Category: Pool Care

cost of inground pool

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

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

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

Cost of Inground Pool Installation

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

Size

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

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

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

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

Material

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

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

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

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

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

Accessories

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Add It Up

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

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

in ground swimming pool

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

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

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

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

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

1. Know Why You Want The Pool

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

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

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

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

2. Know If Your Property Is Pool Ready

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

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

3. Know Where You Want To Put It

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

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

4. Know How Much It Will Cost & The Upkeep

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

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

5. Know What Materials You Want

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

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

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

6. Know The Construction Time Frame

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

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

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

7. Know What Customizations You Want

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

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

What’s Your Dream In Ground Swimming Pool?

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

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

pool cleaning

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

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

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

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

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

1. Start with Skimming

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

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

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

2. Take a Brush to It

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

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

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

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

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

3. Regular Vacuuming

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

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

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

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

4. Good Circulation

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

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

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

5. Backwash the Filter

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

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

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

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

6. Maintain a Healthy pH Balance

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

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

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

7. Sanitize with Chlorine

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

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

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

8. Cut Back Foliage

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

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

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

Practice These Pool Cleaning Tips on a Regular Basis

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

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

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

pool contractor

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

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

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

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

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

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

But how do you pick the best pool builder?

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

Meet in Person

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask Key Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Request References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t feel awkward asking for references.

Don’t Sign a Contract on the First Date

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

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

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

Read each proposal and ask for modifications if necessary.

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

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

It’s in the Details

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

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

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

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

Ready to Hire Your Pool Contractor?

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

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

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

pool design

Modern Oasis in Katy, TX: 10 Pool Design Trends for 2019

There are over 10 million residential swimming pools in America. While they can be found all over the country, California, Florida, and Texas are the most popular states for in-ground pools.

So, if you live in Texas (or another warm-weather state), it may feel like you’re the only one in the entire neighborhood without a pool. Installing one may cost a pretty penny, but your home’s value will likely increase, and you’ll have an amazing form of entertainment right in your backyard.

Of course, you’ll want to ensure you pick a pool design that’s stylish and relaxing.

Do you need some inspiration? Keep reading to discover our top pool design trends for 2019.

1. Sleek and Simple Shapes

Once upon a time, every pool was curvy. But in 2019, more and more homeowners are going to opt for a sleek and simple shape, like a rectangle.

This gives your pool a modern and sophisticated look. Plus, a classic rectangle shape will never go out of style, so your pool will look great for years to come.

2. Pools That Compliment the Home

In an age where pools are highly customized, an increasing number of homeowners are seeing the importance of picking a pool design that compliments their home. Pools that don’t match the home’s aesthetic often look a little awkward and out of place.

For example, a sleek modern pool would look a bit odd behind a rustic style house. But when installed behind a modern home, it can really elevate the backyard and create cohesion between the home and yard.

Many homeowners are also considering the materials they use when designing their pool. For example, you may want to use decking materials that compliment your home’s exterior.

3. Dark Interiors

Light blue has been the go-to color for pool interiors for quite some time now. But all that is changing in 2019.

Darker shades of blue, like cobalt and azure, are becoming increasingly popular. They create a more soothing, luxurious, and lagoon-like effect, making your pool the perfect place to relax.

4. Thoughtful Landscaping

If designing a pool that compliments the home is trending, it should come as no surprise that people are considering their landscaping too. Bushes can be used as a privacy wall in lieu of a traditional fence, and utilizing plants and trees that compliment your pool design is a great way to complete the look.

You’ll also want to ensure the plants you choose don’t drop a lot of leaves or petals. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck skimming your pool every day.

If you don’t want to change your landscaping, you can also incorporate this trend by using potted plants around your pool. Depending on what plants you use and how many, you can make it feel like you were transported to a tropical paradise.

5. Swim-Up Bar

Nothing screams “luxury resort” more than a swim-up bar. But now you can enjoy this feature in your very own backyard.

These convenient and luxurious bars will be trending in 2019. Plus, they make the perfect addition if you love to entertain.

6. Self-Cleaning Pools

One of the biggest downsides to owning a pool is all the maintenance required to keep it clean. That’s why self-cleaning pools will be popular in 2019 and beyond.

