Living the In Ground Pool Lifestyle

When you have your very own in ground swimming pool, you in essence join an elite club of fellow in ground pool owners.  Although there are no membership cards or dues involved in this club, you will find yourself immersed in everything swimming pool related.  You may find yourself online looking at all things swimming pool related.

One of the best aspects of owning a swimming pool is finding new ways to enjoy it aside from the traditional way of swimming in it.  The internet is full of fun ideas that you and your family can do to get the most out of your pool.  These ideas are generally posted by pool owners to help their fellow pool owners get the most out of their pools.

Pintrest is a great platform to share information related to in ground swimming pools and really the swimming pool lifestyle in general.  I have found many interesting ideas on pintrest that I have used to enrich the lives of my own family.  Today I want to share with you some of the things related to the swimming pool lifestyle that I find enjoyable.

First of all owning an in ground swimming pool is a decision that you should not come to lightly.  This is a decision that should involve the whole family.  Some people make this decision to give their kids something fun to do each summer.  However many people without children get pools to give themselves a place to relax after a long day of work.  For them it acts as a fortress of solitude.  Regardless of why you decide to get an in ground swimming pool you will have many choices to make along the way.  Once that pool is installed it is up to you to make the most out of it.

For The Kids:

If you have decided on getting a pool for your kids to use it, is important to understand the safety aspects.  For one, if your children cannot swim, it is important to make sure they have some sort of adult supervision at all times.  However, this will be the perfect opportunity to bond with your children and teach them how to swim while having fun.  It can also become a daily after school routine if your children decide to join a swimming team or just let off some steam.  The fact there is a swimming pool in your back yard ready to go is perfect.  No need for traveling, wasting gas, paying fees to swim with people you do not know or having to worry about “where are the kids?”.  You will know at all times where the kids are and have easy access for getting to them.

In todays society, from elementary to high school kids, technology has taken its tole when it comes to being active.  Majority of children are now stuck from either looking at their phones or playing video games in front of a bright screen.  I remember the days when being outside was fun and every summer my folks would take my siblings and I to the public swimming pool to play in the water and have a great time, and I always did have an amazing time.  However, I did not like the fact everybody was separate from each other while we were at the public pool.  So eventually my folks decided to have a pool in our yard, which was better for everybody.  My parents were able to keep an eye on us and I was not separated from my siblings.  Not only that, but I was able to bring some of my friends over and have a mini barbecue.  So why not bring that kind of fun to your family?  The kids will have a chance to get off of their cell phones, video games and TV, and in exchange they get to have fun being outside in the comfort in their own backyard.  This gives them a change to be active, grow and be happy.

For Yourself:

Nothing wrong thinking about yourself and wanting to be able to spoil yourself.  So, why not spoil yourself with an ground pool?  Sounds like an amazing idea, because it is an amazing idea.  Correction, it’s not just amazing it’s fantastic.  There are other reasons to have a ground pool built in your background.  Some people do so for their families and children, which is still a fantastic idea.  However, there is nothing wrong thinking about yourself and wanting to do something for yourself.  If you have an issue being out in public pools, having your very own is perfect.  You can relax in the comfort of your home without the issue of other people.  Want to have your own party with close friends and family? Invite them over to your awesome place while having a barbecue, kicking back with a few beers and enjoying a nice swim or push your best friend into the water because why not, it is your home, your pool.

Get Ready For Summer

I know that it seems like a long way off but the summer will be here before you know it.  There are a lot of things to do to get ready for it.  One of the things that crosses the minds of most folks is whether or not to get an in ground swimming pool.  For some this is a question that comes up every spring.  In my opinion if this is something that comes up that frequently, then maybe you should look into it a bit more.  More and more people are getting in ground pools these days and it just goes to show that maybe they aren’t that unattainable anymore.  It used to seem like an in ground swimming pool was something that only the upper class folks were able to afford.  This is not the case anymore.  In ground swimming pools are becoming more affordable as time goes on.  I think that this is due to the fact that the materials being used to build in ground swimming pools are changing.  Along with the materials changing, the way that the pools are built is changing as well.

With the cost of in ground pools getting lower, people are now able to spend more money on upgrading their backyards as a whole.  The backyard staycation is becoming a well known idea.  This is the idea that instead of spending money each year to go on an elaborate vacation, people are now spending their money on their own backyards.  Updating their landscaping, installing a swimming pool, and having a pergola built are just a few ways in which people are creating a unique backyard experience.  This is something that I would personally recommend.  Instead of spending all of your money on a vacation that will only last for maybe a week or so.  You can instead save that money and reinvest it in your own backyard.  If you plan this out properly you could likely improve your entire backyard complete with pool for the cost of what many people were spending on a pool alone ten years ago.

