What You Need to Know About Building an Indoor Pool

When a homeowner wants to build
an indoor pool (especially in the Northeast), it’s often so that they can enjoy
it year-round. And that might be a good reason to do it, especially if the
client is a competitive swimmer or training enthusiast.

Other times, it is for health or
therapy reasons since swimming offers a low impact and buoyant exercise that is
good for the joints. Additionally there are all sorts of different specialized
equipment for underwater exercise including treadmills, pull up bars, and swim
jets where you swim against a current of water.


The biggest difference in doing a
pool indoors as compared to outdoors is the need for dehumidification systems
to “treat” the room. Moisture and interior surface materials (drywall, wood,
insulation, etc.) typically don’t interact well!

It is imperative to hire a good
HVAC company and designer to ensure that the moisture in the room is being
addressed. Windows will need air returned onto them to prevent condensation and
fogging, air handling units need to take moisture out of the air, and the
heating/cooling system will need to interact with the pool water temperature to
make sure that the room itself doesn’t feel like a rainforest.

The contractor that is building
the structure around the pool should also help provide guidance on finish
materials that are suitable for wet conditions. Because of the complexity
created by all of these moving parts, it is important to hire an experienced
pool construction firm that is comfortable working with timeframes and
schedules of other contractors involved in the project.

Impact on Project Cost and Timeline

The pool will be one of the first
things started on the project but, will be the last to finish since adding
water to the pool is the final piece. There is typically not a large change in
how much the pool will cost compared to an outdoor pool. The big difference is
what you will need to spend on the dehumidification system of the room itself.

Don’t skimp on this system! Protect your investment and make sure that your system will keep the room comfortable and your materials protected. Also, indoor pools are generally smaller than outdoor pools. Because of the cost associated with the actual room construction and dehumidification systems required, the room size will dictate the pool size.

Experienced with Indoor Pools

Aquavisions has had the pleasure
of completing several indoor pool projects for clients over the years. One of
our most recent projects is a small to mid-sized pool as part of a new home
construction. The house is located on a unique lot that overlooks a famous
Pennsylvania trout stream in the State College area. The slopes and elevations
of the terrain, along with the water table elevation required the services of a
commercial construction company to build the foundation(s) of the home.

Once the foundations were in
place, Aquavisions came in and installed the concrete pool shell within those
foundation walls. The end product allows the clients to gaze out of their
windows (while swimming in their pool!) and enjoy the view of the tumbling
stream beyond. As part of the building process, the home builder had to build a
bracing structure within our pool shell and constructed an entire floor OVER
our pool so that they could continue to work on the rest of the home. Then we
came back, peeled that floor away, and completed the indoor pool project. It
was quite a magnificent end product!

If you would like more information about building an indoor pool, or
any pool, contact Aquavisions today
to start a conversation.

A Creative Way to Make an Infinity Edge Beautiful and Functional

You may think that the infinity edge feature is reserved for the pools you see sitting atop a fancy hotel in Los Angeles where the water appears to run right over the edge. Or maybe you’ve enjoyed a pool with this feature while on vacation where the infinity edge appeared to drop off into another body of water like a lake or the ocean. While these are all excellent uses for an infinity edge, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not limited to using this feature only when you have a steep drop off near another body of water. 

In this unique project, we want to showcase how we built a custom pool to include not only an infinity edge, but one that includes a second lower pool all its own. There were several reasons why this became the dream design for our client. Foremost, they wanted to find a way to work with a challenging slope in their backyard while enhancing the aesthetics of their pool. They also desired a separate pool space that felt more intimate and secluded. Finally, their property is along the Yellow Breeches, and they wanted to find a way to incorporate the sound of running water to reflect the sound of the creek. 

Take a look at how we were able to accommodate all of these wishes by incorporating an infinity edge feature into their pool design. 

Working with the grade of the landscape.

This particular project presented the challenge of a sloped landscape that would require some substantial excavation and regrading to make it level for a swimming pool. The property was known to have limestone underground, so there would be the risk of hitting rock if we did any major excavating. It would also add to the cost of the project, more so than starting on fairly level land. 

The alternate option we recommended to this client was designing the pool with an infinity edge to work with the existing grade of the property as much as possible. The infinity edge accommodates a slope by allowing for an exposed wall and for the water to run over the edge into a catch basin. The end result is not just a solution to the grading challenge, it’s an outstanding feature that greatly enhances the aesthetics and wow factor of the pool.

