As many homeowners have discovered, adding a custom, private swimming pool to the backyard provides countless hours of fun and entertainment for people of all ages. However, never forget that an open body of water can pose a hazard if not handled correctly. This is especially critical to consider if you have kids.
While pool safety is important for everyone to understand and practice, kids can be especially vulnerable to potential dangers in an improperly maintained or protected swimming pool. The best way to keep your kids safe is a combination of safety training and special safety features to keep your pool safe. Let’s look at a few proven ways to protect your little ones.
Install Safety Features
Certain pool safety features, such as 4-foot high pool fencing in your backyard, are legally required. In addition to this basic precaution, consider adding a few extra safety features for an extra layer of protection. Ask your pool builder about adding a few things to your building plan:
- Closing and self-latching gate for the fence
- Pool cover
- Pool alarm
- Drain covers
Pro Tip: A swimming pool’s drain suction is too powerful for a small child to swim away from, whether it’s in your home pool or a public pool. If you visit a public pool and notice the drains are uncovered, it’s not worth the risk.
Prepare Your Kids
Do your kids know how to swim? If not, make sure they do! Swimming is more than just a fun summer activity–in an emergency scenario, knowing how to stay above water could easily save your child’s life. Sign your child up for swim lessons and encourage them to keep in practice.
Supervise Your Kids in the Pool
Even the most well-trained swimmer child is still a child. Their size and age make them vulnerable to unsafe pool conditions if they can’t properly swim or the pool isn’t properly maintained. Always keep an eye on your kids while they’re swimming, whether you’re at home or in public. It’s better to be a little too careful than to be careless.
Promote Pool Safety for Your Kids
A swimming pool adds monetary and entertainment value to your home and provides countless hours of fun. But make sure to keep safety in mind. With the proper safety features and precautions, your whole family can enjoy your pool safely for years to come.
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A swimming pool provides the final touch of elegance and fun that your backyard needs. Of course, your pool can’t clean itself. Every so often, you’ll need to dedicate a certain amount of time to swimming pool cleaning to keep the water fresh and enjoyable to swim in.
Basic pool maintenance is an important part of installing and enjoying a swimming pool. While replacing parts or fixing major damage requires expert intervention, most pool cleaning tasks are simple enough for you to do on your own. If you take the time to maintain your pool water’s pH, clean the filters, keep leaves out of the pool, and maintain the overall setting, your pool is sure to stay clean and ready to use for quite some time.
Clear Fallen Debris
Leaves, dead bugs, twigs, and other debris will inevitably find their way into your pool from time to time, especially if you have a garden nearby. Make sure to regularly skim the top of the water with a pool net to remove these floating debris and keep them from clogging your pool filter. If your plants tend to shed a lot, you may have to do this almost daily. This quick cleaning solution just takes a few minutes, however, and involves a lot less time and money than replacing a damaged filtration system.
Clean the Pool Shell
Balancing your pool water’s pH and keeping debris out of the pool will go a long way toward keeping it clean. However, grime or minor algae growth will occasionally show itself. When you notice this happening, use an automatic cleaner in your pool to remove the grime and keep the shell clean. Ideally, you’ll only have to do this monthly.
Clean or Replace the Filters
Even if you do your best to keep leaves and bugs out of the water, your pool filters still pick up a lot of debris and grime. At least once a month, perhaps more often if your pool gets dirty quickly, make sure to remove and thoroughly clean your pool filters. Your owner’s manual has all the instructions you need to safely access the filters.
Maintain the Water Itself
An alkaline swimming pool allows for easier algae growth, while a slightly acidic pool may be uncomfortable to swim in. Fortunately, it’s easy to find pool pH kits that provide you with the exact pH of the water. Once you know if your water is too acidic or alkaline, consult a professional to see which chemicals to buy and restore balance.
Pro Tip: Makeup, sunscreen, and skin oils may leave a sheen on the top of your pool. Leave a clean tennis ball floating in the pool overnight to absorb the worst of the oil.
Stay on Top of Swimming Pool Maintenance
To keep your swimming pool usable and clean for as long as possible, make sure to perform regular maintenance checkups and clean the entire pool thoroughly. The work may be time-consuming, but once you’re finished, your pool will be much more pleasant and safe to use. It’s always worth the extra investment of time and effort into swimming pool cleaning to keep your pool looking good.
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Your swimming pool should match your home and your style. Of course, there’s no right or wrong way to design your pool, but some styles and shapes look more appealing than others. As you design your backyard, the best approach to planning your swimming pool is to decide which already-present features of your backyard or home you want to emphasize. A pool designed to complement what’s already there will look fantastic!
Popular Swimming Pool Decorations
Creating the perfect swimming pool could involve detailed planning and extensive renovations, or it could be as simple as adding a few underwater LED lights. Whatever your preference, these popular ideas are sure to make your pool stand out in the neighborhood.
