steps to building a pool

What Are the Steps to Building a Pool? Here’s What to Expect During the Building Process

Living in the sweltering heat of Texas, there’s nothing like having your own pool to relax in on humid summer days.

You can cool off in the privacy of your own backyard or tan on your secluded patio, listening to the gentle splash of a waterfall.

If you’ve dreamed of turning your backyard into the perfect summer getaway, then you may be wondering what to expect.

Ready to have a custom pool builder create your perfect oasis? Not sure of the steps to building a pool? Read on to find out what to expect during the process.

Steps to Building a Pool

From start to finish, it’s difficult to know the exact time that it will take to build a pool. This is because the weather is a factor. You can expect your pool to be completed between six and ten weeks.

If your backyard design includes additional construction such as an outdoor kitchen or living area, you can expect it to take an additional week or two. Keep in mind that some skilled tradesmen do not work on Sundays. So there are varying schedules to work around.

Pick Your Pool

There are a variety of different pools to choose from. Luckily, with the help of a professional pool builder, you won’t have to spend hours researching. You can request a free consultation with an expert. They will speak with you and discuss your preferences, location, and size of your pool.

You’ll be able to design a pool that meets both your budget and design standards. Plus, your designer will personalize your backyard with other features and landscaping to create a picturesque environment.

You can even add fountain or waterfall features to your pool. Maybe you’re looking to add a jacuzzi for cooler nights. You’ll also be able to choose what stones or tile will line your pool and patio to add that final touch of luxury.

Consider adding a patio cover for shaded space while you are enjoying your yard. You can choose one to seamlessly match the roof and design of your home.

There are so many options to choose from!

What’s Your Budget?

If you’re not sure if your dream pool fits into your budget, there are options to assist you. You can scale down the size of your pool. Or you can opt for a financing plan to pay off your pool slowly.

Talk with your pool consultant to determine if financing your pool is the right option for you. You don’t have to limit yourself if you cannot pay the full cost upfront.

Permission to Build

You may be ready to dive into building your dream backyard, but before you can break ground, you need to permission to start building. This includes a permit and also engineering plans that comply with the state, local and HOA regulations if applicable.

When working with a reputable pool builder, they will be able to assist you throughout this process. Be sure they are knowledgeable about these standards and have a CPO certification. They will be able to design your pool to meet local regulations.

Additional permits for hooking up things like gas lines for barbeques may be required from whoever is hired to do that portion of the work.

Breaking Ground

Once you have permission, your pool builder will come to your property to outline the pool layout. They will then be able to excavate your pool. Depending on your soil, it usually will take a couple of days to complete the excavation.

Sometimes, if your soil has a lot of rocks, the excavator may include a surcharge. This can depend on the hardness and also the depth of your pool.

On top of digging the pool itself, additional plumbing will need to be laid to filter the pool. This ensures that your pool will remain crystal clear. It can take one to two days for a professional plumber to install this.

Structural Integrity

Next, your pool’s steel structure will be installed. This is a steel shell that will create support and stability for your pool. This process is very precise and designed based on the engineering plans specific to your pool.

It looks like a series of bars that run vertically and horizontally like a grid across your entire pool. Once this network is placed down the gunite shell will be installed. This is sprayed concrete that will create the walls of the pool.

You will be required to water the concrete three to four times a day. This will ensure that the concrete cures slowly. The concrete or gunite mixture will then need to sit another five to seven days. This will ensure it has dried completely.

Once the structure of your pool is complete, it will be able to withstand 3,000-3,500 psi of compressive strength!

Final Hook-Ups

The final equipment will need to be installed such as electrical boxes and filtration systems. The engineering of this equipment must be precise and accurate.

Professionals will take into consideration the size and depth of the pool, the grade of the land, and the location of the pool. The correct pool pump sizes are chosen Any electric needed for lighting or gas lines to heat the pool is added and connected.

Check to see if a city inspection is required for your new electric and gas hookups. You may also be required to call the city to connect the gas line to the main meter.

This is the time when any water features are installed as well. Jets, waterfalls, sheer falls, wall sprays, or fountains will be set up.

