Category: Pool Tips

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.

Swimming Pool Decorating Ideas

5 Awesome Swimming Pool Decorating Ideas You Should Try

It’s estimated that there are 10.4 million swimming pools in the United States in people’s homes. 

That’s a lot of people who have pools, so how is yours going to stand out above the rest? You’ve got to get some swimming pool decorating ideas to make your pool the best for entertaining.

Swimming Pool Decorating Ideas to Spruce up Your Pool

Whether you decide to keep your pool open in the summer or all year round, you can still get swimming pool decorating ideas to make it look nice no matter the weather.

1. Add Greenery

Having plants around the pool’s edge is a great way to make your pool look more beautiful and also to provide more shade for your area.

You can create a vertical plant wall that doubles as a sun blocker. Even just dotting the perimeter of the pool with potted plants can take it to the next level visually.

2. Waterproof Furniture

There’s an endless amount of options out there for furniture that you can actually take in your pool. And we’re not just talking about floaties.

You can get a softa that poses on the ledge of your pool so you can lounge at the same time you float around in the water. There are floating tables and chairs that can also be both fun and a funny conversation starter.

3. A Bridge

If you’ve got the funds to invest, a bridge can be an extremely interesting water feature for you to add to your pool. 

The days of having to walk around your pool are over. Now you can literally just walk over it. It also makes for a nice way to create shade right in the middle of the pool.

4. Incorporate the Holidays

Your pool deserves to get in on the holiday celebrations as well. If you’re a Halloween fanatic, you can use plastic skeletons around your pool and pose them in lounge chairs. Blowing up plastic gloves and letting them float is also a fun, spooky idea.

Many ornaments also float if you’re looking to decorate for Christmas. Floating candles for any special occasion is also a simple, classy way to make your pool part of the festivities.

5. Add Some Lights

Lighting is one of the most important factors of ambiance. The lighting that’s around your pool and in your backyard could be perfect, but you’re missing out if you’re not playing with different colors of lights in your actual pool.

You can get any color light you want to light up your water. Set a warmer mood with orange colored bulbs, or bring out the natural blues with more blue lighting.

You can also get lighting that changes colors or strobes for an ultimate pool party.

Get Your Own Custom Pool

Maybe you’re just dreaming when you’re looking at swimming pool decorating ideas, but you don’t have a pool of your own.

Now’s the time for you to make your dream a reality. No matter your backyard, if you want a pool, Sahara Pool Builders can build it. 

Get a free design consultation and see how your backyard can be transformed.

swimming pool safety

Swimming Pool Safety: 4 Things You Should Do to Make Your Pool Safe

According to research, there are approximately 800-900 children who drown each year in swimming pool related deaths. This makes drowning the number 2 cause of death among young children in the United States. Knowing proper swimming pool safety procedures could be the difference of life or death for your family.

On a hot summer day, there is nothing more enjoyable than a day at the pool, splashing and playing with your family. Having your own pool is like having a secret oasis to escape from the heat. 

The only problem is how do you keep your pool safe? How can you ensure that you know the proper pool safety for kids, and make sure they understand the dangers as well?

That is exactly what we are about to teach you in this article. Keep reading to learn swimming pool safety tips that will help keep you and your family safe so you can enjoy your pool worry-free!

Let’s dive in, shall we? 

1. Install a Fence

One of the best swimming pool safety measures you can do is build a fence around your pool. This acts as a barrier, keeping your kids out of the pool area when you are not around to supervise them.

A number of States and cities have implemented laws that require you to have a fence with a certain height and structure around your pool for safety. Most laws state that the gates should open outward and have self-latching and closing features.

2. Swimming Pool Safety Rules

It is vital that you make a rule board in the pool area for your family and friends to abide by. Some rules you should put in place include the following:

  • No running on the pool deck
  • No glassware in the pool area
  • No electrical appliances near the pool area
  • Empty blow up toys or have them locked away when not in use
  • No diving, unless it is deep enough and they know how to dive.
  • No roughhousing and tough playing
  • No swimming without an adult present

Having these swimming pool safety rules will help keep your family safe and pool-smart.

3. Ditch Your Diving Board

Diving boards are a huge culprit of most swimming pool accidents as you can slip and hit your head. Also, if someone uses one and does not know how to dive properly, they could seriously hurt themselves. This also goes for pool slides since many toddlers will try and climb them and fall off.

4. Store chemicals Safely

You can’t have a swimming pool without a bunch of chemicals to keep it clean. However, this also means that there is going to be chemicals around that are extremely toxic for children. 

By keeping your pool chemicals in a well-ventilated and locked area, you are ensuring proper safety measures for your family.

Learn More About Swimming Pool Safety Tips

Now that you know how to keep your family safe with these swimming pool safety tips, you can go hang poolside with your family worry free! 

