If you're looking for swimming pool liners, there are plenty of places that you can…
If you are thinking of installing a swimming pool at home, there are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration. A swimming pool is likely to be a big investment so knowing your options will help you avoid costly mistakes in the future. These include several issues such as the type of construction material to be used, the water type (chlorinated or salt), the type of pool pumps and water filters, the cleaning accessories for pool maintenance and choosing the right company for pool construction as well as pool maintenance and repair.
Knowing the type of pool to install is the first step in a series of important decisions you have to make. Swimming pools come in many different sizes, styles and types. Here are your options:
- Above ground pool
- Inground pool
- Architectural pool
- Lap pool
- Infinity pool
- Recreational pool
- Indoor pool
- Natural pool
- Plunge pool
- Spool (a combination of spa and pool)
Modern and Convenient Swimming Pool Designs
Swimming pools are a popular trend among houses and even large apartment blocks. They are a very nice and worthy investment to cool off and unwind, while exercising and keeping fit at the same time. Especially since our lives have become extremely fast paced, swimming pools are an easy and pleasant way to relax. Therefore creating well appointed pools that feature modern and convenient swimming pool designs is a must.
Swimming pools should be a source of fun and joy. They can be designed in a number of different ways so as to satisfy all needs and requirements, meeting personal styles as well. If you are about to set up your residential pool you can choose a design that suits your preferences the best, while helping you benefit from its advantages. Preferences in pool designs have changed throughout the years, as they became more than a simple fun tool – they are a status symbol, an elegant addition to houses and resorts. Outdoor activities are much more exciting now, thus, the available designs have multiplied as well.
The contemporary pool designs blend harmoniously exotic beauty with the technical requirements and characteristics. Private pool owners have the chance to establish a pool anywhere; whether it is an outdoor or indoor pool, you can build the exact size and shape you want and need, provided that you have enough space.
You can set up a pool for the entire family or friends, aspiring for nice evenings by the pool or pool parties amidst the perfect ambience. Most of the pool designs are quite versatile, allowing you to mix your own ideas with the requirements and usability standards of the construction. Whether you want a simple solution or a luxurious look, you can definitely create something desirable and nice.
Before deciding on the particular design you should first ask yourself a few questions:
- Is the pool meant for exercising or fun, or even both?
- How many people will use it?
- Do you need additional surrounding space or not?
The design of the pool is related not only to the beauty and style of the pool, but also needs to work well with the available space. Therefore you need to decide how much space you want to use and how much you need to have free. A bigger pool requires more maintenance and is more expensive. The more complicated a design is, the more space you will need – and the pricier it will be.
Try to avoid making a snap decision that will make you regret later on. Do some research on available swimming pool designs and consult with an expert who can come and see your available space. Internet is a great resource of designs and can help you decide what you want and how.
Do It Yourself (DIY) Swimming Pools and Designs
As summer approaches and the swimming pool season is about to start, many people consider building a pool in their backyard if it is big enough to house one. If you are among those who are ready to start getting quotes from contractors and companies, then you should consider a DIY swimming pool first. You might think that it is completely crazy to do so, but it’s not as weird as it sounds. Many people all over the world create and build DIY swimming pools, saving lots of money. It is actually considered to be a very cost effective solution.
When referring to DIY pools, we don’t mean that you will start excavating yourself or building things on your own. Unless you are experienced with these kinds of things you obviously cannot do them. The idea behind the DIY pools is to save money by hiring your own workers and subcontractors who can do the job for less money.
Every contractor and experienced swimming pool company does the same thing but charges more money, so as to acquire commission from other people. The companies need to pay for many overheads and facilities, therefore they charge more than they should. This means that the wages you need to pay when hiring them are much higher. If you do not do business with a pool company but hire the workers yourself you will cut down on many expenses that have nothing to do with your pool.
Of course, finding the right workers and subcontractors is not something easy. You cannot hire the first person you come across, because this is a work that demands experience and skills. You need to ask for recommendations and try to find people who have already done it. You will be surprised to see how many people have actually made DIY pools, thus, can recommend workers or give you valuable feedback.
Before starting with a DIY pool you need to consider many things; the amount of money you want to spend, the time frame, the accessories you want to use, the shape and design of the pool. When it comes to pool designs, you are free to choose any. Although you need to consult with an expert you are pretty much free to ask for a particular shape that will suit your preferences and taste. You also need to educate yourself a lot and know enough things about the several stages of the work that need to be done.
Thankfully there are many resources available online that can help you determine what you really want. There are also many independent subcontractors who can work with you and give you advice and information on your task before even starting working. Managing and organizing the construction of DIY pools is not that hard if you are well prepared and well informed.
