5 Must-Have Pool Features for Your Houston Backyard

5 Must-Have Pool Features for Your Houston Backyard

Designing a dream backyard has to include an inground pool. But not just any inground pool. It has to include features that will be functional and loved by your family. Make your outdoor space stand out with these must-have pool features to add to your design plan.

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5 Must-Have Pool Features for Your Houston Backyard, Creekstone Outdoor Living, Spring, TX

Make Your Pool Extraordinary

Are you ready to design your pool layout? Whether you have an existing pool or are breaking new ground, don’t forget to customize your pool with add-on features. If nothing else, start with these 5 features to make your pool extraordinary! 

  1. Tanning Ledge
  2. Jump Rocks
  3. Swim Up Bars
  4. Pool Heater
  5. Seating Benches

1) Tanning Ledge

Why settle for the traditional lounge chairs and pool deck? Tan comfortably in the water with access to a tanning ledge from your pool. With customizable shapes and sizes, you can design your pool with a tanning ledge to fit in any space!

2) Jump Rocks

Make your pool kid-friendly with a jump rock any age could enjoy! Instead of a diving board, pool owners love the idea of a jump rock. Whether attached to a rock waterfall or placed along the side of the pool, the natural stone look is a great way to enhance your pool’s character.  

3) Swim Up Bars

Take your entertaining to a new level without ever leaving the pool! With a swim-up bar, you can serve food and drinks at a bar built into your pool’s infrastructure. Instead of having to get out and dry off for dinner, you can keep the party going in the pool water.

Pro Tip: Use different color bulbs in your LED lights to set the mood and plan the perfect nighttime pool party for your friends and family.

4) Pool Heater

No pool is complete without a heater to maintain functionality year-round. Install a pool heater in your pool or hot tub to keep the water temperature at a comfortable level no matter what weather has been forecasted.

5) Seating Benches

Why not have seating built into your pool structure? Instead of buying outdoor furniture, install a seating bench to attach along the edge of your pool for your guests. With a wide range of options, you can artfully design the bench materials to match your pool and backyard style.

Best Pool Design in Houston

When designing an inground pool, there are a number of water features to make your pool unlike any other. Our pool builders provide exceptional knowledge and innovative ideas to help you create the best pool in Houston. 

Did we forget to mention your favorite pool feature? Share with us on social media!

When is the Best Time to Build a Pool? It Depends

When is the Best Time to Build a Pool? It Depends

It’s finally time to upgrade your backyard with a new swimming pool! Once you know the design and type you’d prefer, the next question is when to build this pool. Eager homeowners may be tempted to get their pool installed as soon as possible so they can start enjoying it sooner. However, there may be very good reasons to delay construction.

When’s the best time to build a pool? There’s no definite answer to this question. Some contractors offer different prices at different times of the year, meaning that waiting for an off-season may save you some money. On the other hand, you may have other work in progress that could hinder swimming pool construction. Consider these variables before you schedule dig day.

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Seasonal Pricing

Especially in Houston, summer is considered the peak month for swimming pool shopping and usage. However, the weather may have other consequences. With an increase in demand, you can expect pool prices to increase during the busy season. Additionally, waiting till summer to schedule your pool installation could mean you’re competing against hundreds of other homeowners who also wanted a summer pool. Not only does this mean you’ll end up waiting longer, but you also run the risk of busy contractors being distracted and not spending as much time on your pool as you’d prefer. Talk to your pool builder about off-season construction for a less hectic option.

Additional Renovations

What’s next on your backyard plan after a swimming pool? If you’re planning to add multiple other large features, like an outdoor kitchen or pergola, you’ll need to consult your pool contractor about the order of events. All the underground pipes and wires needed for an outdoor kitchen could clash with your pool’s drainage system, for instance. To keep your project simpler and less likely to cause problems, you may want to opt to install your additional features first and wait on the pool.

Pro Tip: Your contractor can probably have an outdoor kitchen and swimming pool project running simultaneously in your backyard. See if they can help you speed up the process a little more.

Wait Time

As mentioned earlier, summer is generally considered a peak swimming pool season. Consequently, pool contractors will be busy with hundreds of clients and you may find yourself waiting a long time for construction to finish. Worse, you may not be able to get your project scheduled in the summer at all. Why not start earlier? If you hire a contractor in the off-season of fall or even winter, when Houston temperatures are milder, you can rest assured your pool will be in proper working order long before summer comes.