Tiles & Coping

Now’s the time to add the tile and coping. This is when the pool starts getting those finishing touches. Coping will be the material that caps off the top of the pool.

During the design and consultation phase, you have the opportunity to look through several beautiful tile designs. This final layer of stone or marble will polish off your pool’s look.

The tile or stone may continue throughout your deck. Or you may choose a different material for most of your patio’s surface. This can take between two to five days to complete.

Completing an entire deck can take an additional three to five days. There are a variety of materials to choose from including concrete, stone, or brick. You can find an option that is virtually maintenance-free.

Ready to Dive Into A New Pool?

We hope these steps to building a pool will give you a better idea of what to expect. It may be a long process at first but think of the many years you’ll be enjoying your new pool!

If you’re ready to get started or just curious about what you can expect, why not request a free consultation? We’re here to make this process as stress-free as possible. So you can start enjoying your pool in no time!

maintaining a pool

9 Tips to Make Maintaining a Pool Easier (and Less Expensive)

Do you live in one of the 10.4 million American homes that have a swimming pool? The most important thing about owning a pool is properly maintaining it. This will prevent high repair costs later on.

Maintaining a pool doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You just need to know the proper steps and routine checks to ensure your pool’s systems are running smoothly.

Add these eight pool maintenance steps to your home maintenance routine and have a pool that is always ready for a swim.

1. Chemistry

During the summer months, you need to check the chemistry of your pool once or twice a week. You can check less often during the winter months and check every one or two weeks.

The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. The lower the pH, the less chlorine your pool will need. The higher the pH, the less effective the active chlorine becomes. This will lead to many pool owners using more and more chlorine.

2. Skimmer Baskets

Look along the side of your pool for the skimmer. The goal of the skimmer is to skim the surface of the pool water to catch dirt and debris. That way, the contaminants are cleared before they become saturated and sink to the bottom of the pool.

You should see a round or rectangular access panel in your pool deck. Open this panel and dump out the contents of the basket inside.

The cleaner you keep the skimmer, the more effective it is at skimming contaminants off the surface of the water.

You can also perform a quick skim of the water every day yourself. All you need is a net on a telescopic pole.

3. Lint Pot

Every couple of weeks you should check the lint pot on the front of your pool pump. To do this, turn off the pump and release the pressure. Now check the basket just inside the glass on the pump.

4. Water Level

Look at the water level in your pool. Make sure it isn’t too high or too low. The water level needs to be at the right height so that the skimmer we mentioned earlier can do its job correctly.

The water level should be in the center of the pool skimmer or pool tile for the best filtering results. If the water is too low, then the pump will run dry, overheat, and eventually burn up. If the water is too high, then it won’t be able to filter the water and keep the debris in the skimmer.

5. Chlorinator

Check the level of the chlorine tablets and that they are loading properly. Fix any clogging issues that you may find. Depending on the system you have, you can set it up to supply your pool with a constant residual supply of needed chlorine.

6. Ozonator

Some pool systems have an Ozonator. These systems use a combination of Ozone and UV light to reduce the level of chlorine necessary to maintain the pool. If your pool has one, you need to check that the light is on and working.

It is advised that you learn how your system works before you make adjustments. Different Ozonators have different installation and maintenance instructions.

7. Chlorine Generator

Some pools use a salt system; you may have heard of them referred to as a salt pool or no chlorine pool. The chlorine generator produces the chlorine for you. This way, you don’t have to buy, store or handle it.

You need to keep the cell clean, and it is vital you keep the pool chemistry on track for proper functioning. If you can taste the salt in your pool, then your pool is over salted.

Also, keep in mind that salt systems will raise the pH. You can expect to use more acid to balance things out.

8. Pool Filters

The filter for your pool needs to be checked periodically. Depending on the location and condition of your pool, it should only need cleaning every four to six months.

You should also check the filter if you have a heavy storm roll through. Excess contaminants and debris can get in your pool during a strong storm causing your filter to clog quicker.

To clean your filter, take the dirty filter and soak it in a mixture of 10% muriatic acid or a solution of TSP. Be sure to use a rubber trash can and wear protection.

