outdoor concrete patio

Designing an Outdoor Concrete Patio: 5 Patio Cover Ideas

Your home’s backyard is your personal oasis. It’s essential that you add in all the important details to ensure that you get the most out of it. You took the time to create a swimming pool with all the details you love, but have you put in that same effort to create an outdoor concrete patio that you love?

Not only will you want to focus on your seating areas, accessories such as a fire pit or outdoor kitchen, and other aspects of your patio, but you’ll also want to focus on your patio’s cover. This may be one detail that’s commonly overlooked, however, it’s important to take great consideration when planning the cover for your patio. Think about the climate where you live and what type of cover you’ll want to have.

Designing an outdoor patio is an exciting time when you know some amazing patio cover ideas. Continue reading below to learn more!

1. Sail Shades

If simple shading is what you need, then consider installing sail shades over your backyard patio. Shade sails are the perfect way to add shade and style to your patio. They bring a lot of architectural elements into the design as well. 

They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which is ideal for those who are looking for something specific. You can install a square shape sail, a triangular sail, rectangular, and so much more! This type of cover is the perfect addition to a seating area. 

Do keep in mind, though, that this type of cover only provides a certain amount of shade that’s limited. 

2. Closed Roof and Exposed Beams

For those who are wanting a bit more coverage, a closed roof with exposed beams is a perfect choice! This creates an area that’s basically an indoor seating or dining area that has had its walls knocked out. If you can imagine this, then you can imagine what this area would look like. 

The solid roof connects to the house and keeps the same style and material used on the house itself. Inside the patio, when you look up to the ceiling, you’ll see beautiful exposed wooden beams. These beams are a great way to add style and design to an otherwise boring ceiling. 

The solid roof also provides maximum coverage from not only the sun, but from other weather conditions as well such as rain, snow, and more. 

3. Wooden Arbor 

A wooden arbor is a type of patio cover that adds a romantic feel to a patio area. It provides shade without obstructing the sun completely. This is perfect for sunny days where the sun feels warm and relaxing to the touch, but direct sunlight would be too hot. 

The top of the arbor has beams that aren’t placed directly next to one another. This allows for some sunlight to enter the patio area. When worse comes to worst, you can always take a tarp and lay it out over the arbor to protect yourself from the harsh sun or strong rains and snowfall. 

However, when weather conditions permit, you can always install a lightweight outdoor curtain to the arbor for easy opening and closing. This will give you privacy when desired without making you feel as though you’re no longer outdoors.

4. Steel Pergola with Glass

A steel pergola with glass is lightweight, but it’s also durable and waterproof. The steel can be finished in different styles of finishes to match your home’s style. And because the pergola is made to match the height of your home, it makes your outdoor patio look more like an extension of your home rather than a separate space. 

The glass makes for an enjoyable view when sitting under it. You can relax with a glass of wine or tea and enjoy the scenic views of the sky whether it’s rain or shine. The best part is that you’ll be protected from all the weather elements while still being able to enjoy their beauty. 

Most pergolas with glass roofs come with retractable covers that you can open and close when desired. This comes in handy when the sun is shinning its hottest rays down on you, and you’re looking for some relief from it. 

5. Arbor with Retractable Fabric

An aluminum arbor with a retractable fabric is another great option for your outdoor patio. This patio cover can be installed as a free-standing structure or leaned up against a house. The aluminum is a better material to combat wear and tear.

And the design of it creates a contemporary space perfect for homes with a contemporary style. And because the roof of it is retractable, it makes it convenient to either open the roof for pleasant and sunny days or to close it shut when the sun is too hot or when there is rain in the forecast. 

This type of patio cover is an optimal choice when you’ve created a concrete patio space that isn’t up against your home. 

Design Your Dream Outdoor Concrete Patio Today! 

After reading through these 5 brilliant outdoor concrete patio cover ideas, there’s sure to be a design or style for your home! So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to turn your outdoor patio into your dream patio!

Contact us at Sahara Construction and Custom Pools to see how we can help you start the process! And don’t forget to browse through all of our beautiful patio cover designs that we’ve done in the past for a bit more inspiration! 

swimming lesson games

6 Fun Swimming Lesson Games to Play with Your Kids

It is crucial that your children learn how to swim. 

Unintentional drowning is the fifth leading cause of death for people of all ages, and it is the second leading cause of injury death, after motor vehicle crashes, for children from one to fourteen. More than forty people die by drowning worldwide every hour of every day.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 14,000 Americans aged nineteen or younger drowned between 1999 and 2010.

Fortunately, participating in swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning. For children from the ages of one to four, swimming lessons can reduce that risk by as much as 88%. 

Swimming lessons and swimming lesson games will help your child become comfortable in the water and will help them learn the skills they need to stay safe in pools, the ocean, and other bodies of water. 

Read on to learn more about swimming lessons and swimming lesson games that will keep them learning even outside of class.

Swimming Lessons Do Help

Almost every community in America has at least one community center or business where your son or daughter can take swimming lessons.

You can enroll your child in classes to familiarize him or her with the water at a very young age. Many places that offer swimming lessons start children with parent-and-baby classes when they are still infants. Babies naturally hold their breath underwater and these experiences can be wonderful bonding experiences for parent and child.

The American Association of Pediatrics says that children can safely begin taking actual swimming lessons as early as age one, and they recommend that all children age four and older enroll in them. 

By age five or six, most children can master the front crawl and will pick up other skills fast as well. Further, in addition to skills, the water safety curriculum included in the vast majority of classes for this age group is invaluable.

Keeping your son or daughter enrolled in swimming lessons year-round will help them to hone their skills and the continuity will aid them in the retention of what they have learned so far. 

However, remember that lessons are not a substitution for supervision. Even if your child has taken swimming lessons for years, you should always watch him or her anytime he or she is in the water.

