Category Archives: Blog

Are smaller swimming pools worth it?

When people think of swimming pools – they usually think of installations that take up a lot of space and monopolize a backyard. In fact, when people are on the fence as to whether or not they want to purchase a pool – it’s that very reason that headlines the list of objections, usually. But not every pool has to be a goliath. 

In fact many installs are smaller pools. Your average pool is only about 12 feet by 24 feet providing you with plenty of room for you and your loved ones to play, swim and relax. In fact, smaller pools come with a number of advantages, some of which we’ll discuss here today.

Here are some of the benefits to having a smaller pool and what that can mean for you. Let’s jump right in!

Less maintenance

Smaller the pool, the less physical maintenance it’ll need and the less money you’ll need to spend! The smaller volume of water will mean you won’t need as many chemicals. The smaller pool means you won’t have to run your filter for excessively long periods of time. Smaller pools take less time to heat and cool – and retain temperature better – meaning that it’ll cost you a lot less on the electricity bill. 

Additionally – when it comes to structural stuff like re-plaster, re-coating, refilling/draining and the like – it’ll cost significantly less. Will you be able to swim endless laps in your pool? No, probably not. But you’ll get many of the same benefits with significantly less cost and effort put into maintaining it. 

Less cost up front

 

While we usually DO recommend you install a heater in your pool, you know what? With a small pool – you usually don’t need one. Here in warmer climates like Tampa, FL – smaller pool means smaller volume of water and that makes it far easier to heat up. Sun will be able to get to the depths of the pool far easier and as we know – this can save you a truck load of money. Solar covers, rings and heating mats are absolutely the way to go. 

More room for other things

Small pools don’t take up space and as such – it gives you more space to add other things to the space so that it’s not suffocated by the pool. Grills, gazebos, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, eating areas – you name it – you’ll be able to bring a lot more life to the party than just the pool. 

If you’re interested in what a smaller swimming pool can do for your home, give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Until then – good luck!

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Which should you choose: A swimming pool or a spa?

Everyone has their own idea of what relaxing at home looks like. For you it might be slowly sinking yourself into a bubbling spa. For others, it might be a refreshing dip in an in-ground pool. For certain hardcores – it might be both! Whatever your grand vision may be, there’s plenty of things for you to consider when you’re grappling with the decision of whether or not to make these dreams a reality. 

Today, we’re going to talk about a few of the pros and cons of owning a pool or a spa. Truth be told – not every grand vision is realistic depending on your property, so this might be helpful in terms of figuring out which option is for you!

Let’s jump right in!

Swimming pool pros and cons

The benefits to having a swimming pool are fairly obvious. For starters, you’ll have plenty more room to swim which opens up a variety of options in how you use the space. You can take a relaxing swim to cool off, the kids can romp around or you can even swim laps and help to keep yourself in shape. And even if you’re looking for a little extra in the temperature department – you can also add an option to heat your pool.

On the downside, well, those are fairly obvious, too! For starters it takes up more room. Not every yard will be able to accommodate that kind of space. The second is that the bigger the pool, the more maintenance you’ll either have to do yourself – or pay someone else to do. And last, but not least- you may have to close your pool for a portion of the year depending on where you live – which is a whole process unto itself. But at the minimum, there will be a portion of the year where it won’t be in use. 

Spa pros and cons

Spas are a great option if you’re looking to put the hard-relaxation in relaxation. They’re cozy, warm and come with a myriad of benefits. And unlike what we just mentioned above – you’ll be able to use them year-round. They’re also easier to install and take up significantly less space. So if you’re working with a limited yard, you’ll be able to maintain some of that nice, green grass while also having a spa. 

The downsides are something worth considering however. Believe it or not – spas involved as much – and even in a few cases – more maintenance that run-of-the-mill swimming pools. They require more chemicals largely due to the higher water temperatures. The last downside is pretty obvious as well – they’re not for swimming. So if laps, cannonballs and floating on the water are higher up your priority list, you won’t find hot tubs too appealing. 

At the end of the day – it just comes down to you, your personal preferences and what you’re looking to get out of all this. And in a weird way – some of the ‘cons’ we discussed above – might actually be ‘pros’ for you depending on what your priorities are. Whichever you choose, we’re here to help. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Until then, we hope you found today’s blog helpful and we’ll look forward to speaking with you down the road! Good luck!

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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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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 hire a swimming pool contractor

So you’ve decided you’re interested in installing a pool at your home. Congratulations! Swimming pools will bring hours and hours of enjoyment for you and those who matter the most. But like anything that’s worth doing, there’s a process to things and of course the next big step you’ll have to make is hiring someone to do the actual work of installing the pool.

