Imagine this: you're lounging by the pool, basking in the heat and the sunlight. You then decide to go in for a quick dip into the cool, pristine water. Few things are more enjoyable than relaxing in a backyard pool on the hottest summer days. However, even the best pools don't always feel perfectly integrated into the landscape. That's where pool waterfalls come into the picture.
A well-designed pool waterfall can turn an ordinary swimming pool into a backyard oasis. It will recreate the same majestic ambiance provided by natural waterfalls while simultaneously helping to keep the pool's water aerated. Before hiring a pool contractor, read on to find out everything you need about pool waterfalls.
What is a Pool Waterfall?
Although one pool waterfall can look quite different from the next, their core design principles are the same. All waterfalls relocate water from higher to lower levels, and with pool waterfalls, the water empties into the central part of the swimming pool.
The water from the pool itself is circulated in pool waterfalls, so they require specialized pumps. The power source for these pumps is usually derived from the home's electricity, but solar and wind-powered models are also available.
The traditional way of building pool waterfalls uses natural stones and boulders, which create a natural look and feel but can be quite expensive.
Homeowners on a budget can request that their contractors use synthetic materials instead. Artificial stones are cheaper, lighter, and pre-molded, and they require less deck support than natural stones and can be installed faster, which means lower material and labor costs.
Pool waterfalls come in many designs. Some have single streams, others feature multiple converging ones, and pools can even feature multiple waterfalls for a truly immersive experience.
The best place to integrate a pool waterfall is in a more superficial area. That way, swimmers can take full advantage of the new water feature by standing underneath it and bathing in the cool, flowing water.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Pool Waterfalls
Now that you have a better idea of what a pool waterfall is, how it works, and what it's made of, it's time to dive deeper. Let's start by discussing the benefits and drawbacks of pool waterfalls.
The Benefits of Pool Waterfalls
The most obvious benefit of installing a pool waterfall is that it will improve the yard's aesthetic appeal, but there are other things you can stand to gain. A pool waterfall can also help drown out outside sounds, including the pump that powers it, nearby traffic, and other unwanted noise pollution.
It is common knowledge that stagnant water can become the breeding ground for various health risks. Waterfalls constantly keep the water circulating, aerating it and helping to maintain an appropriate chemical balance. This continuous movement also helps push water through the pool's existing filtration system, keeping it hygienic and safe without much upkeep.
Waterfalls also help to keep the water in the pool refreshing. Most people prefer to swim in cool water since it doesn't lead to overheating or muscle spasms, and it's much more invigorating, especially on a hot summer day!
Keeping the water cool also helps slow chlorine breakdown, which naturally occurs upon exposure to sunlight and heat. Maintaining cooler water temperatures extends the chlorine's lifespan, saving you money to spend on pool chemicals.
The Drawbacks of Pool Waterfalls
The primary drawback of installing a pool waterfall is the cost. These installations require dedicated pumps, plumbing, and the necessary construction materials.
Some people find that the amount of noise generated by pool waterfalls is a drawback. However, most still find the gentle sounds of flowing water soothing rather than annoying.
A final drawback of pool waterfalls is that, sometimes, mineral deposits build up on the rocks and get rinsed into the water, which can upset the pool's pH balance. As a result, the pool owner will need to monitor pH levels. If you choose to install faux rocks, you'll need to replace them eventually, as the pool chemicals will wear down the aesthetic facade over time.
Pool waterfalls aren't cheap, but they vary significantly in cost. Entry-level waterfalls usually cost between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the size and materials used, while more extravagant systems can cost as much as $30,000 or more.
You should also expect your home's electrical bill to go up after installing a pool waterfall. The separate pump will need to run continuously, which will use more power. Installing a solar or wind-powered pump can eliminate this problem and choosing an energy-efficient, traditionally-powered model can minimize your expenses.
Pool Waterfall Ideas
One of the best parts of installing a pool waterfall is letting your creative juices flow and creating the perfect design for you. There are numerous ways to customize pool waterfalls, so don't just go for the factory standard model. You can customize it to suit the surrounding landscape and your personal style and preference.
