking for something a little more natural, why not create a cascading rock waterfall that ends in your pool?

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as the sound of softly running water. The addition of natural-looking stone makes this an even more appealing feature. It pairs perfectly with a pool with other natural elements (like the garden idea above).

5. Mixed Materials

Mixing up the materials you use can give your pool area a luxe feel. Try combining outdoor-friendly surfaces like brick, wood, and stone to add interest to even a small pool. This is also a great way to seamlessly combine your pool with your patio!

6. Poolside Fountain

Poolside water fountains can add interest without disrupting the surface of the pool itself. If you don’t want a fountain in your pool, or can’t afford one, consider installing a small fountain (or a row of them) at the edge of the pool.

This will give you all the benefits of hearing running water near your pool, without having to pay to add a new feature to the pool itself.

7. Sheer Waterfall

Want to give your pool a modern, minimalist vibe? A sheer waterfall is a great way to go.

This takes a step away from the natural look of other waterfalls, like the rock waterfall listed above. Instead, the water will fall straight over an edge at right angles, syncing perfectly with a more modern look. These pool water features suit contemporary home designs perfectly.

8. Edge Wall

Putting a wall along one side of your pool opens up all kinds of cool possibilities.

It would work as a bar, but it can also work as a place to hold decorative plants, lights, or even as a place to sit. You can also add water features in the wall if you want to level it up further.

9. Jet Features

For more excitement than a simple fountain or waterfall, you can also position jets that will shoot water into the pool in graceful arcs. A row of jets along each side of a rectangular pool looks especially chic and glamorous.

10. Artificial Rainfall 

Love the idea of the jets, but want to go even more spectacular? Consider an artificial rainfall feature that will give your pool the effect of having rain falling from the ceiling in luxe curtains. This is a great way to upgrade a covered pool.

11. Pool Water Fountain

If you prefer to keep things classic, you could add a water fountain inside the pool. This simple yet grand water feature will never get old, and it gives that soft, splashing sound that so many people love to hear when poolside.

12. Spillover Pools

If you have a raised pool and a lowered hot tub, or a similar setup, you can elegantly transfer water using a spillover design. It will connect the main pool with the smaller, lower pool or tub beautifully.

13. Scuppers

You can’t go wrong with scuppers, which create a tiny waterfall effect that falls from a raised wall into your pool. Carefully placed individual scuppers, or rows of them, can work well depending on your pool design.

14. Sculptured Fountains

Do you love art? Want to incorporate it into your pool design? You can add fountains that come in the form of sculptures for an additional unique touch to your pool. The design of the sculpture is up to you, so you can pick one that suits your style perfectly. 

Ready to Try These Pool Water Features?

Whether you choose one, or mix and match a few, these pool water features will give your pool an upgrade that makes it feel like new. These ideas range from inexpensive to high-end, so there’s something here for every budget.

Not sure you can afford to install the pool of your dreams, much less the water features? It’s easier than you might think — check out our financing options here.

in ground swimming pool

7 Key Things to Know Before Installing an In-Ground Swimming Pool

Having an in ground swimming pool is a great feature for any house. But it’s especially nice for houses located in hotter areas. And the Texas sun isn’t shy.

So having a cool escape in the hot summer months is more than enjoyable! But installing in-ground pools comes with a lot of dedication. You’ll want to make sure that you know the most important things about buying a pool before doing so.

If you’re not sure what you need to know about in-ground pool installations, you’re not alone. Most people aren’t aware of important things to know before making the purchase. Luckily, we’re here to help!

Keep reading for 7 key things you need to know before having an in-ground swimming pool installed. 

1. Know Why You Want The Pool

Make sure everyone in the household is on board with the decision. It’s a big investment that requires a lot of work. And if everyone in the household isn’t ready to make such a large commitment, then having the pool installed won’t be easy. 

How many people will be swimming in the pool? Do you want a small sized in ground swimming pool for you and your partner? Or do you need a large sized one for family gatherings and parties? 

You should also know why you want the pool and what you plan on using it for. If you plan on swimming during the colder months, then consider installing a pool heater or warmer. If you only plan to use the pool during the hotter months, then a pool heater may not be needed. 

Consider the area where you live. Think about how often it’s cold and how often it’s hot. And think about how often you want to use the pool. 

