Taking the edge off: Swimming Pool cost savings

Owning a swimming pool can be one of the best aspects about owning a home. Not only does it add a ton of aesthetic appeal – but not many other home-based spaces can serve as a gathering place for loved ones, an entertainment space and a place to work on your own personal health. 

That being said – pools can be expensive especially if you’re not keeping up with the maintenance. Today, we’re going to talk about some ways that you can save money on your swimming pool and in addition to all the enjoyment you’ll get out of it – you’ll also get the benefit of some significant cost-savings. Let’s jump right in. 

Beat the heat

Managing water temperature in your pool will always be an ongoing battle. Whether your heat your pool with the sun or a heater- you will save money if you can manage to retain the heat. How do you retain heat? Throw a solar blanket over the pool. They not only help to keep the temperature consistent, they also attract heat from the sun, meaning you won’t have to run your heater quite as much. And not running your heater means savings!

Look for sales

This one requires a little extra effort on your part – but be on the lookout for sales, particularly at the beginning of prime pool season. Many stores will offer jump-start prices to get customers in the door. Also look for even better deals at the end of prime pool season. It’s at this time that stores are looking to unload excess supplies they were unable to supply during the season. In some cases you can stock an entire season during this period. Stock up and save!

Waste Water

No, we’re not referring to THAT kind of waste water. We’re talking about actual wasted water. An average pool can lose between 7,000-25,000 gallons of water a year thanks largely to evaporation, leaks and splash out. While we love watching our kids play – if you can be a little bit more mindful about the jumping in and out of the pool – perhaps using the stairs more and keeping up on any issues with your lining or leaks – you can save a lot of money -particularly when it comes to filling and refilling your pool.

Prime the pump

Want to experience some real savings? Be more careful about when you run your pumps. Did you know that electric companies charge more at certain hours? Find out when that is – and run your pump on the opposite of that. Usually most companies run these increased rates from around 7am to 7pm – so run that pump overnight instead. Or find out when the off-peak hours are and plan accordingly. 

Hopefully you found today’s blog helpful. Pools will always cost you some money- but they don’t have to be that expensive and if you do some of the things we mentioned here – it’ll at the very least help to take the edge off. In the meantime, if you need any help with your pool, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help. Until then – good luck!

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Hiring a pool contractor: where to start

Make no mistake about it, installing a swimming pool in your yard can be a major undertaking. If you’re not fully prepared, you can end up costing yourself a lot of money and choosing the wrong or an unprofessional contractor can lead to a whole myriad of issues.

So today, we’re going to discuss the basics of what you should look for in a pool contractor. We’ll cover a few points and even some questions that you should ask so you can be more confident in the person you choose to install your pool. Let’s jump right in!

Where to find ‘em

It’s hard to vet a contractor if you don’t know where to look for them. So the first place you want to start is the usual hovel of contractors – and that’s places like Home Advisor, Angie’s list, LinkedIn, NextDoor, Houzz and the like. Not only will it be easier to find contractors, but you’ll be able to potentially see recommendations from past customers, reviews and even photographs of their past work. 

Consider some that you like and make a shortlist of 5 or 6 contractors to interview and do some real digging on.

Credentials mean something

Look whenever it comes to anything in the home improvement space, you’ll find contractors who are worth their weight in gold and others who are literally fly by night amateurs. Swimming pool contractors are no different. They should 100% have certifications and permit identification numbers. Any proposal submitted should have a detailed accounting of what/when/why and how of the permits that you’ll need in order to complete your project. Be sure to look from accreditations from places like Better Business Bureaus and the like. These things matter and it says that the person you’re doing business with is reputable. 

References 

If a contractor doesn’t have references and isn’t super eager to share them with you, then you need to run for the hills. It’s a huge red flag. On the other hand, if you really like a couple of contractors, they can help break the deadlock. Nothing is more powerful than the testimony of a client who is not only satisfied with the work that’s been done, but is also willing to take time out of their day to support the person who did the job. Ask for references and most certainly call them. 

Anything you get, you get in writing

Look – even though contractors and home owners come into things with the best of intentions; things and accidents happen. Make sure every aspect of your job is written down and agreed to on paper with signatures. That way, there’s no ambiguity as to who is responsible for what and expectations are set realistically right off the bat. The clearer things are, the better off all parties will be. 