Enhanced aesthetics. 

To dive a little deeper into the enhance aesthetics of this pool, the infinity edge and the lower catch base, as well as various areas of exposed sides of the pool were all finished with natural limestone. We recommended using natural stone over a veneer to ensure that as water runs over the edge of the pool, deterioration or a buildup of salt residue would not be an issue. Natural stone is far better at holding up to this daily wear and tear. 

The stone was selected to perfectly blend with the house’s existing stone finishes, and gave a nod back to the area that is known for its limestone. When standing at the lower end of the pool, you can see how the many layers of stone and hardscaping create a stunning backyard scape that certainly grabs your attention. 

Filtration and Function. 

Many people don’t fully understand how the hydraulics and filtration systems for these magnificent looking features work.  And they shouldn’t really need to! It is the job of the pool professional to understand and design the system to meet all pool and spa codes along with meeting expectations from the client on how things look and will operate. 

Keeping the correct amount of water moving and circulating between the main pool and the catch pool below can be tricky depending on what you are trying to accomplish. As the water from the “upper” pool spills over the edge to the “lower” catch pool, leaves and debris will spill over with it.  A well designed hydraulic system will incorporate a pump and filter for this lower pool to ensure that it stays clean. In this particular job, we installed variable speed pumps, cartridge filters and tied the plumbing system into a pool heater so that the water is sanitized and crystal clear as well as heated!  The water then returns to the main “upper” pool via fittings in the pool floor to create the overflowing edge. By returning the heated water to the floor of the pool we ensure efficient heating as well as a water surface that doesn’t show “ripples”, giving the glass like appearance that clients find desirable in vanishing edge designs.

Two separate and functional swimming areas.

What’s most unique about this particular pool is that the client wanted to make the lower basin, which is typically a slender catch basin, into a fully functional second swimming area. Because we custom design each and every one of our pools, we were happy to accommodate this special request. More than just an additional swimming area, the lower basin includes several jets to give it a spa-like feel. The end result was two pools in one, each with a very different feel and view. For a family with small children, this is an ideal setup where the kids can enjoy splashing in the upper pool while the adults enjoy calmer waters in the lower pool, along with the soothing sound of the infinity edge’s waterfall. 

Have you ever envisioned building a swimming pool that includes an infinity edge feature? We can help you explore all the possibilities! Contact us today so we can start a conversation

Benefits of Having a Sun Deck or Tanning Ledge in Your Gunite Swimming Pool

You may hear them referred to as a
sun deck or a tanning ledge. No matter what you choose to call this trendy pool
feature that’s being incorporated into more and more pool designs, one thing is
for certain – you’re going to love the benefits it provides!

In all of our years of building
custom gunite swimming pools, we have never come across two clients who use
their pool in the exact same way. Even within a single family there will be
many types of swimmers and sunbathers who value different aspects of their pool
design. What sun decks and tanning ledges provide is versatility. So whether
you like to be active in your pool, jumping and splashing around, or you prefer
a calm and relaxing atmosphere to read and soak up the sun, you’ll be
interested to learn that the sun deck will quickly become a fan favorite for
swimmers of all ages and energy levels. Here’s why.

Feel refreshed without having to dive in.

Sometimes you want to feel quickly
refreshed without having to commit to going “all in.” With a sun deck, you have
the best of both worlds because you can wade in about one foot of water and
instantly feel refreshed, while still staying mostly dry. It also creates a
nice space to gather with friends, feet dangling in water. Since sun decks are
usually in a curved shape, it creates a comfortable conversation nook.

Stationary sun bathing.

Laying on a raft in your pool,
drink in hand and blue skies above sounds like most people’s definition of a
day in paradise. But if we’re being honest, rafts can get a little awkward to
get on and off of. It can also be uneasy not knowing where you’re floating off
to, if you doze off. The solution? The sun deck. With just the right amount of
water to keep your lower half cool, while still getting to soak up the sun, you
can fully relax without a care in the world.

The perfect depth for your younger swimmers.

