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!
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:
- Bucket race
- Underwater hoop swimming
- Balloon boat race
- Cardboard boat race
- 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!
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!
Connect with us to start planning your backyard upgrade.
What custom backyard is complete without a fire pit? An open flame adds an exotic feel to your backyard parties and chases away mosquitoes with a light cloud of smoke. However, it’s always important to remember that at the end of the day, an open flame is still an open flame and must be handled with care. As you design your backyard features, keep fire pit safety at the forefront of your mind.
As cool as a fire pit is, if not handled correctly, it has the potential to be a dangerous addition to your backyard. Make sure that you and anyone else who will be using the firepit knows how to safely light, manage, and extinguish a fire. Use this guide to keep yourself and your partygoers safe while the fire pit is in use.
Remove Flammable Materials
Before lighting your fire pit, take a look at the area surrounding it. Is there anything that could potentially catch fire if sparks blew in that direction? Sweep twigs or other flammable debris out of the way to prevent the fire from spreading. A five-foot radius is a good rule of thumb. Additionally, double-check what you and others near the fire pit are wearing. Don’t wear clothing with long, loose parts (such as ties or scarves) that can hang into the fire pit if you lean too close.
Pro Tip: Many homeowners enjoy having furniture around the firepit to facilitate conversation. Make sure all the furniture you use for this is either flame-retardant or made of entirely fireproof materials.
Pay Attention to What’s Fueling the Fire
In general, there are a few flammable items that you should never use as fuel for your fire pit:
- Gasoline or other flammable liquids: These can splash out of the fire pit and present a serious hazard.
- Paper or trash: Burning paper has a tendency to pop and throw sparks out of the fire pit.
- Soft woods (cedar, pine, etc.): Like paper, these woods can pop and spark in a fire.
Extinguish the Fire Carefully
When you’re ready to put out the fire, douse the fire pit in water and stir the ashes with a shovel to make sure every coal is extinguished. As you clean the ashes out, be mindful of their temperature and how to properly dispose of them. Ashes can still retain enough heat to start a fire if exposed to flammable materials even after a couple of days. When you dispose of the ashes, avoid packing them in a cardboard box or paper bag to prevent spontaneous combustion.
Handling an Open Flame Safely
Fire pits are constructed with basic safety precautions in mind, so the chances of something going drastically wrong are low. However, managing the fire safely also depends on you to exercise caution and keep everything under control. With a little care and regards for fire pit safety, your fire feature is a perfectly safe and enjoyable addition to your backyard.
Join the conversation to learn more about safely handling fire features in your backyard.
As you design your ideal backyard, you’re probably considering several different ways to decorate. For plenty of Houston homeowners, a covered outdoor living area provides both practicality and comfort for a comfortable hangout spot. What can a covered space do for your backyard?
Why a Covered Area is Part of the Perfect Backyard
A patio cover, cabana, or pergola adds a shady spot to your backyard and can complete an already accessorized outdoor living space. If you’re not sure your backyard needs one, consider what you might be getting by adding a covered area:
- Protection from the weather
- A comfy dining area or kitchen
- A more appealing pool
- An extension of your home or patio
1) Protection from the Weather
Houstonians are painfully aware of the constant heat and heavy rain that the summer brings. Don’t let the heat keep you from enjoying your backyard! A patio cover or similar structure lets you construct an outdoor living room to relax and enjoy the weather without enduring the sun or rain.
2) A Comfy Dining Area or Kitchen
Constructing your outdoor kitchen or dining room under a cover does more than let you use both during inclement weather. It also keeps both areas reasonably protected from falling leaves and twigs, protecting your food. Your family and guests will appreciate the outdoor atmosphere with the comfort of shade and protection.
3) A More Appealing Pool
If your backyard includes a swimming pool, a cover will help keep leaves and twigs out of your pool. But why stop with an arbor over your pool? Take the covering a step further with a pool house to partially or entirely enclose your pool, all but guaranteeing no debris can get in and providing you with a climate-controlled swimming area.
Pro Tip: Your pool house can be fully furnished to become an awesome guest house, or just enclose your pool and protect it from the elements.
4) An Extension of Your Home or Patio
Your covered patio or living space should reflect the rest of your house. Expert designers will ensure the colors and structures match or complement your home and other backyard decor for a truly seamless transition. Once construction is complete, your new outdoor room will feel like an extension of your house that just happens to be outside.
Attractive Patio Design
A covered outdoor living area can make your backyard feel complete and add an additional appeal. Whether you’re perfecting a dining area or just want a small cover for your hangout spot, the possibilities are endless.
Connect with us to see completed outdoor coverings and brainstorm your own ideas!