Swimming Lesson Games

Kids love games. When it comes to swimming in a pool or other body of water, children can occupy themselves for hours and will often even make up their own games from scratch.

However, in order to solidify the skills they have learned in swim class, there are a number of games you can introduce and can enjoy together.

Check out these great games and try a few at home. Soon your kids will be clamoring to play them with you while becoming better swimmers all the time.

1. Chat with the Fishes

Many children are afraid to put their faces in the water, but it is necessary to do so to become a good swimmer. 

This game will encourage your little one to do just that.

Show your child that you put your face in the water and blow bubbles to talk to the imaginary fish below. Then turn your head to the side, submerge your ear, and tell your son or daughter that you are listening for a response. 

Then encourage your child to do the same.

2. Face Race

This game will help your child feel more comfortable in shallow water.

Get a beach ball or other soft, light object that floats. Stand at one end of the shallow end opposite your child. Have him or her push the toy to you without using his or her hands; only their face may be used!  

When your child delivers the toy to you, make a big fuss and cheer.

3. Motorboat

Motorboat helps your child to get comfortable with lying horizontally in the water on his or her front. 

Hold your son or daughter under his or her arms while facing you. Pull him or her through the water and pretend you are motorboats. You can chant, “Motorboat, motorboat go so slow” as you move slowly through the water. Move faster as you say “Motorboat, motorboat, go so fast!”

Finally, you can say “Motorboat, motorboat, step on the gas!” and encourage your child to kick. This will help prepare them for the position he or she will need to be in for actual swimming.

4. Ping Pong Float

This game will help your son or daughter feel more confident in the water. Children will want to play this game over and over and it will keep them busy for quite a while.

Get a bunch of ping pong balls and dump them in the shallow end of the pool. They will float. Because they are white, sometimes some of them will be difficult to see.

Have your son or daughter collect the ping pong balls one at a time and put them into a bucket at the edge of the pool. To make this game more exciting, you can set a timer and see how many your child can find in that time.

5. Underwater Toy Rescue

This game is similar to Ping Pong Float but instead of using toys that float, find toys that sink. Put one or more in the shallow end and have your child hold his or her breath to retrieve them. 

This game can help with underwater confidence, opening eyes underwater, and holding one’s breath. This is not a game to play early on, but it will be a lot of fun once your child becomes a little more comfortable in the water.

6. Shark Attack

This game is great for groups. It is really just a simple game of tag. 

Choose one child to be the shark. Have him or her count to ten with eyes closed. When they reach ten, the shark opes his or her eyes and chases the other children. Once one is caught, that child becomes the new shark.

Shark Attack will help your child feel more comfortable moving around in the water. Little children should do it in the shallow end, but when your child gets older, it’s a great game for deeper water with more confident swimmers.

Happy Swimming

These swimming lesson games will help your child to develop the skills that he or she needs to become a good swimmer, all while having loads of fun. You can play several of these games during one swimming session and some of them you can play over and over for long periods.

No matter what, getting your child comfortable in the water and helping him or her to hone swimming skills will give you peace of mind and will help to keep your son or daughter safe in the water now and in the future. Enjoy!

If you are looking for a great custom pool for your property, please contact us today!

swimming pool tile

9 Tips on Choosing the Best Type of Swimming Pool Tile

Designing and building a basic swimming pool will cost you $25,700 – $29,600 on average.  Tiles are among the must-have features that give your pool that added artistic ambience. If you are keen on other additions such as decks, landscapes, and lighting, this valuation may be higher.

Choosing a suitable tile for your pool is an essential part of the design process. You may find this decision somewhat hard due to the many options available to you in the market. Your choice on the color and type of pool tile to incorporate must be on the premise of durability and attractiveness.

No pool is complete without the most beautiful tiles shining through the water. Learn what you should consider when picking the best kind of swimming pool tile. Here are 9 tips for choosing the best types of swimming pool tiles.

1. Consider the Cost

Budgets are an essential tool when planning. The cost of swimming pool tiles may be exaggerated in some cases. If you have a large pool, you may need to focus on considering a budget estimate that will guide your decision-making process.

It does not hurt to compare various options and designs. However, your budget estimates must be tailored more towards quality as opposed to aesthetics. When setting a budget limit, you ought to focus more on durability.

Cutting on cost will save you money in the short-term, but focusing on quality will ensure your swimming pool lasts longer.

2. Pretty is Good, but Safety is a Priority

You may be keen on designing a pool that will stand out. Choosing the prettiest tile can give you short-term fulfillment, but you should be more concerned about the safety of your loved ones or clients.

You’re likely to find tiles that have amazing colors and designs, but the decision to settle for a specific tile must be based on other additional qualities, such as being slip-resistant. 

3. Consider Porcelain for a Simple Finish 

Before you decide on your preferred pool tile, you may need to understand the difference between various tiles based on material. Seeking advice through consultation with an expert can help you settle for the best option.   

Depending on the budget, porcelain is the most popular pool tile.  If you are keen on saving on costs, porcelain is your best bet. Most pool designs consider this option because porcelain is readily available and cheap. 

If you are working with expert porcelain may be used to create beautiful mosaic designs that stand out. 

4. Stone Pool Tiles are Natural and Slip-Resistant 

You may be keen on a natural look for your swimming pool. In that case, you may consider finishing with stone to enhance that natural look. Stones make beautiful antic impressions. You will also feel safer with stone tiles because they are highly slip-resistant as compared to other materials. 

Sandstones, limestone, and granite are some of the standard options you may consider when settling for stone pool tiles.

5. Glass Pool Tiles Add a Touch of Class 

Glass tiles are a sure way to add that touch of luxury. Glass shimmers and dazzles in a way that adds opulence to your swimming pool. If you are keen on going all out with a spectacular swimming pool design, then this is your best bet.  

