how to maintain a saltwater pool

Keep It Clean: How to Maintain a Saltwater Pool

A swimming pool can enhance your outdoor living space and provide fun for the whole family. It can even add about 7.7% to your home’s value

It’s an excellent home addition for those who live in a hot sunny climate. Many homeowners choose to go with a saltwater pool, as it’s a better option for your skin and hair. It also needs less upkeep than a standard chlorine pool.  

Here is your guide on how to maintain a saltwater pool. 

How to Maintain a Saltwater Pool

A clean saltwater pool is as easy as filtering out the dirt while also checking to ensure your water levels stay balanced.

This type of pool gets preferred as it doesn’t produce a strong chlorine smell. It is also healthier for the skin and those with allergies. 

Some people choose to hire a professional to handle their saltwater pool care. Yet, it is also easy to maintain your own pool using the following tips.  

Ensure Your Pump and Filter Are Functioning Right  

Saltwater pool maintenance is a breeze when all your pool parts function well. So it’s important to keep your pump, filter, and skimmer clean and in good working condition. 

These parts work together to help keep your pool water clean. So make sure to inspect and clean these on a regular basis, as they can become clogged with debris over time. 

A low water level can be a sign that one of these items is getting backed up. Clean these every week to avoid buildup. Spraying water from a hose should do the trick. 

Also, be sure to clean the pool’s generator cell every few months as it can become scaly from salt buildup. Clean it with a high-pressure water hose or scrape it off using a plastic tool. This helps the salt circulate through your pool well. 

Keep out the Dirt

Dirt removal is the most important tip in how to take care of a saltwater pool. You’ll want to remove debris from the surface of your pool to keep it sparkling clean. 

Use a pool vacuum attachment or mechanical cleaner. Do this by connecting the vacuum right to your skimmer box to suck away dirt. Or you can buy a robot cleaner or pressure cleaner to do the job. 

A saltwater pool only contains about 10% of the salt that’s found in ocean water. While this is a small amount, it helps to brush the bottom of your pool. This keeps saltwater from building up, which can cause staining.

Pools should get cleaned 2 to 3 times per week. An uncovered pool may need more cleanings or take longer to clean, as it is more open to catching leaves and other debris.  

You’ll also want to clean your pool lining every month and follow proper maintenance tips for closing your pool down in the winter. 

Algae can also cause your pool to take on a dirty green hue. Use a special algae bush to remove it from the sides and bottom of your pool. They also make an algaecide for pool use to help prevent the growth of new algae. 

It helps to have your family and friends shower before entering your pool. You should also wash your pool toys often. This will help stop mildew growth, keeping the pool cleaner. 

Test Your pH and Chlorine Levels

Add water level testing to your saltwater pool maintenance checklist.  You’ll want to check your pH and chlorine levels every week. You can use an easy pool test kit to do this. 

pH Levels

A pool’s pH should be between 7.2 to 7.6 ppm. If pH levels get unbalanced, you can add in muriatic acid to reduce the pH. Or add sodium bicarbonate to increase the pH levels. 

Alkalinity levels help keep your pool’s pH balanced. Check this level every month and aim for 80 to 120ppm. You can add baking soda to increase levels or muriatic acid to decrease them. 

Chlorine Levels 

You chlorine should be about 1 to 3 ppm. If you live in a warmer climate, the sun’s rays can evaporate more of the chlorine from your pool. So you need to test the stabilizer levels, which should be between 70 and 80 ppm.  

In some cases, you may need to drain some of the water from your pool so you can add in fresh water. This will help dilute the overconcentrated pool water. Or you can add cyanuric acid to bring your stabilizer levels back up.  

Calcium and Salt Levels

Calcium ensures your water stays clear. Check this every month, aiming for 200 to 400 ppm. 

Saltwater levels should likely be between 2700 to 4500 ppm. However, this number depends on the specifications of the pool manufacturer. 

You should also test your water to be sure there are no traces of metals. This can sometimes happen when you add fresh water in. Metals like iron, copper, and manganese can cause corrosion issues for your pool. 

Use a Shock Solution When Needed 

Shocking your pool is like deep cleaning it. It helps keep the water looking fresh. 

Here’s a saltwater pool maintenance for dummies tip. Shocking a pool gets recommended at the start of summertime when your pool sees a lot of action, or before hosting a big pool party

A pool gets shocked with a solution made of chlorine and water. Be sure to use a chlorine brand that is safe for saltwater pools. You want to ensure you are using the right amount of chlorine for your pool size.  

You’ll need to wait 8 hours to let the chlorine dissolve into your pool. This means no swimming or using the pool during this time. You’ll also want to recheck your pool levels afterward. 

If you have a big algae problem, you may want to shock your pool more than once. This helps to kill the algae and enhance the look of your pool water. 

Building a Backyard Oasis with the Right Pool Design 

As you can see, how to maintain a saltwater pool is quite easy when following these tips and tricks. A saltwater pool is a top choice for homeowners looking to add to their outdoor living areas. 

Note that it is also important to seal your deck when adding a saltwater pool. This helps to prevent the salt water from causing any damage. It will also increase the longevity of your deck material. 

Custom swimming pools are a beautiful way to transform your backyard space. They combine stunning designs that compliment your decking and home exterior. 

