It’s hard to tell ahead of time if you’ll get much of a chance to use your Houston pool during the winter. While most days of a Houston winter are mild or even comfortably warm, the temperatures can dip into uncomfortably cold or even freezing ranges without much warning.
But whether it’s a comfortable temperature to use your pool or not, you can’t slack off on basic maintenance tasks. Even covering your pool and not using it at all during the winter doesn’t guarantee it’ll stay clean. As the cool weather continues, keep these tips in mind to keep your pool clean and ready for spring.
Pay Attention to the Pool Cover
If you aren’t planning to use your swimming pool at all during the winter, it’s best to keep it covered to prevent debris and animals from getting in. But covering your pool won’t do any good if the cover is in poor shape. Does it fit properly without leaving any gaps granting access to the water? Is your pool cover even sturdy enough to withstand potentially freezing temperatures? Inspect your pool cover before shutting down your pool for the winter.
Pro Tip: If you leave your pool uncovered and unused for most of the winter, it’s likely that debris will start to build up. Either clean this up quickly or keep your pool covered as a preventive measure.
Check & Balance Chemistry
If you opt to keep your pool covered during the winter, you’re probably not going to bother removing the cover to check on the pool’s chemistry too often. That’s fine as long as you take preventive measures before covering your pool. Add a little extra chlorine and some algaecide to the water to keep your pool fresh and algae-free during the offseason. (Don’t go overboard with the chlorine though–you don’t want to make your pool shell fade.) Run the pump for a few hours to circulate everything through the water before covering your pool.
If your pool cover is made of mesh and allows the elements to come in contact with the water, you may find yourself dealing with organic debris such as pollen or bird droppings. Keep these contaminants at bay with an enzyme solution sprinkled through the mesh. This requires more work than simply covering your pool with a solid cover, but it does allow you a little more direct control over the chemical balance.
Watch the Weather
In Houston, the weather can go from balmy to tolerably cold to nearly freezing in less than 24 hours. Aside from being annoying, these weather patterns can also mess with your pool preparations if you aren’t careful. Pay attention to the current temperature and weather forecasts. If there’s a chance of freezing weather, drain your pipes and pumps to prevent water from freezing inside and damaging your equipment. If water or ice collects on top of your pool cover, remove it as quickly as possible.
Pool Maintenance in the Winter
A swimming pool represents a significant investment in your family and your home. While it may not seem too important to maintain your pool during the off-season, winter maintenance is still an important part of protecting your pool all year round. Don’t neglect this important job this winter!
Connect with us to learn more about year-round pool care.
Houston winters are generally very mild and rarely involve snow. However, we inevitably experience a bit of a nip in the air every year well into January. When exactly these sudden temperature changes will arrive is also somewhat unpredictable. As many Houstonians know firsthand, a warm day can turn into sweater weather overnight this time of year!
Don’t let the chilly weather force you to stay indoors all winter! With a few special additions, your backyard will be comfortable regardless of the weather. For an especially cozy addition, how about giving yourself an outdoor fire to complete the winter atmosphere? And don’t worry–you’ll want to use your new fire feature even in the summer! Learn more about our different types of fire features here.
Why Install a Fire Feature?
Fire pits are natural crowd pleasers! An open flame provides the perfect focal point for a party, dinner under the stars, or even an at-home date night. Even better, that’s a section of the backyard where you don’t have to worry about lighting! No amount of fancy decor or electric lighting will be able to compete with the natural atmosphere of an outdoor fire pit.
Backyard Fire Pits
The most common fire feature homeowners choose is a fire pit. An inground stone fire pit not only provides an excellent accessory to any evening party, but it’s also the perfect place to grill over an open flame! Kids will also love the chance to roast marshmallows in their own backyard. Best of all, once the sun has set, the reflection of flames in your swimming pool is truly a sight to behold.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning to use your fire pit for cooking as well as for a party atmosphere, talk to your pool contractor about installing a wood-burning pit instead of a gas-powered one.
Bowls of Fire
A bowl of fire uses the same idea as a fire pit, but usually on a smaller scale and with a bit of a twist. Bowls of fire are generally used more for decoration than for functionality. While this does make them less useful if you want to cook over an open fire, their smaller size and greater versatility mean they can be installed just about anywhere. Some homeowners even have fire bowls installed on top of pool scuppers to put the flames right next to the water for a truly exotic appearance! Choosing a bowl of fire lets you get more creative with your placement and design.