While the installation will be a bit more expensive, you’ll save tons of time and money on maintenance throughout the years, making this investment worth it.

7. Sunning Shelves

Who doesn’t love tanning on a relaxing Sunday afternoon? But when you’re battling that intense Texas heat, this can be easier said than done.

And let’s face it—those mesh inflatable pool floats can be uncomfortable and inconvenient when you can’t even sip on a cool drink while soaking up the sun.

That’s why sunning shelves are growing in popularity. These allow you to sunbathe or socialize on a shallow shelf in your pool, so you can still enjoy that refreshing water. You can opt to include built-in lounge chairs for a chic look or use your own, so they can be taken in and out as desired.

8. Infinity Edge Spas

If you really want to relax, you may want to include a spa in your pool design. To take this element to the next level, many are opting for infinity edge spas to add some interest and a touch of luxury.

9. Smart Lighting

The right pool lighting allows you to enjoy your pool at night and ensures nobody accidentally falls in when walking around the backyard. But lighting has come a long way over the past few years.

In 2019, smart pool lighting is going to be trending. With this feature, you can control the brightness, color, and timing of your lights right on your smartphone.

10. Timber Pools

Who says concrete and classic tile are the only options you have? If you want to go for something more relaxing and rustic, you’re in luck! Timber pools are a unique option that will be trending in 2019.

However, these pools typically aren’t made with all real timber. Porcelain tiles designed to look like wood are used to surround the pool and then combined with timber decking for a cohesive look that’s also durable.

2019 Pool Design Trends

Don’t stick to the same old boring pool design you had growing up. If you’re thinking about installing a pool this year, you’ll want to incorporate some of the latest trends to ensure it looks modern and stylish. From opting for a sleek and simple shape to trying out a timber pool, there’s sure to be a pool design that you love.

Are you ready to take the next step? Contact us for a free consultation today. We can make your dream pool a reality.

pool water

Keep a Clear Pool Longer: Your Guide on Effective Water Treatment

There are 10.4 million residential swimming pools in the United States. A backyard swimming pool is a luxury that many Americans cherish during hot, sunny days.

But having crystalline waters doesn’t just happen on its own. Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to maintain clear pool water in your swimming pool.

Test the Water with a Pool Water Test Kit

The secret to crystal clear pool water is frequent testing and balancing.

You should test your pool water regularly for best maintenance results.

A pool water test kit will test the free available chlorine, the total chlorine, the pH level, the calcium hardness, and the total alkalinity.

All of these factors work together to make your pool water inviting and enjoyable. Cloudy or green pool water is caused by some kind of imbalance of these ratios.

You should test the pH levels every other day.  Aim for a pH level of 7.2–7.6 parts per million (ppm).

Test the total alkalinity every month so long as the pH levels are in the right range.

For plaster pools, the ideal total alkalinity range is 80–120 parts per million (ppm). For vinyl, painted or fiberglass pools, the ideal range is 125–150 ppm.

Depending on what your pool water test kit reveals, you will need either an alkalinity booster, a pH product that will either boost or lower the pH range to the right range.

Select the Type of Chlorine You’ll Use

One of the main differences between a saltwater pool and a traditional pool is the use of chlorine.

You’ll need to use chlorine to kill bacteria and algae in your swimming pool water if you don’t have a saltwater pool.

Chlorine is available in tablets, sticks, granules or liquid. The active ingredient is the same regardless of the form.

The only differences are the concentration levels of the active ingredients as well as the way the chlorine dissolves.

Some types of chlorine dissolve slowly and so need less pool maintenance. 

Once you know the kind of chlorine you’d like to use, you need to decide how to deliver it to your swimming pool.

You can use a floating chlorine feeder or an automatic chemical feeder. Automatic feeders require little effort. With them, you can control the amount of chlorine added to the pool at any time.

With these feeders, you might not need to adjust your chlorine level until the next week.  

Shock the Pool Water Weekly

Combined chlorine happens when the chlorine you put in your pool binds with other chemicals in the water. For example nitrogen or ammonia.

When it binds to another chemical, the chlorine is no longer effectively doing its job. Worse still, this is when it can sting and irritate the eyes and skin of your pool users.

You can combat combined chlorine through a weekly shock treatment.

