An outdoor in-ground pool

Thinking about building a pool? It’s not just about digging a hole and filling it with water. There’s a lot more to consider, from permits to design intricacies. Here are five key things you should know about building and installing your own pool.

The Importance of Permits

Before you even break ground, you’ll need to secure a construction permit. This isn’t just a formality; it’s a comprehensive process that involves design architects and engineers. These professionals will need to submit detailed plans to your local health authority for approval. Without this permit, you can’t legally begin construction. So, it’s not just about the construction but also about ongoing compliance with health and safety regulations.

Designing the Pool Surround

The area around your pool, known as the pool surround, must meet specific guidelines. This includes fencing that adheres to height and latch details, as well as decks that meet drainage requirements. The materials you choose for the deck, its slope, and even its color may be regulated. These elements are crucial for both safety and functionality.

Water Quality and Circulation

Maintaining optimal water quality is a science. Your pool will need state-of-the-art circulation systems to keep the water clean and clear. This involves specialized equipment and chemicals for pH levels, disinfection, and filtration. It’s not just about having water in the pool; it’s about ensuring that water is safe and clean for everyone to enjoy.

Lighting and Electrical Requirements

Believe it or not, the lighting in and around your pool is more than a design choice, it’s a safety requirement. Guidelines dictate the type, placement, and even the wattage of lights you can use. This ensures that the pool area is well-lit, reducing the risk of accidents. And it’s not just your pool lights; electrical installations like outlets and switches must be strategically placed to prevent electrical hazards. When you’re planning the lighting for your pool, it’s not only about setting the mood; it’s about adhering to safety standards.

Special Features and Their Complexities

If you’re thinking about adding special features like slides, diving boards, or even wave pools, be prepared for additional design complexities. These features come with their own set of regulations concerning height, length, water depth, and clearance. So, adding that slide or diving board may not be as simple as it seems.

Building and installing a pool is a complex process that requires a lot of planning, expertise, and attention to detail. But don’t let that deter you. Our team of experts is here to guide you through every step, ensuring that your pool meets all the necessary guidelines and regulations. Contact us today to get started on your dream pool!

A custom pool with a stone deck.

Summer is almost here again, and after a long and dreary winter, what could be better than taking some well-deserved time to relax by your pool?  Your own backyard oasis can be the perfect respite to unwind with family and friends – that is, if you aren’t saddled with huge energy bills at the end of the season!

Not to worry – we’re here to help with some simple ideas to help you reduce your costs and make the most of your outdoor space this year.

Cost saving measures for new installations

If you are lucky enough to be installing a new pool, make sure you get good advice about the best energy saving techniques before you get started.  The choices you make today could save you a bundle in long term savings down the road.

  • Pool location is a great way to maximize the sun’s natural energy. Your design should anticipate the amount of light and heat your pool is exposed to during the day in order to minimize your heating expenses.
  • Wind barriers also help by preventing heat loss. Including landscaping, fencing or rock enclosures can significantly cut down on exposure to wind.
  • Darker liner or tile colours can actually help to retain heat in your pool and attract the sun, so consider these options when you are making your design choices to help with heating costs year over year.
  • Energy saving pool equipment can make a huge difference in your heating and operating bills, so be sure and go the extra mile when you are planning your pool project so that you can take advantage of these savings for years to come.

Energy-wise ideas for existing pools

There’s no need for existing pools to feel like a money pit either.  There are lots of things you can do to cut down on costs and still keep your pool running smoothly!  A few key investments today can help reduce energy use for many years to come.

  • Not all pumps are created equal. The right pump for one pool may not be the best choice for another.  Ensuring that your pump is the most efficient size for your pool can definitely reduce waste and cost.  Downsizing to a smaller pump or installing a new energy efficient model may be worth the cost at the outset in order to save down the line.
  • Pool heaters can also be an energy draining feature that homeowners overlook. Consider whether a gas, electric or solar option would improve your energy use.
  • Reducing the temperature setting can also make a huge difference. It seems like a small change, but adjusting your thermostat by one or two degrees won’t likely be noticed by your favourite swimmers, but could show up in your wallet at the end of the month.
  • Installing and using a pool cover is the easiest way to keep heat in and keep cold air out of your pool. The less heat escapes, the less you have to pay to heat, so be sure to get a good quality pool cover and keep it on whenever your pool is not in use!

A few tips can really go a long way to reducing energy costs.  If you’d like to hear more about how to make your pool more energy efficient, give us a call today.

An outdoor in-ground pool

You did it! You finally have the inground pool you’ve always wanted.  Ultimate Pool and Spa created an oasis in your yard, and there’s no better time to update your landscaping to place the focus on your beautiful new pool.  Landscaping is best done right after the pool has been installed, as chances are you had to remove fences or sheds, and possibly even had to remove previous landscaping in order for the install to be completed.  Take advantage of the situation and use the chaos to create peace in your new sanctuary.

Plan Ahead

The first and most important tip is to plan! Make sure you have a good idea of what you want, where you want to put it, and that it’s within your budget.  Everyone wants privacy around their pool area, but what fits your lifestyle better – a pool shed or large shrubs and trees? A pool shed would be better for people who like low maintenance yards, whereas some people don’t mind having to stay on top of sticks and leaves falling in and around the pool and enjoy the natural privacy trees can create.  Make sure what you envision is what you really want and will work with your style and budget.

Choosing Plants

When considering plants, it’s a wise idea to steer clear of flowering plants, at least immediately around the pool area.  The reason is twofold: One, no one wants to have to spend their pool time swatting away bees or sneezing due to allergies.  Secondly, flower petals eventually fall off, and if they’re too close to the pool, you’ll be spending time skimming them out.  This same idea applies to grass.  Lawn looks beautiful but it should be kept away from the pool to minimize clippings in the pool and damage to the grass itself, as it is quite sensitive to pool chemicals.

Shading & Lighting

Lastly, consider your shade and lighting options.  Lighting can double as a style feature itself as well as a safety measure, keeping you and your guests safe when walking around the pool area.  It can also be used to accent certain features of your outdoor oasis.  Shade is equally important when planning your landscaping.  Whether it be with an umbrella, a gazebo, or a full pool shed, providing yourself and your guests with a shaded area to get out of the sun is a vital part of landscaping around your pool.

Whether you want to stick with the beautiful landscaping you already have or want to completely redo your yard to enhance your new pool, the experts at Ultimate Pool and Spa are here to advise, from the first shovel to the last splash!