The weather may have changed but we still build pools in (almost) any weather!
Here are some pictures of the progress on a large scale, backyard oasis:
Do you remember where we started?
and also this....
This image really highlights the construction process but also the different elements in the pool. We've got the skeleton of the pool house, the reef entry with it's natural flagstone. You can just see the curve of the spa in the lower left corner... that might be nice on a chilly night! On the right, you cans ee a curved wall. This is actually the bare bones of a tile waterfall.
Remember, though the weather is getting cooler, THIS is the time to plan your outdoor space! Contact a designer for an introduction to the pool design process. Or take a look at our informative e-tools to learn the basics about the different types of pools!
In order to give our clients the best possible design/ pool experience, we go through a multi-step design process. In this article, I want to show off some of the ways we address client needs and the design/ build process. We use sketches, hand renderings, computer design, 3D design to bring ideas to life, construction design for the regulatory boards and our construction crews and then also show off some of our pools in process!
Residence 1: Linear Fiberglass Pool.
Initial drawings above. Hand colored renderings below.
Construction and process designs
Construction picture above. The final product below!
Residence 2: Free Form Pool (In Progress)
Initial CAD designs, working on the placement of pool and arrangement of features.
Two examples from our 3D imaging program. This is helpful for larger projects when there are many elements working together, like the pool house, decking, lighting, pool, hot tub here.
Architectural rendering for the pool house structure.
Construction drawings for crew.
We are still working on this project, as much of it is tiled. There is a lot of stone veneer and flagstone which we can't wait to highlight! Check back for completion pictures.
So many of our pool clients spend a lot of time dreaming about their new pool, outdoor playground and backyard oasis. Rightly so! We are always touched and tickled when our clients keep in touch with us and let us know how their project has turned out and how it's being enjoyed.
One of the project requirements on this fiberglass pool was that it had to be family firendly. This is a fairly simple pool, a standard rectangular design from Leisure Pools fiberglass pools. This family is more interested in making it useful for everyone- and boy, did they have a deadline!
This is how to do it up!
Not only is the pool simple but the landscape was kept clean and fuss-free. That's not to say it isn't pretty, it certainly is. This colors are rich and simple, the lines are clean! When family is high on the agenda, the less complicated designs win out! Who wants to spend time manicuring a landscape when they could be playing with the family in the new pool?!?
I hope this gives you a glimpse into how these pools really come to life! They are truly lived in and enjoyed.
Midwest Custom Pools recently had the pleasure of working on Topeka Zoo's new Swamp Habitat.
To see more pictures of the final product and the construction process, follow this link to our Flickr! (Link will open in new window)
Our latest pool project incorperated a wide veriety of features: from a modern pool design to other hardscape elements including unique tile and stonework.
The client was looking for a way to utilize all the space in their back yard with multiple zones both inside the pool (in-pool bar top / benches) and around the pool (bar tops / seating areas).
One noteworthy aspect of this project is the number of hardscape features that accompany the pool- such as the focal point which includes a fire and water features (we'll try to get pictures of it in action for a future blog).
Good morning everyone! I hope you've gotten your swimming pools opened... even if it is sleeting at this moment.
Pool openings are important. That seems obvious but you want to remember that the earlier you open your pool, the better off you are. Why you ask? It's fairly simple. If you've had your cover on all winter, algae can grow in there. If you open your pool before it gets too warm, the algae are still pretty immoble. It's possible to just throw some chlorine in there to take care of the algae. However, if you wait until it warms up, the algae can bloom. If that happens, you're goingt to have to drain your pool to clean it thoroughly. As well, the amount of chemicals to clean it and the new water is significantly higher!
Contact us to learn about our pool opening packages. Either call us at (785) 843-9119 or email us at email@example.com.
Now- what's new for us in the pool building world? While we love building concrete pools and fiberglass pools for our residential homeowners, we are excited to announce a commercial project that is ready to be unveiled to the public! We partnered with the Topeka Zoo to build the pool in the Alligator Frenzy exhibit. They are having a grand opening to the public on May 9th! Come join us, bring your family and enjoy the new and amazing gator exhibit. Our first project for the Topeka Zoo was the waterfall in the Rainforest exhibit- familiar to many visitors! We are happy to be able to work with great community partners like this.
Ugly Rumors are spreading that you can have a pool with JUST an ozone cleaning system to keep it clean. Not so....
There are two types of pool cleaning systems out there: salt generators and chlorine generators. Salt systems still use chlorine, just less of it. Water feels softer and you can imagine, it's just easier on the skin and hair! However, we also have new technology available that allows us to install UV lights that produce ozone and also sanitize the water. We've been asked by numerous clients over the past couple years whether these ozone systems would work, as stand alone cleaning systems. THEY WILL NOT! Ozone cannot disperse well in water and are ineffective at cleaning an entire pool body. Please, please, never believe a pool contractor if s/he tells you that you dont' need chlorine or salt and that you can just use ozone. This is unsafe and just doesn't work! Ozone systems are based on light and light waves reaching all the water molecules. What is great about ozone systems is that they can further lighten the chemical load as well as lower maintenance and chemical costs. You're doing yourself a favor- letting technology work for you and expose you to fewer chemicals and saving yourself some money!
Now for the pretty part of this blog: Jewelscapes.
One of the new techniques and materials we are using for our custom pools and spas is a product called Jewelscapes. It is colorful, softly rounded glass beads added to their pool plaster to create a softly reflective aggregate pool surface. It feels gentle and soft on the feet and looks dazzling! It is reflective, durable and comes in quite a few colors. We are excited to offer this as an alternative to OR a combination with glass tiles. It's neat and can add a colorful flair to your design! Here is a link to our color combinations....
