Monthly Archives

November 2020

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

By | Pool Safety

Written by Sami Mericle and published on

With the rise of climate change and awareness of our environmental impact on the world, many of us are trying to incorporate everyday practices that reduce our environmental footprint. Ensuring appropriate use of our natural resources, such as water, is one consideration. Whilst we can limit water use in the garden, there has been one glaringly obvious backyard addition that has traditionally been overlooked.

Eco swimming pools are a new style of pool that is emerging into the mainstream arena. Eco pools are essentially any pool that uses a natural purification system rather than traditional chemicals such as salt or chlorine. Whilst the concept is not new (the movement for backyard eco pools started in the 1980’s), the creation and maintenance of these types of pools is more environmentally beneficial when compared to conventional pools.

Can a Swimming Pool Be Ecofriendly?

Swimming pools may be the quintessential symbol of summer. Nothing says relaxation like lounging by a pool, perhaps with a trendy inflatable swan floating by.

No one wants to ruin the fun by bringing up the environmental impact of pools, but that’s our job here at Sierra. Traditional pools invoke the trifecta of environmental destruction: high water use, high energy use, and harmful chemicals. As with other home systems, the specific impact of your pool depends on your electric and water sources. Is your home powered by solar or coal? Is fresh water abundant in your region, or is it pumped in from miles away?

So, how to reduce the impact of your pool? “My first recommendation would be to convert it into a rainwater storage tank or a hothouse for growing tomatoes,” says Dr. Nigel Forrest, coauthor of a comprehensive 2010 study on the environmental impact of pools. Forrest’s research also touts the value of community pools, which, by cutting the need for household pools in their immediate area, conserve water and energy.

We don’t deny the appeal of backyard pools, though. If you’re not willing to give yours up, here are some tips for how to make it more ecofriendly:

1. Cover up!

The best thing you can do to save water and energy is to use a pool cover. This is particularly important in hot, arid regions, like Southern California and Arizona, where pools are constantly losing water to evaporation. Covers also keep pools cleaner, which allows you to reduce your pumping schedule (see tip #2).

Ideally, you should cover your pool whenever it’s not in use. If you can’t commit to covering it every summer night, at least consider extending your pool’s “off season”—keeping it covered for a few extra weeks each year can save hundreds of gallons of water.

In addition to saving energy and water, a tightly fitted safety cover prevents your luxury from becoming a death trap for pets and wildlife. The last thing a nature-loving pool owner wants to discover is a drowned frog, rabbit, or baby bird.

2.  Prime the pump

Pool pumps, which push water through pools’ circulation systems, use a whole lot of energy. In fact, besides heaters and air conditioners, typical varieties guzzle the most electricity of all household appliances. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimated in 2008 that pumps in the U.S. are responsible for 10 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually—the equivalent of 1.3 million cars.

Many pool service professionals recommend that pumps run anywhere from six to 12 hours per day, long enough to push an entire pool’s worth of water through the filter. However, most debris is only found at the top of the pool—meaning you can likely run your pump for less time, without adverse effects. Variable speed pumps can be programmed to meet the specific needs of your pool, and meanwhile save you hundreds of dollars each year. For maximal efficiency, try a pump certified by Energy Star.

3. Go natural

Most pools use chlorine and other harsh chemicals to kill bacteria and algae, but frequent swimmers know that these substances can irritate skin and eyes. Such chemicals also carry significant transportation and manufacturing impacts. Chlorine’s manufacturing, for instance, leads to mercury emissions. And once dumped in a swimming pool, chlorine may contribute to local ozone pollution.

Saltwater pools have been gaining popularity as an alternative to chlorine, but here’s an even better solution: natural pools (pictured above). These pools, more common in Europe than the United States, rely on natural biological processes to purify the water. The best use aquatic plants native to its given area, and thus act as part of the local ecosystem.

“It’s the same process that Mother Nature uses to clarify and purify water,” says James Robyn, president of BioNova Natural Pools, a New Jersey-based network of landscape architects, designers, and architects that implement natural swimming pools. “What we do with a natural swimming pool is we use that same process that Mother Nature uses, and we do it in an optimal fashion, so we do it very efficiently.”

Depending on how comfortable you are swimming with reeds, you can get different models of natural swimming pools. Some separate the plants from the main swimming area, while others integrate them, creating a pond-like aesthetic.

Unfortunately, natural pool installation tends to run at about twice the cost of traditional pools, according to Robyn. However, they will save you money on electricity, as most pumps are not pressurized, and thus use much less energy.

4. Or, go partly natural

If you don’t have the funds, or desire, to convert your pool into a fully natural swimming hole, you can still rely on plants to reduce the need for chlorine and other heavy chemicals. Minneapolis-based Creative Water Solutions sells sphagnum moss for use in swimming pools and industrial operations. The moss limits bacterial growth and absorbs some metals. In contrast to natural pools, the moss is submerged, so as to maintain that classic swimming pool aesthetic.

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Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design

By | Pool Safety

Written by Joe Provey and published on

In all other cases where swimming pool is usually made on ground level, Concrete is the most preferred material – thanks to its durability, straight forward construction techniques, lower cost and easy availability. These kind of swimming pools last much longer than the other kinds and give a classic look which we have seen in movies.

The Concrete Swimming Pool is the most popular choice for in-ground pools. They initial costs are soon paid back with the longer life of the swimming pool Also, unlike other kinds of pools, concrete pools are serviceable and therefore can be repaired and even enlarged afterwards.

Swimming Pools 101

Considering an in-ground swimming pool? Here’s everything you need to know about style, type, maintenance, safety and cost.

An in-ground pool is the ultimate in backyard upgrades. If you’ve always wanted one, now may be the time. Prices have fallen during the recession by up to 30 percent. Nevertheless, it remains a big investment, so it’s important to make smart choices with regard to size, shape, site selection, and type.

Size and shape depend upon your needs, budget, available area, and design wishes. Swim spas are small pools (some only 10 to 14 feet long) that produce a manmade current against which you can swim in place. Lap pools are typically narrow but require a sizeable yard. Some are as long as an Olympic pool (25 meters) and are meant for training or exercise. Recreational pools are usually shallow at one end and deep enough for diving (9 to 11 ft.) at the other. Typically rectangular, they come in many sizes. Freeform shapes are also available and are often preferred because they blend well into the backyard landscape.