The most popular base designs are:
Natural Rock Waterfalls
Natural rock waterfalls usually feature multiple streams. They look great not just in swimming pools but also as stand-alone water features.
In nature, weeping walls are created in cold areas where the snow melts and drips down rock faces. You can recreate this captivating scene using small natural or synthetic rocks that sit close to the pool's surface. It also creates more of a bubbling sound.
Water walls usually feature thin layers of cascading water that beautify the area. Arched fall water walls are rather popular among homeowners, as are scuppers, sconces, and accent spouts.
Sheer descent waterfalls create a smooth, sleek look. The idea is to install sheer descents of water that look thin, glassy, and sheet-like for a subtle and elegant ambiance.
Installing a pool waterfall with a grotto will add some serious luxury to your backyard pool. You'll get the relaxing sound of flowing water and the space behind it, which can be utilized as a spa, a secret room, or even to house a secondary pool, perhaps, for kids.
Give Us a Call to Discuss the Endless Possibilities
If you're ready to install a pool waterfall, know that not all contractors are up to the task. At Woodlands Pool Builders, we have the knowledge and abundant experience building all kinds of pool waterfalls. Whether you want a basic weeping wall or a custom-made grotto, if you live in The Woodlands, TX, or the surrounding area, we can help. Give us a call to discuss your options today.
A swimming pool is a home feature many homeowners aspire to have, but before you jump in and start calling a pool builder contractor, there are numerous factors to consider. For one, it's a significant investment, ranging between $20,000 and $125,000 for installation, and the results may not pay off in the way you want to in the end. It's also a massive addition to the home.
Before making a decision, take into consideration the following top 10 questions.
Why Do I Want One?
Building a pool significantly impacts the household, and you may not use it as often as you think. Discuss this possibility with everyone in the home, and ask them why they do or do not want a pool. The opinions of even the youngest members of the household should matter, and their answers will give you more to consider.
Think about your answer to the question, and consider whether this is something you want to pursue. If keeping up with your neighbors or a family member who owns a pool is your sole reason for installing one, you should rethink taking on the endeavor. A pool isn't something you purchase to keep up with those around you, and it's bound to have an enormous impact on the landscaping of your yard. While a pool can be a positive lifestyle change and provide entertainment, fun, and exercise, be sure you're purchasing one for the right reason.
How Will I Use It?
You can use pools for various purposes, such as therapeutic exercise or recreational activities. You may be a frequent swimmer looking to stay in shape, or you may like to host pool parties for your families and friends during special occasions. Deliberate on how you will use the pool and who will use it, and keep in mind that it will only be a wise investment with frequent use. If these ideas sound fantastic, consider installing one.
What Type of Pool Should I Get?
There are plenty of options available for pools today, including different materials and various types of chlorination. If you're determined to build a pool, research the various types of pools and take note of some of the options you may consider. Scanning through brochures from different companies and asking for advice from neighbors or friends who have pools will also provide helpful insight.
What Size and Shape Do I Want?
If you live in a larger property, there may be no size or shape constraints. There will be more freedom in picking out the pool size and placing it wherever you want. However, those who live on a smaller lot will have to consider how large the pool should be. It will take a lot of creativity and the right strategy to figure out how to install a pool without taking up too much space.
How Much is the Budget?
Understandably, the overall price of building a pool will vary based on the materials, size, shape, labor required (mainly to get large equipment into the yard), and so much more. However, before going any further, take your time to think of a budget. How much are you willing to spend on a pool? Where are the funds going to come from? Creating a budget plan is always a great idea, but you should still anticipate that the project may cost more than expected.
Who Will Work on the Maintenance of the Pool?
Pools definitely take time to maintain, and they can become dangerous to swim in without proper maintenance and could make swimmers ill. Are you going to do all of the grunt work to keep the pool in tip-top condition? If not, are you willing and financially able to pay a pool cleaner to take on the task? It's essential to look into the local rates for professional care to ensure pool maintenance services are affordable and within your means.