We’re excited for you that you’ve decided to install a pool at your home. We hope today’s blog was helpful. If you’re interested or living in the Tampa, FL or St Petersburg FL area, give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Until then – good luck!

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Getting your pool prepared for the summer

Down here in Florida, it’s more or less pool time all the time, but for those of us lucky enough to own one, we all know that the summertime is when our pools will be getting the most traffic. As such, it’s always a good thing to be prepared for the season and make sure things are in good, working order. 

Today, we’re going to talk about a nice, neat pre-summer checklist pool owners should be abiding by in order to make sure their pools are ready for the high-usage summer season. Let’s jump right in!

Pump check, pool check

Before you get down to cleaning your pool, it’s always a good time to just do a walk through and make sure everything is in good working order. Start with the pump and filter systems – check for things like cracks. If you’re not the most technically astute pool owner, absolutely call in a pro to do a once-over. This will help identify any ‘under the hood’ problems that might be lingering; allowing you to get out ahead of them before they become expensive liabilities.

A thorough clean

Even though we don’t really cover our pools down here in the Largo, FL area – there’s still plenty of debris whipping around that can make its way into your pool. Before the busy season starts, a real, genuine deep clean is usually a great idea. Use your brush and vacuum the surfaces by hand so you can get into those hard-to-reach areas that your robotic cleaner might not get to. 

In addition, thoroughly clean out the skimmer box and filter. Debris (rightly so), will build up in your skimmer basket pretty quickly over the winter. A clogged filter will make it more difficult for your water to flow freely and that’ll put additional wear and tear on your pump. So before you get down to business in the summer, clean it out. 

Chemical test

This isn’t just for the summer – this should be really done at the end of every season and performed every two weeks. If you don’t know what levels are appropriate – contact your local pool pro. You’ll want to make sure the chlorine, Alkalinity pH, Stabilizer content, and Calcium hardness is all where it needs to be. 

Safety and surroundings check

Pools are a lot of fun but when people don’t pay attention, they can be dangerous, too. Now’s a great time to make sure your pool fences, gate and railings are in good, working order. Make sure any chemicals or equipment that might be dangerous to children is stored away in a safe place. Also check the surrounding decking for any growth, stains or splinters. Identify areas where there’s cracks, loose pavement, loose fasteners or rot. All of these things can create much larger problems later on. 

Hopefully you found today’s blog helpful. These tips should give you plenty to do as we head into the summer. Enjoy your pool and as always – if you need anything, give us a call today. Until then – good luck!

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How to maintain your pool cover

Investing in a pool cover is one of the best investments you can make in your swimming pool. They prevent access to the pool from kids, pets, wildlife and also help to mitigate heat and water loss – which can add up to serious energy costs over the long haul. 

However, just like anything you buy, pool covers are not ‘set it and forget it’ propositions. You’ll need to take proper care of your cover if you want it to last a long time. Today, we’re going to talk about a few of the routine maintenance things that you’ll want to keep top of mind when you own a pool cover. Let’s jump right in.

Always try to remove standing water as well as dirt and debris

Standing water, leaves and debris can cause stretching in the lining and over a long period of time can even lead to tearing. There’s a lot of ways that you can clear water off your pool cover – but the most common is a simple cover pump – which will remove the water quickly whenever it accumulates. They’re lightweight, easy to store and use – and will get you back in business as quickly as possible. For debris, just consider using a pool brush or broom. 

Always keep an eye on the tracks

If you own an automatic cover – be sure to keep an eye on the tracks that your cover rests on. It’s easy for buildup to occur there – whether it’s sticks, leaves or other random debris. This can cause jamming and other issues. Particularly if you own a saltwater pool, the residue from the salt can damage the tracks (particularly if they’re painted) – so make sure you’re giving them a quick hose down or cleaning them as necessary. 

Always inspect the fabric

There’s a lot of things that can damage your pool cover. Pool chemicals, weather and UV light can all be significant contributors when it comes to breaking down fabric. Every so often, give your cover a ‘once-over.’ Check the fabric for any peeling or weak spots. Make sure the cover isn’t brittle or stiff – it should always be pliable. Inspect the stitching as well as they can become both frayed and damaged over time. And lastly – check your webbing as that’s the most likely thing to get caught up in the fabric guides. 

