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03 Jul From Start to Finish: An Aqua Pool Project in South Windsor

This week we thought it would be fun to give everyone an insight into a typical project from start to finish. This recent pool build was located in South Windsor, CT. You can see from the image below that there’s a terrific wooded view from the yard but the property line is relatively close to the house. This means that in order to build, Aqua Pool had to consider placement in a location close to the house:

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Since the yard had recently been landscaped with an outdoor paver-seating area and fresh plants, we were careful to remove all usable materials and save them for use after the pool was installed.

During excavation it was discovered that in the prime location for the pool, remnants of an old tobacco barn were buried. Due to restrictions on the property line, we decided to excavate this buried material and backfill the yard with a flowable fill combined with cement blocks to provide the necessary foundation for the gunite pool.

In the image below, you can see the process beginning to unfold as we brought in the heavy machinery to dig:

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In the end, we excavated over twenty feet down in order to build a five foot deep pool. Now that’s solid planning! Check out the hole:

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Since the homeowners have two boys in high school, they wanted something aesthetically pleasing but also structurally sound, hence their selection of gunite. They knew that with a bustling home life, their family would use the pool more frequently than just the summer months. They also wanted to include a basketball net, anchor sockets for a volleyball net, and a spa for relaxing.

You can see the built in spa really take shape once we got to the gunite phase. As a combination of cement, sand, and water, applied through a pressure hose, it creates the perfect hardy and dense surface for your pool:

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As the process unfolded, it was exciting to see the actual pool take shape. It’s easy to imagine the fun to come spending time by the pool, especially once its full of water:

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With the raised spa, we finished out the deck with concrete pavers and coping. It really starts to come together at this stage.

Finally, all of the finishing touches were made including replanting of the landscape, and decorating with furniture and other backyard accessories. Not to mention outfitting the brand new pool with top of the line equipment. For this project we installed a Paramount in-floor cleaning system, a Variable Speed and Energy Efficient Pump, and a Jandy heat/filtration system.

And when all of the hard work pays off, there’s a beautiful finished product:

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We see it all of the time but after each and every single one, it feels great to see a beautiful project come to fruition. At Aqua Pool, we take pride in the thoughtfulness and quality of our work.

 

 

Swimming Pool Contractors – South Windsor CT

Swimming Pool Designers serving South Windsor CT.

 

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03 Jul Fall Pool Care

As summer winds down here in Connecticut, it is time to start looking ahead and planning for the next season. Fall is a beautiful time in this part of the country but it does require a shift in your pool care and maintenance routine. Here is how you can best prepare your pool for the upcoming changes in weather:

  • Less Chemicals
    In the busy season of summer, your pool requires more chemicals than during fall and winter. This is due to fewer pollutants from people’s bodies from use but also due to evaporation, temperature, and sunlight.  During the summer months, your pool water evaporates more quickly and algae/bacteria grows more rapidly hence the need for replacing chemicals more frequently.  As the cooler weather rolls in, you can expect to have to check and balance your pool’s chemistry approximately once a week. Chlorine usage (and other sanitizers) as well as filter run-times will also decrease. The costs associated with owning a pool decrease in the fall and the water will be inherently clearer. So “deal” with those leaves and enjoy the beauty of the pool as the season progresses.
  • Decrease Chlorine
    As your water temperatures drop, you can start to lessen the amount of chlorine you normally add to your pool. Once your waters hit 51 degrees, you can stop adding chlorine altogether. This is because at 51 degrees and lower, algae and bacteria can no longer grow.
  • Foliage
    The beautiful colors of the leaves are stunning once they change but as they begin to fall into your yard, they can wreck havoc on your pool’s filter system if left unattended. Be sure to pay attention and skim your pool to capture leaves and debris to avoid costly stains on your pool’s finish and to keep your system running well! Clean skimmer baskets as required (sometimes twice a day).
  • Pump Time
    Similar to requiring less chemicals, you can also limit the amount of time you run your pool pump and filter to four to eight hours a day to compensate for the reduced use of your pool.

At Aqua Pool and Patio, we think that there is nothing better than a quick dip in a pool at the start of the brisk season to really rejuvenate your mind and body. Take advantage of the crisp autumn weather before it is time to close the pool down for winter. Plus, if your backyard has a fire pit, there’s nothing like warming yourself up around a nice fire with family and friends to celebrate the change of seasons after a swim!