Many pool owners prefer to install their pool close to the kitchen or family room. That provides ready access to the house and makes it easier to bring food and drinks out and to clean up afterwards. It’s also easier to keep an eye on the pool from the house. That said, a somewhat secluded pool has the feel of a vacation getaway—without ever pulling out of the driveway. As long as the pool is connected to the house with a smooth, well-lit path and has a sizeable pool deck around it for outdoor furniture and a grill, no one will complain. A pool cabana, of course, allows for nearby dressing and showering.

Pool Construction Methods

The majority of today’s pools are built of vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete (called either wet shotcrete or Gunite, depending upon how it’s mixed and applied). Poured concrete pools and concrete block pools have fallen out of favor. A plaster finish is troweled over shotcrete or Gunite surfaces.


Vinyl is the least expensive option. Inside a suitable excavation, a frame of wood, plastic or metal is erected. The most stable systems are set in a concrete footing. Wall panels are then fastened to the framing, plumbing is installed, and a sand base is laid. A heavy-duty vinyl liner is fastened to the top of the frame and what remains of the hole is backfilled. Masonry coping is installed over the top of the wall.

Fiberglass Poolsand Spas Pool Installation



Fiberglass pools are pre-molded in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are manufactured with steps, benches, and swimouts already in place (not the case with vinyl). After the hole has been dug, plumbing installed, and sand base laid, it is lowered into the hole and leveled. To avoid bowing, filling the pool with water and backfilling with sand must be done simultaneously. No framing is required.


Shotcrete pools are made by shooting a mix of cement, sand, water, and aggregate from a pneumatic applicator at high speeds against the earthen walls and base of the pool excavation and around a grid woven of steel rebar (reinforcing bar). Multiple passes are necessary to build the mixture to the desired thickness. The concrete must be troweled smooth before it sets, and afterwards a coat of plaster is applied.

There are two types of shotcrete, wet and dry.

  • Wet shotcrete is delivered premixed with water in a truck.
  • Dry shotcrete, commonly known as Gunite, is a mix of sand and cement and sometimes small aggregate. It remains dry until it reaches the nozzle of the applicator and doesn’t really mix with water until impact on the pool walls and floor.

There is some debate about which approach is stronger and longer lasting, but both processes produce durable pools. Gunite, however, demands a more highly skilled nozzle man to maintain the correct water-to-cement ratio.

Pool Decking

Decking around a pool can be poured concrete, stone, brick, tile, or any of a variety of pavers. Wood may also be used, but it will demand more maintenance, can be slippery when wet, and is prone to causing splinters. Don’t skimp on area. The pool deck, which will be used for lounging, sunbathing, and dining, is likely to get more use than the pool!

Pool Costs

Pool costs vary by type of pool and region. For example, in many parts of the country a fiberglass pool costs less than a concrete pool—but not everywhere.

Size is probably a more important indicator of price.

  • Small pools will cost roughly between $20,000 and $30,000.
  • Medium-size pools will run between $30,000 and $40,000.
  • Large pools begin at $40,000 and go up from there.
  • Add in the extras—diving boards, slides, decking, lighting, and automatic cleaners—and the costs can easily rise by another 10 to 20 percent.

Some pool contractors may be able to give you a more accurate estimate based upon the pool volume. For example, concrete pools in many parts of the country cost about $10 per cubic foot. As with any home improvement, request several quotes from reputable contractors along with as many references as possible.

In addition to initial cost, plan for ongoing maintenance expenses. Vinyl liners, for example, last about 5 to 10 years, at which time they need to be replaced at a cost of about $4,000. Concrete pools need to be resurfaced every 10 years or so, a job that can cost even more. Fiberglass pools have a life expectancy of 25 years, making them a low-cost option in the long term. In addition, fiberglass is less likely to stain or support the growth of algae, thereby reducing maintenance hassle and expense.

Swimming Pools 101

Pool Maintenance

The cost of a new pool doesn’t end with its construction. Depending upon how much of it you hire out, maintenance, supplies and electrical costs can run between $1000 and $3000 a year. There’s opening and closing, cleaning, checking connections, adjusting pH, adding algaecide, surface repairs, and liner replacements. Cost-saving green alternatives are available. Before deciding upon chlorine as your primary sanitizer (it’s a major pollutant), consider some of the natural water purifiers. They include saltwater, ionization, oxidation, sonic waves, and certain types of plants. And if you’re thinking about heating your pool to extend its use into the cooler seasons, consider solar thermal heating. Of all the solar technologies, its payback is the fastest.

Pool Safety

The Consumer Safety Protection Commission (CPSC) recommends taking measures to prevent children from accessing the water when there is no adult supervision. When planning a pool, include a fence around the perimeter in your plans. (Your municipality may demand it—and it’s a good idea in any case.) Gates should be self-closing, self-latching, and lockable. Door, gate and pool alarms should be installed along with anti-entrapment drain covers and securable pool covers. Everyone using the pool should be taught to swim, and someone in the family should be trained in CPR, first aid, and emergency response.

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How to Remove Stains from Your Pool

By | Pool Safety

Written by Barack James and published on

Stains on your pool can be embarrassing and can make enjoying your pool with friends and family difficult. Some pool stains are hard to remove and may require more than just brushing to remove them.

In some cases, you may need to use powerful chemicals and other pool cleaning methods to treat your pool stains and prevent future stains from forming.

How to Remove and Prevent Metal Stains in a Swimming Pool

Fixing a Swimming Pool’s Metal Stains

Swimming pools with water sourced from a well are prone to developing stains due to the presence of heavy metal compounds like iron, copper, silver, and manganese.

Oxidised iron turns pool parts and water to a brown or rusty colour, copper turns pool parts and water to light green, silver turns pool parts and water to black, and manganese turns pool parts and water to purple.

Metal stains occur mainly when chlorine is added in water, oxidising these heavy metals to produce different stain colours, depending on the metals present in your water. These stains might occur at different places inside and around your pool, including:

  • in the pool water,
  • along the bottom or walls of the pool,
  • along a vinyl liner or on fibreglass surfaces, and
  • across the steps or on various pieces of pool equipment.

