Freshwater chlorine pools have been the gold standard of swimming pools for multiple decades. However, the trend of saltwater pools is beginning to challenge the notion that chlorine is automatically the superior choice. Is a saltwater swimming pool ever equal to or even better than a traditional chlorine pool?
In the debate of saltwater vs. freshwater pools, neither option is strictly “better” than the other. The answer depends on the price you’re willing to pay, your commitment to ongoing maintenance, and the effect both pools will have on you when you go swimming. Before you make your choice, educate yourself on both types of pools and their pros and cons.
Contrary to popular belief, saltwater pools are not chlorine-free. Instead, the drastically lower levels of chlorine are produced through electrolysis, where the water passes through mild electrical currents to produce just enough chlorine to disinfect the pool. This is in contrast to a typical pool where the chlorine must be manually added and maintained at a higher level. For the most part, the level of chlorine in a saltwater pool is low enough that swimmers won’t notice any dry skin or bleaching on their clothes.
Pro Tip: Are you considering a saltwater pool to get around a chlorine allergy? Saltwater pools still contain some chlorine! Make sure the levels are safe for yourself and your family.
It’s difficult to estimate the exact costs of both kinds of pool and contrast the two. However, there’s no question that a saltwater pool is a more expensive investment initially. The chlorine generator and its power usage can also add up quickly. Additionally, any custom features or pool additions will need to be salt-proofed in order to be used without damage. Because of the complex system, any repairs or extensive maintenance will need to be performed by an expert rather than the homeowner.
Maintenance & Damages
Speaking of maintenance, saltwater pools require slightly less ongoing work than conventional chlorine pools. Because of the electrolysis process, a saltwater pool does a pretty good job balancing its own pH and chemicals without intervention. Chlorine pools require periodic chemical checks and rebalancing.
However, if something in your pool breaks or needs extensive work, the job is far more straightforward and affordable in a chlorine pool. Saltwater pools’ specialized fixtures cost far more than their conventional counterparts and should only be handled by experts. A leaky pool or broken pipe will cost far less time and money for the owner of a chlorine pool.
A Different Swimming Experience
It’s impossible to say that a chlorine pool is better than a saltwater pool, and vice versa. However, different homeowners may have different preferences or requirements that make one the clearly superior choice. Don’t make this decision lightly. Consider the initial and ongoing commitments both types of pools will require before you decide.
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Houston weather is wildly unpredictable, as any Houstonian will know. One day the weather might be perfect for a long walk or swim. Meanwhile, the next day will be unbearably hot or filled with heavy rain. Too often, our enjoyment (or lack thereof) of the outdoors hinges on whether or not the weather is cooperating. That doesn’t have to be the case.
Don’t let bad weather chase you inside! With a poolside cabana, you can continue enjoying the fresh outdoor air regardless of rain or sun. Take a look at what installing a new cabana can do for your backyard!
Relax Outdoors in Protection
Everybody loves a little fresh air, but far fewer people love the heat they have to endure to get that fresh air in Houston. Fortunately, a cabana gives you the best of both worlds! With plenty of shade from the sun and covering from the rain, you can relax outside and enjoy the pleasant summer air without exposure to the less pleasant summer weather. Plenty of homeowners even add ceiling fans to their cabanas for a pleasant breeze!
Increase Your Storage Space & Property Value
Homes that come with a pool, outdoor kitchen, or other custom features have slightly more resale value than the neighbors’ homes would. Installing a cabana can similarly increase your property value. People love the chance to party in comfort outside!
Additionally, a cabana doesn’t have to be open on all sides. Installing even one or two partial walls gives you a little extra storage space protected from the rain. When you aren’t using your grill, bike, or other outdoor valuable, just put it under the cabana for safekeeping.
Pro Tip: Take your cabana a step further by adding a single-stall restroom, small storage closet, or even planting a garden in its shade! Impress your guests with your creativity.
Host Stylish Parties
Your guests aren’t any more thrilled about unpleasant summer weather than you are. With a cabana, you can offer to host dinners or parties in more places than just your crowded kitchen. Bring your friends outside for some fresh air and enjoy the pleasant weather in comfort and style!
Design Your New Cabana!
Your perfectly designed custom backyard just needs one more feature to be complete: a cabana to let you enjoy the outdoors without exposure to the elements. Take advantage of this versatile and stylish backyard feature to make the best of your personal space!
