Category: Pool Tips

Custom Swimming Pool

In the Know: What You Need to Know About Getting a Custom Swimming Pool

There’s little more refreshing in life than a dip in the pool to start or end the workday. For both your mental and physical health, there’s nothing better than swimming. So it makes sense that you’re excited to get to work on the custom swimming pool you’ll be installing in your backyard. 

But don’t get so excited that you forget to think! 

There’s a lot to research and consider before jumping straight into the deep end of custom pool shopping. Buying a pool isn’t exactly something anyone has a lot of experience in before doing it. As such, it’s fairly easy for future pool-goers to go about things the wrong way. 

But that won’t be you, right? That’s why you’re here. Read on, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about custom swimming pools before you make the big leap. 

What’s Your Budget? 

The first thing you should decide before even going down the long road of pool building is how much you’re ready and willing to spend. Pools can vary widely in pricing, and it’s best to get a number locked in before you get lost in the planning. 

Many people also make the mistake of only thinking about the initial cost of pool construction. When making plans for the pool, you’ll also want to factor in the cost of lifetime upkeep and maintenance. 

Pricing for your pool will depend on a variety of factors. Size, material, landscaping, electrical work, fencing, and retaining walls all can add up to create a final figure for your pool.

Custom pool construction for an inground pool can typically cost anywhere from $30,000 to $100,00 depending on these factors. 

What Size Should Your Pool Be? 

The size and shape of your new pool will depend on the dreams you have for it. Consider what activities you’ll be using it for. Are you a big lap swimmer? Do you think your kids will be having many pool parties? Do you just need a little area to dip in and relax? 

Understanding the future use of your pool will allow you to better select a size and shape that will fit your needs.

If you want a big patio area for grilling and hanging out, you’ll need to ensure you leave the proper amount of room. 

You will also need to watch the boundaries of the property line and the natural geography of your yard. You won’t want to build into any areas with decent elevation. And you won’t be able to build any part of your pool on any kind of property line. 

Make sure to keep all these factors in mind when planning out the size and shape of your new pool. 

What Material Do You Want to Use? 

Inground pools are most commonly made of one of three materials: fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl liner. The material you choose will determine the cost and time it takes to build your pool. 

Fiberglass pools are quite popular and are made of a mixture of elastic and solid materials. They are built in layered form, which means choosing shape sizes might be more limited.

Fiberglass pools are generally more affordable and take less time to install, which might account for their popularity. 

On the flip side, concrete pools allow for the most variety when it comes to pool shape and design. Concrete design allows for almost any shape for your pool. If you can dream it, you can probably do it.

The disadvantage of concrete pools is that they take a very long time to install and have to be made very carefully to avoid leaks. 

Vinyl liner pools are made of polypropylene plates made of outer ribbing. They are generally the quickest to get installed, as the pool comes to your home partially pre-made. There are a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from, though it’s rare to be able to completely customize a vinyl liner pool.

They tend to be smaller in size, but can be affordable as a result. 

Understanding the Construction Process 

There are a few various steps you’ll need to take so that the construction of your pool can begin. These may vary slightly by your location, so you should always discuss with a licensed pool professional to understand what is needed for your location.

Before construction can begin, you’ll need to obtain the proper permits. These permits will vary depending on the city and county you live in. They also might vary depending on what kind of pool you’re having installed. 

Working with reliable professionals in your area can help you best determine what kind of permits you’ll need. 

A certain amount of land work will need to be done before the construction of the pool can begin. A great deal of your backyard will need to be excavated and rough grading for the pool and surrounding area will need to be done. 

Only once excavation and grading is done can the actual construction of the pool begin.  

Building a Custom Swimming Pool 

Laying out the plans for a brand new custom swimming pool can be exciting. But there’s a lot of work and planning to be done, and it’s important that you fully understand the process and what it entails before setting any money down. 

With the proper knowledge in hand, you can start building your pool with confidence and clarity on your side. 

Need help bringing your dream pool to your backyard? Contact us anytime for a free consultation.

pool construction

How It’s Done: The Ultimate Guide to Inground Swimming Pool Construction

Designing and building your own inground pool has never been easier. Today we have software for modeling and planning. We enjoy modern construction techniques and state of the art filtration systems that create a clean and efficient system. 

Not that you need an incentive on all of that. A custom pool is usually enough to get people interested and dreaming of what their home could look like with a pool adjacent.

The health benefits of swimming are well documented. 

