Custom Inground Pools & Spas: June 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Cost of Above Ground Swimming Pools

Even though swimming pools can be very expensive, there are a lot of ways to decrease swimming pool cost and make it affordable enough to fit in to your budget. Above ground swimming pools are a lower cost alternative to the always expensive in ground swimming pool. Even with a lower cost though, above ground pools involve expenses that must be taken into consideration when planning total swimming pool cost.

Your swimming pool costs will be much higher with an in ground pool installation. There are many more considerations to take into account and much more labor and planning involved with installing an in ground pool. Depending on the economy and your timing, just the material costs could become prohibitive if you decide to go with an in ground pool. Later articles will go into more detail concerning in ground pool installations.

In general, an above ground swimming pool will carry a much lower initial purchase and installation cost than an in ground swimming pool. Although you can still spend a considerable amount on an above ground pool, your total swimming pool cost will not have to include nearly as much in the way of heavy labor and material costs, and any above ground pool estimate you get should come in well below that of an in ground pool installation. It is not uncommon to find local pool distributors having sales that can often result in substantial savings which will drop your swimming pool cost considerably.

When pools go on sale, you need to move fast. The local dealer might only be looking to clear out stock at the end of the season, so time can be of the essence. If you intend to hit early season specials, you should also be prepared to move fast, but do not rush in to any purchases without first considering how you will pay for everything.

Hidden costs are a part of every major project. Installing an above ground pool is no exception. Some of the above ground swimming pool costs you will run into involve preparing your home for a swimming pool. You may need to excavate to ensure the pool area is level and this can increase your total swimming pool cost. Never skip this step though, as installing an above ground pool on an uneven surface is a dangerous risk.

When you have chosen the area where your pool will be installed, you must be completely certain that the area has been excavated to a level condition. Spending a few hundred dollars for a job that is done well will pay off later. This is a swimming pool cost that you may be able to avoid if you can excavate for yourself, but you should always confirm that the area has been brought to a level state.

Getting electricity run to your pool is essential. It can also be rather expensive depending on the current state of your home's electrical service. Pay for a reputable electrician to do a proper job. Running electricity to your pool is not a task that amateurs should tackle on their own. Get several estimates for this job to save yourself some money but have it done correctly to keep you and your family safe.

An above ground pool is a great way to reduce swimming pool cost while still gaining the benefits of owning a swimming pool. An above ground pool installation is much less expensive than an in ground installation, but costs can still mount quickly and catch you by surprise if you do not take them into account. Shop around for the best deals and install your pool safely and correctly the first time. By paying attention to the details of your swimming pool installation, you can have a safe, enjoyable pool and reduce your total swimming pool cost.
Author: MichaelWellingsley

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Swimming Pool Designs - Many Different Layouts

If you always complain of never going anywhere that is fun in the summer like the beach then why not bring the beach to you? You can do this in your own backyard with a beach motif designed pool. Then again you may light the high mountain air, you can design a pool around this theme too. Wherever you would rather be you can simulate it in your own yard with the numbers of ideas in swimming pool designs for custom in ground pools and spas that are now convenient for you to have.

If you want to create a wild design of a pool choose concrete to model and mold the shape. Concrete pools can be made into many designs as it can be pushed and smoothed into all sorts of wonderful shapes and sizes. Therefore you can do many more options when it comes to designs for swimming pools which are for inground concrete pools. Be alerted that concrete pools do take more effort on taking care of it though. Concrete and water react together causing you to have to balance the water more often and use more chemicals. You have to tidy up concrete more times and patch cracks too.

Have you seen some of the designs that vinyl liners come in? Some of them are breathtakingly beautiful. Some even look like marble or are trimmed with elaborate designs. An artistic pool owner could even create a masterpiece of their own and put their monogram on it. If you want to cut down on the scrub time have an algaecide added into the vinyl. Yes you really can add that to the liner to cut down on the growth of algae. Did you know that if the ground happens to do some shimmying and shifting that the pool structure for the vinyl pools will shimmy and shift with it.

If you are looking for ideas for your swimming pool designs you will be surprised how easy they are to find. Visit a pool center in your town and talk to a professional pool person they can even help with placement of pool in the yard and tell if what you want is visible. A professional can help you create your vision of a pool. Online on the Internet there are sites that also help you design a pool.

Waterfalls add so much personality to your pool. It also adds the sound therapy factor. When you are lying out in the sun sunbathing is it not a soothing thing to listen to your pool? Other water extras you can add are water jets or bubblers that make the water shoot up or bubble. You can also have fountain type things like fish squirting water from their mouths.

Boing, boing, splash is the sound when a diving board is being used. You have to have a pool that is deep enough though to use a diving board. Remember diving and basic swimming safety when doing diving in a home pool you would not want any accidents. Inform yourself about diving boards before deciding to add one.

Slides come in many formations. You can find tube slides, curvy slides and even ones that are a compact size. Some slides are water slides, which will keep the kids busy for hours. All kids like playing on slides and hitting the water fast. There are many models offered for your convenient shopping online or you can go to your pool store near your house.

You may feel the need for further ideas on how to construct your backyard oasis for this summer. If you do contact and pool contractor and or designer. It goes without saying that you always can get out the drawing board and try to design your own if you have enough artistic talents. Go do a cannonball in the pool and laugh.
Author: AdamBeaty

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Swimming Pools 101

More and more families are considering investing in a swimming pool today. Less expensive than a vacation for the whole family, a home swimming pool is starting to look like a worthwhile investment for many people. With a wide variety of swimming pool options out there, many people can find a way to fit at least a very basic swimming pool into their budget.

Some people prefer going to public pools because they seem to have a lower cost on a per visit basis over a single season. Pools that are open to the public generally charge either a one time per season membership fee or a per visit price. The reality is that paying for a public pool pass can become expensive over time. Often more expensive than installing your own above ground pool.

If you do decide to get your own pool, in ground pool designs are much more expensive than going with an above ground swimming pool. For above ground options, inflatable pool kits are available which are probably the least expensive option of all. These are made to be installed with as little muss and fuss as possible and most can be taken down at the end of the season without much problem.

More permanent above ground pools can become quite elaborate. These pools are not meant to be moved on a regular basis and are "winterized" rather than taken down when the seasons change. This option is considerably more expensive than the inflatable pools available, but still much less expensive than having an in ground pool installed.

It should be noted that there are additional costs involved when putting up an above ground swimming pool. Things to consider include getting electricity to the area for the filter, landscaping, leveling the ground and possibly decking. If you have the need for labor, that must also be considered.

An in ground pool must be looked at as a long term investment in your property. If you choose to sell, a good agent will emphasize the in ground pool to prospective buyers. There are no guarantees regarding what you will get out of your investment however.

In most cases, the most expensive pool option you can choose will be an in ground custom swimming pool model. Regardless, some living areas will only permit this kind of swimming pool to be built. If you decide to go with this option, always be sure to check with your local authorities so you can be sure to get all of the proper permits. Also check for codes related to things like required fencing of the area.

Installing a swimming pool can be a great choice for some people. The convenience of having a pool just outside your door during the hot summer months is wonderful. Before buying a pool, weigh the costs involved and then compare that to your budget. Also be sure to check out local ordinances and laws before proceeding. Be sure to build to code and to get all necessary permits before beginning your project. Get the pool that fits your needs and it can bring you many summers of fun with family and friends.
Author: MichaelWellingsley

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Adding Value To Homes Via Pool Additions

As the Earth continues to keep warm year round, it's becoming more common to have a pool ready for the hot summer days. But the basic pool won't cut it these days- especially with all the additions that are now available in which to remodel pools.