Planning Your New Pool

Building a swimming pool is a major project for any homeowner. Since this is ultimately an addition to your house that you and your family will use for the foreseeable future, make sure the installation timing and plan work for you. Get your dream pool during the best time of year for construction!

Join the conversation and stay up-to-date with the latest pool tips, tricks, and trends.

5 Ideas for the Ultimate Kid-Friendly Backyard

5 Ideas for the Ultimate Kid-Friendly Backyard

As Houston experiences gorgeous fall weather, it’s a good time for kids to enjoy outside. Kids of all ages love to spend time in the backyard! But is your yard up to the task? Have you created a paradise for little ones to enjoy?

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Kid-Friendly Backyard Design

Even if your backyard isn’t designed specifically for children, you can still choose features that kids of all ages are sure to love. Whether you add new structures to your backyard or just revise what’s already there, tailor the experience to what your children will enjoy. Get started with these ideas:

  1. Outdoor Kitchen
  2. Custom Pool
  3. Playhouse
  4. Garden
  5. Patio Cover

1) Outdoor Kitchen

With cooler weather on its way and holidays around the corner, bring the party outside by installing an outdoor kitchen. This backyard idea is great for the whole family, especially parents who might want to spend time with their kids outside. From grilling dinner on a weekend to making hot cocoa on a cool fall night, an outdoor kitchen provides families of all ages a great space to enjoy.

2) Custom Pool

You might love going to the neighborhood pool. However, it’s a whole other level of fun for your kid to have a swimming pool in their own backyard. From water slides to rock waterfalls, your new pool can be customized for your family and friends to cool off from the hot southern sun. This is a huge advantage, especially in Houston where the summer weather has a habit of lingering through the fall months. 

3) Playhouse/Treehouse

Even if it’s just a swing set, children can spend hours in the backyard with toys! Playhouses or play equipment are great for sparking kids’ imagination and creating spaces where they can enjoy playing outside. From climbing walls to sand pits, the number of options available to upgrade your playhouse is endless.

And don’t forget about treehouses! Depending on the size of your backyard and availability of trees, a treehouse can create a great imaginative space for your kids. With treehouse plans ranging in size and material, your backyard will become the prime hangout spot. 

4) Garden

Create a space that is kid-friendly by adding features that make your backyard inviting and fun to enjoy. That being said, think about adding flowers or an herb garden to enhance your backyard. Your kids might even want to help keep the plants alive by helping water them throughout the year, which is a help to both parents and boredom!

5) Patio Cover

If your backyard doesn’t have any trees for shade, add a patio cover or pergola to your space. This is an important feature to have, especially for families with younger children who might need a way to take a break from the heat of the sun. 

Pro Tip: Is your backyard shaded? With a wide arrange of design options, a patio cover could be customized to match the style of your home or backyard space.

Give Your Kids Their Dream Space

Let your kids have fun and get some fresh air without leaving your backyard! With a few new features or a revision of what you already have, you could give your kids the perfect play area in your own space.

Connect with us to learn more about building a kid-friendly backyard with custom features.

Saltwater vs. Freshwater Pools: Comparison & Contrast

Saltwater vs. Freshwater Pools: Comparison & Contrast

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.

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Saltwater vs. Freshwater Pools, Creekstone Outdoor Living, Spring, TX

Chlorine Content

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.

Costs

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.

Connect with us to learn more about the debate of saltwater vs. freshwater pools.

Detecting Leaks in Your Houston Pool

Detecting Leaks in Your Houston Pool

Does your pool have a leak? If you’ve noticed your water level is lowering and you know you’re not losing water to evaporation, it’s quite possible there’s a leak somewhere in your pool. For rather obvious reasons, this is not a good arrangement for your pool or your backyard. You’ll want to find and fix the leak as quickly as possible.

There are three primary methods of pool leak detection: the ink test, the bucket test, and checking the piping. These tests are designed to help you determine if a leak is present and to give you an idea of where it might be located. Try performing all three of these tests before calling an expert to fix the leak.

