Serving Central Texas
14 Nov 2017

Make Repairs to Your Backyard Winter Wonderland

The winter solstice just passed. Even here in Texas, that probably means it’s unpleasantly chilly outside every other week. It’s a far cry from the blistering summer days when nothing sounds better than relaxing outside in a pool. But that means now is the best time to start thinking about installing that pool you wanted just a few months ago. Winter is the perfect time for making pool repairs or getting started on pool construction to your backyard winter wonderland.

Make Repairs to Your Backyard Winter Wonderland

  • You’ll have a brand new inground pool just in time for spring. Inground pools can take time to install, especially with the rough Central Texas soil. Start your project in the winter so you have plenty of time to pick the design you want, have the landscape really take root, and anticipate the refreshing pool you’ll have in your backyard when that blistering weather returns.
  • You can add elements to your backyard retreat that are enjoyable year-round. Even if the weather is a bit too chilly for a pool, that just means it’s the perfect weather to enjoy a backyard fireplace or fire pit. Depending on the size and style you have in mind, these features can be installed quickly so you and your family can enjoy an outdoor cup of warm cocoa around the fire.
  • You can more easily fix the damage and add features. No one wants to have to drain their pool for a lengthy repair project in the middle of winter. So if you noticed cracks or leaks, or you want to add new features to your pool, schedule them for winter. Our specialists can easily assess and repair the damage without any interruption to your pool schedule.

In winter, a swimming pool might be the furthest thing from your mind. But that just makes it the best time to add features, make repairs, and really consider installing a new pool. If you have a list of pool improvement projects you want out of the way for summer, or you want to learn more about our fireplace installations, contact Varsity Pools here.

30 Oct 2017

How Can An Outdoor Kitchen Make Hosting Parties Easier?

Having a swimming pool will bring over friends and family for a fun afternoon, and you can also relax anytime you want just by stepping outside. But you can make your backyard even more of an oasis for yourself and your friends by adding an outdoor kitchen into the mix.

How Can An Outdoor Kitchen Make Hosting Parties Easier?

How can you better entertain with an outdoor kitchen?

  • Have people join the fun of cooking. Whether people gather around the kitchen to customize a pizza, take turns showing off at the barbeque, or come chat with the chef, having an outdoor kitchen is a great way to make people feel even more connected.
  • You spend less time going back and forth for supplies. If you’ve ever hosted a backyard party, you know far too much of your time will be spent coming back and forth from the kitchen as you grab refills, start cooking, or bring out another set of plates. But with an outdoor kitchen, you can assemble everything ahead of time outdoors and do your cooking there so you don’t’ miss your own party.
  • An outdoor kitchen encourages more gatherings at home. Instead of going out for a pricey meal with a large group, you can host a backyard barbeque or a potluck. Adding a backyard kitchen means that everything you need for a fantastic day — a pool for swimming, a kitchen for preparing food and socializing, and plenty of places for people to gather — is right in your backyard.

Being able to cook and prepare food without leaving the backyard during special occasions and parties will quickly make hosting events in your backyard much simple and more fun. Whether you want a backyard kitchen for outdoor family dinners or you want it for larger get-togethers, contact Varsity Pools here for a consultation and estimate.

13 Oct 2017

Fire Elements, Which is a Better Fit For Your Yard?

Having a place where people can gather and talk at the end of a day full of swimming is great for the spring, summer, and fall, and adding an element of heat to your backyard also makes in the perfect gathering place for warding off the winter chill. But would a fire pit be a good fit for your backyard, or is a fireplace a better choice? Here are a few factors to keep in mind when deciding which is the better fit.

Fire Elements, Which is a Better Fit For Your Yard?

  • How big is your yard? Either fixture can find a place to call home in your yard, but make sure you have enough space for your grill and furniture. Test it out by blocking off different dimensions and seeing what you like best.
  • How much heat do you want? If you plan on having larger groups of friends and family over, that not only impacts which one would be the best fit, it also changes how large the fixture should be. Fireplaces can better block the wind and result in a warmer, cozier corner, but more people can easily gather around a fire pit.
  • How controlled does the smoke need to be? If you have allergies or sensitivity to smoke, a fireplace is designed to channel that smoke away from you. On the other hand, that smoke helps keep bugs from joining you, so a fire pit might be the right choice.

Choosing between a fire pit and a fireplace depends on your property, your preferences, and what you want you backyard to look like as a finished product. No matter which option you choose, there’s nothing like sitting by a warm fire any season of the year. If you’ve made up your mind, contact Varsity Pools here and we’ll get started.

18 Sep 2017

What Do You Get When You Hire a Varsity Pools Pool Builder?

A pool should be more than just a body of water dug into your backyard. Whether you’re looking to have a swimming pool, a therapy hot tub, or both a pool and a hot tub, the surrounding environment is just as important when it comes to enjoying your new landscape. That’s why when choosing a pool builder every factor should build on each other until you have a cool oasis that is both a pleasure to relax around and to swim in.