Professional service and ongoing maintenance
Maintaining a pool can be a lot of work and as such – it might not be a bad idea  to hire a company to come and perform ongoing maintenance on your pool. In addition to the usual cleaning and chemical balancing, they’ll be able to help you take care of and look after your pool cover so that you get the most out of it that you possibly can.

Hopefully you found today’s blog helpful. If you are looking for ongoing maintenance or need assistance helping to find a new cover, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help. Until then – good luck!

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Homes with pools: to buy or not to buy?

Anytime someone takes the plunge and invests in a new home, it’s a significant moment in their life. More than anything, it’s important you do your homework. When the home you want to buy has a swimming pool that comes with it, that can make an already complicated question even more complex. 

So today, we’re going to give you a quick, direct pluses and negatives to purchasing a home with a swimming pool. Nothing sugar coated here and please do understand we’re a little biased! We love us some swimming pools BUT, they do come with a certain level of responsibility that some may not be willing to take on and as such, you need to go into this decision with as clear an understanding as to what you’re getting into as possible.

So here it is – the benefits and negatives to purchasing a home with a swimming pool. Let’s jump right in!

First, the not great. 

We don’t want you to go running for the hills, but people that ADD pools to their property have done their homework and are committed. For those of you buying the home before the pool, you might not be all the way there yet. So here’s what we suggest you consider (the downside) when it comes to investing in a home with a pool.

For starters, your pool will require ongoing, constant maintenance; particularly in peak seasons like the summer. You’ll also pay more on utility bills and insurance premiums as well – so the investment comes with a little extra cost both in terms of money and time. There’s also safety risks associated as well (as well as safety codes you’ll have to follow) – so if you have animals or small kids, there’s going to be some things to think about.

And certainly one of the more challenging aspects will be that although you may be willing to brave the challenge of pool ownership, others may not and when it’s your turn to sell the property, the swimming pool could turn some folks away. 

Again – we think the benefits far outweigh the negatives, but people need to know what’s involved. 

OK, so on to the good stuff

The benefits of owning a swimming pool range from value-oriented to aesthetic.

To begin with – while you MAY be limiting your market when it comes time to sell – the market you do attract will be more eager to spend. To begin with, swimming pools look gorgeous and can really make a property pop. Second, they add significant value to your home, allowing you to sell it at a higher price. IN business as they say – you can’t be everything to everybody; and this is certainly one of those things. But if your pool looks great and is properly maintained – people will pay a premium for your home if they’re ready to take on the challenge. 

Second, there’s lots of health benefits – from having an amazing workout space (swimming is incredible for weight loss and cardio) that will help you improve your physical health; to having a great social space to help with your mental health. And then let’s be honest- it’s pretty great that on a hot, muggy day, you can just throw yourself into the pool and cool down!

As you can see – there’s plenty of positives and negatives to owning a pool in your home. We hope this blog helped make a decision come into a little bit clearer focus. Until then, if you need help you can always give us a call.

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The three essential components to swimming pool safety

Making a swimming pool safe is one of the most important things a homeowner can do. Swimming pools are for everyone, but there’s always the possibility of danger. Today, we’re going to talk about a few of the essential things you can do to avoid mishaps and accidents so that you can fully enjoy your swimming pool to the greatest extent possible.

Let’s jump right in!

Drains and drain covers

The water in your pool needs to be able to circulate and remove dirt, debris and other detritus in order to keep it clean and stable. Thus, we need drainage systems. However, these drains are largely suction-based and kids who get too close might get trapped. Make sure that you invest in quality pool drains and drain covers to prevent this from happening.

Barriers 

It’s law in pretty much every state that you have some sort of fencing in and around your pool. This will do a lot, but mostly prevent animals from getting in unsolicited and drowning in your pool. It’ll also keep kids out when you’re not watching – who might be too curious for our comfort. Keep in mind – these fences will need to pass inspection so be sure to ask your swimming pool professional exactly what is required of you. 

Adult supervision and preparation

This isn’t a ‘thing,’ but you most certainly should treat it as such. Kids should never swim in a pool unattended. And to double down on that take, you should have a conversation with not only your children, but all of your loved ones about the right do’s and don’ts around the swimming pool. 