The only downside to a glass pool tile is the cost. As compared to stone and porcelain, glass is more expensive and may be susceptible to instances of slips.  Your choices are limitless when considering the best option for a pool tile. 

6. The Style is a Deal Breaker 

Before beginning the tiling process, you need to consider various styles available. The style you consider may also influence other factors, such as cleaning. If you consider using a larger tile, you will likely spend less on upkeep.

Larger tile finishes have fewer seams meaning there is less dirt buildup. Maintaining a swimming pool can be a load of work.  You may, therefore, consider having larger tiles as a means towards reducing the cleaning costs.  

Smaller tiles are suitable for captivating designs. Swimming pools are all about impression. If you’re keen on designing detailed and captivating patterns, then smaller pool tiles will work for you.

 Most homeowners go for smaller pool tiles because of the intricacy they introduce. If you’re working with a creative expert, a smaller sized swimming pool tile can be a brilliant idea in creating mosaic designs. Your pool may be turned into a work of art if you’re enthusiastic about choosing the most suitable pool tiles.  

7. Pool Tile Colors Matter 

Designing a pool is one thing, but deciding on the color that best defines the mood is critical. You may be wondering how to choose pool tile colors that best suit your swimming pool. Well, this decision depends on several factors. You may consider matching your pool tiles with the dominant home décor color. 

You may also consider brightening your pool with brighter colors. White pool tiles often give a relaxing ambiance that makes you want to stay in the pool longer.  You will also often tend to notice an apparent addition of depth into the pool due to the color scheme. 

If you’re keen on a clean, uniformed appearance, white pool tiles can guarantee you that unique impression.  The color matters because of the reflective effect that water has on pool tiles. You may have various other colors to choose from when settling for the best pool tile.

8. Consider Your Regular Users 

You’ve assessed the various types, styles, and materials used in designing pool tiles. Now it is time to decide. Your final decision on what to settle for must consider the most frequent uses of the pool. This makes it possible to either decide on settling for a specific option. 

For instance, if kids will frequent the pool more often than adults, it is prudent to go for the stone pool tiles and not the glass tiles. 

9. Maintenance for your Preferred Swimming Pool Tile is Critical 

You’re confident that you’ve made the right choice for your pool tiles. Having considered durability, attractiveness, and safety, the last concern you may have is maintenance. Pool tiles often get dirt fast owing to the dynamics around swimming pools. 

Ensure that you have the right advice and guidance from an expert on the cost and complexities involved when cleaning each type of tile. You will be better informed on the types of tiles that require less maintenance based on such insights. At Sahara pool builders, all your pool tile maintenance needs are handled with professionalism and precision.   

Your Swimming Pool Is Bound To Be an Envy to Many with These Tips 

Having considered these factors on swimming pool tile, you now have a better picture of what may work for you. You can now go ahead with confidence and build that breathtaking masterpiece.  Your guests will marvel at the creativity embedded in the choice of pool tile. 

Consulting with Sahara pool builders is the best choice you could ever make when seeking for completeness and professionalism. 

Are you looking to build a unique swimming pool? Contact us for unrivaled consultation and support.  

is pool water bad for dogs

Is Pool Water Bad for Dogs? What to Know Before Letting Your Pup Swim with You

Every year there are about 214,000 cases of pet poisoning in the U.S. With all these stories, it is wise to be cautious with your furry friend. Wandering about taking your pet swimming?

Is pool water bad for dogs? Let’s take a look and see if it’s safe to take your dog to the pool with you.

Chlorine in Pools

Chlorine breaks down chemicals and destroys microorganisms. Without it, pools would turn black or green with algae and bacteria build-up.

Humans swim in pools when most chlorine levels are safe. You can even ingest a little of this water without harm. Be sure your dogs do not get into chlorine tablets because these can be toxic if ingested. 

Dogs’ eyes and ears are much more sensitive than humans. This sensitivity can make them more vulnerable. Dogs with floppy ears have a greater risk of ear infections, but this is because of the ears being damp and not the chlorine.

If chlorine levels are kept at an acceptable level, these chemicals are usually not dangerous to dogs if they happen to drink some fo the water. Saltwater pools also have a trace of chlorine. If dogs consume chlorine and salt in excess, it can have an effect.

You can find some other chemicals that are safer for pets and keep your pool clean like Bromine.

Is Pool Water Bad for Dogs?

If your dog drinks too much-chlorinated pool water, the water can irritate the gastrointestinal tract. This can cause vomiting, nausea, and esophagus erosion. This is why it’s important to keep your dog away when there are higher amounts of chlorine in the pool. You made need to do a chemical shock to your pool to return a chemical balance, and you should not let your dog swim while the chemical levels are high.

This doesn’t mean you should use less chlorine in your pool. If water is not properly treated, the pool water can contain bacteria, fungi, parasites, and algae. These can affect your dog and you much more with skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation.

A small drink of pool water most likely will not hurt your dog. Humans drink water accidentally a lot and rarely do they have issues.

Don’t let your dog use the pool as it’s main water source when you’re outside. Be sure to keep a fresh bowl of clean water handy for your canine.

Should You Let Your Dog Swim?

First, you need to make sure your dog knows how to swim. If your dog can swim, it is probably safe to let your dog swim. Make sure you watch your dog because even experienced swimmers can have issues and drown—that includes dogs!

If you are worried about your dog’s swimming ability, you can purchase a dog life vest.

Don’t let your dog swim for long periods of time. A moderate or short swimming session is generally safe, but too much exposure to these chemicals can irritate a dog’s coat, eyes, and skin. Hose your dog off after he is done swimming to remove any residue.

You should never force a dog to get in a pool if it doesn’t want to. The dog should feel comfortable getting in just like a human. To get your dog used to the water, try throwing a toy in the water to have your dog fetch.