What Do You Get When You Hire a Varsity Pools Pool Builder?

What all do you get when you use Varsity Pool as your pool builder?

  • Custom pool designs: No matter whether you live in a dense urban environment or have a large backyard, we can design a pool that fits both it and the activities you have planned for the summer and your family. Your pool can be customized to take into account all of your safety concerns while still giving you a unique, beautiful swimming pool that is perfect for swimming and relaxing.
  • A living landscape around the pool:  Pools are about more than just swimming, they’re also about enjoying your backyard with your family and friends.  This is why Varsity Pools focuses on creating a welcoming backyard environment filled with anything from inbuilt water features to small gardens to wrap-around patios that integrate with the pool. Our builders can help make the vision you have for your pool and backyard as a whole a reality.

Don’t let your pool be just a circle or oval in your backyard.  We can help you assess, design, and implement a plan for your pool that will be the perfect summer getaway for years to come. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Varsity Pools here.

06 Sep 2017

Two Reasons to Add a Fire Pit to Your Backyard

Two Reasons to Add a Fire Pit to Your Backyard

Sitting by a fire is the perfect way to end a day out in the sun. If you add a fire pit or a backyard fireplace to your customized backyard retreat, you can have a completely customized space for complete outdoor relaxation when it’s too dark to swim but the weather is too nice to go inside. Why is a fire pit the perfect choice to add to your backyard space?

  • Fire pits are a great focal point in small and large backyards. No matter what the size of your property is, you can add a fire pit without taking away from your new swimming pool while still leaving plenty of space for people to walk and have fun. And because fire pits can be whatever size you want and can be placed nearly anywhere in your yard, you can possession it as a corner feature with a clear view of the pool or as a circular campfire experience.
  • A Fire pit can stop insects from driving you indoors. A crackling fire isn’t only a great centerpiece to draw people together in the evening; the smoke wards away pesky mosquitos and flies that come out as the temperature cools down. Texas mosquitos can be impossible to get rid of completely, but a fire pit will make them keep their distance.

Varsity Pools focuses on creating the ideal backyard and pool features you have in mind. Whether you want your swimming pool to be the primary attraction or you want an equally prominent fire pit for talking and relaxing, contact us here so we can start turning your vision into reality.

14 Aug 2017

Building a Custom Pool That Helps You Create a Full Backyard Paradise

Pools are an important part of the summer. Whether you’re looking forward to relaxing on your own and with your family and the backyard or you plan on having frequent summer fests this season, having a custom pool in your backyard is a cool and refreshing way to spend your time. Residential pools are becoming more and more customizable: you can choose between above ground and in-ground, between different shapes, and if you want additional water features.

Building a Custom Pool That Helps You Create a Full Backyard Paradise

Swimming pool should be relaxing, and choosing a vinyl liner in-ground pool is the best option if you want to customize it at a lower cost while still getting a long-lasting, durable swimming pool that can stand up to all of the fun you plan on having in it for years to come. If you’d like to learn more about Varsity Pool’s options and installation process, please contact us here.

11 Aug 2017

Stay Safe With Your Outdoor Fireplace This Summer

There are many forms of safe backyard fire, from the grill to the firepit but by far the safest way to keep a fire near your home is the outdoor fireplace. Set in a foundation, the enclosing stones or bricks will become pleasantly warm to the touch without risking the surface burns or upsets brought by portable fire stands. However, as with all fires safety is still important. Here are a few quick tips to a safe summer with your outdoor fireplace.Stay Safe With Your Outdoor Fireplace This Summer

Tip 1: Choose a Safe Location and Keep It Safe

When choosing the placement of your outdoor fireplace, it’s important to consider how it will factor into your existing outdoor environment. Unlike open fires, they are safe to attach or place near your home, as long as the chimney is kept clear. Make sure to keep the space above your chimney clear of overhanging tree branches as well. The location of your pool or backyard spa should also factor in so that family and guests will automatically gravitate to the fireplace for warmth after an evening swim or soak in the spa.

2: Keep a Bucket of Water Nearby

Remember that with any fire, this is an important rule. You never know when it might be necessary to put the fire out or stop a fire from spreading. Dr. Flue advises that you “keep a working hose or fire extinguisher nearby whenever the fireplace is in use” Even if you have a swimming pool nearby, make sure to water ready at a moment’s notice.

3: Never Leave Your Fire Unattended

Fires are not entirely predictable things, nor do you have absolute control over activities in your backyard. Leaving any fire unattended should be avoided. If today is the day the wind blows a sheet off some clothes line directly into your fireplace, you’ll be glad to have been present and ready with that extinguisher or bucket of water.

With fire safety in mind, you are now ready to lounge on, dine around and swim near your beautiful built-in outdoor fireplace. Don’t have one yet? Contact our expert team of backyard architects at Varsity Pools and Patios for a consultation. We love to hear from you!

