Tips when Refurbishing a Backyard for Seniors

Everybody has a dream retirement, one where they live in a place they can truly call home and enjoy during their golden years. You (or your senior parents and relatives) may want a place to unwind every day or pursue hobbies like gardening and healthy activities like yoga, swimming, and water aerobics.

If you will be refurbishing your backyard to fulfill that dream in part, you have a lot of considerations to make beyond their wants. From ensuring safety to enhancing the lifestyle quality, you have to be smart and strategic in any renovation, addition, or decoration you make. Continue reading

Know Your Soil Quality Before Building a Pool

When building a pool, one of the things you should consider is the quality of soil on your property. This will determine the suitability of the ground for pool construction; and would also be used in designing the pool to be built. 

Keep in mind that when the pool is built, the soil will exert its own force against it. Without the proper composition and setup, the pool wall may leak, crack, lift, or collapse. If the site is a bedrock, builders may need to break up the rock to provide a stable base. If the site is all-soil or part-soil, building a pool shouldn’t be much of a problem if the soil hasn’t been disturbed. Otherwise, builders will have to create what’s called an engineered fill, which is a wafer of geotextiles and polymer membranes, for structural support. Continue reading

Inspiring Outdoor Spa Ideas for Romance

Can’t get enough of your sweetheart? Planning to entertain a date in the comforts of your backyard? Raise the romance factor by having an outdoor spa built-into your concrete pool! If you already have one, you can have it refurbished or revamp your landscaping design to have an ideal spot for unique, lovely dates. Here are some ideas for inspiration: Continue reading

Three Ways to Heat Your Pool

If you want to enjoy swimming in your pool even during the colder seasons, you might want to think about installing a pool heater. You can find different types, each offering its own benefits. One of the important factors to consider, however, is energy efficiency. The Department of Energy recommends these three types of pool heaters for their energy saving properties.

Gas-Fired

The most popular system, gas-fired pool heaters are fueled by either natural gas or propane. They heat water faster than a heat pump or a solar heater, at a rate of 1 to 1.25 degrees Fahrenheit per hour. However, the heating produced by gas pool heaters lasts only for a short time, making this equipment appropriate only for pools that are not used frequently.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps don’t generate heat; instead, they recycle heat from the environment and distribute it to the pool. As pool water passes through the unit, it gets heated by the recycled heat. Heat pumps don’t emit toxic gases; however, they work most efficiently during warmer weather when there is a good amount of heat to absorb from the environment.

Solar Heating

Solar heating systems involve wiring solar panels to a conventional pool heater, providing the heat instead of fossil fuel. With solar technology constantly evolving, today’s solar panels can operate efficiently even when the sun is not shining. However, compared to the two other options given here, solar heating generally requires a higher investment cost.

Gunite: Confidence in Pool Construction

Most swimming pools use gunite, a form of concrete that has less water than cast-in-place concrete and shotcrete. Both shotcrete and gunite are applied to surfaces pneumatically, that is, with the use of high pressured spray guns.

By itself, concrete resists compressive forces well, which is why they’re often used in foundations and support structures. However, a filled pool exerts both compression and tension across its coverage. Concrete walls can buckle under tensile forces exerted by the wide base. Continue reading

The Benefits of Having a Pool in your Yard

Having a pool constructed in your backyard is a major investment, so most homeowners want to be assured that the money they put into their pool is well worth it. For those on the fence about getting a pool, here are a few things such a home addition can bring to the table:

Home Improvements and Value

In general, a home’s value can be increased by the types of improvements that are done on it, especially when it comes to aesthetic additions like pools. Other such improvements include a patio or deck, garden landscaping, and even ornamental shutters for your windows. These are in contrast to functional improvements like roofing and gutter repair.

Neighborhood Considerations

If you have your heart set on having a pool installed, there are still many more ways to make sure that it will be of value to your house. For one, the pool should fit the neighborhood, particularly the tastes and preferences of the type of people who might have an interest in buying a house in your area.

Entertainment Value

Whether they think pools are a good investment or not, there’s one thing people can always agree on: the entertainment value of having one in your own backyard is always priceless. This in itself can add something of value to your home—something that just might get the right type of buyer to sign on the dotted line.

Fleshing Out an Inground Pool Design

If your property is spacious enough to accommodate a swimming pool, you can certainly run wild with having one built immediately. Hitting the inground pool would be a fun way to pass the time with family and friends. However, a little finesse is needed in building that coveted recreational amenity, especially when you envision the pool as an integral part of the home.

After consulting your pool designer, the first thing you need is to provide the contractor with a plot to work on. The designer will do a subsequent ocular inspection of the area and mark out structures that may remain part of the pool area, such as a popular tree or natural obstacles. Consider the style and size of the property; some plots may not allow free-form pools without making it appear like the facility was forcibly added.

In some cases, try looking at the prospect pool area from several rooms in the house and then pick out some that provide a good view. The chosen rooms would help decide any focal points for the pool area, such as a continuous rock waterfalls in one corner. One section of the pool area should be camouflaged as the location of the pumping equipment, while the management controls can be placed inside the house.

When having an inground swimming pool designed, make sure it satisfies your taste, it says something about you, and it provides character to your property.