You may have to help your canine get out of the pool because the steps and pool ladders may be difficult to use or hard to find for your dog. Lead your dog to the steps or ledge, so she doesn’t panic when she needs to get out. If your dog swims often, you may want to add a pool ramp so it’s easier for your dog to get out.

After Your Dog Gets Out of the Pool

You should hose your dog off quickly to remove any chemicals. You should also take a towel and dry out their ears to prevent infections. The pool chemicals won’t hurt their ears, but yeast likes to grow in damp places like wet ears.

If your dog is prone to ear infections, ask your vet for a drying solution to apply after your dog swims.

What About Saltwater Pools?

Saltwater pools have less chlorine, but drinking too much saltwater can also cause similar issues to your pet’s digestive system. If your dog ingests too much salt, your dog can get an electrolyte imbalance or diarrhea. It would take a lot of this water for this effect because there is much less salt in these pools than in the ocean.

After your dog gets out of a saltwater pool, you should still hose him off even though these pools may be easier on the skin.

Keeping Your Dog Safe Around the Pool

If you are outside swimming, it’s probably pretty warm. Make sure your dog doesn’t overheat or your dog could suffer a heatstroke. Your dog should have plenty of freshwater and shade to keep cool when he is not swimming.

You should also let your dog take some breaks in the house if she appears tired.

The ground near the pool can get very hot with direct sun. This can burn your dog’s paws. You should test the concrete, tile, or stone with your hand to make sure it’s not too hot.

Does Your Dog Harm the Pool?

You need to also think about how your dog can affect a pool. Dogs’ claws can quickly tear the plastic and vinyl liners.

You will have to clean your filter after a dog swims because the dog’s hair, dander, and debris will get in the water. You will need to check the pH of the water. You can help manage these effects by hosing your dog off before he enters the pool.

Final Thoughts About Dogs and Pools

So, is pool water bad for dogs? As long as your dog does not drink too much water, the pool water should be okay. Be sure you keep your dog safe around the pools with enough freshwater and shade to stay cool.

As long as your dog can swim, you can let your dog swim with you. After swimming, hose off your dog and dry out her ears.

Looking for a pool for you and your dog to enjoy? Contact us today for a quote. We also provide pool cleaning services.

 

 

 

how to tell if your sand filter is bad

How to Tell If Your Sand Filter Is Bad: 7 Common Pool Filter Issues

If you’re a pool owner, then you know just how important regular maintenance and proper upkeep is. There’s a lot of work that goes into keeping your pool functioning properly, and one important task is to ensure that the sand filter isn’t malfunctioning. To know whether it’s functioning or not, you need to know what signs to be on the lookout for. 

Knowing how to tell if your sand filter is bad is one of the best ways to keep your pool clean and safe. If you’re not sure what signs to look for, then you’ll want to keep reading below. We’ve created a list of the top 7 common pool filter issues that you need to know about.

Here are the problems that you need to keep an eye out for!

1. A Slow Sand Filter

If your swimming pool begins to seem a bit cloudy or unclear, then you may have a sand filter that’s running slowly. This can happen even though your sand filter looks fine and seems to be running as it should. It can look like how it’s supposed to but not be filtering debris from your pool as it should.

If you’re suspicious of this, the first thing you should do is test the water chemistry. Be sure that the balance is correct. Now you should check with the backwash valve.

Make sure that it’s working in a correct manner as well and that the flow rate is where it should be. If you still haven’t found a problem, then consider changing out the pool filter sand inside your sand filter. 

2. Leaking Multiport Valves 

Leaking multiport valves isn’t a direct issue with the sand filter, but it’s related to the sand filter, so you should check this out as well. The multiport valves are attached to the sand filter on the sides or on the top of it. The spider gasket is located inside of the sand filter tank, and its job is to keep a consistent flow of water through it to the correct ports.

Sometimes, however, problems with this gasket occur due to it being old and worn down, becoming loose, or even twisted. When this happens, water is forced through other ports, creating issues with the multiport valves. If this is the case, your filter won’t function as it should and your pool will become murky or cloudy. 

3. Broken or Bad Laterals

When the laterals on the sand filter are broken or bad, the sand returns to the pool. If this is the issue on hand, then you might need to prepare for some labor. To check the lateral to see if it’s gone bad, you need to remove all of the media from the pool filter.

If the lateral is broken or bad, it’s a quick task to replace it. The hardest part is removing the media to get to it. You can also consider checking the air relief tube. 

This part is much easier to get to, and you won’t have to worry too much about taking the sand filter apart. 

4. Dirty Sand Filter

If you’ve noticed that the backwashing cycles have become shorter, then you should check to see if the sand filter is dirty or greasy. If the filter is dirty or greasy, then don’t be surprised if it takes on the appearance of sandy lard. When this happens, the water doesn’t flow through the sand filter media.

Instead, it’s forced to create a channel down the side of the filter and then returns back to the pool. You can purchase a sand filter cleaner that will help the situation for a bit of time, but this is only temporary. For a permanent fix, you should replace the pool filter sand. 

5. Valve Failure

Valve failure can happen due to tree damage, from freezing, or from becoming deadheaded. The valves are the multiports located on either the top or sides of the sand filter tank. However, the most common problem is the failure of the gaskets inside of the tank that then causes the valves on the outside to fail. 

If this happens, the problem is more serious and will need immediate correcting. 

6. Tank Failure

Tank rupture can happen when the valves are closed off after the filter on the backwash lines or return lines. Because of this, you want to keep an eye on the pressure gauges when you turn the pump on. If while doing this you notice that the pressure begins to rise, then you should shut the pump off as fast as possible.