Pool construction doesn’t have to be a chore. Check out this simple step by step guide to see everything that goes into creating an inground pool.

Pool Construction Step by Step

As you know (or are about to know) three basic in-ground pool types exist. Each of the options from fiberglass, vinyl liners, and concrete have different pros and cons. 

This guide will note where steps change for each type but the overall process remains largely the same.

You proceed through the steps sequentially and each builds on the previous. 

Planning

The first step to inground pool construction is choosing what to build. Planning provides you with a chance to shoot for the moon in terms of exactly what style and look you want. It also gives you the hard facts on whether your dream is possible.

Planning takes into account the area the pool will cover and its volume. You need this information when coordinating the filtration, warming, and cleaning systems. 

Depending on the area you place the pool, depth and various underground structures may create problems.

Finally, your plan will account for the costs of materials and length of time it takes to complete building a swimming pools main body. Landscaping to complete the look you have in mind doesn’t necessarily factor into pool construction time.

Prep Work

Now that you know what you want and what it will take to get it, you also need to get approval. Secure building permits to ensure your plans fit with local codes and guidelines.

Acquiring a permit requires that you show you have planned for proper safety standards. You also need to show the pool is not cutting off access to utility lines.

The area for construction gets marked off in this step. Clear any access routes for equipment and mark off work areas. Depending on your situation, secure HOA approval.

Different areas require different pre-construction accommodations. One common fixture is temporary barriers. This helps protect the job site from outside contamination. It also keeps the job site contained from spilling out into the world. 

Excavate

With all the prep work done, the single easiest step can get underway. That’s right, it’s time to dig a big hole!

Excavation starts with a backhoe or other digging machine and then finishes up with old fashioned shovel work.

Soil doesn’t compact evenly or always cooperate. Be prepared in this step to shore up and move some earth around to get things even.

Structure

Now you come to the fork in the process. The type of material effects inground pool construction at this stage.

For concrete and vinyl liners you construct frames. This will create the basic structure of the pool with some space on the outside to work the plumbing systems.

Concrete requires a combination of plywood walls and rebar grids. Vinyl liners use wood or metal walls to etch out the external structure. 

A fiberglass installation places a pre-formed structure into the hole outright. The area around the fiberglass shell is then filled in to bolster it.

Systems

With the structures and shape of the pool in place, the plumbing, heating, and filtration systems need connecting.

These systems need to connect to different points in the completed pool. You lay out and partially install in conjunction with the completion of the structures.

Again, a fiberglass shell is nearly complete at this step, so system connections get done all at once.

Systems include:

  • Pumps and motors
  • Backwash drain
  • Return inlet
  • Filters
  • External drains (and covers)
  • Internal drains (and covers)

The accompanying pipes and wires conduits also get laid out. All of this sounds complicated but is one of the fastest steps in the how to build a pool process. 

Construction

With everything in place, the structures get filled in.

For vinyl liners, materials get attached to the walls. For best add an additional layer of foam padding or insulation.

Builders then pour a concrete floor. The pouring process requires several passes to ensure a smooth and flat surface. 

Concrete structures start with pouring concrete into the wall molds. Once the walls set and cure, the floor pour begins. The completed shell can be lined with other materials, such as vinyl, or finished with plaster and tile. 

The construction step takes the longest of any step (outside of planning) as the crew stops and confirms elements are level and set properly.

Testing

The systems get tested once the construction is complete. Realistically, the components testing occurs before installation as well.

The difference here is testing under load and to ensure all the connections are in place.

Filling

With all other steps complete and the green light given, the pool is filled. Another round of testing confirms that all the systems perform as needed. 

Safety

Now you install safety devices. Safety is important to the enjoyment of a pool and to fulfill necessary permit guidelines.

Pool enclosures and covers both protect the pool and others around the pool when not in use.

Finishing Touches 

Decorative landscaping and additional decking finish your dream vision of a pool.

External lighting sets off your pool for some night swimming. Internal lighting effects are best installed with the other systems.

Build It Now

Now you have the whole process of how to build a pool locked in. Pool construction takes an average of 6-8 weeks after the planning phase.

Imagine a beautiful pool sprucing up your backyard. The cool refreshing water ready when you want to entertain or relax. A few weeks of intense construction are a small hurdle for the benefits. 

Get started on your dreams with a free consultation and dive into the excitement.

poo in the pool

Is That Poo in the Pool? What You Didn’t Know About Public Swimming Pools

Did you know that feces are frequently introduced into pool water by swimmers?