Let’s not forget the kids! Keeping
kids safe in the water is our highest priority, and the sun deck gives us just
one more way to do so. With water just about as deep as a kiddie pool, but with
much more room to play, the sun deck allows tiny swimmers to splash around and
play in a comfortable depth of water. Of course swim vests are still required
since the deeper parts of the pool are accessible from the sun deck.

Cool down with both shade and water.

We saved the best feature for last,
and that’s because it becomes just about everyone’s favorite place to be on the
hottest summer days. We build sun decks with the capability to hold a patio
umbrella. This creates a space that has both shade and water for the ultimate
cool down. Take a seat and take a load off!

If your pool had a sun deck or tanning ledge, which one of
these benefits do you think you’d enjoy the most?

Leave a comment below to let us know if this
pool feature will make it to your wish list!

5 Swimming Pool Trends That are Taking the Summer by Storm

5Summer 2019 is heating up! And with the new season right around the corner, so are the new pool trends you’ll start to see guiding the design of pool construction and renovation. These trends go beyond the obvious or expected and take things to the next level by using new technology and design to incorporate elements that are both stylish and functional. Let’s take a look at what we predict to be the top five swimming pool trends to take this summer by storm.

1. Integrated Structures
One of the most increasingly popular requests we receive from clients has been incorporating shade or shelter structures within the surrounding pool area. This includes pergolas, gazebos, pool cabanas, shade sails, and the like. Not only do these integrated structures increase the aesthetics of the space, they also serve an important function of keeping guests dry from a passing rain storm or providing the relief of shade on a hot summer day.

Aquavisions Creates Custom Gunite Spa with Outdoor Living Area

2. Natural Lighting Elements

While there will always be a need for traditional and LED lights around a pool area, more and more pool owners are incorporating natural lighting elements, like fire, into their pool designs. Fire elements are a great way to add light, ambiance and heat all at the same time. Fire pits and fireplaces can be built into the hardscaping surrounding the pool, or elements like fire bowls can be placed right near the edge of the pool to create an inviting and luxe atmosphere.

3. Contrasting Finishes

Dare to be different! This is a theme we are seeing more and more of these days. Pool owners are choosing to incorporate contrasting finishes within their pool and hardscaping to create defined spaces and to accentuate features. If you’re designing or renovating a pool this summer and get to choose new finishes, keep in mind that not everything needs to match perfectly. While everything should fall within a defined color palette, you have the freedom to choose various sizes, colors and finishes of tiles and pavers for your pool area. You can also use contrasting banding to add an artistic element to your space while defining its shape.

4. Stone Elements

Another trend we’re seeing is stone finishes. This includes hardscaping as well as the pool itself. For pools with exposed edges, natural or veneer stone can be used to cover the exposed part of the pool. The result is a beautiful, high-end finish that delivers that “wow” factor to your pool area. The color, size, and pattern of stone you use can have a profound impact on the overall design of your pool.

5. Investing in Long-Term Value

One more important trend to note is investing in elements that add long-term value to a pool. The more you can prioritize designing a pool that is well equipped to maintain its functionality and beauty, the happier you will be with the end result. It’s so important to not cut corners on things like your filtration system, heat system, or finishes. Once you go through all the effort of building a pool, you’re going to want to have it last as long as possible with as little maintenance as possible. Investing in quality now, will give you year and years of through relaxation and enjoyment.

One more thing to note…

this is not a “trend” because it is and should be standard, pool safety
features have also come a long way thanks to new technology entering the market.
Door and gate alarms can be set to audibly alert the pool owner if they are
home, while also alerting them on their mobile device in case they are not.
This way you are always aware of someone entering or existing your pool area.

in-water surveillance systems are designed to continuously monitor what’s going
on in your pool. If it detects a “struggle” in the water, it immediately alerts
the pool owner or can be set to contact 9-1-1. These are just a few of the many
products now on the market that pool owners are incorporating into their pool
designs to provide peace of mind while keeping swimmers safe.

When it comes to building a custom gunite
swimming pool, you have a ton of features, finishes and design options available
to you that can allow you to truly create the pool of your dreams, with very
few limitations. This list only begins to scratch the surface of the up and
coming pool trends that are making waves in 2019. Are you ready to being
designing your backyard paradise? Let’s talk!

Which one of these pool
trends is your favorite? Or is there another trend you’d like to see added to
this list? Share what you think by leaving a comment below!

