Today’s ever-increasing pace of life means many families are not able to take much time off work, to enjoy the outdoors. Even if they do, the weather isn’t always conducive to spending hours under the sun. There is, however, one thing that can bring your backyard back to life.
Pools and spas make it possible for homeowners to enjoy vivid, ever-changing light displays right at home. The system allows you to choose from a rainbow of colors as your pool water reflects the ever-changing lights around it. The pools flow seamlessly with every step in your backyard.
Especially if you have ever felt confined by the static nature of regular pools, the pool will bring a new life to your backyard. Pools add a brand-new dimension to any type of party. This is where spas come in handy! Swim-up bars are becoming ever more popular for their unique entertainment value.
Pools are also ever-changing. So why not make your lifestyle choice. The technology behind pools is as advanced as it is innovative. The pools are equipped with state-of-the-art filtration systems that remove any impurities from your water, making it perfectly safe to swim in at all times.
Adding a Swimming Pool to Your House Plans
In this article, we will address the pool from a different perspective. We have already covered pool construction and pool decks. Now it is time to understand what happens after pool installation – the pool usage! In summer, all people want to do is swim in a cool pool. If you are thinking about building a house with a pool, read the pool usage tips below. You will find them very useful both before and after pool construction.
- Before pool use:
There are some aspects of pool construction that you should consider before getting your pool plans ready for pool construction. For example, if your pool area is in the corner, don’t try to add a pool house or build a deck around the pool. Not only is the pool corner less than ideal for pool usage, but putting a pool house or pool deck in such a location will be very inconvenient and uncomfortable. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do I want to enter the pool?
- Where do I want to exit the pool?
If you can’t decide on where you want pool steps located, remember those pool stairs should be located on the side of the pool. If you don’t have a pool stairs location decided, your pool contractor will have to dig up your pool before it can be installed.
If you want additional features for your pool – waterfall, gazebo, etc., you should build them before starting pool construction. If pool construction is finished and you need to add pool waterfalls or gazebos, pool excavation will have to be done once again – which of course your pool contractor won’t like one bit!
- After pool construction:
After pool installation, it is time to enjoy the pool. But first, there are a few more things to settle. First of all, pool equipment is not the pool itself – pool equipment is what your pool needs to be able to function.
If you have a pool heater and pool filter equipment, it means that you need a separate pool return line for pool heating and pool filter system. It also means that the area around where your pool heater and pool filter system is located will constantly have pool water leaking from pool equipment – pool heating and pool filter system.
Pool heater and pool filter equipment should therefore be installed as far away from the pool as possible. The pool pump should also be located away from the pool for obvious reasons (pool pump motor overheating).
The final step after pool installation is pool landscaping. You can either install pool fencing, pool landscape lighting, or pool waterfalls before pool construction is finished. However, keep in mind that pool landscaping requires some additional tools not available during pool construction – so you might have to wait until after pool installation is done.
Landscaping Your Backyard- Great Reasons to Add a Swimming Pool
Landscaping your backyard is a great home improvement project. There are many reasons pool landscaping can be beneficial to you and those around you. Here are some pool landscaping reasons to consider:
- Pool landscaping adds beauty.
Think of pool landscaping as an outdoor pool with grass around it, for example. It’s beautiful to look at and would increase the use of your backyard pool. You can install pool landscaping that matches the pool itself.
For example, if you bought a blue pool then pool landscaping could include blue flowers, rocks, pool equipment, and pool fencing. This pool landscaping would be ideal for blue pool owners.
- Pool landscaping increases value.
If you plan to sell your home or if you are renting it out at some point, pool landscaping most likely adds value to the house itself. It makes your backyard look more attractive, which would attract pool owners to your pool.
- Pool landscaping increases safety.
Swimming pool fencing is an essential pool accessory that adds to the pool’s beauty and also makes the pool safer for all pool users, mainly children and pets. Here are some of the most important pool landscaping tips:
-Use a fenced pool around your pool; it looks better and increases safety.
-Add pool landscaping that is pleasing to the eye.
-Consider pool landscaping as a way of increasing pool use and pool enjoyment for you and your pool guests.
-Pool landscaping increases pool enjoyment.
A creative pool owner can add multiple benefits to having pool landscaping around his or her pool by adding flowers, shrubs, trees, waterfalls, and pool equipment to pool landscaping.
For example: by installing a flower bed near the pool and including flowers that can withstand pool water splashes, you could add beauty to your pool while also adding natural pool cleaning by using the pool filters’ suction power.
Exquisite Estate Landscape Design
A hardscape refers to any surface of your landscape that’s not exposed to earth. Pavers, patios, walkways, and retaining walls are all structures that are considered hardscapes.
A specialist-designed hardscape living field adds culture, sophistication, and class to your backyard retreat. Pools & Spas takes the time to take a seat down with every client to custom design a hardscape that matches your style and budget.
- A Plunge Pool:
A plunge pool may be a refreshingly modern twist on the classic backyard swimming bath. While it does have an aesthetic appeal, its main function is to supply an area where you’ll refresh yourself by taking a dip in your luxurious pool.
The following are 5 simple exercises you’ll neutralize your plunge pool to remain fit during the summer heat.
Give yourself an opportunity from the lawnmower and impress your friends at an equivalent time by cutting your grass with a step-up. Jumping up and down on a step-up will help to strengthen your legs, glutes, and abs also as build endurance for those longer yard periods.
