At the end of July Cody Pools became aware of a terrible situation facing a family in Houston Texas. Their son has special needs and had contracted with a local pool builder to build a pool that would help with their son’s therapy. Unfortunately after giving the pool builder $40,000 the company disappeared leaving the family with an unfinished pool and a very sad son. Cody Pools reached out to the family and offered to finish their pool for free. After 3 short weeks we finished their pool and it is now ready for them to enjoy. It wasn’t as simple as just finishing it though. Cody Pools had to redo the pool decking and plumbing as the pool builder who disappeared did a poor job and it wasn’t done to industry standards. Below is the story as reported by KPRC in Houston.
Landscaping is about more than just planting a few flowers and bushes around your pool. It’s about planning and creating a pool environment that’s easy to get to — and hard to leave. Your first step is to get inspired. It can be a movie, a native flower or a planter you just couldn’t resist. You can also find inspiration from different gardening styles. Just find ideas you love and build from there.
Next, design your deck and plan your walkways. After the pool itself, your deck is the foundation for your landscape design. Walkways are important, too — you want to make access to your pool area easy so your plants don’t get trampled.
Now it’s time to start planting! You’ll want to choose plants that will flourish in your geographic area, so check with your local nurseries before you buy. You can also enlist the help of a professional landscape designer. Either way, it helps to know the lingo and the common pitfalls to avoid.
With the right information, inspired ideas and, perhaps, a fabulous landscape designer, you’re on your way to creating a lush and beautiful environment that adds depth and color to your back yard — and more enjoyment to your pool. Love your view as much as you love your pool! For even more inspired landscaping ideas, visit Yardbuilder.com.
Outdoor Is In!
Swimming Pool Landscaping
Where you live, how much you entertain, and how you like to relax will help guide your decision on what to include in your backyard landscaping plans. The key to great outdoor entertaining is making sure that you and your guests feel just as comfortable as they would be indoors.
Turn your backyard pool area into an entertainment retreat with a lounging and eating area or a refreshment bar along with a hot tub. Add a pergola or gazebo for extra shade and privacy, a trickling waterfall, and a patio area complete with bar and grill and you’ll never have to leave your home for an exotic winter vacation.
Not too long ago, if you wanted to entertain outdoors without leaving the comfort of your home, you would break out the charcoal, the lighter fluid, the hibachi or the old three-legged grill.
Today the line between indoor and outdoor entertaining has become increasingly blurred. Outdoor entertaining truly has the potential to be the ultimate in luxury and convenience. Outdoor barbeque island designs are varied enough to range from meeting the most basic demands to gourmet islands fit for the most talented chefs. These high-end barbeque islands can house a wide range of appliances like drop-in or slide-in gas grills, refrigerators, ice makers, sinks, wet bars, warmers, and ovens as well as provide ample space for preparing food and storing dinnerware.
Kitchen islands are now designed for outdoor installation so that meals can be prepared, served and cleaned up without ever leaving the comfort of your own “outdoor room”. With the latest products on the market for outdoor entertaining, there is no need to take a single step inside your home.
Swimming Pool Waterfall
Stress is a fact of life in today’s hectic society. With the demands of work, school, families and a never-ending list of hobbies and activities, many find it nearly impossible to find a moment to relax, whether alone or with friends and family. That’s why it’s so important to create a tranquil environment to combat the effects of everyday tension on your mind, body and soul. Water is the most nurturing of all the elements, yet we frequently take its restorative properties for granted. By incorporating a few simple water elements into your backyard landscape, you can create a tranquil oasis to soothe frayed nerves at the end of the day. By utilizing water features creatively with pools, spas, water gardens and fountains, homeowners can create an individual and inviting sanctuary in their outdoor living space.
Enhancing your poolscape with lighting not only makes your backyard a safer environment, it also adds a decorative effect. Enhance your pool’s special features with attractive lighting. Fiber optics, perimeter, floating and color-changing lighting will create delightful nighttime gatherings.
There is no better way to celebrate the times of your life than right at home. Try to imagine a private water park in your backyard, a centerpiece for summer holiday celebrations, entertaining friends, and enjoying the warmer months to the fullest!
While limited space and sloping landscapes require special design solutions, this same landscape provides an ideal opportunity to easily incorporate fun and excitement into your backyard paradise. Whether a gentle, sloping slide into your refreshing water retreat, or a twisting slide through a rocky mountainside, entering your swimming pool will be an experience in itself. Your pool becomes a private paradise, where you only travel as far as your backyard to enjoy it.
Swimming Pool Landscaping
When it comes to outdoor fireplaces, the only limits are those of the imagination. Backyard fireplaces add warmth and a cozy ambience to your outdoor experience and can extend your entertaining hours into the night. You can sit on your comfortable chairs by your pool and watch the fire going in your outdoor fireplace.
The fireplace should match your backyard in theme and style. This is an addition to your patio or deck that guarantees the success of every party you throw. When you and your family want quiet time, an outdoor fireplace will give you the ambiance and romance you’ve only dreamed of; and it will keep the dream alive through all seasons.
Fences – safe and attractive
Fences add both a touch of class to your pool installation and serve as an important safety measure against unwanted intruders. If you build a deck around your pool, a fence can provide additional security and keep children or animals from wandering into the pool area.
If you have stairs leading up to your pool deck, a latching or locking gate is essential equipment to keep your pool area safe and secure.
Landscaping with trees and shrubs
Many pool owners choose to landscape the area around their pool, turning it into an oasis of beautiful tranquillity with the pool as its centerpiece. There are many ways to accomplish this, among them placing potted trees and shrubs around your pool to bring an additional touch of nature to the area. Potted plants can require less maintenance than inground trees and shrubs and are easier to move, remove or replace while providing visual depth and interest to the area around the pool.