2. Know If Your Property Is Pool Ready

There are several ground factors to take into consideration before having a pool installed. Is the ground on your property pool ready? If your property has a high water table underground, then this can significantly add to the cost.

Also, keep in mind that the type of soil plays a key factor in construction and price. Sandy soils or soils that are rocky might be a concern. It’s also a good idea to note that the equipment needed to build the pool will need a way in and out.

3. Know Where You Want To Put It

Not only do you need to look into the zoning and building laws for your property before building, but you also need to know where electrical, gas, or water lines run. Both of these factors play a huge part in deciding where to build your pool.

There may also be deck restrictions and laws that require proper fencing around the pool. And once you’ve gathered all of this information, you can then decide where the entrance and exit of the pool will be. And you should consider placing the pool in an area that receives maximum sunlight.

4. Know How Much It Will Cost & The Upkeep

It’s important to know your budget beforehand. In-ground pool installations are expensive. And you should have your pool financing plan in place as one of the first steps. 

It’s not uncommon for pool buyers to put down a deposit and schedule a service before realizing that they couldn’t get the financing that they needed. So it’s crucial to have this step completed before starting the process.

5. Know What Materials You Want

Your in-ground pool can be made from several different materials. In-ground pools can be made with vinyl liner, concrete, or fiberglass. It’s never a bad idea to do some research on each type of pool before making a final decision. 

Vinyl liner pools are the least expensive, but the upkeep and maintenance of the pool can be quite expensive. Concrete pools are the most expensive, but they are a much more durable choice. Fiberglass pools land in the middle with price, but the upkeep and maintenance cost of them is significantly lower than vinyl liners.

Make sure you have a reputable company provide you with high-quality pool maintenance and repairs. This will ensure that you get the most out of your pool.

6. Know The Construction Time Frame

know how long it will take to build your in-ground pool. The amount of time it takes to complete the job is dependent on several factors. If you are installing a small pool, then the time to construct it will be less than the time to build a larger pool. 

The weather conditions also play into the amount of time it takes. Bad weather conditions can extend the time frame. And lastly, the type of pool you are having installed can determine the time frame as well. 

Customizations, materials used, and add ons can all be reasons for longer construction time. 

7. Know What Customizations You Want

Before going through with an installation, be sure you know what types of customization you want for your pool. Pools can be built in many different shapes: not just square, rectangle, or circle. Waterfalls, landscaping, waterslides, bridges, pavements, and more can all be customized to meet your dream pool’s needs. 

Check out these photos here to get an idea of what kinds of customizations you might want for your own pool. 

What’s Your Dream In Ground Swimming Pool?

After reading these 7 key factors to consider before making a final purchase, do you know what your dream in ground swimming pool is? If you keep these 7 tips in mind, then it’ll be easy sailing for you as you install your very own underground pool!

And that you know everything there is to know before buying an in-ground pool, stop by our contact page and request a free consultation today. Your dream pool is waiting for you! 

pool cleaning

Pool Cleaning Made Easy: 8 Tips That Lead to a Spick and Span Clean

When you imagine taking your first dip of the summer, you picture a crystal clear pool, right? It’s not hard to achieve this, but you’ll need to put in a little work.

If you own a swimming pool, there’s a good chance your home is a popular place once the mercury starts to rise. However, with family, friends, and neighbors enjoying your pool on a regular basis, you’ll need to take measures to clean it.

You’ll need to establish a pool cleaning routine and adhere to it all summer. This will ensure it looks great and the water’s safe to swim in.

Let’s go over eight tips to help you maintain a clean pool.

1. Start with Skimming

The cleaning job you’ll need to perform most frequently is skimming. This involves removing leaves, bugs, and other debris that gets into the pool and floats on the surface.

Skimming on a regular basis helps you cut down on your pool maintenance time. A quick skim every day ensures debris doesn’t sink to the bottom where it’s harder to remove.

All you need is a long, telescopic pole and a net. Make sure both of these tools are clean before using them so you don’t get your pool dirtier in the process.  

2. Take a Brush to It

There’s nothing you can do about dirt and algae accumulating on the side of your pool.  Sometimes this buildup is hard to see, but it’s there.