Always add the acid to the water. Never add water to the acid. Once your filter is done soaking, be sure to rinse it thoroughly and then allow it to dry.

9. Give Your Pool the Once Over

There are a few things you can look at while caring for your pool that will alert you to potential problems. Take a look at the water in your pool. It should be clear, and you should have no problem seeing the bottom.

While looking at the bottom, note the amount of debris down there. Your in-floor cleaner should keep your pool floor free of 99% of the dirt and debris. The drain in the pool’s bottom should be free of obstructions.

Now inspect the lining of the pool. It should be free of cracks. The sidewall around the returns should be solid and strong. If they are weak, this is a sign of a leak.

Start Maintaining a Pool With Ease

By performing some quick checks and tasks, you can make maintaining a pool easier. The key to maintaining your pool is to keep it clean. This means the water should be clear, the pool free of debris, and the filters are working correctly.

If you don’t have time to perform these regular checks, then it is smart to hire a professional. This will save you money in the long run by having the professionals care for your pool.

Contact us today, and we can take care of your pool maintenance needs.

pool maintenance service

How to Avoid Expensive Pool Repairs

Summer fun all starts in the pool!

Summer is a time to gather with friends and family and enjoy the summer heat. We purchase our pools to enhance our summer and to create valuable memories.

But, expensive pool repairs can stop all of our summer fun right in our tracks. To prevent expensive pool repairs, we’ll need to find a reliable pool maintenance service.

Purchasing a pool is a huge investment. It’s also a large responsibility that requires constant maintenance and care. Pools are definitely a source of fun, but they also need to be properly maintained for them to last.

Pools can last for many years with the correct treatments and maintenance. These maintenance measures need to be performed on a regular basis, however, to keep our pools in excellent condition.

Maintenance routines we need to conduct regularly include treating and filling the pool, emptying the filters, cleaning the lining, and checking the skimmer basket. We also need to check the chlorine levels.

But, if you don’t want to complete all these tasks, then it’s understandable that you’d want to hire a pool maintenance service to avoid repairs. Read on to learn how to avoid expensive pool repairs.

How to Avoid Expensive Pool Repairs Using a Pool Maintenance Service

Pool repairs can be downright costly. Some pool repairs can cost thousands of dollars. This can put a dent in your summer fun and in your pocket.

So, what are the most expensive pool repairs? Vinyl lining repairs are one of the most costly pool repairs. Replacing the lining can cost a homeowner around $1,700.

Another expensive repair is hollow spots. Hollow spots occur when the substrate separates from the bottom of the pool. This requires that the pool be resurfaced so the hollow spot can be repaired.

This repair costs on average between $700 and $1,000.

Leaks in plumbing are also an expensive repair. On average a leak in your pool will cost you around $1,000.

To avoid any unexpected expenses, you’ll need to know how to avoid expensive pool repairs. Explore the following tips for pool maintenance and avoiding pool repairs to keep your pool in excellent condition this summer.

1. Check the Pool’s Chemistry

During the summer, your pool’s chemistry will constantly be in flux. This is because it’s being used on a regular basis. To keep your pool in good condition, you’ll need to check the pool’s chemistry levels 2 to 3 times per week in the summer.

In the winter, you’ll need to check the levels at least one time per week. This ensures that your pool is not only safe to swim in, but that it’s also keeping your pool free of damage.

2. Regularly Examine Your Pool’s Lining

A pool’s lining can sometimes be delicate. Although vinyl lining is a durable material, after a while, it can get damaged. For this reason, it’s important to check your pool’s lining at least on a bi-weekly basis.

Doing so will ensure that small damage is discovered before it becomes an expensive repair.

3. Check the Plumbing

A pool couldn’t function without the plumbing components. The plumbing system controls water flow, filtering, and chemical balance. It is essential that you regularly maintain various components of your plumbing system to prevent any expensive repairs.

You also may need to drain the plumbing system in the winter to prevent freezing.

4. Fix Small Repairs Promptly

They say that the best defense is a good offense. The same logic applies to pool repairs. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t ignore it.

