When the temperature drops pool owners shouldn’t worry if water freezes across your pool’s surface. Your main concern should be with your pool pipes and equipment. If your pool equipment isn’t winterized, water can freeze inside of your pump, filter or heater damaging these components so it’s important to keep water flowing through your pool’s system the entire time the temperature is freezing.
There are things you can do to prevent costly repairs and replacement:
Keep your system running 24/7
Most automation systems (Pentair, Hayward, Jandy iAqualink) have built in freeze protection settings that will activate once temperatures get below 39/40 degrees. Your system will run continuously until the temperatures elevate back above 39/40 and will resume your regular schedule.
If you do not have an automation system and have a dial timer (timeclocks), you can take the ON and OFF clips off of the dial timer and let your system run continuously so there is always water moving through your system.
If you have a second auxillary pump for water features or a waterfall, you will want to make sure to turn that pump on and run it continuously as well until the temperatures elevate back above freezing.
Be sure to keep an eye on your equipment. If for any reason your freeze protection setting is not activated by the temp sensor, put your pool into service mode at the automation panel and start the pumps manually. Leave it running 24/7 until the temperatures rise back above freezing.
DON’T let your water level drop.
In many homes, the swimming pool is within eyesight of the backyard, so it’s easy to see when the water is down. But for others, the swimming pool is out of view. If you don’t have a water timer or refill mechanism, make sure your pool stays full because your equipment can freeze if air gets through the skimmers and into the system.
DO NOT cover your pool heater with insulation or a blanket.
It could accumulate moisture which can corrode the heater’s interior parts causing the coils inside to deteriorate or the burner compartment in the gas heater to rust.
The heater could turn on by itself or someone unfamiliar with your pool could turn it on accidentally while the cover is still on. The heat pump needs proper air flow over the coils. Without allowing fresh air in and flue gases out, the equipment won’t operate properly and become damaged causing an expensive repair.
If the power goes out and your pool system stops running:
Cut off the current to your equipment from the circuit breaker.
Open the air relief valve at the top of the filter. If your air bleed valve is frozen, open it up by melting the ice with warm water.
Remove all drain plugs and drain the water from the pump and heater and store them inside the pump basket. Then just place the lid over the pump basket, but don’t lock it down.
If you have a chlorinator, remove the tubbing and lid.
Open all your valves or adjust your 3-way valve to allow water through to all pipes back into the pool.
Freezing temperatures don’t happen too often in Houston, but when they do, it’s important to prepare! With the arctic blast scheduled to hit Houston on Thursday, taking the time to prepare your home and yard for the freeze could save you hundreds of dollars on burst pipes.
Prepare Your Sprinkler System
Follow the steps below to remove water and winterize your irrigation system.
STEP 1: TURN OFF THE SHUT-OFF VALVE
On most residential backflow devices, there are two shut-off valves. These are typically covered in blue rubber and are located before and after the actual backflow device.
STEP 2: RELEASE THE WATER PRESSURE
Now that you have shut off the water valve, you must release the water that is in the device so that it doesn’t expand when it freezes and crack the device. With a flat head screwdriver, loosen the two bleeder valves (#3 and #4 as illustrated). The bleeder valves are usually located just under the plastic top of the backflow. Sometimes, they have rubber inserts you have to remove before you can see the flathead screw. When opening these, be aware that the water will spew out for a few seconds and your hands will get wet. NOTE: If the water doesn’t stop spitting out after a couple minutes, you haven’t fully turned off the water in step 1.
STEP 3: LEAVE THE SMALLER BLEEDER VALVES OPEN
This will allow the water to expand and freeze without being hindered and causing damage.
STEP 4: INSULATE YOUR BACKFLOW
At almost all home improvements stores, they carry backflow preventer insulation materials. Amazon and other stores also carry insulated bags that can be slipped over your backflow and secured with velcro.
Following the above steps will help depressurize your system and prepare it for the freeze. There are so many variables that can cause one residents irrigation to freeze and the next door neighbors not to freeze, the biggest being is your backflow preventer being exposed to the north.
Many people start thinking about whether or not they want a pool when the weather starts to warm up. Come springtime, people are dreaming of summer, and the idea of having their own pool can start to sound really appealing. But spring actually isn’t the right time to start thinking about pool installation in Katy, TX. Believe it or not, you should start thinking about installing your own swimming pool when the weather starts to cool down, not when it’s starting to heat up. Keep reading to find out why fall and winter are the best times for this kind of work.