You then want to check for closed valves. However, problems with the tank’s valves aren’t the only cause for a tank failure. In some cases, if the tank is a cheaper version, it may bust at the seams. 

Either way, both of these problems are serious and will require a replacement if they occur. 

7. Pressure Issues

Speaking of the pressure, always check the pressure to ensure that it’s where it should be. A filter that’s too small for the pump can cause a build-up of pressure inside the tank. This is due to the fact that the pump is pushing more water through than the tank can handle. 

The pressure could also be high due to a dirty filter that needs to be rinsed. However, low pressure is also an issue. If the pressure is low, check to ensure that nothing is stopping the water from going into the filter such as debris. 

Correct any of these issues to ensure the pressure goes back to normal. 

Do You Know How to Tell If Your Sand Filter is Bad?

If you’re a pool owner, then you need to know how to tell if your sand filter is bad. Knowing what signs to look for is going to help you keep your sand filter running as smoothly as possible. 

Now that you know the signs, you can work towards keeping a clean and safe pool, but sometimes you need help from the professionals. Here at Sahara Construction and Custom Pools, we’re dedicated to servicing and maintaining your pool correctly.

See what services we offer and contact us to see how we can start helping you maintain your pool today!

dry ice in the pool

Spooky Pool Party Tips: Why You Should Be Putting Dry Ice in the Pool This Year

Halloween is a few weeks away? Are you planning on hosting a Halloween bash?

Well, if you own a pool, you’re in luck. You have the perfect party setting even in the fall. Though the air is crisp and it’s too cold to swim, your pool can be the star of the show this Halloween.

Read on to learn why dry ice in the pool will take your spooky party to the next level. 

How Dry Ice Works

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. 

To understand how dry ice works, we need to talk science. But don’t worry, you won’t have to take a test on this!

Molecules (regardless of whether they are a liquid or a solid) stay together due to the attraction of ions.

Dry ice is very cold. We’re talking -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-78.5 degrees C). As you may recall from grade 9 science, sublimation means that as a solid breaks down, it turns into a gas and not a liquid.

That’s what happens with frozen carbon dioxide. As it melts, you get a gas or a fog instead of a messy wet puddle the way you do with regular ice.

To create a fog effect, drop chunks of dry ice into a heated pool or a bucket of hot water. The ice will immediately begin melting, emitting white vapors that create an effect similar to a fog machine.

To keep the fog effect going, simply continue adding ice. If you are using a bucket of hot water, you’ll need to replace the water once the dry ice has cooled it down. With a heated pool, you won’t need to worry about replacing the water. 

Dry Ice Safety

As you can likely tell from the temperature we mentioned above, it is imperative that you are very careful when you handle dry ice.

You must wear thick, heavy gloves when picking up dry ice. Latex or rubber cleaning gloves just won’t do. It’s wise to also use tongs as well as heavy gloves when putting dry ice in your pool.

If you touch dry ice with your hands, the extremely cold temperature can cause real damage very quickly. So don’t do it.

You never want to put dry ice in your mouth for the same reason. 

Also, ventilation is important when dealing with dry ice. You need an area that has good airflow. Regular air is made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and only 0.035% carbon dioxide.

If the level of carbon dioxide rises higher than 5%, it can be toxic.

That’s what makes your outdoor pool a perfect spot for your dry ice decor. There’s excellent ventilation. If you are hosting a Halloween party in your backyard, use your pool as a decor feature, but don’t plan to go swimming. For one thing, it’s too cold in October. And for another, the high levels of CO2 are too much to breathe in.

That means you should never use dry ice in an indoor pool. 

Just make sure you and your guests don’t stick their head in the fog. This fog is a zone of high CO2 concentration. As we said, too much carbon dioxide is dangerous to your health.

Why You Should Put Dry Ice in the Pool

Now that we’ve talked about the dangers of dry ice, let’s move on to why it’s a great idea to put dry ice in your pool this Halloween.

Let’s face it, your pool takes up quite a bit of your yard space. And if you are hosting a Halloween party, it’s probably a costume party and not a pool party. 

But maybe you haven’t gotten around to closing your pool for the winter. Well, no worries, dry ice can make your pool your main decorative attraction.

Dry ice will make amazing bubbles and fog. Your guests will feel like they are lost in the moors of Wuthering Heights or in a haunted graveyard.

You can also use red, purple, or green spotlights to make your fog look creepy and awesome. 

Another reason dry ice is the way to do is that dry ice is inexpensive compared to most other decorations. You can get big chunks of frozen carbon dioxide for a few bucks.

A little dry ice goes a long way. Throw a small chunk into the pool at regular intervals to keep the spooky fog going all night long.

Enhance Dry Ice in Swimming Pool with Decor

Your dry ice pool is sure to be the talk of the party. But you can take your spooky get together to the next level with some well placed decorative items for the ultimate wow factor.

Why not add a few skeletons in your pool. They will look as if burned alive in acid with the fog rolling over them. Pose your skeletons with jaws gaping and arms outstretched as if they are climbing out. 

You can also use some buckets of hot water and dry ice along the edge of your fences. That way, your guests will feel completely isolated from the world. What neighbors, they’ll say.

Don’t forget to play a spooky soundtrack (Thriller, anyone?) for a party your guests will never forget.

Final Word on Dry Ice in Pools

 We hope this article about how to safely use dry ice in the pool helps you up your Halloween party this year.

Remember, Sahara Construction and Custom Pools is your best bet for all your pool and outdoor living needs. Ask for a free consultation today.

 

swimming pool shapes

Homeowner’s Swim Guide to Choosing the Right Pool Design

There are more than 10 million residential pools in backyards across the nation.

It’s not hard to understand why. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise out there. Swimming offers a great workout with minimal impact on your body. And a pool is a great social hub too.

If you’re thinking about getting a pool, you’re probably wondering what kind of design you should go for.