20 Jul 2017

4 Goals to Accomplish with a Backyard Remodeling Project

The right landscaping adds character and ambiance to your home. Backyard remodeling goes a step further by taking the space and creating something that is both functional and attractive. When planning a backyard remodel, here are four goals you should keep in mind to get the most out of your project.

4 Goals to Accomplish with a Backyard Remodeling Project

#1. Defining the purpose for your space

Are there certain things you would like to use your backyard for such as entertaining or recreation? If so, you should include them in your plans just as you would when coming up with a home building design. Have more than one purpose in mind? That’s great take advantage of decorative planters, fencing, or privacy screens to help divide your space into sections.

#2. Unifying your Landscaping

Perhaps there is no rhyme nor reason to your current landscaping. Maybe things do not flow together too well and you need them to be more harmonious. A backyard remodel can do that by adding elements such as garden walkways or new lighting to help tie everything together.

#3. Adding Symmetry and Balance

Many homeowners are unhappy with their backyards because things just feel somewhat out of whack. For example, there may be oversized trees and bushes that cover up your best architectural features, or you might have outbuildings that do not match the design of your home. All of these things can easily be corrected with the right backyard remodeling design.

#4. Accent your best features

Does your yard have unique features such as a garden pond that you would like to highlight? If so, the right remodeling scheme can bring this feature to the forefront, and could even expand on it with the use of additional landscaping, hardscaping, or lighting.

Backyard remodeling can add just as much beauty and value to your property as an interior remodeling project would. To get started on the project of your dreams, please contact us.

21 Jun 2017

Your Backyard is The Best Place to Entertain!

Once upon a time, backyards really didn’t have a decor. Bar-b-que pits were basic things that needed replacing often, sometimes even yearly. That was before we figured out that the backyard is the best place to entertain. It only makes sense that we put the same care into the design of our backyard as we do with our home interior.

Your Backyard is The Best Place to Entertain!

Features

When you plan your backyard retreat, you have options as to what features will make your space work for you. A patio or deck is a normal place to start, consider a patio of decorative concrete work. This is a versatile material that is long-lasting and economical. But from there your lifestyle comes into play. There are so many options available.

A pool is an enjoyable feature to consider, as water is always a nice touch to any landscape. You might prefer something fancy with waterfalls, or perhaps you want something just inviting for cooling off on those warm days.

An outdoor kitchen might be just the feature for you, with cooking, visiting, and dining all close at hand in your backyard. This is a great touch for those summer evening with friends and family.

A fire-pit or even a fireplace can make a patio inviting all year-long. When it is too cool to swim, evenings are still fun outdoors with the warmth of a crackling fire. This is a great feature for October ghost story telling and December holiday parties.

A garden is a lovely touch for any backyard space, especially one with paths and benches. Whether this is a feature at the edge of a patio or pool or its own element, a garden is charming. Consider raised beds with concrete or stone edging and matching paths.

At Varsity Pools, we create and build backyard retreats. Whatever you choose to make your backyard into the haven you deserve, contact us for more information on how we can help you make your backyard dream a reality.

07 Jun 2017

Tips for Creating Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Cooking is no longer restricted to the inside of your home. Turn your backyard into a retreat with your dream outdoor kitchen. Before you start purchasing products, keep these tips in mind. They will help you enjoy your kitchen for years to come.

Tips for Creating Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Decide On A Budget

The budget for the kitchen like any other home remodel. A few things to consider when creating your budget include:

  • the type of materials you want to use.
  • the price of getting professional installers.
  • the furniture and accessories that finish the space.

Decide On The Location 

After determining your budget, choose your location.

  • How much space does the kitchen need
  • Do you need a covering over the kitchen? Are you adding it to an existing structure?
  • If you have children give them enough space to play. This is also important if you have pets that enjoy the yard.

Ask for your family’s input on the location. Consider a compromise if there are multiple locations suggested.

What style or theme do you want your kitchen to reflect?

Think about the decor inside your home. Do you want to continue the same theme outdoors?

  • Is the kitchen part of a larger remodel? Do you already have the theme chosen for the rest of the remodel?
  • Who is going to use the space? Keep this in mind when choosing the colors so that everyone is happy.

Create Your Lists

The final step in brainstorming your dream kitchen is the lists. Write the lists out before meeting with your design team. They are an important starting point for the project.

  • Create a list of must-have items. These can include seating styles, grills, bar styles, lighting, and other important items.
  • Try to find examples of each item so that everyone knows what you are referring to.
  • When creating the first list, keep your budget in mind.
  • On a separate piece of paper, make a second list. This list is for items that would be nice, but are not necessary. Items here can include things like a second refrigerator, a sound system, and beer taps. Don’t restrain your mind with the budget on this list.
  • Use the second list as a guide for future purchases.

Print out a copy of both lists along with your location plans for your records.

Contact us after you brainstorm your outdoor kitchen. We will work with you to create your cooking paradise at home.