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Swimming Pool

It’s hard to imagine that there are truly “bad” swimming pool trends or designs that could offset the luxury and convenience (not to mention fun!) of owning your own swimming pool. And in our experience, there are not that many at all! We live by the philosophy of “to each their own.” That’s the beauty of being a custom pool design company. Every client and every pool is unique – as it should be. What one person may love in a pool, may not be the other person’s cup of tea, and that’s quite alright.

Instead, we wanted to take a humorous approach as to how you essentially can’t go wrong with your pool design, so long as you are using quality materials and working with an experienced and professional pool company. So what are the four swimming pool mistakes you should avoid at all costs? Take a look!

  1. Copying someone else’s pool – exactly.

Foremost, where’s the fun in this? The whole concept of choosing a custom pool company is the ability to custom design your very own swimming pool, one that is unlike anything anyone else has! While it’s perfectly fine, and often helpful to show your pool company pictures of other pools you admire and may want to pull design elements from, you should want to have a truly custom design. Second, every backyard is unique in its size, shape, slope and view. How someone else’s pool fits on their property will not be how your pool fits on yours. All the more reason to embrace the flexibility and creativity of a custom pool design!

  1. Choosing short-term solutions.

The next mistake is choosing short-term solutions in an effort to save on cost or time, and as a result you set yourself up for higher maintenance or increased costs down the road. Sure, you can technically skimp on some technical aspects of your swimming pool, but you will only be shooting yourself in the foot. If you don’t install an adequate filtration system, guess who will have to make up for the slack? You will through more manual labor! It’s so important to properly budget for long-term, common sense solutions and technologies for your pool, to make pool ownership a joy and convenience long-term.

  1. Favoring glitz over function.

It’s so tempting to want to spend a large portion of your pool budget on features and finishes that provide that “wow” factor. And there’s no problem with doing so unless you then have to sacrifice function. Whenever you are making a design decision on your pool, whether it be its shape, size, depth, finish, and the list goes on, make sure you are also asking yourself (and your pool company), could this negatively impact the functionality of the pool. For example, if you’re not prepared for your electric bill to double due to the cost of maintaining and heating your pool and adjoining hot tub all summer (and possibly spring and fall), then you may wish to scale back on the depth or square footage to create a smaller pool.

  1. Not going with your gut instinct.

No matter how you slice it, building a residential swimming pool is a large project. There are many decisions you’ll need to make starting with what pool company you choose to bring your vision to life. The biggest mistake a potential pool owner can make is not listening to their gut instinct when it tells you what pool company will be the best fit, what budget is most reasonable for you right now, what design and finishes you should select, and countless other examples. Every step of the way you should be listening to these instincts and communicating them with your spouse or anyone else involved in your pool building project. To ensure you are fully happy with the finished project, your gut will almost always lead you in the right direction.

Is there another mistake you’ve seen made when people design their swimming pool? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below!

The Best Pool Trends We Expect to See in 2019

It’s time to start getting excited about the new trends in swimming pool design and accessories that 2019 will bring! With the rapid growth of technology and ever-expanding ideas, the options are truly endless. However, there are a few trends we’ve spotted that we expect to really take off this year. Learn what they are and why you might want to incorporate them into your new or existing swimming pool. Take a look!

Aquavisions Creates Custom Gunite Spa with Outdoor Living Area

  1. Built-In Ledges and Bars

Swimming pools aren’t just for swimming anymore. They’re for lounging and socializing. If you want to relax in your pool, you’re no longer limited to sitting on the edge or floating around on a raft. By incorporating built-in ledges you can place lounge chairs right in your pool on a sun-deck. You can also put benches and bar stools in your pool for social seating. One major benefit of choosing a custom gunite swimming pool is that you have endless options for built-in ledges and bars. You can select exactly the size and quantity you want to fit your pool’s design - and your lifestyle.

  1. Smart Lighting

Another big trend that will continue in 2019 is the use of smart lighting within and around your pool. For decades people have been incorporating lighting into their pools and hardscaping designs, however with new technology this lighting is being taken to a whole new level. You’re no longer limited to one color or brightness. And you have a lot more options than manually hitting an “on” switch. Most lighting can now be completely customized, day-by-day, through an app on your phone that allows you to set the color, brightness and timing of your pool lights. This trend is sure to wow guests, while making your pool feel like a completely new space each time you change your lighting.