Add a Flair to Your Backyard!
With the addition of a backyard fire pit, you’ll be ready to enjoy the rest of winter in outdoor comfort. And once summer comes, you won’t want to stop using your fire pit! What started as an addition to keep you warm and cozy will contribute to an appealing backyard atmosphere all year round.
Connect with us to see how our other clients incorporated backyard fire features into their designs!
What’s the best way to beat the Houston heat? Swimming, of course! And few things are more satisfying than enjoying your own swimming pool in the comfort and privacy of your own backyard.
Your backyard is your own space–why settle for a standard swimming pool? Customize your design for yourself, your family, and your friends to enjoy for years to come! See if any of these especially unique designs get your creativity flowing.
What better way to enjoy the outdoors than with a cold glass of wine or beer in your pool? Combine your favorite warm-weather drink with your favorite warm-weather activity with a swim-up bar! This is sure to impress your guests with a fun way to enjoy a drink.
Pro Tip: If you host a lot of guests on a regular basis, a swim-up bar could be just what you need to entertain everyone and keep the party going!
Shallow Water Features
Your pool doesn’t have to be deep in every spot. Experiment with adding shallow areas to create unique features for your custom pool. For instance, have you ever tried a beach entry? This gently sloping edge replaces stairs and conjures up thoughts of walking into the ocean as the land slowly dips lower. This gives your pool a more natural look and complements a nature-oriented backyard.
For an alternative, consider adding a tanning ledge. This portion of your pool averages about 18 inches deep and allows you to set up specialty tanning chairs to stay cool while you lay in the sun. Best of all, your kids can play safely in the shallow water. A tanning ledge is a perfect choice if you love the sun but hate the heat!
Flash & Fire
For an exotic backyard, why not add fire features? A fire pit, a bowl of fire, or similar decoration involving open flames gives an additional flavor to your backyard aesthetic that nothing else can quite match. Not only will these features keep your backyard lit at night and reflect on your rippling pool, but they also give you the chance to hold the occasional marshmallow roasting party. You can’t go wrong with fire accessories in your backyard!
Design Your Dream Pool!
Your custom-designed swimming pool should be as unique as you are. Find the features and style that best match your preferences and contribute to your overall backyard feel. With a little help from a professional pool contractor, you can make your dream pool a reality!
Connect with us to get started building your new swimming pool.
Designing your ultimate backyard? Don’t forget a shady spot! Whether you opt for a patio cover, tree cluster, or just a big umbrella, setting up a shade structure near your pool elevates your entire backyard.
Any Houstonian knows the importance of shade on a hot day. And while comfort is certainly one of the larger reasons to set up a shade source, it’s far from the only reason. Here’s why your backyard needs a shaded area if you don’t already have one.
Shaded Water Aerobics
Do you use your pool to exercise? If not, try it out–water aerobics are fantastic and an excellent way to tone up! But just like any form of outdoor exercise, water aerobics can get pretty uncomfortable under a hot sun. That’s where a shade structure comes in! Protect yourself from the heat and work out in comfort.
Any Houstonian will know this advantage all too well. A sunburn, in addition to being painful, can lead to more serious health concerns if it keeps occurring. Don’t let the possibility of sunburn spoil your time outside! Shade part of your pool deck so you can swim or just read a book and enjoy the fresh air without burning.
Pro Tip: Even in the shade, don’t forget to wear sunscreen! Protect yourself from any reflected UV light.
Finally, shade just gives you a nice place to hang out. After all, who wants to bake in the sun while reading or napping? Setting up a shaded structure gives you the freedom to enjoy your backyard without enduring the heat or potential sunburns. Cover your outdoor spaces and start enjoying your newfound flexibility!
Customize Your Shade Near Your Pool
Once you’ve chosen the perfect shade structure for your backyard, make it your own! Mount speakers on a patio cover or string fairy lights on a big umbrella. Your new addition to the backyard will perfectly complement the rest of your decor. In the meantime, you get to enjoy a shaded area near your pool!
Connect with us to browse our collection of shade structure offerings.
Who doesn’t love a backyard pool party? Now that the weather is finally beginning to cool down, it’s the perfect time to have your friends and family over for a swim and a cookout. Is your backyard up to the challenge?
