The First Step to Building a Great Pool is a Great Consultation

Posted on November 14th 2016 07:00:00 AM

When you take the plunge and decide to increase your home’s value by building a great swimming pool, the first thing that should happen is a bunch of long conversations.

The first thing a great builder does is ask questions and listen. How do you want to use the pool, mostly for entertaining or for splashing around with you kids? How much space do you want for furniture around the pool? How many months a year will it be open? Are you more concerned with upfront costs or maintenance expenses farther down the line?

The swimming pool consultant who doesn’t spend time asking these questions plus a whole lot more is either unimaginative, inexperienced or, more likely, trying to sell you whatever he’s trying to get rid of in the back.  

If you’re considering installing, you’re doing it at the perfect time of year. Once the summer rush ends, prices drop, schedules ease up and we can dedicate our entire team to your project. Give us a call, we’ll talk about the difference between concrete, vinyl and fiberglass pools installation and we’ll figure out what’s right for you. We’ll discuss the options and how they fit into your ideas, priorities and budget.

We’ll show you the different colors, patterns and swimming pool accessories.

Remember, pool builders should be listening, not selling; asking questions, not promoting. If the first step you take toward building a great swimming pool design isn’t dialogue, you’re talking to the wrong pool builder.

Tags: swimming pool , building

Make the Backyard the Best Room in Your House

Posted on November 7th 2016 07:00:00 AM

Your lawn chairs and folding card table in the backyard are good enough — for a fraternity house that hosts a weekly beer pong tournament. But you’re a grownup with an awesome home. Why is your home so awesome? Because you’ve invested in it. If you invest in your outdoor space the same way, it’s easy to make the backyard the best room in the house.

Forget about plastic lawn furniture. I’m talking stone, tile and granite. Ice makers and mounted televisions. Ceiling fans and speaker systems. Marquis swim spas and fiberglass pools Raleigh NC.

If you’ve got it inside, we can take it outside.

We can take all the creature comforts you love about being indoors and make them work outside — plus a whole lot more. You don’t have a fountain next to the love seat in the living room, do you? Well, you could have one in your new backyard. You plan on putting a waterfall next to the armoire in the den? Didn’t think so, but you can install one out back.

Take your backyard as seriously as you do your kitchen. In fact, you can create an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, complete with ovens, warmers and refrigerators.

Your yard is a blank canvas right now, whether you know it or not. When we’re done, you won’t even recognize the joint. Above ground swimming pool and deck designs are endless. From pergolas and gazebos to barbecue and fire pits, bars and decking to retractable enclosures, your backyard is a caterpillar. It wants to be a butterfly. Let us be your cocoon.

Wait. That sounded weird.

But seriously, chances are, you’re not getting the most of what could be the best space in your entire house — but it won’t be in your house. You invested in your home, but you’ve been neglecting the part of your property with more potential than the rest. Swimming pool designs are a great place to start.

It’s time bring the indoors outside.

Hot Tubs: Your Last, Best Hope in Winter

Posted on October 31st 2016 07:00:00 AM

Fall is here. Cold weather is coming. Time to shut down your Marquis hot tub for winter, right?

Right — for masochists who want to deprive themselves of the greatest, warmest, most comforting oasis in a season defined by numb fingertips, runny noses and 11 daily minutes of sunlight.

Hot tubs in the winter fend off sickness, soften depression and let you do more than just survive the most bleak and dreary months of the year.

When designing your setup, the best thing you can do is keep the tub close to the door. When your backyard looks the Yukon, the fewer steps you have to take between the house and the spa, the better.

Also make sure you have access to a hose from a spigot that hasn’t been winterized. Put your Marquis Spas Raleigh NC on a strong foundation. The cycles of freezing, thawing and melting turn solid ground into a muddy, slushy hellscape that will swallow your hot tub like quicksand. That’s probably an exaggeration, but a strong, even foundation is especially important in winter.

