Serving Central Texas
06 Jun 2019

3 Essential Tips to Help You Create a Versatile and Practical Pool Design

You may be filled with excitement and anticipation if you have decided to build an in-ground pool on your property. But, what exactly do you want from your new pool? It should fit your budget, work well with the existing landscaping and suit your family’s needs. Before you make your purchase, sit down with your family and talk about the following factors.

3 Essential Tips to Help You Create a Versatile and Practical Pool Design

1. Practical Needs Come First

First,  decide on a budget, but don’t automatically go with the cheapest option available or the pool may not get much use. How do you plan to use your pool? Whether you want to use it for recreation, exercise or entertaining, pick the best type of pool for your lifestyle. Also consider how it will be cleaned and research any zoning regulations in your area. Your budget may need to include such additions as a fence with a locked gate or a deck.

2. Incorporate the Pool into Your Property

Also talk with your family about how much space you can give up for a pool. This recreational amenity is permanent and is only in use for a specific season. After that, consider the amount of sun that it would get and any nearby trees that may create cleaning issues. Make sure the pool will not be located too close to plumbing equipment, such as a septic tank.

Don’t forget to consider the view. Perhaps you will enjoy looking at your new pool but if our neighbors or passersby can easily see it this will limit your use of it.

3. Select a Type of Pool

After you have other issues settled, select a pool shape. Instead of just installing a traditional kidney shaped pool, consider a type that best fits your needs. Geometric shapes, such as a rectangle, make your yard look more orderly and are good for exercising. Free-form shapes better integrate with your existing landscaping and add elegance. Grecian pools create a graceful area for entertaining.

What do you want from your new pool? If you are having trouble deciding, please contact us. Our builders will work with you to ensure that you get the best value for your investment.

21 May 2019

How to Get Your Pool Ready for Summer Fun

As the warm weather arrives your family many be anticipating a long pleasurable summer of swimming, pool parties and other recreation in your backyard pool. Before you start splashing around, schedule some time for pool maintenance. Clean up, check your equipment and make sure everything is safe before you and your loved ones dive in. How to Get Your Pool Ready for Summer Fun!

Clean the Area

The first thing to do is to clean up and around the pool so you can see what needs work. Sweep up dead leaves and remove dead branches or other debris from the area. Use a leaf blower to clean the top of the pool cover while it is still in place so dead vegetation doesn’t fall into the water when you remove it. After you have the pool cover off, clean it well with soap and water and allow it to dry thoroughly to prevent mildew. Once it is dry, fold it and place it in a plastic bin to prevent insects or rodents from damaging it.

Check your Equipment

Next, review the manufacturer’s instructions for your filtration system. To keep your pool in top condition you should not empty it once the weather turns cold, but if the water is low in the spring add more water. Plan to run your filtration system for several days before you use the pool. The water needs to be completely clear.

After the circulation has been running for about 12 hours do a Ph test by simply following the directions on a home test kit. However if you are not comfortable testing it on your own call your pool retailer. Many offer professional testing services.

Ensure Safety

As your filtration system runs, check all handrails, diving boards, ladders and any other attached parts to make sure they are stable and secure. If items are loose or wobbly, fix them before you allow others to climb on them. Make sure that a fully stocked first aid kit is within quick and easy access to the pool.

Once you have completed these tasks, your pool should be ready for recreation and fun. If you need some help getting your pool ready for summer, or you are shopping for a new pool, please contact us.

08 May 2019

New Design Trends for Pools 2019

Small space and dual-purpose swimming pools continue to gain in popularity. Plunge pools, spools, and lap pools are leading the pack. Some offer both relaxation and exercise, heat and cold, and both salt and mineral chlorine options. House-centric designs include indoor to outdoor and curvilinear pools.

New Design Trends for Pools 2019

Plunge Pools

A plunge pool is smaller and shallow compared to a regular inground swimming pool. They are popular options for relaxing and cooling off, and can provide for limited exercise. Many plunge pools are located with hot tubs, so a person can experience the therapeutic benefits of moving from hot to cold water.

Some plunge polls are ready-made fiberglass, or they can be designed and made to fit a particular space. Since they are smaller, less outdoor areas is needed. They can also be made deep, like the Japanese soaking tubs. Plunge pools are one of the least expensive options for inground outdoor pools.

