5 Spectacular Pool Renovations to Make Your Pool Feel New

5 Spectacular Pool Renovations to Make Your Pool Feel New

5 Spectacular Pool Renovations to Make Your Pool Feel New

You don’t have to completely replace your pool to breathe life back into an older pool. There are a few key swimming pool renovations you can complete to make your pool look and feel brand new again.

Bring Your Aging Pool Back to Life With These Swimming Pool Renovations

Custom features are a great way to add personality and style to your backyard pool. You can create ambiance, add functionality, or enhance your overall swimming experience. Get started with the following 5 pool renovations.

1) Tile

Tile not only looks amazing, but also comes with some other, more subtle benefits. It hides many of the issues inherent with gunite pools. It will effectively disguise the “bathtub ring” line of scum on the pool’s surface due to fluctuating water levels. New tile givers your entire backyard a new, fresh look.

2) Decking

Replace the decking around your pool for a dramatic effect not only around your pool, but for your entire backyard. Renovating your deck also makes way to replacing your pool coping, another renovation to consider. If you’re not wanting to completely replace your deck, consider adding a pool deck coating to your existing deck for a temporary, but beautiful finish.

3) Coping

Coping prevents water from getting behind the pool shell and covers the steel support beams. If you’re going to replace your tiling, it’s best to replace the coping at the same time since removal of existing coping can cause tiles to fall. Vinyl swimming pools can now use stone or brick coping. You can choose from a variety of materials such as precast concrete, natural stone, or tile. Fresh coping alongside new tile makes a huge transformative difference to the look and feel of your pool.

4) Waterfalls/Fountains

Moving water, whether fast or slow, always provides a calming effect. People love to look and listen to water features. The sound and sight of a waterfall or fountain adds uniqueness and ambiance to your backyard pool experience. Kids love to play in small pool fountains known as bubblers. Build these water features into many different areas in your design such as small retaining walls, a pile of boulders, or other places. These features can be customized to fit almost any style or preference.

5) Plaster

Your plaster will begin to show signs of wear such as mineral stains or patches of gunite showing through with time. This is a perfect time to replaster your pool. New plaster will make swimming more comfortable and free from abrasive surfaces that might scratch you or snag swimwear. Plaster is essential to your pool foundation and appearance. Don’t wait to replace, but take action as soon as you notice a problem.

Unleash Your Pool’s Full Potential

Your pool can truly be your own personal backyard oasis with a few renovations. Even if it’s older, you can breathe new life into it and transform the look and feel of your entire backyard. Use this guide to pool renovations to get started.

Contact Us to learn more about transforming your pool into a work of art or to get started with your pool renovations.

What to Expect During Your New Pool Construction

What to Expect During Your New Pool Construction

Considering a new pool install, but not sure what the process will be like? The fall and winter months are a great time to get started on a new pool to make sure you’ll have it ready when the temperatures start to rise again. It’s also a slower time in construction, so builders typically can give your project special added attention.

New Pool Construction: From Hole in the Ground to Your Backyard Oasis

You can picture it in your head and dream about it often. Water splashing, children laughing, and you and your spouse relaxing in your very own custom backyard pool. You can almost feel the water on your skin and the sun on your face. You can’t wait! You’re aware it will take some time and work to get there. You’re also aware your backyard is going to look a lot worse before it looks awesome. Familiarize yourself with the building process with the following guide:

1) Excavation

The first step will be to remove any trees that could interfere with the pool’s placement. Then the shape of the pool will be painted and staked out in your yard. Then the builder will bring in excavators or front-loaders to dig out your pool. This part will only take a few hours. They’ll give you the option to keep the dirt or have it transported off your property. When this phase is finished, they’ll often install a gravel drainage bed at the bottom of the pool. Your backyard will look like a messy construction site throughout this phase of installation.

2) Structural Support

This is the first phase of actual construction. The builders reinforce the hole with steel rebar. This serves as the pool’s skeleton, providing structural support for the pool’s shell. The rebar is bent around the surfaces of the steps and walls following the dig.

3) Plumbing and Electrical

PVC pipe is installed during this phase and run to the location of the mechanical equipment. The lines installed will include the skimmers, main drain, water features, and any other mechanical lines included in your contract. The piping is left pressurized and tested before gunite is placed to prevent leaks. The electricians will connect bonding wire to the shell of the pool and install all lighting niches into the pool’s wall. The break box or sub panel will also be installed at the location where the pool pump, filter, and heater will be placed.