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The Bucket Test

This should be your first step in leak testing. Set a bucket in the pool on the first stair and fill it with water until it matches your pool water level. Leave it there for a few hours to a day and watch the water levels change. If both go down at about the same speed, don’t worry about a leak–you most likely just have a lot of evaporation happening. However, if the pool water is lower than the bucket when you check, there’s a leak somewhere and it’s time to move on to the next method to find it.

Check the Pipes

The most likely place for a leak to occur is in your pool’s pipe system. Check your pipes for leaks or weak points, and inspect the ground near your pool for any signs of excessive moisture. If you find the leak in your pipes, patch it up temporarily and call a professional to fix the leak. However, if your pipes are just fine, the leak is somewhere in your pool shell and it’s time to employ the final leak detection test.

Pro Tip: Don’t try to repair your pool pumps on your own. Without a good knowledge of the machinery, you may just make a leak worse or create a new one.

The Ink Test

Use the ink test if you know your pool shell is leaking but you aren’t sure where. Find the wettest point in the ground outside your pool–this is where the water is escaping. Once you’ve found it, get into the pool with a little bottle of dye or dark food coloring. Moving slowly to avoid stirring up the water, squirt a few drops of dye into the water near where you suspect the leak might be. Watch where the dye drains and make a note of it. You’ve found the leak! Now it’s time to get a professional patch job done.

Keep Your Houston Pool Usable

A swimming pool leak can cost you a surprising amount of money in wasted water, not to mention the damage the excess water can do to your backyard. Detecting and patching pool leaks quickly is essential to maintaining an enjoyable backyard for the foreseeable future. With these pool leak detection techniques, you’ll never have to go long without a properly maintained swimming pool!

Join the conversation and get more tips and tricks for maintaining your swimming pool.

5 Swimming Pool Games for Kids

5 Swimming Pool Games for Kids

What’s more fun than a swim on a hot summer day? Pool games, of course! They’re a sure-fire way to encourage your family to get outside and get in some exercise during a summer afternoon. Let’s look at a few fun swimming pool games for kids and adults alike!

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Games for the Pool

Swimming pool games can vary from uniquely pool-centered activities to slightly altered versions of old favorites. Regardless of your preference, you’re sure to find something to love in several of these popular pool games and activities:

  1. Bucket race
  2. Underwater hoop swimming
  3. Balloon boat race
  4. Cardboard boat race
  5. Treasure hunt

1) Bucket Race

There are two variants of this game that you can try depending on your kids’ skill level: underwater and floating buckets. Either way, the core principle of collecting as many balls or toys as possible and filling the bucket in a set time applies. However, expert swimmers may appreciate the extra challenge of having to retrieve toys that sink to the bottom of the pool. Beginners, meanwhile, will prefer to grab a floating toy. Either way, this game is sure to get everyone excited and active!

Pro Tip: For a math challenge, write numbers on the balls you use for the bucket race. Whoever has the highest number at the end wins!

2) Underwater Hoop Swimming

Tie some weights to plastic hula hoops and place them strategically around your swimming pool to form a submerged obstacle course. You can challenge your kids to a race through these hoops or just see what different mazes they can construct for each other. For an added challenge, vary the lengths of the string to create some hoops all the way at the bottom and some nearer the surface.

3) Balloon Boat Race

With little balloon-powered boats like this one, set up a race in your pool. Whose boat will reach the finish line first? This has the added bonus of giving your kids the chance to customize their boats before the race starts.

4) Cardboard Boat Race

Speaking of boat races, why not build one out of cardboard and go sailing in the pool? These boats may not last long even with duct tape waterproofing, but building them is a fun experience and gives your kids the chance to go boating without leaving home. See whose boat stays afloat the longest!

5) Treasure Hunt

Toss some change into the pool, set a time limit, and see who’s the richest by the end! This treasure hunt is sure to get your kids moving fast. For an added bonus, encourage your younger kids to practice their math skills by counting the nickels, dimes, pennies, and quarters they’ve collected.

Everybody in the Pool!

Whether your goal is to liven up a party, teach your kids in a fun way, or just enjoy the end of summer, these swimming pool games are sure to provide plenty of entertainment for kids and adults alike. Combined with a custom backyard and a brand new swimming pool, these games are the perfect way to keep everyone happy.

What’s your favorite swimming pool game? Join the conversation to share yours and see what other people like to do in the pool!

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