The Stages of New Pool Construction

The Stages of New Pool Construction

If you’re interested in a new swimming pool but don’t know where to start, you might want to first get an overview of the entire project. Although it would be convenient, your pool won’t be done in one day. Let’s look at what you can expect from each stage of the construction work.

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The Construction Process

Each step in the construction process can last anywhere from one day to a few weeks, depending on multiple factors not always in your control. But each stage is crucial to giving you a long-lasting, stylish new pool. The project will generally consist of these basic stages:

  1. Design
  2. Excavation
  3. Plumbing and reinforcements
  4. Concrete and tile
  5. Electricity and tests
  6. Finishing surface
  7. Final touches

1) Design

Construction can’t begin without a pool design! You’ll start by going over your ideas and any questions with a pool design professional to discuss any special features or other preferences you may have. Once your design is complete, you’ll have a good idea of how the finished product will look!

Pro Tip: Once you have your pool design complete, try not to make changes at the last second or during construction. This will only extend your anticipated pool completion date.

2) Excavation

Time to start digging! At this point, the pool builders will bring heavy machinery into your backyard and excavate the space for your future pool. Generally, you can expect this process to take at least a full day. If the weather causes problems, the crew hits bedrock, or your pool is simply bigger than usual, excavation could take longer depending on how quickly the problem is resolved.

3) Plumbing and Reinforcements

Your pool will, of course, need pipes to pump the water and a structural steel skeleton to support the structure. Once the excavation is complete, plumbers will install the necessary machinery in preparation for the next step.

4) Concrete and Tile

Your pool shell–the “bowl” of the pool that contains the water and withstands pressure from surrounding earth–will be made of concrete, gunite, or a similar material. The construction crew will pour the concrete over the metal skeleton, and then line the shell with capstones and lining to aid with future draining. Your pool will start to look finished at this point, but don’t get too excited yet! You’re just halfway done.

5) Electricity and Tests

Now that your pool has a definite shape and structure, it’s time to put in the electrical components. At this point, you’ll see the pump motors and other key pieces installed. The construction crew will also test everything repeatedly and likely bring in a city inspector to complete the work.

6) Finishing Surface

Your pool may have a shell and all its equipment, but it’s not waterproof until the construction crew has coated the shell in plaster. This is the fastest stage, averaging three to five hours.  Make sure to listen to any instructions the crew has about basic plaster maintenance.

7) Filling the Pool

Your pool is finally waterproof and ready to fill! The plaster will dry quickly and allow the builders to start filling your pool almost immediately after they’re done. Once the pool is filled to a safe level, it’s done–you’re ready to start swimming!

Be Ready for Things to Change

Even if you have a good idea of what the construction process will be like, unpredictable problems such as bad weather or delayed building materials can stall the project temporarily. Don’t worry, the crew wants to finish quickly too! You’ll still get a great pool even if you have to wait a few more days.

Ready to start the process for yourself? Connect with us to talk with a pool designer and see what we can build for you!

New Pool Construction: What to Ask Your Houston Pool Builder

New Pool Construction: What to Ask Your Houston Pool Builder

Once you have an idea of what kind of pool you want, it’s time to look for a pool building company to make your dream a reality. But don’t just hire the first company that shows up on Google. As the future owner of a swimming pool, you owe it to yourself to know exactly what you’re getting into.

Make an informed decision about your swimming pool construction project. Here’s a few good questions to ask your pool builder before work starts. Click To Tweet

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Remember that the pool builder is working for you, and the final swimming pool will be a part of your home for the foreseeable future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you’re fully satisfied. Here are a few important questions to start with:

  1. Can they accommodate all your requests?
  2. Do they have a good reputation and good reviews?
  3. What plumbing, electrical, etc. needs will the finished pool have?
  4. What will the complete project cost?
  5. What warranties or insurance are available?
  6. What building materials will be used?
  7. What maintenance will the completed pool require?

1) Can They Accommodate All Your Requests?

You probably have an idea of the shape, size, custom features, etc. you want for your swimming pool. See how much your pool builder can create for you. Be prepared for the unexpected when it comes to new pool construction. You may have to scale your project down slightly if your original ideas are too expensive or complex, but don’t give up on your dream pool. Keep looking until you find a pool builder that can make your dream come true.