Now, a little bit about Marquis swim spas and hot tub use in the winter.

First, check to see if your spa has either a freeze protect or auto heat function. Why? Because it’s cheaper and more efficient to maintain a usable temperature than to allow the water to cool before reheating it for use.

If your hot tub doesn’t have freeze protect or auto heat, does it at least have a timer? If not, you’ll have to run your spa at low-speed heat all day, every day. That gets expensive fast. Consider having a timer installed so you can set the spa to run for a few minutes every few hours to maintain the temperature.

Also, take it easy on the blowers and jets, which blast cool air into your water during the winter, making it more difficult and more expensive to keep water warm. Marquis Spas covers will help keep the water warm by trapping in the heat, which will also save on your electric bills. 

You Don’t Need To Be A Mad Scientist To Get Perfect Hot Tub Water

Posted on October 24th 2016 07:00:00 AM

How’s the alkalinity in your Marquis Spas swim spa or hot tub? Do you think shock treatment will balance out the pH? How many milliliters are in a fluid ounce? You love your Marquis hot tub, but it makes you wish you had paid more attention in chemistry class in high school. You’re not a mad scientist. You just want clean, crisp, odor-free hot tub water that doesn’t make your skin tight or itchy.

The people at Marquis Spas feel your pain — and they did great in chemistry class.

Water management before ConstantClear is like medicine before penicillin — I’m not quite sure how anybody survived. When used in conjunction with the SpaCare line, ConstantClear keeps your Marquis Spas Fayetteville NC water perfect with virtually no maintenance for a month.

No chemicals, no testing, no nothing.

The ozone system destroys impurities 3,000 time faster than sanitizer alone — that’s not a typo. The in-line system uses natural elements like minerals and bromine cartridges. That means you get crystal clear, odorless water without your tub smelling like chemicals and without your skin becoming itchy or irritated.

Particulates, contaminants and odor are safely removed without any help from you. The science behind ConstantClear is too heavy to cover here, but 100 percent of your Marquis spa’s water is continuously cleaned all day, every day. 24,000 gallons of water are circulated daily. The Vortex surface skimmer alone cleans 100 percent of your water between 60 and 160 times a day.

The days when tub owners were expected to maintain their own water are over. Water chemistry is a skill and an art. You shouldn’t have to become an expert in something you’re not interested in just to enjoy Marquis hot tubs, and with ConstantClear, you won’t have to.

Winter is Coming: Are You Ready?

Posted on October 17th 2016 07:00:00 AM

Winter is a big, mean monster. It has one goal, and one goal only: to make you spend as much money as humanly in the spring. Winter is coming, and if you don’t prepare, damaged fiberglass pools Raleigh NC, broken systems and unnecessary expenses for swimming pool supplies will be there to greet you when the snow melts.

Potted plants: First, the hard truth. Your potted plants are doomed. There’s nothing you can do to help them — with the exception of a mercy kill. Remove your annuals and throw out all the soil they lived in. Wash your pots and store them inside.

Lawn furniture: Bring light, plastic furniture inside. Heavy iron furniture can survive outside, but it should be covered with a heavy manufacturers cover, or at least plastic bags.

Lawnmowers: Beat the fall rush by getting your lawn mower tuned at the end of summer. Add stabilizer to the remaining fuel before storing it for the winter.

Garden tools: Want tools like spades and rakes to emerge in tip-top shape in the spring? Coat them lightly in motor oil and sand to prepare for winter.  

Hoses: Draining your garden hose is good, but not good enough. Winter will chew right through an exposed garden hose. Disconnect it, drain it and store it in the shed or garage.

Barbecue grills: You know how you feel about a homeowner when you see a dog chained in a front yard without shelter on a cold day? That’s how we feel when we see a barbecue grill left outside in winter. You’re all that barbecue has. You took on a responsibility when you adopted that grill from the shelter. It loves you unconditionally, for God’s sake. Cover it and put it inside a shed or garage, but NEVER store propane tanks indoors.