Will Having a Pool Increase the Home's Value?
Pools hold the potential to increase home value in some areas. However, will it be worth it? On top of the installation cost, you will have to consider maintenance fees and repairs, among other expenses. Is it worthwhile to build the pool if it only slightly raises the home's value?
How Long Will I Live Here?
If you're still determining how long you'll stay in the property to use the pool, it's better to avoid buying one on a whim. Consider if there's a possibility of moving out of The Woodlands to another city for work or moving to a bigger home in the foreseeable future. In that case, there may be better ideas than installing a pool right now. Having your pool can wait until you are in a more permanent home.
How Quickly Do I Need a Pool?
Having a pool installed may take longer than you realize. You should rethink your plans if you're hoping to finish building and using the swimming pool in time for a holiday or an upcoming event. Talk to local home building contractors to determine the pool installation's lead time and ensure it fits into your plans. You would want to avoid hosting an event in the yard while the ground is being dug up for the pool, so timing is crucial.
Would It Be Better to Use a Community Pool?
Local community pools can be an excellent alternative to installing one on your property. A community pool can be a better option if you're still determining if you'll stay on the property for the long haul or if the cost to construct a pool is not viable. Using it and not worrying about maintenance and upkeep is the upside to a recreational swimming pool.
Installing a pool is not a decision that should be taken lightly, and it's important to ask yourself all of the questions on this list to ensure you are making the right decision for yourself, your household, and the property. When you finally decide to install a swimming pool, it's best to work with a local pool contractor who understands your needs and helps you achieve your goals.
Woodlands Pool Builders is a local company providing pool installation services for homeowners. You can rely on us to offer our professional opinion during the decision-making process or if you would like assistance while sorting through the available options to determine what will work best for you and your home.
So you've decided to introduce a hot tub to your home? While having a hot tub is appealing, who wouldn't want to lounge in the afternoon in perfectly warm water with spray jets massaging your back? Getting a hot tub entails a considerable investment, not to mention regular maintenance fees.
Before taking that plunge, you'll want to make sure you choose the right hot tub. One with the specific features you're looking for and the correct size and design. If you have the time and resources to maintain it throughout the year, you'll realize it is worth the investment.
In this article, we'll go through the two most common hot tub options homeowners can choose between above-ground and in-ground.
Above-Ground Hot Tubs
Pros of above-ground hot tubs
They are generally cheaper than in-ground hot tubs, costing between $3,000 and $12,000, depending on size and features.
Cons of above-ground hot tubs
In-ground Hot Tubs
Pros of in-ground hot tubs
Cons of in-ground hot tubs
With this comparison, if you are looking for a hot tub option that is temporary, cheap to install and maintain, and easily movable if you decide to relocate, the above-ground option is for you.
However, if you are more particular about the features you want, value aesthetics, and are looking for a more permanent option, go with the in-ground hot tub.
Benefits of Hot Tubs
Hot tubs might not be necessary for every household, but they are a great addition to your home oasis if you can get one.
Here are six reasons why you should have a hot tub in your Woodlands home:
How should I install my hot tub?
While considering your hot tub, you should also consider your contractor when you finally have one installed.
Your contractor must have proper training and relevant experience in similar projects. An experienced contractor can help you choose the correct size and shape for your pool or hot tub and make the two features work seamlessly together. You also need to consider their proximity to your location, whether they can pull all the required permits for you, and whether they know the community standards and regulations for this type of outdoor improvement project. Your ideal contractor should also be able to work with your budget.
The Woodland Pool Builders can efficiently help you with this kind of project, and we can help you choose the best option for your needs and budget.
To weigh your options and make the best choice for your property, consult our team of knowledgeable custom pool builders with Woodland Pool Builders.
Are you thinking about remodeling your swimming pool but figuring out how to go about it or how much the cost might be? What innovations do you want to see around the swimming pool area? Do you want to add features such as a built-in spa? What improvements are possible with an existing pool?