Lets break this down into individual components.  To start lets look at the pool itself.  I would recommend starting with the design of the pool, only because this component will likely take up the most space in your backyard.  When deciding on the design and size of your pool you should determine why you want a pool to begin with and take that into consideration.  Some people get a pool to give their families a place to have fun.  Some people get a pool to have a nice place to relax.  The reason you want a pool to begin with may be a contributing factor in the size and shape of the pool.  Once you have that figured out you can then determine what type of landscaping will compliment it well.  Many people will incorporate a nice patio area next to the pool.  This would give you a place to entertain or relax after a long day.  There are also many different types of patio styles to choose from.  Websites like Pintrest and Houzz are great places to get ideas and inspiration for backyard staycations.  Some people have great success by simply talking with their pool builder first.  Typically they can provide you with a drawing of the pool you want to scale which you could take to a landscape designer.  Or in some cases the pool builder might have some contact information on a landscape company that they have worked with in the past.

Regardless of how you go about creating your backyard staycation, the point is that it is in your best interest to do so.  In theory it would likely pay for itself over time by saving you money that you would have spent on vacations.  The other benefit is that it would allow you to create you very own resort in your own back yard, and allow you to customize it to your personal tastes.  If you want a nice place to entertain guests, or if you are looking more for a source of entertainment for your family, a pool is a wonderful way to go.

For more information on the backyard staycation as well as general swimming pool information, please check out the rest of my blog, and feel free to comment.  If there is something that is not clear or something that you want more information on just let me know and I will do my very best to address it.

Outdoor Fun for the Family

Being that we are approaching the winter season, and in some areas feel as if we are already in the winter season I want to use this post to try and bring a little warmth back to you.  To do this I am going to dedicate this post to fun outdoor activities that you can do with your kids when the summer time finally comes back.

I have written specifically about how swimming pools can benefit the lives of you and your family.  In order to keep from repeating myself I want to gear this post more toward activities that you can do with your family in the summertime.  The best way that I can think of to do this is basically to walk you through a day of fun activities that I do and will do with my own kids.  Well at least one kid for now, the second is still on the way.  Thinking ahead to the future there will come a time when I will have to come up with ideas for fun filled summer days.  At this point in my blogging experience I have made it clear that I want my children to have a similar childhood experience to my own without all the electronic devices and video games that many kids today fill their days with.  I don’t intend to offend anyone, it’s just that I feel that a child will benefit much more by being outside and active than they would by being secluded in the house laying on the couch with their nose glued to a screen of some kind.  Okay rant over.

There are plenty of parents that feel this way and many have taken to Pintrest with ideas of ways to get their kids outside.  So taking a bit of information from them it is not too difficult to come up with ways to get kids outside.

My son, like many other younger kids wakes up early everyday and is ready to start playing.  He is a lot like me in that he is not too interested in eating right away.  My wife and I will generally let him play with his toys for a little bit in the morning or he and myself will sometimes pretend to be monsters and try to get Mommy.  This is all in an effort to make him smile as well as work up an appetite.  It doesn’t take too long before he is ready to eat.  Depending on the weather, this is our first chance to get him outside.  Sometimes we like to have our breakfast on the patio.  He seems to enjoy this a good deal as it is not something we do every day.  In addition to that it is a good opportunity for him to use his senses by looking all the little critters like squirrels, and allows him to hear the birds chirping.  Usually he is quick to notify us that he sees, or hears something interesting.  This is the first part of our fun filled outdoor day.

After breakfast we clean up and get him ready for the day.  Once he is changed we usually have a few hours before lunchtime.  This is another opportunity to get him back outside.  We have a fairly large backyard with things for him to do.  we have a sand box full of toys, and other outdoor toys that he can play with.  Sometimes we will just chase each other around or again try to get Mommy.  One of his favorite things in the world is bubbles.  He loves to chase bubbles around the yard and we have a cheap little bubble machine that will make sure that there are plenty of them for him to chase.  It also benefits Mommy and myself by keeping us from hyperventilating while trying to keep up with a bubble popping little boy.  There is one thing that I want to try with him, however I will have to wait until he is a bit older.  Orienteering is a “sport” in which a compass and map are used to navigate from point to point.  Of course these points would be predetermined by Mommy and myself.  This may not sound like a lot of fun for a youngster but I think by adding a surprise at each point I could make it more interesting for him.  This would keep him active and give us something fun to do outside.  It will also teach him how a compass and map can be used to find your way.

It won’t be long before it is time for lunch and again we will try to eat our lunch outside.  We may have our lunch on the patio again, or we might pack it up in a basket and grab a blanket and have our lunch picnic style in the grass or at the park nearby.  If we do have a picnic one thing we might do is, lay on our backs on the blanket and try to show our little guy the clouds.  I have done this in the past but usually it is short lived.  Clouds don’t do much, so his attention quickly goes elsewhere.  It’s always worth a try though.  After lunch we will play a bit more, and then it’s time for a nap.

We like to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in the summer because they have a pool.  My son can’t swim all by himself quite yet but with Mommy and me in the pool with him he is getting much better at moving around in his little floaty.  I don’t know if it is just because he and I are both boys but we like to team up on Mommy a bit.  Let me tell you, one of his favorite pool activities is splashing Mommy.  She is usually a good sport about it, but I feel bad from time to time.  It has got to be tiring running from us all the time.  When we are at my parents, they love to feed us dinner.  More often than not this hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill.  My parents have a very nice deck by the pool with several tables, that we often eat at in the summer time.  In addition to that we have turned their shed into a tiki bar of sorts.  None of us are big drinkers, but my Dad loves to make milkshakes and root beer floats for us all, and my son defintitely loves the milkshakes.  After dinner we will generally stay a little while to hang out with my parents.

