Category: Pool Tips

swimming pool house

Increasing House Value: 5 Things You Need to Consider Before Installing a Swimming Pool

Adding a pool to your home swimming pool house can be a great way to improve your lifestyle. It’s a great way to entertain guests and is a fun outlet for bonding as a family.

Having your own pool means that you can swim whenever you want – night or day – with no one looking. It also means that you don’t have to deal with strangers splashing you or sharing lanes when you want to swim laps.

This summer, give your friends and family a new place to gather while adding value to your home. Build a swimming pool.

But make sure you think through the construction process first. There are a lot of concerns specific to swimming pool construction and if you don’t think it through, you could end up with a serious construction mess on your hands. Read on to learn the factors to consider before you begin.

1. How You Will Handle the Financing

Whether you decide on a small above ground pool, or you want to excavate the land around your house to build a swimming pool, there will be a lot of costs involved.

You may have been considering installing a pool at your home, but you aren’t sure how you will handle the pool financing. Fortunately, many of the pool building companies out there will allow you to finance through them. Consider getting a consultation to find out what kind of funding is available.

You can also consider refinancing your home to use some of your equity to create a pool. Just make sure that the other homes in your area had an increase in value when they added a pool. You don’t want to lose your equity on an asset that won’t add value to your home.

2. What Other Homes in Your Area Have

Not everyone considers a pool to be an amenity. Some people are concerned about the amount of upkeep that they require and costs of maintenance in the future. 

If you add a pool, you could be distancing some buyers when you go to sell your home in the future. Ask a local real estate what families in your area are looking for. If there are a lot of families begging to see homes with pools, then great. But if they get a lot of clients who are concerned about owning a pool, you may want to reconsider the option.

Homes without pools can sometimes sell for a higher value in areas where a lot of homes have pools since they are rarer.

3. How You Will Design the Surrounding Space

In order to have a nice outdoor swimming pool, you also need to spend some money creating the space that surrounds it.

You will need to make decisions like what kind of plants will surround your pool and take into consideration how much foliage they might drop into the pool. If you have a lot of trees surrounding your pool, you will need to invest more in a strong filtration system to collect the leaves.

You should also look into the laws in your area surrounding swimming pool safety. Some areas require you to install a fence of a certain height or have a screening enclosure around your pool to protect you from liability if someone’s kid were to wander into your pool.

4. The Ongoing Cost of Pool Maintenance

Pools aren’t a one time cost. You will need to pay for the chemicals and tools to keep your pool clean. Every time someone comes out to clean your pool, they will charge you around a hundred dollars.

Most years, your swimming pool may be able to get away with cleanings monthly, depending on how much you are using it. But if you have a summer where there is a lot of rain, you may end up balancing and cleaning your pool water every week. 

If you live in a cold weather climate, you will also need to consider the cost of winterizing your pool. Each year you will need to lower the water level, backwash the filter, clear the water lines, and put a cover on it. 

Opening your pool after the winter comes with its own costs. Someone will have to reassemble the filtration system, refill it with water, and test the water chemistry to get it back in a normal range for swimming.

5. Whether You Need a Swimming Pool House

If you plan to build a large swimming pool on your property that you will use to host events, then it may be a good idea to build a swimming pool house. 

It could be as simple as a small cabana with an outdoor shower and a toilet so that your guests don’t have to go in the house to use the restroom. Or you could build a larger structure with a bar and outdoor kitchen to take your entertaining to the next level.

Other optional features include creative lighting in the swimming pool for night swims, equipment for playing games like volleyball and basketball in the pool, and specialty tile work.

When You’re Ready to Dig It

Whether you decide to create a swimming pool house structure and a complete backyard oasis, or if you’re just trying to put in a small dipping pool, we can help your vision come to life.

At Sahara Construction, we have been helping families in the Katy, Texas area invest in the luxurious backyard of their dreams. You’ll be impressed with the high-quality materials we use to create your vision. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation. 

swimming pool builders

Swimming Pool Builders: 7 Tips for Finding the Right Builder for Your Pool

Did you know that swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the entire country?

And if you live in Texas… we are gonna make a safe bet that swimming is even more popular in your area. 

Which is why putting a pool into your yard may just be the best idea ever. A beautiful pool can be a source of many benefits including family fun, entertainment, and great exercise.

But, there are a number of common pitfalls that can turn a pool installation into a potential nightmare.

Fortunately, you can avoid these pool pitfalls. Because we are going to walk you through just how to screen swimming pool builders. So that your pool installation goes like a dream.

