Cozy Up Your Backyard for Fall

cozy up your backyard

As we head into fall, a kaleidoscope of colors can be found right outside. Pumpkin flavored coffee, scones, and pies are readily available at your local bakery while Halloween candy and decorations fill the stores. Now is also the perfect time to cozy up your backyard with pool redesign or any one of the following features.

Add Warmth

As the days become shorter, and the temperatures dip lower, it’s time to bring some warmth back into your backyard. Fireplaces, fire pits or fire woks tend to be quite popular because of their ability to be the center point of a fun evening, with friends and family. Most can be set up for natural gas, propane, or wood burning.

Outdoor Kitchens

An outdoor kitchen is another great way to make a statement in any backyard landscaping or pool project. Typically, an outdoor kitchen includes a grill or some other cooking element, counter and storage space, and possibly a sink and mini fridge. You will need to hire a licensed contractor for elements that require plumbing, gas or electricity.

Spas

Built-in spas offer a relaxing element to your swimming pool, and can be used year ‘round, thus maximizing your return on investment. The benefits to these spas don’t just end there! A custom spa provides countless benefits including health, relaxation, family time, and romance. The design options for in-ground spas are as varied as the options for a custom swimming pool.

LED Lights

A beautiful backyard landscape without an outdoor lighting system is like a pool without water. Technological advancements in lighting systems like LEDs can truly transform an area at night. Depending on the model you choose, LEDs can create light shows, either below the water or anywhere they are professionally installed. LEDs are also more energy-efficient than standard outdoor lighting systems.

Opening Your Pool

opening your pool

As the days get a little warmer and a little longer, it easy for our thoughts to turn to shedding those extra layers, and spending long afternoons lounging poolside. Opening your pool for the summer season, however, requires more effort than just filling it up and jumping in. In business in Arizona for more than 25 years, Platinum Pools and Spas knows the importance of opening your pool for the season correctly. If a pool is properly opened, you can be assured proper operation and chemistry levels.

Get your summer season off to the right start in six easy steps.

Step 1: Check Supplies

While many swimming pool chemicals stay good for years if stored correctly, some pool-maintenance supplies like test strips and reagents expire more quickly, depending on the brand. Old supplies can give inaccurate results. If your supplies are expired, it may be better to discard them and replace them with new when you reopen your pool.

Step 2: Remove Leaves and Debris

Before removing the cover, remove leaves, dirt and general debris from the pool cover and surrounding deck or patio. For maximum cleanliness, with minimal effort, we recommend using a leaf blower. Any standing water should be removed as well. This will prevent dirt and debris from working its way into the pool.

Step 3: Uncover the Pool

Once you remove the cover, you will want to take the time to properly clean, fold and store it. Spending a few minutes now will save you money on the cost of a new cover. If you have the space, spread out the cover, spraying it off with the highest pressure your hose allows. Let dry. Then fold and store. The cooler the storage, the better.

Step 3: Check the Water Level

If you have an automatic water leveler, you can skip this step. For the pump to function properly, the water needs to be in the middle of the skimmer opening or halfway up the waterline tile. Add water accordingly. While waiting for the pool to fill, check and test all equipment including handrails, diving boards and slides for loose bolts.

Step 4: Check the Water Chemistry

It is important to test the water early. After a mandatory 24-hour run time, check the water’s pH level, total alkalinity, hardness of water due to calcium, and so forth. You can do this using test strips or take a sample of your pool water to your nearest pool supply store. Safe and proper levels should be:

  • Total Alkalinity – 80 to 120 ppm
  • pH Level – 7.4 to 7.6
  • Free Available Chlorine – 2.0 to 4.0 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness – 200 to 400 ppm
  • Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) – 30 to 50 ppm

*PPM – part per million

Step 5: Brush and Vacuum the Pool

Thoroughly brushing your pool’s walls is one of the most effective ways to keep your pool clean. Vacuum weekly to keep the water squeaky clean, increase the efficiency of the pool’s circulation system, and reduce the amount of chemicals you’ll need to add to it. Cleaning out strainer baskets at least once a week also helps to keep the pool clean.