When we get home my son usually seems to get a second wind and wants to play some more.  I like to use this time to take him outside and teach him how to catch fire flies. (or lightning bugs depending on where you’re from)  Although it’s Mommy and I who generally do all of the bug catching, it still gives him the chance to see them up close.  We have recently moved further into the country so there is a new critter that comes around in the summer time that we get to observe.  Tree frogs seem to love the siding of our house in the summer evenings.  I showed one to my son last summer but I think he was a bit too young to really appreciate it.

As the evening comes to a close we like to watch a movie to get him to settle from the exciting day.  I know that I said I want my kids to be active and all that, but I don’t think a little T.V. time will hurt.  I usually take all the pillows from the couch, lay them out on the floor, and cover them with a blanket to make a pillow bed.  He loves his pillow bed a lot.  There he gets a little snack and a drink.  It gives him a place to relax while watching one of the 30 Disney movies that we have before bedtime.  Given the active day, he usually won’t make it through the movie and either Mommy or myself will carry him off to bed.  I am really excited for this summer to come for one reason in particular.  I have access to an HD projector that I can plug into my laptop.  I plan on having an outdoor movie night sometime this coming summer.  We will set up a tent in the backyard and project the movie onto the side of the house.  We may or may not sleep in the tent, but that will be up to my son when the time comes.

These are just some of the things my wife and I do and will do in the summer with our son.  I can’t say that we do all of these things everyday because in reality I think this is more exhausting for my wife and I than it is for our little guy, but we do certainly try to find ways to make his summer days more fun and to get him outside for at least a little while each day.  You can use these ideas for your own summer fun or as I have said before, Pintrest is a great source for outdoor summer fun.  I know this post is a little outside of what I normally write about, but I hope it will inspire my readers to find ways to be active with their kids this coming summer.


How to get your backyard ready for your staycation

The backyard staycation.  This is the newest trend among Americans.  This is the idea that you can put your money into your own backyard to transform it into a place where you and your family can spend your summers rather than spending money on expensive vacations every year.  The idea is to transform your backyard to accommodate the needs of your family.  This typically includes a place for relaxation, a place for entertaining, and a place for recreation.  At this point you may be wondering where to start.

I would recommend going about this as if you were packing up a truck for a big move.  Start with the larger items and then move to the smaller items.  This way you know exactly how much room you have to work with after the big things.

A common item that people often get is an in ground swimming pool.  As I have stated in many of my posts, I recommend going with a vinyl liner pool.  For more information on vinyl liner in ground pools check out my other posts.  To save time and space in this post I am not going to get into the reasons why today.  I think that an in ground pool represents the biggest part of the staycation project.  It will likely take up the most space in the backyard, and will likely be one of the higher end costs in the project.  I have also written about the best way to go about deciding on the style and size of the pool in another post.  If a backyard staycation is something that you are seriously considering  I think that it would benefit you to read through my blog as it contains a lot of information on in ground pools in general as well as vinyl liner pools specifically.  An in ground pool will act as a place for recreation for you and your family and friends.  Next I will tackle a place for relaxation.

This can be incorporated into the design of the pool, or you can have it designed to be separate from the pool.  Basically you will want a patio area for sitting and relaxing.  I have noticed a lot of people will incorporate an outdoor kitchen, or a large grill in their patio area.  It all depends on your personal preferences.  In theory you can have all of these components connected to each other or you can separate them almost as if they were different rooms in your backyard.  This will all depend on the space available and how much you are willing to put into it.  Personally I think that I would prefer each area to be somewhat isolated from one another.  I would do this through the landscape design.
Ideally I would have my relaxation area separate from the pool area, and the entertaining area separate from the relaxation area.

Lastly we come to the entertaining area.  Will this be another patio area with a fire place, or would you prefer a grassy area?  It is all up to you on how you want to entertain.  I have seen a lot of examples in which there are multiple levels of patio that represent the different areas.  Typically the pool area will be at the lowest level.  I find that Pintrest is a very good place to get ideas for your backyard staycation.  For the purposes of giving my readers a good place to start I want to give you my ideas on the way I would go about a backyard staycation at my own house.

The Pool (Copied and Pasted from my post title “My Ideal Swimming Pool”)

The design:

Free Form Style Pool

This part is really up to personal taste and backyard space.  My back yard is big enough to accommodate any size pool really so for me it comes down to the style.  I am partial to the free form pool.  I tend to be drawn to the curves and organic layout rather than the basic geometric rectangle pool.  I am not one to be too flashy so I would probably go with a smaller pool probably along the lines of something that would fit into a 16’x32′ space.  There are endless possibilities in regard to the shape so for that I would want to sit down and draw it out.  Did I mention that I am married, so naturally that would affect the design.  In the end we would come up with something that we are both happy with, but as long as she is happy I am cool with it.  Anyway that is a general look into the design I would choose.