In this article, we will break down how to:

  1. test the water for metal stains,
  2. get rid of metal stains in five steps, and
  3. prevent staining in the future.

Step 1: Testing the Pool Water—Is It Metal Staining or Algae?

Before taking any action to undergo treatment for metal stains, you need to be certain it’s metal staining. Green or black stains might indicate metal stains, but they may also occur as a result of green or black algae. Do the vitamin C test by using ascorbic acid to determine whether it’s metal staining or not:

  1. Hold a vitamin C tablet against a potion of the stain for about 30 seconds.
  2. If the stain vanishes or lightens, then it is metal stain and not algae.
Metal Stains Before and After Removal

Metal Stains Before and After Removal


Step 2: Getting Rid of Metal Stains in 5 Easy Steps

Here is an easy five-step breakdown of how to remove metal stains from your pool.

1. Lower the Free Chlorine Level to 0.0 ppm

Before adding ascorbic acid, ensure that you take down the chlorine level to 0.0 ppm using a neutralizing chemical, direct sunlight, or by partially draining and refilling your pool with fresh water. Lowering chlorine to 0.0 ppm is necessary, as chlorine will cause more stains, and you may need more ascorbic acid to clear the stains.

Important Note: Since clearing all metal stains may take a couple of days with zero free chlorine, you can use ProTeam Polyquat 60 Algaecide. I recommend this because it has no copper compounds that may worsen the stains, has no ammonia that can cause extremely cloudy water that is not easy to clear, and can be effective in fighting and preventing any type of algae that might thrive in your water.

2. Lower the pH Level to 7.2

Lower your pH level to 7.2 using muriatic acid if it’s higher than that. This is necessary since high pH levels may need a lot of ascorbic acid to be able to clear metal stains and may also contribute to more metal staining, and that is what you need to get rid of. I prefer muriatic acid, since pH minus will not lower the total alkalinity (TA)—and high TA might cause pH to scale high if the process of clearing stains take longer.

  1. Put your pool’s filter on circulation.
  2. You need about 1 pound of ascorbic acid for every 10,000 gallons. So the amount to add will depend on the volume of your pool.
  3. Using a tin or a cup, drop the ascorbic acid down the sides of the pool all around the perimeter, targeting most stain-affected areas.
  4. Let the ascorbic acid circulate for around 30 minutes, and watch the metal stains fade away slowly before your eyes. If you still see small stains after 30 minutes, add more ascorbic acid on those spots while the filter is on for at least 24 hours.
  5. After 24 hours, all the stains should have faded away. Start re-balancing your water chemistry after 24 hours.

4. Get pH and Alkalinity Back to Normal Levels

Ascorbic acid is strong and will definitely bring down pH and TA levels. If the pH and TA are not way out of balance, you can use 20 Mule Team Borax to raise the pH without affecting TA and an alkalinity increaser to bring the TA up to recommended levels when it gets low. Add these chemicals slowly while testing until they get to recommended levels, since you don’t want pH or TA to get out of balance.

Remember that pH should be maintained between 7.4 and 7.6 to avoid metal staining. I prefer using LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 digital pool water test kit, since it is very accurate and fast in taking all chemical readings. If by mistake you get your pH and TA out of balance and they get troublesome to balance, here is more about how you can balance pH and TA.

5. Get Chlorine Back to Normal Levels

Raise your free chlorine level to 1.0 or 2.0 and leave it there. You need to use liquid chlorine bleach for this purpose.

Be cautious while adding chlorine and watch for any staining in the process. Ensure that you keep your chlorine at the minimum level possible depending on the available cyanuric acid level.

You can use a chlorine/cyanuric acid chart or pool calculator to find the accurate amount of free chlorine you need.

After getting chlorine to the recommended level between 1 and 2 ppm, avoid shocking your pool for about two weeks to allow the ascorbic acid to be completely used up. After about two weeks, you will notice chlorine being used up as usual. You can then begin to shock your pool carefully to avoid adding excess chlorine.

Important Note: High levels of pH and chlorine will definitely precipitate any metal compound in your water if not treated (sequestered) or removed out of your water.

Step 3: 3 Ways to Prevent Metal Staining in the Future

Here is a breakdown of three simple ways to prevent metal stains from building up in the future.

1. Remove Metal Compounds From Your Fill-Water

Some years back, before CuLator metal eliminator was available, there was no practical way of removing metallic compounds from pool fill-water before entering your pool. The only possible way was to treat water inside your pool, which is hard work and expensive to maintain.

CuLator Ultra Power Park is now my best option for this, because you can use it in the skimmer or pump basket to remove up to 4 ppm metal compounds from 20,000 gallons of fill-water before entering your pool. If your pool is more than 20,000 gallons, you can increase your parks and use them both in the skimmer and pump basket.

CuLator should work up to 30 days or longer depending on the level of metal in your water and is replaceable once worn out.

Moreover, you need to be careful with the chemicals you add in your pool, since copper may find its way in your pool from chemicals such as algaecide or ionizer—and from eroded pool parts with copper. If you can’t use CuLator for any reason, detailed below are more ways to control metal stains in your pool.

2. Add Metal Remover in Your Pool Water

Metal remover is one of my best options, because it works by removing heavy metals in your pool water through the filter, leaving your water clean and free of heavy metals that cause stains when chlorine is added or pH levels scale high. Metal Magic by Pro Team is my preferred option, since it removes all common metals from your water, including copper, iron, silver, and manganese.

Metal Magic is non-foaming, pH neutral, and won’t affect your pH levels or cause foaming inside and around your pool. Moreover, it also removes current metal stains from your pool and scales from surfaces. It crystallizes and removes metals from pool water through the pool filter. Metal Magic is compatible with all types of filtration systems, and it doesn’t matter which filter your pool runs on. This product also protects plumbing and equipment, which is an added advantage on your pool parts.

If you decide to use Metal Magic, the product dosage for initial treatment is 32 fluid ounces per 10,000 gallons of water. That is, if you have a 20,000-gallon pool, you will add 64 fluid ounces to be able to remove all metal compounds in your pool water.