Investigate the source of the damage and seek out a pool repair service immediately. One source of damage could cause other components in the pool to breakdown as well. As multiple components get damaged, the cost of repairs will likely skyrocket.

5. Explain Pool Rules

Pool rules are a good way to keep all swimmers safe. But, it’s also important that swimmers understand the rules for preventing damage. For example, sharp objects or metal objects shouldn’t be brought in the pool.

These objects could damage the pool’s lining and cause other problems. Explain to swimmers that only pool toys and pool-safe items are allowed in the pool to prevent expensive repairs.

6. Clean Regularly

Lastly, it’s important to clean your pool on a regular basis. Clean the vinyl lining, the deck, and the pool cover. If you don’t clean on a regular basis, then you could miss a developing problem.

Cleaning regularly will also help to clear your pool of debris and maintain its chemical balance. To clean your pool, start by skimming the surface with a pool net. Then, take towels and clean the vinyl siding of any buildup or scum.

You should also sweep away any debris that is near your pool. This will prevent it from blowing in on a breezy day.

Lastly, change your pool’s filters on a monthly basis and empty your skimmer regularly.

How to Avoid Expensive Pool Repairs: Finding a Pool Maintenance Service

Knowing how to avoid repairs is the first step in keeping your wallet and pool safe this summer. The next step is finding a pool maintenance service.

A pool maintenance service will complete your pool maintenance on a regular basis. For this reason, the workers completing the pool maintenance need to be trustworthy.

To determine a company’s trustworthiness, check out their online reviews. You can find these reviews by going on social media or by checking out the Better Business Bureau website.

You can also ask for referrals from friends and family. If your neighbor has a pool, consider asking them about their pool maintenance service.

It’s also a good idea to call the pool maintenance company directly. Ask them if they are licensed, bonded, and insured. If they aren’t, then it’s best to find another company altogether.

Make note of the company’s customer skills while on the phone to determine if you are interested in working with them on a regular, long-term basis.

Need a reputable pool maintenance service in Texas? Contact us today to learn more about our pool maintenance services.

fourth of july ideas

Pool Party Fourth of July Ideas

Of all the special days in the American calendar, the Fourth of July is one of those that inspire the most fun celebrations and parties. Being in the middle of summer, the weather is almost always perfect for outdoor gatherings and house and pool parties with family and friends.

If you chose to host a pool party, then it is time to come up with a plan of action to pull off the best event possible.

When it comes to arranging a Fourth of July party you have to think about all of the different age ranges you are going to be entertaining. You also have to think about the kinds of things that you believe you can actually achieve within your budget and time frame.

So you have the setting and you have the enthusiasm, now all that is left is to find the right idea. Without further ado, here are some of the very best fourth of July ideas.

1. Don’t Send Emails or Paper Invites

When you have a large number of people in mind for the guest list, it is easier and more efficient to create a Facebook event than send out dozens of paper invites. Facebook has made party organizing so simple in the last few years.

With a Facebook event invite, it is simple to see who has confirmed their attendance and who is still on the fence. This makes it easier for you as the host to calculate how much food and drink you need to provide to cater to each guest.

2. Red, White, And Blue Must Be Among Your Fourth of July Ideas

When it comes to color schemes for the party, there’s really only one choice – the classic red, white, and blue. The colors of the American flag should be front and center in things like bunting, paper plates and cups, and maybe even consider a fun patriotic dress code.

Choosing this color theme is an easy way to make sure that your party is instantly recognizable as a Fourth of July celebration.

Stores across the country have this same idea in mind and you can usually pick up everything you need for 4th of July entertaining in a few dedicated aisles.

3. Consider All Types of Beverages

In any large group of people, there is always going to be multiple drink preferences and opinions. The best 4th of July party ideas include making sure that you have a full and diverse bar to suit all tastes.

Some people will be drinking alcohol, others will be sticking to soft drinks. The general rule that you should follow is to buy more drinks than you think you need. As the heat increases and the party moves into the evening, there are always more beverages consumed than you might expect.

4. Food Can Be Patriotic, Too

4th of July food can be such fun. Independence Day food is a hugely popular search on the internet so you certainly won’t be short of ideas.