Ensure Good Circulation of Pool Water

You know that stagnant water, whether in a lake, pond or pool is unhealthy and not safe for swimming.

Green pool water is a sign of algae. If algae can grow that means that you don’t have enough circulation in your swimming pool water.

Moving water is vital for healthy clear, swimming pool water. Keep your pump and filter system running daily to keep circulation flowing well.

You can’t run your pool pump too often. But as that can get expensive, you should aim for at least 10 hours a day when you run your filter. 

Clean Your Pool Thoroughly 

It’s not enough to treat the water inside your swimming pool. You must also clean the insides of the pool.

You’ll need a net, a pool brush, and a pool vacuum to keep your swimming pool in crystal clear condition.

You should brush, skim and vacuum your pool at least once a week. This routine keeps buildup from accumulating on the walls and floor of your pool.

You may need to use a brush and some elbow grease to clean tough spots on tile or the liner. 

Even if you own an automatic pool cleaner, you’ll still need to skim and brush the pool regularly. Though having an automatic pool cleaner makes it easier and faster to clean your pool. 

Backwash Filters

To avoid cloudy pool water, you must frequently backwash your filters.

Backwashing means reversing the flow of water through the filters. This process pushes out dirty water and tiny contaminants out of your swimming pool. 

Create a Maintenance Schedule

One of the most important ways that you can be sure to maintain a sparkling pool is to create a schedule and keep it visible.

This allows you to keep organized and on track for your important pool maintenance tasks.

Pin your schedule to the fridge or in the pool shed where you’ll see it most often. You can include tasks such as what to do to close your pool in your schedule. 

If you have others enjoying the pool, why not assign them each a task to divide the work? If you divvy up the tasks, everyone will be able to spend more time in the pool and less time cleaning it.

If you are away from home for a few days, the schedule will ensure that the right tasks get done to keep your pool looking great.

Final Thoughts 

Thanks for reading. We hope this guide on how to maintain crystal clear pool water is helpful.

Though the process of maintaining a pool can be daunting at first, you will soon get the hang of it.

Next, learn how to care for your pool in winter.

Swimming Pool Care

Take Good Care: How to Take Care of Your Swimming Pool in Winter

Living in Texas means you can escape the polar vortex. And keep your swimming pool open all winter. Now you know why the snowbirds flock to Texas during the winter months.

With average temperatures in the 60s, extending the swimming season doesn’t take much effort.

People who live in colder states use a complete winterization program. They partially drain the pool, blow out pipes and lines, and plug the return and suction lines.

Pool owners in Texas don’t go to that extreme even if they don’t keep the pool open all year. But why not take advantage of the climate and take a dip on a winter day?

We’ve put together a swimming pool care guide especially for pool owners in Texas who believe in year-round swimming. Continue reading and keep your pool running smoothly all winter long.

Don’t put your swim trunks and your floaties away just yet!

Use a Pool Cover

Covering a pool in the winter saves you from skimming and vacuuming as often. You may not get leaves and grass in the pool like you do during the summer months, but you’ll still get your share of debris.

You have options when deciding on a pool cover.

If you have children, mesh pool covers reduce the chance of accidents. They also work well if you live in an area with high amounts of rainfall because the rainwater filters through the cover.

Install a leaf cover over the swimming pool’s safety mesh and prevent leaves, insects, and other winter debris from polluting the water. One caution with leaf covers—they don’t act as safety barriers.

Solar pool covers can help lower your heating costs. Finally, an automatic pool covers work two jobs. They keep heat in and people out. They’re also the most expensive option.

If you do cover the pool, take a peek during the week and check the water line.

Watch the Water Line

Whether you keep your pool open all winter or not, you should keep an eye on the water line.

The line where your water sits is a breeding ground for bacteria. During the summer months, that area gets more attention because you use the pool more often and have a more regular cleaning routine.

Keep the water line clean with a quick brush and scrub. Algae and bacteria can’t buildup if you keep the area clean.

Ice buildup can happen if temperatures outside dip below freezing. Brushing at the waterline moves the pool water around and prevents ice buildup.

Ensuring the pool pump runs properly also keeps ice from settling on top of the water.