The Deck:

Beautiful Decking

I have seen all sorts of decking options for vinyl liner in ground pools.  A lot of people choose to use pavers around their pool.  For me this wouldn’t work well.  I am more of a concrete type guy, however there are some things that I would do to give the pool more of a high end look.  To begin I would start with a 1′ stamped border all the way around the pool.  The color of the concrete would have to be chosen with my wife of course.  Then I would utilize a slightly different color to give the pool some contrast, and again my wife would help with this.  I have also seen a lot of pools that have some grass around them, and I really like the look of that so perhaps I would try to include it in my pool as well.  Again keeping with the organic look of the pool, the deck would also have to be free form with plenty of curves.  I am not a big fan of the “cookie cutter” type pools where your pool looks strikingly similar to your neighbors.  I like to have some aspect of originality without going over the top with it.

The Patio

Japanese style garden

This portion of my backyard staycation would preferably be at a different physical level than the pool itself, and I would use it as a place for relaxation.  I am a big fan of having this area somewhat isolated from the pool area through the use of landscaping.  Take a look at the photo to the left.  Notice how they used some evergreens to separate the patio area from the rest of the yard.  I also like the way that they used paving stones as the patio rather than going with standard concrete.

I happen to find traditional Japanese rock gardens to be very aesthetically pleasing so I would likely incorporate that type of design into my patio area.  The photo to the right displays some traditional Japanese garden ideas complete with a koi pond, and Bonsai.  This would be ideal for me because I have been working on a Japanese maple for a couple of years that would look amazing in this type of setting.  I find koi ponds to be very relaxing and for me this would be a must have.

Entertaining Area

I would prefer this area to again be separate from the other areas, and preferably on yet another level.  This is where I would have my outdoor kitchen and fireplace.  I would again have a patio area with plenty of seating.  As far as isolation goes, I think that I would prefer this area to overlook the pool, that way if anyone were swimming I would be able to supervise without having to look around anything.   The photo to the left is a very nice representation of an outdoor fire place.  However I would choose a different color brick to use.  The idea is to have these three components separate from one another, and yet tie them all together through color and style.  Obviously if you were to have three areas within the same backyard that all looked completely different you may lose some of the continuity.

Another way to go would be to just have a fire pit with some seating around it.  The photo on the right will give you a good idea of how nice a fire pit can look if done properly.  Although the fire pit looks really nice I think that I would still opt for the Fire place.

Next I think that I would want an outdoor kitchen.  This is a place that would have a grill, sink, refrigerator, and counter space.  It would serve as a place to prepare food and drinks for your family and friends.  These come in many different styles so choosing one that suites your needs and tastes would not be too difficult.

These are just my personal tastes and what I would want in my own backyard.  The next step would be to come up with a design that would incorporate all of these components and look really nice.  From there you would want to come up with a design for your landscaping.  One way to do this would be to hire someone.  Many landscaping companies have the know how to do something like this.  The other option would be to design it yourself.  For that I would definitely recommend searching around on the internet.  I know that you can find a lot of examples simply be googling it.  Another website that I find to be very helpful is Pintrest.  There you can collect many different examples and store them on the site itself.  Another site that is quickly growing in popularity is Houzz.  This site allows you to browse through projects that have been done and create a project book where you can keep all the information you want for your own project.

For more information on in ground swimming pools and vinyl liner pool specifically check out my other blog posts.  You can also find more information on these types of backyard projects in my blog, and ways to go about getting started.  As always if anyone has any comments or questions please feel free to share.


How to increase summer fun

It’s cold outside at the moment.  The winter weather is already starting to show up.  Some places have already gotten a lot of snow.  There are basically two kinds of people when it comes to winter weather.  Those who like the snow and those that dread every day of it.  Regardless of how you personally feel about this season you know that eventually it will end and the summer sun will come back out bringing with it all the fun of the summer season.  The amount of fun that comes next summer will depend on what you put into it.  Some people look forward to going on vacations to exotic places.  Some will plan on taking their families to amusement parks with fun characters that walk around bringing smiles to the faces of young and older folks alike.  While I understand that these types of vacations are very fun for families, the problem that I see with them is that they often end in a week or so.  That leaves you with the rest of the summer to try and figure out how to keep the kids entertained and more importantly, active.

I grew up with video games just like my sons generation will, however I was never one to be content with sitting in front of the T.V. for hours playing games.  Perhaps I was too easily distracted with other things.  I was the kid who was always outside getting dirty, and in some cases getting into trouble.  That is how I hope my son will be in the summertime as he gets older.  Obviously I don’t want him to get into too much trouble, but I feel that is a part of being a kid.

I certainly don’t want my son to sit in front of the T.V. every day playing games or on an iPad or any other source of virtual entertainment.  I would rather him go out and play freeze tag, go fishing, go swimming or anything else that is active and won’t get him into too much trouble.

I feel that these are the two biggest reasons why people decide to get an in ground swimming pool.  Instead of spending thousands every year on vacations and overly priced souvenirs people are taking that money and putting it into their own backyards.  They get a pool, they get an outdoor kitchen, they get an outdoor fireplace, and surround these things with beautiful landscaping.  This is all in an effort to save money in the long run.  They turn their own backyards into a place where they can spend their summers and have a lot of fun.  They host pool parties for their kids, they enjoy backyard barbecues with their neighbors, friends, and families, and when the kids go to bed they turn their pool lights and landscaping lights on and go outside to have a drink on the pool deck overlooking the sparkling water.