Step 6: Clean Outdoor Furniture

Whether it looks like it needs it or not, you should make a point of cleaning your outdoor patio furniture regularly to prevent it from becoming weathered and faded by the elements, therefore making it last longer. Just fill up a bucket, get a sponge, and go to work. Let dry. Replace any furnishings that are unstable, torn or rotted.

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy!

Backyard Improvement Projects in the New Year

 

backyard improvement

Despite our best intentions, only a tiny percentage of us follow through when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, such as losing weight, eating healthier foods, becoming financially secure, making more time for self-care. In fact, according to Statistic Brain, only 9.2% of people are successful at achieving their New Year’s goals.

How about adding a New Year’s resolution that provides numerous benefits including increased property values? Now – while it is still cold outside – is the perfect time of year to start planning backyard improvement projects for you and your family to enjoy during the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

Backyard Improvement Ideas

Swimming Pool: Nothing else can transform your backyard quite like an inground swimming pool. Whether you envision a tranquil lagoon or exotic oasis, building a swimming pool gives you the most opportunities to customize, therefore ensuring your creativity is expressed. Adding pool and landscape lighting can extend the time you get to spend with your loved ones outdoors well into the night.

Patio Decking: One of the biggest trends in outdoor design today is a custom pool deck. You can create a beautiful, albeit simple space for lounging using any number of popular material options including travertine, stone, pavers, cement, and composite. These materials are available in a wide variety of textures, designs, and colors. Best of all, these materials are designed with your safety in mind, as they are slip resistant.

Outdoor Fire Pits: Imagine sitting outside surrounded by your friends and family on a cool Arizona winter night, gazing up at the stars, embraced by the warmth of a crackling fire. Now imagine enjoying this picturesque evening in the comfort of your own backyard. A fire pit is one of the most common fire features homeowners choose to incorporate in their backyard improvement projects.

Built-in Spas: Built-in spas offer a relaxing element to your swimming pool, and can be used year ‘round, thus maximizing your return on investment. The benefits to these spas, however, don’t end there! A custom spa provides countless benefits including health, relaxation, family time, and romance. The design options for in-ground spas are as varied as the options for a custom swimming pool.

Experience Total Control with Pool Automation

pool automation

How would you like to put your pool on cruise control? With an automated control system, you can automate maintenance functions like sanitization, heating and filtration, and control ambient features such as lighting and water features using only your smartphone or tablet. An automated control system can also save you money – often reducing energy costs by as much as 70 percent. *

Whether you include pool automation in the construction of a new pool or the remodel of your existing pool, you’ll make it easier than even before to spend more time with your friends and family, enjoying the many benefits of pool ownership. Pool owners considering pool automation have a number of different automated control systems available to them. Here are a few simple ways to get started with pool automation:

OnCommand®

OnCommand® is an affordable automated control system that can be installed on existing pools. It lets you control your pool’s pump, filter, heater, lighting and more, as well as set schedules for totally hands-off operation. OnCommand® can also be connected to an optional floating wireless remote for the ultimate in poolside convenience (sold separately).

Total Control with E-Command® 4

The technology and programming flexibility afforded by the E-Command® 4 ensures equipment runs at peak performance for minimum energy usage and cost. You can set schedules for your pool’s equipment or control them manually from a wireless remote (sold separately). With a built-in subpanel, this system is the easiest, most cost-effective way to incorporate time-saving automation when building a new pool.

Manage Your Pool and Spa’s Chemistry

Homeowners barely have to lift a finger to ensure a clean, chemically balanced pool ready for use at any time, with the Total Pool Chemistry® management system. With the ability to integrate Sense and Dispense, the Total Pool Chemistry® management system continuously monitors chlorine and pH levels, and automatically adjusts the water chemistry as needed. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that!

Add-Ons That Make Maintenance Effortless

System add-ons such as Hayward’s AquaConnect Interface give you the ultimate in streamlined control and monitoring. Compatible with Hayward’s line of automated control systems, this interface gives you the freedom to access, control and monitor your system from a smartphone, tablet or computer – anywhere and anytime. Just think how amazing it would be to have total control at your fingertips.