Read on as we take a look at some of the most popular swimming pool shapes.

Rectangle

If you asked someone to draw a swimming pool, they’d probably sketch out a rectangle.

This is one of the most popular swimming pool shapes and for good reason. A rectangular pool is ideal for people who want to swim laps, as well as being a great way to maximize your pool space.

You really can’t go far wrong with a rectangular pool.

Oval

Oval pools can still be used for swimming laps, especially if you use the middle of the pool.

The rounded edges make them look a little softer, and they make great family pools. They’re also ideal if you’re planning to play water sports in the pool as it means there are no sharp corners.

Circular

Circular pools are the ultimate in soft design but aren’t that great if you’re looking to swim laps.

With no sharp corners anywhere, a circular pool is perfect for a family with smaller children. Because a circular pool has less volume than a rectangular or square pool of similar length and width, to get a decent sized circular pool you need a lot more space.

L Shaped

If you’re looking for a pool that really stands out, try an L-shaped pool.

This type of pool can be the best of both worlds. You can have a deeper section for swimming laps, and the other branch of the L can be a shallower area for the kids. Or you could switch it up and have a shallower main pool and a deeper diving area.

L-shaped pools come in two main varieties.

True L

This is a pool where the two sections are at right angles to each, just like the lines in a letter L. This is the more traditional form of L-shaped pool and is useful for working around obstructions or making better use of your space.

Lazy L

In this type of pool, the angle between the two parts of the pool is less than ninety degrees. It makes for a shallower angle between the two parts of the pool. 

The shorter angled part of the pool is often as a gently sloped entrance to the main part of the pool which can be used for laps and general swimming. 

Kidney

A kidney-shaped pool is fairly similar to a Lazy L, but without the straight sides that you see in Lazy L pools.

This gives a kidney-shaped pool a softer look. These pools give you a lot the benefits of a rectangular or oval pool, but the slight bend in the middle helps to divide the pool up into distinct areas. 

You can put these areas to different uses, such as a shallower section and a deeper one.

Figure Eight

This type of pool is also a great way to divide your pool into distinct sections.

Similar to an oval pool, but with sides that curve inwards in the middle, these pools give the soft look of other rounded pools but still allow for a good amount of straight length for those looking to swim laps.

With figure eight pools, the water can flow around freely. It won’t get trapped in the corners as it sometimes does with rectangular pools.

Greek

If you’re looking for a pool that has true classical style, then a Greek pool is a great option.

These pools are like a rectangular pool with the corners cut out. Instead of a right angle in the corners, you have a curved area that juts into the pool in each corner. The look is truly stunning and the corners provide great platforms for diving into the pool.

Roman

Another timeless style of pool is the Roman style. Instead of having the corners cut out, like with the Greek style, these pools are like a rectangular pool with an additional semicircle on each of the shorter sides.

These semicircular areas are ideal for allowing a shallow entrance into the pool, either with a gentle slope or with steps down to the full depth of the main pool.

This space can also be utilized as a shallower section to lie in and soak up the sun after a hard swim in the main pool. 

Freeform

The beauty of swimming pools is that they can be made to any design that you wish.

If none of the above shapes really float your boat, that’s totally fine. You can come up with your own personal design of pool, or get a professional to design one for you.

By creating your own design you can have a pool that perfectly matches your personal style. It will also work in harmony with your yard or garden meaning that you have a pool that truly compliments your home.

With a freeform pool, the only limit is your imagination!

Do You Have Your Heart Set on One of These Swimming Pool Shapes?

If any of these swimming pool shapes appeal to you, then we’re here to help. 

We can design and build custom pools to meet both your personal tastes and your budget. Our elite pool design team can help make the pool of your dreams become a reality. If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look through our gallery of the pools we’ve built for other satisfied customers.

Contact us today for your free consultation.

pool depth

Deep Diving: What Is the Perfect Pool Depth?

What if your biggest home addition was a huge waste of money?

For many homeowners, a pool is the biggest addition they will make to their home. And, of course, one of the most expensive additions.

In order to get the most out of your pool, you need to get the depth just right. Unfortunately, it is difficult to calculate pool depth without doing a lot of research.

Fortunately, we’ve done the homework for you. Keep reading to discover our guide to the perfect pool depth!

The Good News

Why is pool depth such a big consideration? It’s simple: there are many different pool activities, and these activities have different ideal depths.

However, the primary pool activity will always be swimming. And most people can reasonably swim in depths as low as 3.5 feet.

Keep that in mind as we explore different depths for various activities and purposes. Since the depth will never be lower than 3.5 feet, you’ll be able swim regardless of the exact depth or exact area of the pool.

Different Depths

Wondering how to research different depths for your own pool? You can simply cast your mind back to the kinds of pools you have used before.

Most pools will have a more shallow area upfront. This is good for kids or shorter people and provides a place for people to relax in the water without actively swimming.

In a multi-depth pool, things usually get deeper towards the back of the pool. The “deep end” is typically no deeper than 9 feet.

Creating a pool with multiple depths helps different friends and family use the pool in different ways. However, to save time and money, it is possible to create a pool with a single purpose and a single depth.

Different Purposes

We’ve talked about the different depths you may wish for your pool to include. However, which purposes are best suited to which depths?

You may want a dedicated kiddie area. Depending on child height, this area may have a depth as little as 3 feet. Because this is a lower depth than the main pool area, you may need to make certain design considerations (more on this later).

Athletic people may like the idea of playing various sports in the pool. Activities such as pool volleyball will need a depth where everyone can safely stand.

Less athletic people may simply want to relax. They need an area where the water is no more than waist-high. That lets folks enjoy getting wet while also wetting their whistle with a relaxing cocktail.

Finally, you will want a depth suitable for diving. And it will need to be deep enough that head-first divers don’t put themselves in danger when jumping in.