But what do you look for? What kinds of credentials are the most meaningful? What are the must haves vs. the nice to haves? Today, we’re here to answer those questions for you. Here are some of the things you need to consider when hiring a contractor to build your swimming pool. Let’s jump right in.

Reviews and recommendations

The best place to start is simply word of mouth. Start by finding a few companies that have great reviews and locals who can testify as to the quality of their work. Not only is this valuable for vetting your candidates – but it’s even more valuable to talk to people who’ve been through the process. You never know what you’ll learn from their experience that can help make yours go more smoothly. 

And when you interview companies like ours – ask us lots of questions; especially about our experience. For example, what are some examples of unexpected costs? How long does it take? How will we communicate? This will help you get the best possible start. 

Licenses and insurance

Anyone who doesn’t have proper licenses and insurance are a full-stop, no-go. Law dictates that people who build pools must be properly insured and licensed. Never hire companies that are off the grid. 

This is important because even the best companies make mistakes. Or some hidden pipe or line that wasn’t detected below the surface gets hit. Mistakes and accidents happen even with some of the most thorough and respected companies – so making sure they’ve got the backup to address problems when they arise is crucial. A wrong call, and it could end up costing you thousands in repairs. 

Warranties 

Everyone – from the contractor to you, yourself – want this installation to go smoothly. And trust us on our end – we want the pool to do everything it’s supposed to – from the pumps to the heaters – until the end of time. However, things CAN go wrong and look, we live in Florida. Insane things can happen! Making sure that you’re fully warrantied is important because if something big an expensive goes unexpectedly, you’re covered. It’s only right that the big investments you make come with warranties – so make sure your contractor offers them and specifically details what’s in them, how long they work and above all else – read the fine print. 

Stick to your budget

If a contractor can’t work within your budget, it’s time to take them off the list. If you’re dealing with a company that’s there to immediately upsell you, shut the conversation down. They’re not looking out for you. Now of course, there are nuanced exceptions to that rule. For example – maybe a few hundred bucks extra gets you a much better heater, or maybe the liner is something you want to consider spending a little extra on. Those things are fine; but when you want the straight-forward design and he’s selling you waterfalls and mountains – it’s best to find someone else. 

Finding the right fit for you is important. You are the center of the process, so take your time, don’t rush things and be thorough. It’s better to be over prepared than not be prepared at all. Hopefully these tips give you some guidelines as to what you need to do and help take a little stress out of the process. If you’d like some more guidance, give us a call today and we’ll help you walk through things. Good luck!

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New Year’s Resolutions for your Swimming Pool

With the new year now upon us, it’s the perfect time to sit down, reflect on the last year and write down some of the New Year’s Resolutions we’d like to make.

Most people like to focus on personal and financial goals but if you’re a pool owner – there’s always a chance to make the experience a little better! We’re willing to bet there’s something you’ve always been wanting to do as far as your swimming pool is concerned and today – we have a few resolutions for you to consider heading forward.

Here are some of the things that every pool owner should consider for their swimming pool New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s jump right in!

Clean up your surroundings

Falling leaves, dirt and debris are part of owning a pool. Maybe it’s time for you to trim back those shrubs, bushes and trees around your pool so that the debris they create doesn’t end up directly in your pool. Using a leaf net is helpful, but imagine not having to use it all the time.

Swim more often

 After all the food you just blew through this holiday season – this might be a good idea! We jest. But everyone usually has some sort of personal goal in mind – whether it’s getting in better shape, weight loss or just trimming down. And truth be told – there isn’t a better way to do that than through swimming. Swimming is a full body workout that will help melt fat and build muscle and endurance in ways than slaving away at the gym won’t ever do. Swim more and enjoy the boost to your personal health!

A little chemistry

You’d be surprised at how many people we’ve done installs for who don’t understand or know their pool’s water chemistry. And to a degree – we get it. Testing pool water is not only time consuming, but it can get pricey from time to time.

But that being said – it’s important you know how to test your water and what it’s chemical composition is supposed to look like. IN the event something bad happens- you’ll want to know if too many or too few chemicals are to blame or not. Purchase a water test kit at your local supply kit and they come with instructions that are straightforward and easy to follow. It’ll save you lots of time and money in the long run.

Socialize

We feel like we say it every time we share one of these blogs out – but pools are best enjoyed with others; Family, friends – the people who are important to you in your life. It’s also an important component of your overall health. Use your pool the way it was intended – as a place to gather with people and create memories. Host a pool party, a birthday party – or just invite friends over more. You’ll be better for it.