Learn more about how a custom pool design can enhance your backyard. 

build a pool

So You Want to Build a Pool? How to Choose a Custom Pool Builder in Cypress, TX

Have you always dreamed about putting a swimming pool into your backyard?

It’s not nearly as hard as you might think to make that dream a reality. There are more than 10 million homeowners all across the country who have installed pools in their backyards, and there are thousands of others making the decision to build a pool every year.

Before you start taking steps towards building a swimming pool in your backyard, though, make sure you have the right swimming pool company helping you do it. There are more than 13,000 swimming pool companies operating in the U.S. at the moment, which can make finding the right one a challenge.

It can be especially difficult if you’re interested in having a custom pool built on your property. Here are some tips that will help you choose the best custom pool builder in Cypress, TX.

Create a List of Custom Pool Builders in Your Area

At the start of your custom pool builder search, begin by creating a long list of the different custom pool builders operating in your area as well as surrounding cities and towns. Focus only on swimming pool companies that specialize in building custom pools.

You can find custom pool builders in your area by:

  • Asking your friends, family members, and neighbors for recommendations
  • Looking in the phone book
  • Conducting a basic Google search for “custom pool builders in Cypress, TX”

Your goal at the beginning of the process should be to list as many custom pool builders as you can. You want to give yourself plenty of options once you start narrowing your search down.

Check Out Reviews They’ve Received From Customers

Once you’ve compiled a list of at least 10 custom swimming pool builders, the next step you should take is to read through reviews that those builders have received from customers over the years.

You can find lots of online reviews through Google, Facebook, and even individual company websites. Look for reviews that are long enough to give you a good sense of what a company is all about and how they treat their customers.

Don’t automatically discount companies that might have one or two bad reviews on their resumes. Instead, take a look at how those companies have responded to negative reviews and see what they’ve done to remedy any issues they’ve had with customers.

You want to find a company that does great work while building custom pools. But you also want to find one that communicates well with customers and goes above and beyond to leave them feeling satisfied.

Take a Look at Custom Pools They’ve Built in the Past

After you’ve had a chance to read through a bunch of online reviews for custom pool builders, you can probably start to narrow down your search a little bit. Cut your original list of 10 pool builders down to just five or six based on what you learned while scanning through reviews.

From there, visit the websites for each custom pool builder remaining on your list and see if you can find photos of the custom pools they’ve built in the past. Most custom pool builders are proud to show off their past work in galleries on their sites.

By taking a look at the custom pools that different pool builders have created over the years, you can see which do the best work overall. You can also get a better sense of what makes each pool builder unique.

Read More About Them on Their Websites

While you’re working your way through the websites of custom pool builders in and around Cypress, TX and looking at photos, you should also take the time to read about each builder on their site.

Read through the introduction that each builder has on their homepage. Then, head over to their “About Us” page to learn about some of their history. You can usually find out how much experience a custom pool builder has by doing this.

Once you’re done doing that, you can also check out which services a custom pool builder provides on their website. Additionally, you can usually find a section on the site that explains the process that the builder uses when helping homeowners design and create custom pools (more on that later!).

There is a wealth of information about custom pool builders on their sites. Use it to your advantage and really get to know what each builder on your list brings to the table before you begin touching base with them.

Reach Out to Builders and Ask Lots of Questions

At this point in the process, you should be able to narrow down your list of custom pool builders even further than you already have. Between reading online reviews and checking out builders’ websites, you should have the info you need to knock a few more builders off your list, leaving you with about three options.

Now comes the hard part: Reaching out to each custom pool builder and interviewing them either over the phone or, better yet, in person.

There are going to be a million and one questions that you want to ask a custom pool builder. But you should stay focused during the interview and make sure you ask them the most important ones.

Here are some sample questions that you should consider asking when speaking with a custom pool builder for the first time:

  • “How long have you been building custom pools in Cypress, TX?”
  • “Approximately how many custom pools have you built over the years?”
  • “What is the most challenging custom pool you ever built?”
  • “How do you go about helping a homeowner build a custom pool from start to finish?”
  • “Do you help homeowners pull the proper permits for putting in a pool?”
  • “How quickly does it usually take you to build a pool?”
  • “Do you use subcontractors or do all work yourself?”
  • “Can you show me what my pool is going to look like before you get started?”
  • “Is there anything that could potentially delay my custom pool project once it gets going?”
  • “Do you stand behind the work you do and offer a warranty of some kind on it?”

A good custom pool builder will have absolutely no problem answering each and every question listed here. They’ll be more than happy to explain everything from their experience level to their warranty options in detail.

If you come across a custom pool builder who isn’t willing to talk at length with you for any reason, they probably aren’t the right choice for you. You want someone who will communicate clearly with you right from the start.

Ask Each Builder For a List of References

At the end of each interview that you do with a custom pool builder, there is one last question you should ask. That question is: “Could you send me a list of several recent references?”

Each builder should have no problem sending you a list of about five references that can vouch for their work. The references should be homeowners who had custom pools put in by the builder within the last few years.

Once you have the list of references in hand, reach out to each of them and ask them to tell you what their experience with their custom pool builder was like. Ask about everything from the length of time it took to complete the custom pool to the level of communication that took place throughout the pool building process.