Doesn’t this make you think of all the pools you have ever been swimming in? You’ve heard that public pools are nasty, but exactly how nasty are they?

Read on to learn why there’s probably poo in the pool your kids swim in.

Is the Poo in the Pool? What You Didn’t Know About Public Pools

Swimming is one of the favorite past times for children, but what many parents don’t realize is that their children can actually be swimming with poo in a public pool. This might be a reason to consider having a custom private pool built in your home instead.

Poo is not the only nasty thing in a public pool. Reading this post is going to surprise you.

Poo

Can you believe that up to ten grams of poop can wash off a child’s butt in a pool? This doesn’t sound like a large amount, but take ten grams and multiply it by the number of kids in the pool. Yes, it adds up.

A survey done by the Water Quality and Health Council reported that 1 in 4 adults goes swimming within one hour of having diarrhea. This is another way poo makes its way into public pools.

Chlorine

First, let’s chat about chlorine, which we all know is used in almost every public pool. This is to keep pools blue and safe by killing bacteria. But unfortunately, it can only do so much when there are dozens of sweaty bodies swimming around.

Sunscreen, sunlight, and the levels of urine absorb the effectiveness of the chlorine.

Pee

That’s right, you read that correctly. Pee or urine is found in public pools. A survey done shows that one fifth out of 1000 people admitted to urinating in a public pool. 

If you are concerned about urine and want to check the cleanliness of public pools, you can purchase test strips to see how much chlorine and urine are in the pool, along with the pH level of the water.

Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium outbreak doubled from 16 outbreaks in 2014 to 32 outbreaks in 2016. Crypto causes almost half of all outbreaks of gastrointestinal problems which are caught in recreational waters. This is one of the few microorganisms that are able to survive chlorine. 

When chlorine is dissolved in water, it breaks down into two chemicals that destroy a microorganism’s protective wall. But with Crypto, the coating is so thick that the chlorine isn’t able to break through the walls. 

Even if a pool is properly chlorinated, crypto microorganisms still survive. One child that goes swimming after having an infection can spread crypto into the entire pool. 

If the pool doesn’t have the right balance of disinfecting chemicals, crypto won’t be your only concern.

The following microorganisms will have their own effects:

  • Pseudomonas – pus-filled rashes
  • Legionella – fever, and cough
  • Shigella – diarrhea
  • Giardia – diarrhea
  • Norovirus – diarrhea
  • E-coli – diarrhea

All public pools are full of microorganisms ready to make you sick.

Health Code Violations

8 out of every 10 pool inspections find serious health code violations. Out of those eight, one of those will be serious enough to shut down a pool immediately. These violations are usually due to not putting enough disinfecting agents in the pool. 

RWIs

This stands for Recreational Water Illness, and it’s caused by the spreading of germs in contaminated water. This can be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals the evaporate from the water.

This can cause health issues like gastrointestinal problems, skin rashes, and respiratory trouble, just to name a few.

No Bathing or Showering

Most people swim without showering or bathing first. This can cause bacteria to spread throughout the entire pool. When people don’t shower before swimming, they can release particles of feces, sweat, and pee. 

All of the above can cause a number of health issues.

Strong Smell

When you smell a pool from a mile away, it doesn’t mean the pool is clean as most people believe. It’s actually a sign that there’s not enough chlorine in the water. The chlorine combined with bodies, urine, and feces gives off this strong chemical smell.

The combination of urine, feces, and bodies use up all of the chlorine and then it’s less likely to kill off germs. A well-chlorinated pool should have very little odor.

Red Eyes

Have you ever swam in a public pool and your eyes begin to sting and eventually turn red? The assumption by most people is that it’s from too much chlorine, but it’s actually the urine in the pool water.

When the urine combines with chlorine, chloramines are produced. The chloramines give off a chemical odor that makes the eyes sting and become red.

Band-Aids

The floating band-aid in the pool water is not the prettiest sight. When you have an open wound, it’s advised that you stay clear of pools because of harmful bacteria that can spread to other swimmers. Or, harmful bacteria could get into your wound and make it worse.

Hairballs

Hairballs are not only gross, but they can also be the hair from a person who suffers from a bacterial infection. They can either suffer from folliculitis, furuncles, or carbuncles, and this ball of hair can be spreading this around the entire pool.

Lice

It’s recommended to have your hair tied up in a bun or a ponytail to avoid a lice infection or to at least reduce the chances of getting lice. If hair is left down, it’s essentially mopping up the pool with high chances of contracting lice.

