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).

Gas/Propane vs Heat Pump vs Solar?

pool-heaters-9 Are you looking for a way to utilize your swimming pool for as much of the year as possible?  Today  we’re going to discuss the benefits of heating your pool, different heating options, and how much  each option costs initially and on a monthly basis.

Without a pool heater your swim season may only last three or four months, while the addition of a  heater will typically extend your swim season about two months depending on location and climate.   We all know how much kids enjoy the swimming pool and closing time can be kind of a bummer  but with a pool heater you and your family can maximize the fun.

There are three main types of pool heaters:

  • Solar
  • Heat Pump (electric)
  • Gas
  • Solar Pool Heaters are very efficient in southern climates year-round and extends swim time in northern climates. By using the sun’s energy the existing pool pump will circulate the water through the heater which will be typically located on the rooftop or on a frame constructed in the yard.  The down Solar heating requires a system equal to 50%-100% of the pool’s surface. While solar energy may be free, the pool pump must be running for the solar heater to properly operate which can increase your electric bill.
  • Electric Heat Pump amazingly, the electric heat pump is actually a form of solar energy. How is that possible?  Well the sun warms the air and that heat is pulled from the air.  This warm air is pulled in, enhanced, and transferred into the water, requiring temperatures of approximately 55+ to properly function.
  • Gas Pool Heaters use either propane or natural gas. Operating independently of outdoor temperature conditions, gas pool heaters burn the fuel within a combustion chamber all while your pool water runs through copper coils to then return to the pool warm.

Electric Heat Pumps are highly efficient costing owners on average $50-100 per month. We find that about 19 of 20 of our customers who install heaters choose heat pumps simply because of their dependability and low operating cost.  Electric Heat Pumps can extend the average pool use by 2-3 months depending on location/climate.  Going back to how a heat pump works will determine how long it will extend pool use per year according to location. Outside temperatures need to be around 55+ degrees so in an area such as Texas the heat pump will efficiently keep temperatures regulated almost the entire year.

So if you’re interested in heating your pool or just considering options for your future pool here are the three options and why electric heat pumps are a known favorite among a majority of our customers, plus who doesn’t enjoy saving a little cash?

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.

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

 

Swimming Facts!

Screenshot_4One thing that I think all homeowners can agree on is that when there is a swimming pool involved, a good time is definitely in order. With this post, we want to venture outside the box a little bit. Sure we all have fun swimming in the pool, playing games, cooking out or relaxing and lounging, but tune into this post to learn about some entertaining facts that you may have never known about.

1. Elephants can swim as many as 20 miles a day — they use their trunks as natural snorkels!
2. Swimming works out all of the body’s major muscles and reduces stress.
3. The bikini swimsuit was named after a U.S. nuclear testing site in the South Pacific called Bikini Atoll.
4. The fastest and most efficient swim stroke is the crawl/ freestyle. This is always the most popular freestyle stroke.
5. As with any other type of exercise you need to stay hydrated while swimming and you need to drink water. Your core body temperature can rise as the activity increases. Your body also produces sweat as it does with other physical activity, but it is not as apparent since you are already wet.
6. An Olympic size pool depending on its size (50 meters X 25 yards or meters) can hold from 700,000 to 850,000 gallons of water.
7. An hour of vigorous swimming will burn up to 650 calories. It burns off more calories than walking or biking.
8. The first recorded swimming races were held in Japan in 36 B.C.
9. The Titanic was the first ocean liner to have a swimming pool and a gym.
10. Swim fins were invented by Benjamin Franklin.

Take note and use these interesting facts to start up a trivia game at your next pool outing or be the first one to impress your friends and family with your newly accumulated swimming pool knowledge.

Contact us when you’re ready to build a new pool or remodel your current pool. And we wish everyone, happy swimming!

Building a Spa on your Deck

traditional-patioHot tubs and spas come in an array of shapes and sizes, and can be equipped with scores of accessories. Choosing the right spa depends on its intended use, how big your deck is, and what structural alterations will be required for your deck. You’ll also need to know the cost of installation,

Before long, fiberglass versions with circulating jets appeared called “spas.” Today the terms “hot tub” and “spa” are used interchangeably, but because most units are jetted, spa is the term more commonly used. Spas range in size from two-person models costing about $2,000, to 20-foot-long swim spas costing $18,000 or more. In between are those most popular for decks: 4- to 8-person models costing from $2,500 to $10,000. full-foam” insulation—a high-density, closed-cell polyurethane foam that fills the cavity between the fiberglass tub shell and the outer cabinet and helps reduce heat loss. In addition, full-foam insulation helps reduce noise and adds stability to the entire unit. Check installation costs as well. They’ll be dependent on the size of the spa and the ease of getting it where it needs to be. In some cases, limited access may require the use of a crane to lower the spa into place.