Earlier, you read a bunch of online reviews, and they gave you a decent sense of what each custom pool builder was about. But references can go a lot more in-depth and share stories about what it was like working with a custom pool builder.

Lean on these references as much as you can and ask them to provide you with information that will make your decision easier.

Make Sure Builders Are Licensed and Insured

You should not, under any circumstances, hire a custom pool builder who is unlicensed and/or uninsured. If you do, you’re pretty much asking for trouble and could end up with a huge headache later.

If a custom pool builder doesn’t have a business license, they haven’t taken the right steps to register their business and make it official. It could make it difficult for you to take legal action against them later if they don’t do a good job on your custom pool and refuse to make changes to it.

If a custom pool builder doesn’t have business insurance, they aren’t going to be covered in the event that an accident takes place while your pool is being built. You could be on the hook for medical bills and repair work if anything goes wrong during custom pool construction.

You should always ask to see proof of both a business license and business insurance before signing on the dotted line and agreeing to work with a custom pool builder. Otherwise, it could prove to be disastrous later.

See How Soon Each Builder Would Be Ready to Get to Work

Do you want to build a pool in your backyard within the next few months?

This could potentially limit your options as far as finding a custom pool builder goes. You could track down the most amazing pool builder in Cypress, TX, but if they don’t have the resources to build your pool quickly, it’ll all be for naught.

Think about the timeline that you’re working with before you start reaching out to custom pool builders. Ask them if they’re going to have any issues working with the timeline that you have in mind.

Learn More About the Process They Use For Building Pools

Every custom pool builder works a little bit differently with regards to the process they use for building pools. Some handle all of the various aspects of designing and building a pool, while others only handle specific parts of the process.

You need a custom pool builder who will have a hand in just about everything. They should:

  • Provide you with a free design consultation at the start and listen to the ideas you have for your custom pool
  • Create a 3D drawing of your dream custom pool based on your ideas
  • Tweak their 3D drawing after hearing any feedback you might have on it
  • Send you a final drawing for your approval (and for approval from your homeowner’s association, if necessary)
  • Obtain all the permits that will be needed to build a pool in your backyard
  • Arrange for the underground utilities on your property to be marked
  • Settle on a start date with you and prepare to break ground
  • Build a pool for you while sticking to a predetermined schedule
  • Answer any questions and listen to any concerns you have along the way

If a custom pool builder can’t do all these things for you, you’re not getting the best experience possible. Look for one who plays a more active role in the process.

Consider the Cost Associated With Working With Each Builder

There are a lot of homeowners who focus on the cost of building a custom pool through different pool builders first and foremost. And while it’s only natural to want to be able to spend as little as possible on your pool, it shouldn’t be your No. 1 concern.

Try not to consider the cost associated with working with each custom pool builder on your list until the very end. You want to find one who will set you up with all the services you need for a fair and affordable price, even if it’s not necessarily the lowest price.

This will ensure that you love your custom pool when it goes in and that you get it for the right price from the right custom pool builder. 

Choose the Right Custom Pool Builder and Build a Pool Today

There are so many advantages that come along with putting a custom pool into your backyard. When you build a pool, it’ll bring your family closer, allow you to get exercise on a regular basis, and turn your backyard into the place to be.

But before you get blinded by the idea of having a pool and pick just any old custom pool builder, you should keep the tips you learned today in mind. They’ll help you to choose the right pool builder in Cypress, TX to create your custom pool.

Contact us to see if we would be a good fit for your custom pool plans. 

saltwater pool systems

Don’t Be Salty: 5 Myths About Saltwater Pool Systems Debunked

Saltwater pools are part of a trend that keeps growing and growing. 

Now, three out of every four in-ground, residential pools are salt water pools.

Maybe you already have a salt water pool or are interested in installing one.  Did you know that you will still smell like chlorine afterwards though?

Not many people do.  

Love your saltwater pool systems? Click here to learn which is fact or fiction.

1. There is No Chlorine in a Saltwater Pool

A lot of people actually believe that salt water pool systems have no chlorine in them.

This really isn’t true.

The salt systems actually just generate the chlorine itself using a process called electrolysis. 

If you don’t remember from chemistry class, electrolysis zaps salt water with electricity which mixes with the chlorine that is found in salt. (Salt is actually sodium chloride — NaCl on the periodic table.) 

This process creates the chlorine, and then follows the water into the pool, mixing the chlorine in with the water. The chlorine then cleans the water and kills any bad bacteria living in it. 

This process creates chlorine by using the salt chlorine generator instead of adding the chlorine in by using granules, tablets, or sticks.

The advantage of this is that the salt system doesn’t require as many other chemicals to help stabilize the chlorine. The chemicals are in the granules, tablets, and sticks which is harsher on the skin.

The only chlorine free pool would utilize bromine or Bacqucil. So you shouldn’t install a saltwater pool system into your backyard and then be surprised when you find out that there will be chlorine in the water.

2. Saltwater Is Better Than Chlorine Water

This really depends on who you ask. For most people, swimming in a salt water pool is better on their skin because the way the chlorine is put into the pool is less harsh.

Some people also say that their hair feels more manageable after swimming in a salt water pool. You also have less of a chance of experiencing redness or irritation in your eyes.