Take Time to Get It Right
Sticking a prefabricated pool in the ground can be done quickly. But if you want a custom pool that works perfectly with your landscape, creating that design takes time. It involves a full redesign of all of your landscape—one that doesn’t just find the most convenient place for your pool, but the best place for it. Then, the rest of the yard can be designed around your new pool to create a beautiful finished product.
If custom is something you’re interested in, starting earlier is always better. This gives you the time to get it right, to work out all the little details that will make your new pool truly perfect. An investment this big deserves the time it takes to create exactly what you’re looking for.
Take Advantage of the Slow Season
Like we said, a lot of people start thinking about pool installation in the spring. This means we start to get very busy with the warmer weather. Things slow down significantly in the fall and winter, making it a great time to sit down with a pool designer and get started on creating your pool. While we strive to give every client the attention they need, no matter how busy we are, you can meet with us more frequently and more easily on your schedule in the fall and winter.
And we’re not the only ones who slow down in fall and winter. Permit offices get less busy, too, since many people focus on renovations and upgrades of all kinds in the spring and summer. By applying for construction permits in fall and winter, you can likely get them cleared much faster than you would in spring and summer.
Enjoy It for Longer
When you start building a pool in the spring, odds are, you’re going to miss out on many months where the weather is warm enough to use your pool. Here in Texas, pool season starts fairly early. If you start on your pool design now and get into our schedule, your pool will most likely be finished early on in the warmer season. This gives you many more months to enjoy that new pool, instead of only getting to use it for a month or so before the weather gets too cold.
If custom swimming pools in Katy, TX, are appealing to you, then don’t wait too long to start working on your pool design. Fall and winter are the ideal time to get started, so contact one of our pool designers today to start creating your custom swimming pool.
A pool is little more than a water-filled hole in the ground—until you add the right accessories. With the right design and features, a swimming pool can become a perfect backyard retreat. But designing the ideal private getaway requires careful planning and a skilled swimming pool builder in Katy, TX, that can create an ideal pool space for your backyard. Keep reading to get a few tips on how to design the perfect backyard oasis.
Add Water Features
Few things can upgrade a backyard pool as quickly as adding a few water features. The look and sound of moving water is incredibly soothing, making your pool into a relaxing space almost instantly. There are countless water feature options out there, so it’s easy to find something that fits your space, pool design, and personal preferences.
Do you want a natural-looking pool that resembles a private jungle getaway? You can include cascading waterfalls over natural stones that tumble beautifully into your pool, or a higher waterfall with a hidden cave behind it. Looking for something with a more modern design? Add a water spout that appears to send water leaping around your pool, or a sheer sheet of water that drops dramatically into your pool like liquid glass. With the right designer, the possibilities are endless.
Consider Outdoor Living
Your backyard shouldn’t be something you think of as separate from your home. It’s another part of your house, another living space that you can transform for your use. Once you install a pool in your backyard, you’re bound to spend a lot more time in this outdoor “room” of yours, so make sure that you design a comfortable outdoor living area.
This should include some kind of comfortable seating in a clearly established gathering area. Just as you would group seating in a living room, you should group seating on your pool deck as well, encouraging conversation when you enjoy the pool with family and friends. To further improve the usability of your outdoor space, consider other outdoor living features like a built-in grill, fire pit, or even a full outdoor kitchen. When your outdoor space has everything you need, you’ll never want to go back inside again!
Add Plenty of Shade
It’s important to think about just how much shade your backyard design is going to have. With all the time you’ll be spending outside, it’s important that you have enough shade to take a break from the sun every once in a while. You can add a shade to your deck—either permanent or retractable—or simply install a few large umbrellas around the pool. While not required, you may also want to think about having a portion of your pool shaded as well, so you can enjoy the water while avoiding direct sunlight, if you wish.
Keep Upkeep in Mind
When designing your swimming pool, consider just how much upkeep the design is going to require. Certain features are easier to maintain than others, but as a general rule, more features mean more things that can break. Pools require a significant amount of maintenance as it is, even with a very basic design. Be sure to ask your designer about the upkeep requirements of various features as you create the design together, so you know what to expect.
And remember that even the features out of our pool, in the surrounding decking and design, will require some upkeep. Outdoor kitchens need to be cleaned. Upholstery and some other outdoor furniture materials should be covered when not in use to prevent them from becoming brittle in the sunlight. Consider the maintenance of every aspect of your design and decide if you’re able to commit to that amount of work. Odds are, you’re not going to enjoy your pool if you simply resent the amount of work it requires.
Make It Functional for You
No matter how beautiful a design is, a pool or outdoor living area is useless if it doesn’t meet your needs. Make sure that the design you create is functional for you and your family. It’s always a good idea to discuss how you want to use your pool before you even begin to talk about the design.