Run Your Pool Pump

Understanding your pump and how it works is basic for swimming pool care.

Pool owners who don’t swim all winter lower the water level. If you keep water in your pool, the pump must run. For proper water circulation, the pump should run for 6-10 hours.

Also, even if you don’t use the pool every day running the pump on a regular basis ensures fluids and other lubricants don’t sit for extended periods inside the pump. Think of it like your car. You don’t leave a car sitting for months without starting it up, right?

That leaf cover we talked about earlier will help reduce the amount of time you run your pump. The less debris, the less pump time you need for circulating it through the filter.

Speaking of pump running time, if temperatures drop to 32°F, run the pump and keep it running. Water freezes at 32°F. Keep it moving!

Since no one hovers over the pool with a thermometer waiting for falling temperatures so that they can turn the pump on, how do you avoid damage from freezing when you’re not at home? Continue reading about your pool’s freeze protection system.

Guard Against Freeze Damage

Even if you don’t expect unseasonably cold temperatures, plan for them anyway. Protect your pool from freeze damage by installing a freeze protection unit.

A freeze protection unit is a device that circulates the pool water when temperatures fall below 38°F. A sensor measures outside air temperature and activates the pool pump if temperatures reach the threshold.

If your pool uses booster pumps or you have other water features like a waterfall, deck jets, or wall sconces, consider an advanced pool controller. Advanced pool controllers can turn on the other pumps and open closed valves if necessary.

Your pool company may advise winterizing your water features, especially if you have any constructed from rock. Fear of freeze damage is one aspect of swimming pool care and maintenance that prevents most owners from keeping a pool open during the winter.

Caution is always good but with the proper protection installed, why not swim when it’s cold?

Winter Pool Chemistry

No one enjoys sharing the pool with debris, insects, or algae. Keeping dirt and insects out is easy. Eliminating algae means regular water checks.

If you don’t keep your pool open year-round, you may not pay close attention to the chemical balance in the water. If you swim all winter, you can’t forget about good water balance (and shouldn’t even if you don’t)

You won’t need as much chlorine during the winter as you would during summer and if the water temperature stays in the 40°F range, you need even less.

During the summer when your pool gets more action you probably (hopefully) check the pool chemicals 2-3 times per week. During winter, a weekly check works.

Check the following:

  • Chlorine levels
  • Algaecide levels
  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Calcium
  • Cyanuric acid

If you don’t use a pool cover be aware that without protection, the pool water absorbs everything from the atmosphere. If you’re not checking water chemistry on a regular basis, you may find stains and scaling on the pool walls and floor due to poor water quality.

Need More Swimming Pool Care in Winter?

Hopefully, after reading our swimming pool care tips you can relax and enjoy the pool this winter. With less debris and fewer chemical checks, you should have more time for swimming and spend less time worrying.

Maybe you’re working too much or spend a considerable amount of time away from home during the winter months. That doesn’t mean you can’t look forward to a swim on the weekends.

With a pool cover, a freeze guard system, and routine checks for water chemical balance, your pool can give you hours of fun and relaxation year-round.

If you need more information about caring for your pool this winter, or if you’re ready for a new pool, contact us and schedule a complimentary consultation.

Swimming Pool

10 Benefits of Owning a Swimming Pool at Home

Are you thinking about installing your own backyard swimming pool?

You’re not alone! Currently, there are 10.4 million residential swimming pools in America. In fact, there are far more residential than there are public swimming pools in the U.S.

Clearly, home swimming pools are popular additions to patios and backyard areas. But what other advantages to swimming pool owners enjoy?

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of owning a swimming pool at home!

1. Get it Customized

When you install a home swimming pool, you aren’t confined to just one or two options. Home swimming pools are often customized to suit your exact preferences.

This means that you can choose your pool’s shape, size, and depth. You also can have a say in lighting options, tile design, and pool placement!

This is vital for homeowners who enjoy adding custom features to their homes. After all, your home says a lot about who you are, and it is where most of us spend the bulk of our time.

Custom swimming pools are also more likely to suit a range of backyard spaces. Don’t worry if your yard feels small or unsuitable for a pool. Customized pools are highly versatile for every space.

2. Give Yourself a Low-Impact Exercise Option

Swimming pools aren’t just for leisure. Swimming is, first and foremost, an athletic activity.