No one likes a monotonous looking pool. But with most pools sporting the average blue tiled liner look, that is what most have to settle with. Luckily adding designs to a pool liner with new colors of tiles can be inexpensive if the right places are visited. The end result: a much more "fun to look at" pool that what was held previously.

Celebrities aren't the only ones that can enjoy their own light shows in their pool. Adding lighting effects to pools, such as disco ball effects or color splashes, can make the overall value of a pool skyrocket in both monetary value and satisfaction. While the lighting effects are being input, it's also a great time to change the liner to a brighter green or blue so as to make the water appear more crisp in the daylight sun.

Outside pools suffer one big disadvantage- they will often only be able to be used when the weather is nice outside. But when it's starting to get a little bit cooler at night, and one doesn't want the fun to stop, the idea of inputting a heater to the pool comes to mind. Heaters will allow consumers to enjoy their pool where they otherwise wouldn't. It costs a bit more money to heat the pool, but the ability to swim at will is well worth it.

Going underwater without goggles, as most will find, can be a painful experience. A new trend in pools is to have salt water instead of chlorine. Salt water will keep the pool clean just as chlorine would, but it doesn't have the burning sensation or smell that chlorine does. Salt water is also much easier on the skin, hair, and overall health of the epidermis of those who are swimming.

To really add an impressive amount of awe to a pool setup, patios and barbecue pits can be added. Hot tubs, caves, and even waterfalls can be added for a more dramatic Hollywood effect, but these addons will obviously cost quite a bit more in effect.

Final Thoughts

Pools are becoming a popular addition to homes, and we are now seeing many types of additions for pools themselves. If any of the mentioned topics seem interesting, consult Internet resources for more information on where to go next in obtaining the right materials.
Author: ChrisChanning

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Inground Swimming Pools - We Build High Quality Pools

You will have to decide on which design you like if you have chosen one of the styles of the inground swimming pools. For a different and fun shape you're going to need concrete and or a pool that is lined with vinyl. Should you prefer a simpler style, keep fiberglass in mind, since it is available pre-formed and prepared for installation. So it is important to look at the swimming pool designs available to you, and also to consider the shape that would look the most attractive in your yard.

Your backyard pool must include safety features to prevent young ones from entering without the presence of supervising adults. A lot of different types of fence may be utilized for this purpose. Insurance and local codes frequently require this. You must properly research on what fence will suit your style of home swimming pool.

The swimming pool shapes, pool designs that can be created with concrete are varied and can be very unique. If you want a natural wilderness or waterfall look, you can have that with your new pool. There are many great design options available in concrete. The disadvantage of concrete is the increased maintenance they require. This type of pool construction requires more cleaning chemicals because of the reaction with the water. Age can cause the concrete to crack and require repairs to be made.

Another popular design choice is a vinyl liner. One advantage to vinyl liners is that they are flexible and not affected by the frame moving as the ground freezes and thaws. It is possible for concrete to split from this motion or shift. Vinyl liners are also available in various designs and colors. If you want you have the option of choosing a custom design. Some pool are made with algaecide in the materials to help lower the amount of algae that forms. On the vinyl liners this reduces the maintenance.

The final option is fiberglass style, which is very minimal in terms of upkeep required, and very sturdy. That is smooth and the color does not fade,it has a wonderful surface. The texture of the fiberglass does not allow the algae to stick to it. As a result, pools made of fiberglass are simple to maintain. They require much more minimal cleaning and chemical use in contrast to concrete pools. Fiberglass pools have been around for over 50 years, which is much more than most people think.

For your inground swimming pools there are various accessories which you can purchase. You may purchase a slide so your youngsters will be able to plunge down the slide into the pool. A diving board can be put in if the pools have enough depth to dive in. If you want to heat the water without using electricity then the most economical way is to use a solar cover. Various types of pool covers are available, for both safety purposes and winter weather. Automatic pool cleaners are readily available, and will save you cleaning time, as they are continually moving and cleaning the pool.

Many accessories are available for inground pools. Get a pool slide for your children. For the pools that are deep enough and you can have a siving board. The addition of a solar cover will help use sunlight to heat the water. All sorts of covers exist, including ones that enhance safety or ensure weather-proofing during the winter. If you don't care for manually cleaning your pool, there are automatic cleaners available that crawl around your pool, keeping it clean.An inground swimming pool in your own yard can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Your family will enjoy time outside while having the added exercise benefit. For the whole body that also swimming is a great exercise. Many other exercises focus simply on a single body part. Your entire body gets a workout when you swim. By selecting the right kind of pool, you will be able to enjoy it for many years to come.
Author: SteveProvost

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Swimming Pool Basics

Tight budgets are making the move to owning a swimming pool look like a nice alternative for many families. A swimming pool will be with your property for years to come, while a one week vacation for your family could cost just as much as a pool and be done in seven days. Many swimming pool options are now available to fit various financial limitations.

Some people prefer going to public pools because they seem to have a lower cost on a per visit basis over a single season. Pools that are open to the public generally charge either a one time per season membership fee or a per visit price. The reality is that paying for a public pool pass can become expensive over time. Often more expensive than installing your own above ground pool.

For private ownership, above ground swimming pools are generally much less expensive than the in ground alternative. Even among above ground pools there can be a great variation in cost. Inflatable above ground swimming pools are usually the least expensive option. These are usually designed to be set up on a level area by a few people in one days time.

The above ground pools that get "winterized" are a popular option today. They are large enough to be enjoyed by several people but do not carry the very high price tag of an in ground swimming pool.

Expenses related to the installation of an above ground pool can add up quickly. Pools costs include the pool itself, preparing the poolscape area, running electricity to the pool area, any decking that may be added on, and of course, labor. If you are going for an installation of all new materials, this could end up costing several thousand dollars.

It may help to take the sting out of paying for an in ground pool if you think of it as an investment in your property. If you would ever decide to sell, you should stress the pool as a selling point. No one can promise what you will get out of your investment, but generally, pools look good on a property if they are maintained properly.

Generally speaking, an in ground pool is the most expensive option you can choose. Some areas or housing plans will only allow this type of pool to be installed. In addition, there may be other codes or laws in your area regarding swimming pools that you should familiarize yourself with before moving forward with any pool plans.

No matter what swimming pool option you may choose, get all of your costs added up before ever making your purchase. Your new pool shouldn't cost so much that it destroys your budget. Shop wisely and take care of the pool you decide to purchase. Today's pools can last for several years and serve as a great addition to your home and property.
Author: MichaelWellingsley

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What Kinds Of Swimming Pool And Lighting Will Work Best For You

A swimming pool is an excellent landscape addition that will enhance and beautify your property and increase its aesthetic appeal. This article will concentrate on the types of swimming pools available and the ones that will really be valuable to the landscape.

Kinds of Pools

There are two types of swimming pools available to choose from; an above ground and an in-ground.

Above-Ground Swimming Pools

Above ground swimming pools are movable and can be installed and removed when necessary. These kinds are less expensive and come in a wide array of sizes and shapes.

These pools are easy to install and can be bought at reasonable rates. When it comes to adding to the look of a yard, they cannot do the job. As a landscaper, you may can try this type of swimming pool in case you are not quite ready to have a more permanent type of structure installed.

In-Ground Swimming Pools

In-ground swimming pools are the real type of pool that will fit nicely into your landscape. In-ground swimming pools are available in three different forms; concrete, vinyl lined and fiberglass.

Concrete Swimming Pools: These are the ones that are custom built by the landscape service provider or the pool constructor of your choice. Concrete pools are very popular when it comes to professional landscaping, because they can be designed to suit exact specifications of the landscape. Additionally, the are cheaper when compared to other kinds of readymade in-ground swimming pools. The major drawback is that concrete pools can take longer to manufacture.

