How to choose the right Conroe pool builder.

So, it’s that time of year when all you want to do is lounge around by the pool and sunbathe. Wouldn’t it be so much more convenient for your journey to the pool to be simply stepping into your backyard? Once you’ve decided that you need a pool in order to fully experience the summer, you’re in for a long and arduous process. This guide will help you to select the best swimming pool builder to build your perfect pool that is best suited to your needs.

With all the of contractors that can be found in this area, not to mention the internet, finding the perfect one for you amidst that sea can be daunting. Fear not, though; the tips below will greatly aid you in choosing the best Conroe swimming pool builder for the job.

The first thing you need to do is check with neighbors and friends who have pools to see if they have any recommendations. It will also help you discern each contractor’s style. Most contractors are more than just builders; they are able to help you design a pool that caters specifically to your aesthetic tastes and will even help you to arrange your lawn furniture to the best effect.

Next, it’s time to assess what you have to work with. You need to come up with an estimate of how big your pool will be, and how much money you have to spend on it. This will help to narrow down the contractors available into the ones that are in your price bracket. Once you have done this, license and insurance information should be obtained before going through the various portfolios of the contractors to see which ones’ prior work seems to be most compatible with your vision of your pool. At every stage of this lengthy process, you should be narrowing down the list of contractors until it comes down to a decision of personal preference.

You will know the Conroe swimming pool builder you have selected is the right one by the number of questions he asks. A good contractor will be looking to you to provide direction with regards to materials and accessories, making sure that he gets at the very least your go-ahead if not your opinion on the material choices.

Once the deciding over the materials used is done, be sure to obtain a written contract along with an estimate. Such paperwork will save you a lot of time and stress later when it comes time to settle accounts.

When it comes down to the actual construction of the pool, it is important to entrust the work to the Conroe pool contractor you hired. While it is important to receive regular reports on progress, it is also important to ensure that you give them the space required to finish the work in a timely manner.

Once everything is completed, it’s time to kick back, relax and enjoy the luxurious sensation of having your own personal oasis right in your backyard by the best swimming pool builder out there.

Pool problems check the Pool Wizard

RoysPool3-300x225Pool problem help & pool maintenance tips

Most pool owners have similar complaints about their pool water problems and say things like: “My swimming pool always turns green with algae!”, “My eyes and nose burn when I swim and I can smell the chlorine,” or “The swimming pool water is cloudy. How do I know if the water is safe for my kids?”

This site addresses these and other questions about pool water chemistry and swimming pool problems. Step by step guides take you through all aspects of pool water testing, balancing the water chemistry and general swimming pool maintenance. To make life easier, there are convenient water calculators to help you work out how much of each chemical you need. You can also work out the volume of your swimming pool or make conversions between gallons and liters.

The pages dealing with identifying and solving the most common swimming pool problems will no doubt be of use to all pool owners, pool maintainers and swimmers alike. Problems such as algae, cloudy water, swimming pool illnesses and chlorine smells are covered. Please feel free to request help on topics not covered on this site.

A section is devoted to the Pool Wizard, a fully patented revolutionary swimming pool accessory using natural minerals, which dramatically reduces pool maintenance and the associated pool chemical costs (such as chlorine, flocculant and algaecide). Never again will you have algae in your swimming pool. It even prevents and destroys the most stubborn black algae found in pool water. It kills bacteria and fungus too, with no maintenance required (apart from half an hour every 7 to 9 months).

A comprehensive glossary of swimming pool and pool maintenance terminology has been added. If you can’t figure out the pool manuals or maintenance guides, then this can really help to solve your problems.

Why not check out some of the satisfied users of the Pool Wizard and view some of the before/ after photos, or explore web sites in our pool and spa directory containing useful information relevant to swimming pools, swimming and pool water quality, hot tubs and spas (as well as a few of my own personal favorites).

