Building a swimming pool represents a significant investment of time and money. Before making that investment, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve hired a trustworthy pool contractor. If you notice that your pool contractor’s behavior is sending up a few red flags, it’s probably time to hire someone else.
Signs of a Bad Contractor
A few signs of a less than trustworthy pool builder seem pretty obvious. However, a few may be harder to spot at first glance. Don’t mistake these red flags for just personality differences–you’ll ultimately be the one paying for any mistakes or problems. Here’s what to look out for:
- Claims too good to be true
- Making themselves look fantastic and others look subpar
- High-pressure sales
1) Claims Too Good to be True
A pool contractor may tell you they can finish your pool in just 2 weeks. Alternatively, they may offer you a ridiculously low estimate that may seem like a fantastic deal. Both cases are massive red flags that something is going on. Make sure your contractor gives you a realistic time frame: a pool typically takes 8-12 weeks to complete, with 6 weeks being considered a rush job. Additionally, research the average prices for pools in your area. If the price seems too good to be true, the contractor is either lying or hoping to upsell additional expensive features to you further down the line.
2) Making Themselves Look Fantastic and Others Look Subpar
This isn’t to say pool contractors shouldn’t promote themselves. Good marketing is a critical part of any business strategy. However, their self-promotion should focus on what they can do for you and how well they can perform, not how terrible the competition is by comparison. This could indicate that they really don’t have much to offer you. Additionally, do you really want to deal with someone who has that low a view of others in their field?
Pro Tip: Does a contractor’s material focus on their own accomplishments and how well they can help you build a pool? If it demonizes their competition instead, you’re dealing with an unprofessional contractor.
3) High-Pressure Sales
The pool contractor is working for you, building a pool in your backyard for you to use. If they’re dictating to you what features you absolutely must or must not include (beyond the typical promotional offerings a salesman will have), they’re overstepping their boundaries. This can go hand in hand with the claim of a low price from earlier–demanding salesmen could make your estimate skyrocket by adding a bunch of features that cost unreasonable amounts of money. Find a contractor who will listen to your input and build the pool you want, instead of the pool they want to sell you.
Find a Good Contractor
Don’t let a scam artist ruin your pool project! Find a pool builder you can trust to be honest every step of the way, incorporate your input as much as possible, and do exactly what they’re capable of. Let our expert designers help you start creating your dream pool today!
Connect with us to learn more about our custom pool building services.
Buying a home is the biggest financial investment most people will make in their entire lives. For many homeowners, the next-biggest investment is any additional home renovations or additions they may choose to make. Considering the largely permanent nature of these renovations, such as a swimming pool, it goes without saying that most people want to get it right the first time.
Designing Your Dream Pool
Your swimming pool and customized backyard will be part of your house for the foreseeable future. Do you know exactly what you want? Are you sure you’re ready to start building? Make sure you aren’t making these 3 common mistakes before you get started:
- Forgetting to plan your backyard usage
- Hiring a specialized contractor
- Neglecting your long-term plan
1) Forgetting to Plan Your Backyard Usage
Most homeowners who go all-out with a swimming pool and other backyard features have plans to entertain large groups of people in the future. Naturally, you’ll want to have enough room to accommodate everyone. But you also need to consider the occasions you’ll be observing and who you’ll be inviting over. Work-related dinners probably don’t need to involve a hot tub, for instance, while a casual birthday party might revolve around the swimming pool. As you design your renovated backyard, make sure it meets your needs.
2) Hiring a Specialized Contractor
Companies that exclusively build swimming pools likely won’t help you create the rest of your backyard. After all, they only really know how to design and build a pool. You can avoid this problem by hiring someone who specializes not just in swimming pools, but in designing new backyard experiences. These contractors will look at the big picture and help you construct your pool so that it complements your other backyard features, whether they’re currently in place or just planned.
Pro Tip: Find a contractor that will help you create an entire outdoor living environment, not just build a new pool.
3) Neglecting Your Long-Term Plan
What will your backyard look like once it’s done? Will you stick with a pool or add an outdoor kitchen or more custom features? Your answer could influence your pool design, and an expert contractor will realize this and help you plan accordingly. For instance, an outdoor kitchen will require underground gas, water, and electrical connections that could interfere with your pool if you don’t plan ahead. Let an expert help you develop your long-term plan and construct your pool accordingly.
Building Your Ideal Backyard
These all-too-common pool design mistakes could get in the way of creating the perfect backyard experience for yourself and your friends. Don’t let that happen! With a knowledgeable building company to help you and an excellent plan for your long-term backyard usage, you’re sure to be able to create a fantastic experience.
Join the conversation for more insights on customizing your backyard and building your dream pool!