Fiber Glass Swimming Pools
If you are thinking of building your own residential pool, you should consider a fiber glass pool instead of the typical concrete pools. Fiber glass swimming pools are considered to be better value, although they might seem to be a little more expensive at the beginning, compared to the concrete or the vinyl pools. Over time, they are considered to be a money saving solution as they need less maintenance and require the use of fewer chemicals. Low energy costs and minimum repairs are associated with fiber glass pools.
Unlike the typical and common concrete pools, the ones made of fiber glass come in a customized pre-formed shape – they look like ponds and they are placed in the excavated space. They are very easy to install and they are extremely practical. The fiber glass, which is the main material and element, is properly designed so as to create a smooth result. This type of material is also non porous as opposed to concrete for instance. This means that fiber glass is much healthier and can help you maintain great sanitary levels in the pool. The surface of the glass cannot interact with water and doesn’t participate in any chemical processes.
Fiber glass pools require the use of fewer chemicals and they do not need the same level of maintenance as traditional pools. They need to be cleaned less frequently; something that makes a difference to those who either do not want to pay someone all the time, or to those who clean the pools on their own. The limited use of chemicals is anyway beneficial, as there are many people who develop allergies or problems related to the excessive use of chlorine.
Fiber glass pools do not crack easily as compared to concrete ones. They do not need to be re-plastered or resurfaced and they need minimum surface cleaning. Moreover, this type of glass can withstand tear and wear, as opposed to vinyl which needs to be replaced after some time. They can also withstand roots of trees trying to dig in.
The fiber glass pools are designed and manufactured in a way that helps faster filling. They keep the water pressure equal in both sides of the glass and they can withstand high temperatures and frost. They are used in all possible climates and places as they are not susceptible to weather problems and conditions.
The main disadvantage of the fiber glass pools is that they are not suitable for all people, as they cannot be fully customized. They come in several different sizes and shapes and in many prefabricated styles. Therefore, whoever buys them needs to choose among the already existing types and shapes. They can be customized once pre-ordered but still there may be many limitations.
Heated Swimming Pools
Using a heated swimming pool can extend the regular swimming session and period, allowing you to enjoy many more hours of fun and exercise in a private way. There are numerous heating options and alternatives today, which can be very effective and more efficient than in the past years. The most known and common heating options today are the pool heating pumps and the regular pool heaters. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages, thus, the most suitable heating system depends on a variety of factors.
Pool heaters are mostly used in private pools. They are considered to be the most common heating option and they have been around for a while already. They are powered by natural gas or other types of fuel, such as propane. Therefore, in order to achieve heating the mechanics should place an entire network of gas lines or storage tanks that allow the use of fuel. These fuels are burned in a proper combustion chamber and the heat is directed and transmitted to the pool water so as to raise its temperature, allowing the swimmers to enjoy normal temperatures even in winter.
The heat pumps work in a completely different way. The pump is basically powered up by electric energy, extracting the necessary heat from the air. Before the actual transfer to the pool water the air is already warm due to the sun, but the warmth is upgraded and enhanced with a compressor. The heat pumps are designed this way, so as to work efficiently even when there is no natural source of heat. The only prerequisite for their normal operation is that the outside temperature is above 450F.
Pool heaters provide the fastest way to warm a swimming pool and they are really effective when you need to heat swimming pools for a short period of time. If you have a pool in your vacation house and you want to heat it only during weekends, then you can easily use pool heaters.
Heat pumps are quite effective, as long as weather is relatively good and warm. They can ensure water temperature of 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit and they are a great and dependable solution for private pool owners who can benefit from weather. People who live in relatively warm places or in regions where there is some kind of temperature balance all year long can use heat pumps effectively. Heat pumps are used extensively in sport centers and spas or therapeutic facilities.
Another major difference between heat pumps and heaters is the price, as the regular gas and fuel heaters are quite expensive to operate and maintain, mostly due to the cost of buying and storing fuel. Heat pumps are definitely a much more cost effective solution.
Salt Water Swimming Pools
Although chlorine pools have been, for years, the most common and popular type to build and own, salt water swimming pools became very popular lately, for a reason; they are easier to maintain and require lower expenses and minimal use of chemical substances. Let’s see what the advantages of these swimming pools are.
As opposed to the chlorine pools, salt water pools require fewer chemicals. This is an advantage to those who use the pool frequently, as they don’t have to deal with unhealthy substances and elements which affect their constitution in the long run. Salt water pools are also more environmentally friendly and safe. Moreover, you do not have to put up with the irritating and unpleasant chlorine smell.