  1. Dark Interior Pool Finishes

Dark interior pool finishes all are the craze as people are drawn to the serene, lagoon-like setting it creates. Combine the dark finish with rock features and a natural waterfall, and you have your very own piece of paradise in your backyard. Another added benefit of a dark interior pool finish is that it attracts and retains heat better than a lighter finish, helping to lower your pool heating costs. Not to mention, minor dirt and debris doesn’t stand out near as much as it would on a lighter finish.

Upon completion, we will schedule an orientation with one of our pool professionals to get your pool functioning properly.
  1. Features to Reduce Energy and Maintenance

Now more than ever, people want to reduce the energy consumption and maintenance requirements of their swimming pool. Achieving this will save you both time and money – plus it’s a bit more eco-friendly! Another swimming pool trend we expect to see in 2019 is investing in automated and efficient cleaning and filtration systems. Also, selecting the appropriately sized pump to accommodate your pool – neither too big nor too small. While this trend requires somewhat of an upfront investment, the long-term payoff is substantial. Additionally, saltwater pools continue to grow in popularity, which also goes hand-in-hand with achieving a lower maintenance swimming pool.

  1. Shallow-Depth Pools

Think of most swimming pools that you’ve been in. It’s likely they have had a shallow end and a deep end. Well, the new trend for 2019 is a shallow-depth pool. Why? Several reasons. First, people who enjoy exercising or playing water sports in their pool are better accommodated by a shallow-depth pool. Additionally, this is a way to reduce excavation and construction costs. You’ll want to carefully consider your lifestyle and how you intend to use your pool before jumping on this trend. But if it fits the bill, this could be a great design for you!

  1. Luxury Finishes

One final trend that we expect to gain momentum in 2019 is the use of luxury finishes. People have realized they’re by no means limited when it comes to finishes, especially when working with a custom gunite swimming pool. There are beautiful finishes in a wide variety of colors and textures to cover the concrete. Additionally gunite pools allow for stunning tile work around the water’s edge. Then, you benefit from high-quality coping around the pool, as opposed to a standard concrete edge. Not to mention when it comes to landscaping your patio around your pool, the sky is truly the limit!

What 2019 swimming pool trend has you most excited? Is there another trend you’ve spotted that you think should be added to this list? Tell us!

Trendy Pool Accessories that Were All the Rage this Season

Swimming is one of the most popular summer pastimes, but what really makes this activity fun and memorable is the addition of a few key pool accessories. We’ve seen everything from novelty rafts and luxurious lounge chairs to games and gadgets that bring out the kid in us all.

This summer, a couple new pool accessories became the must-have item of the season – and for good reason! They’re fun, useful and pretty cool. If you’re looking for a way to add some new excitement to the remainder of your 2018 pool season, consider one of these trendy pool accessories!

Floating Mood Lights

If you’ve ever regretted not building more lighting into your pool, this accessory can help you instantly add additional mood lighting. These light up orbs float on the top of the water, slowing moving with the breeze. You can stick with one color or switch them up! With floating mood lights, you’ll enjoy your pool from a whole new view.

Pool Umbrella

Pool umbrellas have come a long way! The best trend right now is designing an umbrella into your pool. Many new pools now include a shallow sundeck where you can place lounge chairs. You can also build a small hole directly into the sundeck that allows for an umbrella to easy stick in. In an instant you have a nice shaded space. Or if you want sun, you can just as easily remove the umbrella altogether!


This pool toy is as funny as it sounds. It’s quite literally an inflatable bull you can ride in the pool. Like any pool float that’s challenging to get on, this toy will have everyone laughing as people try to stay upright. Friends can make it even more challenging for the rider by trying to throw them off balance! Click here to watch the Inflat-A-Bull in action in an Aquavisions pool!

Floating Stereo

One of the best pool accessories is one that provides entertainment! With a floating, water-proof stereo you can bring your music wherever you are in the pool. Whether you’re with a group of people or relaxing by yourself, music makes everything more fun. Best of all, investing in a floating stereo won’t cost you near as much as wiring a complete outdoor sound system!

Mermaid Fins

Whether you believe mermaids exist or not, you can still experience what it might be like to swim with a fin with this fun pool accessory. Mermaid tails were all the rage this summer, for both kids and adults. It’s easy to see why! Not only do they look pretty cool, they help you breeze through the water.