The easiest way to avoid stains in your pool, however, is to avoid fill-water with metals. Before installing your pool, it is important to test your water source for metal content and avoid water sources with metals in it at all costs, because maintenance will be relatively hard and expensive in the long run.

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Things You Must Know Before you Build a Concrete Pool

By | Pool Safety

Written by Jason Hughes and published on

Do you have plans to build a concrete pool?

First of all, we want to congratulate you on taking your first steps towards getting a new swimming pool for your home! Nothing compares to the joy and fun that a pool can bring to the whole family, and that’s why we continue our work of manufacturing fiberglass pools year after year. But before you build a concrete pool, we encourage you to do your research so that you can know exactly what you’re getting.

6 Things You Must Know Before You Buy an Inground Pool

Buying an inground pool is a major purchase. They cost tens of thousands of dollars and can affect both the aesthetic of your outdoor space and the value of your home. This is a purchase that you should never take lightly.

There is a lot of research that you need to do before buying one and a lot of decisions that need to be made.

If you leap in without doing your homework, you could overpay, purchase a pool that requires more maintenance than you prefer, or hire the wrong contractor for the job.

Doing your research can help you make educated and informed decisions about the type of pool you buy and its features.

All in all, this helps ensure the pool not only looks amazing outside your house, but has the features and functions that make sense for you and your family.

6 things that you should know before you purchase an inground pool

  1. What type of pool you want
  2. The costs of the different pool types (including hidden costs)
  3. The construction timeframe and process
  4. Size, shape, and design
  5. Landscaping
  6. How to find a good pool contractor


Why Fiberglass?

When you are looking to install an inground pool, one of the first decisions you will have to make is what type of pool you want.

This can include a fiberglass pool, a concrete pool, or a vinyl liner pool.

Most experts recommend that you obtain a fiberglass pool unless you have special needs that fiberglass pools do not offer.

For example, a concrete pool can be constructed as big as you want, whereas a fiberglass pool cannot be.

And a vinyl liner pool has the cheapest initial cost, making it ideal for those who want a pool but don’t have a lot of money to spend.

However, a fiberglass pool works best for the majority of homeowners.

If you are still on the fence about a fiberglass pool, learning why a fiberglass pool is highly recommended may help you decide. There are many benefits to a fiberglass pool.

The first benefit is that fiberglass pools are low maintenance.

Both liners and concrete pools are susceptible to staining and algae. That is not the case with fiberglass, so you can spend more time enjoying your pool and less time cleaning it.

Another benefit is that fiberglass pools are smooth.

You do not have to worry about scratching your feet up or a little one cutting their hand if they touch the edges or bottom of the pool.

The last major benefit to fiberglass pools is that they are easy to install and can be installed year round. This is not the case with liner and concrete pools, which need optimal weather conditions to be installed.


When you are looking to purchase an inground pool, price is something that you obviously need to consider.

However, many people make the mistake of only researching one aspect of the price.

When you are looking to purchase an inground pool, you need to consider both the initial purchase price of the pool as well as the lifetime cost of ownership associated with the pool.

Here is some information about pricing you should know as you consider buying an inground pool.


The Costs Associated With Different Pool Types

As you decide which type of pool is ideal for you, you will want to compare the pricing of different pools.

Here are three of the most popular types of pools and the costs associated with them.



On average, a fiberglass pool will cost the length of the pool times one thousand, plus $10,000.

So a 25-foot pool will cost around $35,000.

Additionally, most people spend another $5,000 to $15,000 on pool accessories, electrical work, patio and landscaping and fencing around the pool.

All in all, most people spend $45,000–$85,000 when they buy a fiberglass pool.

In addition to the initial install costs, you need to consider the cost of owning the pool.

The cost of maintaining a fiberglass pool for about 10 years will cost you $3,750.



A concrete pool is by far the most expensive type of pool to construct.

Depending on the size and shape of the pool, a concrete pool typically runs anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.

In addition to the initial cost being high, the cost of maintaining the pool is also high.

A concrete pool will cost an average of $27,400 to maintain over a 10-year period.


Vinyl Liner

The cheapest option for pools is vinyl liner pools.

A vinyl liner pool can cost around $20,000 if you decide to do it yourself. It may cost anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000 when you hire a professional to do it for you.

While a vinyl liner pool has cheap initial costs, it can be costly to maintain.

Over a 10-year period, this type of pool costs around $11,500 to maintain.


Hidden Costs for a Swimming Pool Project

In addition to the cost to install or build the pool and the cost to maintain the pool, there are some hidden costs for a swimming pool that you should be aware of.

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Top Custom Swimming Pool Design trends

By | Pool Safety

Written by Admin and published on

The pool designs we are now seeing as the trend or fashion for residential swimming pools were once only seen in exclusive holiday resorts. Occasionally these swimming pool designs would be seen on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but rarely as a residential suburban swimming pool. This is especially the case with our first pool design trend, the infinity edge pool.

Swimming Pool Trends for the Ultimate Staycation Right at Home

Finding the time to go on vacation can be difficult. With that being said more and more homeowners are becoming fond of the idea of adding a swimming pool to their homes. Doing so will allow them to have the ultimate staycation in their backyard.

We are no longer looking at a rectangle, white pool instead we are considering different shapes, sizes, aesthetics and even accessories. In fact, over the years we have witnessed multiple different pool trends that really made pools innovative, and customizable. Here are swimming pool trends that will transform your backyard into the staycation you have always wanted to have.

Fire and Water

A fire pit does not need to be placed in any specific area. In fact, it can be customized to be placed in any area that you like.
This particular trend has become quite popular recently because of how aesthetically pleasing it is. This can be achieved by incorporating a fire element in your pool area. You may also want to consider having a fire pit or fireplace in order to add a fire element to the space.

Built-in Bar

Consider placing your built-in bar coming off directly from your pool in order to create the ultimate staycation feel.Relaxation is one of the main reasons why most homeowners have a pool in their backyard. Built-in bars have become the ultimate poolside accessory. What better way to relax than to have a built-in bar and enjoy a couple of drinks with your spouse or with family and friends. The great part of owning a built-in bar is that it has the ability to be customized exactly to what you want it to be. Consider adding a built-in bar directly coming from your pool or having it be part of your outdoor pool space.