Swimming pools, spas and garden pools: Finally, we come to the big stuff. Hire a professional to winterize and close your swimming pool above ground Fuquay-Varina NC, Marquis Spas swim spa or garden pool. It takes skill and experience to do it right. A modest expense up front prevents major damage and repairs down the line. Swimming pools in Fayetteville, NC face no greater enemy than winter and have no better friend than pool pros.

Cleaning your pool after a hurricane

Posted on October 11th 2016 02:38:00 PM

It’s important to use the right chemicals and tools to clean swimming pools after a storm. Come see us in the store – we want to help make sure you prevent any additional damage to your above ground swimming pool and deck designs! 

Ideally, pools that have been contaminated with floodwater should be drained and refilled with fresh water. In cases where this isn’t possible or the damage is not as critical, water can be cleaned with chemicals, flocculation and filtration.

After any type of flood situation, pool equipment should first be inspected and verified to be in good working order. Of most importance: electrical devices. Be sure to test them and replace or repair swimming pool supplies as needed. In addition, the filter should be inspected before any attempt to clean dirty water in pools. The following is a suggestion for dealing with flooded pools.

1. First, remove as much physical debris as possible.

2. Make sure all skimmer and pump baskets are free of debris with good circulation and filtration.

3. Superchlorinate the pool to at least 20 ppm.

4. Maintain pH between 7.2 to 7.4.

5. Once chlorine has been added, follow immediately with a two-stage clarifier. As the filter system operates swimming pools Raleigh NC, add the proper amount of the first stage formula.

6. After 6 hours (or one turnover rate of the filter), add the second stage of the two-part clarifier and continue running the pool filter.

The pool should clear completely within 24 hours after the second stage of clarifier is added. Backwash or clean the filter after 24 hours.  If the existing system is damaged, this system can work with a portable filter system as well.

Once the water is clear test for phosphates and treat with a phosphate remover if needed. Once phosphate levels have been lowered down to 200 ppb, add a good broad-spectrum algaecide, which will be effective against all types of algae. This type of cleanup method should ensure the pool water is clean and ready for regular maintenance, which should occur between 1 and 3ppm after treatment.

Tags: clean up after hurrican , cleaning pool , hurricane

What to do with your pool AFTER the storm

Posted on October 11th 2016 02:23:00 PM

Pool experts have plenty of tips on what to do to prepare your pool before the storm.

The cardinal rule: Do not drain your pool. There is a lot of groundwater after storms, and it could cause your pool to float out of the ground. The water inside the pool will help to weigh it down.

If you live in a low-lying area, turn off the power to your pool pump, unhook the plumbing hoses and lift the pump higher to make sure it isn’t submerged in the event of flooding.

Remove the doors to your pool cage or screen enclosure. If you are short on time, make sure they are properly secured.

All pool cages and screens have “tie-downs” on the bottom, securing them to their base. Add extra tie-downs beyond what is required by code and make sure the existing bolts are secure and not corroded.

If a strong storm is headed your way and you are pretty sure you will lose your pool cage, slash an X in the screens to cut down on wind resistance, possibly saving the structure. Insurance will not cover the damage from the cutting, but getting the enclosure rescreened is cheaper than replacing it.

It is important that all electric power be turned off at the circuit breakers before the storm hits. Any exposed electrical equipment such as motors for the pumps should be tightly covered with plastic wrap (if flooding is expected, they might be disconnected and removed).

Never throw or drop anything into a pool that could damage the pool walls or bottom (especially vinyl-lined or fiberglass). It is best to remove any and all loose objects such as chairs, tables, pool equipment and even toys, which can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. If you cannot store them inside a building, carefully and gently placing them in the pool will help shield them from the winds. Be very careful in doing so, and remember, pool chemicals might damage them. So this option is not recommended.

After the storm

The work is not over after the storm, especially if there is a power outage.