- Tricep Push-Ups:
Last Friday’s party looks like a lifetime ago, but you’ll still get your beach bod with a fast set of tricep push-ups in your pool. By jumping into the water and crouching down together with your feet pressed against the side of the pool, you’ll perform quick tricep push-ups to urge your blood pumping and tone your upper body.
Hop on that bike of yours and ride yourself into shape within the pool! With touch creativity, you’ll pretend that you’re riding waves of water instead of asphalt for an intense workout that will tone your legs and abs.
If you are looking for an excellent cardio workout, nothing beats sprinting within the pool! Start at one end of the pool and swim as fast as you’ll to the opposite end, pausing only to require an opportunity once you need it. within the next sprint, don’t stop at the opposite end; swim to the shallow end and back, pausing at each end to require an opportunity. Continue alternating between sprints and rests until your muscles are exhausted.
- Water Jogging:
If you are looking for something slightly easier than sprinting within the pool, water jogging is the exercise for you. Simply strap on some flippers and jog in situ together with your upper body while keeping your lower half submerged to urge a tremendous workout that will tone your legs, glutes, abs, arms, and more!
With just touch creativity, you’ll create your very own fitness regimen within the comfort of your pool.
Why Water-Based Fitness is the Best Type of Exercise?
Fitness experts now recommend water as a part of your workout regime as it has numerous benefits over the treadmill and the weight lifting machines. The benefits of water-based are:
Water helps to cool down your body temperature, helping you avoid overheating during training. This will also help you burn more calories as your body needs to work harder to cool down.
Water helps to ease the stress on joints like knees and ankles. This is because of the buoyancy of water which reduces the weight on your muscles, tendons, bones, and joints by more than 90%. Sixty percent of all sports injuries are caused by knee issues. The cardiovascular benefit of working in the pool is also important as it helps to strengthen your heart and lungs. You burn almost as many calories as on a treadmill but you will lose weight faster with the low impact of water-based exercises.
Water is an excellent way to simultaneously perform multiple muscle groups at one time unlike other forms of exercise where you need two different pieces of equipment, e.g., a mat and a ball. Therefore, this will save you money and time value too.
Water exercises don’t just work on your arms and legs, they also help to strengthen the muscles of your back and stomach. As water supports your body weight without putting pressure on joints, it is easier to train for longer periods than land-based workouts and with no equipment needed.
5 Easy Exercises You Can Do in Your Plunge Pool
When the weather is cold and you want to get in touch with your inner swimmer, a plunge pool might be the answer. Of course, if you’re going to spend any time in it, make sure that you’ve got a few simple exercises up your sleeve so that you can get fit inside it too. After all, this is one of the few pools that you can get just as much benefit from doing a workout in – and not just splashing around.
- Start with your neck
The first exercise is simple, but you might be surprised at how much of a workout it can give you. As you feel the water moving around you in your pool, move your neck up and down. This will help to stretch out the muscles along your spine and keep them working while you’re getting fit inside it.
If you’re feeling a little more daring, why not try a headstand in your pool? This is a great way to tone up the stomach muscles and make them work, while also challenging many of the other major muscle groups in your body at the same time. Start by getting into a handstand position against one side of your pool, then slowly bend your legs until you’re balancing the weight of your body on your neck. Hold out as long as you can, before coming back down to earth for a well-earned break.
If you have access to a good quality swimsuit that will keep you afloat in the water without weighing you down, then you can also get in some swimming time while you’re working out. Of course, it’s not just for fun – this is a great way to build up the muscles in your arms and chest, while also making sure that your heart is getting a workout too.
- Arm circles
If you don’t want to swim but still want to get your arms working, then you can also do arm circles. These are quick and easy but will make sure that all of the muscles in your upper body are getting a workout too.
- Forward rolls
Finally, if you want to push yourself while you’re trying to get fit inside your plunge pool, then why not try a forward roll? This one might take a few takes as you get used to it, but as soon as you’ve perfected the move then it will give your core muscles and chest a real workout.
Combine these exercises with some relaxing swims for best results, and don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated by bringing plenty of cold drinks into the pool.
Fiberglass- Concrete -Inground Swimming Pools – Which Is Best For You?
Swimming pools are a luxury item. If you have the space, budget, and time to maintain an in-ground pool then they make great additions to your backyard living area. Choosing which type of swimming pool is right for you can be difficult though. There are pros and cons to each type of swimming pool, so it’s important that you know what you’re getting into.
- Fiberglass Swimming Pools:
Fiberglass swimming pools are the least expensive above-ground option. They generally start at around $10,000 installed and can go up to $40,000 depending on materials used. Fiberglass pools come in round, oval, or rectangular shapes. Some manufacturers offer custom shapes. The majority of fiberglass pool owners choose oval and rectangular because they’re the best fit for the amount of space available.
One benefit of fiberglass pools is that prefabrication can be done off-site, which means you don’t have to do as much during installation. Fiberglass pools require less excavation than other types. The frame comes in three pieces: a back wall, a front wall, and the bottom skin. The two walls are connected with fiberglass rods that give the pool its shape. The bottom skin is then attached to those rods and filled with concrete.
During installation, you need to make sure your foundation is level and stable (concrete footings or a concrete slab). Remember: If your foundation doesn’t support your pool, it will crack or fall over. Once the frame is in place, concrete is poured around the outside of the pool. After the concrete dries, you can fill your fiberglass pool with water!