Floating Drink Holder

No one likes getting out of the pool and walking across the patio to get a cold beverage! With a floating drink holder, your drinks will always be nearby. While a floating cooler is not a necessarily “new” idea, some of the newer products on the market take things to a whole new level. With coolers shaped like pineapples, pirate ships and rainbows, you can get one that reflects your personality!


Emoji Floats

Last but not least, we have to mention emoji floats. We’re in full fledge emoji craze, so naturally these icons have made their way to pool accessories. You can have your pick of any number of emoji shaped floats from the traditional smiley face to pizza, unicorns, ice cream and more. Do you have a favorite emoji? There’s a good chance you can find it as a float for your pool!

Is your favorite pool accessory on this list? Or did we miss it? Chime in by sharing your favorite pool toy or game of the season!

Pool Owner Hacks that Will Make Your Life Easier

As a pool owner, you should never feel like your pool owns you. However, it’s easy to slip into a pattern where you become a slave to your pool, manually cleaning it the hard way, ineffectively using chemicals and constantly making minor repairs.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way! There are a lot of “pool owner hacks” out there designed to make your life easier. While not all of your pool-related issues will be quick fixes, there are quite a few that are. Take a look at these few ideas for how you can reclaim ownership over your pool and enjoy more time relaxing, rather than working.

Remove calcium scaling with vinegar.

Before you run out to the pool store for cleaners to remove calcium scaling on your pool walls, start with an all-natural and cost-effective solution. Dilute white vinegar and scrub away! The vinegar quickly breaks down the calcium, leaving you with squeaky clean walls.

Use a solar cover or solar rings.

Sure, it’s one more step when closing up your pool at the end of the day, but this one is worth the small effort. Using a solar cover is a smart way to keep your pool warm overnight or when not in use and prevent water loss. Better yet, the cover can keep debris like leaves, sticks and dirt from winding up (at least so easily) in your pool. If your pool is a unique shape and a solar cover is challenging to find, consider opting for solar rings, which are mini solar covers in ring form that more easily take to freeform pool shapes.

Run your pool pump at night.

Running your pool pump at night will help you save on electric costs and ensure you wake up to a well circulated pool the next day. Depending upon your electric company, you may be able to save money by using electricity during non-peak hours or throughout the night. So by running your pump at night, you reap all the benefits of healthy water circulation while cutting down on your swimming pool bills.

Use fresh lime juice to remove metal stains.

If you’ve noticed a rust or metal stain around your pool, just bust out some fresh lime juice. The lime juice helps to break down even the peskiest of stains. Best of all, it’s all-natural so you don’t have to worry about this causing skin irritation for swimmers or throwing off the balance of your water.

Replace single speed pumps with variable speed pumps.

Switching your single speed pump to a variable speed pump comes with some significant benefits. Variable speed pumps are drastically more energy efficient because the multiple speeds make it easy to manage electrical consumption. It’s also a sound investment. Most variable speed pumps are built to last longer than traditional pumps.

Use a tennis ball to reduce oils in the water.

It’s true. The outer material of a tennis ball is great for absorbing oils from skin, sun tan lotions and soap run off. Simply throw a tennis ball in the pool and let it float. It won’t disrupt your swimmers (maybe just the four-legged kind) and it will help to keep your water clear and oil-free.

Use a time to automate filtration.

Let’s face it. We all get busy and forget to do something. As it applies to pool maintenance, it’s common that people forget to turn off their pool filters and heaters when they aren’t needed. One easy solution is to add an automatic timer. If building a new pool, you can also incorporate technologies that allow you to control everything right from your smart phone. So whether you’re just away for the day, the week or the month, you can be sure your pool isn’t unnecessarily working overtime and costing you money.

Make your filtration system more efficient with pantyhose.

Use an old pair of pantyhose and wrap them over your skimmer basket, like you would a trash bag inside a trash basket. The added filtration of the pantyhose fabric will help capture even more debris and keep it inside the basket for you to easily remove before it reaches your main filtration system.

Keep up with maintenance to save on repairs.

Most importantly, keep up with the ongoing maintenance of your pool’s heat and filtration systems. Ongoing maintenance will keep your pool functioning at its peak performance while preventing undue wear and tear on your systems. Regular maintenance now will help prevent major expenses in the future.