Will you be entertaining in this space a lot? Do you have young kids? Do you want to use the pool to exercise, or just for casual swimming and relaxation? How many people do you anticipate using your backyard space at once? Answering these kinds of questions can help you begin designing your pool with your needs in mind so that the space is more functional for you.
If you’re ready to start creating your own perfect backyard retreat, contact Suncor Outdoors. We’re one of the best pool builders in Katy, TX, and we can help you design a swimming pool and outdoor living space that you love. Contact us to get started today.
A swimming pool is a wonderful backyard upgrade. But if you truly want to transform your backyard, then you need more than a swimming pool—you need a luxury pool. Yes, there is a difference between swimming pools and luxury pools in Katy, TX. But what is it? What sets a regular pool apart from a luxury one? Keep reading to learn how to build a true luxury pool in your own backyard.
The Right Material
There are generally three options to choose from for building an in-ground pool: vinyl liner, fiberglass, and concrete (also called gunite). Vinyl liners and fiberglass pool shells are typically cheaper than gunite; however, they also wear out more quickly and are prone to cracking and tearing. Additionally, they often come premade, which means you can’t truly customize your pool.
A luxury pool maintains its beauty for years and is designed and installed to blend well with your backyard; this requires customization and durability that the previous two options don’t offer. This means that the only choice for a true luxury pool is gunite.
The Right Design
As we already mentioned, a luxury pool isn’t a cookie-cutter, premade form you set into the ground. It’s custom-designed to fit your home’s aesthetic and the space requirements of your landscaping. This, of course, means that there’s no booklet of designs that qualify as being luxury pools. Rather, the right design for a luxury pool is one that complements your home’s façade, your other landscaping features, and your personal lifestyle and design preferences. In other words, a luxury pool is designed exclusively for you.
The Right Equipment
All swimming pools require some kind of equipment to keep the water clean and usable, so it’s not something unique to luxury pools. But a pool sure feels a lot less luxurious if you’re sweating in the hot sun with a skimmer every day, trying to clean it out.
If you want to take your pool to the next level, get the right maintenance equipment to make cleaning and maintaining your pool easier. For starters, make sure you have the right filter for your pool system. You can usually choose between paper cartridge filters and DE filters; consult with your pool builder to determine which works best for your pool, as well as the right size and capacity.
Additionally, talk about add-on equipment, like automatic pool covers, automatic refillers, and robotic pool cleaners to minimize the effort it takes to keep your pool sparkling clean all year long.
The Right Decking
No pool design is complete without a deck and other surrounding features. These should be just as luxurious in their design as the pool itself. The deck and landscaping should complement the pool in every way, turning it into a perfect oasis in your backyard. Depending on your pool design, your deck might use natural-looking stones for the decking or sleek, white slabs; the surrounding features might include waterfalls or bubble fountains. Again, it’s all about creating a design unique to you.
If you’re ready to build a luxury pool, contact Suncor Outdoors. We’re one of the top pool builders in Katy, TX, and we can help you design the perfect pool from scratch. Call us today!
If you’ve been considering installing a new pool for a while, and you’ve finally decided to move ahead with the project, you’re probably eager to start with construction. But if you want a pool that you know you’re going to love for years to come, it’s important to slow down and make sure that you’re choosing a design that’s perfect for you. When designing custom swimming pools in Katy, TX, you’re essentially given a blank template on which to create your ideal swimming pool—a thrilling, but often overwhelming concept. Where do you even begin? Well, we have the answer. Keep reading for tips on choosing the perfect pool design for your home.
Start with a Property Assessment
Before you start considering what features and design you want for your pool, it’s a good idea to begin with a professional assessment of your property. Have your pool builder come out and take a look at your backyard. We’ll measure available space, make note of backyard landscaping features and structures, and get an idea of what kind of space we’re working with. Your yard has a large impact on what your options are, so get this done first, before you fall in love with a design or an idea that just won’t work in your space.
Talk about Your Budget
Next, you should sit down with one of our designers and talk about your budget. We take your budget very seriously, and we’ll work to find a design you love that fits your financial constraints. But it is important to keep in mind that your budget is another factor that largely impacts the options available to you. If you have a large budget, you might have a long list of material options and add-on features to choose from; smaller budgets will have fewer choices, but we can still find something that works beautifully in your yard.
Explore Trends and Past Projects
Now that we’ve addressed the factors that will impact your pool design, it’s time to get inspired. We encourage you to look at photos of our past projects to see pools we’ve built before. You should also explore current trends in pool design, water features, and decking to see what the latest styles are for this type of project.