The best way to tackle this problem is with a pool brush. You’ll need to brush the sides of your pool, stairs, and ladder once a week.

You can use your brush in one of two ways. Get a model that attaches to your telescopic pole and do the job from outside the pool.

Or, do it from inside the pool with a hand brush. Who knows, you may end up enjoying this cleaning job.

Make sure you do a thorough brushing once a week. The longer you put this off, the harder the job will be once you decide to do it. 

3. Regular Vacuuming

To effectively clean the bottom of your pool, you’ll need to use a vacuum. Do this at least once or twice a week or when you feel your pool needs it.

If you don’t already have a vacuum, make sure you get one that’s compatible with your pool. Different surfaces require different styles of vacuums.  

To do this job manually, you’ll attach the vacuum head to your telescopic pole. Run the vacuum along the bottom of the pool slowly. Go too fast and you’ll stir up dirt and debris at the bottom.

You can also opt to invest in an automatic vacuum. These will take some of the legwork out of the job.

4. Good Circulation

It’s important you maintain good circulation at all times. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a cloudy pool and can even damage your pump.

Healthy circulation requires you to run your pump for 8 to 12 hours each day. This slows down the buildup of algae and stops bacteria from forming.

Make sure you clean out the skimmer baskets on a regular basis. It’s also important to keep the filter on your pump clean at all times. Doing so helps ensure steady circulation.

5. Backwash the Filter

Your pump filter plays an important role in keeping your swimming pool clean and healthy. One of the best ways to clear it is by performing a backwash.

As water passes through your pump, the filter traps dirt and debris and prevents it from entering your pool. However, over time the filter can get clogged.

Performing a backwash means reversing the flow of water through the filter. This washes away all the debris that’s accumulated.

Check your pump manual for instructions on backwashing. If you still need assistance, call a professional pool technician to help.

6. Maintain a Healthy pH Balance

The pH balance of your pool refers to the amount of alkalinity and acidity in the water. It’s important for this number to remain between 7.2 and 7.8.

The pH balance could get thrown off by things like heavy rains or daily swimming. A high or low pH balance could cause skin and eye irritation. It could also damage your pool equipment.

Pool supply stores sell test kits for measuring pH balance. Test your water a few times a week and after storms. If your levels are off, there are chemicals you can add to correct the balance.

7. Sanitize with Chlorine

Maintaining a good chlorine level is crucial during the summer months when your pool gets frequent use. Chlorine helps kill bacteria and keeps your pool sanitary for swimmers.

Keep chlorine tablets on hand all season. All you have to do is throw them in and let them dissolve. Invest in a chlorine test kit to help you determine if your level is too low.

Before you start using your pool for the first time this summer, go ahead and shock it with chlorine. After that, if you keep your pool in good shape you may not need to add chlorine too often.

8. Cut Back Foliage

A preventative measure that will help keep your pool clean is to do a little landscaping. Cutting back foliage around your pool is a great way to keep leaves, limbs, and other organic debris out.

If you have trees in close proximity to your pool, thin them out. You should also cut back any surrounding bushes or shrubs.

Keeping the landscaping around your pool well-manicured will reduce the number of insects that end up in the water. It also improves the aesthetic appearance of your pool and backyard.

Practice These Pool Cleaning Tips on a Regular Basis

Having a swimming pool makes Texas summers so much more pleasurable. Do yourself and your family a favor and keep your pool looking its best all season.

Tackle these pool cleaning tasks on a regular basis and enjoy and long, hot summer.  

We provide residential pool services in Katy and the surrounding areas. Contact us today.  

pool contractor

Don’t Get Ripped Off! Key Tips for Finding a Reliable Pool Contractor

If you’ve decided this is the year of the swimming pool, congratulations!

You’re joining almost 500,000 people in the state of Texas who also dreamed of a pool in their backyard. You’re also about to become the most popular house on the block.

You’re excited but also a little apprehensive. You’ve heard at least a few swimming pools gone bad stories, right?

Investing in a custom built swimming pool isn’t like purchasing a pool-in-a-box from your local discount store. If you don’t like it you can’t pack it back in the box and drop it off at the customer service desk.

If you choose a reliable pool contractor, you won’t need to worry about swimming pool nightmares. Nor will you wish you could put the dirt back in the ground and put up a swing set instead.