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Adding a swimming pool to your backyard represents a massive investment of both money and time. Consequently, you’ll want your pool to be as perfect as possible. When drawing up your ideas and consulting a professional pool builder, make sure to avoid these common pool design mistakes that can just cost you more money and make the whole project more difficult later on.
Don’t Make These Mistakes
Designing a swimming pool requires a significant amount of long-term planning. Future repairs or alterations to your backyard could mean even more costly and invasive work right after your main project is done. By avoiding these mistakes, you can keep your swimming pool project simple and streamlined:
- Ignoring entertaining space
- Not making a long-term plan
- Hiring a too specialized company
1) Ignoring Entertaining Space
Too many homeowners forget to think about their long-term plans for entertaining guests in the backyard. A swimming pool may be a fantastic addition to your home, but without planning your entertaining space around it, you’ll end up with an awkward backyard arrangement or simply not enough room for everything you want to do. Talk to your pool contractors about how often you host parties and how many people usually come, then plan your entire backyard arrangement around that information.
Pro Tip: Even if you don’t usually entertain guests, what about your family? Consider how often your family will use a pool or backyard space on a regular basis.
2) Not Making a Long-Term Plan
In the same vein, make sure you know reasonably well what you’re planning to do in your backyard long-term. Avoiding a long-term plan could end up making things more inconvenient and expensive for you in the long run. For instance, if you know you eventually want to install an outdoor kitchen, the pool construction crew will make sure to leave room to put in the appropriate fixtures, pipes, and other necessary components of a kitchen. On the other hand, if you decide you want an outdoor kitchen six months after your pool is finished, you may find yourself waiting that much longer while your pool is renovated to accommodate the addition. Save yourself the trouble and draw up a detailed plan with the pool company ahead of time.
3) Hiring a Too Specialized Company
When building a swimming pool, you should always look for the most reputable builder you can find. However, steer clear of companies that only work on pools. Even though they can build you an excellent swimming pool, their specialized focus means they’re less likely to take the rest of your backyard into account. The completed pool might bump up against features you’ve already installed or simply get in the way of additional accessories. Find a reputable builder that specializes in general backyard and landscaping design, not just pool construction.
Keeping Your Pool Project Manageable
The sooner your swimming pool and upgraded backyard are complete, the sooner you can start hosting parties and enjoying summer nights in the pool. As you customize the backyard to your tastes, don’t forget to look to the future and make sure you know exactly what you want and when you want it. The more pool design mistakes you can prevent, the better.
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Fire and water may not be two things you’d ever think of mixing. However, as an accessory to your swimming pool, decorative fire features add a touch of flair and a different type of lighting to your backyard. Fire features for your pool can serve both decorative and practical purposes.
If you’ve run out of ideas on how to further accessorize your backyard, consider adding a flame decoration near your swimming pool. The warm glow of open flames will not only present a very pleasing image, but can also be a practical addition to your backyard. Here are a few reasons why more homeowners are choosing to decorate with custom fire features.
The most obvious reason to install a fire feature is that it simply looks great. Particularly after sunset, an open flame on the edge of your pool looks magical and exotic. This feature is also slightly less common, giving your backyard the look of uniqueness you want. Whether you choose a fire pit, fire bowl, or some other design, you’re sure to find something that looks perfect in your yard.
Cook Over an Open Flame
Decorative fire also gives you the chance to cook over an open flame. For a classic treat, roast some marshmallows and enjoy a “camping” night. A few adventurous homeowners may even mount a grill over the fire and cook a steak or two. Get that smoky flavor you love so much without even leaving your backyard.
Pro Tip: If you decide to cook over a decorative fire pit, make sure to clean up well afterward.
Keep Mosquitoes Away
You’ve probably heard that smoke repels mosquitoes. While this is partially true, they’re particularly scared off by the smell of citronella, a natural bug repellant. Your new fire feature could thus become part of an anti-mosquito system in your yard. Combine the smoke of your fire with a few citronella candles or drop a few citronella leaves into the fire. While the smell may be strong at first, you’ll see far fewer mosquitoes and enjoy a quieter evening in your backyard.
Upgrading Your Backyard Decor
Fire features for your pool turn a run-of-the-mill backyard swimming space into an exotic hangout spot. Give yourself the gift of a luxury pool by adding an outdoor fire pit or fire bowl and impress your guests!
For more ideas on incorporating fire accessories into your backyard design, connect with us and browse our projects gallery.