Read on to find out how you can set yourself up for hassle-free pool installation.

1. Research the Type of Pool That You Want

The first thing to do to ensure a smooth pool build is to research the type of pool you want. You can check out swimming pool designs and trends, and draw up a list of your requirements.

You can also research pool filtration systems and get to grips with the types that will suit your preferences. 

Getting clear on what type of pool you want will make finding a great contractor that much easier. For example, if you establish that you want to have an indoor pool, then you can narrow down your search and focus only on indoor pool builders. 

2. Visit the Premises of Your Local Swimming Pool Builders

The next step to finding a reliable contractor is to visit the premises of your local swimming pool contractors. 

Although you might be tempted to simply call up potential contractors, and get them to come to you, visiting their premises poses a big advantage. 

You will get to see how professional their offices are, and whether they have displays or a showroom. This will help you gauge how trustworthy the different companies are. 

If a contractor does not have any premises at all, this is a definite red flag.

3. Check for Certifications and Licenses

The next thing to do when screening swimming pool contractors is to check for certifications and licenses. 

  • Check for a contractor’s license: Check whether a contractor has a contractor’s license or not. You can check the status of a contractor’s license by searching for it on the license search function of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
  • Enquire about what certified builders are on staff: Ask contractors whether they have a certified pool builder on their team. 
  • Master Pools Guild: Ask if a contractor is a member of the Master Pools Guild. If so, that’s great, but not a requirement like the licenses and certifications are.
  • Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP): Another indication of excellence to check for is if a contractor is part of the APSP.

4. Ask About Warranties, Insurance, and Permits

The next thing to ask swimming pool contractors about is warranties, insurance, and permits.

Here are some of the warranties and insurance types to inquire about:

  • Workers compensation and liability insurance: Ask for solid proof from contractors that they hold insurance in the area. If not, in the advent of accidents, you may just find that you are liable.
  • Pool warranty: Be sure to ask the contractors you are screening whether they offer a warranty on their finished pool. A company that does not offer a warranty is usually one to be wary of.
  • Workmanship warranty: Besides a good pool warranty, you also want to have a workmanship warranty. This ensures that any mistakes made on the job do not make a hole in your pocket.
  • Building permits: Double check with your contractor that they undertake the submission of building permits for your pool. If they omit to do this and you don’t know about it, you could be fined for a hefty sum. 

5. Ask for References

When interviewing potential companies, be sure to ask for references. But before you ask for references, inquire as to how many pools the company installed in the last year. 

If they then hand you a significantly smaller amount of references for that period, you will know that not all of the installations resulted in happy customers!

Besides client references, you can also ask for partner references. Partner references are references from other companies in the trade. Such as pump suppliers and hardware stores. 

These references will give you an indication of how the company does business in general. 

6. Check for Complaints with the Builder’s Business Bureau

Another precaution you can take is to check for complaints with the Builder’s Business Bureau (BBS).

On their website, you will be able to see:

  • How long a contractor has been in business
  • How many complaints they have had lodged
  • How many of the complaints were resolved

If the contractor has been in operation for some time, a few complaints are to be expected. But if there are numerous complaints, and mostly unresolved, then this is a warning sign. 

7. Get It in Writing

If you are negotiating with a contractor and they are promising ‘extras’, such as a free pool pump, be sure to get this in writing on your quote.

When offered freebies, you may think you are snagging a bargain. But if the contractor conveniently forgets his promises the quote could turn out to be just as, or more expensive, than competitor rates. 

8. Double Check Details on the Contract

Once you have received a contract, double check all the details. If anything doesn’t make sense, question the contractor.

Also, make sure that the contract covers the following:

  • Clear descriptions of services
  • The terms of payment
  • The deadlines of the project
  • An item-by-item list of materials
  • A breakdown of your and their responsibilities

Final Word

Building your dream pool does not need to turn into a nightmare. Now that you are armed with these tips, you’re more than ready to find a team of reliable and professional swimming pool builders. 

So, start planning those pool parties!

If you are eager to get going with planning the build of your swimming pool, then why not take advantage of our free consultation

 

pool water features

Chasing Waterfalls: 10 Stunning Swimming Pool Water Feature Ideas

Thinking about improving your backyard in time for summer? Adding some pool water features might just be what you need.

If you live in Cypress, a pool is an essential way to beat the heat. Whether you’re adding a pool for the first time, or looking to upgrade your current one, there are lots of cool water features that can make it even more enticing. With the right upgrade, your pool can become a part of a chic outdoor oasis that’s relaxing even when you’re not in it.