Do you have another pool owner hack to share? Share the wisdom so we can all enjoy a low-maintenance pool this summer! Leave a comment below.

Unique Fire Features for Your Custom Pool

Outdoor fire features have become one of the hottest trends in pool design. It’s no surprise why. Having elements of fire combined with elements of water makes your backyard space feel like a high end resort that can be enjoyed throughout the day and long into the night.

What’s important to keep in mind is that there are a large variety of fire features that can be incorporated into just about any design or budget. Maybe an outdoor fireplace and seating area don’t exactly fit your lifestyle. Maybe you’re more drawn to exotic and captivating fire bowls that balance out a relaxing waterfall. No matter your taste, we are confident we can find a unique fire feature to help take your space to the next level! Let’s take a look at some of the most popular features in the pool industry right now.


An outdoor fireplace is a traditional and stately design element that gives you the ability to create a luxurious and comfortable lounge area that functions just like a living room – only outdoors! In certain designs, you can create a two-sided outdoor fireplace that provides you with twice the space for entertaining. One of our favorite ways to do this is to have one side of the fireplace face inside the house or sunroom. The other side of the fireplace is then open to the outside. With an outdoor fireplace to heat your space, you will extend the time of day and length of season you can enjoy your backyard.

Fire Pit

A fire pit provides a place for conversation and delivers 360 degrees of warmth and ambiance. They are also ideal for making s’mores! A fire pit feels more casual than a fireplace and often requires less stonework, which reduces cost. A fire pit can be incorporated just about anywhere, whether you want to keep it near your home or make it a destination out in the far part of your yard. A fire pit’s size and shape are highly customizable, including the type of material used to build it.

Fire Wall

Similar to a fire pit, a fire wall is just what it sounds like. This backyard feature creates a low wall of fire that can be placed near a lounge area to deliver heat and design. Depending upon the placement and use, many fire walls can be designed with a glass element to ensure safety from the flames while still allowing heat to flow through. Fire walls add a very modern, sleek design element to your backyard space. If this is the look you’re trying to create, a fire wall could be a great option for you.

Fire Bowl

Our favorite way to incorporate fire blows into a pool design is to place them as anchors to a water fall feature, slide or diving board. Though fire bowls do provide warmth, they are most often used for their lighting and ambiance. There’s something about mixing water and fire that makes a backyard space feel exotic, almost tribal.

Fire Table

Similar to a fire pit, a fire table is designed to draw people together for conversation. Fire tables can be low like a coffee table, medium height like a standard dining table, or bar height. It all depends upon your lifestyle and vision! The most noteworthy feature of a fire table is that is provides added space around the perimeter of the fire to allow guests to place drinks and food while staying a safe distance from the flames.

Fire Column

A fire column is a thin, but tall fire element than can be placed in or around your backyard seating areas. They add light and a little bit of warmth. You no longer have to settle for Tiki torches; instead people are opting to incorporate fire columns for a far more sophisticated and longer lasting fire element that can be customized to complement the rest of the elements in your outdoor space.

Fire and Water

This final category is the “catch-all” for so many other outdoor fire features that would be too much to list individually. The beauty of a custom pool design is that anything is possible. If you want a fire pit inside your pool with built in bar stools surrounding it – we can make it happen. If you want a swim up bar that is backed by a two-way fireplace – we can make it happen. If you want fire bowls that are also mini waterfalls – we can make it happen.

The bottom line is, if you can dream it, we can likely find a way to bring this to life for you. We love creative problem solving as much as we love intermixing fire and water elements into our pool designs!

If you were designing your dream pool today, what fire feature would you want to include? Share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment below!

Upgrades to Enhance Your Pool Owner Experience

Owning a swimming pool should mean fun memories spent with family and friends, not hours of maintenance that become an overwhelming chore added to your to-do list. We understand, you want to experience all the benefits of owning a pool, without the unnecessary burden of extensive daily upkeep.

Many clients come to us with the concern that their new pool will be “too much work.” Thirty years ago, this may have been the case. However, technology has drastically enhanced the way we handle everyday pool tasks, making them fast, simple and automated.

