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.

Protect Your Pool from Freeze Damage

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Inground Swimming Pools
If your area is subject to frequent hard freezes…make sure the pool is clean and clear prior to closing.
Properly balance pool water. Also add shock treatment (chlorinated or non-chlorinated).

Lower the water level to below the skimmer.

Clear pipes and equipment of water using a blower or compressor and plug the pipes at the pool.

Add swimming pool antifreeze to the lines to prevent freezing.

Place a Gizzmo* (or similar device) in the skimmer to seal it and absorb pressure from ice. Ask your local Pool Retailer for more details on the Gizzmo for your skimmer.

Install your safety cover or winter tarp cover using water tubes to secure.

In milder climates…
Make sure that the pump is running during periods of below freezing temperatures.

Keep the water properly balanced and sanitized throughout the off-season months.

Some pool owners also choose to install a Winter Cover or Safety Cover.

Pool Fact: Pumps should be kept running during freezing temperatures or completely drained during the winter to avoid a risk of damage to the pump, filter, heater, pipes, and any other in-line equipment.

Above Ground Swimming Pools
Properly balance pool water. Also add shock treatment (chlorinated or non-chlorinated).

When preparing to winterize the pool, do not drain water below the recommended level. NEVER DRAIN POOL COMPLETELY.

Lower the water level to below the skimmer opening and plug return(s) in the pool. Install the skimmer faceplate cover.

Clear pipes and equipment of water and insulate them. Remove and store your pump.

Install the air pillow and then the pool cover.

Store your pump, hoses, and other in-line equipment that can be removed.

Common reasons why above ground pool walls could collapse or fail:
The skimmer catches water which then freezes, causing the skimmer to become too heavy for the wall to support. This eventually causes the wall(s) to collapse.

An ice expansion pushes out against the walls, causing the walls to buckle under the immense pressure and weight of the ice.

Spa Fact: Spas are designed to run and be enjoyed throughout the winter months. However, it is recommended that you lower the water temperature when the spa is not in use.

Recommended Products:
Freezing can create costly damages to your swimming pool or spa. The best way to protect your pool or spa from freeze damage is to prevent it from happening. Properly winterizing your pool and following these tips can prevent freeze damage from destroying your backyard paradise. We recommend the following products to aid you in your freeze damage prevention.

Winterizing Kits for correct chemical balance throughout the winter months and protection of all non-mechanical elements of your swimming pool.

Blowers clear pipes and equipment of water prior to being plugged and insulated to protect them from the elements.

Skimmer Faceplate Covers prevent your skimmer from retaining water which can freeze and possibly damage the pool wall.

Gizzmos are designed for inground skimmer ice expansion protection.

Water Tubes and Air Pillows are used under winter covers for ice expansion prevention.

Balancing and Shock Chemicals or Anti-Freeze

Blower/Compressor

Winter Plugs

Let’s Have a Pool Party!

pool-party-iOK, it’s party time. The most fun you could ever have around your pool is when you have guests and are entertaining.  It is the perfect time to show off your pool  from Pools by Design your Woodlands Pool Builder . The key here is preparation.  Invitations, menus, helpers, pool, and yard will all need to be taken care of in advance.  The more you do ahead of time, the more time you will have to enjoy the party.  Start about a month before the party. Make a list of who you want to come. We can’t give any advice here.  But too many people would not only be unsafe, but we want enough room for eating, swimming, and just lying around.

So, here are a few tips for the pool party, and believe me, we’ve been to hundreds.

1)   Invites. Get something fun. Hand made invitations are cool, and personal. Another quicker, cheaper option is using evite.com to send out invitations. *** Remind everyone to bring a towel and swimming suite.

2)   Recruit. Get some help. The best parties were planned with several people. Get some helpers. Johnny does the food, Karin gets the liquor, and Steve gets the ice. And be sure to get a name or two for clean up. The end of the night is always the hardest to recruit help, so ask for clean up help before the party. You don’t need to clean the whole yard, but you will need to secure the trash, leftover food and such.

3)   Food. Decisions, decisions. You could go all out, roast a pig, smoked chicken. Or, keep it simple. Finger sandwiches, fruit bowl, or just burgers and dogs. The more “self serve food” you offer, the more time you have for fun. But, remember, the first thing people usually remember about a party, is the food. Give your guests something to talk about and remember. It’s not too hard to do!

4)   Drinks. You can’t have a good pool party without good beverages. But, an open bar can mean a disaster. If everyone is allowed to mix their own beverages, there is always someone who can ruin it for the rest of the guests. If alcohol is served, serve responsible, or serve beer and wine in moderation. Remember, Alcohol use is involved in about 35% to 50% of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation. And please don’t let guests who drink, drive. Call your local cab company in advance and set up an account for the evening.

5)  Safety. This one is easy. Call your local swimming pool management company, and hire a lifeguard or two for the event. It’s not expensive, and well worth it. If someone has had too much to drink, keep them away from the pool. Things we all take for granted like diving boards, slides and just jumping off the side of the pool, can pose a threat to those impaired, and everyone else trying to have a good time. Keep safety equipment handy, and ALWAYS keep a working phone dry, and near the pool.