However, for some swimmers, their skin can still become irritated and dry. Their hair may still feel matted and gross because they are still technically swimming in chlorine.

It is really up to your personal preference. Before you decide which pool you want to install in your backyard, try swimming in a chlorine pool and then a saltwater pool to see which one feels better for you.

3.  Saltwater Pools Are Too Salty

You may be hesitant to swim in a saltwater pool because you may think that it will be as salty as the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. 

However, this isn’t true.  It’s actually less salty. 

Although these systems use salt water to create chlorine, they still contain less than 10 percent the amount of saltwater that is found in sea water. 

In the ocean, the salt levels are at 35,000 parts per million.  A human tear is 6,000 parts per million. A saltwater pool is only at 2,500. 

While it can vary for everyone as stated above, swimming in a salt water pool rather than seawater could be better for your skin too because there is less salt.

When you swim in the ocean, that salt water concentration is so high that it will draw water and moisture out of your skin. 

But in a salt water pool, the concentration isn’t as high as it is in the ocean, so our skin actually absorbs some of the moisture which can be good for your skin.

4. It’s Easier/More Affordable to Have Saltwater Pool Systems

Some people think that because the salt water pool system will make the chlorine, they may be easier or more affordable to keep and maintain their pool.

This isn’t true either.

Having a saltwater pool system helps with replacing the daily sanitation of the pool, like adding the chlorine tablets, sticks, or granules. 

Just because your system will do this automatically, you still have to do other pool maintenance, like testing the pool’s pH, calcium, and alkalinity levels.  No matter which way you choose to sanitize your pool before, you will still need to test and adjust the levels in your pool or hire someone else to do it.

These pools also can actually end up costing you more to install and maintain.

According to consumers, if you add up all the costs over time, it can sometimes be more expensive to own a saltwater pool because they have to pay to maintain it, replace generator parts, and even buying the chlorine generator may all add up to some expensive costs later on down the road. 

5. You Don’t Need Any Other Chemicals

Since the chlorine generator makes the chlorine for you, you may be under the impression that you won’t have to keep and store a bunch of chemicals to maintain your saltwater pool.

While you won’t need chlorine to sanitize the pool, you will still have to carry other chemicals to maintain it. 

You’ll need chemicals and products such as shock products, muriatic acid, and some other chemicals to make sure that the chemical levels in the pool are correct.

Because salt water pools have a higher pH level, you will also need to put in more muriatic acid than you would for a chlorine pool. 

Not only do you have to buy the extra chemicals, but you also have to purchase a lot of salt for your pool.  

Install Your Salt Water Pool Today

Saltwater pool systems are becoming more and more popular, but many people still don’t understand them.

Not much research on saltwater pools exist currently, and most of the claims we hear are from pool marketing companies and consumers. 

However, a lot of people are starting to prefer saltwater pools. Some parents refuse to take their children to a non-saltwater pool because of how harsh the chlorine can be. 

Do you have questions about how to maintain your saltwater pool? Do you think a saltwater pool sounds right for you and are interested in installing one?

Contact us if you have any questions or for a free quote

 

salt water pool

3 Differences Between a Chlorine and a Salt Water Pool

What’s the best addition to your outdoor oasis? If you live in Katy, Texas where the sun shines most of the year, a pool is a perfect choice. 

Even if your space is small or oddly shaped, a custom-designed swimming pool is possible. Just imagine slipping into those inviting cool waters after a long, hot day at work.

You’ll have a lot of fun picking out shapes, fountains, and decorations for your new pool. But there is one major thing you should consider. How will you keep your pool clean? Should you choose a salt water pool or a chlorine one? 

Let’s look at the major differences between the two options. 

1. Price

Budget is always a big concern when adding a new addition to your home. The great thing about a pool is that not only do you get to enjoy it but also it makes your home more attractive to potential buyers when you’re ready to sell.

However, you do have to consider both the upfront costs of installing your pool and the ongoing maintenance costs.

Upfront Costs 

When looking at the upfront costs of pool installation, chlorine pools are a clear winner. This is because salt water pools require special equipment.

The biggest extra cost is the salt water generator that the pool uses to produce chlorine. This is what keeps a salt water pool clean and safe for human use and free of algae buildup. 

Ongoing Costs

When it comes to ongoing costs, however, the winning type of pool is not quite so clear cut. 

Chlorine pools need to be frequently maintained and monitored. To keep the pool clean and functioning properly you have to add expensive chemicals frequently. You also need to have a safe place to store those chemicals until you’re ready to use them.

The salt water generator takes care of this for you. All you need to do is check the levels on occasion to ensure the system is functioning correctly. However, you have to factor in the cost of electricity to run the generator. 

Feel free to experiment with how long you need to run it. You can keep your electricity costs down by not running it unnecessarily. But you also have to run it enough for it to be effective.

Another thing to consider is that the salt can cause damage to surrounding installments such as your pool deck. Depending on what you have in the area surrounding your pool you’ll have to calculate in extra maintenance costs for that upkeep. 

2. Maintenance

Chlorine pools require maintenance about twice as frequently as salt water ones. Chlorine levels have to be constantly monitored and new chlorine added as necessary. The average chlorine pool will require more chlorine tablets or sticks about once a week.