Fiberglass swimming pools: These swimming pools are readymade at the factory and resemble the shape of an over-sized bathtub. These pools can be installed in all one piece in the landscape, only after excavation is done. The advantage of this type of swimming pool is that it does not take as to install them as other kinds of swimming pools. The major drawback is that it adds to the cost and there is a lack of types to pick from. For landscapers seeking an immediate swimming pool solution without any fuss, this type is ideal.

Vinyl Lined Swimming Pools: These pools make use of a vinyl liner that covers the excavation site of the pool with paneled walls. The liner is then held in place using ribbing which is connected to the panel walls. Installing can be done within one to three weeks. These pools are cheaper to do and a vinyl pool can be perfect for those on a budget.

Pool Fencing

Pools need to be kept safe and secure, the fencing needs to help you do that. Fencing around the swimming pool will keep both children and pets safely away from the pool. In turn many communities have rules about having a fence around the swimming pool.

You can do-it-yourself on your own by using pretreated pressurized wood material or anything of anti-corrosive metal. In addition, you can also look for pre-fabricated kits that are readily available. Fencing can be made 5-6 feet high with spacing of between 3-4 inches.

Plants Around The Swimming Pool

A great idea that will improve the beauty around your swimming pool is planting plants or pool landscaping. Planting plants can protect you and your guests from unwanted spying and can provide privacy. Additionally, plants will serve as an insulation area surrounding the pool and can be a great way to hide piping and other swimming pool equipment.

It is important to note that plants near the swimming pool should not be debris laden and easy to take care of. This helps in the time spent cleaning up after the plants again and again. In addition you need to make sure that you do not use plants that have thorns near the outer edges of the swimming pool.

Pool Lighting

If you plan on entertaining around you swimming pool, can you see how good lighting from the pool will make it look so much better. You can achieve this by using the proper exterior and under the water lighting systems. Underwater lighting is an important concern that will increase safety and improve the area for people with poor vision and those who have consumed alcohol. Also important to the safety aspect, properly lighting up your pool can add to its beauty and create an ideal environment after dark. Make sure to always go for the correct lighting for your swimming pool.
Author: ThomasFryd

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Weight Loss Spas Where You Can Relax And Slim

There are so many different options that are available when it comes to losing weight, and one of the most popular of all of these options would be that of the weight loss spas. Weight loss spas are great for a variety of different reasons, with one of the most primary reasons being the fact that weight loss spas are actually fun and enjoyable.

We all know that most losing weight methods are boring and exhausting, but weight loss spas are places that you can go to where there are activities that you can do that will help you to lose weight but at the same time you can get pampered and feel great while doing so.

Where you can go to Find Weight Loss Spas

If you are wondering where you have to go to find weight loss spas, then you should know that you are really in luck in this regards because there are many different options that are available to you here as well. The best thing that you can do in order to find out the best weight loss spas that are closest to you, is to go into a regular spa and ask them if they know of any.

Most of the time they will have some really great answers for you, but if they don’t, then there are still other things that you can do in this situation. For instance, you can go online and do a bit of research on your own, and because the Internet is so quick and efficient, this should take you no time at all.
Once you arrive at the spa, you are sure to love what you see, as there are really no gruelling activities, but rather a day would include you going to the sauna in the spa for an hour, for instance, among other things. Just make sure that you find a spa that you like and where you find the staff friendly and tolerable. After all, if you are planning on visiting the spa quite often then you are going to want to make sure that you enjoy the place.

You do not have to spend an insane amount of money to go to wieght loss spas either, and so make sure that you take the time in order to find a great deal, so that you can really get your money’s worth.

Author: Ann Marier

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All About Above Ground Pools

Nothing is more fun and inviting than a backyard pool. Beating the summer heat with family and friends is one of summertime’s biggest pleasures. With the huge popularity of above ground swimming pools this major backyard water feature is not only fun but affordable.

Getting the right pool for your home and budget can be a daunting affair. So many choices and such odd terminology; hopper bottom, skimmer, return lines, cove etc. It’s not really that hard to cut through the noise and find the above ground pool that’s right for you.

Above ground pools come in two shapes; round and oval. These shapes are available in a number of sizes that most manufacturers sell. The most popular size is the 24 ft. round pool but round pools are available in diameters from 12 ft. to 33 ft. Oval pools usually start in the 12 ft. by 20-24 ft. size and get as large as 21 ft. x 41 ft. The area for your pool and your budget will combine to suggest the size that will work best. The ideal pool location will get at least 6-8 hours of sun during the summer and should be as flat and unobstructed as possible. Trees in particular can be troublesome if too close to a pool. Power lines or telephone poles are right out! Keep in mind that many oval pools have side supports or buttresses that can jut out as much as 2-3 feet from the base of the pool. Some newer oval designs have done away with buttresses that allows oval pools to go where ovals have never gone before.

Above ground pools are nearly always made of either steel or resin/plastic. Steel pools have been around for more than 40 years. Resin pools are relative newcomers. Corrosion is always a problem with steel pools and resin pools definitely will not rust. Resin pools generally cost more but industry figures put the average life span of an above ground pool at between 4 and 5 years. Rust may not be a factor! The choice is yours. Pools have gotten deeper in recent years. The standard 48 inch high pool is now overtopped by 52 inch and even 54 inch tall models.

To hold water, your pool needs a vinyl liner. There is a large selection of patterns from simple blue to exotic looking tile motifs and even a liner that mimics a tropical reef complete with fish and coral! Most pool packages are sold with an overlap style liner. These liners wrap over the top of the pool wall and cling to the outside of the pool. The liner is held in place by the top rail. You will also see beaded liners. These snap into a thin receiving strip just under the top rail on the inside of the pool and eliminate the overlap. Beaded liners tend to be an upgrade and cost more but they are usually a heavier, 25 gauge vinyl rather than the 20 gauge common in overlap liners.

The most important purchase after the pool itself is the filtration system. If you make an informed choice your pool will run cleaner and be less work. Sand and cartridge filters are the usual choices available for above ground pools. Each has advantages and drawbacks. Filter sand is inexpensive but if neglected can turn nasty and sand filters are a chore to clean and re-fill. Cartridge filters require less maintenance but cartridges do wear out and can cost over $200.00 to replace.

The heart of any pool filtration system is the pump. A good pump, properly matched to the size of your pool will give many years of dependable service. Don’t buy too much power. Pools need to have clean filtered water not imitate Old Faithful. Most above and many in-ground pools work well with no more than a 1 hp. pump and motor combination. Small to mid-size above ground pools do well with ¾ hp units. Proper pump sizing will use less electricity and less wear on hoses and filters.

Author: Rob Coxworth

The 15 Largest Health Spas in the USA

Health spas are places for relaxation and rejuvenation. Some of the largest health spas in the USA are discussed here.

The 15 largest health spas in the USA are:
1. Dolce Salon and Spa is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a luxurious spa with 28 styling stations, 21 full service spa rooms, 10 manicure and 10 pedicure thrones, a tanning room, a make up full service center and retail boutique. It covers an area of 13,083 square feet with two stories structure. It features body treatments, facials and massage therapy.

2. 24 Hour Fitness is located in San Fernando Valley. Mark Mastrov started it in 1983 with the name “24 Hour Nautilus in San Leandro, California. Today it has 338 clubs in 16 US states. This fitness club provides full service fitness centers, saunas, and group exercise classes.

3. Inn and Spa Berkeley Spring is located in Berkeley Spring, West Virginia. It features 62 guest rooms, 5 suites and famous for their secluded guest cottages. It provides classic and excellent service for client relaxation needs.

4. Today the fourth largest health club chain is Wellbridge. It features over 45 clubs in 16 markets of fitness and wellness spa for working professionals and fitness enthusiasts. It is a concept of fitness, wellness, sports, and fun.