6)   The Pool.  A week or so before the party, test everything pool related. (The lights, the heater, and the fountains) Make sure any electrical outlets that will be used are grounded. Trip hazards, excess patio and lawn furniture should be stored, or moved away from the pool deck, to allow easy access to the pool. Add a clarifier to the pool several days before the party. Small unfiltered particles are very easy to see at night with the pool light on, so take that extra step to get your pool as clear as possible. And make sure the pH and chlorine are adjusted. A chlorine residual of 3.0 is perfect.   The morning of the party, brush the pool and then vacuum an hour later. Remove your automatic pool cleaner and store it away for the party. Polaris parts are not cheap!

7)   The Party!  The moment we’ve all been waiting forParty time!  Got enough Tiki torch fuel? Ice? Soda? Make that last minute run to the store and you should be set. With proper preparation, all of the chores are done, and it’s time to party. So, fire up the grill, and ice down the punch. It’s your turn to relax.

Leaving your Pool During Holidays

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A very common concern we get this time of year, “I’m going on vacation, and no one will be here to take care of the pool.” As we all know, an unattended pool will not stay clear and algae free for long If you are going on vacation, or going away for a few days, there are some steps you need to take. Few things to think about before you leave the pool alone.

 

Water level is very important. If the level goes down, then the filter will not operate properly check and adjust your pH, then shock the pool water. Add a dose of swimming pool algaecide as well. Make sure to backwash, or clean the filter and pump and skimmer baskets before leaving.

The best thing to do while your away, is ask someone to pool-sit for you.  If you do give someone permission to use the pool while you are away, put all instructions in writing, so they have it handy, make available the phone number for your favorite pool service company. Just in case your pool sitter needs some help.

If you have a mesh safety cover, install it before you leave. Having a safety cover on the pool not only reduces filtration and sanitation demand, but it keeps the pool clean. Also, installing your mesh safety cover keeps fence-jumping neighborhood teenagers from using your pool, and more importantly, may prevent a tragedy from an unsupervised pool.

The most important thing about leaving your pool unattended is safety. Get a pool alarmmake sure all gates and fences are working and in good repair. Lock the gates. Remove anything around the property that can be used to help climb a fence. Chairs, storage boxes must be removed from the fence line.

Do not turn the filter system off before you go away. The filter system should run several hours per day. If you have an automatic timer, set it to allow the pool filter to run at least 8 hours per day.

If you are going to be away for more than a month, then consider “winterizing” the pool. Drain all of the equipment, lower the water level, and add a good dose of chlorine and algaecide. Then install your pool cover, and forget about until you get back.

The other alternative, is hire a local pool company to look after the pool while you are away. It’s usually not expensive, and many pool service companies offer “Vacation Pool Maintenance” and will keep an eye on things while you are away.

Give Your Swimming Pool a Resort Style make over

 

 

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Imagine walking out your back door into a luxurious outdoor sanctuary that emulates a contemporary 5-star resort too good to be true? It’s all within reach, with decorative upgrades to transform your pool into a stunning resort-style retreat.

Lighting Effects

Make your pool come alive at night and create ambiance by installing dramatic pool lighting. Try incandescent lights for a soft yellow glow or colored LED lights for energy-efficient lighting. DMX-controlled light systems with colorful fiber-optic lighting can also create a dynamic light show in your backyard.

Fire Features

Use the fireplace to create a cozy and intimate space for an evening outdoor dinner or late-night socializing, a time when the pool shifts into the aesthetic backdrop. A fire feature or fireplace creates resort-like style and beautiful soft lighting.

Beach Entry

Consider transforming one end of your pool into a beach / lagoon pool design. You can use stone, glass or ceramic tile or decorative concrete to build a pool wading ledge. Add and rock accents or waterfalls, and your backyard will feel more like an exotic escape in the tropics.

Outdoor Living Room

Every luxury resort provides lush lounging for world-class sun bathing and relaxation. Put some lounge chairs, an outdoor coffee table or even a cabana can create an upscale social space in your backyard.

Swim-Up Table

Install a table with surround seating and an umbrella where guests can escape the sun and grab a drink without getting out of the pool. Use travertine pavers and glass tile mosaics for a contemporary look with a touch of simplicity.

Tips for fall pool maintenance!

 

Found on Swimmingpool.com

Submitted by Janel Evans on 
 

Even though Fall is just around the corner, not everyone is rushing to pull out their sweaters and boots just yet! In many parts of the world, swimming pools are still being used – even as the leaves begin to change color. There are still many warm days left, and if you have a pool heater, you may be able to use your pool year round. However, the way you care for your pool may change with the change of the seasons from summer to fall. Here are a few tips for you to remember:Father and Son Cleaning Pool

  • Because your pool needed more chemicals during the summer due to evaporation, use and swimmer load, you will be able to use less as the temperature lowers. You should only have to check your pool chemistryonce a week during the fall season.
  • When the season changes to fall, the leaves begin to fall also, and more than likely into your pool. Be sure to skim your pool regularly to remove leaves and other debris. Sometimes leaves can stain if they remain on the bottom of the pool for too long.
  • Remember that because of reduced use, you can also reduce the use of your pump and filter. In most areas, you should probably only have to run them 4-8 hours a day.

Once your pool is too cool for swimming, be sure that you have it closed properly. A homeowner can choose to do this, but is best done by a pool professional to protect your investment. That way, you can ensure that everything will be ready when the pool is ready to be opened again in the spring! If you have any questions regarding your pool operation or proper chemistry, contact your local pool professional. 

Found on Swimmingpool.com