4) Gunite

If you miss most of the construction process, don’t miss this day because this is when it finally starts looking like a swimming pool. Gunite, or concrete shot out of a high velocity air gun, is pumped behind and over the steel rebar.  Finishers then carve and sculpt the gunite using trowels to form the precise shape of your pool. It will take the gunite several weeks of drying before it’s ready for the plaster. Be careful to remove all debris and large amounts of rain from the pool during these weeks.Watch the gunite for cracks to form. Small ones in the surface are ok, but large cracks or areas that crumbling should be reported back to your builder.

5) Lining and Coping Stones

While the gunite cures, the perimeter tile and pool wall capstones will be placed. The perimeter pool tile provide you an easy-to-clean surface at water level. The coping stones serve as safety grips on the inside of the pool while providing better drainage away from the pool.

6) Plaster

This is the final phase of your pool construction. The plaster serves as a waterproof layer to protect the pool shell and steel while providing a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. With a crew of 4 or 5, this phase can be completed in 3 or 4 hours. This crew will typically start the pool filling with water as they leave. Add as many extra hoses as possible, as it’s best to fill the pool as quickly as you can. They’ll also leave you with pool start-up and care instructions.

7) Pool Startup

All last minute clean up and equipment installations should take place before starting the pool up. Your builder will come to do the initial startup, equipment operation, and chemical balancing. Your pool chemistry will likely fluctuate and will require daily checks and rebalancing until it stabilizes. Your builder will also walk you through all pool and equipment operation. Take a video of this demonstration so you can watch it again later as needed. You’ll be glad you did.

Before You Dive In, Don’t Forget…

  1. Obtain all necessary permits and permissions before construction begins. Work with your builder to make sure nothing is missed.
  2. Most companies will do their best to anticipate any foreseeable delays when estimating final installation, but it’s simply not possible to foresee them all. Keep this in mind and be as flexible and accommodating as you can.
  3. If your backyard is fenced, a fairly large portion of the fence will likely need to be removed for access unless you have a large enough gate. Be sure to get clear communication from your builder concerning who will take the fence down and put it back up. Most professional pool installation companies will do this for you.

You’ll Be Swimming in Style in No Time

You can see your own backyard oasis, you know what to expect, and now it’s time to get started! Begin your new pool construction now to ensure it will be ready for you and your family when the temperatures start to rise again. Starting now will ensure you have plenty of time to accommodate any delays that may come. Start now and swim in style by the summertime.

To learn more about custom pool and backyard design or to get started with your quote, Contact Us.

Pools Built to Last: The Many Benefits of a Gunite Pool

Pools Built to Last: The Many Benefits of a Gunite Pool

Summer is always better with some fun in the sun at the swimming pool. What better way to enjoy a pool than in your own backyard! Fall is the perfect time to get started with a swimming pool project and you’ll have it ready to go by Spring Break! If you’re thinking about having a pool installed, you’re likely considering different types of pools. A gunite pool is a popular choice in warmer climates like Texas and offers several key benefits.

5 Amazing Benefits of a Gunite Pool

Gunite pools offer durability and a wide range of customizable options. When it comes to the benefits of a gunite pool, the list is extensive. Here are a few reasons why many choose this type of pool for their backyard:

Shape & Size

With a gunite pool, you won’t have to design your landscape around your pool. One of the benefits of a gunite pool is that it can be made into any shape or size to accommodate your backyard as is.

Personalized Finish

Because of the way a gunite pool is made, you can personalize the finish. Choose from different colors and textures to create a look that matches your vision.

Built to Last

Gunite pools are known for their durability. If you ask a gunite pool owner, they’ll tell you it’s worth the cost to get more years of use out of your in-ground pool.

Limitless Amenities

With this method of construction, the customization options are endless – including the amenities and custom features. Keep it simple if you’d like or go all out and build the ultimate pool for outdoor entertainment with a bar area with built-in stools, a heated spa, waterfalls, stone accents and more!

Easier to Construct

Gunite pools are easier to construct than other concrete in-ground pools, cutting down the time it will take to build your dream pool for the ultimate staycation!