Sports Pool

The bigger your sports pool is the more space you will have to work on your fitness. Keep in mind your sports pool can be as wide as you would like

Many homeowners are removing their shallow pools and replacing them with a deeper depth level pool. This is called a sports pool because it is better suited for water sports. Sports such as water volleyball, swimming, and even water basketball can be done in this type of pool. In fact, with this kind of pool, many homeowners enjoy doing their regular fitness routines in the water instead.

Saltwater Instead

Plants are an excellent addition to add to your pool area as they bring beauty as well as a vacation feel

In order for your pool to remain clean and sanitized there will have to be high levels of chlorine. Lately, many homeowners are considering making their pool, chlorine free. This can be achieved by opting to switch your pool from fresh water to salt water. Salt water is not only more natural as it contains fewer chemicals. But it is also easier to maintain.

High-End Materials

The beauty of having glass tile as part of your pool is that glass tile can be placed in any color or design that you choose. This makes your pool are even more customizable.Long gone are the days when homeowners had a few materials to choose from when it came to building their custom swimming pool. When it comes to pool design customization there are high-end materials that are being used to create the ultimate vacation getaway. One of the high-end materials that are really on trend is glass tile. It looks great, feels high end and can vary in price point which is always a great way to go.

Smaller Pool

A small pool does not mean you do not have the space for one. In fact, a small pool can be quite beneficial as it gives you the ability to use your backyard space wisely.

Having a smaller pool may seem like a less luxurious investment, but it is actually the opposite. Having a smaller pool is an excellent way of incorporating other elements into your backyard space. Elements such as an outdoor kitchen, or even a backyard swing can be added to complete the pool area.

Ledge Loungers

Nothing feels as relaxing as having ledge loungers that sit right on the water and allows you to have the best of both worlds

If you have ever been on vacation, then you know there is nothing more relaxing than lying on a ledge lounger while having your feet in the pool. Ledge loungers are relaxing because they give you the ability to be in the pool while still getting the warmth from the sun all at the same time.

Advanced LED Lighting

Change your LED lights as often as you choose for the ultimate customized experience. This is also an excellent idea to add color to your backyard space.

If you plan on using your swimming pool at night time having lights is important as it allows you to see at night. Adding advanced LED lights added to your pool area means you have plenty of different colors to choose from. With these lights, you will have the ability to change the color of your pool anytime you choose to do so.

Multi-Level Pool

Creating a multi-leveled pool will give you the getaway you desire right in your backyard. It provides the functionality you would expect at a vacation hotel pool area

The ultimate staycation feel could not be complete without a multi-level pool. Resorts and vacation hotels have always been known for having multi-level pools. The reason being they create a sense of escape and being away from home. Having a multi-level pool can give you the feeling of being on vacation when you are simply in your own backyard.

Darker Pool Hues

Pair your dark blue pool with rich tones around it for an even grander vacation effect in your backyard space

Pools have notoriously always been a light blue color which is said to resemble the color of the sea. However, they are now getting an ultimate upgrade by having the option of being darker in color. Dark tones attract sunlight better. Therefore, it will cost less to heat up your pool.

The ultimate staycation in your home can be achieved by simply making a few changes to your swimming pool. In fact, incorporating one or more of these trends in your swimming pool area can help bring the summer vibes you have been seeking.

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Adding A Water Feature To Your Desert Oasis

By | Pool Safety, Pool Safety Inspections

Written by and published on

The right water feature blends seamlessly into the natural desert surroundings while providing interest and ambiance. Many homeowners believe that living in the desert means a landscape full of cactus, agave, and rock, as well as the absence of water. However, when designed and installed correctly, a water feature can provide a much-needed escape from the dry heat of a desert summer. The pros have mastered the process of seamlessly integrating various types of water features into every style of landscape that you can imagine. And in each case, the finished product adds to the beauty, tranquility, and function of the outdoor living space.

Build a Desert Oasis with a Garden Fountain

Gardening is one of the most beneficial and therapeutic ways you can spend your time. The act of cultivating life is soothing and rewarding. People all around the world have home gardens where they grow some of their favorite flowers and greenery. There are gardens that thrive any many types of environments, but some people believe that there is no hope for the hopeful gardener living in a dry desert location. Those people are truly mistaken. An entire oasis can be built in the backyard of a desert home. With the addition of an outdoor garden fountain, resilient succulents, and a shaded seating area, your desert location can be a thriving and comfortable place to spend your time.

Garden Fountain

One of the biggest changes you can make to your arid environment is introducing water to your scene. Considering the fact that a lack of water is what makes a desert, the presence of a water fountain in your yard will be a great transformation. An outdoor fountain will add a sense of life and rejuvenation an old, dry scene. There are many designs available to fit any style, and a wide range of sizes to complement any size space. Your fountain will be the center of your oasis.


An oasis would not be an oasis without any life there. This is where many people believe desert climates come up short. The words garden and desert are rarely spoken in the same breath, but there are actually many types of plants that can survive with little water. Many of these plants are referred to as succulents, and they grow in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Succulents are thick, fleshy plants that are very efficient when it comes to storing water for extended periods of time. Cacti fall into this category, but they aren’t alone. You can create a beautiful diverse garden full of succulents.

Shaded Seating

Desert climates see little rain, so clouds are often scarce. The constant powerful rays of the sun can become very uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous. When you’re in this type of climate, it is important to find ways to protect yourself from the sun. A great way to enjoy your new oasis is by completing the scene with a canopy to frame your seating area. With the right selection of outdoor furniture, you will be able to set up the perfect space for hours of conversation, dining, and relaxation.

Don’t let the harsh effects of a desert climate force you indoors. If you are hoping for an oasis in the middle of your dry environment, create one in your own backyard. With the right fountain, the right plants, and the right shaded seating area, there’s no way you could go wrong. Make the most of your desert scene with water and life!

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How Much Does A Pool Cost?

By | Pool Safety Inspections, Pool Safety

Written by Admin and published on

Anything you can imagine, when it comes to fun features for your swimming pool or functional outdoor living space.Every person in the swimming pool industry knows that many potential customers have the same first question. How much is a pool going to cost me? And everyone in the industry rattles off the same answer, not to be disrespectful or curt, but because it is the only honest answer. And that answer is this, the cost of your pool will depend on what you want to include in your pool. And also any landscaping and outdoor living space that will be included in the project.