Costs Vs. Long-Term Value

Screenshot_2A swimming pool can be a good investment if it is of the right size and you live in the right place — and if you’re willing to put in the time and maintenance effort to keep it in good shape. It’s important to carefully weigh the costs of installation and maintenance of a pool against the actual utility/value of the pool — which could be assessed in terms of how many months per year you get to use it. Here is more information to consider before you invest in this expensive addition to your home.

Resale Value

Swimming pools can increase the market value of your home, but you’ll probably be looking at returns of between 15 and 25 percent. That’s not a lot in resale value. It’s estimated that the cost to install a swimming pool averages between $5,000 and $12,800, depending on size, depth and accessories. This doesn’t even account for the cost of long-term maintenance, which includes chemical balancing, vacuuming and other care required to keep it in shape. In the end, you could be looking at an additional $250 for swimming pool maintenance every year. Is that worth the maximum 25 percent increase in home value you could get back?

Where You Live

if you live in a moderate climate where almost no one has a pool, your home is likely to attract fewer buyers when the time comes to sell. This could decrease the overall sale price of your home as a result. Pools are attractive in tropical climates with more hot months than cold — climates in which you’ll have two seasons rather than four. Buyers are also sometimes not interested in the maintenance and care that a pool requires.

Best-case scenarios in which your pool will add to your home investment are:

  • Everyone in your neighborhood has a pool.
  • You live in a tropical area.
  • Your yard has enough room for more landscaping or play areas in addition to the pool.

In short, your pool has the best shot of adding value to your home if you live in a hot, tropical area where neighboring homes have pools as well, whereas you might in fact end up with a negative ROI from installing a pool if you live in areas where there aren’t any pools in the neighborhood.

Pool Closing Supply Checklist

Today we present a helpful checklist of everything you need to close your pool like a professional, and ensure an easy and inexpensive pool opening in the spring.

Pool Anti-Freeze: There is one thing that all pools have in common from Intex pools to elaborate custom inground pools: After you blow the water out of your pool’s plumbing it is always better to be safe than sorry and protect the lines with Non-Toxic Pool Anti-freeze. Pour it into the skimmer, or use a funnel and hose to drain it into return lines or pool cleaner lines. Do Not use in pumps, filters, heaters or chlorinators – pipes only.

winter-pool-plugs-intheswimWinterizing Plugs: In many sizes, threaded plugs and rubber expansion plugs all serve the same purpose and that is to plug the skimmers, returns and cleaner lines. Winter plugs keep water Out of your pool’s plumbing and to keep the anti-freeze In the pipe. One of the smallest, least costly accessories for closing your pool is also one of the most important. Without pool plugs, your pool cannot be considered really “closed”.

chlorine-free-pool-shock-intheswim-smChlorine-Free Pool Shock: Another versatile universal pool closing go-to is our oxidizing non-chlorine shock. It’s safe for any pool surface, and helps your chlorine by burning-off dead chlorine cells to create more free chlorine in your water. It will not affect your pools pH level or add calcium, binders or cyanuric acid to the water. One of the best reasons to close a pool with non-chlorine shock is that it won’t break down winter algaecides, like chlorine shock will if both are added at the same time.

winterpill-from-intheswim-smAquaPill’s WinterPill: Unlike the indie rock band band from Massachusetts Winterpills, the WinterPill is a winter pool chemical that combines enzymes, clarifiers, stain fighters, and scale treatment into one set-it-and-forget-it pill.  All you have to do is poke a hole in the the pill with the provided pin and drop it in the water. It does the rest of the work and slowly releases the solution throughout the winter. For both above and inground pools.