2) Do They Have a Good Reputation and Good Reviews?

Customer testimonials, while not necessarily a dealbreaker, can give you an idea of a pool builder’s community standing. Do they do quality work and offer good customer service? How often do their pools need repairs done? Ask around and look online to see what kind of company you’re hiring.

3) What Plumbing, Electrical, Etc. Needs Will the Finished Pool Have?

This partially depends on how many custom features you want to be included in or near your swimming pool. Make sure you know what kind of mechanics will be in the finished product. This will give you an idea of how frequently maintenance will be required and how much repairs can potentially cost you.

4) What Will the Complete Project Cost?

Don’t let yourself be surprised by the price. Before you sign the contract, make sure you know down to the penny how much your swimming pool project will cost. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often people rush into a project without considering the total cost. Make sure you know how much you’ll be spending.

Pro Tip: Don’t default to the pool builder with the lowest price. You may be getting a good deal on paper, but the lower cost may indicate the builder will cut corners elsewhere and leave you with a defective pool.

5) What Warranties or Insurance Are Available?

Whether due to damage or wear and tear from age, your swimming pool will need repairs from time to time. A reputable pool builder will offer insurance and limited repairs for your pool, though exact services will vary. Ask about future repairs and how much you can expect to pay for them.

6) What Building Materials Will Be Used?

The more durable the building materials in your pool, the fewer repairs it will need and the longer it will last. Ask for details on construction materials and additional costs for upgrading to more durable ones if necessary.

7) What Maintenance Will the Completed Pool Require?

Finally, make sure you know how to care for your pool when it’s finished. Will you have to regularly call in professional help for maintenance, or will the biggest chore be pulling bugs and loose leaves out of the water with a net? See how much time and money will go into keeping the pool functioning.

Creating Your Dream Pool for Houston Summers

Your swimming pool will add value to your home and provide hours of entertainment for years to come. You deserve the best. Before any construction begins, make sure to get swimming pool questions and answers from your pool builder.

Want to learn more about designing your dream pool? Join the conversation to speak with our professional pool designers!

New Pool Construction: How Long Will It Take to Install Your Inground Pool?

New Pool Construction: How Long Will It Take to Install Your Inground Pool?

You probably don’t want to wait too long to use your brand new pool. Rest assured that your construction team also wants to finish the job quickly to move on to other work! Exact times can vary greatly, but your pool should be completed reasonably fast.

Wondering why your pool construction is taking so long? Here’s what you need to know about inground pool design and installation. Click To Tweet

For a no-complications pool building project, you can expect to wait about 6-8 weeks. Of course, delays will happen. Multiple problems can add days or weeks to your waiting time. Here’s everything you need to consider when it comes to installing an inground pool.

Custom Features

That waterfall will look amazing when it’s completed, but it will probably add an extra few days to your pool installation. The more custom features you want, the longer construction will take. As you customize your pool to your heart’s content, prepare yourself to wait a little longer.

Pro Tip: Don’t make changes to your pool design once construction starts. The builders may have to undo some progress to add in your new ideas, consuming yet more time.

Inclement Weather

Unpredictable Houston weather could cost your pool builders valuable construction time if constant rain or overwhelming heat makes it impossible to work. There isn’t really a good way to solve this problem. Your best bet is just to wait for the weather to improve so work can resume.

Building Material Delays

Finally, sometimes a material supplier won’t ship the necessary tiles, concrete, or other necessities in time, leading to a delay on your pool project. Your pool builders might be able to speed up the delivery if this happens, but chances are, you’ll just have to wait a little longer. You may be tempted to go to the hardware store and try to continue the work yourself, but don’t do that! When the materials arrive, having a weak spot in your new pool will just lead to disaster later.

Anticipating Your New Inground Pool

Delays can be frustrating, especially when they’re out of your control. Just remember that you can reduce some of the most common delays by choosing easily shipped building materials and a good time of year for the construction. While unexpected problems might still occur, at the very least you can reduce them.

Excited for your new pool? Connect with us and see what the finished product will look like!

