Pools and Spas
Swim - Relax - Party
Current Pool Trends
Swimming pools have always been a luxury addition to a home. However, for families with a lot of children, they're beginning to make good financial sense. While the initial financial output can be steep, the potential savings in water-park trips and other summer activities can really add up over the years. In this article, we'll give you some ideas that you may not have considered. A swimming pool isn't just a concrete hole in the ground anymore! The latest trends and designs can literally turn your backyard into an oasis, with all the style and luxury of a beach resort. We'll also give you some tips and hints for finding the best pool contractors in your area.
A big concern for homeowners these days is green living. This simply means reducing the negative impact which your household has on the environment. Something which many people are concerned about when considering a swimming pool is the chlorine used to keep it clean and safe to swim in.
Chlorine works well, but it's also very irritating, literally and figuratively. It can bleach bathing suits and towels, it needs to be adjusted and added frequently, and it's notorious for burning the eyes of swimmers, especially children. Salt water pools offer an innovative alternative to this chemical. In a saltwater pool, regular table salt is the only additive used! Salt is a natural inhibitor of bacterial growth, and it keeps the pH levels in your pool balanced. Most owners of saltwater pools report that they only need to add salt once or perhaps twice per season. The pH levels are monitored by a small submerged sensor which alerts you when more salt is needed.
With a saltwater pool, you can relax knowing that you've made a healthier choice for your family and for the environment. There's no need to worry about saltwater polluting the ground around your pool, and it's much less irritating to eyes. Many people don't feel a thing, even while opening their eyes underwater. It's also gentle on clothing, skin and hair.
While the initial cost to install a saltwater pool is slightly higher than that of a traditional chlorine pool, that extra cost pays off in the long run. Salt is much less expensive than chlorine. Even if it wasn't, however, most owners feel that they would still rather have a saltwater pool than one filled with chlorine.
Infinity edge pools have been used in beach resorts around the world for years. However, more and more homeowners have been incorporating this dramatic form of pool into their backyard landscape in recent years.
An infinity edge simply means a pool which has been constructed so that instead of being contained, a small amount of water is continuously flowing over an edge or side. This water falls into a basin and is then recirculated into the main pool.
This simple construction gives the effect that the edge of the pool has disappeared. This can be very dramatic in appearance, especially if you're lucky enough to have a nice view from your backyard, such as a lake, ocean or even a city view. However, even in a regular suburban yard which is enclosed on all sides by other homes, the effect is stunning. The flat surface of these pools reflects their surroundings beautifully, and so you'll see the sky reflected in your pool.
Fountains and Waterfalls
Adding interest to your pool can completely change the mood and atmosphere. Whether you want to create a miniature waterpark for kids (and the young at heart) or you crave a serene, secluded oasis-like feel, there are decorative water features which can help you turn your visions into reality.
Water slides and large, mushroom-shaped fountains are two of the most popular attractions at any water park. While it's not practical to install a monstrous tube slide in your backyard, a simple water slide can be surprisingly inexpensive. No matter how simple the design, there's something irresistible about a water-slide. You can choose a simple straight design, or even add a few twists and turns if you have the space and the budget for it.
Fountains shaped like mushrooms are always fun, because they allow kids to duck under the cascade and sit in a water cave. These fountains are available from many pool-supply companies, in scaled-down sizes which are perfect for the home swimming pool. You can also find many other fun fountain designs which kids and adults will love, allowing you to truly customize your pool.
If you're envisioning a more adult-friendly pool, you're in luck. There is an amazing variety of rock fountains, lighted fountains, waterfalls and other luxurious water features available today. Some homeowners choose to enclose their pool area with a high fence, then add several rock fountains or waterfalls to give their backyard the feel of a secluded, tropical getaway. There are many different types of these fountains available, from natural rock to synthetic plastic. They require a bit of extra maintenance to keep them free-flowing and clean, but they make up for it in visual appeal.
If you want to add dazzling nighttime interest, consider a lighted fountain. You may have seen these in ponds, but they can easily be adapted for a swimming pool. At night, the brilliant display created by these fountains is a truly magical sight. Lights are submerged in water-tight enclosures, and as the water springs up from the fountain, it takes on the color of the light or lights beneath it. You can find single-color fountains, or you can go all-out with a rainbow-hued, multi-display fountain which will send jets of brightly colored water into the air in rhythmic sequences. Some of the most intricate fountains can even be synchronized to a stereo system, making the water dance to the music!
Speaking of music, underwater speakers and lights are another way to add luxury and a unique feel to your pool. These pipes provide music into the pool itself, allowing swimmers to hear it while underwater. Underwater lights are rather inexpensive, and give the entire pool a softly colored glow. Outside of your pool, you'll find even more decorating possibilities. You can add potted plants or trees around the edges to add a tropical feel. Torches can keep the insects away while creating a fun party atmosphere.
The area directly surrounding your pool gives you another opportunity to personalize. Unique tiles or stamped concrete pavers can be used in place of traditional poured concrete. You can create what's known in the industry as a beach entry, which simply means that instead of a set of stairs leading down into the pool, the entry is gently sloped. This is great for families with kids, since the risk of slipping and falling is greatly reduced.
Creating and outdoor room with your pool as the central attraction is a very popular trend. You've probably relaxed poolside at hotels in the past, sitting at a table or on a lounge chair. Imagine having that luxury in the privacy of your own backyard! Your outdoor room can be a living room, a family room, or even a kitchen! With a grill, a table and a few comfortable chairs, you can turn your pool into an extension of your home, ready to welcome family member and guests alike.