5. Nirvana Spa is located in Miami Beach, Florida. It features unique spas, 4 exotic steam rooms, massage, and yoga and workout facilities.

6. California Health & Longevity Institute has a total area of 40,000 square foot spa, which offers combination of Asia and Western rituals and strategies in the world of holistic treatments and therapy. This institute provides lifestyle transformation thru life advisor therapy to clients. It also houses a medical clinic, which provides medical assessments to complete the personalized life planning experience.

7. Evergreen spa offers treatments of combined touch approaches and organic products, which believe in holistic, approach spa.

8. Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa is a complete resort spa. It includes 5 pools and a two-storey health spa with fitness center covering 22 oceanfront acres. This place allows clients to experience canoe riding, underwater tours, and club activities. It also contains a library, bars, and restaurants.

9. Evensong Spa is located in the wooded acres of Green Lake, Wisconsin. It is a complete picture of woods, wetland, trails, and paths. It provides relaxation and healing services thru the combination of natural and modern products. The best feature this place can offer is their famous indoor labyrinth. This winding path allows customers to improve their brain activities.

10. The Spa at the Balboa Bay Club features nine treatment rooms, hot whirlpool, eucalyptus steam room, lounge with fireplace, and beauty amenities. It is located in Newport Beach, California. Customers get ultimate relaxation while bay viewing.

11. Spa Solage is a geothermal spa located at Solage Calistoga Resort in Calistoga, California. It has an area of 20,000 square feet, wide enough to allow customers to experience full transformation and relaxation with 14 stylish treatment rooms like the mud bar, fitness classes, beauty retreats hosted by professionals.

12. AquaMedica is a day spa located at Long branch, New Jersey. It is the best day spa in New Jersey which includes eleven treatment rooms, steam room, and color therapy shower. It offers treatments for men, women, and teens. It occupies an area of 5000 square feet facility with a water theme.

13. CopperWynd Resort and Club is located in between Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. It is a place of organic healing and rejuvenation allowing customers to appreciate nature. It offers relaxation while enjoying vacation or doing club activities.

14. Littlefield Cottage is another spa of combined ancient arts and modern strategies towards healing and transformation. Healthcare professionals provide wellness programs customized to the needs of the customers. It is located in Dahlonega, Georgia.

15. Bella Vita Retreat is located in a beach near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. One can choose between the Bella Boot Camp and a Private Weight Loss Retreat.

Author: Christa Kowalczyk

The Different Types Of Spas

Spas have existed in our world for hundreds of years. It slowly boomed in small towns which are popular with water sources said to have healing powers. Some of these water origins are waterfalls or hot springs. Many people will take a long journey just to be able to reach these places and try out the beneficial effects of these springs.
Spas are focused on the concept of restoring health through massages, health programs and treatments. People come to spas for a variety of reasons. Some may desire to have a quick relaxing break from reality with a hot stone massage therapy or a facial while others may seek spiritual counseling or physical rejuvenation.

Whether you want to pamper yourself, or cleanse your body from toxins, spas offer numerous services. Here are four of the most common kinds of spas.

• Resort spas

This is a spa which is in a resort setting. It offers luxurious accommodations, recreational activities, fine dining and rejuvenating spa experience all in one. Activities such as golf, horseback riding, snorkeling and badminton are also offered in this type of spa. It is a good choice for someone who wants to go to a spa and have golf at the same time.

• Destination spas

This type of spa is where guests focus on self-improvements in the many elements of their lives. It can range from their health, spiritual growth or over-all being. A destination spa will bring an individual into a retreat setting. Typically, destination spas are found in mountains, deserts, or any other place that is far away from civilization. In this kind of spa, you will be concentrating on your inner self and a lot of professionals like doctors and therapist will help you achieve your goals.
• Day Spas

The most common type of spa is a day spa. It offers clients with facials, massages, and body treatments which often includes manicures and pedicures. In a day spa, clients are able to return to the everyday life without skipping a beat. They offer services that take a matter of minutes to hours, depending on the treatment. For instance, you can avail a hot stone massage therapy experience for a rejuvenating hour. If you want to experience a spa in just a small amount of time, then this is the best place for you. These types of spas are easy to find near homes and business areas. Its main goal is for pampering, beautifying and relaxation.

• Medical Spas

A medical spa offers treatments which require a doctor’s supervision. It focuses in proper nutrition, preventive healthcare and overall wellness. The traditional medicine offered in this type of spa can range from acupuncture to ayurvedic healing. This will typically be monitored by medical professionals.

The concept of restoring health has expanded into a wide range of spa-like treatments, experiences and programs. There may be a lot of them available in many locations but it is still up to you what kind of service and experience you want. Find a spa that you can truly enjoy and is most suitable for your lifestyle.

Author: Chris Turley

get a therapy spa at home.....custom inground pools and spas

Best Value Destination Spas

Not everyone is able to hop aboard their private jet and whisk off to an exclusive spa destination for ridiculous amounts of pandering and pampering. In fact, most Americans are happy to take a family vacation (dog included) or sink their toes into a white-sand beach once or twice a year.

However, there are still some spa destinations out there that cater to the budget-minded.
This budget destination spas listing was complied by the Travel + Leisure Website as a part of a readership survey.

Combining international standards with Thai values and beliefs, the Chiva-Som in Thailand offers an individualized, holistic approach to health that incorporates the mind, body and spirit. Guests may immerse themselves in relaxing views from a lakeside room, while indulging in an aromatherapy facial or traditional Chinese medicine sessions. Ocean View rooms face the Gulf of Thailand and offer private balconies. The resort's signature treatment is called Chi Nei Tsang, a 45-minute abdominal massage based on traditional Chinese medicine, which is designed to aid digestion. Chiva-Som equates good health to vitality, wellness, peace, harmony, and balance.

Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, the original destination fitness resort and spa, opened some 65 years ago, and provides guests with space to breathe clean air, relax, and renew. The ranch practices sustainable organic gardening and was probably one of the world's first "eco" resorts. Spa treatments use aromatic and medicinal herbs and other healing plants grown in the resort's gardens. All Rancho La Puerta guests receive complimentary skin-care analysis and consultation. Highlight treatments and services include the mineral-essential Golden Door Facial, Hot Riverstone Massage, tai chi, and yoga.

Surrounded by wildlife and the Teton Mountain Range, guests at the Wilderness Adventure Spa at Spring Creek Ranch find true relaxation and rejuvenation. Here, guests can choose from hotel rooms, condominiums, or homes during their stay. One thousand feet above the town of Jackson, the spa is an ideal place to disconnect from the outside world with signature treatments such as the Moisture Drench Body Treatment. Parched skin is soothed with coconut, buffing grains, and shea butter containing orange and cedar extracts. Or guests might indulge in the Divine Detox, which includes the 45-minute custom Rocky Mountain Relaxation Massage with Juniper Cypress Detoxifying. In the summer months, guests embark on guided hiking expeditions and in the winter, wildlife safaris reveal some of the best wildlife viewing available anytime of the year.
Nestled in another range of mountains, the Westglow Resort & Spa makes its home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The full-service, European-style spa is housed in an elegantly restored Greek Revival mansion with a beautiful fireside lounge offering spectacular mountain views. Here, guests indulge in oxygen facials, Grandfather Stone therapy, or a Thai Massage. Westglow also offers a variety of outdoor activities including supervised mountain biking, horseback riding, or whitewater rafting.

Taking its inspiration from its Native American roots, Mii amo Spa at Enchantment in Sedona, Arizona, is situated in red-rock country. The spa takes its name from the Native American word for Journey. Guests here take an amazing journey in the transformation of their physical health, emotional well-being, and spiritual renewal. The resort's signature treatment, the Mii amo Spirit, helps to restore energy flow with the use of oils which are applied to chakras and citrine and rose quartz stones. The Crystal Room, used for quiet contemplation, is the heart and soul of the Mii amo. The spa's full schedule of activities feature hikes in the Red Rocks, aqua aerobics, yoga, and meditation.