As with the beverages, you need to consider the range of ages you are catering to. Also, think of how many times you might like to serve food if you are hosting an all-day event.

As the party is outdoors, you might consider picnic food or a barbecue.

5. Provide the Swimming Essentials

We are focusing specifically on the 4th of July pool party ideas, so it makes sense that one of the best tips is to have all of the swimming essentials on hand for your guests.

From goggles and towels to sunscreen and pool noodles, the more accessories you have, the more fun the party will be. Time flies when you are having fun and children and adults alike are prone to forgetting to top up their sun protection or to have forgotten to pack some floats in the car.

You can avoid any Fourth of July accidents by making sure that all of your guests are adequately cared for around your beautiful custom pool.

6. Pick the Perfect Music

An essential ingredient of a great party is music. Make the perfect July 4th playlist to suit the vibe and atmosphere of the crowd. When you are throwing a party with all ages attending, put together a playlist that caters to all tastes and generations.

A mixture of chart hits and golden oldies can never go wrong, especially when all of the songs are nice and upbeat to match the pleasant summer day.

Music can really set a mood for the entire group and day, so it’s worth it to really put some effort into the tracks that you choose.

7. Organize Fun Games

If you are planning for your 4th of July party to last all day, it is a good idea to organize some games to be played at planned points throughout the event.

Games can be played both in and out of the pool. It is also important to come up with games that are appropriate for all age ranges. The whole point of a Fourth of July party is to bring family and friends together, so make sure that you cater to them in all areas.

Closing Thoughts

It’s clear to see that the best Fourth of July ideas are the ones that are simple and effective. You don’t want to go overboard but at the same time, you want to make sure that everything is executed perfectly.

From getting the right food and drink to ensuring that the pool area is safe and secure for everyone, it’s all about selecting a handful of strong and ideas and pulling them off with real style.

Of course, with a pool party, the star of the show is the pool itself. For all of the best designs and a free consultation get in touch with Sahara Pool Builder. Our products and services are unrivalled in the custom pool building industry.

pool cover for winter

How to Protect Your Swimming Pool Cover in the Winter

Swimming pools are often the center of attention in warm months. Who doesn’t love spending time at home around the pool? In fact, in the United States, swimming is the fourth favorite recreational activity.

Winter-time however, is tough on pools. This is when proper maintenance will ensure that you’re able to enjoy your pool again when it warms up.

Installing a pool cover for winter is a must. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of using one.

Best Types of Pool Cover for Winter

Before we get into how to care for a pool cover, it’s helpful to know what kind you should buy in the first place. You can find heavy duty pool covers online and, depending on your area, at a local store.

Your choices are a tarp-style cover or a security-style cover, such as vinyl or mesh, which are stronger. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each kind.

Tarp-Style Pool Covers

Although cheaper, tarp covers don’t make the best winter covers. To use one in the winter you’ll have to keep a pump on top to stave off any water build-up. You can expect this variety to last from one to three years maximum.

Mesh Pool Covers

The next step up is a mesh-style cover. These kinds require no extra maintenance or work during the winter once installed. They are also light-weight, so one person can handle installation and removal without help.

The main drawback to a mesh cover is that your water will still collect dirt and debris throughout the months. Your pool will need a thorough spring cleaning.

Mesh pool covers cost about $400 less than solid vinyl ones. This variety generally lasts from ten to fifteen years. Much longer than a standard tarp cover.

Solid Vinyl Pool Covers

And finally, the grand-daddy of them all; the solid vinyl pool cover. A vinyl pool cover is a more suitable option for keeping out the winter elements and protecting your pool. They do require a pump, however, like the tarp-style ones.

Strong and durable, this kind keeps the water clean. This means less maintenance for you when spring comes around. Vinyl covers can last up to eleven years.

Now that you understand the different types, let’s talk about how to take care of them throughout the winter.

Protecting an Above Ground Pool Cover from Wind Damage

An above ground pool is more at risk of wind damage than its in-ground counterparts. High winds can rip a cover apart. Not only that, the sheer force of a cover ripping off or becoming a pool parachute will damage the actual pool as well.