And have the talk with friends, too. Not everyone is as self aware as they should be when it comes to pool safety and what their behavior should look like around one, so be sure any guests who go in, get the talk beforehand. A little prevention can go a long way to making things more enjoyable. 

We all want to enjoy the pool, but it’s important to do so safely. If you follow these tips, you’ll be better off for it. If you need extra guidance or want to learn more about some of the things you can use to make your pool a safer one, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help. Until then, good luck and stay safe!

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Swimming pool tips for 2022

While the economy has been in a mostly stop-start position for the last two years during the pandemic, the swimming pool industry has been doing fairly well. With people realizing that COVID is mostly here to stay, folks have been spending and investing more in at-home entertainment, opting to have more to do in their homes than going out and spending it elsewhere. 

But how can you get more out of your swimming pool? How can you get as much enjoyment out of it as possible? That’s what we’re here to discuss today. Here are some great new year’s resolutions that you can make in order to get the most out of your swimming pool in 2022. Let’s jump right in!

Start small!

Small swimming pool upgrades can go a long way and as such – finding those ‘pennies in the couch cushions’ ways to improve your pool can be a big deal. If you have equipment that is showing wear and tear like a skimmer, ladder or drain cover – you might want to consider and upgrade. 

Other components like your heaters ,filters , chlorinators, pumps and filters are all vital in order to keep your pool in good, working order. Perhaps it’s time to invest in an ongoing maintenance plan to get the most out of these components as possible and spend less time sweating the small stuff and more time enjoying your pool.

Getting more exercise

One of the single, best benefits of owning a pool is the health benefits that come with it. One of the most common new years’ resolutions is…? Losing weight. Bringing the two together can be a great way to get a little bit more out of your pool this coming year.

Swimming is one of the best weight loss activities you can benefit from, period. It works out everything in your body – from your cardio, strength, endurance, etc. It’s a true, full-body workout. Want to lose weight? Start in your swimming pool.

Shore up your safety

There’s never a bad time to upgrade your swimming pool’s safety features. New gate latches, fencing, safety equipment – all of them can come in handy and take the worry away from owning a swimming pool. And if you’re unsure of where to start – just call your local Oldsmar pool contractor and have a talk. They’ll be able to help you put a more definitive safety plan in place and give you some guidance as to some of the things you might need to prioritize. 

Hopefully, you found many of today’s tips useful. If you’re thinking of getting more out of your pool, give your local Oldsmar pool contractor a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Until then – good luck in the new year!

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Why your swimming pool needs a cover

If there’s one area where we find that pool owners like to scrimp and cut costs – it’s usually by avoiding adding a pool cover. This is a huge mistake. Pool covers are a valuable addition to any backyard oasis – and for a variety of reasons. 

Today, we’re going to share with you some of the reasons why we think that if you haven’t made the investment in a pool cover – that you should. Let’s jump right in!

Keeps water loss at a minimum

Pools evaporate water – even in places where you get colder winters up north. Your pool must maintain a minimum amount of water to properly function so if you’re finding that your pool is regularly losing water – it’ll cause strain on other aspects of your pool. A well-fitted cover helps reduce that water loss. 

Retaining heat

Pool covers help to maintain your water temperature. This isn’t just important for your aesthetic enjoyment of the pool, but it can add up in your monthly bills. Pool covers will help maintain all the work done by any heater – meaning the heater will have to work less to keep your pool warm. This means lower energy bills. It also means less wear and tear on your pool’s heater. 

Time and maintenance 

Skimming your pool is always something that our customers universally dislike, but is just part of the day to day responsibilities that come with owning a pool. Keeping and maintaining a cover will allow you to cut down on the amount of debris inside the pool itself, meaning you’ll be spending less time cleaning your pool and more time enjoying it

Reducing chemical usage

When you use chemicals in pools, they will inevitably degrade over time just by virtue of being exposed to UV light. When your pool is covered when not in use will help substantially increase the lifespan of the chemicals you use in the water. This will also add up in the enjoyment area as well – as you’ll be spending significantly less time testing your water, adding chemicals and adjusting PH levels. If you want to spend a little less money on your pool and spend more time enjoying it – pool covers can be a boon. 