Author: Mariet Smart

get a custom pool and spa for your home retreat

Swimming Pools – Important Facts And Aspects

Swimming pools are very popular in the warmer parts of the United States because they provide great opportunities for entertainment, fun, and exercise. There are two basic options when it comes to buying a swimming pool for a private home – above ground and in-ground. Above ground pools range in cost from $1500 to upwards of $5000, according to details and size of the pool. The advantages of above ground pools are the cheaper prices, portability, and ease of installation. In fact, an above ground pool may be installed and ready for use within hours. These type pools can also be self-installed to save money on installation, though professional installation is always recommended.

In–ground pools are considerably more expensive. They range in price from $17000 to over $45,000, based on materials, size, and design. Concrete pools, the most expensive option, can be formed in any shape or size because they are custom-poured. As for water temperature, options include standard heated, solar heated, and non-heated traditional. For solar heated pools, location is very important, and the builder should make sure to place the pool in the best spot to receive optimum natural sunlight. For any kind of pool, the color of the bottom surface is significant, because it dictates the temperature of the water. Dark-colored bottoms attract and retain heat for more comfortable water temperature in most climates, but those who live in very hot climates may want to do the opposite by choosing a light colored pool bottom for cooler water.

The homeowner and contractor should confer with the city’s zoning department for any codes related to building a pool, deck or pool house. Also, the neighborhood association, if applicable, may set guidelines for any new construction on the property. It is very important to be aware of and fulfill all specifications to ensure that the new pool is not a future problem.

There are many positive aspects to build a swimming pool. The most important ones are the health benefits they offer. Swimming is one of the best exercises and it benefits the entire body. Unless the pool is heated, however, swimming becomes a seasonal workout and must be substituted for another form of exercise in the cooler months.

The fun and entertainment that pools provide is another plus to building a pool. A clean, sparkling swimming pool is a great place to socialize with friends and family while enjoying the great outdoors. Children love playing in the pool, but should be supervised at all times to avoid accidents.
Attractively designed pools and decks offer many hours of summertime enjoyment.

Of course, there are bound to be some downsides to purchasing a pool as well. Besides the high price of buying a pool, there is also the costly maintenance. Whether the owner does the servicing himself or hires a pool service to come on a regular basis, the equipment and chemicals required to maintain the pool are expensive and time-consuming.

Another consideration is the possibility that the owner will later want to sell the home with the pool in the backyard. Will the pool be a good selling point or will it detract from the sale? Many factors are involved in the answer to this question, including the climate of the area, the presence of other pools in the neighborhood, and of course, the personal preferences of potential buyers.

Safety is the biggest concern when it comes to swimming pools. For optimum safety, make sure that all accessories, such as waterslides and diving boards, have been professionally installed and are very secure.
Also, include safety barriers in the pool area, to prevent drowning, such as a fence and a pool cover. Store pool chemicals in a safe place that is inaccessible to children and pets. And above all else, make sure children are supervised at all times near the pool.

Author: Naldo Camarones

Pools and Southen California Real Estate

Something that many first time home owners look for when shopping for Southen California real estate is the option of a custom inground pool. Custom Pools are beautiful and can add atmosphere and class to your home, however something many shoppers in the Southen California market have noticed is that inground swimming pools are popular choices for homeowners.
Custom in ground pools are the way to go when shopping for Southen California real estate. Custom in ground pools have many possibilities and can be installed even in small yards. First measure your property and make sure your pool won’t be too near any power lines, trees or other property. Once you have a solid and level piece of land, look into purchasing an appropriate-sized pool

When installing a custom in ground pool or pool with waterfall one thing to consider when examining your Southen California real estate is the amount of space around the pool as well. Many custom in ground pools will require ample room for waterfalls or waterfeatures and you'll want enough room for patio tables, chairs and general entertaining. A custom swimming pool builder can help you to design the perfect in ground custom pool for your backyard.

Pools can be a wonderful thing to have, but they can also have a significant impact on the room and quality of your Southen California real estate. Keep in mind these and other options when you shop for your pool, and remember, its’ your house, so get something that you feel good about living with.

Author: Sanda Peterson

Filters and Pumps For In-Ground Pools

When it comes to swimming pools, there's nothing more important than making sure that the water is clean and safe, so that the health of swimmers won't be put at risk. The most important part of maintaining sanitary water is having an effective pool filtration system. Composed primarily of a filter and a pump, such systems will remove debris, pollutants and organic waste from swimming pool water. Such particles and pollutants can end up in pool water from the surrounding environment or can be carried into the water by swimmers. When effective pool filters and pool pumps are operating to clean waste and debris from the water, the transmission of infections and illnesses to swimmers will be prevented and every swimming experience can be healthy and fun.

The most typical components of filtration systems for private in-ground swimming pools are pool filters and pool pumps. In-ground pool pumps are electrically operated devices which are primarily responsible for circulating the pool water. Pool pumps are most typically run for 6 to 12 hours each day during the swimming season, although they are sometimes operated for 24 hours a day. Some swimming pool pumps come with electronic timers to control their operation. Most in-ground pool pumps are self priming, meaning that they can be located above the pool of water level but can still start up again on their own after being off for a timed rest period. Recently, several manufacturers of in-ground pool pumps have produced new units which conserve energy while still providing effective water circulation.

As the second essential component of a pool filtration system, the filter will usually be found directly after the pool pump in the system's set-up. By trapping debris, particles and waste materials and preventing them from re-entering the swimming pool, filters play a vital role in pool cleanliness. When pool owners make sure that the pool filters and pool pumps that they choose to use will work well together, optimal results will be achieved. While different filters make use of different media to trap debris and contaminants and to clean swimming pool water, the three most common types of in-ground pool filters are sand filters, cartridge filters and diatomaceous earth filters.

Sand filters are one of the oldest and most common types of pool filters available. These filtration units are comprised of a series of chambers containing specially graded sand. The pool water flows from top to bottom through these filters and, as the water passes through the sand bed, particles become trapped in the sand while clean water is able to pass through. The type of sand used in sand pool filters will trap particles in the 20 to 100 micron range. Although sand filters are very commonly used for private pools, they do not provide as effective filtration as other types of filters. Furthermore, in-ground sand pool filters must be cleaned each week with backwashing.

Although not as widespread as sand filters, cartridge in-ground pool filters provide more effective filtration and are easier to maintain and less expensive to operate. This is because cartridge filters have more surface area, allowing for more particles and debris to become trapped. These units also require fewer cleanings than sand filters and can simply be hosed off once or twice each season. An additional benefit of cartridge filters is the fact that they function at a lower pressure than sand filters, and thus exert less force and demand on pool pumps.

In addition to sand and cartridge pool filters, diatomaceous earth pool filters are also available. These in-ground pool filters provide the best and most effective water filtration, trapping and removing extremely small particles, even those as small as 2 to 5 microns. Composed of the fossilized exoskeletons of miniscule diatoms, diatomaceous earth is a porous powder which allows clean water to return to the swimming pool while preventing the transmission of contaminants through the filter. As with sand filters, diatomaceous earth filters need to be cleaned by backwashing and will also need to be recharged with more of the porous powder from time to time. However, since diatomaceous earth or DE filters are so highly effective, they allow for superior cleanliness and safety of pool water.

No matter which type of in-ground pool filter you choose to use in conjunction with the rest of your filtration system, it's always important to ensure that every component is working properly so that you can maintain a healthy swimming environment. A wide selection of different in-ground pool pumps and filters are readily available from quality retailers such as With pool pumps and filters manufactured by trusted companies such as Hayward and Pentair, there are many great options available to help you set up and maintain an efficient and effective pool filtration system that will allow you to enjoy happy and healthy swimming throughout the summer.