- Concrete Swimming Pools:
Concrete pools are very similar to fiberglass pools. They start at around $15,000 installed and go up to $50,000 or more depending on the size and options chosen. Like fiberglass pools, they come in round, oval, and rectangular shapes. Many custom shapes are available as well if you want something truly unique. Concrete pools are more common in the United States than fiberglass pools, so you’ll find that more manufacturers have them available.
Concrete pools also require less excavation than other types of swimming pools. The frame comes in three pieces: a back wall, a front wall, and the flooring system. Each of these is poured separately, so they need to cure for a few days before installation can begin. That means you have to rent the excavator longer than with fiberglass pools, which usually only require one day of excavation.
When it’s time for installation, you also need a level and stable foundation (concrete footings or concrete slab). Once the frame is in place, the flooring system is lowered into place. After it heals, you can fill your concrete pool with water!
- In-Ground Swimming Pools
In-ground pools are the most expensive type of swimming pool, but they tend to last longer than above-ground options due to their solid foundation (usually concrete). Like fiberglass and concrete pools, they come in round, oval, rectangular, and custom shapes. In-ground pools typically start at around $30,000 installed and can go up to a million dollars or more depending on the size and options chosen.
In-ground swimming pools require the most excavation out of every other type. A large hole needs to be dug and the pool is installed as one piece. If you ever want to move or replace your in-ground swimming pool, it’s very costly because you can’t just unbolt and lift out a few sections. Manufacturing concrete swimming pools, on the other hand, is more efficient so you can often have prefab pieces sent to your job site for faster installation.
Just like with fiberglass and concrete pools, you need a level and solid foundation (concrete footings or concrete slab) during installation. Once the frame is in place, concrete is poured to fill it. You can then fill your concrete swimming pool with water!
Fiberglass Swimming Pools: Well-Built and Budget-Friendly
In addition to the standard above-ground pool kit, you have a choice of three different shaped pools. These are rectangular, hexagonal, and octagonal which gives you almost unlimited options as far as sizes and shapes go. With a fairly simple installation process, you can be swimming in no time at all!
The main benefit of having an above-ground pool is that it can be installed very easily. With just a few basic tools and a friend to assist, you would have the pool up and ready for water in no time at all. As far as costs go, they are usually fairly reasonable and affordable.
The pool assembly is very simple and straightforward. They are usually quite easy to assemble since they come with user manuals that outline the process in detail. You can find them for sale online or at local swimming pool retailers like Pool Supplies Unlimited.
Above Ground Fiberglass Swimming Pool
Some of the key benefits include:
- Very easy installation process.
- Affordable and cost-effective option.
- Choice of three different shapes/sizes to suit your space requirements.
- User manual provided with the pool for a hassle-free assembly process.
Concrete Swimming Pools- Built and Budget-Friendly
When it comes to building a backyard oasis, most people turn their thoughts immediately to the pool. There are all kinds of pools out there today — fiberglass, vinyl, gunite (a form of concrete), and even natural-looking “dug” ones with caves, slides, and fountains.
But there’s a wonderful alternative to the expense of vinyl or fiberglass pools, and it’s great if you want a custom-built pool in your backyard, but don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on the “poured in place” concrete swimming pool.
- Concrete Pools are Durable
Compare the cost of a concrete pool to what you might spend on vinyl. A concrete pool will run around $6,000 to $14,000 for materials, whereas vinyl pools can start at $20,000 and go up from there. And that’s just the beginning! You also have to take into account excavation costs (digging out the hole and then filling it in with the excavated dirt), as well as costs for pouring new concrete base, covering that with layers of sand and gravel, adding wire mesh (to give strength and prevent shifting), and finally laying down a vinyl liner.
- Concrete Pools are Versatile
With a comparably high initial cost outlay, you might think that a poured-in-place concrete pool is only for millionaires. But it’s not so. Homeowners today are looking toward the long term, and the durability of a well-built cement pool is attractive to those who want to spend their money wisely.
Of course, a big part of any investment comes down to design and how you plan to use the pool. You can get a concrete pool shaped like an oval, kidney, or even in the form of your favorite cartoon character! But don’t laugh.
- Everything is Customizable with Concrete Pools
Don’t be surprised if you tell your contractor that you’d prefer something curvier, and he responds by saying “No problem.” Everything is negotiable in concrete. You can have the deck around your pool done in flagstones, or other natural-looking materials. And should you want to change the shape of your pool down the road, you can remove some of the coping stones and easily “move” your pool wall out a bit.
- Concrete Pools are Beautiful
Concrete, when done correctly, can be absolutely beautiful. Made by adding pigments to the concrete mix before it’s poured, you can get just about any color your heart desires. And after curing for a week or so (the time it takes the water and cement to “harden”), you’re ready to begin enjoying your pool.
“Poured in place” concrete pools are also customizable with different textures and patterns, which can be easily achieved through the addition of decorative materials to the finished product. You can have swirls or even stars created on the surface of your new pool!
In-ground Swimming Pools: Well-Built and Budget-Friendly
Well-built and budget-friendly, in-ground swimming pools are an investment that pays for itself. In-ground swimming pools are a convenient way to keep cool on hot days and enjoy your backyard more. In-ground swimming pools come in a range of sizes from small plunge-size pools great for kids or exercise, all the way up to full-size Olympic-size pools with lanes for competitive swimming.