Although remodeling a pool involves considerable budgeting and decision-making, with the correct strategy, it is attainable. There is a simple step-by-step guide for accomplishing a pool remodeling project that can cushion the blow on your daily life and minimize the stress you will encounter as much as possible.
It is possible to have a successful pool remodeling project that meets all your expectations. The key to a successful pool remodeling project is hiring the right pool contractor who understands your vision and goals.
So, let's get started.
The Beginning of a Pool Remodeling Project
As with all construction projects, many things must harmoniously work together for a successful project outcome. However, there is always the possibility of unforeseen circumstances and events that will affect the entire process. At this point, the homeowner should understand what expenses pool remodeling entails and procure a contract listing the estimated project cost.
At the earliest stage, the contractors will establish a timeline for the project that shows the lead time from start to finish. This will also serve as a schedule for the construction team to follow and to ensure that nothing is overlooked once the project is finished. This schedule is subject to change and can be affected by several factors.
Our pool remodeling experts in The Woodlands have undergone training and acquired the experience needed to manage a pool remodeling project from start to finish efficiently. Our experts create preemptive measures for unexpected problems, such as delays in the schedule, material changes due to availability, inclement weather, and other inevitable factors that can affect the completion date. We understand the construction process so well we can create a work atmosphere that goes smoothly for the homeowner and the contractors.
The Woodlands Pool Builders, based in The Woodlands, Texas, complete projects for remodeling as well as building new swimming pools with expertise, excellent planning, and efficient project management to keep your pool remodeling experience worry-free.
The Pool Remodeling Process Stages
Draining The Pool
In order to drain the existing swimming pool, a submersible pump is securely positioned at the bottom of the pool, with a hose leading out into the street to drain the water. Depending on the pool size, this process will range between six to twelve hours. This process is faster for spas, as those can be drained and the pool chipped out the same day.
Once the pool draining process is completed, the submersible pump can make a loud "slurping" sound, a cue for the contractor to advise the homeowner to unplug the pump's power cord from the outlet.
The Chipping Out Process
The drained pool's surface will then be chipped and primed. If the homeowner opts to have the pool tiled, this is the step where it gets done. Chipping is a noisy process that takes about half a day to complete. Once finished, our contractors will begin cleaning up the gunite shell.
To begin the tiling process, the homeowner must first pick their preferred tiles for the remodeled pool. We will then work on applying the grout and tile. The entire process will take between one to two days, depending on the pool size and the size and amount of tiles.
If the homeowner chooses a plaster finish, the tile trim on the steps is added on the last day of the plastering process.
Plaster Surface Application
Once a plaster surface has been chosen, our trucks will bring in a mixture of pebbles and plaster of the correct ratio to the pool. Then, the mixture is pumped through large hoses into the pool, where the plaster artisans will begin hand-troweling the surface. This process will take anywhere from four to six hours.
Once the pebble application is completed, an acid wash is poured over the pool's surface. This process should only take a few hours and marks the beginning of the pre-filling of the pool.
Once the pebble acid wash and plaster are in place and are dry, you can begin adding water. Before turning off the water flow, the water must reach halfway up the skimmer opening or the tile line. It is crucial not to turn off the water before completely filling the pool to prevent water lines from building up on the inside of the swimming pool.
The team can accomplish this by controlling the flow of water. Until the pool is filled up, the water pressure can be slowed down but not turned off at the tap.
This procedure could take 12 to 48 hours, depending on the pool size and the strength of the water pressure in the home.
Once the pool is finally filled up, the chemical startup depends on whether the pool finish is plaster or pebble. The process is roughly the same duration for both plaster and pebble finishes, but the plaster-finished pool usually takes longer. Pebble-based pools take just a few hours, compared to plaster pools which typically take a few days. The plaster is more sensitive, and homeowners need to match the water's pH level to an acidic state for a more extended period than pebble-based pools.
What Is The Homeowner's Role?
For a smoother remodeling experience, the homeowner should take the following steps:
What Can You Expect From a Finished Pool Remodeling Project?