- Lush and tropical
- Underwater lights
A modern-style swimming pool requires on defined shapes and a clean, unified color scheme. Some homeowners opt for neutral colors like grey or white for their modern pool. If you’re in love with the modern aesthetic, less is more! Stick to a particular shape and clean color for your modern pool area.
Easily moldable and customizable gunite pools are perfect for a serpentine design. Designed to mimic a snake’s curved body on the ground, these pool shapes invoke a sense of spontaneity in your backyard design. This style is perfect for anyone looking for a more eccentric style of swimming pool.
A round or gently curved swimming pool bordered by a flower garden conjures up images of a pond surrounded by nature in the woods. This pool design is sure to invite your family and guests to relax in a serene environment and enjoy the sunlight. Just make sure to be vigilant about cleaning–plants growing too close to the pool can shed leaves and pollen into the water.
4) Lush and Tropical
A swimming pool flanked by palm trees and tiki torches lets you enjoy your own personal tropical paradise without leaving home! Bring your dream vacation to your backyard with a tropical-themed swimming pool. Complete the atmosphere with a fire pit for evening cookouts.
5) Underwater Lights
Hot tubs or spas often come with underwater lights installed, but have you considered doing the same on your swimming pool? After the sun sets, a few strategically mounted LED lights give the water a magical glow. Give it a shot!
Pro Tip: Soft underwater lights are an important part of chromatherapy, the use of visible light to promote calm and overall wellness. This works equally well in your swimming pool as in your spa.
If you frequently entertain guests in your backyard, chances are you’ll need a pool and outdoor environment suited to handling a lot of people at one time. If this is the case, consider a few special features your guests are sure to love, such as a swim-up bar to serve drinks right at the pool’s edge. Add an outdoor kitchen and your party space is complete!
Creating Your Perfect Pool
As you work on a swimming pool design, consider how the completed pool will likely be used. Are you planning to entertain a lot of people, or is this mostly a passion project for yourself and your family? Your answer may influence just how large and elaborate your final swimming pool is. Start with these pool design ideas and work from there.
Join the conversation to see pictures of completed swimming pools and find your favorite style!
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.
Connect with us to start planning your new backyard and swimming pool!
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.
For a Houston home, an outdoor swimming pool is a fantastic addition. But don’t forget to add complementing designs to the rest of your backyard! Fortunately, you have a wide variety of choices to make your backyard a custom oasis. Get ready to make the neighborhood jealous!
Custom Features for Your Backyard
Depending on how often you’ll use your new Houston pool and how many people you’ll be sharing it with, you may not want to add all of these features. However, a couple of favorites from this list could give you the elegant outdoor area you’ve always wanted! How would your pool look next to one of these?
- Outdoor kitchen
- Fire pit
- Pool house
- Patio cover
- Pool furniture
- Backyard lights
1) Outdoor Kitchen
Do you host a lot of parties or just enjoy cooking? Either way, an outdoor kitchen could be a perfect addition to your backyard patio! Enjoy all the functionality and atmosphere of cooking under the stars. Best of all, serve your pool party guests right next to the pool in an outdoor dining area.
2) Fire Pit
Open flames may seem unnecessary in the Houston warmth, but a fire pit by your pool could increase your atmosphere. Imagine an open fire illuminating your backyard at night! Plus, an outdoor fireplace will give you and your friends a chance to roast marshmallows and reminisce around the fire.
Pro Tip: If you get a fire pit for your backyard, make sure any furniture and accessories nearby are fireproof.
3) Pool House
For a family who spends a lot of time in the pool or frequently hosts overnight guests, a pool house could be an invaluable addition to your home. You and your guests will have a convenient place to change, use the restroom, or store snacks before swimming. Take the design a step further with a bed or fold-out couch, and you have the perfect guest house overlooking your pool! The additional time spent on the pool house will be worth it.
4) Patio Cover
A patio cover can cover just your patio or your pool. For a Houston homeowner, investing in a patio cover for the pool is a great idea. Not only will the cover provide shade and keep out the heat, but it will also prevent common debris like bugs or leaves from collecting in your pool. See if a cover is the right choice for your backyard.
5) Pool Furniture
Whether for your dining area or poolside lounging, your outdoor paradise should include comfy outdoor furniture and seating areas. Just make sure it can withstand the Houston weather! Find designs and styles that appeal to your personal tastes while also being practical for their setting.
6) Backyard Lights
Do your pool parties regularly last past sundown? Why not add some outdoor lights to keep the party going after dark? String lighting on a patio cover or wound around a pillar can create a festive atmosphere. Meanwhile, LED lights inside your swimming pool can make the water look magical and appealing. What atmosphere will you create with your lights?
Designing the Perfect Backyard
Whatever you choose, your backyard design should reflect your personality and give you and your loved ones a great place to spend time together. Your outdoor space will be part of your house for a long time and provide plenty of entertainment. Make sure you design the right one for you.
Looking for more pool design inspiration and ideas? Join the conversation to see what other people chose!