New Pool Construction: Dig Day Expectations

New Pool Construction: Dig Day Expectations

You finally put down the money on that new pool you’ve been dreaming of! Once you’ve finished designing it and adding all the design features you’ve always wanted, it’s time to start construction. Day one of your pool construction project will consist entirely of excavating your new pool’s construction site.

Excavation seems simple enough, but there’s plenty of factors to consider as the day nears. Make sure your backyard is prepared for the pool building traffic and potential problems that may arise during the project.

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Identify Potential Hazards in Your Backyard

Make sure your pool builders locate and clearly mark anything that you know will get in the way of digging, such as water pipes or buried electrical cables. A reputable pool designer will understand the importance of this. However, be prepared to address other problems that aren’t so easily identified at first. For example, if the construction crew hits bedrock, a large boulder, or a shallow water table, construction may be slowed as the problem is dealt with or your pool’s location changes. You may have to accommodate delays or additional expenses resulting from inevitable problems like these.

Protect Your Backyard

A major construction project like a pool means a lot of people and machines will be in and out of your yard all day. To prevent damage to your backyard, make sure to move small decorations like bird baths to a safe location like your garage. Ask if you should remove part of your fence so construction vehicles can get in easily. Most importantly, consider how to protect unmovable features like an outdoor kitchen. Trustworthy pool contractors should already have a plan to protect your kitchen, but never forget to ask if there’s anything you can do as well. You don’t want to ruin one backyard landmark for the sake of a new one.

Pro Tip: Your grass will inevitably get trampled during a pool construction project. Make sure to buy some new sod when the work is done.

Decide What to Do with the Dirt

Regardless of how big your pool is, you’ll end up with a lot of excavated soil. Most swimming pool builders will let you choose to either pay a little extra to have the dirt hauled away or keep it for yourself at no extra charge. Keeping the dirt allows you to add a hill in your backyard and provide an elevated space for a cool feature like a firepit to overlook your new pool. On the other hand, paying a little more to get rid of the dirt forever cleans up your backyard that much faster. Whatever you ultimately decide, make sure your pool contractor can accommodate you.

Get Ready for the Next Step!

A typical pool excavation normally takes a full day and may expand to two or three with work complications. Once the digging is finished, it’s time to start on reinforcement and plumbing! The best way to prepare for this is to keep the new gaping hole in your backyard clean and easily accessible. Don’t rebuild your fence or install anything else until the construction is fully finished. Most importantly, don’t go into the hole yourself–without the structural reinforcement from further construction, the dirt could still collapse.

Preparing for Dig Day

You’re most likely excited about your new custom pool and increased outdoor time! Although the design and construction phase will not be as fun, your new pool will be worth it. The best way you can help is to make the contractor’s job as easy as possible. The faster they can work, the faster you get your new pool!

Interested in reading more about the pool construction process? Connect with us and see how to get started.

Your Guide to Outdoor Room Construction

Your Guide to Outdoor Room Construction

Adding an outdoor room is the perfect way to give your outdoor living space much-needed shade, a comfortable seating area, or dining spot for your outdoor kitchen. Knowing how to prepare is an important element in making sure the construction process goes on without a hitch. Click To Tweet

Getting Ready for An Outdoor Room Construction

So you’ve decided to have an outdoor room constructed. You might be excited but wondering the best way to prepare. While your design team will help prepare you (and do most of the prep work), there are some basics that many people forget about. Follow this guide to getting ready for the construction process.

Learn the Schedule

Make sure to learn the construction schedule. What days will they be working, and which hours of the day? Make sure to coordinate potentially disruptive stages and plan accordingly.

Alarm Codes & Keys

Make sure to provide contractors with the proper alarm codes and keys to effortlessly gain access to the backyard and any other areas they might need to get to.

Worksite Safety

A worksite is a dangerous place and it is important that if you are on site that you wear proper safety protection to prevent injuries and accidents.

Pets & Children

A construction site is no place for children or pets to run around. Make sure to keep little ones and four-legged friends out of the construction site.

Parking Availability

Make sure that those working in your new outdoor room have enough parking available at the times they need it. Move your cars in order to make space for their vehicles while loading and unloading supplies.

Do You Part

Before the construction begins, make sure to pick up any debris in the area that is having work done. Cover or remove any outdoor furniture and move any plants or containers that might get in the way.