Ready to Swim in Clean Water?

As you read above, public communal water is not as clean as some people might think. Not only is there poo in the pool, but there are countless microorganisms surviving in the chlorine. 

Ready to ditch the public pool and have your own clean pool that you have control over? Contact us for a free consultation to help you pick the perfect pool for your home. 

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 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! 

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.

pool algae

Crystal Clear Water: How to Prevent and Treat Algae in Your Pool

Does your home have a swimming pool? If so, you’re in an exclusive club. According to numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 16 percent of homes had a pool as of 2011. 

Having a pool will make you the most popular neighbor on the block. But nothing ruins a planned day of swimming as fast as realizing your sparkling blue pool is now a muddled green color.  

When pool algae develops, you need a plan to get rid of it fast. Keep reading to find out about algae treatment options that will restore your pool to its previous glory. 

How Pool Algae Forms

You can put up a “No Trespassing” sign to keep strangers out, but you can’t do that with algae. Algae comes along for the ride regardless of whether or not it got an invitation.

A lot of rain in a short period can throw off your pool’s chlorine levels. When that happens, it doesn’t take long for algae to show up. 

High pH levels can also lead to algae in your pool. You need very specific pH levels to keep algae from forming, so aim for a pH of between 7.2 and 7.6 

Your pool pump should also be running regularly enough to keep water circulating. Stagnant water is algae’s best friend. 

Is Algae Harmful? 

There are three types of pool algae. Green algae in the pool is most common, although it can also be black or even mustard-colored. Mustard algae is often the hardest to combat.

But while algae looks gross, it’s not necessarily bad for your health. At one point during the 2016 Rio Olympics, the outdoor diving pool “looked like a vat of Mountain Dew,” in the words of Self magazine. 

Olympic officials said they tested the water before allowing competition to continue. Most algae is safe for humans to swim in, but it can keep you from spotting other hazards like pollution or even a dead animal. 

In other words, if you’re not running an Olympic competition, your best bet is to close the pool while you eliminate the algae. 

Pool Algae Treatment

The first thing you should do is get your pool’s pH level balanced. Once that’s done, it’s time to shock the pool.

The word “shock” makes it sound like you’re going to release an electric eel into your backyard pool, but that’s not what happens.

Instead, shocking means sanitizing the pool with a large amount of chlorine. Follow the instructions on the shock treatment package. You’ll also need to run the pump for 24 hours afterward. 

It’s best to shock your pool at night since sunlight makes the whole process less effective.

Other Kinds of Treatment

Shocking your pool feels like the most dramatic step, but you’ll need to do other things as well. For instance, you should add algaecide after you shock your pool. Algaecide is one of the best ways to keep pool algae from gaining a foothold. 

Your pool should also get cleaned and brushed regularly. Don’t forget to clean the filter as well.

Got more questions about pool maintenance? Contact our team of pool experts. We’d be happy to help. 

pool party ideas

5 Pool Party Ideas That’ll Help You Host a Successful Pool Party at Any Time of the Year

There’s nothing like having a party, and adding a pool to the fun makes it even better.

What Texan doesn’t love a pool party? We’re in one of the few states where it’s possible to have fun in a pool all year long! Adding heating to your pool and a heated outdoor pool house can make your pool party ready throughout the year.

A lot of your friends and neighbors already have pools. You’ll want to do something to stand out so people think your pool parties are unforgettable.

While you worry about getting the rest of your home party ready, we’ll give you some pool party ideas that’ll make your house the place to hang.

5 Pool Party Ideas People Won’t Forget

Whether you need to keep kids entertained at a party or want some time with friends, we have ideas you’ll love.

If you have an active imagination, almost anything can become a fun party theme. But if you’re running low on ideas for your house pool party, make sure to keep these in mind.

Black/White Party

You may have been to black and white events at clubs. If you apply the same theme to your pool party, you’ll throw a classy and stylish soiree that’s simple to pull off.

When you send out invites, tell everyone to wear black or white swimsuits. Some people ask men to dress and black and women to dress in white or vice versa.

This theme is easy for your guests to participate in and people will look gorgeous and coordinated in your photos!

Beach Bum Party

When you can’t go to the beach, it’s time to bring the beach to you! If you’re in need a fun pool party idea, make it beach themed.

Put some beach chairs on the lawn and set up a volleyball net in the pool. Go the extra mile and see if you can find some fun Hawaiian shirts at a local thrift store to complete your beach look.