This is also a way to get the kids outside and active for a while each day.  Just imagine your children having lunch on the patio from time to time during the summer.  They awake each morning anticipating the moment when they can finally go outside and go swimming.

One thing that I will be doing this summer with my son is have an outdoor movie night, and maybe letting it turn into a backyard camping trip.  I will set up the screen and projector on the back patio and put the tent in the yard so we can lay in our sleeping bags and watch some fun kids movies until he falls asleep.  Ideally he will sleep all night but I get the feeling that he will probably wake up at some point and want to go inside.  I will never know unless we give it a try, who knows, it may turn into a yearly daddy, son adventure…. (Mommy can come too if she wants, that is if she lets me do this in the first place)  At any rate the point is that having your very own backyard oasis opens the door for virtually endless summer fun.  I think that putting your money into your own backyard is really worth considering.  Get a pool, get a out door kitchen, get a fire pit, do some landscaping, and get you and your family outside this coming summer.  I have written about a variety of different reasons why one should do this.

For more information on why having your own vinyl liner in ground pool will benefit you and your family just scroll through my blog and read a bit.  There are a lot of benefits to having your own swimming pool.  So many that there is likely to be at least one that will peak your interest.

My Ideal Swimming Pool

There I am

I have been installing in ground pools for quite some time now, and I think that gives me a pretty good idea about what components would make for the best in ground pool.  Today I just want to give my readers my personal opinion on what I think would make a great pool.  Everything that you are about to read is my personal opinion based on my experiences as a in ground pool builder and service technician.  Obviously that goes without saying that you may feel differently about certain aspects of an in ground pool.  If I were to build a pool for my family today this is how I would do it.

What type of pool:

Beautiful Vinyl Liner Pool

To begin, I would decide on what type of in ground pool to install.  I have personally installed vinyl liner pools as well as one piece fiberglass pools.  I have yet to install a concrete pool and I am not all that interested in doing so.  For me I think the best route would be to go with a vinyl liner in ground pool.  I would be too concerned about having a one piece fiberglass pool pop out of the ground if I ever had to drain it down for any reason.  In all honesty that is a very real threat when it comes to one piece fiberglass pools.  There are also plenty of photos online that will back up that claim.  The expense in repairing something like that would be too great for me.  In addition to that I really do like the idea of being able to change the look of the pool simply by changing the pattern on the liner.  In regard to the concrete pool, I feel that it would just cost too much.  Traditionally a concrete pool is a symbol of social class.  With that in mind builders are able to charge more.  In addition to the high initial cost of the install I am very aware of the fact that concrete cracks.  It is just a matter of when and where.  There is no preventing it.  At some point it will crack and it will loose its aesthetic appeal.  I don’t know about you but if I am spending a large amount of money on something, I want it to look as good as possible.  That being said I feel that to get the best bang for your buck the way to go is with a vinyl liner in ground pool.  You will get a pool that is structurally sound and won’t leave you wondering how to repair a crack in the bottom.  In addition to that they are very aesthetically pleasing and can be made to fit any back yard and personal taste.

The design:

Free Form Style Pool

This part is really up to personal taste and backyard space.  My back yard is big enough to accommodate any size pool really so for me it comes down to the style.  I am partial to the free form pool.  I tend to be drawn to the curves and organic layout rather than the basic geometric rectangle pool.  I am not one to be too flashy so I would probably go with a smaller pool probably along the lines of something that would fit into a 16’x32′ space.  There are endless possibilities in regard to the shape so for that I would want to sit down and draw it out.  Did I mention that I am married, so naturally that would affect the design.  In the end we would come up with something that we are both happy with, but as long as she is happy I am cool with it.  Anyway that is a general look into the design I would choose.

The Deck:

Beautiful Decking

I have seen all sorts of decking options for vinyl liner in ground pools.  A lot of people choose to use pavers around their pool.  For me this wouldn’t work well.  I am more of a concrete type guy, however there are some things that I would do to give the pool more of a high end look.  To begin I would start with a 1′ stamped border all the way around the pool.  The color would have to be chosen with my wife of course.  Then I would utilize a slightly different color to give the pool some contrast, and again my wife would help with this.  I have also seen a lot of pools that have some grass around them, and I really like the look of that so perhaps I would try to include it in my pool as well.  Again keeping with the organic look of the pool, the deck would also have to be free form with plenty of curves.  I am not a big fan of the “cookie cutter” type pools where your pool looks strikingly similar to your neighbors.  I like to have some aspect of originality without going over the top with it.

The equipment:

Paramount’s 6 Jet Swing Sweep System

Swimming pool equipment has come a long way.  We now have all sorts of things available to use on our pools to give use the best possible swimming pool experience.  So with that in mind I would certainly utilize modern technology in my pool.  To begin I would install the Swing Sweep system by Paramount.  This will allow me to spend more time enjoying my pool and far less time actually cleaning it.  This system uses what are known as SwingJets to push any debris down to the specially designed main drain where it will be removed from the pool.