Are you ready to simplify your life with pool automation? Contact Platinum Pools & Spas today for more information on all of our available automated control systems and receive a FREE Hayward ColorLogic® LED Pool Light with any new or remodeled pool. *

*Free ColorLogic® LED Pool Light with the purchase of a new or remodeled pool project over $10,000 and if purchased by 10/31/16. Does not include homebuilder pool programs and/or previous discounts or offers.

Making Waves with a Pool Renovation

pool renovation

Ah the pool, the one thing that every homeowner dreams of, when they imagine their backyard oasis. Having a swimming pool makes beating the Arizona heat a breeze. A swimming pool creates an alluring ambiance that enhances your time spent outdoors. Investing in pool renovation can transform a boring or plain pool into a work of art. Here are some of the more popular pool renovation ideas.

LEDs

Technological advancements such as LEDs can make a big difference in your backyard. LED fixtures are among one of the more cost-effective updates that can transform the area. Depending on the model, LEDs can create light shows, either below the water or anywhere in the pool area. LEDs are more energy-efficiency compared to standard lights.

Waterline Tile

“Out with the old and in with the new.” New waterline tile can dramatically alter the look of your pool. Waterline tile choices are endless: Smooth concrete, glass, quartz, and other decorative tiles all add interest to your pool’s interior. This update goes great with pool resurfacing or new decking.

Salt Water Systems

Salt water systems may conjure visions of invigorating ocean swims, but they are not as nearly as salty, nor as unsanitary (if properly maintained). The benefits of salt water systems are many: They allow the pool water to be gentler on the skin, and despite popular belief, do not use much salt.

Automatic Levelers

These simple, cost-effective levelers automatically maintain the water level of your pool, so you do not have to. They add convenience and peace of mind. Automatic levelers, whether built-in or aftermarket, protects your pool from water evaporation and your equipment from burnout. They are the perfect solution for worry-free pool refills.

Automatic Covers

Automatic covers can be installed on a wide range of pools, regardless of shape or size, and provide a number of benefits for homeowners. Automatic covers provide peace of mind knowing that there is another layer of protection between the pool’s water and your loved ones. They also save you money on heating, chemical, water, and electricity costs.

Fire Features

Make a statement with the use of fire in and around your swimming pool. From glowing fire pits and fire bowls, to blazing tiki torches and fire troughs, the options for making a striking visual are endless. Fire features have the added benefit of providing ambiance when entertaining or enjoying the pool at night.

Energy-efficient Pool Pumps

Although new pool equipment may not be exciting to look at, it will save you money in the long run, while being much less noisy. Energy-efficient pool pumps can run at different speeds, compared to conventional pool pumps with only one speed, allowing you to save considerable energy and money.

Pool Resurfacing

This is one of the best things you can do for your pool. Smooth pool plaster, available in a wide variety of colors, is the among the most affordable pool resurfacing options. In a desert environment, however, surfaces such as Pebble Tec® and glass match the natural surroundings much better than plaster. Making them a popular choice among homeowners.

By: Lifestyles Media Group

Enhance your pool and landscape with LED lighting!

LED lighting for Pools and SpasLED lighting for pools and spas is becoming increasingly popular mostly due to the variety of lighting effects and colors of newer systems. The visual quality is brighter, stronger and more appealing compared to older lighting systems. Not only that, but LED light is eco-friendly as they use far less electricity and can last up to six times longer than incandescent lighting.

The real attraction of LED lighting, however is the brilliant visual appeal. The lights are able to change to suit any mood or event. Today’s best color-changing LED pool lights feature numerous light options—from static colors like blue, green, magenta, red and white to dynamic pre-programmed light shows that enhance nighttime pool-scapes with rich and vibrant colors. Plus, most allow you to also choose the speed at which the colors change, further allowing you to achieve a particular ambiance.

Choosing the particular color or light show for your pool is usually a simple process of stepping through the selections until you find your desired setting. Other systems allow you to include a dedicated controller to make choosing and programming your lights even easier and synchronize LED lights in your pool or spa.

LED lights are not only great for lighting your pool, but can be used throughout your landscape to enhance the look of your pool and surrounding area.

If you have questions on LED lighting for your pool, please contact the experts at Platinum Pools.