Wondering what the best pool water features to add are? We’ve put together a list of our favorites here — keep reading to learn which ones you should try this year!

1. Poolside Fire Pits

Didn’t think fire and water could mix? Think again.

A firepit is always a great addition to an outdoor space, making it appealing even in the cooler months. But when you add a firepit (or several) alongside your pool, you also create a cool contrasting effect. 

Your firepits can go right next to your pool. The contrast of flames and water, with flickering reflections of the fire at night, will transform the way your pool looks.

2. Poolside Garden

Why not extend your garden all the way up to the edge of the pool?

Both swimming pools and decorative ponds look great when they’re fringed with foliage. If you have trees in your backyards, you’re going to get plant matter in the pool anyway, so adding a nearby garden won’t change your pool cleaning requirements.

What it can do, though, is lend your pool a sense of natural appeal, so you’ll feel like you’re bathing in Hawaiian hot springs. A poolside garden feature goes well with other natural touches, like a natural stone edge.

3. Walk-Up Bar

If a swim-up bar isn’t quite your style (although that’s certainly an option too), you can add a walk-up bar to the edge of your pool.

All you need is for the ground at one side of the pool to be low enough that the pool’s edge can be used as a bar. Add some high stools or chairs, and you’re all set. Now, you know where to use that cool new cocktail recipe you’ve been dying to try!

4. Rock Waterfall

If you’re looking for something a little more natural, why not create a cascading rock waterfall that ends in your pool?

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as the sound of softly running water. The addition of natural-looking stone makes this an even more appealing feature. It pairs perfectly with a pool with other natural elements (like the garden idea above).

5. Mixed Materials

Mixing up the materials you use can give your pool area a luxe feel. Try combining outdoor-friendly surfaces like brick, wood, and stone to add interest to even a small pool. This is also a great way to seamlessly combine your pool with your patio!

6. Poolside Fountain

Poolside water fountains can add interest without disrupting the surface of the pool itself. If you don’t want a fountain in your pool, or can’t afford one, consider installing a small fountain (or a row of them) at the edge of the pool.

This will give you all the benefits of hearing running water near your pool, without having to pay to add a new feature to the pool itself.

7. Sheer Waterfall

Want to give your pool a modern, minimalist vibe? A sheer waterfall is a great way to go.

This takes a step away from the natural look of other waterfalls, like the rock waterfall listed above. Instead, the water will fall straight over an edge at right angles, syncing perfectly with a more modern look. These pool water features suit contemporary home designs perfectly.

8. Edge Wall

Putting a wall along one side of your pool opens up all kinds of cool possibilities.

It would work as a bar, but it can also work as a place to hold decorative plants, lights, or even as a place to sit. You can also add water features in the wall if you want to level it up further.

9. Jet Features

For more excitement than a simple fountain or waterfall, you can also position jets that will shoot water into the pool in graceful arcs. A row of jets along each side of a rectangular pool looks especially chic and glamorous.

10. Artificial Rainfall 

Love the idea of the jets, but want to go even more spectacular? Consider an artificial rainfall feature that will give your pool the effect of having rain falling from the ceiling in luxe curtains. This is a great way to upgrade a covered pool.

11. Pool Water Fountain

If you prefer to keep things classic, you could add a water fountain inside the pool. This simple yet grand water feature will never get old, and it gives that soft, splashing sound that so many people love to hear when poolside.

12. Spillover Pools

If you have a raised pool and a lowered hot tub, or a similar setup, you can elegantly transfer water using a spillover design. It will connect the main pool with the smaller, lower pool or tub beautifully.

13. Scuppers

You can’t go wrong with scuppers, which create a tiny waterfall effect that falls from a raised wall into your pool. Carefully placed individual scuppers, or rows of them, can work well depending on your pool design.

14. Sculptured Fountains

Do you love art? Want to incorporate it into your pool design? You can add fountains that come in the form of sculptures for an additional unique touch to your pool. The design of the sculpture is up to you, so you can pick one that suits your style perfectly. 

Ready to Try These Pool Water Features?

Whether you choose one, or mix and match a few, these pool water features will give your pool an upgrade that makes it feel like new. These ideas range from inexpensive to high-end, so there’s something here for every budget.

Not sure you can afford to install the pool of your dreams, much less the water features? It’s easier than you might think — check out our financing options here.