You might find that you love certain elements of one design, but don’t love everything about it. That’s perfectly fine! Those photos are not a catalog you have to choose from. Make notes about the things you love and the things you hate, and we can help you blend those elements together into one perfect design for you.
Start Designing Your Pool
Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can work with one of our custom pool builders to start on the actual design! This is a very exciting step in the process for most of our clients, as you get to see your vision mapped out right in front of you. Our pool designers are some of the best in the business, and they can continue working with you and tweaking your design until it’s absolutely perfect. We’ll also talk to you about other elements of your pool not related to the design—the type of pool you want (saltwater or chlorinated), the pump system, filter systems, and so on.
And once that design is something you truly love, we’ll get to work constructing it in your yard. We are experts in new pool construction in Katy, TX, and our contractors can bring that design you created to life. If you’re ready to get started on designing your new pool, contact Suncor Outdoors today and speak to one of our professional pool designers!
Summer is more than halfway over. If you’ve spent the last couple of months just dreaming of having your own swimming pool to escape the summer heat, you might be about ready to dive in (pun intended) and start working with a swimming pool builder in Katy, TX. But with summer drawing to a close, you might be wondering if it’s too late to get one built. Keep reading to find out.
Summertime Is Busy for Pool Builders
First, it’s important to be aware that summer is an incredibly busy time for swimming pool builders. Not only is it the time of year when many people start thinking about getting a pool, but the weather is also usually hot and dry, making it easier to complete this kind of construction. With all that being said, pool builders are usually working on multiple projects throughout the summer—but those projects start winding down near the end of the season.
While half of the summer may have passed you by, this could also mean that the contractor you want to work with has fewer projects going on now. This can allow you to get more of their time and can even reduce some of the turnaround time on getting your project done since they can focus their attention on your pool.
Project Time Can Vary
Additionally, you should know that the turnaround time for pool installation can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. For example, if you already know exactly what you want your pool to look like and all the features you want, you’ll be able to skip over weeks of work with a pool designer. So, if this is something you’ve already put a lot of thought into, you might be able to streamline the process and get your pool done sooner than you thought possible.
Pool Season Goes Beyond Summer
This is Texas. Pools are usable for far longer than the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day! You can expect warm weather to hang out until the end of September most years, which means you’ll still have time to enjoy your new pool before the weather gets too chilly. Plus, you’ll be ready for when the weather begins warming up in the springtime, and you can go for a swim on the first warm day of the year!
You Can Heat It Up
Finally, don’t forget that you don’t have to let the weather dictate when and how you use your swimming pool. Pool heaters are more efficient and affordable than ever, so you could keep your pool warm enough to provide an enjoyable swimming hole in your yard for months to come. You could also elect to add a hot tub to your pool design; this turns your construction from something to be used in the summer to a backyard retreat that you can enjoy throughout the year, no matter what the weather may be.
If you’re interested in custom swimming pools in Katy, TX, contact Suncor Outdoors today. We’ll get your project started right away, so you still have plenty of time to enjoy your swimming pool.
Having a pool in your backyard is already a serious upgrade over one without. But what if you want to take that backyard pool to the next level? What if you want a truly luxurious experience and a resort-like look at your swimming pool? Well, it all comes down to having the right features in your pool design. If you want to know which parts you should include for a luxury pool design in your own backyard, check out these suggestions from our pool builders in Katy, TX.
Few pools are more glamorous or luxurious than an infinity pool. Of course, that dramatic, edgeless overflow is challenging to do in a backyard setting. But you can achieve a similar effect with a perimeter overflow instead. Rather than having the water flow over one edge to a dramatic drop-off, the water flows over all 4 of its sides into a hidden slot or catch basin. The water is then recycled back into the pool via the pump system.
This design gives you that beautiful, edgeless look all-around your pool that is so stunning in an infinity pool. The beauty of the water constantly flowing over all of its edges is captivating to both the eyes and the ears, creating a wonderful experience every time you set foot in your backyard.
Perhaps you want a more natural yet still luxurious pool in your yard. A cave feature is a perfect way to achieve this. You can literally design your own grotto getaway by building a cave on one end of your pool. Include a waterfall cascading down in front of it, and you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to a hidden paradise as you slip back into your beautiful cave and relax behind the falling water.
Depending on the size of your cave, you can include other features inside of it as well, such as built-in seats or even a swim-up bar for an authentic resort feel. Or, you can simply add some colored lights for a lovely, intimate spot in your own swimming pool.