Winter Wonderland

Everyone is going to be throwing the same boring Christmas party. Why not spice yours up by making it a pool party too?

Some simple winter maintenance and a heated pool can help you throw a warm and fun Christmas party. Be sure to keep your pool warm and to give your guests somewhere to warm up if the outdoor air is a little chilly.

If you want to cool down during some of the hottest summer days, consider having Christmas in July or August. This theme can work all year!

Party Under The Stars

When the heat sets in during the summer it can be hard to want to swim during the day. Why not enjoy some hot summer nights by having a pool party after dark?

Line your backyard with some Christmas lights, set up some torches, and have a fun night in the pool with your friends.

If you have some interest in getting an up-close look at the stars, be sure to buy or rent a telescope so your guests can stargaze.

Backyard Olympics

This is a great party theme if you plan on having plenty of kid attendees. Turning your backyard into an Olympic arena with your pool as the center attraction can be fun for people of all ages.

Make your games water-themed so everyone stays cool and wet. Have races down slip and slides and do a water balloon toss. If you have some fast swimmers in your friend group, set up some races to see who’s the best!

Upgrade Your Pool

With all of these potential pool party ideas, you’ll want your pool to be party ready at all times.

Whether your pool could use a makeover or some routine maintenance, we’re here to help. Sign up for our free consultation so we can talk about the best way to meet your pool needs.

pool contractor

How to Choose the Right Swimming Pool Contractor in Katy, TX

So, after all these years, you’re finally going to do it. You’re going to have a pool installed.

Congrats! You’re making a decision will give your family years of fun, exercise, and relaxation.

Have you thought about the design you like? What about freshwater vs. saltwater? Have you found a pool contractor yet?

If you’ve answered “no,” to the first two questions, we hope you answered the same way to the third. A pool contractor can help you make all those important decisions and more.

In this guide, we’re filling you in on five things to look for when hiring a pool contractor for your build.

1. What’s Their Address?

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But, when it comes to a swimming pool builder, you actually should.

There are stories across the country about people getting ripped off by pool contractors. While there are far more companies who are honest and have high integrity, there are some very bad apples in the bunch.

Don’t hire a swimming pool contractor you find on Craigslist offering a deal that’s too good to be true. It usually is.

Instead, find a contractor with a physical address (not P.O. box). This at least lets you know they have an actual building they’re working out of.

You want a contractor that will give you an estimate after they’ve been to your property and seen the space you’re working with. If a pool contractor gives you a price over the phone sight unseen? Move on.

2. How Long Have They Been in Business?

Not every pool professional has owned their company for decades. Some professionals worked for another builder for years and decided to branch off on their own recently.

Don’t ask them how long the company’s been in business. Ask them about their experience in designing and building pools.

How many pools have they built in their career? How many in the last year? Do they have a portfolio they can show you?

How knowledgeable are they? Can they give you advice for making and keeping your pool safe?

If you get any red flags when you’re talking to them, follow your gut — it’s trying to tell you something.

3. Ask for References

When you ask for their portfolio, ask them for a client list or a list of references. If they’re on the up and up, they’ll have no qualms giving you names.

Also, find out what their BBB rating is. Do they have any certifications from the CPO or CPI?

Any reputable contractor will be more than willing to share this information with you.

4. Read the Fine Print

Scammers operate under the guise of being a legit business. They’ll tell you anything you want to hear to get your money.

The Texas Attorney General warns about signing contracts that aren’t complete or have blank spaces. They also advise that you read every line of the contract especially the fine print.

Did you know that a contractor can put a lien on your property? It’s true — if they fail to pay, you’re responsible.

That’s why you should always read everything you sign — twice.

5. Read Reviews

Sounds simple enough, right? When it comes to an investment like a pool, people are going to share their opinions about the job.

They’ll explain what went wrong and how the contractor amended the issue. They’ll tell you if they feel they got ripped off. They’ll also talk about all the wonderful things they liked about the contractor.

So, make sure you read reviews. You’ll see the good, bad, and everything in-between.

Find the Best Pool Contractor in Katy, TX Today

It’s easy to get swept away by their promises of an aquatic paradise.

A reputable pool builder will help you through the process. They’ll answer your questions, help with the design choices, and offer helpful suggestions.

If you’re ready to sit down with a professional pool contractor with hundreds of pools in their portfolio and five-star reviews, give us a call.

But don’t take our word for. Check out what our happy customers have to say.