- Family Fun
A backyard in-ground pool is a great place for fun with family and friends. Both adults and children can enjoy swimming, playing water sports, or relaxing by the pool on a hot day. Whether you choose a small child-size pool, a lap-size pool, or even an Olympic-sized one, nothing beats a good old-fashioned summer barbeque or pool party. Backyard pools are also a great way for friends and family to enjoy time together without having to leave home.
In-ground pools give you the convenience of water year-round, even in colder climates where natural bodies of water can freeze over during the winter months. In-ground pools offer flexibility that a rooftop pool does not, giving you more opportunity to swim or play in the water during a wider range of weather conditions.
In-ground pools are great for children of all ages and abilities because smaller in-ground pools can be made shallow enough for toddlers who aren’t quite ready for deep waters yet while larger pools can be set up with convenient pool lifts to make swimming easier for those who need assistance.
Olympic-sized pools are great places for exercise, physical therapy, or other training regimens. Because in-ground pools are built right into your backyard, they offer convenience and privacy, allowing you to focus on your workout without having to drive somewhere else.
In-ground pools add value and beauty to your backyard as well as additional living space for you and your family. In-ground swimming pools come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles including concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl liner pools with natural stone designs, built-in waterfalls, and even swim-up bars.
In the early 1900s, in-ground pools were primarily used for therapeutic healing but today they are more commonly found in backyards across the United States. Compared to rooftop pools that require extensive construction on your roof (and can be impractical for smaller homes) an in-ground pool is relatively easy to install and maintain, making it a good choice for families.
Gunite vs Vinyl: How to choose the right pool for your home?
The process of building a swimming pool begins with deciding what type of pool you would like to build and how much money you want to spend. The two most popular types of inground pools are gunite and vinyl liner. There are pros and cons associated with both types, so it is important that the consumer thoroughly researches all aspects before they make a final pool buying decision.
- Low initial cost: Although the labor and material for gunite pools are more expensive than vinyl, it is up to one-third less expense than vinyl because it requires less labor over time.
- Long durability: A concrete pool will last much longer than a vinyl pool and is less likely to need repairing.
- Ability to customize: There are virtually limitless options when it comes to customizing your gunite inground pool. You can create any shape or design that you want for your pool, including waterfalls and slide features, as well as using different size tiles, colors, coping stones, and pool decks.
- Lower energy costs: Concrete pools do not heat up as much in the summer and lose less heat during the winter than vinyl surfaces, making them more economical to run all year round.
Vinyl liner pools:
- Low initial cost: This type of pool is the least expensive option when considering both material and labor.
- Quick installation: Vinyl liner pools are the most popular type of inground pool in the country, making them quick and easy to install with a large number of contractors available. Due to its popularity, there is also a larger selection when it comes to shapes, sizes, and designs.
- Little or no maintenance: The vinyl liner pool requires little or no maintenance and virtually no upkeep. However, gunite inground pools require more attention in terms of cleaning and repairing the surface to keep the color even.
- Low energy costs: Vinyl liner pools lose very little heat in winter and due to their thick walls, they also heat up less in the summertime than gunite pools.
Gunite pools are available in many different shapes and styles depending on the contractor’s capability. Some examples of these pool designs include kidney, oval, rectangle, free form, and L-shape. Vinyl liner inground pools can be found in just about any shape or size that you want, meaning that you can create a very unique pool that will fit perfectly into your yard.
The size of the pool:
Gunite pools are available in any size up to about 15ft deep, whereas you can get any size with vinyl liner pools as long as it fits weight restrictions and does not exceed overall pool/foundation footprint limitations. There is an endless amount of shapes and sizes you can choose from when customizing your vinyl liner pool.
How does it work?
Gunite liners are called “shotcrete”, a process that involves pumping concrete through a hose to spray onto the walls of the hole, building up layer after layer until the desired height is achieved. A mesh liner is then stretched over the still wet surface to hold it all in place while it sets. A vinyl liner is glued to the walls of the pool with a special adhesive, making sure that no water can seep through.
No matter which type of inground pool you have installed, they will require some degree of maintenance over time. The biggest difference between gunite and vinyl liner pools is that a vinyl liner pool requires almost no maintenance over time. Whereas a gunite pool will require some degree of maintenance once the concrete begins to wear, making it necessary to refinish the surface from time to time by sandblasting or resurfacing.
Water Options for Your In-Ground Pool
When you review your pool maintenance checklist, one of the more difficult tasks is determining whether or not to use chlorine or saltwater. Several factors go into making this decision – cost, convenience, and capabilities based on your geographical region.
Chlorine is one of the cheapest and most common methods for sanitizing a pool. While it might be the easiest to use in colder climates, there are several other factors that come into play when determining if chlorine or saltwater would be more beneficial in your region.
Chlorine tablets: these can last anywhere from 1-4 days and need to be added manually by the pool owner when necessary. – Liquid chlorine: this is typically used in conjunction with a feeder pump, but needs to be prepared when initially adding it to your system and might require additional hardware.
Chlorine generator: this uses either electricity or natural gas and generates chlorine onsite which cuts down on water waste.
Saltwater pool: This is salt that has been converted to chlorine which allows for automated delivery systems and requires less maintenance than other options.
