- Safety Mesh covers are great for safety and convenience. They last long and are easy to clean. They are great when there are a lot of trees near the pool. They do, though, allow rain and fine debris through so expect your pool to need sanitizing upon spring opening. You must occasionally pump water out of the pool. They come in various colors but we recommend black or green because they last longer, as these colors are more resistant to UV radiation.
- Solid strapped cover are similar to mesh covers but they accumulate water. A lot safer, though, than water bag covers. They don’t allow water through so they keep the pool clean. However they are more difficult to clean (especially with leaves), heavier and more difficult to handle and don’t last as long as the mesh covers. The cover must be pumped out often. Black or green are the longest lasting colors. Installation is similar to mesh covers so chipping of the deck may occur. Approximately 30% more expensive than mesh covers.
- Water-bag covers are basically tarps of various thickness and quality that are laid over the pool and held in place by tubes filled with water. They are unsafe, don’t look great and are difficult to clean but they are inexpensive and keep your pool clean.
- Automatic covers are very convenient, reduce maintenance, reduce heat loss (great for heated pools) and they are great for safety because whenever the pool is not in use it can be covered. They do, though, have to be kept pumped out and free of debris and leaves. (Reduced maintenance for the pool, added maintenance for the cover). They are very expensive and require servicing. These covers are also available without the automatic function, requiring manual opening and closing.
- Aluminum coping. This is the standard coping that comes with our pools. It is made out of aluminum and it is colored white. This coping can be repainted if it is scratched or faded. Relatively smooth and easy on bare skin and bathing suits.
- Cantilever coping. The concrete is formed at the edge with special forms that are removed after the concrete hardens. It gives the pool a more custom look and it is an additional expense. Rougher than the aluminum coping and looks great with free form pools or pools with stamped concrete deck.
- Brick or other masonry type coping. A huge selection of bull-nosed bricks and coping stones are available to please the most discriminating tastes, but these types of coping can be very expensive. Their main advantage is their beauty.
Spill Over Spas
The spillover spa is designed to sit flush with the deck at the edge of the pool with the water “spilling over” into the pool making it a spa and a waterfall all-in-one. The spa is made of durable Luran Thermoplastic construction with foam insulation, measuring 78” in diameter by 33” deep and comes with slip resistant steps and a foot well. It seats 4-6 people and features 6 hydrotherapy jets, 2 air controls and suctions and is available in both white and gray colors. Conveniently
A good automatic pool cleaner is very important in reducing the amount of time a pool response we get (they are the single most popular option); they seem to be well worth it. Don’t expect them to do 100% of the job. They will vacuum the pool and stir up fine debris but they won’t brush off the pool sufficiently (no matter what manufacturers claim). They are used to maintain a clean pool, not to clean a very dirty pool. They should be used only as needed, not continuously. They could scratch the liner under certain conditions or if overused. A scratched liner is not covered under warranty. If you buy an automatic pool cleaner please refrain from using it until the deck is done and your pool has gone through the final cleanup.
Chlorine generators make maintaining your pool water a lot easier. Our experience shows that an automatic pool cleaning system in conjunction with a chlorine generator makes for the most maintenance free pool possible (unless you pay someone to maintain your pool). They are more expensive up front but may save you money and time over the long run as they reduce dramatically the amount of sanitizers that must be purchased. You must replace the cell every 3-5 years which is very simple to do and can be done by the homeowner.
The pool will taste a little salty because of the salt added to the pool water, but people don’t find this objectionable. In fact, we get comments that the water feels softer and smells better. They tend to be temperamental when the water is cold.
- Standard white lights are your basic pool light. They are bright and relatively inexpensive. Pool lights provide safety and create a nice atmosphere at night. They will show imperfections at night especially with certain liners. (See “liners” above) Bottoms are hand troweled and, even if they look perfect at day time, they will seem imperfect with lights on.
- Color changing lights are another option. They can be set to continuously change colors or display one color according to the mood you want to create. They are great to have but are more expensive and are not as bright as the standard white lights.
- A third option are Fiber Optics. They can be used to create breathtaking effects and can change colors or stopped at one color. They are weaker for illumination purposes than other lights and they are very expensive.
- Gas Heaters (Natural Gas and Propane). These are the most powerful heaters. They will heat the pool fast and to high temperatures. If you want to heat a pool during cold weather or be able to heat a pool on short notice this is the heater to have. They are though, the most expensive heaters to run and if used irresponsibly, they can be very expensive to run. Bad water chemistry can destroy a heater quickly, (something not covered under warranties), so keeping your chemistry balanced is very important especially when owning a pool heater.
- Heat Pumps. These heaters are more expensive than gas heaters but they are more economical to run. On the downside, they are not as fast and strong as gas heaters. These heaters are great if you are interested in maintaining your pool water at a reasonable, constant temperature. Similar to gas heaters, unbalanced water chemistry will produce bad results.
- Solar Heat. Expensive up front but runs virtually free. Limited on heating a pool especially if there is not enough sunshine. Installs on the roof and works better if facing south. Great if you are interested in maintaining your pool a little warmer than normal. Great in cases where the pool itself is not in the sun long enough to get warm. They will also cool the water if ran at night.
- Solar Covers. There are bubble wrap type covers that float on the pool and prevent heat from escaping from the surface of the water. They will also increase pool water temperature somewhat if left on the pool long enough (days). Inexpensive and good to have especially in conjunction with a heater but troublesome to handle and store.
Patio And Decking
- Broom Finished Concrete. This is the decking that comes standard with our pools. As the name implies, it is normal light gray concrete with a broom finish on it for slip resistance. This is the least expensive and most maintenance free option and is attractive and practical. Will stain easily and like any other concrete flat work can develop cracks.
- Textured Concrete. There are many types of textured concrete products. These are epoxy based materials sprayed on top of existing concrete, and then textured and colored. Spraydeck®, Cooldeck®, and Spraycrete® are some popular types. At least as expensive as stamped concrete. Tend to be cooler on bare feet than other products and depending on the texture can be more slip resistant. Requires various types of maintenance depending on the product.
- Stamped Concrete. This is concrete with added colors which are stamped to emulate different type stone or paved patios. It is sealed to lock in the colors and give it luster. It looks very beautiful and is very popular as an upgrade from standard concrete decking. It is more expensive. Power washing and re-sealing is recommended each year to maintain its luster.
- Architectural Stamped Concrete. Similar to standard stamped concrete, this finish is comprised of a single color and is not sealed, giving it a less shiny appearance and a greater slip resistance surface.
An extra dimension for your poolscape enjoyment is the sounds of gently flowing water cascading down real rock boulders, not fiberglass ones that ultimately may fade or crack. Every pool would look better and be appreciated more with the addition of a custom waterfall. With the investment of having a beautiful pool installed, wouldn’t it be great to know that you can enjoy your pool so much more. For a small expense a custom waterfall can lead to endless hours of enjoyment and relaxation. We use the nicest Limestone rock available, which is called Moss rock. It is highly textured, has lots of character lines and varies in color from a light cream or tan to shades of brown and grey. Although the colors cannot be chosen, we have never installed a custom waterfall on any colored patio that it didn’t compliment, and that the customer wasn’t happy with. Your waterfall is simply connected to your pool pump and acts as another return to your pool. Your pool pump will have to be turned on when you want to run the waterfall, however your pump should barely be heard at all. No specific electrical line will have to be added in order to run your waterfall. Additional features such as slides and hide-away coves can be incorporated into your waterfall as well.