Author: James Claypool

Different Types Of Swimming Pools And Their Features

The inconvenience of traveling to the beach and the crowded conditions of local pools are key factors in influencing the decision to buy a pool of your own. The health benefits pools offer are another consideration. Swimming is one of the best exercises because it benefits the entire body. Many different exercises can be performed in a pool, including a number specifically designed for arthritis sufferers. Without a doubt, a major factor in owning a pool is that it is just plain fun.

There are, however, some downsides to purchasing a pool. Besides the price of buying a pool, maintenance is also expensive. Whether the owner does the servicing himself or hires a pool service to come on a regular basis, the equipment and chemicals required to maintain a pool are costly and the process time-consuming.

There are two types of swimming pool for a private home: above-ground and in-ground. In-ground pools come in three main types, concrete, vinyl and fiberglass. They offer a variety of features and come in a range of prices. Different finishes, water features and hot tubs are available for all types of pools.
Concrete pools offer more design flexibility because they are custom built. The disadvantage of concrete pools is that they may take between 8 and 12 weeks to complete. Vinyl pools are typically pre-fabricated shapes of vinyl panels stretched over steel frames. They can be installed faster than concrete pools. Fiberglass pools are one-piece shells that are manufactured offsite and shipped directly to the owner. Once the hole is dug and leveled, the fiberglass pool is placed into the hole. Installation time is quicker than concrete pools and similar to vinyl. The best way to determine the advantages and disadvantages for each type and decide which is right for you is to consult with experts.

There are several options for controlling water temperature in the pool, including standard heated, solar heated, and non-heated traditional. For solar heated pools, location is very important, and the builder should install the pool where it will receive the most natural sunlight. For any pool, the color of the bottom dictates the temperature of the water. Dark colors attract and retain heat for a more comfortable water temperature, while a light colored pool bottom allows the heat to escape for cooler water.

It is very important to be aware of and fulfill all building regulations to ensure that the new pool is not a future problem. The homeowner and contractor confer should meet with the city’s zoning department for any codes related to building a pool. The neighborhood association, if applicable, should also be contacted regarding guidelines for any new construction on the property.

Above-ground swimming pools are less expensive than in-ground pools. Prices range from a few hundred dollars for the smaller, simpler pools to thousands of dollars for hard-sided above ground pools with decks and other features. In addition, they can be installed quickly either by a professional installer or by the pool owner. There are two main varieties of above-ground swimming pools, hard and soft-sided. Hard-sided pools are constructed of fiberglass or metal and are usually more expensive and more durable than soft sided models. Soft-sided models are made from latex, rubber or a similar material.

It is fun to own any type of pool and have guests over. Children love playing in the pool, but must be carefully supervised at all times to avoid accidents. Pool chemicals should be stored in a safe place that is inaccessible to children and pets. For optimum safety for everyone, all accessories, such as waterslides and diving boards, should be professionally installed. There should be safety barriers in the pool area, such as a fence and a pool cover, to prevent accidental drowning.

Author: Joe Goertz

Different Pool Accessories For In-ground Pools

Modest Of Concern Gives You Recovered Surroundings:

Having a swimming pool at your own home is the unsurpassed preference of soothing. Your family and friends will have a great time and everyone will enjoy the summer a bit more. However, any pool builder will tell you that owning a swimming pool requires expected upholding, from cleaning to water testing and treating. Make persuaded you pay for pinnacle eminence swimming pool supplies so your pool is protected to swim in. You will find a broad array of swimming pool supplies at net so don’t be indecisive to look up. For those that are fluky enough to boast a pool, pool maintenance is fraction of the package. Pool maintenance is extremely important to promote cleanliness and good pool chemistry. But pool maintenance isn’t all bad. It just takes some attention to detail and some routine care to ensure a clear, clean pool.

Shield Your Swimming Pond:

Pool cover protects your swimming pool in a variety of ways, as well as your loved ones and neighbors. A swimming pool cover works to keep rubble out of your pool. An astral pool cover will help in heating the pool water with the suns heat. Additionally, a pool cover will put a stop to any unwanted visitors like animals or human sort from entering your pool and protect them from any dangers. Lastly, a pool cover works to protect your swimming pool from climatic differences such as the winter months. Maintain a chart which will allow you to maintain track of the maintenance you carry out on your pool and the levels of chemicals you put in each time, as well as the chemical readings from test performed.
This type of cleaners is almost self-reliable. Debris, dirt and leaves are kept in a bag or cartridge that is within the robotic cleaner itself. Robotic cleaners run with 110 volts electric supply. This kind of pool cleaner is very easy to use because you do not need incorporate it with your existing filter system. You can very well use it as a secondary filter system. These may be expensive as compared to other cleaners, but it’s well worth the money.

These are the two common types of cleaners. You can choose one over the other; just make sure it benefits you the most.

Author: David Faulkner

Solar Energy Systems For Pools

If you have a pool, you know how much heating it can crank up your utility bill. Solar energy systems for pools offer an alternative method that will not devastate your bank account.

When most people think of solar energy systems, they think of the large crystalline structures that are meant to collect a lot of solar energy in order to convert it into solar power. However, there are other uses for solar energy systems. One of the more ingenious uses for this technology is the use of solar energy systems for heating pools. By using solar power to heat your swimming pool, you can be sure that your morning swim will always be nice, comfortable and cheap.

Everyone has to heat their pool unless they are living in a tropical climate where the temperature doesn’t drop at night. Some people choose to purchase a pool cover, but these only work to limit heat loss versus actually heating up the water. Gas heaters work well, but the operating cost of a gas heater can really add up. A low initial cost can draw pool owners to gas heaters, but the charges over the life of the use of the pool can be appalling.

Using solar energy systems for heating pools, however, can solve all of the problems of the above methods. Usually, solar energy systems are installed on the roof of your house, where much sunlight hits. These solar energy systems collect heat, which is transmitted to water stored in hoses behind the solar collectors. This warms the water, which is then circulated through the pool. This method of heating a swimming pool does cost more initially than any other heating system, but the solar collectors and other accessories pay for themselves within a few years. If you plan to live in the home for some time, the cost will be a fraction of any other heating method. If you plan to sell the house in the near future, the solar energy systems will add to the value of the house since they are considered energy savers over time.

The use of solar energy systems for heating pools is a time tested strategy. If you live in an area where lots of homes have pools, you should take a walk around the neighborhood. You will notice lots of homes with pools have solar energy systems. The only downside to this approach is the government does not offer any financial incentives for heating your pool with solar. Given the utility savings, it really doesn’t matter. It is still a no brainer to use solar energy systems for heating pools.

Solar energy systems are a great choice for heating your swimming pool. As well as being the most cost effective heating system, solar energy systems are the most eco-friendly as well. Choosing solar energy for your swimming pool heating means that everyone wins!

Author: Rick Chappo

Above Ground Pools: For Ultimate Swimming

Nothing can beat the heat of summer like the cool, refreshing waters of a swimming pool. The cold water of swimming pool is a haven in the scorching heat of summer. You never want to get out of the swimming pool. The pool becomes irresistible.

Swimming pools are basically made for recreational swimming and competitive swimming activities. A personal swimming pool definitely adds style and value to your home.

Swimming pools are mainly of two types: in ground swimming pools and above ground swimming pools. In ground swimming pools are permanent structures requiring excavation and professional installation; above ground swimming pools are becoming more popular these days, as they are easily installed.

Above ground swimming pools
The above ground swimming pools are the best option for recreational swimming as they have very low construction costs. The basic advantage of these pools is that they are easy-to-build. Above ground pools are made up of prefabricated kits. These kits can be put together by a keen DIY enthusiast to make a pool. But most people like to have it installed by the professionals as the pool then comes with a guarantee.