For this reason, be diligent when installing a cover. Here are our top three tips for preventing wind from ruining your pool components and your day:

1. Install Pool Cover Clips

Pool cover clips are cheap and easy to use. You simply hook them to the cover and then to the underside of the pool rail.

Don’t skimp on the number of clips that you use though. You want to create a secure attachment to the pool to prevent anything from getting in or under the cover. Leaving large gaps between clips creates vulnerable spots.

2. Strap It Down

Above ground pool covers should come with grommets around the edges. They’ll also have a cable and winch system included for tightening the cover around the pool. Here’s how to use this system:

  • Wrap the cover under the rails of the pool.
  • Put the cable through the grommets.
  • Ratchet it tight using the winch.

Proper installation will hold the cover taut and prevent the wind from getting underneath. A tight cover will also prevent debris from getting up underneath and into the water.

3. Add Water on Top

This may sound counterintuitive, but adding up to three inches of water on top of the cover is a smart idea. It adds extra weight and protection to the cover itself. That said, make sure that the layer of water on top doesn’t get above three inches.

Too much water weight weakens seams and the cover could sink into the pool water. Wondering how to remove water from the pool cover if it does? Get a pool pump to suck the excess water away.

Preventing Ice Expansion Damage

Most of us know that when water freezes, it expands. When it comes to above ground pools however, this ice expansion pushes on the walls. Too much pressure will damage them causing a potential breakage in the wall.

Use a pool pillow to act as a cushion, absorbing some of that pressure. Sounds a little crazy, right? Yes, but it works.

All you do is blow it up and place it in the center of the pool under the cover. Done.

In-Ground Pool Cover Care During Winter

In-ground pools are not as much at risk of wind damage as above ground ones, but they have extra enemies to worry about. Elements such as tree limbs, ice, and melting snow are among them. Here’s how to keep that in-ground pool cover in good shape.

Tree Limbs and Branches: Preventative Care

The main cause of punctures in swimming pool covers during the winter is fallen tree limbs and run away branches. The sheer weight of snow and ice in the winter gets too heavy for weak tree branches, causing them to come down on your pool. Even people in warmer winter climates should pay attention to what’s hanging above their pool.

To prevent this from happening, call in the services of a tree trimming expert ahead of time. Have all the dead or excess limbs hanging above your pool removed before winter hits.

How to Handle Surface Ice and Snow

In harsh winter climates, ice is bound to form on top of pool covers. Your first instinct may include shoveling it off.

But, that ice won’t damage the pool cover. However, trying to remove it might.

Never try to shovel, scrape, or melt ice off of a pool cover. The ice will melt in time and the cover will return to normal.

If you’re using a sold vinyl pool cover, keep excess water pumped off as much as possible to prevent thick layers of ice from forming on it. As for snow, that’ll have to wait until it melts.

If your cover gets punctured, a quick and temporary fix is duct tape. Dry the area off as well as you can and patch it up. Most pool supply stores carry mesh cover patches as well.

What’s the Bottom Line?

In-ground and above ground pools each have their own unique threats during the winter months. Use our tips above to stave them off.

But, no matter how tempting, don’t altogether skip installing a pool cover for winter. You’ll regret it when spring comes around.

If you’re in the Katy, Texas area and need help getting your pool ready for spring, we’d love to help! Contact us for your free consultation.

swimming pool depth recommendations

12 Factors to Consider When Considering How Deep to Build Your Pool

Numerous factors determine the swimming pool depth recommendations. These elements meltdown to individual choice and entail the purpose and the users of the pool. The pool depth thus affects the whole design process. 

This article offers the necessary things when planning for your pool’s depth.

Swimming Pool Depth Recommendations

Swimming pools are some of the major investments done by property owners. Pools are made of different surfaces and shapes, but there’s the most crucial factor – depth. It takes various factors to set water depths in domestic pools. 

Diving in shallow waters can cause injuries while in deep waters, it can lead to drowning for poor swimmers and kids. After deciding on the pool depth, think about the pool shape. Your swimming pool will serve you even in the future. 

The depth of the pool is a personal choice. Are you planning for the depth of your new pool? Here are swimming pool depth recommendations.