Some potential pool owners begin rattling off a wish list, while others look perplexed and ask what the options are. However, to continue with the line of honesty, many factors are going to come to bear when pricing a pool. And it all begins with the location of the build. And then it carries over to the features and functions that you would like to include in the proposal.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Swimming Pool?

If you live in a warm climate, want to enhance your outdoor living space, or increase the value to your home, adding a swimming pool to your property can be a great project. Swimming pools provide a place to entertain friends and family or cool off on hot days. They come in many shapes, sizes, and materials and can be filtered or cleaned using various techniques. All these variables impact the overall cost of building a swimming pool.

The national average range to build a swimming pool is $3,000 – $100,000 due to the enormous variety of projects involved. The average homeowner will spend around $50,000 for a 12 x 24-foot in-ground fiberglass 1 swimming pool with a concrete deck.

Swimming Pool Installation Costs

Swimming Pool Costs
National average cost $50,000
Average range $3,000-$100,000
Minimum cost $1,500
Maximum cost $110,000

Build Swimming Pool Cost by Project Range

Metal-frame above-ground pool with ladder and no deck
Average Cost
12 x 24-foot fiberglass in-ground pool with concrete deck
Concrete infinity pool with enclosure

Swimming Pool Costs by Type

Pools are available in a wide variety of options and types, depending on location, size, and what you plan to do with them. Most pools are used outdoors, but a few are designed for indoor use as well:

Type of pool Average cost
Above-Ground Inflatable $200-$1,000
Above-Ground Metal Frame $500-$3,000
Above-Ground Hard-Sided $2,000-$7,000
Above-Ground Lap Pool $7,000-$10,000
Spool $12,000
Plunge $20,000
Endless $29,000
In-Ground Vinyl $37,000
In-Ground Fiberglass $50,000
In-Ground Lap Pool $50,000
In-Ground Saltwater Pool $50,000
In-Ground Concrete $60,000
Natural Pool $70,000
Infinity Pool $100,000

In-ground Pool Costs

In-ground pools are the most popular and common pool installation. They are typically made of one of three materials – vinyl 2, fiberglass, or concrete. Each one has its own cost, pros, and cons to consider, as well as maintenance and installation timelines:

All three materials create a beautiful pool with a variety of shapes, sizes, and depths. Of the three, vinyl is the least expensive and one of the fastest and easiest to make. But it requires the most maintenance, including replacing the liner every 7 years on average. Vinyl is also the least likely to enhance your property or provide a good ROI.

Fiberglass is also a fast pool to install, going in within just a few weeks. Sizes and shapes are more limited, and custom pools are not usually an option. The shell can last 25 years, however, and fiberglass pools often resist algae, making them easy-to-maintain.

Concrete pools take the longest to build, up to 12 weeks. They can, however, be the longest-lasting pool and provide the most options for customization, including appearance, size, shape, and depth.

Above-ground Pool Costs

Above-ground pools can be just as enjoyable as an in-ground pool, while also being less expensive and generally easier and less invasive to install. They can be put in with or without decking and come in a range of materials, sizes, and appearances.

Depending on the pool’s size, shape, and material, they cost anywhere from $800$7,000 for the pool itself, not including labor or decking.

Indoor Pool Costs

Indoor swimming pools are a great investment if you want to swim year-round or avoid some of the common cleaning issues with an outdoor pool, such as debris and leaves. Indoor pools allow you to swim no matter what the weather or time of year. Without sunlight, they may grow algae more easily and require continuous maintenance. They may also have additional heating costs for the pool and the surrounding area in cooler weather and may become hot and muggy during warmer weather. The pool itself costs between $40,000 – $60,000 on average, with additional costs for the housing structure and surround.

Indoor in-ground swimming pool inside a dedicated room of the house

Infinity Pool Costs

Infinity pools make a beautiful addition to any yard or property. They create a waterfall illusion with the water flowing continuously over the edge of the pool into a small basin where it can be recycled. The pool creates a stunning visual effect, which can be very appealing. They are easy-to-maintain with the constantly flowing water, helping to prevent algae buildup. The small basin the water pours into can also make an excellent kiddie pool. Infinity pools are expensive, however, averaging around $90,000 – $105,000. They also require a sloping property to really show off their edge. Otherwise, they are not as impressive. A slope of this kind, however, can be dangerous to have near the pool.

Woman bathing in an infinity pool located on a rooftop

Lap Pool Costs

If you swim regularly for exercise, a lap pool can be a great addition to any property. This is a long, thin pool measuring roughly 8-feet by 50-feet. They can be made of vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete, and because of their unique dimensions, they often fit into spaces where a standard pool may not. They cost around $50,000 completely installed and require the same amount of maintenance as other pools. Like other pools, it should be fenced for security.

Lap pool surrounded by a wood deck

Natural Pool Costs

Natural pools make beautiful additions to many yards. This pool uses natural plants to filter the water, rather than chlorine or salt, so it is considered better for the environment. It consists of two parts – the swimming area and the regeneration zone, where the water is filtered. The two areas need to be roughly the same size, so they require about twice the amount of space. They can be made of a few different materials and can have many features, including waterfalls and infinity edges. The plant medium can also be made of various aquatic plants. The pool is low-maintenance once set up but can become home to aquatic animals and insects over time. They cost around $70,000 on average.

Natural pool in a house yard

Plunge Pool Costs

If you have a small area and want your pool for soaking or cooling off, rather than exercise, a plunge pool is an option. This small pool is usually about 13-15’ long, 6-8’ wide, and 3-5’ deep. They may include a waterfall feature and typically have a concrete deck. This is a great option for small properties and for those who just enjoy the water without wanting to swim. However, they need just as much maintenance as a larger pool, requiring filters, heaters, and chemical treatments. They cost about $15,000 on average.