Another option for maintaining a healthy chlorine level in the pool is to use salt water. This process involves running an electrical current from a cell through saltwater, which separates it into chlorine and sodium hydroxide. If you choose to go the saltwater route, you will also need a system that circulates, filters, and sanitizes your pool water. This setup is a little more expensive than using chlorine tablets, but it can be very effective if you have a large pool or a lot of trees that affect the quality of the water in your community.
If you are not comfortable with either of these options, you may want to consider using a mineral pool. Pools are pools that use magnesium instead of chlorine or saltwater. The advantage is that they offer no chloramines, skin irritations, red eyes, and dry hair and skin. They also help the environment by reducing the number of chemicals used each year. Additionally, Pools use much less maintenance than other in-ground pools.
How to Maintain Your Swimming Pool Water?
Maintaining your swimming pool water is just as important as any other part of your pool maintenance. Just like the relationship between you and your significant others, you need to maintain a balance or else one side will not survive. It’s the same principle with maintaining your swimming pool water. If something isn’t balanced in there, it won’t be long until you have algae, cloudy water, or other problems.
- Chemical Balance
The first thing that should be checked in your pool is the chemical balance. This should be kept around a 7.2 pH level for best results, especially if you are aiming for crystal clear water. However, some people prefer it to be closer to their pool surface, depending on what they find comfortable swimming in. The chlorine level should be maintained at 1.0 to 3.0 PPM and calcium hardness should not surpass 400 ppm for the best results when trying to keep your water crystal clear and in balance.
Cleanliness is another factor that needs to be considered when maintaining your swimming pool water. To get rid of dirt, debris, and algae, skimming should be performed often (at least once or twice per week) and backwashing should also be done at the same time. If you take care of these two tasks, your pool water will remain cleaner for longer periods before needing to be changed.
- Water Level
The water level is another important factor in maintaining your swimming pool water. Too much and the dirt and debris will get pushed into your skimmers and filters, making it harder to clean. Too little and you’ll end up with cloudy water due to splashing out from waves in the pool when people are swimming around, which wastes a lot of water.
The temperature of your pool plays an important role in how it performs. In the hotter months, chemicals tend to evaporate easier and require more chemical maintenance to make sure there is a proper balance. In addition, people swimming in warmer water will use up chlorine faster than those swimming in cooler water, so chemical balance should be checked more often during these times of the year.
Algae is another factor that people should be aware of when it comes to maintaining your swimming pool water. There are different kinds of algae and some pose bigger threats than others. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of them such as super chlorinating or shocking the pool with higher chlorine levels until all organic matter has been killed. Then use a clarifier to make sure the water is clear and algae-free before lowering chlorine levels again.
- Skim It
When all else fails, skimming will be one of your best tools for holding off on having to change or add more water in your pool. If you’re not a fan of the feel of a vacuum hose going over your head, a skimmer can be a great investment for you because it lets you swim up to the edge of the pool and scoop out all the dirt and debris before it has a chance to sink into your filtration system.
- Vacuum It
Vacuuming is another way many people prefer to clean their pools instead of skimming. By placing the vacuum hose at the bottom of the pool, you can pull dirt and debris up from off the floor so it doesn’t get pushed into your filter system. This works great if you have a sand bottom pool or want to avoid using chemicals that might affect your garden around your pool.
- Test It
If you don’t want to use a chemical test kit, you can always invest in a quality pool water testing strip. These might not be as accurate for checking PH and chlorine levels, but they do work great for determining if your pool has too much or too little of any mineral in there that may affect how it works and performs.
- Recycle It
If you have a lot of people in your home who like to swim, it may be time to invest in a pool that can recycle water. With this kind of system, you’ll be able to filter your pool and send the dirty water back into an underground tank for cleaning before letting it get pumped back up again. This helps save a lot of water and is ideal for those who are on a well because it can save you from overusing your water supply.
- Test It Again
Once the season is over, whether it’s winter or summer, many people like to take their pools down so they don’t have to worry about things getting damaged by the weather. This is a good way to start preparing for opening your pool back up in the spring. However, it’s important that you test your water one more time before closing it down because during the winter months or when there is no sun exposure at all, algae can die and release toxins into the water that may not be discovered until it’s too late and you’re already opening it up for the season.
What is a Water Feature?
A water feature adds motion which appeals to all the senses. These features are typically custom built using natural materials such as rock, flagstone, or stucco. They can be submerged or raised, not just in water but also on land.
Water Features are great for adding color, texture, and movement to every part of your landscape. And the correct placement of landscape lighting can add to their natural beauty.
Pools & Spas can custom design the perfect accent to your existing landscape or completely design a new system of ponds, waterfalls, and streams to revitalize your backyard. With the use of natural plantings, stones, and large boulders, we can create a beautiful retreat to enjoy with your family and friends for years to come!
Laying out the Components
Proper pool planning is necessary to ensure that your finished product is practical and functional. It must be kid-friendly, pet-proof, and maintenance-free. We can decide which components will work best for you depending on taste, budget, and space availability.
- Pondless Waterfalls
A pondless waterfall is a beautiful way of transforming your backyard into an oasis of water features. With no standing water, there are fewer mosquitoes, but the sound of running water is still relaxing. They are perfect for small spaces, especially if you have limited access to electricity or plumbing.
- Water Gardens
A water garden is an ideal way to attract birds and butterflies. If you are interested in backyard landscaping or restoring your existing landscape, Pools & Spas can design a theme for you using flowers like Nymphaea (water lilies) and Calla (water arum).
