Monthly Archives: August 2016
Building an inground pool – Town & Country Pool Contractors explain options
If you’ve finally decided to seek help building an inground pool, you may be overwhelmed by the options available. The swimming pool contractors from Town & Country Pools in Virginia understand what goes into building an inground pool and offer advice that will help you narrow your choices. Understanding the processes of building an inground pool is crucial to your ultimate luxury swimming pool construction project.
Luxury Swimming Pool Construction Materials
What material should you choose to build your luxury inground pool? There are three popular choices when building an inground pool, but not all construction materials are suitable for a luxury swimming pool:
- Vinyl: This is, by far, one of the most traditional options. A vinyl liner pool is typically the least expensive choice. However vinyl liners are prone to tears and should not be chosen for luxury swimming pool construction.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a very traditional choice. The fiberglass installation process is fast. A fiberglass shell will be delivered to your home in one piece and placed into the excavated area. However, these prefabbed liners are prone to cracks, which does not make them an ideal choice for a luxury pool.
- Gunite or concrete: A gunite pool is widely considered the highest-quality material with which to build a swimming pool. It is also the building material that offers the most design options. While they are the most expensive and take the longest to construct, they are the most durable. Gunite pools don’t rip or tear.
How will you choose to keep the pool clean? Swimming pool filters are the heart of the pool because they keep the water clean and clear of bacteria. Here are two suitable options for your luxury swimming pool project:
- Cartridge: This filter uses a paper cartridge to filter bacteria and debris from the water.
- DE filters: A DE, or Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder through which the particles pass.
Remember that the most important part of choosing a filter is to choose the one that is the right size. Bigger is not better! A pool contractor will help you determine the best size for your pool.
You can’t forget about landscaping! Plants can complete the look of your luxury swimming pool, Whether you’re done, or in the process of building an inground pool, there are many myriad options that can enhance the area around your pool:
- Deck: Concrete, brick, tile, stone pavers or wood are a few of the options for your poolside deck. Make sure you understand the requirements for upkeep on the various luxury swimming pool deck construction materials.
- Safety fences: Another useful option is fencing. Consumers should definitely consider this option to keep children and pets from falling into the pool. In many areas, safety fences are required by law.
- Outdoor kitchen: Finally, adding an outdoor kitchen by your luxury swimming pool means you can move your living to the outdoors, poolside, for the duration of the summer!
You may encounter more, however these are a few of the many questions and options you will be faced with when you are looking to become a swimming pool owner. Understanding the process of luxury swimming pool construction is something you definitely want to research before you make any final decisions.
How to maintain a hot tub, Town & Country Pool contractors explain
Whether you have a stand-alone hot tub or spa or if your hot tub or spa was constructed as part of your swimming pool, you probably wondered about how to maintain a hot tub. You know that slipping into the heated water is a great way to both relax and work out the kinks of the day, you do know that it needs to be properly maintained. The swimming pool contractors from Town & Country Pools in Virginia explain that hot tub maintenance, just like pool maintenance, has a need for regular and ongoing tasks to keep the water bacteria-free and the hot tub working at its peak efficiency.
How to maintain a hot tub
Regular hot tub maintenance is crucial to the health of the water in the hot tub and to assuring optimal performance. Regular maintenance will also add to the life of the hot tub and its equipment. There are tasks that need to be undertaken daily, weekly, monthly and occasionally and they include:
- Daily. These maintain the water quality. You or your pool contractor will test the water weekly for sanitizer levels and pH balance. This can be easily done with a water test kit that you can pick up from one of our service contractors. If the levels are out of line, you will need to add more chemicals to bring them in line — many pool and hot tub owners find it easier to have a pool service contractor do this as it is a delicate balancing act. Testing sanitizer and pH levels helps prevent issues such as skin irritation, corrosion of the plumbing, scaling, mineral build up and other issues.
- Weekly. We recommend a weekly “shocking” of the pool water, depending on the amount of use and the swimmer load the hot tub experiences. Shocking is also called super-chlorination. This keeps the water clear and bacteria-free. Other weekly tasks depend on how often you use the hot tub and how many people use it. You may need to add a de-scaling agent to the water once a week to prevent any build up in the hoses, pumps walls and floor of the hot tub.