A salt water pool, on the other hand, produces its own chlorine via the generator we’ve already mentioned. You still have to keep an eye on the chlorine levels. However, you can stretch your maintenance sessions out to once every two weeks.

Also, you add salt to the pool rather than chlorine so you don’t have to worry about storing dangerous chemicals. 

Both types of pools will require periodic chlorine “shocks”. This wards off algae growth and keeps the water sanitary. As we already mentioned, the salt water generator helps to inhibit algae from growing. Thus, a salt water pool will need to be shocked less frequently. 

A downside to salt water pools is that the system is more complex. If something goes wrong or you need to do something outside of regular maintenance, you may have to call a professional. The simpler system of a chlorine pool, though, makes it easier to perform DIY fixes.

One extra step with salt water pools is having to remove and maintain the generator cells on occasion. Once a season is usually frequent enough. So it’s not a big job, but something to keep in mind nonetheless.

3. Health Effects

Another important difference is the health effects that each type of pool has on the swimmers. Both pools contain chlorine as we’ve discussed, as this chemical is necessary to kill bacteria that can be harmful to anyone using the pool. 

Salt water pools carry a lower concentration of chlorine. Plus, the natural electrolysis process through which the generator makes chlorine produces a softer chemical that is easier on the skin. It is also thought to expose the swimmer to fewer toxins. 

Many people have trouble with swimming in chlorinated pools. Their skin may break out or the chlorine may bother their eyes. Most of these folks don’t have any trouble swimming in a salt water pool.   

Keep in mind that swimming in a salt water pool is not like swimming in the ocean. The salt concentration is less. Thus most swimmers can even open their eyes underwater will little ill effects. 

Also, it doesn’t dry out the skin or cause as many allergic reactions. 

Chlorine or Salt Water Pool?

Ultimately, the right pool for you will depend on which factors are most important to you. If you prefer lower upfront costs and don’t mind paying a little more for maintenance than a chlorine pool is for you.

If you prefer a softer swimming experience and want to avoid using harsh chemicals than opt for a salt water pool. Both are great options it just depends on what you’re looking for.

Still have questions? To find out more, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Once you know which kind of system you want it’s time to start the fun part–picking out your design. Of course, we can help with that too!

swimming pool designs

Be the Envy of Your Neighborhood: 9 Coolest Swimming Pool Designs

Installing or renovating a swimming pool is an exciting process with lots of decisions to make.

The design options for your new swimming pool are a myriad, and there’s a ton of inspiration out there for you. Sometimes, the best way to figure out what you want is to look at what other people have done. 

And people have done plenty in creating amazing swimming pool designs.

We want to go sit by these pools with something cold to drink and nowhere to be all day. Read on to find some of the best swimming pool designs.

Have a Waterfall or Two 

One of the quickest ways to add luxury to any swimming pool is to add a waterfall.

Whether it takes up a full side of the pool or it’s a little trickle in from one side, having that extra movement makes everything so much more beautiful. And there are so many amazing ways to incorporate waterfalls into your pool design.

But let’s be honest here, is one waterfall enough when you could have two?

Some of the most extravagant pools have a waterfall on one end and then a second waterfall spilling down into a lower level pool. These look like something straight out of a movie, and also like somewhere we want to spend our entire summer.

Add Some Cool Deck Features

The quickest way to add character to your pool is to add some major deck features.

Whether you’re going for an opulent Mediterranean look or a lush jungle vibe, the secret is all in the dressings. And the good news is you can do this even if you already have a pool that you want to dress up.

If the artistic style of The Prince of Egypt is your aesthetic, and you always liked the look of that big marble palace, we have the perfect idea for your deck.

Add some large (and we mean LARGE) urns around one side of your pool, and put in some golden lighting. We guarantee you’ll feel like royalty in no time.

Break Out of the Normal Shape

A lot of swimming pools tend to stick to the same basic shapes – you’ve got your rectangle, your oval, and your misshapen bean. But if you want to set your pool apart, changing up the shape can be a great way to do that.

What shape you go for depends on what style you want.

If you’re looking to get a sleek, modern vibe, why not add an L-shaped swimming pool?

A half-circle pool will bring a sort of asymmetric class to your back yard. And if you want to go totally hog wild, you could make your pool shaped like anything – the state of Texas, for instance.

Add Some Walls

Another great way to make your pool feel instantly more opulent is to add some walls around it. Depending on your neighborhood codes (and your relationship with the neighbors), these could surround your whole back yard or only border a part of your pool. Your budget and your homeowners’ association are the limits.

If you’re adding walls around your whole back yard, you may want to go for sandy-colored stone and a Tuscan vibe to the back yard. Or if you’re adding a wall on one side of your pool, why not add an interesting feature like a garden or a lounging area on top? You could also incorporate some brightly-patterned tile to bring a splash of color to your deck.

Make Use of Glass Walls

There are few things more beautiful than a well-designed glass wall in a pool.

We can’t explain why it’s so wonderful, but there is something mesmerizing about watching all that water move through a glass wall. It gives the light so much more room to play, and it leaves us daydreaming about summer even in the dead of January.

Talk to your contractor about how to add a glass wall to your pool.

If you’re doing an above-ground pool, you shouldn’t have a hard time making at least one of the walls out of glass. Otherwise, the best way to manage it is to build your pool into the side of a hill if you have one handy.