Swimming Pool Safety
The summer months are filled with fun activities for families, including visiting the pool at your local community center or public park. However, it’s important to remember that if you have your private pool, there are additional steps you need to take to keep everyone safe. From fencing around the pool to proper gate locks and pool alarms, here is some helpful advice for keeping your pool safe and fun.
- Fence It
The safest way to keep children away from any body of water, including your pool, is to surround it with a high fence that has self-closing and self-latching gates. The chain-link fence should be at least 5 feet tall, which is much higher than most toddlers can climb (in fact the average 2.5-year-old boy can only reach just over 3 feet off the ground).
- 2. Install a Pool Alarm
Make sure that your pool has an alarm on the door leading to the house, to alert you when someone is entering or exiting. If children are old enough to use the toilet by themselves, then they absolutely should be able to tell you when they are leaving to go to the pool.
- Keep Chemicals Away From Children
Keeping any chemicals in cabinets with childproof locks is extremely important. Some common items found in homes that should be kept out of children’s reach include chlorine, muriatic acid, sodium hypochlorite, bromine, and algaecide.
Keeping any chemicals in cabinets with childproof locks is extremely important. Some common items found in homes that should be kept out of children’s reach include chlorine, muriatic acid, sodium hypochlorite, bromine, and algaecide.
- Keep a First Aid Kit Handy
In case of an emergency, it’s important to have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand that includes bandages, hydrogen peroxide, and anti-itch cream. You should also keep containers of other items near or in your pool area including matches (which you should never bring near the pool), a wrench, and clippers.
- Never Leave Children Unattended Near Water
Even though your children may be great swimmers, they should always have an adult present in the water with them. Teaching a child to swim is not a good enough reason to leave them alone in the pool area, since even the best swimmers can get into trouble if they are not watching.
Pest Control Tips For Your Pool This Summer: Keep Bugs Out
Ever wonder what kind of pests pose a threat to your pool? The warm weather is an invitation for all kinds of creatures who want to get in on the fun. Whether they’re from the water or from land, there are drowners and crawlers that will end up in your backyard oasis if you don’t do something about it. To keep these pests out, most people put up a fence around their pool to make sure that they’re not coming in when the kids are swimming. Here are some tips on how to choose the best pool fencing system for your situation.
- Correct chemical treatments:
One of the best ways to fight pests in and around your pool is by maintaining proper chemical treatments. An efficient pool system that uses chlorine or bromine will keep most bugs from coming into your space, but it’s always a good idea to have a secondary line of defense with fencing.
- Remove water sources:
One of the easiest ways to keep insects out is to remove or cover any standing water that could be around your pool. This means checking for leaky hoses, changing the water in birdbaths and pet bowls from time to time, and not leaving anything lying on the deck when you’re not using it. If you have a waterfall, make sure there’s a mesh over the drain to keep bugs from staying around.
- Minimize pool lighting:
While bright lighting around your pool may make it more inviting, it can also attract a lot of bugs and other vermin. If you must have lights, make sure they’re not too bright or too close to the water. Keep them on a timer to reduce their draw as the sun goes down.
- Landscaping maintenance:
Without a doubt, landscaping can help keep pests out of your pool. Make sure that lawns and garden beds are well tended to lessen the chance of creepy crawlers taking up residence around your space. Keeping grass long doesn’t help either, as it gives bugs food and shelter. Make sure you stop by a local pest control company for any advice on how to limit the space they have.
- Insect Zappers:
Another great way to keep pests out of your pool is by using zappers. There are chemical-free alternatives that are just as effective, if not more so, than traditional pest control methods. As an added benefit, you won’t have to worry about your family being exposed to harsh chemicals when they’re in contact with the water.
- Remove food sources:
Another way to keep pests away is to eliminate their food source. When you’re not swimming, make sure that you take any drinks or snacks with you so the local wildlife doesn’t get an invitation. Also, empty any leftover water from your glasses instead of leaving them around for bugs to drink from.
- Closing the pool:
Finally, it’s important to remember that you need to close up your pool. When fall starts to roll around, make sure you drain the water before freezing temperatures hit the area. Putting the cover on will keep out any unwanted visitors but still let you enjoy the view within? Make sure that there are no holes or tears in the covering so mice and other small creatures don’t find their way to your personal oasis. If you follow all of these steps, you’ll be able to keep pests out of the pool and enjoy a beautiful summer without worrying about little critters getting in when the kids aren’t watching.
How to Make Your Pool Area More Welcoming Using Personal Touches
There’s nothing like a pool to relax and cool off during those long, hot summer days. And as the weather starts heating up, this is the perfect time of year to get your pool in shape for next season.
If you’re looking for a few tips on how to spruce up that outdoor entertainment area then please keep reading as we show you a variety of ways to add a personal touch to your pool area.
- Shells and Stones
One way to make your pool more attractive is by heaping up a mound of shells or stones around it. Leftover seashells from a special vacation, for example, make great decorative elements that you can display next to the pool or in the shallow end.
Some of the nicer shells—such as scallop shells or abalone shells—can make attractive additions to flower arrangements on tables around the pool area. And if you’re looking for something with finer detail, then consider the many types of decorative stones that are available at your local home improvement store. Those landscaping rocks can be fun to play with and can form squiggly designs around the pool. And if you’re looking for something less expensive, then just head out to your local creek—or even just pour some sand into the bottom of a large bucket or pail—and collect stones of varying shapes and sizes. The key is simply finding natural forms that you find pleasing to the eye.