Landscaping with sand and pebbles
There are as many different ways to landscape as there are pool owners. One clever trick is to build your own beach! Fine, pale sand called “sugar sand” is perfect for this weekend project: dig out a section of yard, line it with landscape fabric and fill it with beautiful sand. Add some deck chairs, a patio table, an umbrella or anything you want. Or make a “sandbox” area close to the pool for picnic tables or patio furniture. Presto – your own beach getaway just a few steps from the pool! Or if you prefer, many quarries can deliver large quantities of smooth pebbles in a variety of shades, making a “pebble beach” for relaxation and enjoyment.
A view for safety
Whatever you decide regarding decking and landscaping, always make sure that the pool itself remains visible from the house and from all points in the yard – especially if you have young children. Your ideal pool landscape will be beautiful, relaxing and easy to monitor at all times. A clear, unobstructed view of the water is essential to ensure that you can keep an eye on the kids whenever they’re in the pool.
Check out this video that shows a large scale design project with negative edge, recreation and diving pools, spa, and multiple water features in Fredericksburg ,TX.
By Michele Chan Santos
Special to Statesman Solutions
The sparkling centerpiece of Catherine and Sterling Howry’s backyard in West Austin is a lovely 6-foot-deep, negative-edge swimming pool. A swim-up bar, shallow child play area and spa complete their backyard retreat.
Cody Pools designed and built the Howrys’ pool. Sterling Howry, who works in the commercial construction business, wanted their pool to be a fun, relaxing place that serves as a visual anchor for their home. From the picture windows in the living room, you can see the deep blue mosaic glass tiles shimmer under the water.
At Catherine’s birthday party recently, guests enjoyed drinks while swimming. “We’ve created a space for our family,” Catherine Howry said, “and we also like to entertain. If you’re thinking about it, you should put one in.”
Central Texas, with its blistering summers, warm fall and mild winters, has pool-friendly weather nearly all year. According to Cody Pools, industry data indicates that for the past 10 years, about 1,500 pools have been built each year in Central Texas. That means 15,000 new pools in the Austin area just since 2003.
So what do you need to consider before putting in your own pool?
Mike Church, the president and CEO of Cody Pools, and Richard Coan, senior designer and sales manager of Oasis Pools, gave the Statesman tips on what homeowners should think about before starting the process of building a pool.
1. Make sure your builder is a reliable one. The pool industry is not a licensed industry, Church said, so there are disreputable pool builders out there who take advantage of homeowners. “Some builders are not ethical, and they get paid and don’t do the work. Do your due diligence,” Church said.
He recommends looking at the website of The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (www.apsp.org) to find a good pool builder. APSP certifies its members to make sure they meet high standards of service, performance and ethical conduct. On their web site, go to “Find a Professional” and enter your ZIP code. Membership in the BBB (Better Business Bureau) is also recommended.
2. Locate your property survey. The pool designer who comes to your property to do an estimate needs a copy of the survey so he or she can figure out where underground wiring and public utility easements are, and factor those in the plan for your pool, Coan said. You normally receive the property survey with the closing paperwork when you buy a house.
3. Remember impervious cover regulations. Impervious cover includes driveways, roofs or other areas where rainwater cannot penetrate the ground. In some areas of the city of Austin (depending on the zoning), homeowners cannot put more than 45 percent of their lot beneath impervious cover. So if your house already covers 45 percent of your lot, and the patio around your new pool would cover another 10 percent, the city will not allow you to build your pool unless the design changes. The pool itself does not count as impervious cover, but a limestone deck around it does.
4. Think about what kind of pool is right for you. Do you want to swim laps in it? Want a waterslide for the kids? Or would you just like a spa, a swim-up bar and a shady place to relax? Knowing what you want will make it easier to fit the pool of your dreams into your budget.
5. Remember fencing. Depending on what city you live in, there are different regulations about what type of fence you are required to have if you own your own pool. Generally, Coan said, it can be a wooden privacy fence, but it can’t be a chain-link fence because that can be climbed.
6. Safety first. For families with children, an automatic pool cover, safety fences or products like Katchakid Pool Safety Nets are important.
7. Design your pool so you will use it. Sterling Howry loves that his pool is right by the house, where his family can see it and spend time in it. “Don’t put it down a slope somewhere where you can’t see it,” he said. “It’s great to use it every day.”
- Shape and size: The larger the pool the greater the cost is obvious. The price for the vessel is based on the internal volume of the hole. That is derived from the perimeter, the area, and the depth.
- Elevations: It is easier and therefore less expensive to build a pool on level ground than on the side of a hill. Considerations need to be made for structural integrity and lot drainage. Flatter terrains such as those around Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston generally don’t require the same amount of excavation as in Central Texas.
- Access: The type of excavation equipment that can come in and operate will be a factor. It is more cost effective to excavate with a backhoe and load directly to a dump truck than to shuttle the spoils to the street with a bobcat.
- Equipment: The equipment consists of pump(s), filter, and sanitation systems, floor cleaners and heaters. There are many options. Your choice may be to spend a little more up front and gain long term savings by using high efficiency equipment.
- Utilities: The pump(s) will require electricity. Getting the service to the equipment area will vary from project to project. If a gas or propane heater is in the plan, the fuel line will need to be run to the equipment area. That will also vary.
- Features: Water falls, spas, fire pots, etc. will also vary from project to project.
- Materials: There are many options for pool interiors, deck toppings, coping stones, and rock work. Prices vary.
As one of the top pool builders in Texas our expertise from over 18 years of designing and building high-quality and low maintenance pools in Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Killeen and Waco areas can help you realize your dream pool at the right price.