Spring & Fall Pool Magic Spring and Fall + PhosFree: Another popular winter pool treatment combines two of Natural Chemistry’s products, Pool Magic and PhosFree. Pool Magic has enzymes specially designed to work best in cold water, and with a  tremendous appetite for dirt, oil and grime. With the phosphate remover Phos-Free, algae will not have the nutrients it needs to grow in your pool as the water warms-up in Spring. Great for any pool owner, but especially useful for pools with mesh safety covers that allow fine particles and sunlight to sift through.

ultimate-winter-kit-smUltimate Winterizing Pool Kit: Save money with an In the Swim Winterizing Pool Kit. Dr. Pool’s closing kits are chlorine free, so they’re safe for all pools and all pool surfaces.  The Ultimate kit has a bottle of Metal Free and also Pool Magic+Phosfree, 3 lbs of Non-Chlorine Shock, and a slow-release floater with 4 lbs of winter oxidizer (chlorine free). Also available is the less expensive Winter Kit which features the same products as the Ultimate Kit but with Winter Algaecide and Stain Away instead of the Natural Chemistry Products.

water-bags-water-tubesWater Tubes: For inground pools without a safety cover, the humble water bag, or water tubes. It’s the pool product that everyone hates to buy, but every year you need to buy at least a six-pack of water tubes to replace those that pop holes. Double tubes are best, because they are still usable if one side gets a hole. Instead of water tubes, try Aqua Bloks, 3 ft long plastic water tubs with a snap-on lid. Don’t use bricks, blocks or lumber. Besides looking bad, it could damage your pool cover.

cover-pump-for-pools-aquaproCover Pumps: Solid winter covers have the added benefit of not allowing sunlight through, which can lead to an algae bloom, and they are not mesh so they prevent dirt, pollen and other unwanted debris from passing through as well. However, they also do not allow rain water or snow melt through either. Automatic cover pumps are activated when a small amount of water collects turning on to pump off the water, thru an attached garden hose. Large cover pumps like the AquaPro 1/3 hp can also be used for lowering pool water level, draining hot tubs, boats or flooded basements.

wetdryvac-smA Wet/Dry Vac: Perhaps a Shop Vac isn’t the first thing that pool owners think of when they think of pool supply necessities. No pool can be safely closed with water still in the lines, and no one wants to run the risk of burst or cracked plumbing due to water freezing. A large shop vac (5 HP) can be used to blow out skimmer and return lines. To blow out pool pipes best, and to force water out of main drain lines, use something like the Cyclone Vac to get enough air volume and pressure.

pool-heater-coverCovers, covers, and covers: A pool cover is de rigueur of course, but we have other covers too. For inground pools with solar cover reels, the Solar Reel Cover protects your solar blanket from sun and snow. It’s a cover for your cover! And using a Pool Heater Cover protects your heater from moisture, debris and critters. Cover the surface of diving boards to add years to its lifespan. Nobody wants to jump off a cracked and peeling board and a simple Diving Board Cover can keep that from happening.

credits to: Ryan Dornan

What makes your woodlands pool builder great?

Admit it: you have heard at least one horror story from a friend about people who have gone through horrible experiences during swimming pool installation. Maybe the contractors didn’t show on time or the work ended up being too expensive or the quality was poor – the stories have no end. While some of them might be true, most of them are probably just tall tales. If you want to create your very own backyard paradise in your home in the Woodlands, you can stay away from such horrors by learning what to look for in the Woodlands pool contractors to make sure building and buying your swimming pool goes as smoothly as possible. Here are the things you will need to take into consideration first:

Contracts

Never get a swimming pool built before getting a legal binding contract which states every responsibility and right that you have as clear as crystal. Reputable pool contractors would never go ahead without one anyway and you should not, either.

Experience

Building a gorgeous backyard swimming pool does not get done overnight. When it comes to custom swimming pools, the construction and art in themselves could take quite some time to master. The Woodlands pool contractors of the best quality bring lots of experience with them. However, do not cast them aside if you find one that is quite new to the business just yet. Instead, try to find experience within the management or ownership group first.