Put in Some Stone

Stonework adds such a wonderful texture to any space, and swimming pools are no exception.

A lot of swimming pool designs tend to use smooth concrete or polished marble. But adding some rough stone to your swimming pool can give it an amazing natural look.

Depending on the aesthetic you’re going for, you may want to add large stone slabs around your pool to create a hot springs/rain forest look.

If you want a more Italian countryside vibe, build a retaining wall out of tan stones. Or, if you want to have a truly opulent look, there’s always granite to build the world’s most beautiful deck out of.

Bring Things Indoors

Everyone knows swimming pools (at least private ones) go outside — we have decks and hammocks and places to lay in the sun.

But what if you want less a sunbathing spot and more a tranquil place to enjoy a cocktail and a few laps in the evenings?

Putting your swimming pool indoors can always be an option if that’s the style you prefer.

A sunroom is an ideal space to turn into a pool room, and if you don’t have one, you have an excellent excuse to put an extension on the back of your house.

If you want that sophisticated, elegant look, a rectangle pool is best. If you want something bursting with life, why not make the sunroom a greenhouse with a pool included?

Find More Swimming Pool Designs

Looking for swimming pool design ideas may have you feeling like a kid in a candy shop – wanting to look everywhere at once. There are some amazing swimming pool designs out there, and yours can be one of them.

If you’d like to have the best swimming pool in Texas, get in touch with us at Sahara Construction. We’ll help you design and build a custom pool to fill all your summer daydreams.

Get in touch with us for a free consultation today.

pool depth

4 Things You Didn’t Think About When Deciding Your Inground Pool Depth

With more than 10 million homes being able to boast a swimming pool, deciding on building your own inground pool requires a little bit of thought.

Some people can get excited and decide to just build a pool on a whim without considering the results of their decision. Deciding on your inground pool depth requires you to think about what you need and why.

Here are four things to think about before you jump into your pool depth if you still have time to change your mind.

1. Why Did You Build It?

If you’re thinking about building a pool, you’re probably not thinking about why you’re building it in the first place.

You probably have a nebulous idea of what having a pool will be like. For some people, they’ve always imagined having an inground pool on their property and fantasize about relaxing around it.

However, when you’re trying to come up with a pool depth for the new one at your home, there are some basic concerns you should think about. Simply asking yourself what the purpose of the pool is could be a great place to start.

If you want to throw parties where the kids play, have some grown-up fun on the weekends, or would prefer to swim laps, you have different needs. If you’re looking to have a diving board, you need to consider how deep your pool needs to be to safely ensure no one gets hurt.

If you’re looking for a place to swim laps, consider a length of 25 meters to get a nice distance back and forth. If you’re going to have kids playing around, stay with a maximum depth of five feet for safety.

However, if you’re going to be diving and swimming a lot of laps, you’ll need at least five feet, if not closer to six or eight at the diving board.

2. Figure Out the Height For Adults

Multi-depth pools are common, especially when you’re accommodating an entire family at your pool. However, you need to keep your adults content with the height rather than having them wading around a kiddie pool. Your depth needs to be fun but it also needs to be safe for everyone.

The staggered depths of three to six feet on a slanted pool usually works for people, but you need to make sure everyone has what they need. If you and your spouse have very different heights, you need to accommodate for each of you. Make sure that you both have the kind of depth you need before you simply throw out a number.

If you’re not sure, go to a local pool and see what feels good to you.

Some people like to be in over their head and others don’t want to risk having friends over who could fall in and hurt themselves. Decide what works for you and whether or not you’ll be drinking or having children around your pool before you decide on a height that accommodates adults.

Everyone has a different height that works, but if this is mainly for adults, consider their needs.

3. Think About Kids

While you might come up with a height that you want to use to accommodate your kids, you should also consider the time factor along with that.

Having a pool that’s safe for your kids is great but if they’re going to be tall enough to swim anywhere in the pool five years from now, don’t get your self stuck. Having a kiddie wading pool in your backyard instead of merely buying a net to keep kids out is a permanent decision you’ll have to deal with.

There’s no real “safe” height for kids. Toddlers wading in water that’s two feet high could still hurt themselves or end up in a bad situation. You need to always watch your kids in and around the water.

Since your kids will be able to handle three feet and more after just a few years, buy a pool with multiple heights.

Those lower sections are nice when you just want to sit on the stairs, enjoy a cocktail, and read a book partially submerged. It’s also a great way to get your infants and toddlers acquainted with the water.

Your best bet might be a separate wading pool for kids. While you could just use an above ground solution here, you could also incorporate wading into your pool with an L-shaped design. The wading area could be a way to get in and out of the pool as well.

4. Calculate Your Budget

While you might want to go big and start planning for the diving pool of your dreams, you need to calculate your budget seriously. There is constant upkeep and maintenance to consider with your pool. Splurging on a pool for diving could end up costing you exponentially more over their lifespan.

While there an initial increased cost up front, you’re also dealing with more costs over upkeep. Every inch of diving space is going to end up costing you thousands over several decades. Consider your water and cleaning budget before you decide on this.

While you should get the pool of your dreams, the extra cost should be worthwhile. On a tight budget, think twice about spending your money on a small added bonus that your family might not spend time using after all.