Purpose of the Pool

Why do you need a pool in your property? Is it for playing beach games or swimming laps? Fun pools that accommodate kids and adults should have a minimum depth of 3 feet and 4 – 5 feet maximum. 

The length and depth of the pool should be 25 feet and 5 feet, respectively. That’s if seeking to have swim laps. 

Ideal Height for Adults

The majority of people are contented with a standard depth of 3 to 5 feet in a multiple depth pool. In some cases, couples have varying heights. For that matter, the height of the shorter member becomes the determining element. 

Keep Children Safe

There are no safest and best heights for children as kids grow faster than adults. But for young toddlers, a 2-feet deep pool offers the best choice. A depth of 3 feet or more comes in handy after a few years. 

For children, the area to walk or wade through the water shouldn’t be too large. In some cases, there’re separate pools for kids. But for children who are serious about swimming, you can design an L-shape pool.

The pool allows long-legged people to swim and short-legged to wade-in. The wading area in such instances can be used for getting in and out of the pool. For this purpose, some people consider the traditional ladder. 

For beginners, 2 feet is the recommended height. As time passes, the child will shift to 3 feet and so on. Many people consider isolated wading pools for young toddlers. 

You can as well integrate the wading pool with the standard one. An ideal kiddie pool permits kids to practice swimming skills and play, while they can touch bottom and stand comfortably. 

Swimming

For a swimming pool, the water should be sufficiently deep to allow free movement. You must not scrap your knuckles on the underneath. If swimming is your passion, consider a swim spa or a lap pool. 

Think about every person who will be utilizing the pool. For advanced swimmers, the length of their pool ought to be larger than its depth. If swimming is your passion, you need a swim spa with a depth of 3.5. 

Recreational Sports

For recreational practices such as basketball and volleyball, the depth of the water should allow players to stand up, swim, and maneuver with ease. Depths should be uniform over an area that’s sufficient enough for the entire game. It makes the game fair for everyone. 

That enables players to move easily, stand, and even swim effectively. The ideal depth should range between 3.5 and 4 feet in a big area. There should be uniform measurements for the entire players. 

Lounging / Cooling Off

Hanging out in the pool requires a waist-high depth. The general guideline is 3.5 to 4 feet. The swimmers’ height is considered if only one or two individuals will mostly use the pool. 

Consider an extra-shallow space where individuals can set loungers. It enables them to dip their toes into the water. For cooling, the ideal depth ought to exceed your waist. The 

Jumping in (Feet First)

The pool should have a depth of 4 feet or deeper. It eliminates injuries while jumping feet first. The water should be sufficiently deep to absorb the individual’s impact. For adults and teens, a deeper pool is ideal.

Diving (Head First)

For the off the pool deck or a diving board, eliminating head injuries becomes a priority. Local laws and insurance may be considered when installing a diving board. Consult with a pool builder to ensure the pool’s depth confirms to all applicable safety laws. 

Can you Dive?

When deciding on the pool depth, diving is among the crucial factors. For the divers, the pool shouldn’t be less than 10 feet deep. The design affects your pool’s profile and your budget. 

Will it affect your Budget?

The type, design and shape of your pool affect your budget. For instance, a deeper pool is ideal for diving and requires more water to clean and fill. It also increases your maintenance expense and other costs.

Many people prefer pools with multiple depths. The bigger the depth difference, the longer the slope of the pool. Deeper pools require more energy to filter and heat and more chemicals.

Multiple Depths

A pool with multiple depths permits you to balance different priorities. The shallow end of a classic backyard pool is 3.5 deep and transits to a deep end of 5 feet or deeper.

You can alternatively get a pool with shallow both ends and deeper middle. L-shaped pools are used to separate deep parts of pools with their discrete nook.

Wrapping Up

The purpose of your pool is the most significant determining factor. But when it comes to swimming pool depth recommendations, your pool’s safety is a priority. Are you ready to decide your pool’s depth?

We believe the guidelines mentioned above will help you meet the needs of all the family members.

For expert help in your pool designs, count on Sahara Pool Builder. Make contact with our skilled team to see you through the whole process.

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.