The Process – 

Getting a swimming pool built is probably a huge deal for you, so it should be a huge deal for your pool contractor, too. Search for the Woodlands pool companies that offer up step-by-step guidelines that take you into consideration before anything else. This process needs to start with a thorough consultation that will help the contractor pinpoint your exact needs and wishes. It should then follow up with a thorough design phase before constructing the actual pool. Good contractors should always provide their clients with final visual representations of the designs and it would be essential for you to review this design to ensure that it meets your personal wishes before proceeding with the pool’s construction.

Reputation

The Woodlands pool contractors that are great will have a good reputation overall. The greatest ones will even have endorsements from their old customers. After all, whenever a job gets done or exceeds initial expectations, what customers tend to do is share that experience with other people.

Pool contractors need to be able to prove to possible clients that they have done good jobs in the past, especially when it comes to custom designed swimming pools. If contractors do not have work portfolios to show, you will definitely need to speak up and ask why.

The Woodlands pool contractors for hire all need to be looked at thoroughly. By taking your time in reviewing every possible option out there, you are sure to find the ideal pool contractor that can give you exactly what you need without a scary horror ending.

Give on Thanksgiving

wclementstone193804Thanksgiving Day as many people celebrate with their loved ones, fully enjoy the day and take it all in. This day is traditionally a time to be with families, friends, and loved ones. It focuses around sharing a meal and enjoying precious time together.

Live each day with Gratitude

Appreciate the things you have in your life everyday, and not just on Thanksgiving Day. Value all the goodness, beauty, and love around you. Notice what’s right instead of what’s wrong, and begin to see every “problem” as an opportunity for growth and development. Be thankful for a gift from a friend, a child’s smile, a stranger’s kindness, and even the weather, regardless of whether it is raining or the sun is shining. Make it a lifelong commitment to live with an attitude of gratitude.

 Celebrate life every day.

Give yourself the best things possible. Eat healthy and quality food.  Exercise regularly and make it fun. Do also take time out to rest and get enough sleep. After all, you don’t want to get too tired for the next day of celebrating life!

Appreciate Others

Countless people contribute daily to make your life what it is. From the postman to the checkout assistant, everyone that you interact with plays a key role in helping you flow through your day. The food at your table, your car, and the clothes you wear—all these things are possible only because of the toil and sweat of thousands of strangers around the world. Show your appreciation to the people you meet daily. Even just genuinely saying thank you from the heart will mean a lot to them.

Share your blessings

You have been given so much, so share it with others every day and don’t wait for this time next year.Support worthy causes, help someone in a positive way simply by giving, and carefree nature you will inspire others.

Appreciate your loved ones

Tomorrow as you spend time with your loved ones, you can appreciate and fully accept them, no matter what their flaws are. We so often take people for granted only to miss them as soon as they have left. Many times loved ones leave and we wish we’d told them how much they mean to us. Show your loved ones you truly care for them every day and not just on a few special occasions each year. You don’t even have to make a grand gesture to show your appreciation. Sometimes all they want is some quality time with you and your full presence. Little things can make a big difference.

 

Regardless of your relationship, look for ways to contribute to others. In any situation, ask yourself: How can I help? How can I contribute here? Random acts of kindness are magical, and giving of yourself is one of the best joys of life Connect with people without wanting anything from them. Make at least one friendly phone call each day, with no intention to get some business or anything else just a friendly hello without any expectation.

And look for ways of bringing people together all year around, not just during holidays.

Stabilizer Levels

 

images (2)Understanding chlorine stabilizer is important.

Chlorine stabilizer or conditioner (cyanuric acid) is used in the maintenance of outdoor chlorine-maintained swimming pools. The stabilizer helps act against the UV rays. The purpose of the stabilizer is to help the chlorine last longer and prevent consumption of the chlorine. This helps the chlorine last longer and reduces consumption. A chemical test determines the cyanuric acid level. The typical cyanuric range is 20-40 PPM in northern areas, where southern areas are typically higher, 40-50 PPM. This difference occurs from the amount of sun exposure, with the southern areas receiving more sun.