There may be tiny, superficial cracks along the pool's surface, usually seen at the top steps, which is expected because these areas are the last ones to be filled by water. These cracks won't affect the pool's appearance or compromise the quality of the finished pool.
Some staining on the pool surfaces is expected. With time, foreign materials like dirt, leaves, sticks, metals, and other debris are bound to end up on the surface, causing stains. You can attempt to remove these stains to get a clean-looking pool or consider it a part of natural aging and let the pool develop its unique character with time. You can opt to use cleaning products such as acid washing, Super Stain Out, and other means if you wish.
A pebble-based swimming pool has thousands of small pebble stones. Some pebbles will eventually get dislodged from the surface as part of the curing process. You can have your pool service crew take care of any loose pebbles.
If you have copper plumbing pipes or other copper-based products in or near the swimming pool, they can cause distinct green stains on a swimming pool's surface. Copper deposits are naturally green and will become more conspicuous with light surface colors and plaster-based pools.
Matching Surface Samples
The finished pool may not perfectly match the surface samples in the showroom, mainly because of the manual troweling process and the large area of the pool surface. However, the finished pool surface should be very similar to the sample.
The hand-troweling process used for swimming pool plaster or pebble surface application is superior to one using a machine. Still, the manual hand-troweling process may result in a slight color and surface imbalance that is perfectly normal and expected.
What Is Covered By The Warranty?
The average swimming pool comprises two layers: the pebble or plaster surface layer, about one or two inches thick, and the concrete or gunite shell, about twelve inches thick. The plaster or pebble surface is connected to the gunite shell, which supports the swimming pool.
The pool's plaster surface may have small cracks, but that does not necessarily represent poor installation. Some flaws and failures of plaster surfaces are due to the pool's foundation or the gunite shell. The foundation's weakness, deficiency, or shifting can cause problems with the plaster layer, and the foundation can be compromised by ground movement or shifting soil.
The pool builder's warranty does not cover problems caused by the pool foundation because it is beyond their control. Natural staining or slight plaster color or mottle changes do not affect the pool's overall structure and are solely cosmetic. Stains caused by the mineral buildup and deposits are beyond the pool remodeling company's control and are not covered by a warranty.
Spider and hairline cracks aren't covered under warranty because there is a limit to the contractor's ability to keep them to a minimum. These tiny cracks will be most common on the upper pool steps as the last area covered by water and the most exposed to the air.
Pool lines such as calcium lines are inevitable where the water meets the air and will not be covered by warranty. Professional pool cleaners can eliminate these lines.
Advice For Pool Maintenance
If you want to protect your investment in remodeling your swimming pool, consider hiring a professional pool cleaning service. They have the expertise, equipment, and training to clean and maintain pools efficiently at reasonable and affordable prices.
Keep debris off the surface of your pool to limit surface stains. You can use a roaming vacuum or other types of surface vacuum to keep the pool free of debris. You can also use a stain-prevention chemical such as Super Stain Out.
Get a quote from the pool cleaning company for a weekly phosphate removal service. Removing the phosphates helps keep the amount of staining down by limiting algae's growth and lessening the use of algaecides.
A DIY Guide For Cleaning Pool Tile
The best course of action is to get advice from the pool cleaning service before deciding to take pool cleaning into your own hands.
Consider installing an acid feeder to monitor the pH levels of the pool constantly.
To reduce calcium and oil buildup, add a dose of scale or calcium inhibitor weekly, to be followed by an enzyme treatment. You can also add a water conditioning device such as Aqua-Rex and arrange a monthly tile cleanup service with your pool cleaning company.
Make your Swimming Pool More Energy Efficient
You can make your pool more energy-efficient by getting a variable-speed pump to save electricity. These pumps run on lower RPMs, but they perform better than single-speed pumps for filtering swimming pool water.
Contact Woodland Pool Builders for expert ideas and a free price quote if you are contemplating a pool renovation or a new swimming pool construction project. We can renovate existing swimming pools and design and build new pool projects using the latest technology and methods for modern swimming pools.