A professional will install the pool quite systematically for you. Firstly, the ground is leveled to provide a flat building surface. Then the installers assemble the base track. The track supports the outer wall made of plastic, metal or even wood. Then the plumbing is laid after the sand and is spread in the pool area. Finally, the vinyl liner over the pool walls is secured, smoothened and fastened into place and the pool is filled with water. Now the pumping system and filtering system are hooked up and the pool is ready for swimming.

Types of above ground pools
An above ground swimming pools is an owner’s delight. They can be placed anywhere. They are easy-to-build and easy-to-use pools. There are basically two types of above ground swimming pools, hard-sided pools and inflatable pools with soft sides.

Hard-sided pools
Hard-sided pools are available in several varieties of depths and sizes. These hard-sided pools are generally oval or round in shape with a sheet metal frame. For stabilization, one piece of flexible metal wall with a sheet metal rail is attached to the top. The top rail is attached to the inserted vinyl liner so that the water is contained. A metal-sided pool is difficult to assemble, as it requires more elaborate ground preparation.

Soft-sided pools
Soft-sided pools have become increasingly popular over the last decade. These above ground pools are available in both rectangular and round shapes, with the rectangular shape being more popular. These pools also have metal frames, and are available in a variety of depths and sizes. These pools are known for their strength and durability and are cheaper than hard-sided pools. They are a great way to have a customized pool as they can be built in large sizes.

Soft-sided pools can be placed on almost any surface. They can be placed on dirt, grass, sand, concrete and even gravel. The pools have tolerance up to 3” out of line on each level. The liner material which is used in these pools is similar to that used in bullet proof vests. This makes the liner puncture resistant and durable. Soft-sided pools can be assembled within a few hours.

Both hard-sided and soft-sided pools require an electric pump to circulate the water. They also require filters and ladders. Filters are needed to ensure that the water is clean and ladders, so that one can get in and out of the pool safely.

Both pools also require an automatic chlorinator, pool heater and a pool cleaner. A swimming pool slide and pool lights make great accessories to improve your swimming experience. Above ground swimming pools are cheaper compared to in-ground swimming pools. A small above ground swimming pool costs up to $1500 and a large one can cost up to $10,000. Above ground pools are easier-to-install, however, these pools have disadvantages as well. They are not very attractive and will require some landscaping to help them blend in to your garden. They are also less durable as compared to in-ground pools.

However, above ground swimming pools are popular pools and are purchased by a large number of people. They provide many happy days full of enjoyment and easy relaxation, a great investment for your home.

Author: Mike

Salt and Chlorine Pools: Which is Best?

Chlorination has been the traditional method of pool sanitation for decades—almost by default, since there were no alternatives for this crucial aspect of owning a swimming pool. However, for many pool owners, chlorination is an old and outdated pool sanitation method they’ve discarded in favor of maintaining a salt water pool.

So what’s the problem with chlorine, anyway? It does exactly what it needs to—kills algae and bacteria, keeping the pool attractive and more importantly, a safe and sanitary place to swim. A pool that doesn’t get regular chlorine treatments will quickly become clogged with thick green algae. Depending on where you live, and especially in a warm climate like Florida, an untreated pool can become a green, sludgy nightmare inside of a week—the chlorine is definitely important.

If you maintain a chlorinated pool, however, it’s not enough to dump chlorine in periodically and let the pool fend for itself. There are other chemicals to add too, as well as regular testing to keep an eye on water quality. For example, you must make sure there is enough free available chlorine (meaning chlorine that is active) in the water to keep up with sanitizing the water. This is usually done with the use of weekly chlorine tablets.

Another important aspect of this maintenance is PH levels—the acidity or alkalinity of the water. If the PH gets too high, the chlorine in the pool isn’t able to work as efficiently. However, if the PH drops too low, the water quickly becomes too acidic to swim in comfortably. Keeping the PH at the right level is somewhat difficult, because the range at which it’s ‘just right’ is very narrow and many factors, including rain, affect this.

Chlorine is important for sanitation, but for many people it’s also a source of irritation. The harsh chemicals that are added to pre-packaged pool chlorine irritate the skin and eyes, making swimming a highly unpleasant experience. It is important to note that it’s not the chlorine that’s the problem—in most cases it’s the chemicals which are added to the pre-packaged mix.

Salt Water
The main advantage of a salt water pool isn’t that it doesn’t use chlorine. In fact, a salt water pool does use chlorine to keep the water clean. The advantage is that the pool owner doesn’t add chlorine to the pool—that means no pre-packaged chlorine, and less irritation for people who are sensitive to the added chemicals. Salt water tends to be much softer than chlorinated water, so it’s much more pleasurable to swim in, and is much less harsh on your skin. In addition, a salt water pool usually has a much lower concentration of chlorine than a chlorinated pool.

Another important benefit is more of a long-term one. In the short term, converting from chlorine to a salt water pool will involve some cash outlay, since there are a few system components you’ll need to by. It’ll run approximately $1000-$1500 to convert a traditional chlorine system to a salt water system. Over two or three years, however, the money you spend is recouped due to not having to buy extra chlorine for the pool. Just a bag of salt which is much less expensive.

Just to be clear though, salt water pools do in fact use chlorine to sanitize and the water. So if you are not adding chlorine tablets or shock, how does that work?

It works because of the chemical composition of salt, which is made up of chlorine and sodium. Within the salt water system is a unit called a salt-chlorine generator, which uses electrolysis to generate chlorine by separating the sodium and chlorine molecules in the salt you add to the pool. As the generator unit separates out the chlorine, it’s returned to the pool, where it keeps the water clean and sanitary.

A well-maintained salt pool is an absolute delight to swim in, with softer, more comfortable water that doesn’t irritate. It doesn’t taste salty, either, as you might think, because it has such a low concentration of salt that it’s officially considered to be fresh water! In the ocean, the salt concentration is between 20,000 to 35,000 parts per million, whereas in a salt water pool, it’s just 3,000 to 6,000.

Finally, don’t be fooled into thinking that a salt water pool maintains itself. It doesn’t. You still need to check PH levels and carry out other maintenance tasks. However,you’ll benefit from lower maintenance costs and a more enjoyable swimming experience, which definitely makes it worthwhile.

Author: Calum MacKenzie

Natural Swimming Pools

Natural swimming pools are based on ponds and pools that were once found so abundantly in the landscape. They are a chemical free combination of swimming area and aquatic plant garden, and so form an intimate part of the garden landscape. Natural swimming pools can also make a very important contribution to the restoration of aquatic flora and fauna.

They always take the form of a swimming area and a regeneration area. Sometimes these are at the same (water) level and sometimes the regeneration area is at a separate level.

Natural Swimming Pools - Basic Rules

There are some basic rules for their construction:-

1) You will need a deep area for swimming, between 5 feet (1500mm) and 7 feet (2200mm) with vertical walls.

2) You will need a similar expanse for the regeneration area, which will vary in water depth (down to nothing at the edges). The regeneration area will contain aggregate for filtration in a mass from 2inches (50mm) to eighteen inches (450mm) and averaging 1 foot (300mm).

3) You will need to follow local laws (sometimes quite stringent) for safety fencing.

4) A total area of 50 square metres (25 for the swimming area and 25 for the regeneration area) is recommended by some, but many people are now finding that 100 square metres (50 each for swimming area and regeneration area) gives better, more stable, and more predictable results.

5) You will need a circulating pump to draw water through the gravel bed of the regeneration zone, if the regeneration area and the pond are on the same level. If the regeneration area is above the pond it may drain naturally into the pond, but you will still need a pump to feed it.