What do kids like more than a private swimming pool in the backyard? Playing swimming pool games, of course! Whether it’s a made-up game or one with predetermined rules, kids love playing in the pool on a hot day.
Playing in the Pool
For a more structured playtime, encourage your kids to try playing a game while they swim. Not only will this encourage their enjoyment and usage of your swimming pool, but depending on the game choice, you may be able to sneak some education into their playtime! Here are a few popular pool games your kids are sure to love:
- Bucket race
- Balloon boat race
- Underwater obstacle course
- Treasure hunt
- Push relay
1) Bucket Race
Sink two buckets in the pool, toss in some sinking pool toys, and have the kids try to fill their team’s bucket first. Who’s going to win?
For a couple of variations on this game, try floating buckets instead so your kids have to surface frequently during the game. If you prefer an educational twist, use balls with numbers written on them and have the kids add up their score afterward. Whoever has the most points wins!
2) Balloon Boat Race
Buy or build a few little balloon boats and have your kids race them across the pool. Try stirring up the water first or, if you prefer not to race, see if you can get the boats to glide in circles in the pool water. These tiny little toys are sure to entertain and delight!
3) Underwater Obstacle Course
With a few hula hoops, set up an underwater obstacle course for your kids to swim through. Tie some string to the hoops and weigh them down to keep them underwater. For a real challenge, vary the lengths of each string so your hoops float at different heights.
4) Treasure Hunt
Toss some change into the pool, set a timer, and let your kids scoop up as much as possible! This is a great way to get rid of the excess change we always seem to have, as well as give the kids a chance to practice math by counting their winnings. Just make sure none of the coins get stuck in a pool drain or they may cause damage to the pipes.
5) Push Relay
Give your kids a chance to practice treading water! Divide everyone into two teams, each with an even number of players, and have them try to rush a large ball or watermelon to the other side of the pool without touching the pool floor. Whoever gets to the other side first wins.
Pro Tip: Using a watermelon gives the winning team a snack after the race is over!
Games in the Swimming Pool!
A warm summer day is the perfect time to try some of these entertaining games with your kids. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get in on the fun too! Enjoy your swimming pool while the warm weather lasts.
Join the conversation to learn more about swimming pool games and how to encourage kids to play outside.
Have you just bought a pre-owned house with a swimming pool that was clearly not maintained well? Alternatively, have you just not kept up to date on caring for your own swimming pool? Regardless of why your pool is now green and disgusting, it’s important that you clean it up quickly to prevent further damage and keep your family from getting sick.
Restoring a neglected swimming pool takes significantly more work and time than simple pool maintenance. However, with the right tools and cleaning supplies, you’ll have a sparkling pool again in no time. Here’s how to restore your pool and get started swimming again.
Decide Whether or Not to Drain the Pool
For a severely neglected swimming pool, the best way to clean it is to drain all the water, sanitize the pool shell to kill the algae, and refill the pool. However, about the only type of swimming pool that can be completely drained safely is a gunite pool. A pool with a fiberglass shell will likely “float” out of the ground, especially if your area has a high water table. Double-check to make sure that your pool can be safely drained before you begin cleaning.
Clean the Pool Shell
Although it’s certainly easier to clean the pool shell when the water has been drained, regardless of whether you drain the water or not, you’ll need to clean the shell very thoroughly. Start by vacuuming the bottom of the pool. Once you’re done, scrub the entire shell with a rough algae brush to knock as much algae off as you can. Don’t try to vacuum up the algae–your goal is to kill the growth, not merely make it appear to go away.
Restore the Water
Once you’re done scrubbing the shell, note the pH of the water for later reference so you can balance it properly. Shock your pool at least twice with chlorine shock, refill the pool to its proper level, and turn the filter on. Leave the filter running constantly for up to five days and monitor the water to make sure it’s becoming clearer. Once the water appears clean enough, balance the pH as necessary. You’re finally ready to start swimming again!
Pro Tip: When you shock your pool to kill the algae, the pool shock you use MUST contain at least 70% chlorine. Any less will not be nearly as effective in killing the algae permanently.
Get Your Sparkling Clean Pool Back
Not only is a neglected swimming pool gross, but it also could make you or your family sick if you attempt to use it or even leave it alone for too long. Additionally, if algae and bacteria have plenty of time to grow, irreversible damage may occur. Your best course of action is to clean your pool as quickly and as thoroughly as possible and maintain that same level of cleanliness.
Join the conversation to learn more about swimming pool restoration and maintenance.
Adding a swimming pool to your backyard already gives your house a unique flare and certainly more curb appeal. Why not step it up a little? Make this new custom swimming pool as uniquely yours as possible with a few extra features. Your pool contractor will help you make your vision a reality.