Check out more articles on our blog, such as keeping your pool safe from a hurricane and benefits of having your own pool rather than going to a dirty public one. 

Contact us for your free consultation today!

pool design ideas

5 Unique Pool Design Ideas to Consider for Your Pool

You have the perfect home in the ideal Texas location. Now you need the perfect pool to match!

How do you know which cool pool ideas fit what you are looking for? Luckily, there are a lot of pool design ideas and types that you can research to choose the best one.

Find out about some of the popular pool designs below!

Pool Design Ideas

There is no right or wrong way to design a pool as long as it is functional and looks how you’d like it to look. They can be creative, straightforward, or whatever you want!

The following are just 5 of many different types of pool design ideas out there, so keep an open mind and determine which designs may work for your home. 

1. Infinity Pool

Have you ever seen those pools that seem like they just fall off the cliff? Those are called infinity pools. These pools have a vanishing edge.

To have one of these pools, you would need to live in a high-up area with an edge and you should know that it can often be a great way to highlight the view.

2. Stock Tank Swimming Pool

If you are interested in a more rustic look, this above ground swimming pool may be what you are looking for. 

These pools are starting to gain a lot of popularity. The stock tank pool is unlike a lot of other above ground swimming pools in that it is an innovative way to reuse something.

3. Architectural Pool

An architectural pool can look like the home and be a sort of accent to the home’s exterior features. It will have definite lines and structure that makes it clear it is meant to emphasize the home’s best features.

When you think of pools that have really clear corners, geometric themes, or general sophistication, those can be great examples of pools that were built from an architectural point of view.

Many times, these pools are actually built at the same time as a new home to make them look even more elegant together.

4. Lap Pool

A lap pool is meant for people that are serious about their health and wellness. These pools are designed specifically for people that want to have a pool they can exercise in, but it won’t take up too much space.

These pools are typically going to be really long and really narrow, which makes them perfect for doing laps. If you have a narrow shaped or rectangular home, this could be a great match for your healthy lifestyle.

5. Natural Swimming Pool

The pools that have rocks and plants surrounding them in a way that looks like they are there as a part of nature! It seems like they were part of the land before the house they are near was even built.

The natural swimming pool is a type of pool that has been popular in recent years and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Ready to Get a Pool? 

As you can see, there are many pool design ideas out there that you can choose between and not all of them are equal. Some pool designs work better for some lifestyles than others. 

If you are interested in having a custom pool built for your home, be sure to check out our website to find out what we can do for you.

Swimming Pool Games

Fun in the Sun: 5 Awesome Swimming Pool Games for the Whole Family

When you think about summer, what comes to your mind? Sandy beaches? Lounging by the pool?

Given that there are over 10 million residential pools in the United States, we are going to guess the latter.

Whether it’s sunbathing on a towel or taking swimming laps for some exercise, spending time around a pool provides something for everyone. Pools have been around for a long time and continue to bring friends and families together. 

Eager to bring some excitement to your summer days? Check out these five awesome swimming pool games that are fun for kids and adults alike! 

1. Octopus

Think a variation of Red Rover in water. Choose one person to be ‘it’ first. It doesn’t matter who, as if you play long enough, everyone will get a chance at starting as ‘it.’

This person will hang out in the middle of the pool.

The goal is for players to get across the pool without getting tagged. If they get tagged, they join hands with the ‘it’ person in the middle. As more and more people join, it becomes a long octopus-like arm!

Keep playing until one person is left outside the arm. They are the winners and can choose who starts the next round as ‘it.’

2. Chicken Fights

Chicken is a classic pool activity. This one is most popular with adults and older kids, but it can be fun for younger children to get up on their parents’ shoulders.

Pair up depending on everyone’s size. Bigger, stronger people are best suited for the bottom so they can sturdily hold someone else on their shoulders.

Then all you need to do is go after one another. Keep it age appropriate and friendly, but pushing and light hitting are encouraged too.

3. Whirlpool Swimming Pool Games

We’d be willing to bet you’ve done this at least once in your life. If you have a circle shaped pool, this will work best. Get everyone to walk around the edge in the same direction until the water is swirling around and around.

Once it gets going, hop on an innertube or just float on your back and relax!

4. Watch Out for Sharks

Similar to tag, Shark in the Pool is a great game to keep active. Choose someone to be the shark or ‘it,’ and then everyone else will try to avoid the shark.

In this game, you’re allowed to get in and out of the pool, but only for a few seconds. This will give the shark a fair chance at catching everyone.

5. Mermaid Races

One final pool game to play on a beautiful summer day is mermaid races. Or dolphin or any other aquatic creature you prefer.

Rules are simple, race one or two other people from one side of the pool to the other.

You can do it above or below water. How long can you hold your breath?