Pool Depth is a Safety, Budget, and a Use Issue

Before you make any hasty decisions about your pool depth, you should think carefully about what you really need before you build it. Your pool depth tells you how much it could cost you over the course of several years.

To more accurately calculate the cost of maintaining a pool, check out our guide.

swimming pool cost

How Much Does It Cost to Build and Maintain a Swimming Pool?

There are 10.4 million residential pools in the United States, according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. 

If you aren’t one of them, what are you waiting for? With the right plan and budget, you can make your dreams of owning a pool a reality. 

One of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself is how much does a swimming pool cost to build and how much will it cost to maintain? 

With our guide, you can answer both these questions and feel confident in making the right decision for your home. 

From the Ground Under

When you make the decision to get an inground pool, you are going to have a lot of options to choose from. 

Inground pool prices range anywhere from $23,000- $100,000. The cost of the initial build will vary based on the size you want, the materials you want to use, and any construction and labor costs. 

You will generally have the option to go from a vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete base. Vinyl being the lowest cost and concrete being the most expensive. 

You should also plan to have a couple thousand dollars set aside for any unexpected surprises that may occur during construction. Anything from gas or water line rerouting to permits and so on. 

The initial inground pool cost does not include extras you may want to add– such as a fountain or waterfall, special lighting, or filters and water pumps. Each of those additions will cost you $2,000 to $10,000 more. 

The range is so broad because of the options available to you. The best way to get a firm idea of how much it will cost you is to do your research into the types of materials you want, the size and shape you want, and get a consultation

Chlorine or Saltwater?

The cost of a swimming pool is more than it’s initial build. It’s an investment that you will need to continue to work on. 

When we talk about pool maintenance it is important to decide early on if you want to go with a chlorine or saltwater pool. Fixr gives you a great look at the comparisons between the two.

Saltwater has a higher initial cost but does not cost as much to maintain on a yearly basis. It is also better for your skin and requires less maintenance overall. 

Chlorine, while more expensive annually, may also be better for your pool in the long run. It also costs less initially and uses less electricity. 

The average cost to maintain any pool is about $60-$150 an hour for deep cleans. It will cost you an additional $300-$800 a year for equipment maintenance and general upkeep. 

The cost of a swimming pool is not cheap but well worth the investment and value to your home. 

Swimming Pool Costs for You

The total swimming pool cost– from build to start-up will likely cost you around $45,000-50,000. 

But don’t let that keep you from owning the swimming pool of your dreams. Ask us about our Pool Financing and see what we can do for you! 

facts about swimming

Facts About Swimming Pools: Debunking Common Pool Myths

There are 10.4 million residential swimming pools in the United States, and with that staggering number comes a ton of misinformation.

Thanks to pop culture and false storytelling, many people believe certain fallacies about swimming pools to be true. But we’re here to set the record straight once and for all.

Read on so we can debunk some common pool myths and uncover the real facts about swimming pools.

Special Pool Chemicals Turn Urine Blue

You may have heard from people that if you pee in the pool, your urine will change color to blue or another noticeable color. You also may have seen this scenario played out in the popular “Grown Ups” movie with Adam Sandler.

But the truth is that there is no such pool chemical that has the ability to turn your pee blue. This is one big, fat pool myth that needs to be debunked. However, if your urine is very yellow from dehydration, that’ll show up in a pool without the aid of a special pool chemical. 

Chlorine Turns Your Hair Green

If you’ve spent summers having fun in the swimming pool, you may have noticed a green tint to your hair after getting out of the pool. This tint is especially noticeable in people with blonde hair.

But contrary to popular belief, chlorine isn’t the cause of your hair turning green. It’s actually the copper sulfate, which is used to fight algae, that causes your hair to have a green tint.

However, chlorine is damaging to hair because it dries out hair and makes it brittle.

If you spend a ton of time in the pool, take extra steps to keep your hair healthy with shampoo and conditioner made for damaged hair. And always make sure you wash out all the chlorine after getting out of the pool to minimize the damage. 

You Must Wait One Hour After Eating to Go Swimming

This myth is especially popular among children because they hear it constantly from their parents. Children are told that if you swim right after eating, you’ll get bad cramps and it’ll become difficult to swim.

However, this is just a clever parenting technique to keep kids out of the pool and give them a little break from constant activity. There is no scientific evidence to support that claim that swimming after eating is any more dangerous than swimming one hour after eating.

Chlorine Kills Everything in the Pool

Many people believe that by simply having chlorine in the pool it’ll kill all of the harmful bacteria that can breed in a pool. This, however, is not the case. 

Chlorine can kill some (maybe most) of the bacteria and waterborne illnesses found in pools, but it can’t kill all of it. So it’s important to make sure your pool gets thoroughly cleaned every week or two, especially during high-activity months, to ensure the safety of swimmers. 

Setting the Facts About Swimming Straight

Now that we’ve debunked the most common myths about swimming, we can get the facts about swimming straight. For more helpful swimming pool tips and info, contact us today so we can answer your questions!

how to maintain a saltwater pool

Deck the Pool with Boughs of Holly: Swimming Pool Decorating Ideas to Get Your Pool Ready for the Holidays

Most folks deck out their halls and walls with all the stuff Christmas is made of. But swimming pool decorating is an up-and-coming tradition you might just want to adopt.