Adding pool furniture can be a way to personalize your pool area. When considering what pool furniture you want, think about the style that’s best suited for your home and family. Do you prefer modern or traditional pieces? Wood or metal frames? If you’re having trouble deciding then consider taking a look at some catalogs of home improvement companies to see what they have to offer.
If you decide to purchase a new set of furniture, consider color as well. A brightly colored piece will make a bold statement, whereas neutral colors tend to blend into the background. And if you’re looking for something that’s more low-key then black pool furniture can create a wonderful contrast with all those blue and green hues that surround it.
Once you’ve decided on a piece of furniture, you’ll want to look into getting the right type of umbrella as well. If your new lounge chair is large and round then an umbrella stand can help shade those who like to read without having to bother with putting up an umbrella each time they move around.
Adding color and life to your pool area, as well as providing a natural habitat for birds and other creatures. The best places to plant them are around the house, near the fence line. There’s nothing like returning home after a long day at work and seeing your garden glowing in the last rays of golden sunlight – it makes you feel peaceful and happy to be home.
A simple addition that can help a great deal in the heat of summer. A shady oasis from which you can watch children splashing about happily without getting too hot is a great idea for any pool area – and installing an umbrella only takes a few minutes.
- Water features:
Another practical addition to your poolside area. Water features like bubbling rocks, waterfalls, and fountains provide that tranquil sound of running water that we all know so well. Installing these little wonders into your pool area not only adds beauty to the landscape; it also aids in keeping mosquitoes away (they hate moving water) and h
No matter what your choice is, adding a personal touch to your pool area will make you feel as if it’s part of the house –and that feeling of being at home with nature is priceless. After all, aren’t we all drawn to water?
Swimming Pool Energy Efficiency: Clever Tips to Save You Money and Protect the Environment
The swimming pool is a wonderful luxury that can also be green. One of the best green energy-efficient tips is to reduce your water temperature as much as you can stand it. Why? Because heating less water uses less energy. You don’t need to heat the full amount of water you have in your pool all at once. You can use a pool cover to help you heat just part of it at a time. You also need fewer chemicals, such as chlorine and pH balancers, because there is less water to treat.
- Pool covers:
Yes, they’re often considered ugly and inconvenient, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Pool covers save electricity by giving you the option of heating just part of your pool at a time. It also saves on evaporation, chemical costs, and heat loss overnight.
- Invest in solar energy:
Investing in solar panels for electricity can be expensive, but it can save you lots of money over the long run. Even if you have to borrow the initial cost, you’ll recover it quickly with your savings from electricity.
- Solar panels for hot water:
Hot water accounts for a huge part of energy costs associated with a pool, so get yourself some solar-powered hot water heating panels. They have the added benefit of being very low maintenance and aesthetically pleasing since they blend in so well with other patio decorations.”
Staying Safe in the Sun this Summer
With summer here many people are flocking to popular beaches and ‘pool parties’. As these events are usually associated with drinking, it’s easy for good judgment to go out the window. Unfortunately, this can lead to accidents that may not only affect you but other party-goers as well. Here are some helpful safety tips!
Following these simple rules can greatly reduce your risk of injury, which will make the rest of your party experience much more enjoyable.
- Protect Yourself From SunBurn with the UV Index:
The sun’s UV radiation level varies from season to season, time of day, and geographical location. You can check the ‘UV Index’ – a measurement of how strong the sun will be at a certain time – today with the Globe at Night app available for android and iOS. The darker it is outside, the weaker its effects on your skin.
- Limit your time in the sun:
This may seem obvious, but many people forget that any amount of direct sunlight can be damaging to your skin. Make sure to keep yourself covered up and reapply sunscreen every two hours if you’re spending a prolonged period outside. This kind of protection works best when paired with clothing that covers the majority of your body.
- Remember to wear sunscreen:
The most effective way to protect you from the sun is through sunscreen. Apply this daily, even if you’re only planning on staying indoors all day. Make sure to check the expiration date on any product before applying it to make sure it’s effective enough.
- If you do get sunburnt, don’t be afraid to seek medical help:
Although most people think of sunburns as something that goes away on its own, if left untreated they can potentially cause serious damage. If your skin begins to hurt or develop blisters it’s time to head to the hospital. Also keep in mind that some painkillers are known to make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so if you plan on going out after taking some medications, remember to wear sunscreen!
- Stay Hydrated:
During the summer, don’t forget to drink lots of water! You can also replace sugary drinks with iced tea or other flavored waters; iced coffee, iced milkshakes…the list goes on. There are plenty of ways to keep cool without resorting to sugar-filled sodas!
- Don’t overdo it
Remember to take breaks from time to time! It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a party, but don’t let yourself become dehydrated and overheated. Drink plenty of water, re-apply sunscreen and enjoy some fresh air for a few minutes before returning inside. This simple advice will allow you to stay safe and healthy this summer!
- Wear Proper Clothing:
Wear natural, breathable fabrics like cotton to help keep you cool. This will allow your skin to “breathe” and will lower the risk of overheating. Hats are also a good idea to help protect your face from harmful UV rays!