When first discussing a new swimming pool project with a client, we carefully explain that there are three main components to maintaining your pool: standard pool filtration, debris removal, and water chemistry. Each of these three areas of upkeep have options available to pool owners that can help you work on your pool less and enjoy your pool more!

If you’re considering a new swimming pool, or even if you already have one, we want to outline some options that may be a good fit for you to incorporate into your pool maintenance system. As part of a series of articles, we will dive much deeper into each of the following three topics, but for now we want to provide a general overview to give you a basic understanding. Take a look!

The pump and filter is the heart of your pool circulation system.

Investing in good quality equipment will give you an excellent start on maintaining great water quality. Contrary to what you may have heard, a good pool professional will encourage the use of the smallest pump possible to filter all of your pool water in a given amount of time. The smaller the pump, the less electricity you have to buy to run it!

One of the more recent advances in circulation system design is the availability to install variable speed pumps on residential pools which enables you to program up to 8 different speeds to control exactly how hard your pump needs to work to do the job right. This can result in a savings of up to 90% (compared to a standard 1.5 HP pump) on pump operation costs.

For your pool filter, we recommend using a cartridge style filter as opposed to the old standard sand or D.E. filters. Using a cartridge filter eliminates the need to “backwash” your filter system where you lose pool water and pool chemicals. Better yet, you typically only need to clean your cartridges once or twice a season!

Learn more about your pool's pump and filtration system. 

You are not limited to “old school” methods for removing debris.

When your new pool construction is complete or your existing pool is opened up for the season, there will inevitably be some debris (pollen, leaves, grass clippings, etc.) that finds its way into your beautiful pool. Sure, you could manually clean the debris out with a pool vacuum or by purchasing a “robot” style automatic cleaner that drives around the pool sucking up dirt and leaves. While both of these options can be effective, we recommend something much better for our clients!

At Aquavisions, we incorporate “in-floor” cleaning technology into most of the projects we build. Designed and supplied by Paramount Pool and Spa Systems, our PVR system places nozzles throughout the floor of your swimming pool to manage the debris that collects on the bottom of the pool. The nozzles pop up and put out a jet of recirculated, filtered water to push debris toward a drain in the deepest part of the pool. From here it is collected in a canister that mounts flush with your pool patio.

Your work is simple; empty the basket as needed! The nozzle colors are selected to closely match the color of the pool interior making them an appealing option from a design point of view. The side benefit of these systems is that by returning all of your filtered and chemically treated water throughout the entire pool floor, you get better circulation and more thorough heating.

While any “automatic” cleaner that you choose will require a little hand work to be get every part of the pool clean, it is far less labor intensive than manually vacuuming your pool.

Learn more about debris removal options for your pool. 

Maintaining good water chemistry keeps your pool sparkling clean.

There is a lot that goes into pool water chemistry, but at it’s most basic level the water needs to be sanitized and free of bacteria, viruses, and algae. One of the biggest advancements to the pool industry is that salt/chlorine generators are now the norm for pool sanitation. It’s important to note that event with salt water systems, your pool is still being treated with chlorine. The difference is that instead of manually adding chlorine to your pool water, the salt system produces its own!

To install a salt/chlorine system on a new pool or an existing pool, we plumb a “cell” into your circulation system which all of your pool water will pass through after traveling through your filter and possibly a heater. Our pool professionals add the right amount of salt to your pool based upon gallons of water. Another important thing to note is that this salt is manufactured and sold specifically for the pool industry and is not interchangeable with the crystals or pellets meant for home water softeners.

The chlorine (produced through electrolysis) will sanitize the pool water and then recombine with the sodium where it will once again go through the filtration system and the process continues. The result is a highly customized sanitation level which you can even control through your smartphone!

Best of all, the salt water has a much “lighter” feel when you are in the pool and does not have some of the undesirable effects that standard chlorine methods do such as drying out your skin, burning your eyes and bleaching bathing suits and hair. But the real win is a safe, simplified and automated sanitation system for your pool that allows you to work less and enjoy more!

Learn more about maintaining good water chemistry in your pool.

Be sure to stay tuned as we diver deeper into each of these three topics in our next blog series! You will learn all of your options, and their pros and cons, for pool filtration, debris removal, and water chemistry.

If you’d like to know more right now, we welcome a conversation! Contact one of Aquavisions’ pool experts today at (717) 697-7610.