Grab the Sunscreen and Enjoy

Fun in the sun around a pool doesn’t have to just mean sunbathing. With these great swimming pool games, you will make memories that will last a lifetime.

Want to make sure the fun lasts with a clean pool? Please contact us to discuss ways to keep your pool sparkly clean!

type of swimming pool

How to Decide on a Type of Swimming Pool for Your Home

Are considering putting a pool on your property?

If so, you probably already know there are many styles, sizes, price ranges, and options to choose from. Not all pools are created equal, and since they are an investment, it pays to do your homework in advance. This way, you know you’re getting the best pool that your family will get to enjoy for years.

Here’s a helpful resource to help you decide what type of swimming pool to add your property!

Above-Ground Pools

A common pool style is an above-ground pool. Above-ground pools put pool ownership within reach for more people, as they have a lower price tag than most other types of pools. They are also portable, so they can be a smart option for a family that intends to move.

The drawback to these pools is that they simply don’t last indefinitely. The materials that allow them to be less expensive and portable mean they don’t stand the test of time.

In-Ground Pools

If you’re looking for a fully customizable pool that will last, in-ground is the way to go. In-ground pools are a great investment, and with the right maintenance and care, you’ll have years of enjoyment.

In-ground pools are customizable to your needs. You have say over the shape, depth, plaster color, and look of the pool. They can be outdoors, indoors, or partially covered.

Points to consider are the price and your property. Since they are considerably more labor intensive than an above-ground pool and require professional installations, they will cost more. They also require a certain amount of space in your yard.

Lap Pool

Perhaps a less-common but still useful and enjoyable pool style is the lap pool. This long, narrow, in-ground pool is used primarily for exercise. They aren’t as useful for recreation, but they also have a smaller footprint on your property.

They are certainly worth considering if your intended use is exercise and you don’t have a need for a full-sized pool.

Spa

If relaxing is the name of your pool game, a spa might be a great choice. These smaller, hot-tub style pools are perfect for decks or sunrooms. In addition to being relaxing, the warm water can be great for sore joints and muscles.

They are more affordable than large pools and don’t need much space, making them a great option for urban lots.

Due to their size, however, they won’t allow for much recreational use or water exercise, however.

Natural Pool

When it comes to different types of pools, you may not have considered the natural pool.

They are becoming a more popular and viable pool option. Natural pools use plants and other biological materials to clean the water instead of chlorine and other chemicals. This means they are better for the environment (and easier on your skin!).

Natural pools can also be truly beautiful and serene places, as they are often constructed in organic shapes that mimic a natural pond.

The drawback to these pools is that they are not cheap. They also require a good amount of upkeep to keep the water properly clean and filtered.

Still Wondering What Type of Swimming Pool Is Best for You?

This list is really just a portion of the options and styles you might consider when pool shopping. If you’re in the Katy, Texas-area and are pool shopping, get in touch with our experts.

We’d love to provide you with a free consultation where we can discuss your needs and help you select the right type of swimming pool. Get in touch today!

above ground vs. in-ground pool

Above Ground vs. In-Ground Pool: Why You Should Choose In-Ground

Summertime means a lot of great things. Ice cream. Road trips. Barbecues. One thing that’s on everyone’s must-do list for summer is going swimming.

But going out to the beach can be a real hassle. You’ve got to load up the family in the car and fight traffic. Plus,  the ocean water is often too cold, and then you get sand everywhere.

Public pools can be a little iffy. Plus, public pools are only open at certain times.

It only makes sense to put in your own pool. After all, 10.4 million pool owners can’t be wrong.

But should you go with above or in-ground? We’re going to break down the pros and cons of having an above ground vs. in-ground pool.

Cost

Let’s get the big question out of the way: what’s it going to cost. Putting in a pool isn’t going to be cheap, but it can be affordable.

An in-ground pool will cost on average a little over $20,000. Depending on the materials needed and what size you want, the cost goes up from there.

Above ground pools have an advantage here. You can purchase one for around $2,000.

Set Up

Here’s another example where an above ground pool is the better option – or so it seems.

With an above ground pool there’s some minor assembly, but after that, you’re good to go. An in ground pool is a definite project.

Here’s the thing: in-ground pools are way more durable. While the cost and set up might be more up front, it will last you a lot longer.

Style

Let’s face it: above ground pools aren’t pretty. They stick out in your backyard and they come in very limited sizes and shapes.

With an in ground pool, the sky is the limit when it comes to looks. While you can splurge and make any shape you want or get something stylish like an infinity pool, even a basic in ground pool instantly makes your backyard look better.

Functionality

If you want a plain old swimming hole, the above ground pool is the way to go. Set it up and start swimming.

And in ground pool, however, can be adapted to your lifestyle. There’s a myriad of different styles and functions that you can work with.