Water features aren’t the only thing you can add to your swimming pool. Why not add an entirely different element by working fire features into the design of the pool’s deck? There are countless fire features to choose from, including fire pits, bowls, troughs, and torches. All of these add beauty and drama to your pool space while also providing functional lighting for entertaining and gathering with your friends and family.
An automatic cover might not add much flair to your swimming pool, but its functionality simply can’t be beaten. Cleaning and maintaining a pool is a lot of work, and covering your pool up when it’s not in use is one of the best ways to minimize that work. Putting on a pool cover reduces evaporation of the water, helps keep chemical levels in check and prevents leaves and other debris from falling in the water—all of which makes it easier to maintain.
Plus, a sturdy automatic cover (though not designed to hold weight) can provide a bit extra safety if you have small children, as they’ll fall on the pool cover instead of into the water if they happen to get into the pool area unattended.
If you want a backyard pool that’s more of a retreat than a water-filled hole in the ground, contact Suncor Outdoors today. Our Katy pool builders can create stunning original pool designs to give you the luxurious pool you’ve been dreaming of.
Getting a new in-ground pool is no small investment. It can cost you tens of thousands of dollars, so it’s not something you want to do with the wrong builder. Here are a few factors you should consider before hiring a pool builder for the job.
Get at least three bids. You should never go with the first person you find. To ensure you’re getting a fair price on your pool, have at least three builders put in a bid on the project. When comparing the bids, make sure to pay attention to what is being included in the bid amount.
Ask about their designs. Some builders work off a few basic templates for their pools, and they don’t deviate much from them. This might work for some people, but if you want something designed to fit your yard better, find a builder that employs expert designers.
Look at their past projects. Ask for references as well as photos of the pools they’ve built. You don’t want a designer and builder whose style doesn’t fit with your own preferences.
Consider their experience. Look at the number of years they’ve been in business, as well as the kinds of projects they’ve completed in that time. Make sure they have experience with ones similar to yours.
Remember the area around your pool. It’s a good idea to find a contractor that can handle building your deck and fixing up the surrounding landscaping for a flawless, finished look.
Installing a new pool in your backyard is more than just a big investment—it’s a major undertaking that requires a lot of time, effort, and planning. Before you dive into this project (pun intended), it’s important that you ask the right questions and consider all of the important factors regarding your new pool installation. Keep reading to learn what you should know before you start working with pool companies in Katy, TX.
Why Do You Want a Pool?
It may seem like a silly question. After all, if you’ve decided you want a pool, does the reason behind it really matter? But in reality, the reason you want a pool can impact the design of your pool. Do you want a pool for swimming laps for exercise? Then you’ll need a rectangular pool for easy tracking of the distance you’ve done. Do you want a relaxing, calming place to get some sun? Then a sunbathing area with a nearby water feature might be what you need.
You should also think about who will be using the pool. If you have kids who will frequently be swimming in your new pool, you’ll want to give extra consideration to the pool depth and any extra safety features you need to make it safe for your kids. Understanding why you want your pool can point you in the right direction of what your pool should look like.
Where Will It Go in Your Yard?
Even before you speak to a contractor, it’s a good idea to take a look at your backyard and try to envision where a pool will best fit in your space. If your yard is small or oddly shaped, it might take some extra work to fit in a usable pool. But having a good idea of where you want your pool to fit will help you to discuss your design options with your pool installer. Of course, ultimately, you’ll want them to come to your backyard as well and help you make a final decision about the best location. We can help with determining the locations of underground pipes and lines to ensure that the location you prefer will be a safe and feasible spot for your pool.
What Shape and Style Do You Want?
Answering the above two questions will start pointing you in the right direction regarding the shape and style of your pool. But if your usage and yard don’t place too many restrictions on your pool’s size and shape, you can get a bit more creative with your pool’s design. But regardless of your pool’s size, you’ll still have some decisions to make regarding the final design style.
Do you want something natural that makes your pool look like a forest hideaway? Then you’ll want natural rock features and materials that blend with the landscape. Want something sleek and modern? A pool with straight lines, contrasting material colors, and chrome accents can be just the trick. Discuss your style preferences with a professional pool designer, and they can help you come up with something that suits your tastes.
If you’re interested in learning more about custom pools in Katy, TX, contact us at Suncor Outdoors to speak with one of our experienced pool designers today. We have years of experience designing and building pools of all sizes, shapes, and styles. Whether you want something simple and functional or an elaborately designed retreat, we can help. We’ll discuss your pool needs, budget and schedule a time to inspect your yard so that we can begin working on a design together.