Check the Heights

Most of our recommendations are based on general guidelines and average heights. However, it’s worth taking your family’s specific heights into consideration.

In a couple with dramatic height differences, you may need to split the difference on certain depth levels. Otherwise, what is waist-deep for one person might be chest or even neck-deep on another!

Child height is also a consideration. It may be tempting to create a separate kiddie pool for a very young child. But children grow taller very quickly, and you may find yourself with a kiddie pool you no longer need or use.

With these factors in mind, let’s “dive in” (so to speak) about the exact pool depth you need for different purposes.

Fun Depths

The first depth is what we call the “fun depth.” This is a depth that is ideal for playing recreational sports or doing very shallow dives.

We recommend a depth of 3.5-4 feet for these purposes. This allows people to move quickly enough for games like volleyball while also providing a safe depth for someone to make a shallow (and not head-first) dive.

Again, height may be a consideration. If you have many really tall friends and family members, you may need to raise this depth accordingly.

Chill Depths

What about the people who just want to chill out and lounge in the pool? Believe it or not, 3.5-4 feet is generally the perfect height for their needs as well.

These people may not be moving super-fast like sports players. However, they will still want waist-deep water to feel like they are comfortably immersed within the pool.

Between young kids and relaxing adults, this may well end up being the most-used area of the pool!

Diving Depths

Our last category concerns diving. What is the safe depth for those who might be diving into your pool head-first? 

This section should be a minimum of 9 feet deep. Any shorter than that puts divers at risk of head or neck injuries that may change their lives forever.

Of course, diving typically comes with a diving board. But you may want to hold off before ordering a board for your pool.

Some cities and states have special requirements for homeowners adding a diving board. You may need to obtain a special permit first or even pay additional insurance after making this addition!

Design Considerations

As we said, most pools have multiple depths. But what is the best pool design if you’re intending to add such depths?

The classic design of such a pool is one, big rectangle. It starts out shallow on one end and gradually deepens into the deep end.

Sometimes, homeowners may want the shallow end to be separate from the rest of the pool. For example, you may want to leave a shallow area for hanging and a longer, deeper area for swimming laps.

If that’s the case, you may want to go with an L-shaped design or other custom shape. This helps you separate the shallow area into its own separate and convenient space.

Pool Depth: Jump Right In

Now you know the secrets to ideal pool depth. But do you know who can help bring the pool of your dreams to life?

We specialize in pool financing, construction, and maintenance. To see how we can help you stay cool in a pool, come request a no-cost consultation today!

cost of an inground pool

Is The Cost Of An Inground Pool Worth The money?

Did you know that there are 10.6 million swimming pools in the U.S.? Rightfully so since swimming isn’t just relaxing but a great way to cool off! Are you thinking about getting a pool but aren’t sure it’s worth the investment?

In this article, you’ll learn about the cost of an inground pool and why it’s worth every penny. Read on to discover the many benefits of owning an inground pool and why you won’t want to miss out. 

Is the Cost of an Inground Pool Worth It?

The cost of an inground pool can vary but most homeowners spend about $37,022 to $46,031. The installation includes the:

  • Type of pool (concrete, fiberglass, vinyl)
  • Location
  • Custom features such as diving boards
  • The size
  • Permits

The great news is if you don’t have $40,000 to throw down on a pool right now, there are excellent financing options to make your dream a reality. 

Before you go on thinking that’s a pretty penny, do know that a pool does increase the value of homes and brings families together. If you ever decide to sell your home, homes with pools are much more desirable. 

Whether you want to relax after a long hot day outside, or have a relaxing place for your kids to play and have fun, there’s something for everyone. 

Types of Inground Pools

There are 3 types of pools which include a concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl pool. Concrete pools are pristine and beautiful to look at, but are the most expensive option. Vinyl lined pools are the lowest cost of materials. The one drawback of vinyl though is they’ll have to be replaced sooner than other liners. 

If you’re looking for a quick and ready-to-go pool, then fiberglass is for you. Fiberglass and vinyl pools also require fewer chemicals than concrete. One drawback of fiberglass is they’re limited in shape and size.

Fiberglass can be just as much as concrete in certain cases.

When determining what pool is best for you, it’s important to keep in mind the liner you’ll be using. The base cost of a liner is not including preparation of the site, or features you’ve selected to build your pool. 

Inground swimming pool liners normally cost between $400-$2,300 depending on the size of the pool. An average 14′ X 28′ inground pool liner is $500-$800. A 20′ X 40′ can be between $950 to $2,000. If you opt with a thicker liner, they cost  $300-$400 more but last longer. 

Pool liner thickness is measured in MIL which is 1,000th of an inch. There are pros and cons to each depending on thickness. A pool expert can help you pick out the correct liner thickness. 

They’re Great Exercise

Did you know that you can burn between 400-950 calories per hour swimming? If you don’t have time for the gym, head to your backyard for a great workout. Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise for both children and adults. 

Ultimate Staycation

Forget about spending money on a trip you don’t need, and have the ultimate staycation with your family. A staycation means you have an at-home vacation. When you have an inground pool, it’s like staying at a resort without paying for the travel and hotels. 

Improved Mental Health

Sure, it’s great for physical exercise, but it improves moods as well. Not only does it decrease the risk of chronic illnesses, but it improves mental health as well. 

Tax-Deductible

If you decide to take out a home equity loan for buying your pool, the interest could be tax-deductible. Speak with an accountant or tax preparer to see if you’d qualify. 

Decreased Lawn Mowing

An inground pool takes up more room so you won’t have to worry about mowing as much of your lawn. After you mow your lawn, you can cool off by jumping into your luxurious pool. 