Jandy Versa Plumb System

As far as the equipment at the filter pad goes I would use a Jandy pump, filter, and heat pump.  Jandy has specific pumps, filters, and heat pumps that work with their Versa Plumb system.  The Versa Plumb system is basically a pre-determined way of plumbing the equipment.  It comes with all the necessary pipe and fittings to do so.  The benefit is that it increases efficiency and hydraulics.  This will allow me to save money in the long run.  In addition to that I would use an Ultra UV and Clear O3 from Paramount as a way to clean the water itself.  This will dramatically reduce the amount of chemicals I will need to put in the pool.

AquaLink RS One Touch

One last thing that I would do is install an automation system by Zodiac to complete my ideal swimming pool.  With Zodiac automation I can control all the aspects of the pool from the comfort of my home.  Think of it like a thermostat on the wall.  From there I can adjust the temperature of the pool, the speed of the pump, and I could even change the lighting.  In addition to that I could also get the iAquaLink which would allow me to do all of those things from my smart phone.  There are so many things that can be done using this automation that can make your pool your own backyard oasis.

These are just some of the things that I would do if I were installing a pool in my own backyard.  Throughout the years I have had the privilege of working with some of the best products on the market.  What you have just read is a combination of the best of the best that I would certainly use on my own pool.  The purpose of this post is simply to give my readers an idea of what is out there for their pools, and what I find to be the best.  For more information on vinyl liner in ground swimming pools check out my other blog posts.  For more information on Paramount Pool Systems check out their website at You can find more information on Zodiac/Jandy at

The Thrill of Owning an In Ground Swimming Pool

There is a feeling of pride that people get which comes with owning an in ground swimming pool.  I think that this feeling of pride comes from the fact that they have something beautiful in their backyard and it is also something that brings them much joy each and every year.  I am sure that for some it is the fact that they have something that their neighbors don’t have.  For others it may be due to the smiles that the pool brings upon the faces of their children.  Some may see it as a status symbol, while others may not even take into consideration that their neighbors envy them.  Regardless of how this feeling of pride comes about, the fact remains that it is there.  In addition to that feeling of pride, a swimming pool offers much more than most people even realize.

In the past I have gone into detail about the different benefits that an in ground swimming pool offers.  Today I just want to recap on some of these things.  Lets start with the fact that having your very own swimming pool can possibly allow you to save money in the long run.  Many people take summer vacations every year and take their families to different places.  It has been a while since I have gone anywhere on vacation but way back when I did, I recall it costing a pretty penny.  I am not the type that takes a vacation every year but just based off the last time that I did I can assume that doing it over and over each year would eventually add up over time.  This cost would quickly out weigh the cost of installing your own pool.  In addition to that if you are the type of person that typically takes their family to the local public pool throughout the summer you are probably aware that there is some cost associated with that as well.  It may be a membership fee, the cost of gassing up the car twice a week to get there, or the cost of snacks, and drinks while you are there.  With an in ground pool of your own these costs would drop off significantly.  What I have just described is what is known as a staycation.  That is where a family invests money in their own backyard anticipating that they will stay home during the summer and use their own backyard as their vacation spot.  The quality of that staycation is dependent on how much time and money you put into the backyard.  Some people may be fine with doing the minimum, while others go all out and get the best of the best.  Typically an in ground pool plays a huge role in this staycation, but those going all out usually take it a couple steps further.  Once they get a pool they compliment it with a magnificent landscape.  Or they incorporate and out door kitchen or fire place into the design to give their backyard a complete makeover.  It truly is an investment.  People do all of these changes anticipating that the new backyard space will act as a vacation spot for their family for years to come.  If they do it right then the amount of money they save by not going to some exotic location each year will eventually out weigh the amount of money that they spent on the backyard.  This is just one thing that having your own swimming pool can offer.
There are also some physical benefits to owning a swimming pool as well.  I have written before about how swimming can benefit the body.  Swimming is a work out,  additionally it is a low impact workout.  That being said, swimming is the perfect work out for older people, or pregnant women.  I know that when my wife was pregnant she was alway uncomfortable and one way that she could get some relief was to get into the pool.  Floating around in the pool took a lot of the stress out of her lower back and joints.

I maintain that it is important for children to learn how to swim.  Originally I thought that it was a good idea just for safety reasons, but as I learned more and more about it I began to realize that for younger children especially, learning to swim aids in the development of their thinking ability as well.  Studies show that the act of teaching young children to swim helps develop their minds.  It comes down to listening and following direction.  Still, teaching your children how to swim for safety reasons is valid enough for me.

Another thing that you should consider is the fact that a swimming pool offers a fantastic place to just relax.  With the right type of lighting a swimming pool can become a place for romantic dinners on the deck.  Keep in mind that the decision to get a pool should not just come from the fact that your kids want one.  Don’t get me wrong that is a good reason to consider getting a pool, but you should also get enjoyment out of it as well.  Once the kids go to bed the pool can become a place for you and your significant other to sit, relax, and let all the stresses of the day go away.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, a swimming pool is a wonderful addition to the backyard cook out.  It goes without saying that you would need a pool to successfully have a pool party as well.  If you are the type of person that enjoys entertaining then an in ground pool would go a long way.