Adding a little festivity in your backyard oasis can surround you with the spirit of Christmas. This is especially helpful if you live somewhere warm and sunny year round!

But even if you don’t, you can turn your once-tropical landscape into a holiday haven fit for Santa himself.

Show your swimming pool some love with these five holiday decorating ideas.

1. Add Floating Candles to the Water

If you haven’t winterized your pool, let a few floating candles set sail on the water. These charming little lights add romance and warmth to any setting. 

Buy a few holiday-themed candles, or dress up your own in sparkles, garland, or holly berries. You might want to use this decorating tip year-round!

2. Wrap Your Pool Landscaping in Lights

String lights aren’t just for your Christmas tree. Add a few strands to the plants surrounding your pool to give your backyard a festive look.

Or, take it up a notch by stringing paper lanterns above the pool. Use whatever trees or poles you have available to add lighting to the area. 

3. Put Santa on a Pool Float

Santa works hard this time of year, so let him use your pool to take the edge off.  Place a blow-up Santa Claus on a pool float and let him drift his way to relaxation. 

Even better, you can add some of his closest friends to their own pool floats for a winter wonderland party. Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, elves, and other arctic critters can dot your pool and show you have a sense of humor. 

4. Create a Floating Christmas Tree from Balloons

No winter scenery is complete without a Christmas tree. Balloons are the perfect material to craft your own floating tree for your pool. Plus, the final result looks awesome!

This YouTube tutorial can show you everything you need to know to make your own balloon tree from scratch. 

Don’t be afraid to get creative! Not all Christmas trees have to be green.

For example, you might use white balloons to craft a snow-covered tree. Or, you might add various colors of smaller balloons to resemble ornaments.

And whatever you do, don’t forget the star on the top!

5. Hang Ornaments From Surrounding Greenery

If swimming pool decorating feels outside your budget this year, this wallet-friendly alternative can do the trick.

Grab some attractive ornaments and hang them from the plants and trees around your pool. 

It’s a simple, inexpensive way to bring some holiday cheer outdoors. In no time, your whole backyard can look like a winter wonderland.

Swimming Pool Decorating Isn’t Just Seasonal!

No matter where you live, swimming pool decorating can transform your space year round! Don’t be afraid to get creative and make your pool uniquely yours.

Sahara Pool Builder specializes in crafting custom pools with unique features to enhance your backyard oasis. Contact us today and let’s explore your options for building a pool that suits your style.

how to close a pool

Don’t Turn Your Pool into an Ice Skating Rink: How to Close a Pool for Winter

There are over 10 million residential swimming pools in the United States. Each of those pools provides countless hours of summer fun, but come wintertime, acts as a magnet for debris, small animals, and insects.

When you live somewhere characterized by mild winters, it can be tempting to avoid closing your pool. The fact is, winterizing your pool can save you frustration, money, and time.

Why? Because if you leave your pool open throughout the winter, you’re setting yourself up for a bigger cleanup, a bigger hassle to balance the water, and potential plumbing problems.

The average temperature in January in Katy, TX is 43 degrees. This is below the 65-degree recommended threshold for closing a pool.

If you’ve never learned how to close a pool, we’ll help. Keep reading to learn the steps to preserve your investment.

Supplies: Closing Pool For Winter

There are two paths you can take: you can purchase a winterizing chemical kit or you can buy each individual item. Here’s a handy list of everything you might need when closing your pool:

  • Winterizing chemicals:
    • Algaecide
    • Shock
    • pH increaser
    • Alkalinity increaser
    • Calcium hardness increaser
  • Clarifying water enzyme
  • Skimmer cover(s)
  • Return line plugs
  • Expansion plugs
  • Pool cover

No matter which path you take, you’ll want to gather all your supplies before winterizing your pool. It’s no fun to be in the middle of the winterization process and have to run an errand because you don’t have the right chemicals.

How To Close A Pool

Whether you’re dealing with an in-ground pool or you’re closing an above ground pool, this process is all about ensuring both cold and nature don’t wreak havoc on your pool.

You’ll want to start by cleaning your pool. Make sure to also clean your filter.

Next, balance your water. This is where all those increasers we mentioned in the above section come into play.

Once your pool is clean and balanced, clean out and plug the pool’s lines. To do this, blow the water out from your skimmer(s) and plug the lines with the expansion plugs.

Whereas some steps, like balancing your water, make winterizing and opening again easier, this step is absolutely crucial to the health of your system. Ice expansion is just as damaging in pool lines as it is in home plumbing.

Next, protect your skimmer(s). We recommend removing your skimmer basket(s) and using a skimmer cover(s).

By covering a skimmer, you don’t have to worry about cleaning it out throughout the winter.

Next, you’ll need to winterize your pump and filter. Remove all the drain plugs and the pump, hoses, and chlorinator. Store all of these in a dry space.

How you winterize your filter depends on which kind you have: sand, D.E., or cartridge. Then, drain water if necessary to below the skimmer and return levels.

The final step is to install your pool cover.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to close a pool, you can ensure your pool is ready to face the winter. Remember that even a mild winter can cause problems for pools if they’re not winterized.

Do you still have questions about closing your pool? We’d love to help. Contact us to learn more about the best way to prep your pool for colder weather.