If the levels of cyanuric acid are between 80-150 PPM, it is not ideal, but not considered a serious problem. However, if 150 PPM occurs, the effectiveness of chlorine is reduced and maintained is often required.

Generally speaking, you would like your swimming pool’s stabilizer level to be below 100 (80-100 range). Keep in mind that stabilizer allows your chlorine to hang around longer in the pool water.

This is especially important on hot summer days. UV of the mid-summer can quickly consume chlorine in the pool. One of the big advantages of a salt chlorinator is that it is constantly supplying chlorine and the rate can be increased during the high demand of the mid-summer season.

It is not a bad idea to drop the stabilizer level. Too much can lead to cloudy water and it also decreases the effectiveness of the chlorine (although you are not at those levels yet). There are some commercial municipalities that have increased maximum levels to as high as 200 ppm for public pools.

If you want to drain the pool, be VERY cautious not to take too much water out (no more than a foot!) also be sure that you do not have high ground water table.

Whenever draining a pool, it is REALLY important to stay by the pool whenever it is draining. Draining the pool too far and causing a hydrostatic heave can happen on ANY pool type: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Please proceed with extreme caution when draining water from your swimming pool.

Credits to: Dr. John Mullen

 

Hydrotherapy & Aquatic Exercise

hydrotherapy-header

We all know getting enough sleep, a balanced diet, regular exercise, are essential to our health. But with our busy lifestyles, accomplishing any of those activities may seem like impossible and can cause us to feel even more stressed.

Hot tubs promote both physical and mental health through warm water therapy, or hydrotherapy. The combination of heat, buoyancy, and massage jets increases circulation, loosens and relaxes stiff muscles, and stimulates the release of endorphin.

Numerous studies have shown that regularly soaking in a hot tub or spa for 15 – 20 minutes can relax muscle and joint pain, reduce stress, help control blood sugar, and promote deeper sleep.

Hot tubs also provide a low-impact environment for exercise: Because you weigh only 10 percent of your actual body weight in water, there is less pressure on your joints. The low-impact environment is ideal for arthritis , as well as runners who may have suffered knee injuries. Water’s resistance also forces your muscles to work harder, making aquatic exercise an effective activity for strength training and endurance. Performing mild exercises in warm water (100 – 102 degrees F) is a soothing and gentle way to tone, strengthen, and rehabilitate muscles.

Swim spas allow for these same health benefits because they are a combination of a hot tub and swimming pool; they feature a swim current at one end and therapeutic jets at the opposite end. In addition to loosening muscles against the pulsating jets, you can swim laps in the convenience of your own backyard and in a fraction of the space of a pool. Swim spas can be used for many fitness activities including swimming, running or walking in place, and aquatic workouts using water weights, swim fins, resistance bands, and buoyancy belts. Some models even have deep water wells that add 2 feet to the depth of the spa, allowing for even more activities such as deep water running.

Luckily, there’s a way you can relax, sleep better, work out, and enhance your overall well-being all at the same time. Learn how a hot tub or swim spa can improve your health, and discover the best options for your budget and space.

Fire Pits Safety Tips

blog pool When the weather turns cooler, homeowners can continue to enjoy their  outdoor living spaces by adding a heat source like a fire pit Fire pits have  become very popular lately.  The warmth and joy that radiates from the  open fire can make parties, intimate gatherings and simple marshmallow  roasts the most sought-after and enjoyable activities of the spring,  summer and autumn months.  However, fire pits are wrought with  dangers, and to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your guests, you  should address the following safety concerns.

 There are a variety of types, including custom-made and pre-fab, but no  matter what type you choose, remember to keep a few crucial safety tips in  mind before, during, and after you light the fire.

Choose the right fuel.

It is important to select the proper heat source for your fire pit. If it is a pre-fab model, the manufacturer will list the correct type. If you plan to have one custom built, work with your landscape architect to obtain the type that best suits your needs.