Salt is healthier
One of the most important advantages of salt water swimming pools is that they are much friendlier to the skin and general health. Salt is much softer on the skin and doesn’t cause any medical problems. Chlorine on the other hand, has the tendency to irritate eyes or even discolor hair. Salt swimming pools are much safer to those who make use of their pools frequently, since they don’t have to suffer from symptoms related to chlorine exposure.
Salt water swimming pools require lower maintenance and fewer expenses. They have the ability to clean themselves and they do not require that much attention. On the other hand, the chlorine pools need an array of chemicals in order to maintain a good level of hygiene. Water sanitation can be easily achieved in a salt water pool.
One of the most important and significant advantages of salt water swimming pools is the low cost of maintenance. They are definitely much more expensive when built, but they pay off the initial costs within a few years, as they require less chemicals and maintenance by a professional technician. According to estimates, the cost of a salt water swimming pool is almost half the cost of a chlorine pool – including its maintenance.
Studies show that the typical chlorine only pools tend to create some substances, called organo-chlorines, which imitate the regular human hormones. They are associated with several medical conditions and diseases, among which are infertility, low immunity, hormonal imbalances and even cancer. These substances are also related to asthma and respiratory diseases. Of course these diseases don’t occur overnight, but since the users of residential pools tend to swim often, the dangers are increased. Salt water pools, on the other hand, have low levels of chlorine, which cannot cause any of these diseases.
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor pool, building a salt water swimming pool is definitely a good idea and beneficial to your health as well.
Swimming Pool Lights – Types And Uses
Swimming pool lights are used to add style to the pools. You can also use them for safety reasons – enabling everyone to see the pool so as to avoid accidents. Underwater swimming pool lights are a particularly interesting addition, as they can create an amazing optical effect during night. Installing these lights is not an expensive or time consuming task if you know how to do it. Many lights are not installed with the original construction but rather added later on, sometimes even by the pool owners themselves.
Just like everything else, swimming pools lights have undergone several changes when it comes to their design. Over the course of a few decades there have been many more models and types of lights that have hit the markets. There is today a wide choice in lights, which operate better and last longer. The vast selection of lights allows users and owners to choose the ones that meet their requirements and needs more. Let’s see some of the most common types of lights for swimming pools.
Setting the mood
These are the most common and popular lights nowadays. Until a few years ago, most of the pools had a typical and basic scheme. There was a regular light which was mounted usually at the end of the pool. Today there is the so called mood lighting which allows the owners to set up a nice ambience using discreet lights. These can go anywhere in the pool depending on the desired effect.
Small and flat lights
These are also very discreet lights which allow users to enhance parts of the pool. They are mostly used in jacuzzis and saunas and they can also be used in areas where the landscape and surroundings allow it; between small rocks for instance.
Fiber optic lights
These are the most modern lights. They were introduced with the advent of fiber optics technology and are considered to be among the best possible options. These lights require no electrical energy, therefore do not need maintenance or replacement often. The light is transferred through a network of glass cables that feature a fiber optics system.
There are some small fiber optics boxes that can be placed close to the pools so as to adjust the underwater or out of the water lights without leaving the water. This is very convenient in case of people who are swimming and want to create different kinds of effects with lights.
Always keep in mind that safety comes first. No matter how nice or romantic some kinds of lights might be, it is important to ensure that you are safe when using them. Remember to place hazard safety signs around cords and ensure that they operate well, so as to avoid electrical accidents.
Swimming Pool Covers – Why Do You Need Them?
If you are building a residential swimming pool or you already have one but winter is approaching and you will not be using it, then you might need to consider using swimming pool covers.
Having a private swimming pool might be an amazing way to exercise or even have fun with friends or by yourself. During summer, swimming or even staying by the pool is one of the most exciting things you can do, as you can relax and unwind while having fun. Pools are also a nice way to enhance the value of your living space. Pools though, need to be protected. The most effective way to do so is to buy a swimming pool cover.
Pool covers allow you to keep debris out of the pool, ensuring that the water stays clean for longer time. Manufacturers and pool professionals suggest that covers help people to reduce the maintenance expenses. Moreover, covers play the role of a safety net when the pool is not in use. If you have children around, it is recommended to cover the pool when it’s not needed – especially if they have access to the pool unsupervised.
Covers help you prevent any kind of unauthorized access to the pool. Safety is supposed to be one of the primary concerns of pool owners, therefore using a net cover or plastic cover can prevent accidents, prohibiting people or animals to reach the pool.