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03 Jul pH Explained

Maintaining the proper chemical balance in your pool water is essential in order to enjoy a clean and safe swimming environment. One of the major tasks for any pool owner is to routinely check chlorine and pH levels but what exactly is pH and why is it a critical component to a well-kept pool? Let our professionals at Aqua Pool and Patio explain the basics behind pH.

When you measure your pool’s pH level, what you are really measuring is the total acid-alkalinity balance. This means that the proportions of acids and alkalis are relatively even:

Acid is defined as a solution that has an excess of H+ ions that can break into hydrogen ions when put into an aqueous solution. This means that an acidic substance has a pH level value of less than seven.

Alkali is the opposite of acid. As an aqueous solution, an alkali can be neutralized by adding acid to lower its pH level from more than seven, where its natural value lies.

Together acids and alkalis can balance one another to achieve clean water. When working together in your pool, this combination requires constant adjusting in order to maintain the proper equilibrium. The recommended pH level is between a 7.2 and 7.8. Remember on the pH scale, a zero indicates extreme acidity and a 14 indicates extreme alkalinity. A neutral state is achieved at an even 7 so you want to have a slightly alkali pool.

What Changes the pH
The reason that you constantly have to check and balance your pool water is due to several reasons: dirt and debris from rain water runoff, dust and pollens, chemical additions such as chlorine, heavy use by swimmers who introduce oils and other organic matter, and anything else that finds its way into your pool can introduce new elements that shift your pool’s chemical makeup.

To adjust your pH level, you can add sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate to the raise the pH and to lower it, you can add either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate.

Remember it’s easier to stay on top of pool problems by instituting a thorough maintenance routine than waiting until an issue gets out of hand. If you need help from the professionals, at Aqua Pool and Patio, we are always ready to assist you with all of your pool needs.

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03 Jul To Heat or Not to Heat

As we all know, swimming pools are huge investments. From installation to ongoing maintenance, a considerable amount of work and resources go into keeping pools clean and clear year round. It seems a bit silly then that especially in the Northeast, we are only able to use these massive investments for a few months out of the year. That is where modern pool heating technology can come into play though. It might sound like a luxury that you have always thought was out of reach, but pool heaters can be an incredible addition to extend the useful life of a pool well into the cooler fall and even winter months.

There are three basic types of pool heaters available on the market today:gas, heat pump, and solar. They are somewhat distinct technologically as well as in pricing and are each beneficial in their own way. Gas powered pool heaters are perhaps the oldest and simplest of the three and function much like a gas powered water heater. They burn either natural gas or propane to heat a series of copper tubes that your pool water is pumped through. This process enables you to quickly raise the temperature in a pool regardless of air temperature or whether or not the sun is out. Unfortunately, because it depends on burning a combustible fuel, it is somewhat inefficient and does contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases.

Heat pump pool heaters function somewhat like a gas powered heater in that they pump the pool water through a heating element in order to heat the entire pool. The difference lies in the fact the heat pumps use electricity to power a compressor that generates hot gasses that are then passed through a condenser over which the pool water flows. Heat pump heaters are more energy efficient because of their use of electricity but they do take longer to heat an entire body of water than a gas-powered heater does and the upfront cost of equipment and installation can often be greater. They also depend on warm air temperatures to function most effectively so while they will definitely extend a swimming season past the summer months, they might not be effective into the coldest parts of the season.

Solar pool heaters can be the most cost effective and energy efficient option on the market today. They work by pumping the pool water through a series of black pipes that are heated by the sun’s rays. The tubes can be mounted almost anywhere there is full sun like on your home’s roof or even on the ground. This method obviously depends on warm sunny days to function properly so it may only fractionally extend a swimming season. If you are looking for a low-cost, environmentally responsible option though, solar might be for you.

There are still a few ways that you can help keep your pool water warm without a heater though. If you are planning a new pool build, consider installing an in-floor circulation system (like adding a ceiling fan to a high-ceiling room). Also, try putting as much of it in full sun as possible and on existing pools, remember to keep up on trimming any overhanging shade plants. It is also always a good idea to include wind blocks like hedges or retaining walls into a poolside landscaping design to keep out cool breezes that can bring your water temperatures down. After all of the time and energy that go into pool maintenance, anything that can keep it open and operating longer will give you and your family a better return on your investment and more opportunities for poolside fun.