These are just some reasons why owning an in ground swimming pool offers a thrill for people young and old alike.  For more information on in ground swimming pools in general please check out my other blog posts.

The Backyard Staycation

There has been an increase in the amount of people putting money into their own backyards rather than spending it on expensive vacations.  More and more people are taking advantage of the concept of the staycation.  In case you are not aware a staycation is when someone, or a family of individuals take time off of work and use that time to just stay home and enjoy their time together in their own backyards.  The key to fully enjoying their time at home is in the remodeling of their backyard landscaping.  Many times this remodeling includes the installation of a pool.  In the past I have written about the different benefits of owning a swimming pool and how it can bring a family together.  I have also gone into depth about the cost and work that goes into a pool.  In My opinion to get the best bang for your buck, a vinyl liner in ground pool is the best bet.

When it comes to the different types of pools out there, you have several choices.  Without going into all of the details of each type of pool, I want you to know that a vinyl liner in ground pool is the most economically sound and efficient.  If you are looking for a bit more on the differences in the style of in ground pools, please check out my blog post titled “Why my vinyl liner pool is better than other types of in ground pools”.

In addition to having a pool installed in the backyard, many people are also completely re-doing their backyard landscape all together, or adding a deck.  Another big thing right now that can dramatically enhance your backyard space is an outdoor kitchen.  This will usually include a grill, refrigerator, counter space, and in some cases a fire pit.  These are all things that people are getting to enhance their backyards to get them ready for a staycation.  With all that in mind you can be looking at a fairly substantial expenditure.  However, instead of thinking of it as money spent, you can see it as a investment for you and your family.  It will require some planning and more than likely you will want to consult a landscaper before getting started.  If you are looking to go all out and add a pool to your backyard design, you may want to consider a vinyl liner in ground pool.  Out of the types of pools available I find that vinyl liner pools are the way to go.  These pools are more structurally sound that a one piece fiberglass pool and more cost effective that a concrete pool.  Basically you will get the biggest bang for your buck and it will likely allow some breathing room in your budget to accommodate some of the other things you may be wanting to include in your backyard space.

You may be thinking that your own backyard is not big enough for all of these things.  You may be surprised to find out that a backyard staycation can be attained in the smallest of yards.  A vinyl liner in ground pool can be designed to fit even small backyards leaving room for your other must haves.  As far as the aesthetics and functionality of said pool, it will be up to you.  If you have a smaller backyard that can’t accommodate a large pool then your should not expect to be doing laps in the pool.  Rather you should expect a pool that will be used more for relaxation and a way to cool down in the heat of the summer.  As far as the aesthetics of the pool, and smaller pool can offer a beautiful focal point to any backyard, and with the proper landscaping around the pool you can very well have a pool that appears as though it belongs there.  I know that in Australia many residents have smaller backyards and still have beautiful pools.

The concept of a backyard staycation is attainable for many people with the proper planning and budgeting.  It will likely be a project in which a landscaper and pool builder will have to collaborate to create a master piece.  For more information on vinyl liner in ground swimming pools, please check out my other blog posts.

Landscaping – Swimming pool builder – Working together

I have recently read an article in “the Edge” magazine about how to achieve a successful collaboration between a pool builder and a landscape designer.  This article can be found in the 2014 first quarter copy.  I found it to be very informative and would like to offer my readers the gist of what it is about.  We all know that with the internet we can obtain information in a matter of seconds.  We have the luxury of researching things with far more ease than the generations that came before us.  That being said when it comes to building your pool or doing your landscaping around the pool, you should first look into what has been done and what company you should hire to do these things.  More often than not you will have to hire two different companies to do both of these things.  There are few companies that build pools and do landscape designs.  Today I just want to give you some insight on how to get your pool and landscaping done efficiently while working with two different companies.

First off you will want to research the companies you hire.  Look on line and see if there are any reviews available that were written by their previous clients.  This will give you some pretty good insight as to weather or not to hire them.  After all, when someone has spent a good chunk of money on something they will not be too reluctant to share their experience.  Especially if they can do it on line, in written form.  If they are unhappy with the outcome then they will not hesitate to share it with others.  That is the beauty of the internet.  You can use the experience of others to make an educated decision about your own project.  I also want to stress that while you may have an idea in your head about how you want things to look in the end, it is important to remember that the landscape architect is there to do the designing.  However it is acceptable for you to come to the designer with some ideas that you like and ask that they incorporate them into their design.  Most designers will be happy to accommodate you.  That is another nice thing about the internet, it has Pintrest.

Pintrest is a good resource for researching landscaping and pool ideas.  Another important key to a successful pool/landscaping project is having a pool builder and landscape architect that see eye to eye.  If your builder and landscaper are constantly butting heads then you will likely have a not so desirable experience and the outcome will reflect that.