Most fire pits can safely control fires that are fueled by hard woods like cedar and oak or can be outfitted to produce heat through natural gas, propane, or gel.

 Make sure your fire pit is on a stable, fireproof floor.

How-to-Build-a-Fire-Pit-with-Pool

A fire pit enclosure can be as simple as a store-bought iron basin or as  elaborate as a handmade stone pit.  Whatever your choice of enclosure  material, the rules for safety remain similar, Your fire pit must be placed  on a surface that can handle sparks or embers that might blow from the  bowl. Any natural stones, like flagstone, travertine, slate, and granite,  and man-made materials like concrete and durable fire-safe paving  stones, are excellent choices.

 Keep your fire pit away from anything  flammable.

The rule of thumb is to maintain at least 10 feet of space between the fire pit and anything combustible

Keep your fire low and slow.

Be patient. If you are using wood in your fire pit, start the fire slowly. Once the fire is burning strongly, add more fuel until you have the level of heat you desire. Never, ever use gasoline—it’s too unpredictable and risky

Always have a fire extinguisher handy

Put out the fire completely before leaving the pit unattended or before finishing the evening.  Even the smallest fire can become a large fire quickly, so embers should be completely extinguished.

Fire pits have become popular because they offer many evenings of free or low cost entertainment.  Though popular, fire pits can be dangerous if not properly used.  So, follow the above fire pit safety techniques to make your fire pit evenings as enjoyable and safe as possible.

Pool and Backyard Furniture

pool-furniture-300x225 When you think of furniture, you think of living rooms, dining rooms and family rooms. Very rarely do you associate furniture with swimming pools. But pool furniture is not only fashionable it’s practical, too. When you entertain guests, including family and friends, in your backyard and pool area, you want to have places for everyone to sit and relax. That’s where pool furniture comes in.

You can create a restful haven by the side of your pool and indulge in the ultimate comfort with poolside lounge chairs. Or you can create the perfect outdoor dining area on your deck with a glass table and cushioned table chairs. You can even put up a hammock to waste those lazy summer days away with a nap or two. It’s up to you! Your backyard is a blank canvas for you to fill with the kind pool furniture that is just right for you.

Choosing pool furniture is a lot like choosing furniture for any other room in your house. You want to select comfortable and eye-appealing pieces as well as pieces that reflect your style and taste. Outdoor décor is becoming more popular as the amount of pool owners continues to increase. Many notable department stores and furniture outlets are carrying patio and pool furniture lines for you to choose from.

The fact is that pool furniture has come quite a long way. The days of plastic tables and big umbrellas are over. Now you can accent your pool, deck and patio with pool furniture in teak, cedar, wrought iron, aluminum, wicker and rattan in a variety of combinations of wood and metal.

The thing to look for in quality pool furniture is durability, weather resistance and resistance to sun damage. You can purchase preassembled sets or sets that require minimum set up. Mixing and matching pieces can also be fun. You can choose from a variety of pool furniture pieces including dining chairs, hammocks, tea carts, Adirondack chairs, dining tables, folding chairs, foot stool and more.

Outdoor dining sets can come in numerous styles such as aluminum, wrought iron, wick and rattan. Many dining sets come with matching umbrellas to help shield the sun from food and drinks. Some have circular vinyl umbrellas and other are Eastern-inspired with woven fabric and wood frames. You can choose from glass tabletops or metal tabletops, and pick table chairs with mesh fabric or removable cushioned seats.

The idea behind pool furniture is to accent your pool and construct a comfortable area to sit and enjoy everything a pool offers. Plastic pool furniture is no longer considered fashionable or even practical. Your backyard and patio should look and feel as great as your indoor rooms do. Whether it’s relaxed and casual or elegant and refined, you can find the right pool furniture to fit you and your style. A backyard and pool area should be considered and outdoor oasis for you and your family. And the right kind of pool furniture can help you achieve it.