This is a 3D graphic of a pool we are currently working on- nearly finished and buried under 16" of snow! It has a full tile water wall with fire pots on the top. The custom spa is finished with the Jewelscape product. Exciting!
When you're thinking about that dream pool, where does safety come in?
First? Second? Definitely in the top three priorities for most of us. One of the main things you can do to ensure safety in your back yard- get an automatic pool cover. An automatic cover comes in a few varieties: one version lives under the coping and is the exact shape as the pool (rectangular). It is subtle and low profile. They are usually fully automatic, opening and closing with the touch of a button. This allows you to close the cover every night (or whenever it is not in use)during the pool season- pretty neat, huh? These pool covers can hold lots of weight and last for a good many seasons. If liability is an issue, an automatic cover is necessary.
Another version of the pool cover, while also automatic, is an external cover. This cover follows tracks as well but lives above the pool coping. It sits in a decorative housing which might double as a seating wall. It is difficult to install an automatic pool cover in a custom pool because most pool covers are not custom made. Therefore, if having a pool cover is important to you, a fiberglass pool is probably your best option.
Did you know that, while an automatic cover can give you peace of mind if you have small children, it also reduces your energy consumption?
Yes! A pool cover is not only a safety device but it minimizes evaportation. Evaporation is one of the main energy losses for a pool- for every one pound of 80 degree water evaporated, 1048 BTU's of heating energy is lost. (US dept of energy) In order to keep the heat in your pool, where you want it, you need to keep the cover on when it is not in use! As well, an automatic cover reduces your chemical consumption by 35%-60%. Wow. Practically, it will also reduce cleaning time by limiting debris and dirt in the pool too.
It seems like a no-brainer- if you have a young family and safety is a priority, an automatic cover is the smart choice. If you want to conserve as much energy as possible, while still enjoying your backyard luxury, it seems like a pool cover is the smart choice too.
Just a reminder, when you get to the design part of your pool project, would you like to have a 3D rendering of the whole backyard oasis? It is really helpful if you're not great at visualizing things but is great overall to plan and understand how you wil utilize your new space. Let us help you! We specialize in 3D renderings and utilizew them in our pool design process. This helps us construct more accurate cosntruction drawings and plans, as well as helping you the homeowner understand your new landscape!
How to Choose the Right Pool:
There are lots different types of pools out there. Which one is right for you? It really depends on your space, your budget, your wants and needs. For right now, let's just skip over above ground pools. We are going to talk only about in-ground pools and spas.
We offer fiberglass pools and concrete pools (also called gunite or shotcrete), as well as replacing vinyl liners. We also provide service for all pool types. If you currently have a pool but are thinking about renovation, give us a call! Our experienced builders can steer you in the right direction.
Fiberglass pools have gotten a bad rap in the last 30 years. However, new fiberglass pools are remarkable. They have dark, consistent body color. They have markedly less maintenace costs, as long as you manage your chemicals correctly and they come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes.
Fiberglass pools are pre-formed fiberglass shells. They are manufactured and then shipped to us. We dig the hole, install the pool, plumbing, coping and deck around the pool. Advantages of fiberglass pools include faster construction time, lower maintenance. Disadvantages include limited shapes and sizes- not customizable. However, as with the pool above, the family chose to use stamped concrete as their decking and got to choose coping material. The shape was pre-formed but the material choices are individual. Higher cost than a vinyl liner but about the same as a basic concrete/ gunite pool.
They also offer the possibility of an automatic cover. When safety is a number one issue, an automatic cover is necessary. But these covers will not work with a free-form concrete pool.
Concrete pools are pools that are custom designed and dug to the homeowner's specifications. The shape is determined, the hole dug and the concrete is then applied (there are LOTS more steps but this is the short version). Gunite or Shotcrete is a new way of applying concrete vertically. When you are ready for the best, the backyard oasis, the whole package, you want a concrete pool. Every element is controlled by your choices. Want a spa? You got it. Want a water feature, a grotto, laminar that shoot from the center of the spa? Wand jets that create a mist all over your deck? You want a custom pool. Expect that your material choices and all the extras will obviously cost more money and take more time to create.
Vinyl liner pools are inground pools with steel sides, usually a poured concrete bottom and a vinyl liner suctioned and affixed to the sides. The liners frequently have to be replaced- every 5-10 years. This is the lowest cost for the homeowner, but also the least permanent.
For more information about service packages or pool rehab, give us a call! Or visit our pool services page....
Bromine is an alternative to chlorine in killing bacteria, living organisms, and other contaminates that may be found in pool water. Bromine by itself is not affective because it does not bind (oxidize) with the contaminate molecules, therefore, to be affective, bromine is combined with a catalyst (often chlorine) in a tablet form.
1. Bromine is most commonly used to sanitize hot tubs/spas due to its higher stability in warmer water temperatures.
2. Bromine produces less of a chemical odor than chlorine, but it is harder to wash the chemical smell from your skin after swimming.
3. Bromine has a residual quality which requires less chemical added to water over time.
1. Considerably more expensive than chlorine
2. Doesn’t dissolve in water as readily as chlorine.
3. Less stabile in the outdoors (better for indoor applications)
4. Using Bromine is slightly more complicated and requires more support from the pool supplier.
5. Once in pool, pool must be completely drained to switch to chlorine.
Most pool professionals still believe that bromine is best for hot tubs/spas and chlorine is best for swimming pools.
For additional information or pool service, contact us!