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.  

inground pools

The Scoop on Inground Pools: How to Start Saving

There are 10.4 million residential swimming pools in the United States. Swimming is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities for children and adults alike.

But the cost of inground pools prevents many homeowners from installing a pool in their backyard.

Read on to learn how to save money for a pool you and your family can enjoy for decades to come.

Save Money in a Pool Bank Account

Inground swimming pools are a hefty investment. Just like any other major home renovation, it will take time and dedication to amass the funds for the project.

The best way you can work towards this goal is to set up a bank account that is just for saving for your inground pool costs. 

As a family, think about what expenses you could cut back on to go into the pool account. You might have subscriptions or memberships you don’t use. Or you could take local vacations instead of ones that are further away and cost more.

Your sacrifice will be worth the hours and hours of enjoyment you’ll get out of your backyard pool.

Also, once your pool installation is complete, you can keep this pool account for ongoing pool maintenance and future repairs.

Maybe You Don’t Need the Heater… Yet

Putting in an inground swimming pool is pricey. But you can reduce your total cost by saving some additions for later years.

For example, the heater is something that you can add down the road. Plus, waiting to add a heater will let you truly understand how much you need a heater and what kind would work best for you.

You might be surprised that with a solar blanket and some sunny days, your pool is quite refreshing without a heater.

Delaying adding a heater can save you several thousand dollars initially. Then after a season or two, you can add the ideal type of heater for your inground pool.

Opt for a Simple Patio

Often, a huge portion of the inground pool cost is the patio. In fact, this could be the most expensive part of your pool installation.

You can get your pool that much sooner if you choose to go for a simple patio for now. You could always add a fancy, extended patio later on if you really want it.

A basic concrete patio of just 3 feet is enough. Then, down the line, you can add pavers that will blend well with your concrete. Plus, pavers offer you tons of options and versatility.

Don’t Go Deep

Many people don’t realize that inground pool prices largely depend on the depth of the pool.

Take some time to really think about what you would use the pool for. Most people use it for their kids to swim and play in. And when they have friends and family over for a BBQ.

In both of these cases, you don’t really need a deep end. A 10-foot deep pool will cost you big bucks compared to a leisure pool that has a 5 or 6-foot deep end.

Unless you have a competitive diver at home, you are probably better off without much of a deep end.

Not only will you get more use out of the shallow end, but people also won’t have to squeeze into one small section of the pool for a game of water volleyball.

And don’t forget, the smaller the pool, the easier and less expensive it is to maintain. 

Keeping your inground pool dimensions modest will save you a lot of money.

Plumb for the Extra Feature

Just as you should consider adding in the heater in the future, you can add slides, diving boards, and waterfalls later. But, you need to make sure you get the plumbing done for these items during the pool’s construction.

Much of the costs of pools comes from the extras. Just a slide will be upwards of $2000.

Maybe it’s your dream to have a rocky water feature that cascades into the edge of the pool. Plan and design it, now. But save up for it.

It’s better to have a pool you can afford now and add the fancy extras later than it is to wait years and years for the pool of your dreams.

Now, here are ways you can save on owning a pool once it’s installed in your backyard.

Save Money on Maintenance

Once your pool installation is complete, there are things you can do to reduce the operating and repair costs of pool ownership. 

For one thing, once you have a heater, keep the temperature down. Even lowering the heat by one degree can save you 10% in fuel costs for a gas heater.

Get in the habit of running your pump and filter at off-peak times. 

Keep your pool cover clean in winter by regularly brushing off debris and dirt. This will extend the life of your cover. 

Also, set a pool care schedule and stick to it. Doing regular maintenance on your pool is less costly than having to fix issues once they’ve gone unattended. Also, buy your pool chemicals in bulk (and ideally before the summer season).

This will save you money and ensure you have the right supplies on hand to take care of your pool.

Final Thoughts on Inground Pools

Thanks for reading! Now you have some practical tips on how to save for a pool.

Though it takes some effort to save for inground pools, they are so worth it.

Review these 10 benefits of owning a swimming pool

best deals on swimming pools

Getting the Timing Right: How to Get the Best Deals on Pools

There are over 5 million privately-owned inground pools across the U.S. and 50,000 more are constructed each year. Pools are the perfect gathering spot for holding family barbeques, entertaining invited guests, or simply escaping the summer heat.

Maybe your next-door neighbor just had a new inground pool installed and now you can’t help but fantasize about owning one of your own.