Hopefully these resolutions are helpful and we wish you nothing but good health and happiness in the year to come! Good luck and happy new years!

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Five Gifts For the Pool Lover in Your Life

If you have a pool lover in your life, then the holiday season is the perfect time of year to let them know how much you care by helping them get more out of their pool. From trendy décor to the latest in technology – there’s plenty out there for pool owners to enjoy.

Today, we’re going to talk about just that. Here are some great gift ideas for the pool lover in your family for this holiday season. Let’s jump right in!

Floating speakers

If you’re sitting there wondering if this is real, trust us when we tell you that it is! Floating speakers are blue tooth enabled and have wifi connectivity. They operate on a rechargeable battery that give off fantastic sound both in and out of the pool. And yes, they’re waterproof, too. So if the back yard isn’t hooked up with speakers already – you now have your chance!

Floating loungers

It’s not a relaxing day at the pool unless you have something to lay on – and something to lay on while in the pool makes it even better. The great things about pool loungers is that they’ve evolved a great deal in the last few years – from inflatable versions to full on, wooden, hand-crafted caliber versions. Some are even flat-out outrageous and come in all sorts of weird designs like pizza slices, sea creatures and the like. Long story, short – no matter the person’s speed, preferred method of relaxation or their whacky taste – you’ll be able to fit a lounger that works for them!

Pool games

Time at the pool is best spent with the people who matter the most to us and nothing brings people together like fun and games. In the past – ‘pool games’ were very specific things – a few balls, floating toys, etc. But now they make waterproof playing cards, board games and even floating blackjack and poker tables. There’s even floating putting greens and ping pong tables. So no matter what your flavor of fun so happens to be – there’s something to play!

Workout accessories

We’ve discussed the health benefits of owning a swimming pool numerous times on this blog in the past and not only can you work out on your own in the pool – but there are all sorts of accessories you can give your pool owner that will help them get more out of their workouts. Some of these includes water dumbbells, aquatic joggers and even swimming belts – which allows the user the ability to swim in place without having to worry about taking multiple turns. It goes without saying that there are dozens of new things people can do to stay in shape in their pool.

Pool Décor

It’s always been our experience that our customers love their pool and use them a lot. And as such, certain things will take on a certain degree of wear and tear – whether it’s signage, pool towels, entertainment systems, umbrellas, covers – you name it. With the holidays coming up – it can be a great idea to keep your eyes peeled for anything they own that’s looking a little longer in the tooth than normal and consider purchasing an upgrade or replacement. Gifts like that are always helpful.

 

Hopefully, these ideas will help you get a head start on your holiday shopping this year. Enjoy the holidays, take the time, relax and we’ll be sure to see you soon! Good luck!

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Why your pool is the best place to work out

If you’re the owner of a swimming pool and you’re bored with the gym, we strongly recommend that you consider hitting the pool instead. It’s an amazing calorie burner and depending on your overall body makeup, one hour can burn up to 1,000 calories.

Here are some of the amazing exercise benefits that a pool can offer. Let’s jump right in!

Low-impact exercise

While banging and clanging in the gym is a great way to build muscle and strength – the truth is that traditional gym exercises can take a toll on your body after a while. Even cardio activities like running can put miles on your joints after a while and make it truly difficult to perform in the way and manner that you want.

In the water, you’re basically training in zero-gravity, almost space-like conditions. Not only will you burn calories, but if you’re hurt or injured, it’s perhaps the best place to rehab and/or get exercise without hurting yourself.

Total body workout

Swimming is a full body workout that burns calories like any other fitness routine would. The swimming will not only tone your cardiovascular system, but it’ll help you breathe more efficiently as well – particularly as you build up your endurance. The water will make you feel light, but the reality is that it’s 780 times more dense than air – meaning the pushing and pulling will add up and give your muscles an incredible workout. At the end of the day – that means a workout that tones every part of your body.

Water is incredible for your mood

Swimming will flat-out boost your mood. The same dynamics that help people relax better at the beach apply here. Water for whatever reason – induces a tranquil state that soothes stress and anxiety and more often than not – helps us shed the overstimulation we experience in day to day life. With the natural stress reducers of exercise – pools can really help take the edge off.

There’s more than one way to burn calories

The great thing about exercising in pools is that it doesn’t always have to be laps and strokes. Sometimes, just playing with your kids, family or friends can do the trick. In addition – it’s exercise you can all do together, which sets a great example of them and allows you to spend positive, productive time with them.