Spools

Spools is a word that combines pool and spa, and these inground swimming pools combine some of the elements of both. This hybrid pool can be enjoyed both cold and hot, and can incorporate powerful jets to provide resistance for exercise. Swimming in place is an option in the smaller spools.

These pools tend to be smaller than inground pools, but larger than plunge pools. They are usually less expensive than typical inground swimming pools that are full-sized, but having options for both hot and cold water can be more expensive. They also come with both salt water and mineral or chlorine options.

Indoor to Outdoor Pools

Several exciting trends in pool design are incorporating pools into the home space. The indoor to outdoor pool has a design that extends the pool both inside the house and out; this design allows views of the pool and access from both areas. The use of glass walls and colorful and brilliant LED lighting is giving the home a focal point of brilliant blue visible from multiple levels.

Another trend is the curvilinear pool that encircles the house, and allows views and access to the pool from several rooms. The organic forms of these pools provide a focal point for outdoor landscaping.

Infinity and zero-edge pools remain popular.

Can we help you design your dream pool? Please contact us for more information.

30 Apr 2019

Are Kid’s Swim Floaties Safe?

Swimming pools are so much fun but safety is every pool owner’s priority. Floaties: protect your child in the water with this convenient wearable flotation device. Sounds like a good idea? You might think so, but according to Kid Nurse floaties are actually dangerous, and you should avoid them like the plague. Are Kid’s Swim Floaties Safe?

Are Kid's Swim Floaties Safe?

What is wrong with floaties?

Floaties are a toy, plain and simple. They may look like safety devices but they are not. They are not life jackets and they are definitely not approved by the US Coast Guard.

Okay, so if floaties are a toy, what makes them so dangerous? The main problem is that parents think they are a safety device. It makes sense why people would think this. They look like they would help a child float. And they do. Sometimes. Other times they don’t

Floaties are not securely attached to a child and children are good at wriggling out of things. What good is a safety device if your kid may get out of it at any minute?

Floaties also teach young children the wrong lesson: I can jump in the water and I will just float. Unfortunately, younger children may not understand that they must have the floaties on in order to float. Your child might think it is safe to step into a lake in the park while not wearing floaties. Teach your children to have a healthy respect for the water.

Speaking of teaching, a great way to protect children from drowning is swimming classes. If your child knows how to swim, they will be much safer in the water.

Facts about floaties

  • They are not safety devices
  • They are toys
  • They don’t make your children any safer
  • Someone should always be watching a child when they are in the water

So throw out your floaties, tell your friends not to buy them, and always keep an eye on children in the water. Also, get your kids to those swimming lessons as soon as you can. That’s the way to protect your child.

If you have any questions about swimming pools, please contact us.

09 Apr 2019

Does Your Pool Have These Three Features Built Around the Edge?

A pool isn’t just a pool. It’s one of the key features of your backyard. It’s also one of the most dangerous features you can have in your yard. The best way to keep everyone safe is to build in protections around the edge. Whether you’re constructing a brand new pool or renovating an old one, make sure you have these three elements around the edge:

Does Your Pool Have These Three Features Built Around the Edge?

1. A pool deck with a textured surface

Pool water is slippery, and normal concrete won’t provide enough traction to keep people safe as they walk around the edge of the pool. Instead, get the deck coated with a thickly textured, anti-slip surface. This one change can keep everyone safer whether they get into the pool or not.

2. A pool fence that provides good visibility

If your kids are in the backyard and you have an in ground pool, there’s always the risk one of them might get too close to the edge. Solve the problem by enclosing the pool with a wrought iron fence. This barrier keeps children and pets out when you aren’t there to keep an eye on their swimming. It also means you can keep on an eye the whole backyard at once.

3. Concrete or stone paths connecting the pool to the patio

While the perimeter of the pool is going to be the most dangerous walking surface, the grass between it and your house has its own share of difficulties. The grass can hide ant hills, spiders, and wasps. The grass can also get just as slippery as the concrete, especially for people with wet feet. Extend your textured pool deck to meet your patio’s edge or build in a walking path.