For example, if you want to use the pool just for exercise, you can create a shorter lap pool. Do a lot of entertaining? Install a swim up bar in your pool or put in a hot tub.

Above Ground VS. In-Ground Pool: Make Your Choice

Looking forward to the many physical and mental health benefits of swimming or you’re just looking to have some fun? In-ground is the clear winner in the above ground vs. in-ground pool debate.

While above ground has a few good positives, in-ground is the way to go for a long-lasting, customized, stylish choice.

Ready to put in your in-ground pool? Let’s talk!

Our team of experienced pool pros are ready to help you make a splash. Contact us today!

pool safety for toddlers

Pool Safety for Toddlers: How to Keep Little Ones Safe Around the Water

Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged 1-4 years old? These children are most likely to drown in a swimming pool. Swimming pool deaths are entirely preventable.

Even if you don’t have toddlers or older children of your own, it’s still necessary to take safety precautions for guests or other children who might swim in your pool. Keep reading for some tips for pool safety for toddlers.

Pool Safety for Toddlers: How to Prevent Drowning

Some simple steps that parents and caregivers can take could prevent drownings. Pool safety combined with vigilance will ensure that your children and guests are safe in your pool.

1. Teach Your Kids to Swim

Enrolling your kids in swimming classes at the earliest reasonable age (some experts say that kids as young as 1 should start taking swim lessons) is a smart idea. Learning how to swim, what to do if they fall in a pool, how to float, and how to tread water are skills that children should have, especially if they have a pool at home.

However, it’s important to remember that even if your child does know how to swim, they should not be left unattended in the pool or around the pool.

2. Install a Safety Fence

A child safety fence around the pool that is between 4 and 5 feet high, has a locking mechanism, and has a gate that will close and latch on its own is necessary. The lock should be out of the reach of kids and if there is a key, it should not be left in the lock.

In addition to a fence around the pool, homeowners might consider a fence around the entire yard as well. This would keep any children out of the pool area and add an additional layer of protection.

3. Install an Underwater Motion Alarm

An underwater motion alarm is preferable to one that goes off when there is any movement on the surface of the water. A surface alarm could be set off by wind, a leaf, or bug and has more false alarms. One that goes off when there is motion under the water is less likely to have a false alarm.

4. Identify a Water Guardian

Drownings often happen when adults assume other adults are watching the children. There are many stories of children drowning among many adults. Because no one person has been tasked with watching the children in the pool, adults think someone else is doing it.

The water guardian should not have any distractions such as a cell phone, drink, people to talk to, etc. They should be focused solely on watching the children in the water.

5. Learn Lifesaving Skills

If you have a pool or a toddler learning to swim, lifesaving skills such as CPR could save your child.

If your child is drowning, the most important thing you can do is to pull him or her from the water and start CPR immediately. You should also have a phone nearby to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

The Take-Away Message

Drownings are preventable. When planning for your new pool, you should consider pool safety as well. Use these tips for pool safety for toddlers to keep your youngest swimmers safe.

To learn more about pools and pool safety, check out some of our other blog posts. If you’re ready to get the ball rolling on your own pool installation, contact us today for your free estimate and consultation.

How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump

Your pump is one of the main pieces of equipment that helps keep your pool water clean and balanced. It is important to run it daily to ensure there is enough water circulation. Stagnant water promotes algae growth along with warm temperatures.

With that being said, consider extending the time you are running your pool pump during the warmer months in the summer. During the cooler winter months, you can get away with a reduced run time as bacteria and algae are also less active during this period.

To determine how long per day you should run your pool pump, first check your pump’s turnover rate. The turnover rate refers to the period of time in which the pump is able to circulate all the water in your pool. You can find this out by dividing the pool volume with your pump’s filtration rate, and then multiplying by two.

To find out your pool’s volume or capacity, you can ask your pool builder. Or you can also find out yourself. This process requires pool measurements – average depth, length, width, and finally the amount of water it can hold per cubic foot, which varies depending on the shape of your pool. Multiply these measurements together and the product would be the volume of your pool in gallons.

Aside from the pool volume, another factor to look into is the size of your filter. If your pump size is large for your pool (2hp+), then you can reduce the pump run time.

Normally, a pool pump would complete 2 to 3 full cycles in a day. The downside though with running your pump 24 hours every day is that this costs a lot. At least one complete cycle a day could be enough, taking into consideration the weather condition(s) and pool usage.

Reducing operation time for your pump also allows you to save on your electric bill. The professionals at Sahara always recommend investing in a pool pump timer. You can help your pool pump perform efficiently by ensuring regular pool maintenance and that includes cleaning your pool filter.

If you have any questions about how long to run your pool pump, please contact us and we will be happy to help.