Your Perfect Outdoor Room Construction

By following these above tips, your outdoor room construction will come together perfectly. Make sure to communicate regularly with your outdoor living company and you’ll be enjoying your newly constructed outdoor room in no time!

To learn more about the best way to prepare for outdoor room construction, Contact Us.

Arbors, Pergolas, Cabanas and Patio Covers: What’s the Difference?

Arbors, Pergolas, Cabanas and Patio Covers: What’s the Difference?

These four common outdoor structures – arbors, pergolas, cabanas and patio covers – are all elements that can take an outdoor living space to the next level. But what’s the difference? Is there a difference?

The answer is a resounding, yes! We’ll explore each of these structures so you can decide which one is the best fit for your style and space.

Arbors

A Long Houston Arbor

An arbor is a simple, usually small, free-standing structure designed to provide shade and add a special touch to a backyard, walkway or front entry.

They are popular additions to an outdoor living space because of their versatility, customizable design and low maintenance upkeep.

Arbors are often used to provide support for climbing plants on trellises or lattices, but can be elegantly designed as a stand-alone element. Seating can be incorporated into the design to create an inviting backyard hideaway with protection from the summer sun.

A variety of materials can be used to create an arbor, with the most popular being wood, rust-proof iron and durable P.V.C. plastic.

Pergolas

Creekstone Outdoor Living - Custom Houston Pergola

Pergolas are often confused with arbors as they can share similar features such as lattices. They are actually vastly different structures with entirely different uses.

Pergolas are larger structures with more advanced architectural design features. They are supported by wooden or stone columns, and are often attached to an existing home or structure although they can be freestanding.

The roof is traditionally an open grid constructed of wooden beams to allow natural light to reach the space below. The beams can be covered with a clear or tinted polycarbonate roof for extra protection from the elements.

A pergola attached to an existing home extends the living space outdoors and can set the stage for further additions such as an outdoor kitchen or seating areas. In a garden setting, a pergola can be partially enclosed with lattice to allow plants to climb up to the roof creating a cozy, private outdoor retreat.

Common materials used to build pergolas are wood and stone or brick. Materials can be chosen to coordinate with existing structures on a property.

Cabanas

Custom Outdoor Kitchen and Cabana - Aerial View by Creekstone Outdoor Living in Houston Texas

Cabanas are free-standing, covered structures that can add functionality and comfort to any outdoor living space. They can be designed to simply cover a cozy nook for outdoor dining or as an extravagant addition to a pool area complete with an outdoor kitchen, changing rooms and storage space.

Lighting accents, ceiling fans and heating elements can be added to enhance the beauty and value of a cabana.

Since cabanas are freestanding, think of them as an additional room that accentuates an existing home. With that in mind, the addition of a cabana will increase the value of a property by boosting the amount of functional space.

The materials used in the construction of a cabana can be chosen to match an existing home or be constructed out of different materials to make a statement in a backyard oasis. Large beams and elegant stained wood ceilings are common elements of a cabana and add a distinctive flair.

Patio Covers

Creekstone Outdoor Living - Houston Patio Cover

Patio covers are a practical, easy way to enhance and add value to your home, and make the most out of your outdoor living space. As an attached structure, they are designed to compliment a home’s style and can include a variety of upgrades like screened windows, ceiling fans and lighting accents.

Much like cabanas, patio covers extend an outdoor living space into the backyard. But since they are attached to an existing structure, that extension is merely a step or two outside the back door.

Patio covers are an excellent addition for small spaces or for those looking to add protection from the elements to an already existing patio. They protect against the sweltering summer sun and spring rain showers, and with proper placement a patio cover can keep a home cooler during the summer by blocking the sun from south-facing windows.

An addition to an existing patio that incorporates an outdoor kitchen, fireplace or seating area can be greatly enhanced by the construction of a patio cover. By collaborating with a pool company, a patio cover can extend to the edge of a new pool, providing the perfect setting for a covered swim-up bar.

All four of these structures are designed to add functionality, style and value to a home. From a quiet mini-retreat under an arbor to a luxurious fully-featured cabana at the edge of a property, an outdoor living space can easily be transformed into private oasis with the addition of any of these elements.

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