In this sense, installing a home swimming pool is much like installing a home gym–except far better!

A swimming pool gives every homeowner a chance to exercise at any given time, and to do so in a low-impact manner.

Low-impact exercise is vital for individuals suffering from any joint or muscle pain, and it can be healthier in the long run than other high-impact workouts.

You’ll also be more likely to go for a swim workout when the pool is right in your backyard. No need to commute to a gym.

3. Boost Home Value

Are you thinking about selling your home in the future? If so, install a home swimming pool.

Doing so can dramatically boost your home’s value. This is essential if you’re keen to pocket a few extra dollars once you close on a home sale.

Even if you aren’t planning on selling your house, a higher home value can benefit you. You may pass your home on to your kids, for example, or consider renting it out as an investment property. 

4. Reduce Anxiety 

If you’re looking for an effective way to alleviate stress and anxiety, look no further than a home swimming pool. 

Pools give everyone a chance to relax, whether this means poolside sunbathing or gentle night swims. Aerobic swimming can also limit your body’s production of cortisol, the stress hormone.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, go for a gentle float in your pool before you crawl into bed. This can help relax your muscles and promote the healthy sleep cycles you need to start your days appropriately.

5. Create a Kid-Friendly Hangout Space

If you have a family of any kind, home swimming pools can be an excellent addition to your home’s kid-friendly hangout spaces. 

Lots of kids love to swim, and if you’re tired of planning play date activities, install a swimming pool to provide endless entertainment for kiddos.

If you have teenagers at home, they’ll also be apt to appreciate a pool. In fact, pools can be safe alternatives to other unsupervised activities high school students may seek out on weekends.

If you do install a pool, make sure you brief everyone on pool safety ahead of time. Pool toys are also a must for any home swimming pool.

6. Cool Off During Hot Summers

If you’ve struggled to make it through hot summers in the past, it’s time for a home swimming pool! Backyard pools give everyone a quick and easy way to cool off.

This is especially important if you live in a southern state like California, Texas, or Florida. Sometimes there’s no better way to escape the humidity than to plunge into a pool!

What’s more, a backyard pool means fewer trips to crowded beaches, where it can be harder to relax. Beach trips can also take up an entire weekend, particularly if you have to drive several hours to get to white sand.

7. Enjoy Convenience and Privacy

Your home swimming pool is exactly that: a pool in your own backyard. All you need to do is take a few steps, and you’ll be poolside.

Home swimming pools are incredibly convenient in this way. No more long trips to the gym, the beach, or other event venues. Simply open your patio door.

It can also be difficult to find privacy in this busy world. Home swimming pools are naturally private, letting you enjoy a secluded oasis at any time.

8. Host Parties and Gatherings

If you love having people over to your home, you’ll love hosting poolside parties. Pools are natural event spaces.

Pools can also make it easy to plan a gathering. They are multifunctional, after all, offering guests an opportunity to swim, cool off, and admire the flickering lights.

9. Extend Your Patio

Many pools function as patio extensions. If you currently have a patio but want it to serve a greater purpose, a swimming pool can help.

In fact, many pool owners will install a covered patio right next to the pool. Covered patios create more space for people to towel off, enjoy a summer barbecue, or simply hang out.

These patios can also feel like home add-ons, as they are prime locations for outside tables, plants, and couches.

10. Increase Your Backyard’s Visual Appeal

Tired of the way your backyard looks? You can easily increase your yard’s visual appeal by installing a home swimming pool.

Many custom swimming pools are works of art, designed to naturally complement existing plants and other landscaping. You can even add fountains and torches!

If your internal decorator is itching to make more of your backyard space, look no further than a custom home swimming pool.

Your Home Swimming Pool

Now you know all the benefits of owning a swimming pool. What comes next?

We highly recommend booking a free consultation with us to learn more about installing your custom pool. Click here to do so now!

pool features

Customize It: Understanding Different Custom Swimming Pool Features

Did you know there are more than 10 million swimming pools in the United States? The kinds of pools can vary from above ground to inground, small to large, and simple to the most extravagant pools you can imagine.

If you are considering getting a custom inground pool, then why settle for something ordinary?