Here are some tips from Lee County Emergency Management Services to maintain the water quality of your pool:

Clear all debris from the water.

Add chlorine, such as 10 percent sodium hypochlorite granules called “shock,” to super chlorinate the water. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and maintain the super-chlorinated state until the electricity is restored.

Do not allow anyone into the super-chlorinated water.

Be sure everything is dry before dealing with electrical startup. Check your circuit breakers to be sure they are off before attempting to reconnect electrical equipment such as pump motors. Inspect the wiring (especially ground wires) for proper connections. Be sure you are following manufacturers’ instructions when reactivating equipment. If electric motors have been exposed to water, they should be checked by a competent professional.

Parrot Bay Pools: Meet The People Behind The Awards

Posted on October 10th 2016 07:00:00 AM

In just 10 years, Parrot Bay Pools earned more awards and accreditation than many pool builders ever receive over the course of decades and generations. But the truth is, while we’re grateful to receive them, we don’t work for awards. We work for what those awards represent.

Parrot Bay Pools Policy: Integrity and Experience

You can’t bring your pool back and return it or exchange it for another one. It’s going to be a big part of your home for a long time, likely for all the years you live there. We build your pool like it’s the place where your children are going to play, where your memories are going to take place and where you’re going to spend countless hours with your family and friends.

We build it right the first time because we want you to continue to put your trust in us in the future when you need professional maintenance or service. That won’t happen unless we act with integrity and build with expertise the first time.

Not to mention, there’s this little thing called reputation. Our family name goes into every single pool we build. We show up to appointments on time. We treat your yard and home with respect. Our general contractor personally oversees every single job. We talk to you, we listen to you and we understand what you want and what you envision before we begin planning.

Innovation: Building for Tomorrow

As a pool builder, it’s easy to get stuck in your ways and stick to what you know works. We don’t do what’s easy. We always work to innovate and change. We’re always striving to learn new practices and apply new technologies. We’re proud of the pools we built yesterday, but we know they’re not going to look the same as the pools we’ll build tomorrow. We work every day to exploit new technologies and new techniques to make pools more energy efficient, more personalized and more beautiful.

One thing that never changes, however, is the motto we live and work by: well done is better than well said.

How to Protect Your Pool in a Storm

Posted on October 5th 2016 01:06:00 PM

How to Protect Your Pool from Matthew

We expect a lot of rain this week courtesy of Matthew. Hopefully, nothing eventful will happen and no power outages will occur, but just in case, here are steps to take to avoid the worst:

  1. Do NOT Drain Your Swimming Pool

Many homeowners think draining their pool will keep it from overflowing and flooding the yard, however, hydrostatic pressure increases with a lot of rain and therefore draining could cause the liner or pool to float. If you want to backwash a little out of the pool today, that would be fine, but definitely no more than few inches. It is best to watch the weather and see what they project we should receive in rainfall. Another good reason to leave the water in your pool is it acts as a barrier to your pool surface. The water in the pool will protect the liner or surface of your pool from getting scratched with branches or falling debris. Drain your pool only as needed.

  1. Turn Off the Power to Your Pool Equipment

The most significant storm damage can occur to your pump and motor. You may want to turn off the circuit breaker and be certain your pump is located in a high and dry place to avoid flooding. If not install drainage so you protect your expensive pool equipment. Restart the equipment as soon as the storm is over to avoid green water.

  1. Remove Loose Items from the Pool Area

If you have time remove or secure patio furniture and umbrellas. you do not want them in the pool tearing your liner. Be certain potted plants are removed from nearby the pool so they don’t go IN the pool. Nothing is worse than vacuuming soil out of the pool for a week because the plants went in the pool.

  1. Balance Water

Rain will inevitably dilute your water and you will still need to balance after the storm, but getting the pool correct before the storm comes alleviates the possibility of algae formation. Be certain to add shock and algaecide today as a preventative measure. Clean out your skimmer and make sure the pool is clean before the storm to decrease your clean up time after the storm.