Private plunge pool in a terrace

Saltwater Pool Costs

Saltwater pools are in-ground pools made of vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete that have a saltwater chlorine generator. They cost roughly the same as a standard pool of the same type, around $50,000 for a 12 x 24-foot fiberglass pool, but they have lower ongoing costs. The salt can feel better on your skin, with the water having a softer, silkier feel. The pools may need less maintenance because they do not need to be “shocked” like with chlorine. The salt can damage your landscaping, however, and may corrode some parts of the pool, such as the ladder, stone decking, or the O-rings in your filters.

Salt water pool built in a backyard with a concrete deck

Pool Deck Costs

When building an in-ground pool, you need to add a deck. Decks provide a non-slip area around the pool and help protect your landscaping, enhance the pool area, and provide a more appealing visual for the yard. Decks come in many materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, or wood. The average pool deck 3 costs around $7,000 installed.

Cost Factors to Build a Pool

Many factors impact the total cost of building a pool. The pool type is just one consideration, as is the material that it is made from. In addition, the pool size, location, how difficult the terrain is to excavate, added features, shape and design, and finish all impact the final cost. Things like decking, heaters and filters, stairs, ladders, pool covers, lighting, and fencing also affect the price.

The following cost ranges provide an idea of how various factors determine the total cost of the pool:

Cost Factor Average Cost Range
Excavation $450 – $3,250
Blasting Rocky Terrain $600 – $7,200
Above-Ground Pool $1,500 – $12,000
Labor Costs $5,000 – $15,000
Finishing Costs $10,000 – $20,000
Vinyl Pools $19,000 – $63,000
In-Ground Pool $19,000 – $150,000
Concrete (Shotcrete) $33,000 – $110,000
Fiberglass Pools $38,000 – $80,000
Concrete (Gunite) $50,000 – $150,000

Labor Costs to Build a Pool

Labor costs vary, depending primarily on the pool type. In-ground pools tend to have higher labor costs than above-ground pools, while concrete and fiberglass have higher labor costs than vinyl. Labor costs are also impacted if blasting is needed with the excavation and whether the deck is installed at the same time.

On average, labor costs to build a pool range from $5,000 – $15,000 but can go higher for custom pools with specialty designs.

Design: Top Swimming Pool Shapes

Swimming pools come in many shapes and configurations. The standard shapes are rectangular, round, and oval, but pools come in a nearly endless variety of forms, depending on the material used.

Vinyl pools can be made into many shapes, including freeform shapes and “kidney” designs. Fiberglass is more limited because it must be made in a mold, so each manufacturer has a set number of molds they can pour. They may have some freeform shapes or kidneys, but the majority tend to be rectangular.

There are virtually no limits to a concrete pool. They can be designed in standard shapes and freeform designs, as well as custom shapes, including but not limited to:

  • Exclamation points
  • Question marks
  • Mickey Mouse ears
  • Figure 8s
  • Lazy L
  • Geometric shapes

Keep in mind that deviating from a standard shape increases the pool’s cost. Rectangular, round, and oval pools are usually less expensive to build than freeform, kidney, or custom shapes.

Pool Excavation Costs

The excavation cost for an in-ground pool varies depending on a few factors, including the pool’s size, shape, and depth and the terrain. If the yard is rocky and difficult to dig in, it will require blasting at an increased cost. Any excavation also has dirt-hauling costs added to the total excavation cost.

On average, expect excavation costs to range from $500 – $3,500, with an additional $200 – $400 for dirt hauling and $600 – $7,200 for blasting very rocky terrain.


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How To Extend Your Swimming Season With A Pool Heater

By | Pool Safety

Written by Admin and published on

The only time you want to see green water in your pool is on Christmas Eve. And thanks to some creative lighting and a pool heater, this family will be enjoying a festive dip in their heated pool before opening their holiday gifts. When the average daily temperature is still at or above 100 degrees here in the Valley of the Sun, it can be hard to imagine why anyone would spend the money on equipment to heat their pool. Or maybe you purchased a home that did not have a heater for the swimming pool, and you just never got around to remedying that problem. But as we head into October, you will begin to see the wisdom in this investment. However, by then, you will have little time to put a plan into action and have a warm pool to enjoy over the winter months. So do your best to think cold thoughts as you consider your three options for extending the use of your swimming pool for winter use.

How To Extend Your Swimming Season

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All You Need To Know About Solar Pool Heaters

By | Pool Safety

Written by Admin and published on

Heating this pool with gas or electricity would cost thousands of dollars a month. But you can add months to your swimming season with solar heating and the operating cost is almost zero! Living in the Valley of the Sun in the summertime, it is hard to imagine why anyone would be considering a swimming pool heater. Many homeowners find that their pool water becomes too warm in the summer months to feel refreshing. But eventually, the temperatures begin to drop, and so does your comfort level in your pool. By late October, the water has gone from pleasant to downright nippy. And you begin to long for the opportunity to lounge in your pool and relax.

Everything you need to know about pool heating

Heating a swimming pool requires a considerable amount of energy, however many consider it a worthwhile investment given the extra usage the pool will get as a result.

There are three main types of pool heating including solar, heat pumps/electric and gas and here we’ve listed the pros and cons of each to help you choose what pool heater is best for your pool.


Solar Heating

How does it work?

Solar pool heating works by using the sun’s free energy to heat the circulating water and return it back to the swimming pool at an elevated temperature.


  • Eco-Friendly. Now more than ever we should be concerned about our impact on the environment and solar powered heating is the best option in this regard.
  • Affordability. You can set up a solar heating system for under $2,000 for a regular sized pool.
  • Low maintenance. Once installed, there’s almost nothing you need to do except enjoy the warm water.
  • Long-lasting. Solar heating systems are void of any internal wiring, moving parts etc. This means that they don’t rust and there are quite simply fewer components that are able to break. The only damage you will see is from the sun after a very long time and the damage is more often than not easily repairable.
  • Easy to install. Solar heating systems are really easy to install. In fact, you can do it yourself. It does require getting on the roof and connecting some piping, so perhaps only DIY if you’re a confident roof climber! Alternatively, a local pool supply store or handyman should be able to assist.
  • Low-cost. Solar heating is free! Once the set-up is complete, the heating won’t cost you a cent.