Conversely if your pool builder and landscaper work well together then you will likely have a positive experience and the outcome will reflect that.  A few things happen when the builder and landscaper are on the same page.  First is that any problems that may arise during the process will be solved effectively and in a timely manner.  Second is that they will likely be in good spirits which will show in the end.  Third is that they will likely learn from one another.  In many instances when a builder and landscaper work well together they can both make suggestions and take them to heart.  You will not find that kind of interaction with a landscaper and builder who don’t see eye to eye.  This will not only benefit you by having your backyard be the result of people who work well together, but it will also help others because that builder and landscaper will likely remember the suggestions for their next job.  So you may be wondering how to ensure that your landscaper and pool builder work well together.

There are some things that you can do to help them out.  One thing that you can do is make sure that their roles in the project are clearly defined.  If you have two different companies working in the same backyard then you want to make sure that the pool builder understands that the design that the landscape architect created, and you signed off on, is the plan you want.  Sometimes when situations arise during the build, the best solution may conflict with the overall design.  This is where a good working relationship between the builder and landscaper is key.  Obviously in this type of situation something will need to be done.  With a good working relationship the builder and landscaper can talk about what needs to be done, and what is the best way to do it.  If it comes down to changing the design a touch, then it will be up to the landscaper to do so and bring it to your attention.  This way everybody is on the same page and there will be no surprises in the end.  After all you are the customer, and ultimately if you are not happy then they are not happy.  These are some things that can help ensure that your backyard project turns out beautifully.

Only Alpha’s Garden Gems

There is an ongoing mindset that bigger and more is better.  In almost every aspect of American life people strive to have the biggest and the best.  We do this with our cars, houses, and swimming pools as well as food portions.  We have extra large sodas, plates of food that we couldn’t, or shouldn’t finish.  It seems like everything is about the biggest and the best.  I have recently been posting pictures of very nice swimming pools on our Facebook page.  In doing that I noticed again that people are striving for very large swimming pools.  However through my research I have found some very nice and tranquil looking smaller swimming pools.  That being said I want to take this opportunity to stress that in regard to swimming pools sometimes less is more.  I have seen some very nice smaller pools that I would be happy to call my own.  Only Alpha Pool Products has an entire line of swimming pools dedicated the idea that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.  This post is all about our Garden Gems.

Basically with our building materials one could build any size or shape pool they desire.  That includes our Garden Gem line of vinyl liner in ground swimming pool.  With everybody wanting more and more I am pleased to be able to offer these smaller yet beautiful pools for the more modest home owner.  I understand that this line of smaller pools is not for everybody.  A family with multiple children might find that a larger pool better fits their needs.  Another thing that you will want to consider in addition to the size of the pool is the depth of the pool.  These Garden Gems aren’t necessarily designed to function as diving pools.  However If you are looking for more of a place to relax and enjoy the sounds of the water and the sounds of nature around you then you may be more inclined to consider a smaller pool.

Lets take a look at a few pools that I consider to be Garden Gems.


This pool is one that I had posted on our Facebook page.  Looking at this pool, it is clear that it was designed to bring a kind of tranquil beauty to this back yard.  It is complimented by the landscaping around it.  This pool appears as if it is a hidden treasure in the middle of beautiful garden which makes it a very good example of a Garden Gem.  In my opinion this pool would be a wonderful place to relax after a long day.


This next pool is another one that maintains that simplistic beauty that is easily attainable with the Garden Gem line.  It again has little concrete around it, which makes it seem as though it belongs there.  This one also has a gorgeous pool house and stone wall nearby.  In the foreground of the photo, a couple hedge rows give the feeling that this pool is in a secluded location, surrounded by nature.  Here they have set out some lounge chairs for themselves and guests to relax in.

Here you can see how this pool and the one above are similar in that they are both smaller rectangular pools.  The difference is in the landscaping and architecture of the pool houses.  Many different feelings can be achieved by altering the way the area around the pools is designed.  The pool to the left is equipped with deck jets as well.  This would give the owners and guests the relaxing sounds of running water.  There is a bit more concrete around this pool, but I don’t think that it necessarily hurts the overall aesthetic value of the pool.  However with the amount of concrete and the architecture of the pool house, I get more of a suburban feel from it.  In the last photo, the architecture of the pool house and landscaping around the pool offer a more countryside feel.

This next pool offers a completely different feel all together.  For starters this pool breaks away from the rectangular shape and heads for more of a natural look.  That, coupled with the awe striking landscaping around it makes this pool stand out from the others that we have seen thus far.  Clearly a lot of time and thought went into the design of this Garden Gem.  The multiple levels and planter areas around the pool offer an eye catching focal point to what would likely be an ordinary backyard.

The point of all of this is to demonstrate that bigger is not always better.  In some cases a smaller pool can be far more interesting than a large pool.  The few pools that I have shown here today are all in my opinion representative of Garden Gems.  A Garden Gem is a concept.  It can be any shape, but typically it will be smaller and complimented by the area around it.  As you have seen, it can be enclosed by nature, or it can be somewhat open.  Either way I find these Garden Gems to be much more interesting and aesthetically pleasing than the larger cookie cutter pools.  So if you are contemplating getting a pool, give the Garden Gem some serious consideration.  If that is the route you want to go I would also recommend checking out some ideas on Pintrest as well.  Like us on Facebook to see even more Garden Gems, and other amazing pools.