Adding structural components to carry the weight

The safest—and most cost-effective—location for a spa is the lower level of a deck. A deck only a few steps above ground, if built to code, Check your local codes for any restrictions governing the installation of a spa on a deck. If you want the tub on a deck more than a couple of feet above ground or on an upper level of a deck, things get more complicated. You’ll need to hire a structural engineer to provide specs for a site-specific framing structure to support the weight.
Accessing power and water

Spas require a nearby source of electricity. Because water is involved, any electrical hookup for a spa must include ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This nifty device shuts down the system within milliseconds if it detects the tiniest change in current flow caused by a short circuit. Some spas come with an extension cord with a GFCI built in that can be plugged into a 110-volt, 20-amp circuit.

Larger units require at least one dedicated 220-volt, 50-amp circuit. In addition, there must be an emergency shutoff within sight of the spa, but not closer than 5 feet or farther than 50 feet. Water access is simple; spas fill with an outdoor hose. The spa then heats and circulates the water. Insulated tub covers limit evaporation, but the tub will need occasional topping off. When it’s time to empty the unit, all spas have built-in hose bibs so you can drain the water

Safety

Getting in and out of a spa provides opportunities for mishaps. A handrail is a good idea for older—and younger—users. A cover with a lock is must if you have children. If you plan to build your spa into the deck, it may seem best to drop it into the deck so that the rim of the tub sits on the decking. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for people to fall in or step on the cover, and also complicates getting into the tub. The ideal arrangement is to set the spa partially into the deck so the rim is 17 to 24 inches above the decking. That way, bathers can sit on the rim, swing their feet over, and enter the water.

If you live in a region with a climate moderate enough for year-round use, a deck equipped with a spa should give you a slight edge in selling a home. Spas normally are assets as long as they have been properly maintained and there is no evidence of leakage or deferred maintenance. People react differently to the prospect of purchasing a house that has a spa. Some buyers may ask that it be removed as a condition of sale. Others will hardly be able to wait for that first soothing soak.

Swimming pool Fun activities

kids-on-rafts-in-poolWHAT ARE SOME INTERESTING SWIMMING POOL GAMES YOU LIKE?

Here are some best swimming pool activity ideas great for spending Family bonding

Dive In Movie Night: watch a “water” themed movie while floating in the pool Have everyone bring something to float on. Relax in the pool and under the stars with family and friends. It’s the perfect way to spend a Friday summer night.

Water Joust: This activity is always a hit Two people stand on a large raft and battle each other with noodles or blow up toys like the traditional joust game you can use  traditional “queen size” inflatable mattress made for the water. Have a championship at the end for those with the most wins. For large groups only a few can participate; but it’s a great spectator sport.

Watermelon Polo: Get a small to medium sized watermelon and smear it in some sort of petroleum jelly like Vaseline. Float a hula hoop on each end of the pool and divide into teams. Play water polo with the greased melon and the floating hoops as goals. Great fun!

Invisi-bottle Take an empty clear 2 liter plastic bottle. One with a white cap, or the same color as your pool tiles is also a good idea. Fill the bottle with pool water and line the players up on the pool deck, backs to the water. When they hear the splash they can turn around and try to find it. It’s harder than it seems as the bottle camouflages to the bottom.

Atomic Whirlpool- Have everyone start slowly moving around in a circle, then move faster and faster and faster until a whirlpool is created and you can float on it. (Works better in a smaller pool.)

F-I-S-H The basketball game HORSE has people taking stunt shots, miss a shot get a letter. First to spell HORSE loses. For FISH, you can play with a poolside basketball net, or you could just have players go back and forth doing dives, splashes, and other acrobatic

Chicken Fight this is for the older kids, and maybe even for the parents. Ahem. Ride piggy back on the shoulders and then engage the other team. First one to fall of their ride’s shoulders loses. All sorts of age appropriate punching, kicking, and hair pulling is encouraged.

6 Smart Ways to Bring Shade to Your Outdoor Space

Outdoor areas don’t have to be all about soaking in the sun. Sometimes it’s nice to relax in a shady spot, shielded from the harsh rays. There are many ways to bring shade to an outdoor space. You can build a new freestanding structure or enhance an existing patio or pergola through the addition of a shade screen. Many such screens are made from fabric or canvas, but even materials like lattice and bamboo are popular options that cast delicately dappled light onto the outdoor living space beneath or behind. Best of all, there’s no need to call in a contractor; most of these projects are simple enough for the average homeowner to complete easily and quickly, often within the space of a single weekend. So click through our gallery to see a selection of yard improvements that will have you made in the shade.

 

By CODY CALAMAIO