Running Cost

You will save money on running costs and you will save on some special features (such as chemical treatment units) but the capital cost is at present quite high reflecting to a degree the complexity of organizing the biological processes. It is arguable that installing a “normal” swimming pool is a entirely mechanical process that can be handled by competent builders/engineers without much specialist knowledge. On the other hand a “natural” swimming pool requires specialized skills and knowledge, for which at the moment you are paying a premium.

You will have to allow for slightly higher maintenance. The regeneration area will be actively managed – removal of excess vegetable matter, replacement of plants that are not doing well, and so on.

You will also have a pool which integrates much better into the garden landscape. If you always wanted a pool for exploring the attractions of pond life, aquatic plants and so on then this is your excuse.

Extra Sources of Information

There are good but slightly academic sources of information on the internet about natural pools. The best is from Europe, where hundreds of natural swimming pools have been built, but really what you must do is make contact with natural swimming pool builders, who not only know the practical wrinkles of building and landscaping a pool, but who will also be able to point you to actual examples.

Author: Chas And Daff

Swimming Pools Need Landscaping Too

A back yard swimming pool is the ultimate addition to a sybaritic lifestyle! There are three kinds of pools: Above ground, on ground, and in ground, and there are landscaping possibilities for each one.
Do you have a pool in your backyard? Whether it is an above ground pool, an on-ground pool (half in the ground and half above) or an in-ground pool, there's no need for it to dominate the rest of your landscape unless you want it too.

Safety Tip 1
The first landscape item you'll need to add to a pool is a safety fence. Pools are considered an "attractive nuisance", and it doesn't matter how many "no trespassing" signs you may have on your property. If an intruder - child or adult - gets into your pool and is harmed - you will be sued for negligence. The only way to protect yourself is to have a fence surrounding the pool.

Safety Tip 2
It's imperative that you keep the area around your pool clear of bric-a-brac. For one thing it will detract from the attractiveness of your pool, but even more importantly it could cause someone to trip, fall into the pool, and perhaps get injured. Even if there's no question of a lawsuit, it's always best if your visitors have a good time and don't hurt themselves!

Alright, that's the grim stuff out of the way. Now let's get to the fun stuff. You've got a pool! What should go with it?

Above Ground Pools
Landscaping around an above ground pool is quite different than around one that is on-ground or in-ground. The above ground pool is so huge and dominating that there's not really any way you can minimize it, so why not place potted plants around it. (You don't want to plant trees or bushes near the pool, as the root system can find it's way underneath the pool and push upward - and the pool must be absolutely level.)
On-ground and In-ground pools
Whatever you have around your pool - furniture or other ornamentation - make sure you place these items more than four feet away from the edge of the pool. This will prevent people from accidently tripping. Have a little shed where you can place all the tools needed to care for your pool, and replace them as soon as you're done using them. Make sure the shed has a lock on it, as you'll be storing chemicals inside it and you don't want them to disappear.

Wicker furniture placed strategically around the pool, perhaps a table with an umbrella pole in the middle...those are the traditional sights seen around a pool. But you can add so much more - a border of decorative stone, potted plants, statuary...even a fireplace.

You can place lights around your pool to illuminate it at night, but beware - if you can't see the bottom of your pool, then you must not go swimming. That's a simple safety precaution. But there's a certain esthetic satisfaction in watching light play across the shimmering surface of water.

You'll want to enjoy your pool for a long time to come. So, safety first, and esthetic values second. But with a little imagination, you can make your pool the shining jewel in your landscape.

Author: Mr.Andrew Caxton

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Custom Swimming Pools for Southern California

A Brief History Of Swimming Pools

Swimming is, by far, one of the most popular pastimes in the world. It is also one of the oldest. As an organized activity, swimming dates back to around 2500 BC. Swimming was immensely popular in ancient Egypt, and there are a number of relics from the period which depict the act of swimming in vivid and awe-inspiring detail. In ancient Greece and Rome, swimming was taught to boys as part of their elementary school curriculum. Furthermore, the first known public swimming pools were built in Rome.
Under the direction of a wealthy Roman lord named Gaius Maecenas, the first heated swimming pool was also built for public use. Plato, himself, once declared that anyone who could not swim lacked a proper education. Who dares to argue with him? Aside from the Greeks and Romans, many other ancient cultures have left evidence of their love for swimming; among them the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Phoenicians. There is also evidence of competitive swimming in Japan over 2000 years ago.

In the 1830's, swimming became extremely popular in England with the establishment of various swim clubs. At the time, the breaststroke was the most oft used technique. In 1885, Captain Matthew Webb became the first man to swim across the English Channel and the breaststroke was his technique of choice. Two of the most popular swim clubs from the time were The Otter Swimming Club and The Leander Swimming Club.

In 1896, the first of the modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece. Naturally, competitive swimming played a significant role. The swimming event was held in the Aegean Sea, in the bay of Zea. The gold medalist for the swimming event was a fellow named Alfred Hoyos Guttman. Of the event, he said that his greatest struggle "was against the towering twelve-foot waves and the terribly cold water." Swimming continues to play a prominent role in the Olympic Games.

Swimming continues to be the sport of choice for many of today's athletes. Most cities have public swimming facilities, where you can swim for competitively or merely for fun. In fact, a number of public swimming areas also offer lessons for a very reasonable price. If you are a keen swimmer, you might even consider installing a pool in your backyard. With summer just around the corner, it would be a good time to start planning.

Author: Cass Richards

Landscaping An Inground Pool: Creating A Backyard Fantasy

Many homeowners have come to the realization that the more “luxury” accoutrements they can add to their homes, the greater their resale value will be--and they’ll be able to enjoy the “extras” until such time as they decide to sell and move on. One home luxury item which has grown tremendously in popularity in recent years is the inground backyard pool and spa.

There’s nothing like a relaxing after-dinner visit to the spa; and one way to make the backyard pool and/or spa seem like even more of a private retreat is to employ some landscaping techniques to decorate your inground pool spa. Ideas for landscaping inground pools abound; if you have an in ground pool or spa, and have been to a warm-weather vacation spot which you simply cannot forget, why not transform your backyard with landscaping inground pool and spa ideas inspired by that vacation?

Ideas for Landscaping Your Custom Inground Pool Spa

If you have landscaping inground spa ideas which are too elaborate for you to implement on your own, help is as close as a phone call to a local landscaping contractor. Landscaping an inground pool and spa can include effects as complex as a waterfall cascading over and around a series of descending stones and over one edge of your pool or spa.
Or you can capture a jungle effect, and some privacy, by screening your custom pool spa with bamboo or other tropical vegetation, interspersed with a series of lights to add nighttime interest. For those who love the high country, a spa hidden among boulders and evergreens might be reminiscent of a mountain getaway.

Professional Help with Landscaping An Inground Pool and Spa

If you have decided on a theme for landscaping your inground pool and spa, you need to develop a plan to implement it. If you aren’t particularly fussy, you can buy one of the many pre-fabricated landscaping inground spa kits. But if you prefer a look uniquely your own, and aren’t confident you can pull it off, you can turn to a professional swimming pool builder or landscape architect. You’ll have to pay more, but the finished results will more than compensate for the extra cost. For more info see

Provide your contracting firm with your completed landscaping inground pool and spa plan, and arrange for one of the pool designers to visit your home to see how feasible your ideas are. Don’t be bashful about sharing what it would take to give you the landscaping inground spa results of your dreams. The pool contractor will both know how realistic your plans are, and make suggestions to either enhance them or bring them in line with what is actually possible.

The money you pay to have a professional bring your landscaping and custom pool spa dream to life will be forgotten the first time you slide into that warm welcoming water after another stressful day. For as long as you own your home, you’ll have a very personal and private escape, right in your own backyard!

Author: David Faulkner
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