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common pool features you can add that will turn a simple pool of water into a tropical getaway.

Swimming Pool Water Features

If you want something really classy looking, there is nothing better than pools with water features.

Scuppers and jets are both popular options. If you don’t know what these are, scuppers are holes in the side of a raised wall that pours water into the pool. Essentially, they are a bunch of small waterfalls that add a lot of visual interest.

Jets are small holes near the side of the pool that can squirt a small jet of water over the pool. Or you can have it continuously running to make a sort of water tunnel over the top of pool.

If you want to add fountains, you can get them in any size and design and put them in the middle of the pool or anywhere else you want.

Of course, waterfalls are usually considered the most luxurious option. A larger waterfall cascading into the end of the pool looks beautiful, especially if it is worked into the landscape to look more natural.

For an even more spectacular waterfall, you can add a grotto. This is essentially a small cave on the side of the pool that has a waterfall flowing over the entrance. Imagine relaxing inside a little grotto, looking through the waterfall at everyone else!

Decks and Landscaping

An inground pool is more than just the water you swim in. It completely changes the landscape of the backyard or wherever else the pool may be located. If you have an ordinary grassy yard with a simple pool plopped into the middle, it won’t look that special. But imagine if the entire landscape is focused on the swimming pool.

One way to do this is having decking all around the pool and entire area. You can choose whatever material you want. Slate, flagstone, cobblestone, patterned cement are all options. You can choose the colors and designs you want.

It is best to work the decking into the landscaping. For example, a smooth slate walkway with palm trees on either side will make it look like paradise, no matter where you live.

Depending on the size and shape of your pool, a unique option is to have a bridge! If there is a narrower section of the pool, you can have a small bridge that walks over that area. It is functional, looks beautiful, and will make yours stand out from every other pool!

Add Some Fire

A popular option these days is to add some flames to your watery paradise. This is a great idea since it lets people warm up if the water is making them a little cool. If you are hanging out with friends in the evening or after dark, it also adds some light and ambience. Not to mention it looks awesome!

You can add as many fire bowls as you like to the sides of the pool, usually raised a bit so the water won’t splash them. Or you can add even add a raised fire bowl in the middle of the pool for a one of a kind centerpiece.

If you like hosting dinner parties then you may want to add a fire pit nearby. As before, this adds some mood lighting to the area. But it is also more functional since it is meant to be used for cooking.

This is perfect for pool parties when people want to toast some marshmallows or grill some hotdogs to have a snack, but then go right back to swimming. It is especially great for hungry teenagers, whose favorite recreational activity is swimming.

Kitchen Features

If you do plan on having lots of dinner parties by the pool then you will definitely be interested in kitchen and bar features.

Usually near the swimming pool instead of in it, you can add several different kitchen-like options. You can have an outdoor grill, sink, cabinets, pizza oven, and more. Of course, you’ll want a table and chairs for everyone to gather around for eating, too.

However, it is possible to add certain features actually into the pool instead of beside it. This will not work for the grill, but you can add a table and bar stools into the pool if you want. Typically the table will be raised so your food and drinks don’t get wet, but the stools are recessed into the pool a bit so you can stay cool while you snack.

Lighting Options

Lighting options are great if you want to make your swimming pool more unique looking, or if you want to be able to swim at night. There are many options when it comes to lighting.

As we mentioned before, fires can add both functionality and light to the area. You can also install lights into the pool to illuminate the water. Any other features you have added can also be lit up. Jets and scuppers can have colored LEDs to make your pool have a lot of color. Waterfalls can even have lights shining on them, or colored lights coming from inside a grotto.

Fun and Games

If your swimming pool is going to be used by children, or adults who simply want to have fun, then there are plenty of fun features to add. This can include slides or a diving board. In fact, around 38% of all inground pools have diving boards.

Once again, it is recommended to incorporate these into your design. For example, a twisting slide that goes over the waterfall into the pool would look amazing.

How to Get These Pool Features

Now you know about the variety of swimming pool features available to you. But how much will it cost and who can help you bring your vision of a paradise into a reality?

At Sahara Construction & Custom Pools we specialize in creating unique pools with whatever features you can imagine. Use our contact page to see how we can help you build your dream pool!

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.