If your backyard needs a bit of a facelift before you can host party guests, make sure you know what to plan for. Do you entertain guests often? You’ll probably need a more elaborate backyard built to keep a large group comfortable. If your guests tend to be small friend gatherings instead of huge groups, you may not need quite as many lavish accessories. Let’s take a look at different features that may be appropriate for different backyard uses.
How Many Guests and How Often?
Do you host the entire neighborhood every weekend, or is your backyard just the occasional hangout spot for yourself and a few friends? Ultimately, your backyard’s features depend on your party habits. For frequent parties involving dozens of guests, a fully furnished outdoor kitchen and covered dining area will give you and your partygoers plenty of room to cook and share a big meal. On the other hand, if you don’t entertain crowds nearly that often, you may just want a few smaller features. A fire pit or hearth gives you the chance to cook a few simple dishes over an open fire, for instance, or you could opt for a slightly less lavish outdoor kitchen better suiting your smaller gatherings.
Who are You Hosting For?
Regardless of the number of guests, it’s also important to consider who is coming to your house and why. Hosting a birthday party is very different from hosting a semi-formal dinner with your boss. Who you’re hosting has an immediate effect on your entire evening from the food you serve to the outfit you wear to greet everyone. However, it can and should also affect the semi-permanent features you add to your backyard. A swimming pool may be a great idea for birthdays and family reunions, while it’s less of a good feature for a business dinner. Plan your backyard design around your most frequent guests.
Will You Use the Backyard Yourself?
If you don’t spend much time in your backyard outside of holding parties there, there may not be much point in installing elaborate features that will barely be used. Fortunately, there are two possible solutions to this problem. The first is to install protection over rarely used features to lower required maintenance and ensure they’re ready for your next party. For instance, if your pool mainly exists for birthday parties and those don’t happen very often, keep it covered when not in use to keep bugs and leaves out.
The second solution is to simply spend more time outside! After all, that new pool or outdoor kitchen is as much for you as your guests. Take advantage of it and soak up some sun as the weather begins to cool down.
Pro Tip: Between parties, convert your covered outdoor dining area into a storage space or hangout area with some comfy chairs. Add a single-stall bathroom or closet for an especially relaxing environment!
A Backyard Pool Party to Remember!
A custom-designed backyard is a perfect way to enjoy the pleasant weather and entertain your friends. As you plan your backyard pool party, consider upgrading a few existing backyard accessories or adding some new ones. You may be surprised at what a difference it makes!
Join the conversation for more pool party ideas and tips on backyard hosting.
Adding a custom swimming pool to your backyard? Why stop there? Your entire backyard design can complement your swimming pool and create a perfectly well-rounded experience for yourself and your guests.
Pool landscaping can take many different forms or styles depending on what you’d like to showcase with your efforts. For most people, the goal is to create a comfortable, visually appealing backyard with a pool as the centerpiece. Let’s look at a few key features you can use in your backyard to create the perfect look.
Plants are the perfect way to add a soft, natural look to your backyard. Your choice of plants can even communicate the atmosphere you want to emulate. For a tropical feel, plant some palm trees or ferns near your pool. Alternatively, a vegetable garden or gently creeping plants will complement a pond-like pool for an enchanted atmosphere. Finally, a modern home and backyard design is perfectly suited to a few well-manicured hedges and a neatly mowed lawn.
Pro Tip: Plants growing near your pool can drop leaves and twigs into the water. Make sure to scoop them out regularly to avoid clogging the filters.
If you’ll be spending a lot of time in your backyard, why not move your cooking outside too? An outdoor kitchen lets you prepare yourself a good meal and host cookouts near your pool. Customize whatever appliances and equipment you need to suit your cooking habits. Your guests will love the chance to cook and eat right by the pool, and so will you!
Patio covers or similar structures give you the chance to create an outdoor living room to complement your new outdoor kitchen. Why take your dinner inside to eat when you can relax in the shade outside? Customize your new patio cover to perfectly complement the rest of your house and provide an extension for your backyard area.
Backyard Designs that Complement Your Pool
Your swimming pool is the centerpiece of your new backyard, and as such, needs a few complementary designs to make it truly feel natural. Fortunately, with a little creativity, it’s easy to design an outdoor living space stylized exactly to your preferences. Browse what other people did with their pools for more ideas!
Connect with us to schedule your pool consultation today!