Customizing Your Dream Backyard
A custom pool is designed to fit perfectly with the rest of your backyard, along with your overall home aesthetic. As part of your design, you should consider any additional custom features that appeal to you. Do any of these popular choices match your backyard design?
A fire pit, a bowl of fire, or another fire feature near your swimming pool adds an exotic atmosphere to your backyard. Imagine what an after-dark pool party would look like! As a bonus, adventurous homeowners can hold a marshmallow roasting session over an open fire without going on a long camping trip.
Fountains are always a popular way to make elegant use of water. You can replicate this on a smaller scale by adding bubblers to your pool, filling your backyard with the sound of softly splashing water. For a truly magical look, install LED lights in your bubblers and flip them on after dark.
How many people can say they’ve swum under a bridge before? If your swimming pool pinches to a narrow point, a bridge not only gives you a quick way across, but it also gives you the unique opportunity to swim underneath a bridge in your own backyard. Connect different parts of your pool or yard with an elegant bridge!
Waterfalls are a simple but elegant way to make decorative use of the water in your pool. Whether you opt for a natural-looking waterfall over a rock formation or a more modern waterfall that looks like a sheet of glass, your custom pool builder will help you find the perfect waterfall to match your overall pool aesthetic.
Pro Tip: The sound of running water is almost universally considered soothing and comforting. A waterfall gives you the chance to enjoy a relaxing sound as you swim or host a party!
Looking for a special way to entertain your kids or frequent guests? What about a pool slide? Add an equally elegant and stable stone pool slide to your design for an additional fun feature. Combine a slide with a rock waterfall for a particularly creative appearance!
Your Backyard Paradise
A custom swimming pool is a perfect addition to your unique backyard paradise, and a great way to show off your creativity in pool design. Choose some custom features from the list or talk with your swimming pool builder about your own ideas. Make your pool match your home and your personality!
Join the conversation for more custom pool design ideas.
A swimming pool on its own already adds a lot to your home. But why settle for just a typical pool? An unconventional shape or eye-catching accessories could be the perfect finishing touch to your new backyard paradise. These swimming pool ideas will help you turn your new pool into a one-of-a-kind home addition!
Popular Pool Concepts & Designs
Swimming pools come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Depending on how your backyard looks right now and your plans for any future designs, some of these pool styles may work better than others. Which of these popular ideas will look the best in your backyard?
- Uniquely shaped
Modern designs tend to focus on clean, defined shapes, particularly shapes with prominent corners or edges. A modern-style pool will likely be shaped like a rectangle and lined with a single neutral color. This clean, uniform style adds a touch of class to your backyard and is the perfect way to round out a simpler design.
For a natural-looking pool, homeowners prefer to channel a less artificial appearance. A pool in this style might be round or even serpentine in imitation of natural ponds or lakes. Add in a nearby flower garden and you have a natural pond transplanted into your backyard! A few nearby trees or a wooden pergola to shade the pool will complete the atmosphere.
Pro Tip: If plants will be growing near your pool, be diligent to scoop fallen leaves, bugs, flower petals, or other debris regularly to keep your pool filters from clogging.
This one works regardless of your final pool shape. A few strategically placed underwater LED lights give you a magical swimming experience, particularly after dark when the water illuminates from underneath. Imagine how an evening party will go with a lit-up pool!
4) Uniquely Shaped
Unconventional shapes for your pool, such as a serpentine or polygonal design, add a touch of personality to your backyard. A few particularly inventive homeowners may also consider an infinity pool, a pool where the water flows over an edge to create the illusion that the pool goes on forever or merges with the horizon. This is particularly a clever idea if your home is slightly elevated so it appears your pool ends in a waterfall. Different shapes and edging styles will give you a truly customized experience with your pool!
If you know your family, friends, or neighbors love to hold parties in your yard, why not design a pool to accommodate them? Make the pool big and deep enough for everyone to fit, and don’t forget to add an outdoor kitchen or firepit to your overall design. Encourage everyone to come straight from the pool to a meal cooked outdoors over an open fire. Your friends are sure to love the new hangout spot!
For a tropical experience in your backyard, start with a natural pool shape to mimic a tide pool on the beach. Line the shell with white or pale colors to emphasize the clear water. Lastly, if your backyard has room, add a few palm trees and beach chairs. Bring the island beach right to your house!
Completing Your Outdoor Living Space
Maybe this swimming pool is the finishing touch to your backyard, or maybe it’s just the first of many changes to your outdoor hangout spot. Whatever the case, make sure to begin this project with a good idea of what your finished pool will look like. This addition to your backyard is sure to be more than worth the wait!
Join the conversation to see other homeowners’ favorite swimming pool ideas and styles.