So if you’re tired of the hum-drum of the gym, use your pool! In this case, you don’t even have to get in the car. Just jump in, take your laps and enjoy. Good luck!

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What to consider when you remodel your swimming pool

Having your own pool is a great way to entertain, relax with family, friends and the people who matter the most. It’s even an incredible source of exercise. However, over time, your pool will begin to show signs of age, finishing will fade and it might even begin to look a little outdated.

Some of our customers eventually get to a point where they look to remodel their pool. While this is exciting, there are some things everyone should think about before they decide to take the proverbial plunge. Here are a few things every pool owner should think about before taking on an extensive remodel.

Let’s jump right in!

Safety features

When it comes to anything enjoyable, it’s important to take safety into account first. There are so many new pool features out there that can make your swimming pool a safer places – from ladders, railing and fences – to new pool covers, alarms and the like. Think about what your immediate needs are going to be and make sure these get priority. Anyone looking to buy your home will be looking for these things first – so make sure they’re there.

Finances

Pool remodels cost anywhere from a whole lot of money to not much at all – it just depends on the level and depth of the remodel itself. Your price tag will ultimately depend on your location and what you’re getting done. For example, resurfacing won’t cost as much as extensive technology upgrades will; so be sure you have your ducks in a row. Know what you need, what you want and whether you have the funds to get there.

Resurfacing

Styles change – but more importantly – pool surfaces need to be replaced every 20 years or so. In fact, resurfacing is a lot like the roof of your home. It’s just a maintenance thing you’re going to have to do at some point. The type of pool, the lay out, area, finish and damage will all dictate much of the overall cost of the project. When it comes to this upgrade however – we recommend you go with quality over price. The upgrade will last longer and in the long run actually ends up saving you money.

East of use

Pools are awesome but no matter how enthusiastic you are about the fun side of it – you’re flat-out lying if you tell us you enjoy the maintenance. All good things worth having come with work – and pools are no different – but wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to do so much? Well in this case – you might not have to.

You could convert to a salt water system, change out certain equipment or even install that automatic cleaner you wanted the first time but didn’t quite have the funds to afford. It’s upgrades like this that will make the biggest difference – largely because you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying your pool and less time keeping it up and running the right way.

If you’re thinking about remodeling your pool, make sure you give it a significant amount of time to figure out what will give you the best value heading forward. While fun is great- functionality trumps it ten times over – so prioritize those things, first. If you’re looking for some friendly advice, don’t be afraid to give us a call and we can give you a free consultation. Good luck!

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How to prepare your pool for a hurricane

It’s not our favorite talk, but it’s a necessary one that we like to have every now and then – and that’s what to do to prepare your pool if a hurricane is coming. It’s that time of year down here in Oldsmar, and being prepared is just part of life.

Hurricanes can damage homes, businesses and more – including our pools. On top of that, pools can get contaminated by flooding, dirt, mud, silt and other bacteria. If you find yourself anticipating a hurricane, here are some things you can do make sure the problems you deal with are as minimal as possible.

Do not empty your pool

Water provides weight on the pool to keep it in the ground. If it’s empty, hurricanes are strong enough to float or pop pools out of the ground largely due to the ground pressure that develops from all the excessive heavy rains that come with these storms. And believe it or not – even with the risk of contamination – it’s easier to clean up things with water in the pool than without.

Turn off the power

Make sure the entire circuit breaker responsible for the pool’s power is turned off. Motors, lighting, chlorinators and heaters shouldn’t run during a storm.

Store or remove loose items

Chairs, tables, toys and the like can turn into dangerous projectiles if there’s too much wind. Store them inside – away from the storm if possible. Never leave objects in your pool as a means to protect them, either. This could not only damage your items, but also cause major metal staining problems.

Add in extra chlorine

As is the usual case with these things, you’re likely to be dealing with some sort of contaminant when you’re dealing with rain and wind like a hurricane’s. Add some pool shock, power powder plus or some chlor brite pool shock. Throw in some chemical that will also help your pool fight algae as well.

Don’t cover your pool

Hurricanes cause falling branches and launch debris. We’d much rather the branch fall into the water than through your cover and into the water. Prevent unwanted damage by leaving your pool uncovered during a storm.

Wrap up the major electrical equipment

Wrap up your pool’s pump, transformers and electrical heaters with some waterproof plastic. If you’re expecting flooding, then make sure all of these device are unplugged.

 

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll help you walk through everything that needs to be done. Until then, thanks for reading and good luck!

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