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03 Jul Designing and Building Through Winter

Winter is the best time of year to get down to work on designing and building your ideal pool. The first steps are to gather inspiration in order to define your wants and needs. This means that you will need to take a realistic look at your property and the possibilities at hand for your project. Spending the cold months wisely finalizing your design leaves you well prepared to start digging as soon as the weather breaks. If you follow this timeline, you’ll be all set and ready to dive in come prime swimming season!

A few advantages of working through the winter are as follows:

-Personal Attention
Quality attention from your designer and builder is more readily available during the off season. This means that during the winter, as you navigate the design and preparation stages, you’ll have frequent and thorough attention to ensure your project happens the way you want it to.

-Stay on Schedule
Since pool builders and contractors are often less busy in during this period of time, your project is more apt to stay on track to completion along the timeline you have laid out.

-Prep for Landscaping
Getting started in the winter will set you up to have your pool built by early spring which is a great time to tackle landscaping and get those plants into the ground before the summer months.

At Aqua Pool, our industry-leading team is standing by to help you work with the best pool designers, engineers, pool construction teams, service technicians, and more in the Connecticut area. We bring an unparalleled dedication to offering the latest technology and design innovations to your pool build. Why not get started this winter!?

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03 Jul Planning for a Pool in Spring? Do Not Wait!

Everyone who is planning on a pool for next year is going to want to be first in the spring. Any reputable (and desirable) pool builder may already have their early spring schedule filled. If one of your demands is to be first on a builder’s list for spring, calling in December or January may be too late due to existing contracts with previous customers. This could put a serious delay in your pool building timeline. Reputable builders will tell you the truth: spring is difficult to predict. Uncooperative weather, such as lingering snow, can push back building time even further, putting a dent in your pool plans.

The company that tells you what you want to hear may be doing this simply to get you on their list. As a result, they may play the waiting game come spring time. If you give a deposit to a company in January and they procure the permits and perform site meetings, chances are you will not cancel even when the pool is not excavated come April. Think about it, the busy spring season comes quickly so do not wait! Reputable companies like Aqua Pool will “shoot straight” and give you realistic dates. When you go with a reputable company and they build their pools in the order in which contracts are signed, there is a good chance you will have less stress and a more timely pool.

Bring your dream pool to life this spring! Contact Aqua Pool and set your plans in motion!

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03 Jul Circulation: The Importance of Movement for Your Pool Water

Circulation is a key component to any pool care routine. In order for your pool to get clean, filtration is required and movement of your pool water is critical for successful filtration. Not to mention that the circulation of chemicals is what enables the chemicals to properly do their work.

Pool Circulation Explained

Most pools are circulated via pump action. Your pool’s pump is what draws in water either through a skimmer or drain, passes said water through the pump and into the filter where it is then cleaned before passing back into your pool through return jets. This circular system is similar to the body’s circulatory system and how blood is moved throughout your body.

Proper Circulation

The location and placement of your drains and jets should enhance the internal movement of your waters. It’s a good idea to aim these items in opposing directions in order to promote the mixing of your pool water, both laterally, and from surface to depth.

Common Problem Areas

There are a few areas that constantly crop up where good water circulation presents an issue. They are as follows:

-Around your pool steps or ladder
-Where any cracks or crevasses are present

-Beneath your skimmer

To ensure movement amongst these problem areas, you may need to manually stimulate water with a small pool brush to help remove any dirt or debris build-up.

Speaking of Brushing

It’s a good rule of thumb to brush your pool at least once a week. This can help the dead areas listed above but also is a good habit in preventing algae or other micro-organism build-up.

Final Components
Good pool circulation isn’t difficult but it does take some set-up. Set your pump and filter to run at least eight hours a day for movement, be sure to keep baskets and filters clean and clear of debris, and angle your return jets to face different ways to promote circular movement in your water. Remember, a well circulated pool is more likely to save you time and money in the long run!