But how do you pick the best pool builder?

It’s not difficult if you follow our tips. Read them and get ready to break ground.

Meet in Person

We live in a world where life’s transactions happen with a click of the mouse. For many purchases, we never talk to a human over the phone much less in person.

Even for major purchases people often don’t consult with someone face-to-face. Consider the latest trend of ordering a new car from what amounts to a vending machine.

Most people wouldn’t dream of picking a contractor from a vending machine sight unseen. It’s the same with your swimming pool installer.

Feel free to call and get estimates over the phone or by e-mail. Just make sure you meet in person before the first shovel digs into your backyard.

A reliable pool contractor expects to come out to a prospective client’s home before beginning work. This is a consultation where you talk about your dream swimming pool and your budget.

They inspect your site. They’ll share some of their own ideas. By the end of the consultation, they should have enough information to create a swimming pool proposal.

Meet with at least 2-3 contractors before making a final decision. As long as you’ve asked the right questions, this first date should give you a good idea of which company is right for the job.

Ask Key Questions

Don’t let the excitement of building a pool overwhelm you to the point where you can’t think straight. Right about now you’re dreaming of sinking into the relaxing cool waters of your very own pool.

Before you take the plunge, ask questions—lots of questions. Your questions should go beyond the price of the pool and how long it takes to build. 

Dive further into the question of how long they’ve been in business. Of course, you’re looking for experience but more important is how much experience they have building the type of pool you want. If their niche is fiberglass pools and you want a gunite pool, keep looking.

Another obvious question is whether they’re licensed but you should also ask about insurance. Be aware that not every state requires licensing for pool builders. All pool companies should carry general liability insurance and worker’s compensation.

Both types of insurance protect you. One protects you from poor workmanship. The other ensure you’re not liable for injuries that happen to your contractor or one of their employees.

You could also ask them if they can have your pool ready by next weekend for your kid’s birthday party. A sense of humor is important when building a pool, no?

Request References

A reputable pool contractor doesn’t earn their reputation by accident. Most pool builders keep a list of their happiest clients who don’t mind talking about how happy they are with their swimming pool.

You ask your babysitter for references. Your employer asked you for references. Why wouldn’t you ask a pool builder for theirs?

The key to a reference list is actually contacting the references.

You’re looking for information about what kind of experience previous clients had working with the pool company. You also want to know what it was like working with their crew and any subcontractors.

Ask about the final product. Were the results what the client hoped for, or were there things that didn’t meet expectations?

The most telling question is whether the client would hire the contractor again.

A swimming pool is a major investment and an emotional purchase. There’s a certain level of trust that comes along with the entire process. A good pool contractor builds that trust well before breaking ground.

Don’t feel awkward asking for references.

Don’t Sign a Contract on the First Date

Did you buy the first home you walked through? Most home buyers look at an average of 10 homes before making an offer. You probably don’t need to see that many pool installers.

Remember earlier when we suggested meeting in person with 2-3 pool builders before making a decision? Even if you fall in love with the first one, it’s still a good idea to talk with at least one other builder.

After your initial consultation, you’ll get a proposal. The proposal should include information about the type of pool, the estimated time-frame and cost. This is a proposal, not a contract.

Read each proposal and ask for modifications if necessary.

Compare proposals. One builder may offer an extra water feature at a discount. Another builder might throw in an upgraded deck.

Take time to go over all proposals before you hire your builder. This can prevent future problems with contracts.

It’s in the Details

Few people enjoy reading contracts, especially when they have a lot of fine print.

Your contract contains the details of your swimming pool project. Details include:

  • Description of services
  • Itemized breakdown of materials
  • Project deadlines.
  • Inclement weather agreement
  • Equipment
  • Responsibilities of pool company vs. homeowner
  • Payment terms

Read the contract and ask for explanations of every detail. No, you’re not a pest. Understanding your contract helps prevent future misunderstandings.

Ready to Hire Your Pool Contractor?

Whether you want it for the endless vacation factor or you hope to add value to your home, building a pool is a big deal.

If you follow our tips, you can find a reliable pool contractor who will ensure you get the pool of your dreams.

Ready for the next step in the swimming pool project? Contact us and we’ll set up a complimentary consultation.