Ready to host summer parties for your friends and family? Why not have those parties in your newly redone backyard? Turn the yard into an outdoor living space with everything you need for a great hangout!
With a little preparation and redecoration, your backyard will have all the custom features and supplies for some great outdoor hangouts this summer. Get ready to make the neighborhood jealous!
If you don’t have a swimming pool in your backyard, why wait? If you already have one, considering adding a few unique features to catch your guests’ eyes. A few popular choices include:
- Underwater lights
Fire and Lighting
Keep the mosquitos away and light up the night with an open flame! Add a firepit or bowl of fire to provide an extra bit of glamor and provide the chance to cook over an open fire. You can also opt to add electric lights if the fire isn’t quite enough. Your choices include:
Outdoor Cooking Space
Why not cook a nice dinner for your guests outside? A fully customizable outdoor kitchen will have all the functionality and features of your indoor kitchen! Choose from a variety of appliances and decor options:
Pro Tip: Don’t make your guests stand up to eat! Provide outdoor dining tables or stylish pool furniture for your backyard summer parties.
Stay safe from the Houston sun with a patio cover, pool house, or another source of shade. Your guests will appreciate the chance to enjoy the fresh air with a little less heat! Consider one of these customized features for your backyard:
Create a Backyard Paradise
A perfect backyard design looks different for everyone. Before you settle on any features, decide how many guests you’re likely to have and which features will get used most often. Make sure your backyard appeals equally to you and to your friends and family.
Looking for more inspiration for your new backyard? Join the conversation and browse photos of completed backyard makeovers!
Why not revamp your backyard this summer and build a paradise you can enjoy any time of year? A trustworthy design service can help you create and build your new outdoor living space with a fireplace, pool, outdoor kitchen, patio cover, and more. Your new hangout spot can be as creative or as standard as you’d like–customize it to your preferences!
Designing Your Dream Backyard
Before you start building, consider how often you’ll use the backyard and how many people will be joining you. If you regularly have parties, your backyard should have an open, modern look to accommodate all your guests. If you tend to hang out with just a few other people, consider scaling down the designs to your tastes. Whichever style you choose, you can’t go wrong with these popular outdoor features:
- Swimming pool
- Pool house
- Patio cover/cabana
- Outdoor kitchen
- Fireplace or fire pit
1) Consider a Swimming Pool
Indulge in the classic summertime activity of swimming with your own custom pool! Work with our professional designers to create a swimming pool perfectly tailored to your backyard and personal preferences. A swimming pool is a crowd-pleaser–your backyard parties just got a lot more fun!
2) Construct a Pool House
If you’re planning to use your swimming pool a lot, a pool house might be a great choice to add on to your project. A typical pool house provides a private spot to change and store towels and supplies right next to your pool. Some models will even encompass the entire pool for an indoor swimming experience. To go the extra mile, add a bathroom and pull-out couch to make the ultimate guest house!
3) Add a Patio Cover or Cabana
For the homeowner who wants a pool cover without the total enclosure a pool house offers, a patio cover or cabana is an excellent choice. A covered patio will keep out the Texas sun, as well as most leaves and bugs. Our designers can create a patio cover that matches your home or one that stands out for a truly unique look.
Pro Tip: Customize your patio and poolside lounge with classy pool furniture! It’s easy to find a balance of style, function, and comfort.
4) Outdoor Kitchen
How else will you feed all your hungry party guests? Design your own outdoor kitchen with all the same style and functionality as your indoor kitchen! You can even connect it to your patio so you don’t have to carry food too far. Ready to start planning your next picnic?
5) Design a Pergola or Arbor
If you can’t afford a full patio cover or just aren’t a fan of the design, consider a pergola or arbor instead. They can provide the same shade and protection as a typical cabana, with different styles available and a lower price tag. This is also a great choice for designing a slightly lower-key backyard. Get the same appealing look for less money and effort.
6) Design Your Outdoor Living Space with a Fireplace or Fire Pit
An outdoor living space with a fireplace comes with a rustic, old-fashioned feel perfect for evening backyard hangouts. Roast marshmallows, grill over an open flame, or just let the smoke keep the mosquitoes away while you relax by the fire pit.
You have several unique options for fire features. Some homeowners add a wood-burning fireplace to an outdoor kitchen or seating area, where it can double as a pizza oven. Others will add “bowls of fire” around the edges of a swimming pool for a magical effect at night. What’s your ideal fire feature?
Outdoor Living Areas for Friends and Family
Your backyard should reflect your hobbies and make your lounging and parties as fun as possible. Not all of these features will appeal to you, and that’s okay. The best backyard is one that you and your loved ones will enjoy and take advantage of no matter the time of year.
Curious about how other homeowners decorated their outdoor living rooms? Connect with us to see photos of completed projects!