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03 Jul Pool Trend Predictions for 2015

2014 was a great year in the pool industry and at Aqua Pool, we saw many projects start from the ground up. We’re happy to play our part in beautifying people’s backyards and giving the gift of swimming and great entertaining spaces to our clients and we look forward to what this new year brings. Several of big pool trends you can expect to see from the professionals this year are predicted as follows:

  • Knife-Edge Pools
    Similar to the infinity-edge pool, knife-edge pools feature a slot around all edges of a pool’s perimeter to give off the effect that the pool flows seamlessly into whatever surface material exists similar to a mirror without edges.
  • Natural Designscapes
    Playing off of a pool’s natural surrounding elements is also increasing in popularity. Whether designed to capture the feeling of a natural spring or beach entry, the industry is gravitating towards playing up environmentally-friendly yet rich visual options that blend your pool into a more natural setting.
  • Tanning/Wading Shelves
    These nice shallow ledges are the perfect wading and playing space for young children. Consisting of a gradual slop leading into your water, a tanning shelf presents the perfect place to pull up a lounge chair and read or relax partially submerged in your waters.
  • Integrated Hot Tubs
    Integrated hot tubs lend visual coherency to your backyard’s design. Instead of a detached or attached hot tub, integrated tubs are built in to the footprint of your actual pool during the construction phase to capitalize on the shape.
  • Pebbled Surfaces
    The highly textured finish of aggregate materials is also growing in popularity due to it’s customizability. Many pebbled finishes are available in a range of sizes and colors to cater specifically to your project.

We can’t wait to see what happens this year in the pool industry and will keep you apprised of all of the developing trends. What do you think will happen this year?

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03 Jul Financing a Pool Project

When you decide to finance your pool to build a new project or remodel your existing pool, there are several critical steps along the way to ensure success. At Aqua Pool, we work directly with Paramount Capital Finance, a screened finance dealer that provides stability, quality workmanship, customer satisfaction, and confidence. As a company that offers the convenience of one-stop financing with a concentration in swimming pool financing, Paramount Capital Finance understands the nuances and specifics involved in the pool building process. You can download a Critical Questions report and apply for financing through our website:http://aquapool.com/financing/

Once you have an understanding of how much your pool project will cost, here are several tips to speed along the financing for your project:

  • Consider if it is possible for your pool loan to qualify as home improvement financing. This can oftentimes help you negotiate better terms and come tax season, make you eligible for a deduction.
  • Talk to industry contractors who bring years of professional experience to help you navigate your way through the complicated process. Our professional staff can discuss your options and budgets so you have a better picture of what is available to you to help you define the scope of bringing your project from vision to fruition.
  • Considering the smaller items is something that many people often overlook. This means that you need to keep in mind money for fencing, lighting, pool care and maintenance, and equipment upkeep.

You want to ensure that your pool build or remodel is an affordable adventure before you start. At Aqua Pool and with our partnership with Paramount Capital Finance, we offer low fixed rates, six months of deferrable payments, twenty-five year financing options, that can add up to 100% of available financing to help you complete your project!

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03 Jul The Benefits of a Beautiful Backyard

At Aqua Pool and Patio, we work hard to ensure our backyard projects suit your dreams. Whether you want a quiet and relaxing space to lounge in on the weekends alone or with family, or a delightful entertaining yard for hosting friends and neighbors to share food and conversation, and make memories together, we understand the key elements that make an oasis your own. To help get you inspired about what you can do with your space, here are several reasons it’s worth it to invest in your backyard:

Pool Parties
With a hot tub and a pool, there’s nothing better than a pool party for friends and family. Call us nostalgic but relaxing and splashing around in a beautiful backyard is the epitome of relaxation.

Quiet Place
When you aren’t busy throwing a pool bash, having your own private oasis for contemplation, meditation, and reflection can do wonders for your health and wellbeing. Picture yourself coming home from the hustle and bustle of the workday and spending an hour or two relaxing in your yard before cooking a delicious meal with your family. Sounds great right?

Exercise
Just as important as your mental health, diving into your own pool and swimming laps is an excellent workout for your body. Helping to build long and lean muscles without the negative impact of sports like jogging, swimming is a great way to get yourself in shape and stay healthy.

Grilling
There’s something extremely satisfying about cooking outdoors. Maybe it’s the smoke or the unique taste of food off the grill, but at Aqua Pool, we find it to be a relaxing experience firing up the grill and making something scrumptious.

Gathering
Last but not least, one of the key benefits in having a beautiful outdoor space is how it brings your family together to socialize, play, and spend quality time. Now that’s worth working for!

 

Custom Swimming Pools CT

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