Learn More

If you’re looking for a pool that your kids can grow up with, a gunite pool is a great option! At Aquascapes we build custom in-ground gunite pools and spas in Houston and surrounding areas. Contact us to learn more about our gunite pool options and come in for a tour of our display center today!

5 Questions to Ask Your Pool Builder

5 Questions to Ask Your Pool Builder

Deciding to install a swimming pool can be an exciting experience, but finding the right pool builder is the first step. You need someone who is trustworthy, dependable and provides quality work that will last for many years to come. It’s also beneficial to partner with a company who offers pool repairs and a warranty program. By sticking with the same builder for all of your pool needs, future maintenance and service will be easier and more cost-effective.

Finding a Pool Builder

You are probably ready to jump in–but before signing a contract, consider these five questions to ask your pool builder.

1) Can I see examples of your work?

Make sure you ask to see portfolio images of past work. A reputable and high-quality service company will not only show you pictures but should also have a showroom. Not all pool building companies have a physical swimming pool display. However, some do and seeing the craftsmanship up close will give you a good sense of what to expect for your project.

2) How long have you been in business?

Always ask a potential builder how long they have been installing pools. For truly experienced and knowledgeable service, they should have many years of background in the industry. In addition, take to the Internet. Research the company and see what other people are saying, view their website, and review ratings with reputable sources like the Better Business Bureau and The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.

View compliance and code of ethics standards for these associations at this link: VIEW NOW

3) Can I get a quote?

If the company is transparent, they will provide a quote without you even asking. However, always make sure to get an itemized list of expected costs upfront. Don’t sign a contract without knowing all of the expenses involved. Building a pool is a huge investment and you should know exactly what you are getting in advance.

4) Do you have financing?

If you need a loan to assist with your new pool costs, make sure to ask about financing options. Local pool builders will have preferred lenders they work with to get you competitive rates and consulting specifically for needs surrounding pool and spa installation.

5) What features can I add?  

A design-oriented builder will talk to you about different custom pool features. Depending on the style, size, and aesthetic you are wanting will determine their recommendations. Here are just a few features you can ask about:

  • Waterfalls
  • Slides
  • Scuppers
  • Bubblers
  • Bridges
  • Fire features

Work With a Reliable Pool Builder

Aquascapes Pools and Spas is a Houston-area leader in providing new pool installation, maintenance, and outdoor living renovations. We have highly trained designers who can bring your vision to life! Contact us to begin working on the pool of your dreams today.

 

10 Essential Gunite Pool Maintenance Tips

10 Essential Gunite Pool Maintenance Tips

If you have a gunite pool, which is likely here in our Texas heat, maintenance is an essential part of pool ownership. It’s critical to keeping your gunite pool ready to use when you need it and to get the longest life possible out of it. Keep the fun in the summer sun with the following pool maintenance tips.

Gunite Pool Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Pool Ready for Use

A gunite pool is a great option for the warmer climate in Texas. Those hot summer days are perfect for hours of fun in the swimming pool. Make sure you get the most out of your investment by properly cleaning and maintaining your gunite pool.

1) Timing is everything

Before the pool can be used, it must be prepared. Each year, preparations should start when the days begin to get warmer and the cold seems to be over. Gather all the supplies and chemicals you will need to fill and maintain the pool. Don’t wait too long after the warmer weather arrives.

2) Clearing debris

Leaves, bugs, and other debris will accumulate in your pool all year long. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to avoid it with an outdoor pool. However, neglecting to clear away debris increases your risk for algae growth and circulation issues. Use a long-handled net to clear away debris from the surface and bottom of the pool.

3) Cleaning the interior

While clearing debris regularly is essential, buildup will also accumulate on the pool walls and floor. Using either a manual vacuum or automatic cleaner, scrub the interior of the pool every couple of weeks to keep the floor and walls clean. Allowing too long to go between cleanings makes this part of pool maintenance much harder.

4) Clean the filter

Your pool filter is critical in keeping your pool water clean and pleasant to swim in. As it filters out dirt and grime from your pool water, it also needs to be cleaned regularly. How often and how difficult it is to clean is determined by the type of filter your pool requires. Some may need attention several times a month. Check your pool manual for this crucial information.