If you want a pool that’s more than just a pool, contact our team at Varsity Pools. We can design and build a swimming pool you and your family will love.

26 Mar 2019

5 Custom Pool Design Elements That Are All About the 21st Century

Traditional pools scream the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Between the kidney shape, the gradient depth, and the sharply textured walls, traditional pool elements may carry fond memories but are just the beginning of modern pool design. If you want a custom pool that screams luxury and modernity instead, add these five design elements:

5 Custom Pool Design Elements That Are All About the 21st Century

Smart connectivity

If your home is already connected to your phone, make sure your swimming pool is, too. You can monitor the water temperature, get alerted about filter malfunctions, and control the lighting from your phone. More advanced systems can even let you know if someone is in the pool when they shouldn’t be or give you a camera view of the area.

Right angles

Contemporary architecture is about strong lines and right angles. Instead of a softly sloping pool perimeter, opt for right angles and a stark rectangular design.

Dark and intricate tiles around the edge

Your pool doesn’t have to have a nylon blue finish. You can add murals, patterns tiles, or even stone-look finishes. Dark and complexly patterned tiles are becoming more and more popular, and they can be great accents around the edge of a large pool.

Landscaping features

Another trend that shows no sign of fading is incorporating residential pools with beautiful landscaping features. You can add a waterfall at one edge or have lush rainforest plants along the back. When you’re designing a customer pool, you can make all of the elements of your pool, patio, and yard come together.

Sun shelves

If you like sunbathing, you’ll love sun shelves. These shallow pool decks sit just a few inches in the water so you can enjoy both the cool water and sunbathing at once. If you build them next to a below-ground outdoor kitchen, they can also double as fun seating by the counter.

Browse our gallery at Varsity Pools for more design elements that will turn your backyard into the oasis you’ve been dreaming up.

13 Mar 2019

Design the Outdoor Kitchen of Your Dreams

Spring is approaching and now is the time to plan renovations for your yard. One way to greatly improve your outdoor space and make it more useful for your family is to install an outdoor kitchen. This outdoor living trend keeps growing each year, thanks to new innovations in materials, better technology and clever new features. Here are three trends to consider when designing your new space.

Design the Outdoor Kitchen of Your Dreams with Recent Trends

Bringing the Indoors Outside

Over the past few years manufacturers of outdoor furniture and accessories have made great improvements in both design and weather proofing. You can now install an outdoor sofa or soft chairs in your outdoor kitchen without fear of them getting moldy or sun bleached. Because of this, the latest trend is to match your outdoor kitchen or patio to the decor inside your home. Even the flooring can be customized to match if you choose to install decorative concrete. Or, use granite or stone to follow the shabby chic design trend for outdoor spaces.

Practical and Ambient Lighting

Gone are the days when outdoor lighting means harsh spotlights that you turn on and off with a switch. Today’s LED lights are far more versatile. Many are solar or motion sensitive, making them both convenient and economical. Use a bright light over a counter in your outdoor kitchen or soft spotlights to gently illuminate a seating area. Small lights along a path from the house to the outdoor kitchen prevent accidents.

Weatherproof Appliances and Fire Features

With an outdoor kitchen, you can have all of the comforts of an indoor kitchen, plus fun things you don’t have room for indoors. Many brands of stainless steel counters, refrigerators and trash drawers are now both durable and weatherproof. Fire features, such as fire pits and fireplaces, continue to be a big outdoor living trend because they allow homeowners to use their outdoor kitchens more comfortably in cool weather. If you love to cook, a smoker or wood burning oven allows you to explore techniques that you can’t try inside your home.

These are just a few of the features you can incorporate into your new outdoor kitchen. Contact us for more information on how to transform your outdoor living space.

12 Mar 2019

The Best Pool Trends According to Professional Pool Builders

Trends in pool construction come and go. Sometimes, though, there are trends that are worth your time and attention! Here are three pool trends that pool builders are recommending to their clients. Are these trends worth adding to your pool design plans?