- Monthly and/or occasional. There are hot tub maintenance tasks that are performed periodically. Those depend on how often the hot tub is used. The occasional or monthly tasks include removing and thoroughly cleaning the hot tub filters. The hot tub should be drained and thoroughly cleaned as a way to ensure you’re always soaking in quality water in the spa. Cleaning the filters and draining the hot tub are typically tasks that hot tub and spa owners leave to their pool contractor. Clean the hot tub cover thoroughly throughout the season; ask us what you should use to clean it as you don’t want any chemicals to drip from the cover into the hot tub water.
We inspect your hot tub during a service visit and pay attention to any changes in the levels of operation of the hot tub equipment. We also check for structural integrity and if there are any areas of concern, we will discuss it with you before they become major issues. Remember, the heat of the water will lead to bacteria growing more quickly, you need to keep up with maintenance or leave it to a hot tub service professional. Call our office if you have questions on hot tub maintenance.
Town & Country Pool contractors clean pool tiles
When it comes to pool maintenance tasks you may not have thought about cleaning pool tiles. If, however, you’ve noticed a chalky build up on the tiles at the waterline, you will want to have that cleaned before the scale build up is harder to clean. The pool contractors from Town & Country Pools will pay attention to any potential scale build up when we pay a service visit, but if you notice it before we do, please let us know. We can either clean it for you, or show you how to clean the tiles.
The build up is much like you’d see in your bathtub or shower; in your swimming pool it is the cleaning agents and chemicals that lead to the need for cleaning the pool tiles.
Cleaning pool tiles
The use of chemical-free cleaning methods will allow you to continue using the pool while the tiles are being cleaned. Non-chemical methods won’t introduce any new chemicals to the pool water or throw off the pool chemistry. Non-chemical options include:
- Baking soda
- Gentle dish soap
Using these cleaning agents and a toothbrush might be all that is needed to remove the unsightly build up. The pool building material will also play a role in the type of cleaning agents and brush used. You don’t want to use anything that is too harsh that could damage the pool.
If build up has been ignored, your contractor might have to use stronger tile cleaners or even a stronger scrubbing brush. We urge you to not do any of this until you ask us for advice; you don’t want to damage the pool.
In some cases your pool contractor may recommend draining the pool to an area below the build up as a way to thoroughly clean it — if this happens, it will, naturally be a longer process and will likely mean you won’t be able to use the pool for a few days.
Some pool owners find that if they have a salt cleaning system rather than chlorine it helps keep the chalky build away. Making a change to a salt system is, however, a big expense and if that’s not in your budget, simply keeping up with the cleaning of the tiles will be all you need to do.
Town & Country Pools, serving DC, Virginia & Maryland explain how to choose a pool builder
Choosing a pool contractor is the first and sometimes the most difficult part of becoming a swimming pool owner. Don’t let the decision overwhelm you, though, because when you work with an experienced pool contractor you can rest assured you will get the pool of your dreams.
Choosing pool contractor
Here are some of the questions a pool contractor will ask and you may want to go to a pool contractor visit with an idea in mind and with questions in mind for those options about which you need more advice.
- The style
- Building material — concrete, vinyl liner or fiberglass
- The size
- Chlorine or salt water
- Indoors or outdoors
- Shape – traditional or free form
- Finding the best contractor
- Choosing a pool service contractor once the construction is complete
These questions hardly touch the surface of the many items you will need to talk with your swimming pool contractor from Town & Country Pools about because under each question are further layers of questions that will need to be answered!
In addition to the questions posed above, here are some more items to research:
- Your budget for the project, paying back any kind of loan you take out for it and for ongoing upkeep and maintenance the money being set aside to pay for increases you will likely see in your utility bills. Let the potential pool builder know how much you have to spend, what you’re hoping for in your pool project and then work from there. Ask him too for an estimate on what he thinks you could be faced with for increased utility bills.
- Your pool budget may determine the style and building material for your pool as well, so be willing to be flexible.
- Will you fit your pool into your landscape or will you mold your landscape to fit the pool design you’re hoping for? Having a pool builder come out and inspect or survey your property will help solidify that aspect of the project.
- The best pool contractor is not necessarily the cheapest. Bear in mind that you get what you pay for and because you will own your pool for decades you want to put in the funds necessary to get a pool that will be a joy for the time you own it. Ask a potential pool contractor for references and check his portfolio to see if he has completed projects such as the one you’re seeking.
Because a swimming pool is a major investment and an asset to your home and property and frankly, your family’s lives, you need to thoroughly research and make sure you are getting the pool and the accessories of your dreams.