- Only use sunscreen provided by lifeguards at public beaches
Sunscreen is an important tool for protecting yourself from the harmful effects of the sun. If you’re going to a public beach, make sure that any sunscreen you use is provided by a lifeguard. Otherwise, it may be ineffective and potentially dangerous to your health!
Pool Accessories for Every Pool
Your pool is the perfect place to spend time with friends, relax, and escape from everyday life. However, if you are not careful when enjoying your pool it can result in drowning accidents. If you have children at home or are around children when you are swimming then they must be protected from accidentally falling into the pool without supervision. There are several safety accessories available for pools that can help protect children from falling or drowning accidents. Some of the more popular pool accessories are listed below along with their benefits, so you can choose which ones suit your needs best.
- Pool Fence:
Pool fences are perfect for making sure that no one enters your pool without permission. They are usually made from strong, durable materials but are not too high for small children to climb. The height of the pool fence should be between 3ft and 5ft tall if you have small children at home.
- Pool Alarm:
You can choose from smoke alarms or CO2 sensors that will alert you when water comes in contact with the sensor. This is very important for when small children or pets fall into the pool while you are not around. Some alarms even come with extra features that alert you if someone tries to scale or damage your fence.
- Pool Ladder:
Make it easier for everyone to get in and out of the pool by installing a pool ladder. They are designed to be slip-resistant and safe for small children, but they are also strong enough to hold the weight of an adult.
- Pool Vacuum:
You can use a pool vacuum with an inlet hose which you place in the skimmer section of your filter system when cleaning your pool. The powerhead is attached to two long hoses connected to the pool pump. The jets provide air and vacuum suction for cleaning your pool floor and walls.
- Pool Skimmer:
A skimmer is a net attached to an adjustable pole that you use to remove debris from the surface of the water, like fallen leaves or twigs, before they sink into the filter system. Because they are so easy to use, you should clean your pool skimmer often. If debris settles in the skimmer it will reduce the efficiency of your filtration system and cause problems such as reduced circulation or backwashing.
- Pool Heater:
If you want to make sure that you are having fun in your pool even when the temperature outside becomes too low, then a pool heater is the perfect accessory for you. There are several types of heaters available including solar and gas-powered options. If you choose a gas-powered model then it also requires a pool cover to prevent accidents from occurring when the gas is turned on or off.
- Pool Cleaner:
A robotic cleaner automatically cleans your floor and walls twice a week, eliminating the need for you to manually clean your pool. They are environmentally friendly and use the power of the water flow in your filter system to move back and forth across the floor or walls of your pool.
- Pool Pole:
A long telescopic pole is perfect for reaching hard-to-reach places, like underneath floating objects or deep inside the water. When using a pool pole, make sure that you do not use it to pull or push anything out of the water because this will damage your pool and its filtration system.
- Pool Chemicals:
You will always need to test your pool water with a chemical tester before you add chemicals into the water because even if the pH level is right, it may still be cloudy or have a foul odor. Make sure that you only use the amount of chlorine recommended by law to avoid any accidents or damage to your pool.
- Pool Brush:
A brush is perfect for scrubbing off tough dirt and stains from your pool floor and walls without damaging them. There are several types of brushes available including standard, triangular, and rotating brushes.
- Pool Nets:
A pool net is perfect for removing large debris, like leaves or sticks, before they reach your filter system. You can also use a net to skim the water by bringing it together above the surface of the water and allowing it to create an upside-down cone that will trap any small particles inside.
- Pool Lights:
If you want to enjoy your pool even when the sun goes down, then you need to install pool lights. After dusk, you can turn your pool light on so that it illuminates the water in your pool with a soft glow that is visible from any spot in your yard.
Swimming Pool Costs
You’ve decided to go for it. You want a pool. Where do you start? Well, the first thing to know is that there are four kinds of pools: in-ground vinyl, above-ground fiberglass, in-ground gunite (a type of concrete), and heated pools (in-ground or above-ground).
The cost of a pool also varies by size and features, such as diving boards, slides, and lighting. The prices listed here are based on a medium-sized, vinyl in-ground typically found in the northeast:
- $20,000 to $25,000 for an 18 x 36 to 18 x 48 oval with minimal features (no diving board, no slide).
$20,000 to $25,000 for an 18 x 36 to 18 x 48 oval with minimal features (no diving board, no slide).
- $30,000 to $35,000 for a 24 x 40 rectangular pool with these same features.
$30,000 to $35,000 for a 24 x 40 rectangular pool with these same features.
- $40,000 to $50,000 for a 24 x 48 or 25 x 50 oval with those features plus a diving board and slide.
$40,000 to $50,000 for a 24 x 48 or 25 x 50 oval with those features plus a diving board and slide.
As you can see, the price increases with the pool’s surface area.
Smaller pools are cheaper to build because they require less concrete, liner fabric, or labor. For in-ground pools or above-ground fiberglass pools with basic features instead of slides and diving boards, expect to pay around $20,000 to $30,000. But for pools with lots of bells and whistles—like lighting, decks, slides, and diving boards—the price will range from about $40,000 to well over $100,000.
You can also expect your pool installer to charge you a service fee for assembly or “start-up” services. This fee will range from $500 to $1,000.
Add-on features can also hike up the price of your pool. For example, decking adds about $3 to $5 per linear foot while automated pool cleaners start at around $2,000 installed. You may also be responsible for obtaining a building permit and having your pool inspected. These fees range from $200 to $500 in most areas.