The Best Pool Trends According to Professional Pool Builders

 

Lots of Smart-Pool Automation

Smart-home automation is becoming more and more mainstream every year. Your pool will be no exception! Pools are becoming easier to own as smart systems make the process of cleaning and managing your pool a breeze. Lighting, temperature, and even cleaning schedules can all run from a smartphone. While it won’t eliminate the need for professional pool cleaning, it will help ensure your pool is ready-to-use between visits. Look for even more innovations in this area in the coming year.

Smaller, More Luxurious Pools

It used to be that you needed a large plot of land if you wanted to consider adding a pool to your property. That’s changing. Home buyers are looking for smaller properties that don’t require so much of their time and maintenance. This trend is extending to their pools. Many people adding pools to their properties want pools designed for entertainment and luxury as opposed to something they can do laps in. Smaller sizes often mean they can spend more on quality materials and custom add-ons, too.

Hydrotherapy Spas for Relaxation

In the coming year, the focus for pool owners is relaxation. That’s why you’ll be seeing more hydrotherapy spas than ever added into custom pool designs. These spas offer warm water relaxation with jets that can target sore muscles and release tension. While pools are getting smaller, these spas are getting bigger as pool owners place heavier importance on creating comfortable, relaxing spaces for themselves and their families.

Want to incorporate any of these trends into your pool construction plans? The Varsity Pools team can help! Get in touch with our experienced pool builders today to learn more about our pool and patio design services.

26 Feb 2019

Improve your Outdoor Style with Decorative Concrete

If you are looking for great ideas to incorporate into an outdoor remodeling project for your home, you’ll want to take a look at all the recent advancements in decorative concrete. No longer are homeowners limited to drab, gray stretches of utilitarian concrete. Now homeowners can select from a wide variety of decorative treatments for outdoor areas such as steps, patios, walking paths, pool lounge areas, and more. Read on to learn more about how decorative concrete can add great style to your outdoor remodeling project.

Improve your Outdoor Style with Decorative Concrete

Add Some Style with Texture

If you’ve always loved the look of brick, tile, slate, flagstone or even wood, but didn’t want the extra expense and upkeep that comes along with special materials, you now have more options. All of these textures are easily replicated through the use of a process known as concrete imprinting, or stamping. You’ll still get all the easy care features of concrete as well as its affordability, along with the textured look you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you are pouring new cement as part of a remodeling project, or have some that simply needs updating, adding texture to concrete is a great way to add beautiful visual interest outdoors.

Add Some Style with Color

Another great way to incorporate a unique design into any remodeling project is to add color to decorative cement. Today’s concrete projects can include the application of stains or dyes that will provide just the right shade of accent color to outdoor cement surfaces. It’s also possible to use multiple colors that will allow one to create unique decorative cement patterns. Whether you want to add subtle earth-toned color accents that harmonize with the outdoors, or add a punch of bright purple, yellow or orange for that “wow” factor, the choice is yours.

If you would like to know more about decorative cement can add style, texture and color to your backyard project, contact us!

13 Feb 2019

Lose these Excuses for not Keeping Leaves Out

As a pool owner, one of your most essential tasks is to keep leaves out. Don’t fall prey to any of the following common excuses folks use for not scooping out their pool.

Lose these Excuses for not Keeping Leaves Out

#1. My pool cover will keep leaves out

While it’s true that a pool cover will protect your investment, it cannot possibly keep out all leaves and debris. Very thin particles can still slip through the space between your cover and the pool. So don’t be surprised to peel back your cover and learn that your pool is not as clean as you would like it.

#2. Scooping my pool isn’t necessary during the off season

The trees surrounding your pool may no longer have leaves, but that doesn’t mean that other debris won’t wind up in your pool. Pine needles, pine cones, acorns, and other matter could end up there as well. Unless you scoop your pool on a regular basis, you may not have any idea what’s inside it until you are ready to open it up again in spring.

#3. A few leaves won’t really hurt anything. I’ll wait until I have lots of them to remove.

The truth is that even a few leaves can drastically change the pH balance of your water. This can result in the need for additional chemicals, which ironically will only be soaked up by the leaves. You’re actually just throwing money away if you don’t keep your swimming pool free of debris at all times.

To keep your pool in peak condition, you should ideally scoop it every day during swimming season and at least twice a week when not in use. Maybe you would like to spend more time swimming and fewer hours cleaning your pool, in which case we invite you to contact us instead.