As you can see, there are a number of reasons to invest in a pool cover. Whatever your choice, be sure to consult your Oldsmar pool contractor to learn what options are available and best suited to you. Whenever you undergo a project like this, it’s always good to have a professional by your side. Until then, we hope you found this month’s blog helpful and good luck

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Why the fall is such a great time to build a swimming pool

Lots of homeowners have the dream of having an in-ground swimming pool on their property. But bringing that dream to life can sometimes be overwhelming. There are so many things and factors to consider that it’s hard to figure out where to start – quite literally. 

One of those questions is usually when the best time of year is to build your pool and the truth is – the best time is right now. The fall. So if you’re ready to take the plunge, today is for you. Here are some reasons you should consider the fall season for building your swimming pool. Let’s jump right in!

Dry terrain

The ground is a little bit drier and harder during the fall months than it is during the wetter summer months. The wind has a great deal to do with this – as it’ll dry up a lot of excess moisture. Dry soil always makes for easier, cleaner and faster construction projects – and also translates into less potential damage. The dry terrain of the fall is ideal for construction.

Permits

Everyone is always getting their stuff done in the summer – and as such, a lot of the nuts and bolts stuff gets more difficult to do. In the fall, there’s significantly less traffic in a permitting office so getting your documents faster is a real life thing. Every local community is different, but going through town hall in the fall almost always makes for a faster process. 

Fewer weather delays

Especially here in Florida, the Spring and Summer can be really wet. In the fall, you’re really on the other end of the wet season – and that goes for many other places in the country as well. That means fewer delays and less lost time due to weather events. 

Start it now, have it by summer

If you get your pool done now, you’ll have it by the time summer rolls around next year. That gives you plenty of time to complete the project, learn how to care for and maintain your pool as well as to get to know it’s quirks and any potential challenges you’ll have. That way when its prime pool season, you’ll already be in a routine and have a crystal clear idea of what needs to be done and when. 

Landscaping

Some folks really like to put a lot of time and effort into landscaping the area in and around their pool and the fall is a great time of year to do that. Planting bulbs, growing plants and shrubs in the fall will mean they’re ready for showtime in the summer and any and all adjustments you want to make can be made. 

Hopefully today’s blog helps you give a little bit more consideration to building your pool in the fall. If you’re looking to take the plunge, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out. Until then, good luck!

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How to keep animals out of your swimming pool

One of the more amusing problems you’ll encounter as the owner of a swimming pool is the issue of keeping bugs, frogs and other sorts of creepy crawlies out of your pool. You’ll see a few struggling amphibians in your pool filter, scoop a mouse out with your net, or find small armies of bugs in your skimmer bucket. 

The long and short of it is that these animals – like all other animals – are attracted to water. But these animals can be bad for the health of your pool’s water, so keeping them out is going to be a priority. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the things you can do to make sure you keep them out as much as possible. Let’s jump right in.

Trim trees and foliage

Animals need places to hide from predators and they usually do so in places like trees and shrubs. If branches are reaching out over your pool or bushes are located in close proximity to your swimming pool, then chances are larger critters may lose their balance and fall in or make their way in that way. 

That’s why it’s important to make sure your pool landscaping is well away from the pool perimeter. The simple fact of the matter is that animals will be less likely to jump into your pool if there’s large stretches of open space between the pool and any potential cover. Make sure your shrubs and trees are consistently trimmed. 

Barrier fencing

It’s pretty much the law of the land that you need to have some form of fencing around your pool. But some fences do a better job of keeping critters out than others. Standard slat-style or chain link fences won’t do a great job. Go with fencing that doesn’t have gaps or at the very least, has a solid barrier at the base of the fence so that nothing can crawl under. 

Keep your pool covered

Pool covers can disguise and hide the water in your pool, which makes it look less attractive to animals. Simply covering your pool each night can go a long way towards keeping animals out of it.

Scary looking floats

If you’re in a rush and can’t cover your pool at night, feel free to leave a big scary looking animal-like float in the water. Their instincts may convince them that it’s a predator and to steer clear of the pool altogether. In essence, your float is serving as a scarecrow of sorts. Just be careful to not do this too often. Covering your pool is always the best option.

Hopefully today’s blog was helpful and gave you some ideas as to how to keep animals out of your pool. If you’re looking for more advice or have needs for your specific pool, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out. Until then, good luck!

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