There are so many different materials, manufacturers, and times to install. Finding the best deals on swimming pools seems anything but simple.

But trust us: It’s easy.

You could save thousands of dollars — or more — on your next pool purchase.

Before you make a big splash at your next house party, simply skim through our guide of cost-saving tips.

1. Fall for the Best Deals on Swimming Pools

Like many labor-intensive services, the prices on swimming pool installations vary throughout the year.

Summer

Typically, the busiest time of year for pool services is the summer. Who could blame them? Swimming is the favorite recreational activity of people under 18 years of age. It’s a great form of entertainment during their summer break.

But because of the increased demand, it’s extremely unlikely to find special deals on either labor or materials.

Along with paying full price, the laborers will be spread thin across a variety of projects and your pool may take longer to complete. If you start too late in the summer, you may not even be able to enjoy your pool before the beginning of early fall.

Spring

So what about spring?

Spring is the second most popular time to construct a pool. Since the demand is still significant, don’t expect deals or special services and discounts. Construction during this period may also be extended or delayed because of the season’s significant rainfall.

Wet earth and mud are not good factors for digging out your pool, and the machinery used could sink deeper into your lawn and leave muddy ruts.

Fall

For most people, fall is the absolute best time to buy an inground pool. You’ll save both time and money on your purchase.

Since the demand for pools is lower during the cold months, many pool builders will offer discounts and deals to entice customers. Depending on where you live, they may also be trying to empty their inventory of materials before shutting down for winter.

This can net you huge savings on both labor and material costs.

Opting for a fall installation has more than just financial benefits.

Due to the low demand, pool companies can give your project the undivided attention it deserves and complete it more quickly. It’s also doubtful that significant weather delays will occur.

During the fall, the dry weather will make construction a breeze.

And to top it all off, fall is the best time to landscape. After your pool is installed, you can plant your hedges and seeds and they’ll have bloomed and sprouted by the time summer rolls around.

Winter

Depending on where you live, winter is also an option for good deals. In many climates, the pool builders won’t work during the season. But in warmer climates, they’ll still be available and the ground will still be soft enough for construction.

However, sharp drops in temperature or winter storms can cause installation delays.

Also, at the turn of a new year, most businesses increase their prices. While you may be able to snag a good deal during January or February, you’ll also likely be paying at a higher rate compared to last year.

2. Choose the Right Materials

So you’ve decided to buy a pool during fall to snag those great deals before the winter price hike. Great!

But the opportunities to save don’t end there.

If you’re getting a custom swimming pool, you’ll have a ton of materials, finishes, and appliances to choose or exclude from your purchase.

Gunite, fiberglass, and vinyl liners are all popular options, but they come with their own upkeep requirements and initial cost.

Gunite

Gunite — which is concrete — is a complicated material and process, so there are no options for you to save money by providing some of the labor.

The initial cost of a gunite pool averages around $75,000 dollars. But that’s just the initial cost.

Of these three popular options, gunite requires significant upkeep fees. Over ten years, you can expect to spend an additional $30,000 dollars across its annual chemical and electrical fees and occasional acid washes.

Over ten years, an average gunite pool is a $100,000 dollar investment.

Fiberglass

The benefit of choosing fiberglass is the possibility of installing portions of it yourself, saving cash on labor.

But most people don’t have the know-how or desire to handle even small portions of the pool installation.

In general, you can expect to pay around $60,000 dollars for a full-package installation.

While this cost is nearly identical to the gunite option, fiberglass does not require an acid wash and also costs less in electrical and chemical fees.

Over ten years, you might pay an additional $5,000 dollars. That makes the final price of a fiberglass pool $65,000 — significantly cheaper than the gunite option.

Vinyl Liner

On a vinyl pool, the vinyl liner covers the structure of the pool. They aren’t prone to cracking or scraping, unlike concrete. Vinyl liner pools are relatively easy to make on your own and are undoubtedly the cheapest option.

You should expect to pay around $50,000 dollars for a hands-off vinyl pool installation.

Unfortunately, vinyl liners need a replacement once or twice every 10 years. Along with regular pool fees, expect to pay an additional $10,000 throughout the decade.

With these prices in mind, choose either a fiberglass or vinyl liner pool to save the most on your pool installation.

Ready to Save on Your New Pool?

With the right materials, timing the construction of your new pool could save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Now that you know how to get the best deals on swimming pools, it’s time to get yours installed and become the neighborhood favorite.

Not sure where to start? Contact us to get a free quote or discover more about cost-saving options for your future pool.

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