Hello Relaxation

Do you just want to forget about your long day and relax having all worries melt away? When you have an inground pool, you’re creating a nice and relaxing space in your backyard. Even if you decide not to go in, you can relax by the pool and get some sun. 

Bring Your Family Together 

Would you love to have an activity your whole family can bond doing? A pool is a great place for children, teenagers, and adults. You don’t have to worry about your teens running off getting into trouble because they can hang out with their friends in the pool. 

It can also bring your family together, an activity all can enjoy. 

Easy Financing

If you think your dream pool isn’t obtainable, think again. There are plenty of financing options so you can pick the perfect payment plan for you and your family. 

All Eyes on Your Yard

Would you like an improved look to your yard that will be the envy of the neighborhood? Installing an inground pool is a great way to really improve the look of your yard. Neighbors and friends won’t be able to stop looking at the beauty of your yard. 

Next Steps

Having an inground pool is an excellent investment for not just you but your entire family as well. If you’re worried about the cost of an inground pool, check out different financing options. Also, keep in mind all of these great features of having an inground pool. 

Are you ready to install the pool of your dreams? Contact us today for a free consultation, and we will make sure you receive the most luxurious and relaxing pool. 

saltwater pool maintenance

5 Easy Ways To Do Salt Water Pool Maintenance

So you’ve decided to ditch the chlorine pool system in favor of a saltwater pool. Maybe you’re concerned about the negative health effects of chlorine overexposure, or you’ve discovered that the cost to maintain a pool with a saltwater system is on the lower side.

No matter your reasoning, you’ve made the switch, and now it’s time to adjust to your new saltwater pool system. 

The question is, how do you maintain it? You know the basics: The salt works to generate the chlorine needed to keep the pool clean, but it needs the help of a saltwater pool generator. What issues should you look out for, and how do you make sure everything is functioning as it should?

Read on for five easy ways to handle your saltwater pool maintenance.

1. Weekly Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Check Your Chlorine and pH Levels 

Use test strips or a drop test kit to make sure that your chlorine and pH levels are adequate. If they are too low or too high, your pool will not be able to combat germs the way that it is designed to. 

In a saltwater pool system, chlorine can fluctuate if the salt levels are off or if the cell is not functioning the right way. The pH levels can fluctuate due to several natural and uncontrollable factors, like temperature and carbon dioxide.

To lower chlorine levels, you can lower the output setting on your generator or shorten the length of time that you run your pool’s circulation system. To lower pH levels, gradually introduce a liquid hydrochloric or muriatic acid to the water.

To raise chlorine levels, raise the output setting on your generator. If this doesn’t do the trick, you may have to shock your pool with the super-chlorinator setting on your generator. Raise the pH levels by introducing alkali calcium carbonate to the water.

While testing your water for chlorine and pH levels should be a weekly chore, adjusting these levels shouldn’t have to happen often. If this is a reoccurring issue, you may want to contact professionals who offer pool chemical stabilization.

2. Weekly Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Check Your Stabilizer Level 

Pool stabilizer, or cyanuric acid, prevents UV rays from reducing the chlorine levels in your pool. Find a drop test kit that’s designed to read the stabilizer level and use it once a week. If your stabilizer level is low, your chlorine is being turned into gas and floating into the air, where it certainly can’t clean your pool water!

The amount of stabilizer you need depends on the amount of direct sunlight your pool gets. For a saltwater pool that gets a lot of sunlight, you should have levels of at least 70 ppm. For an indoor pool that doesn’t get much direct sunlight, about 30 ppm should be fine.

3. Monthly Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Manually Test for Salt Levels 

Most saltwater generators have a panel that displays a salt reading for your pool that you can check once a week or so when you’re testing for chlorine and pH levels. However, these devices may need to be recalibrated from time to time. Doing a separate test on your own and comparing it to your saltwater generator will give you a sense of how accurate it is.

The amount of salt your saltwater pool needs depends on the saltwater generator you have installed. Some test kits can read for salinity, or you can pick up a digital salt meter.

If you find that you need to add more salt, do so very gradually and check the levels throughout. If you oversalt your pool, the only way to fix it is to add freshwater, which is a much bigger hassle!

4. As-Needed Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Clean Your Filter, Pump, Skimmer, and Generator Cell

When it comes to saltwater pool maintenance, cleaning is key. If anything is blocking the flow of water in your pool, the generator can stop generating chlorine, making your pool unsafe to swim in.

On a regular basis, clear out your filter, pump, and skimmer of any debris. Check not only these areas but also the walls and floor of your pool for algae. Different types of algae thrive in freshwater, especially if it sits in direct sunlight and doesn’t circulate well. If your filter and pump aren’t working properly, algae blooms can appear, some of which are highly toxic to humans

The generator cell should be inspected every three months or so. Remove it from the generator and look inside for any debris or scale-like buildup. Use high water pressure and a plastic scraping tool to remove any scaliness. For tougher residue, you may have to use an acid wash as instructed by the generator’s manufacturer.

5. Yearly Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Winterize Your Generator

In the months that are too cold for swimming (a fleeting season in Texas), you will need to winterize your saltwater pool generator. Remove the flow switch and cell from the generator, make sure they’re clean, and store them inside.

If you know your winters are mild, you can skip this step. However, if you’re getting hit with a cold front and the temperatures are below freezing, run the pump continuously to prevent water from freezing in the piping. 

Depending on your pool and your local climate, this may be one of many steps you should take to fully winterize your pool.

Don’t Sweat It

Saltwater pool maintenance may seem complicated based on this breakdown, but the reality is that most of these steps won’t take more than a few minutes. Plus, you don’t have to store and handle a ton of chemicals!

Whether you’re convinced that it’s time to switch to saltwater, you’re ready to build a backyard pool for the first time, or you need some help balancing your chemical levels, we would love to help. For questions, requests, or quotes, contact us today!