Swimming pool covers can be found in a wide range of colors and sizes that can fit all possible pools, regardless of shape or size. Some of the covers are automated, including solar covers, while some others are more typical and usual – including net pool covers and plastic covers.
Both during winter or when the pool is not in use, you can cover it using a simple plastic cover. You can also reduce evaporation of water this way, especially if you live in very warm climates. A simple plastic cover is a very practical solution and is also cost effective.
If you are living in colder climates, you might consider buying a solar cover, which increases the temperature of water by collecting sun heat. This will allow you to extend the swimming season significantly. The automatic pool covers are also a very practical solution, providing all benefits in one go. They are quite sturdy and durable and can withstand wear and tear. They are very easy to use, as they work with electric power.
Once you finish swimming you can simply tap the switch and have your pool covered within seconds. This rids you of the frustration and fatigue of putting up the cover which can be really inconvenient sometimes – especially if you are by yourself.
Swimming Pool Maintenance
Pools are very popular and common leisure and fitness zones in modern residential housing. When building new pools, owners have all the necessary instructions and terms of maintenance, but there are some tips and hints that most of them learn down the road, as manufacturers quite notoriously provide less advice or information than needed. Here are a few tips for the new owners who are not yet familiar with the pool maintenance details.
Keep in mind that if you want to clean a normal pool – of 18 feet – you will need approximately a full day. A large pool will need much more time, but it is recommended to spend a couple of hours daily, because that can make a difference. Most owners who cherish the clarity of their pool waters need to spend a few hours daily so as to make sure that the water is clean enough. A poorly maintained pool can be a haven for bacteria, causing health problems and diseases to users of the pool.
The typical pool maintenance routine requires cleaning with net in order to scoop out the larger items, such as leaves or other objects. If you have a chlorine pool you need to have a test kit which will show what chemicals are needed at any time; there are different kits for salt water pools and chlorine pools, therefore you can choose based on your pool.
Chemicals are used to ensure the balance of water ingredients and sanitary conditions in the pool. You should make sure though that you don’t overdo it with chemicals, because this might result in skin problems and eye infections. There are some particular chemicals that can help you clean or avoid the algae that tend to build up in pools. Keep in mind though that these chemicals are very dangerous and should be kept away from kids.
You should use a swimming pool vacuum and use it at least three or four times per week, depending on the usage of the pool.
Always advise swimmers to enter the pool only after taking a short shower because the dirt and natural oils of the skin add to the debris in the pool. Moreover ask your friends or family members to avoid entering the pool without a shower if they have used body lotions and powders.
When the pool is not in use, you should keep your pool covered. There are particular covers for swimming pools, which can keep the pool safe and clean when not in use and prevent accidents as well.
Keep in mind that swimming pool maintenance is mandatory, not only for your health but also for the longevity of the pool itself, thus you should be rather cautious and meticulous about it.
Choosing The Right Swimming Pool Contractor
The installation of a swimming pool can be a rather daunting and arduous process especially if you have never done it before or you are not familiar with the procedure. Choosing a swimming pool contractor might be the most important decision you can make when you decide to have your very own swimming pool built.
Most of the construction experts offer different estimates for the same work but you need to make sure that you get what you pay for. Avoid falling for cheap solutions though because you might end up with a bad construction that can put your health and safety in danger.
When building a swimming pool there are numerous things and factors to consider. Many people get really confused when choosing a pool contractor or when deciding on particular elements related to pools. Some of the things you need to consider are the initial costs, the purchase of materials and the zoning regulations.
If you want to establish the ideal pool, you will need to spend a lot of hours researching and negotiating with contractors and you need to be able to communicate with them properly. Do not choose someone who will do whatever he wants without paying attention to your preferences and requirements. There are some really talented and experienced constructors though, who can help you streamline the process and rid yourself of frustrations down the road.
The best way to test a contractor is to have them come to your place and give you an estimate when examining the particular setting and your needs. A savvy contractor cannot give you an estimate by phone without walking the grounds. If someone does that, you need to hang up quickly and look for other options. When the contractor comes to your place and gives you an estimate, do not accept right away, but negotiate the price and the time frame so as to ensure the best possible outcome.
Choose a contractor that has a good reputation in the market. Many people have chosen inexperienced contractors and have regretted it later on. Ask for recommendations and ask the contractor to show you previous projects. A good and dependable contractor can definitely show you other sites he has worked on and provide references.
You should also consider his level of professionalism; is he on time for the appointments? Does he come in meetings? What ways does he use to calculate the estimate? Is he respectful and with good manners? Although you are not looking for a friend but someone to do business with, you should take under consideration things such as manners and courteous behavior, because they can tell you many things about the person you are dealing with.