  1. Prune Branches

If you have any loose or low hanging branches take care of those now so they don’t end up in the pool or through your window.

Why Fall is a Great Time to Preschedule Your Pool Project

Posted on September 28th 2016 11:41:00 PM

Summer will be here before we know it, so now is the time to start thinking about that pool project you’ve been dreaming of. If you want to have your in-ground pool ready to use by summer, get started on this checklist today.

Write Your Wish List

Most people have been dreaming of that perfect in-ground pool for years. Now is the time to get those thoughts and ideas out on paper. Research the latest technology and see what options are available that you didn’t know about. It’s the perfect time to dream big, so put all your thoughts out there.

Make an Idea Book

It’s natural to have ideas about the pool you want, but not be able to vividly describe them. It’s okay! Take some time to put together visuals to show your pool specialist. You can print out some of your favorite photos, cut pictures out of magazines, or even compile digital photos in a Google Drive or on Pinterest. Showing your builder the style of pool you want will help both of you know that you’re on the same page.

Research Your Investment

An in-ground swimming pool is an investment; you want to make sure you purchase the product that works best for you. Just like you would research information about a new car purchase, take some time to look into different options for pools. Would a concrete, vinyl, or concrete pool be best for you? What type of filtering system are you interested in? Do you want any artistic finishing touches? Doing a little research will help you and your builder communicate effectively and efficiently throughout the entire process.

Determine Your Pool Shape

A rectangular pool is perfect if you want a timeless, classic look; however, that’s not the only option when it comes to pool shapes. Free-form swimming pool or those shaped like a kidney are a great way to enhance your landscaping so the pool looks and feels more natural. Waterfalls and grottos look beautiful on free-form and kidney shaped pools, but they can also work well if you opt for a more traditional rectangle. No matter the shape you choose, make sure it matches the design you want to achieve and the function you need for your family.

Determine the Function of Your Pool

Why are you installing an in-ground pool? Is it for entertaining? For your kids? An architectural statement? A place to relax? A fitness option? Knowing what you expect to achieve from your swimming pool will help you determine the kind of features you want in your pool. For example, a swimming pool for young families might include a wading area. On the other hand, a pool that helps you relax might include a dynamic water feature or lighting. You’ll be your builder’s best friend when youf let him know exactly what you want.

Discover Your Pool Season

North Carolina has all four seasons, so there will be times of year when it’s too cold for you to operate your pool. However, you can choose add-ons like enclosures or heaters that will help you prolong your pool season every year.

Set the Budget

This is when you have to look at your wish list and decide what’s important and what’s not. Your pool specialist will help you get a sense of what your project will cost, and you can adjust your plans accordingly. Make sure to ask about long-term maintenance and chemical costs so you can factor that into your budget. Call your insurance agent as well to find out if owning a pool will affect your insurance policy.

Check Local Building Codes

Your pool specialist will help you with this, but it’s a good idea for you to know the codes yourself. Building permits, restrictions, and property tax concerns should also be checked out when you want to install an in-ground pool. Above and beyond the required safety codes, consider the type of measures you want to take for your family. Child-proof locks and alarms are options.

Consider Your Landscaping

Your pool will be the focal point of your yard; consider the type of landscaping you choose to be around it. You don’t want messy trees (sycamores, gums, and pecans) or trees with shallow roots (birches, cypress, oak) near your pool. Instead, opt for perennial bushes that don’t grow as tall and are easy to move if you ever need to relocate them.

Plan Your First Party

Invite your friends and family over to enjoy your new pool! Make sure you have toys, games, floats, and patio furniture so your guests of all ages can have a good time. Pull out the grill and enjoy the summer evening you dreamed about all throughout the planning process.

We’re excited to help you get started on your journey to create a backyard oasis. Give us a call today so we can have your pool ready by summer.