  • Not as efficient as a gas heater. Solar heating is only really effective when the panels are subjected to direct sunlight and it doesn’t work at night. Some of the systems are quite advanced with control settings to assist with these issues, but it doesn’t change the fact that a gas heater can heat a pool at any time of the day and to whatever temperature you desire.
  • Takes up a lot of space. In order for the solar heating to work effectively, a decent amount of surface area is required. A 16×32 pool (512 sq ft) should have about 260 sq ft. of solar panels. This is simply not possible for some homes.
  • Not the best-looking heating system. Solar panels certainly aren’t inconspicuous, and some might even say that they ruin the appearance of a home. This is personal preference and some homes may be able to conceal the solar panels better than others.
Swimming pool with natural stone paving
Swimming pool with Eco Outdoor Bolzano stone paving

Gas Heating

How does it work?

A gas pool heater works using either natural gas or propane. The gas is burned, heating copper coils that the water flows through and is subsequently heated by before returning back into the pool.


  • Low initial investment. Gas heating requires a lower initial investment in comparison to heat pumps and they’re usually even cheaper than solar heating in terms of up-front costs.
  • On demand heat. Gas heaters heat swimming pools fast and well and no matter the size of the pool or the current temperature.
  • External weather factors, not an issue. Unlike solar heating or heat pumps, gas heaters don’t rely on any external weather factors or elements in order to operate.
  • Year-round swimming. Gas heaters operate efficiently even in the winter months, so you can use your pool all year round!


  • Short lifespan. The lifespan of a gas heater is much shorter compared to solar for instance. Although gas heaters can last longer with regular maintenance and repairs, their average lifespan is five years.
  • Not environmentally friendly. Not only are they more expensive to operate, because they emit carbon dioxide, but gas heaters also have a higher environmental footprint.
  • Not DIY friendly. It is generally recommended that repairs to a gas heater are made by a professional and this can result in an increase to the overall maintenance costs of the gas heater.
Swimming pool with Raven Granite coping
Swimming pool with Raven Granite coping

Heat Pump or Electric Pool Heater

How does it work?

An electric pool heater, also known as a heat pump, works by bringing water into a heating tank and then pumping the warmed water back into the pool. The constant exchange of cold and warm keeps your pool heated. There are two types of electric heaters; water-source and air-source. While both work in similar ways, the water-source heater transfers heat from a water-source to your swimming pool water and an air-source heater uses heat from the air. 


  • Long lifespan. The lifespan of electric pool heaters is generally in the vicinity of 10 years; double that of a gas heater.
  • No emissions. Compared to gas heaters, electric heaters do not emit any pollution.
  • The most reliable pool heater you can have is an electric one. Solar panels are dependent on the amount of sun they can receive, and gas heaters can be affected by extreme temperatures. Electric heat pumps do not have these issues and can be run any time of the year, no matter the conditions.
  • Most electric heat pumps also allow you to cool the water which is a valuable feature in areas with extremely hot temperatures. The heating and cooling functionality enable ideal temperatures all year around.


  • Costly install. The installation is costly because they electric heaters require large circuit breakers and a lot of wiring.
  • Climate limitations. Air-source heaters are limited to climates with outside temperatures of 50 degrees or more. Below that temperature and there is no heat to withdraw from the air.
  • Slow to heat. Electric heaters heat slowly. In order to get the best result, i.e. a heated (or cooled) pool all day, you’re best to leave the electric heater on overnight. However, this of course, increases the overall running costs.
Limestone coping around a swimming pool
Beautifully textured Eco Outdoor Chalford Limestone is used around this swimming pool.

The Bottom Line

The best place to start when you’re selecting a pool heater is to figure out how often and when you’ll use your pool, what your budget is and what best suits your pool and home. Once you’ve got a good idea of these elements, choosing the right pool heater should be fairly straightforward.

If you need more help deciding between one heating source over another, take a look at what the experts say here.

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Common Pool Building Mistakes And How Avoids Them

By | Pool Safety

Written by Admin and published on

Precision engineering and attention to detail are necessities when building a pool like this one. Fortunately, along with decades of experience and expertise to turn your dream into reality. The first step in any successful pool construction project is knowing what the customer wants. Decades of experience asking the right questions to create a very clear image of our customer’s wants and needs for their new swimming pool and spa. You might not even realize that you have ideas and expectations already. But our pros will help you think through your pool, spa, and outdoor living space to decide precisely what it will take to create your dream backyard.

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Building Your Pool

Many homeowners think installing a pool is as simple as digging a hole in the ground. There is a lot that goes into installing a pool, so avoid these expensive mistakes to fully enjoy your pool.

Three of the Biggest Mistakes You Make Installing a Pool

The idea of putting a pool in your backyard will bring about visions of endless summer barbecues, moonlight swims, and plenty of poolside relaxation. Before you invest five figures into the installation though, consider some of these things so you can fully enjoy your pool.

Consider the Weather

When homeowners install a pool, they often don’t consider their area’s climate. Don’t be one of these homeowners. If you live in an area with colder weather, see if you can fit an enclosure into the budget. This will extend your pool season. They can also be beneficial to people living in tropical climates where there is a lot of rain. While they aren’t a necessity in most climates, they can save you a lot of money. Hot weather will expedite the evaporation process, while windier climates will add more debris to your pool, requiring more maintenance.

Choose the Right “Container”

There are a variety of pool materials from which to choose. Concrete is the most common material used with in-ground pools but it’s also the most expensive to maintain. It’s porous, so it’s more prone to bacteria and algae growth, and it’s known to crack in severe weather changes. Fiberglass is the cheapest to maintain because it requires the least amount of chemicals to keep it clean. It doesn’t require annual draining like a concrete pool does, and the only maintenance it really requires is monthly vacuuming.

Choosing the Right Person to Install Your Pool

Many companies who say they install pools have virtually no experience doing so, meaning you end up with a sub-par pool installation. Legitimate pool construction is hard to come by, so look carefully. A pool developer should ideally have a brick and mortar location where you can visit, look at products, and ask questions. Find out if they have experience installing the type of pool you want, the experience of each staff member (including their electrical and plumbing experience), and if they’ll train you in pool maintenance once it’s installed.

Your pool is a huge investment. Carefully planning things ahead of time will save you lots of money and stress.

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