5) Check for leaks

Assemble the filter and pump and perform a leak inspection before using it in the pool. Doing this each year as part of your prep work will minimize the chances of a surprise leak midway through the season.

6) Test chemicals

Keeping the chemicals in your pool properly balanced throughout the time of use is essential to having clean, clear water. Weekly testing of alkalinity, pH balance, and chlorine levels is recommended. This helps prevent algae growth and other less than desirable issues.

7) Maintain correct water level

The heat from the sun will evaporate water over time, so don’t be alarmed if your water level decreases. It’s important to maintain adequate water levels so your skimmers can properly filter the water. If you have an automatic water supply, you may not have to worry about this part. However, if you ever need to add more water, you can do so at any time with a garden hose. Make sure to rebalance the chemicals each time you add water.

8) Use the pump daily

Your pump should run daily, but that doesn’t mean it has to be running constantly. While how much it should run depends on the frequency of use and heat levels, at least 8 hours a day should be sufficient to keep the chemicals properly balanced.

9) Clean skimmer and pump baskets weekly

In addition to cleaning the filter regularly, your skimmer and pump baskets should be cleaned weekly for optimal water cleanliness. For debris that is hard to get out, simply use a water hose. When the pool is not in use, keep it covered and try to keep bushes, hedges, and trees trimmed away from around the pool to minimize debris going in.

10) Winterize

If you’re not going to completely drain the pool each winter, it’s important to winterize it to avoid issues from springing on you when you want to use it again. Failing to do so could result in cracks in the plaster or cement of the walls and floors. You’ll need to maintain the chemical balance throughout the winter, apply pool shock and algaecide, thoroughly clean pump and filter, drain water to the recommended level, drain pool hoses, and cover the pool.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming

This may sound like a lot of work and, to be fair, it can be. However, you can significantly decrease your part in the labor by working with a company that provides pool maintenance services. That way you know your pool will be professionally maintained and always ready to use when you need it.

Learn More

A gunite pool is a popular option in places like Texas with generally warmer climates. It’s important to keep it properly cleaned and maintained for optimal use and life. Keep your pool in peak condition with these gunite pool maintenance tips or let Aquascapes do it for you.

To learn more about our maintenance services and warranty, Contact Us.

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Must-Have Backyard Water Features

Must-Have Backyard Water Features

Your backyard can be an incredible place to relax and unwind, have fun, and entertain guests. It’s the perfect setting to create an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Water features, in particular, are ideal for stepping up your outdoor living experience and enhancing every aspect.

The Value of Custom Backyard Water Features

Water features enhance relaxation and increase your fun and entertainment value. A pool is one thing, but a custom pool with custom features also gives you a chance to express your personality and style. You can create your own preview to paradise right in your backyard.

1) Spas

One of the most popular custom features to add to your backyard getaway is a custom spa. Just imagine coming home from a long hard stressful day and retreating to your backyard for a relaxing soak in hot, bubbling water. Your very own custom spa would allow you this luxury every day.

2) Slides

What kid doesn’t love sliding down a waterslide? This is a great way to add a little fun to your outdoor living experience. It can blend into the design of your pool and other backyard features, and make a standard pool exciting.  

3) Waterfalls

The sounds and sight of a beautiful waterfall is a calming, relaxing presence. The constant flow of water draws your ears and mind away from the noise of your day. Additionally, they form a wonderfully majestic backdrop for your pool, set in stone.

4) Bubblers

A lesser-known option is the pool bubbler. Jets of water shoot up into the air and provide a backdrop of soothing water music. This unique way of adding movement to your pool works to draw your focus away from stress and worry.

5) Scuppers

Scuppers bring a touch of elegance and luxury to your backyard pool. This must-have feature allows water to flow into the pool from spouts, faucets, or other fixtures creating a calming and visually stunning effect. Transform your pool into a fountain of fun, relaxation, and extravagance with this popular feature.

Creating Your Backyard Get-Away

Having a pool and spa is a great start to extending your living areas to your backyard. Creating your very own backyard getaway is even better. Why not kick your outdoor living up a notch with one or several of these custom backyard water features? Your relaxation has never been more important.

Aquascapes is your Houston area source for custom backyard water features. To get started creating your own outdoor oasis or for other ways to improve your outdoor living, Contact Us.